Spider-Man: The High Definition Trilogy (Spider-Man / Spider-Man 2 / Spider-Man 3)
Blu-ray | Box Set
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Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco. Your friendly neighborhood Spidey weaves a stunning web in this action-packed trilogy, fighting The Green Goblin, Doc Oc, Venom, The Sandman and more! Includes Spider-Man (2002/121 min.), Spider-Man 2 (2004/135 min.) and Spider-Man 3 (2007/139 min.). 4 Discs. Color/PG-13.
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About the packaging... It should be noted that in this set, the discs are stored in a slim fold-out cardboard case with an outer box. So it's a nice way to save some shelf space, but those who like all their movies to be in the traditional blu-ray cases will be disappointed.
Below is a full detailed list of the contents of this box set and all the special features included.
DISC 1: Spider-Man
Movie + Special Features
- Gag Reel
- Costume/Makeup Test
- "Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century" documentary
- Screen Tests
- Director Profile: Sam Raimi
DISC 2: Spider-Man 2
Movie (includes Theatrical Version & Extended "Spider-Man 2.1") + Special Features
- Audio Commentary w/ Filmmakers & Cast
- Ock-umentary: Eight Arms to Hold You
- "Making the Amazing" 12-part documentary
- Blooper Reel
- VFX Breakdowns
DISC 3: Spider-Man 3
Movie + Special Features
- Audio Commentary w/ Filmmakers & Cast
- Snow Patrol Music Video
DISC 4: Spider-Man 3 Bonus Disc
includes additional Special Features
- Grains of Sand: Building Sandman
- Re-Imagining the Goblin
- Covered in Black: Creating Venom
- On Location in New York & Cleveland
- Inside the Editing Room & The Science of Sound
- 3 Stunt Featurettes
Note: This review is for the Spider-Man Trilogy [Blu-ray]. Amazon is apparently displaying it with other versions, so you might want to be discerning when reading reviews of the Spider-Man box sets to be sure the review(s) apply to the one you're thinking about buying.
Considering the space available on Blu Ray discs, I think this is shameful and insulting to fans. I'm all for moving forward with technology, but not at the expense of the consumer. ...so.......here we go again, first we introduce a new improved format, then we rush to release halfhearted editions, so they can release a better one a year or two later and the vicious cycle continues.
OK so now you get past that you will be keeping your original two disc DVD's because the bonus stuff is actually very good and well worth keeping on those editions. Now we get to the transfers, all three films show a very noticeable improvement, but the standard DVD releases look very good too and I'm not sure it warrants a double dip without the extras. The first film looks a bit grainy at times, with the second film looking much better. The sound is a big improvement on all three films. I just do not understand why the bonus stuff wasn't carried over for the first two films. It would have made considering this release to buy a much easier decision.
My ratings for the films
Spider Man - 4.6
The first film is creaky at times, but it is so much fun that I can forgive any flaws in it. It's got great characters, action, acting and heart, it's one of the best popcorn flicks you'll ever see. Tobey McGuire may not be the wisecracking Spidey we know from the comic book, but he is completely believable as the young teen with these strange new powers. Dafoe is perfectly cast as the Green Goblin even if the Goblin design could have been a little better. I also loved J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and Dunst, Robertson and Harris are great as M.J. and Uncle Ben and Aunt May. I know that some think there could have been a lot more development with Parker getting used to his new powers, but I believe this series was known to be a trilogy right from the get go and Raimi wanted to make Spider Man 2 all about the problems that would come with these powers and as we all know he pulled that one off in spades. When you think about the genius of how the first film was handled with Parker not giving much thought to the dangers of his new found gifts, it's a really good movie. I also love the ending of the film which I know also made all the ladies big fans of this film. There is nothing quite so bitter sweet as unrequited love. Besides being an extremely fun film it is also a very important film because super hero films were never taken too seriously until after this film made a ton of money.
Spider Man 2 - 4.9
Even though this is a superior film to the first, I like the first one better. That's not to say that this could quite possibly be the greatest super hero movie of all time! It's got everything a great super hero film needs, great story, acting, pacing, action,hero, villain, love interest and a touch of comedy. Spider Man 2 also develops the character and answers all the questions the first film didn't fully flesh out. I thought Alfred Molina (a guy I had never heard of at the time) was absolutely fantastic as "Doc Ock" . The FX look better and the fight scenes are more appropriate for our web slinging hero with high flying air battles, Spidey shooting web balls and a villain who looks much more like his comic book counter part. Besides having great action sequences Spider Man 2 also has a lot of heart and the love relationship and guilt issues keep this film from becoming just another super hero movie. The blend of drama and action would not be complete without a pinch of comedy which this film hits on every cylinder. Whether it's Spidey delivering pizza, taking an elevator ride or the hilarious use of the song 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' this film has some wonderful funny moments.
Spider Man 3 - 4.2
OK this one is for my Twin Andrew! I know this film has taken a beating and I would have to agree it is a disappointment. I really don't know how it couldn't be. It' just had too much to live up to. The biggest problem with this film for me is that Raimi didn't make it long enough. I think he knew this would be his last Spider Man film and he should have given this installment the length it needed to tie up all the loose ends from the first two films with the detail it deserved. I do think this is a very good film and only in the area of Venom does it seem rushed. I think Venom needed another 20-25 minutes of time in the film before joining forces with Sandman. this would have given this interesting character time to develop. Venom is a unique character in Web Heads Rogue Gallery and he deserved more than just an add on in this film. He's stronger than Spidey, he knows who Spidey is, he is immune to Spidey's Spider Sense. I think the possibilities are wasted here and I think the extra time would have made all the difference in the world. Considering all that is going on in the bloated finale, I do think Raimi does a good job of keeping things moving without becoming too confusing. I know there are many changes in the comic book history, but you have to expect that sort of thing when a comic book character makes a transition to film. I think Spider Man 3 is a very good film and a fitting end to the series even if a little too ambitious.
So overall this is a good set, but for me I would rather have the DVD editions with all the interesting bonus material than better looking films with no bonus material. I will keep both the DVD and the Blu Ray versions. The choice is up to the consumer, but be aware that there is surely a better version around the corner.