Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2

DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Spider-Man 2

The video presentation is pleasing, but not outstanding. Specifically, fine detail isn't resolved to the best it can be, due to the high-frequency filtering performed to facilitate easier compression. (Or the cynical among us can argue it is so that Sony can sell us a better looking Superbit edition as well) Colour rendition is very good, although the palette of the film is somewhat muted, as was Raimi's intended effect. The Spidey costume is a rich wash of reds, well resolved without colour bleed. It's a serviceable transfer of a recent film, I expected more.

The audio is very good indeed, however. The mix balances excellent recordings of voice, sound effects, and Danny Elfman's entertaining score. A wide soundstage, with excellent dynamic range, and well-chosen mixing designations, choosing to convey that which serves the movie. As for deep bass.. Doc Ock's machine starting up will give your trouser legs a bit of scary movement.

Copy picture

Lots and lots of extras on the two disc set of Spider-Man 2. First up are a pair of commentaries, one by Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, producer Avi Arad and co-producer Grant Curtis. Some good anecdotes by Raimi, but most of the time it's a reminiscing session. All in all, it's not worth the listen, particularly since most of the good stuff is referenced in disc 2's video section. The second commentary is by the visual effects artists. It's much more interesting for a visual effects geek like me, and since they won an Oscar for their work, it's particularly apt that they feel open to share the secrets with us. The magicians are self-deprecating, but understandably quite proud of their work.

There's a Spidey-Sense trivia track, using a subtitle stream, and like Pop-Up Video, you can expect quotes, notes and other reasonably interesting quick informative notes. Some promotional trailers, a music video and short internet-premiere featurettes round off disc 1. The Region 1 disc also contains a blooper reel with some strong language bleeped out. Adding this to the UK set would have raised the package to a 12-rating.

Disc 2 has one of the best filmmaking documentaries I have ever seen on DVD. "Making the Amazing", directed by Charlie de Lauzerika is an in-depth, behind the scenes documentary charting the entire production of the movie. It's chapterised into twelve pieces, with a Play All button which yields 126 minutes in all. Everyone important connected to the production is interviewed, Raimi, Stan Lee, the cast, the amazing visual effects crews, and many many more. You can expect early meetings, lots of on-set footage, digital mockups, the works. "How to make a blockbuster", Film-school-in-a-box.

There's also three additional featurettes which while good in themselves, did not belong in the main documentary. They are titled, "Hero In Crisis", "Ock-Umentary: Eight Arms To Hold You" (which has some stunning work on how Dr. Octavius' arms were created), "Interwoven: The Women Of Spider-Man". Totaling nearly 50 minutes, this is also substantial stuff. Multi-angle features are sorely underused on DVD, but Spider-Man 2 gets it right, there's 15 minutes of B-roll footage made when shooting the climactic fight in Octavius' lair. It's well-shot, and keeps you interested in the telling from minute to minute.

There's also an art gallery to play with, including the opening credit paintings. And more promotional stuff for the Spider-Man 2 videogame. And several easter eggs, which are suitably entertaining for what they are.

Reviewed on: 25 Apr 2005
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Spider-Man 2 packshot
Spidey reluctantly returns to save New York from a mad scientist.
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Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Two commentaries, trivia track, feature length making-of documentary, multiple featurettes, art galleries, promotional material and multi-angle B-Roll footage.


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