Josh Wilding Reviews: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Blu-Ray (Film And Special Features)

The Amazing Spider-Man is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on Monday 26th November and is available now in the US. You can read my spoiler-free verdict on both the film and special features after the jump! Check it out.

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By Josh Wilding - 11/25/2012

It's been a decade since Spider-Man first swung his way onto the big screen, so is it too soon for another origin story? Perhaps, but Marc Webb delivers a fresh spin on a familiar tale, with only a few déjà vu moments. Comparisons between The Amazing Spider-Man and Sam Raimi’s trilogy are of course inevitable, but it quickly becomes apparent that this is an altogether different take on the character. Here we have a Peter Parker who is haunted by the loss of his parents, and it is this which sets him on a collision course with Doctor Curt Connors (and eventually the Lizard). The main problem with the reboot is that there are just a few too many unanswered questions left over by the time the credits roll. Some of these make sense, but others will more than likely just leave you feeling frustrated. Regardless, we spend a lot of time with Peter Parker before he suits up as Spider-Man and get to know the character extremely well. His relationship with Uncle Ben is nicely developed, although the same can’t quite be said for Aunt May. Does she know he’s Spider-Man? If not, she must be incredibly naïve because Peter makes very little effort in hiding it from her. For everything the film does right, the screenplay can’t help but trip itself up with the odd minor few niggles such as these.

Andrew Garfield embodies Peter Parker and Spider-Man perfectly. The British actor comes close to doing for this character what Heath Ledger did for The Joker, and he brings a level of likeability to the character, delivering a wide range of emotions. Rhys Ifans is equally as impressive as Curt Connors and has no issues with portraying both the man of science and a genuinely scary and psychotic villain. It turns out that there is a lot more to him than what was shown in the trailers and TV spots, and the Lizard is a very fitting choice of villain who, like the Hulk, benefits from being a motion capture creation. Emma Stone is good as Gwen Stacy and like Ifans, she shares a great deal of chemistry with Garfield. Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben), Sally Field (Aunt May) and Denis Leary (Captain Stacy) all deliver solid performances, although Irfan Khan’s occasionally hard to understand Doctor Ratha is entirely forgettable and not quite effective enough as an antagonist, possibly because he vanishes halfway through the movie. Chris Zylka also surprises as Flash Thompson, with a couple of key scenes adding a lot of depth to a character who was previously portrayed so entirely unconvincingly.

Where The Amazing Spider-Man never falters is with the visuals. This is a stunning film in every respect and Marc Webb has truly brought these characters to life in the best possible way. Spider-Man looks as if he was torn straight out of the pages of the comics, and the suit is photographed beautifully by the director. The mixture of practical and special effects web-swinging is superb and blends together far more naturally than in the previous films. While The Lizard’s appearance has been a little controversial topic with some fans, he ends up looking absolutely fantastic, and the decision to use Ifans’ voice and likeness really pays off. However, it is the action sequences which are truly breathtaking, exciting and downright awe-inspiring. The battles between Spider-Man and the Lizard are like nothing we’ve ever seen in a comic book movie before, and are choreographed so perfectly and brutally, you will undoubtedly be on the edge of your seat throughout. It’s a shame that the much talked about point of view sequences end up being few and far between. While it's good that they never make the mistake of going over the top with them, anyone hoping for more than seconds of seeing through the eyes of Spider-Man might find themselves disappointed. The picture quality is top-notch, though no better than most releases, and it is for the most part just what we have all come to expect from the Blu-ray format. The sound is perhaps most impressive as the score and a lot of the dialogue seem to be a little crisper than in the theatrical release.

The Amazing Spider-Man may not be perfect, but that shouldn't put you off from seeing what is a solid and enjoyable fourth outing on the big screen for arguably the world’s greatest superhero. It’s a solid entry into the comic book movie genre, as well as a fresh and exciting new take on the character which will leave you eagerly anticipating the sequel (let is not forget that it also happens to include THE best Stan Lee cameo of all-time). James Horner's score is extremely effective, while Marc Webb brings with him a sampling of great tunes (as he did with the brilliant (500) Days of Summer). The film features realistic dialogue and some wonderful humour. It's frustrating then that despite all of this, Peter’s powers never seem to be that well explored. Despite a few sound effects, it’s never actually made abundantly clear whether or not he even has spider-sense. Regardless, it would be a great shame for Marc Webb to be blamed for shortcomings such as these, as he is the one who saves the film when it so occasionally stumbles. The visuals he brings to the screen are truly iconic (whether it’s Spider-Man’s many poses or an actual recreation of the image on the first teaser poster) and Webb not returning to helm the sequel would be a real shame.

A flawed but still fantastic Spider-Man movie which mostly delivers the faithful portrayal of the character fans have waited so long to see. Incredible acting, action and special effects make this a must-see!



SPECIAL FEATURES:

The "Second Screen App" is perhaps the biggest draw when it comes to The Amazing Spider-Man's special features as iPad and Sony Tablet users can sling content from their handheld device to their television, including interviews, alternate takes and storyboards. However, it's the 90+ minutes long behind-the-scenes documentary which REALLY delivers the ultimate look at the creation of the movie, and while the stars of the film only occasionally pop up in the interviews here, there are plenty of fascinating sound bites from director Marc Webb (who shows time and time again why he was the right man for the job). These in-depth featurettes cover The Amazing Spider-Man's development, the casting, costumes, locations, stunts, visual effect, score and more, and there's really nothing which isn't covered here that you would want to know.

Of course, with some complaining about the odd few plot holes in the movie, it's the deleted scenes which many fans will most want to check out. They are all very good (with only one or two arguably not essential to the film - the different version of Uncle Ben's death is particularly interesting) and it's hard to understand why some of these were cut. The scene in the sewers with Peter, Connors and Ratha is a perfect example of this, but it's great that they are still all offered up here regardless of WHY they didn't make it into the final film. The Blu-ray also includes a ton of concept art, pre-visualisation sequences, stunt training and a superfluous featurette about The Amazing Spider-Man video game. Finally, there's a director's commentary with Marc Webb, Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad which is a nice addition for those who enjoy that type of thing - it's genuinely very interesting!

The disc is packed full of great featurettes and bonus content, making the Blu-ray an essential purchase for anyone who wants a truly in-depth behind-the-scenes experience.










The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.


STARRING:

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors/The Lizard
Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben
Sally Fields as Aunt May
Denis Leary as George Stacy

RELEASE DATE: Out Now.


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NerdyGeek - 11/25/2012, 1:57 PM
I should be getting my copy (along with THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1) tomorrow.
pro346 - 11/25/2012, 2:08 PM
I thought this would be shit but I actually really liked it.
toobusylookingood - 11/25/2012, 2:12 PM
Aw TASM wasn't that good. Lots of face palm moments for me. Trashes his poor uncles bathroom... why? And we never found out what happened to Fred the hungry lab-rat... :P
INSTANTJUSTICE - 11/25/2012, 2:16 PM
I'll only buy this if the 'Stone' Sex Tape is included.
WesleyGibson - 11/25/2012, 2:19 PM
A flawed but still fantastic Spider-Man movie which mostly delivers the faithful portrayal of the character fans have waited so long to see. Incredible acting, action and special effects make this a must-see!

No...not really. I prefer the original film.
Nick56 - 11/25/2012, 2:26 PM
An extremely flawed and mediocre Spider-Man movie which rarely delivers the faithful portrayal of the character fans have already seen. Hit and miss acting, poorly directed action sequences and lousy special effects make this movie not worth a single cent.
Kingdork - 11/25/2012, 2:34 PM
I'm a fan and I don't think the movie delivered the faithful portrayal of the character I supposedly have been waiting so long to see. Peter was an unlikable self-centered douche throughout the whole film, even up to his last line. The movie was very forgettable and dull. Bad story-telling, weak story structure and rather tedious overall. A big resounding meh.
RR51 - 11/25/2012, 2:37 PM
This remains still the most faithful portrayal of Spider-Man. Nor Webb or Raimi's versions get close to it.

Preston - 11/25/2012, 2:39 PM

The Good:



One of the best Stan 'The Man' Lee cameos on film:

Stan Lee

The 'angst ridden' wise-cracking Spider-Man:
funny

Emma Stone:
stone


Web Shooters:
Web


The Bad:



That feeling of deja-vu [been here done that] that permeated the film:
fight

And, that feeling that the film feels a bit dark for a Spidy flick:
dark


Pending - 11/25/2012, 2:46 PM
Why would Peter Parker go through the trouble of making a complex detailed spider-man suit just to go after one criminal?

Why wear a suit that resembles a superhero when your not gonna do anything heroic is he really that ignorant?

Pretty much, well we need him in the suit it doesn't really matter why or if it makes sense we just need him in it it at some point.
SimplyJoshuaJames - 11/25/2012, 2:48 PM
I have to admit, I didn't enjoy this movie at all and I will certainly not be buying it until it finds it's way to the deal bins. I can't stand Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone has pissed me off since the first interview I saw her in!
Kingdork - 11/25/2012, 2:50 PM
@ teabag - I like sweet vagina hugging as much as the next guy (unless that next guy is Bruce Vilanch) but come on! What a cheap way to hint at a sequel which only resulted in annihilating any kind of much needed self-revelation the character might have reached up until then. A big [frick] you to a dying man's last word? Really Peter Parker? Really? You know what? [frick] you too.
FOOM - 11/25/2012, 2:52 PM
Not at all faithful to the source material, Nick56 and Kingdork are right on the money. Garfield's Parker was more of an amoral self centred douche bag than a black suited Tobey Maguire could ever be. Face it, Webb has no clue as to the personalities of the comic's characters and frankly I don't think he gives a flying feck. Its Spidey for the Twilight generation. Absolutely hate this film.
Jollem - 11/25/2012, 3:02 PM
good stuff, Josh
FlashhGordon27 - 11/25/2012, 3:05 PM
You're right, TASM WAS like twilight.... As I always say, I expected this film to be crap, loved it, as a huge Batman fan i expected tdkr to be amazing, boy was I wrong. TASM is in my top 10 cbms, preferred it way more to Raimi's. Also love Webb as a director, 500 days is absolutely brilliant.
TrueRedBlue - 11/25/2012, 3:07 PM
Good movie. Not amazing at all. The only 'amazing' thing about it was Andrew's Peter Parker/Spider-Man portrayal. There. Now be quiet about it -_-
marvel72 - 11/25/2012, 3:11 PM
it had its moments but i think the original trilogy is better.

good

-great spidey poses
-web-shooters
-some good performances(garfield & stone)
-lizard in lab coat
-spidey costume but not as good as the raimi's
-spidey vs lizard in school,especially the stan lee cameo
-car rescue scene
-spidey sitting on web in sewer

bad

-mutant rat
-fight on train
-lizard with no lab coat
-some of the lizard cgi was bad
-changes to the origin i.e uncle ben's death,no wrestling match & too much skateboarding parker
-the score was bad as well
-cheesy crane scene
-peter parker also came across as a bit of an arse hole in some scenes

2.5/5 average/good spidey movie.

Pending - 11/25/2012, 3:11 PM
Yea its amazing how andrew got the Peter Parker character so damn wrong and yet people are still saying he's the definitive Peter.
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:11 PM
Best portrayal of Parker/spiderman second best Spidey, acting takes a big shit on raimi. Second best Spidey movie to dates haters Gon hate
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:13 PM
@spectacualrspiderman invalid, many incarnations of Spidey so Tobey was good to Andrew W's just better, now quit your bitchin
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:16 PM
Andrew is the ultimate version of Parker if you want an explanation @spectacualrspiderman
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:19 PM
@foom yes Spidey is an amoral jerk when he gets his powers but learns not to be when uncle Ben gives him his speech after his death. This happened at the end of the film.

LAWERED HATERRR
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:29 PM
3/5 for me, to choppy
Kingdork - 11/25/2012, 3:29 PM
Spidey31 - "Spidey is an amoral jerk when he gets his powers but learns not to be when uncle Ben gives him his speech after his death. This happened at the end of the film." ... right before he basically stated he didn't give two monkey shits about the last words of a dying man, who died because he decided to HELP him and in his last breath confessed that he started to understand him and to BELIEVE IN HIM! Yeah, highly moral and selfless of you Peter to give the middle finger to that dude at the very end where you were supposed to stop being a self-centered jerk! Seriously dude.
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:35 PM
And dull
TheManWithBigEars - 11/25/2012, 3:36 PM
Should've been called 'The Subpar Spider-Man'
Admittedly it was better than Raimi's in some respects, but incredibly flawed in others, watching it in the cinema I didn't feel any passion or real emotion whilst watching like I did with the other hits this summer
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:36 PM
@kimgdork yea well gwen dies becasue of that decision, thus further shaping him as spiderman learning a lesson about responsiblity even further.
DarkArts - 11/25/2012, 3:37 PM
Peter Parker is becoming lost in comics and film. Raimi's Parker was Parker. Webb's was not Peter Parker and of all the films problems that was the worst and most unforgivable.
Pending - 11/25/2012, 3:38 PM
@Spidey31

Did Uncle Ben have some kind of responsibility-ray that automatically made people responsible or something?

Just because he talked to Peter about responsibility doesn't mean Peter was magically responsible from there on, his actions say otherwise especially the broken promise.
Kingdork - 11/25/2012, 3:42 PM
@Spidey31 - So he's still a self-centered irresponsible twat even at the end of the first film. My point exactly. Not enough death before he undertands a goddamn thing it seems. And you spelled my username wrong. I'm offended ^^
Kalel219 - 11/25/2012, 3:42 PM
"The British actor comes close to doing for this character what Heath Ledger did for The Joker,"

OH COME ON! What the hell...
Kingdork - 11/25/2012, 3:46 PM
@SpectacularSpider - Exactly. It's just plain bad story-telling.
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:47 PM
And he shouldn't reveal his identity to MJ
breakUbatman - 11/25/2012, 3:51 PM
These guys really should have manned up and been different as opposed to remaking Raimi's movie.

If they were leaving out the wrestling they should have focused on his quest for celebrity.

Andrew Garfield was solid but I fail to see how Ifans performance stood out, I'd actually say Leary and Sheen put on better performances.

Horner's score - unimpressive when it came to the super heroics.

The origin part was the biggest let down for me, the whole point is to establish the hero's powers and abilities. Here they do a bad job and all the events are Richard Parker driven: hero, spiders, 0 decay rate formula, Ganali device.

The fight scene at the high school was great as was Spidey's over all choreography but I don't see why they saved all the cool web slinging for the end of the movie.

Though Andrew gave a good performance I didnt find him likeable enough. He was a loner, bratty kid with a bad attitude, you'd think he had the symbiote already.

2.5/5 for the film
4/5 for the Extras (can't stand Avi Arad though)
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 3:58 PM
@spectacularspiderman Peter in the comics becomes responsible through uncle ben telling him about responsiblity.

@kingdork sure your right but this trilogy is showing the growth of Peter Parker and will show his struggles and mistakes along the way. It's just how the story is gonna go.

@unibeam well if this movie is inspired by a lot of ultimate material so I don't know what you're talking about. And Peter wasn't stoping " robbers" he was looking for his uncle bens killer which led him to the bridge, the bridge led him to realize he needed to stop Connors before he got hurt. Uncle ben's last words on the voicemail and cap Stacy's death solidify peters epiphany that he needs to be responsible. In a deleted scene at the end aunt may says to Peter " what's gotten into you? You've gotten all responsible all the sudden!" also the eggs he forgot mid movie and he brings at the end also reinforces my argument that Peter becomes the responsible not douche Spidey at the end.
Pending - 11/25/2012, 3:58 PM
@UniBeam11

Whats weird to me is, Why did Peter have to get his ass kicked in order for Gwen to finally notice him? Something is just not right about Gwen in this movie.
PapaMidnite - 11/25/2012, 3:59 PM
TASM was average. Meh. Messy script. Pointless sub-plots. Nobody cares about Peter's parents. The sequel has potential? Will be tough, but yes.
For now, Raimi's Spidey is better!
Kingdork - 11/25/2012, 4:12 PM
@teabag - Yep! With that and Thor's "scrambled eggs cathartic moment", I'm beginning to smell a trend (And I'm sure some eggs of some sort could have saved the climax of TDKR).

@Spidey31 - I'm sorry but for me a good movie should stand on its own and shouldn't rely on its sequels (which don't even exist yet) to complete its story and character arcs.
CaptainAmerica31 - 11/25/2012, 4:12 PM
Commenting because phone won't update
AC1 - 11/25/2012, 4:13 PM
@Marvel72 to be fair, Peter doesn't wrestle in every incarnation of his origins. In some, for example, he appears in costume on a chat show and then gets a weird kind of 15 minutes of fame before becoming a superhero. And Uncle Ben's death in the comics is different to both films (in the comic, the robber breaks into their house and kills him while Peter's wrestling/on TV, in Webb's he's a random burglar who doesn't actually kill him on purpose... in Raimi's it was Sandman, who then framed his partner after they tried to take Ben's car and he got ditched.)
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