I recently received my four disc Spider-Man 3-D package. The movie looks great on Blu-ray, but my 3-D projector is still down so I can’t comment on 3-D yet. Before I get into the actual review of the movie, let me discuss the special features that came with it.
First, as with almost all discs, there is a typical commentary by the directors and producers, in this case by Marc Webb, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. We first learn nothing unexpected: all the actors were great, all were fun to work with, all wanted these parts more than anything and they all did a fantastic job. We also learn that most of the actors worked with these people on other movie and that Sally Field only worked ten days. More than giving the background on the scenes, they seem to be describing much of what we are already seeing. I did enjoying hearing why certain scenes were shortened or eliminated, or placed in different spots of the movie than original planned.
There is a bunch of features that can play like a documentary. They one hour and fifty minutes long and are entitled “Rites Of Passage.” This shows the creation of the reboot of Spider-Man. They emphasis that they felt that the origin of Spider-Man had been told, but not the origin of Peter Parker, so there is special emphasis on the relationship between Peter and his parents. In fact the producers felt this was the focal point of the movie. This, of course, was not ever a component of the early books, by Lee, Ditko and later Romita, which I loved. They also felt that the Gwen relationship with Peter was especially important because it was his first love. As an original reader of Spider-Man I am disappointed with this point of view. Gwen was not his first love, Betty was. This sadly shows an ignorance of the true history of the character. And while Peter did not know his birth parents; his parents were really Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Now their history might have been an interesting thing to show! I guess I am also am getting tired of long origins in Comic Book movies, especially, like in Spider-Man, we recently saw it. X-Men First Class was an entire movie telling an origin and the next Superman movie will take a long time to tell his beginnings.
The documentary discusses the last three Spider-Man movies, and they show many scenes from them. They don’t quite resolve to my satisfaction why there was no Spider-Man IV. The producer does mention that the Lizard was always his favorite villain, so you have to wonder why they waited for the fourth film.
In the “documentary” there are segments on how they did the casting, the special effects, post and pre-production, filming in L.A. and filming in NY. They also showed how the costumes were made.
The 12 outtakes were interesting because they were basically completed. That is, they had music and special effects, most outtakes don’t. However, missing here was commentary on why these scenes were either shortened or not in the movie. That would have made them more interesting. The most interesting items here were the outtakes of Curt Connors. I would have preferred that they had kept him a good guy like they did in the comics. Here some of the deleted scenes shows the hell he was going through and he would have made a much more appealing and tortured character.
I very much enjoyed the Pre-Visualizations: Revised Opening Sequence; Spider Room; The Subway; Birth of Spider-Man; Handstand; Roof Top POV; Overpass; Bridge; Love Swing; Lizard Sewer; High School; Lizard Ambush; Standoff; Crane; Oscorp Lab; and Oscorp Finale. Here we are shown the actual storyboards for the scenes and, in some cases, computer animation of what they wanted it to look like. It was very good and reminded me of the MTV Spider-Man cartoon. There is also a picture gallery of Prof. Connors turning into the Lizard.
Again with no commentary, but still fun to see, was the rehearsal for some very complex stunts in the movie. They showed Live Subway; Spidey Luis Sequence; Escape Under Bridge; Sewer Fight; Big Liz vs. Spidey; Lizard Attacks and SWAT.
There is a three minute segment on the Making of the Video game, which is more of a promotion than a making of segment.