DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: David Stanners

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

You could say that this is what DVDs were invented for - enough extra features to satisfy an average happy-go-lucky filmgoer, as well as the ultimate, dandruff scalped, anorak-wearing enthusiast. Wherever you fall in on the spectrum, the Spider-Man DVD has it all.

Featuring an extra bonus disc with everything you could possibly imagine about Spider-Man, right through from his inception by Stan Lee at Marvel Comics to Kirsten Dunst's smiley input. If you're really into it, you may find that your regular two-night movie hire from Blockbuster may need extending.

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Starting with the first disc, all the basic features are included. Options to listen to Sam Raimi and his cast are here, as well as surplus input from the technical guys and film studio people. There are some excessive, perhaps appropriate nerdy type extras - Peter Parker is a nerd - such as pop up factoids, which are much like an MTV video, outlining the sort of things Spider-Man might have had for breakfast. There's also a spider sense icon that pops up whenever a real spider appears on the screen. Why?

The Bonus disc is a mammoth, too. Split into two, it features The Web Of Spider-Man, which is everything to do with the Marvel Comic strip. Then there's the Goblin's Lair, which features The Making Of Spider-Man, interviews with the cast on a Behind The Scenes special, as well as company/director profiles.

The Web Of Spider-Man is particularly interesting if you're a Marvel Comic enthusiast. It features extensive interviews with Spidey's co-creator Stan Lee, as well as following up the work of the artists and storytellers, which paints an evolutionary picture of this odd superhero extremely effectively.

There is a Spider-Man archive section, which charts the progress of the comic, illustrating every edition from the Sixties until now, with a rogues gallery for those strip cartoon baddies. Also, it chronicles the love life of Peter Parker, all the way from the sumptuous Betty Brant to his latest squeeze, Mary Jane Watson.

The Goblins Lair is where most folk will head for. It contains the step-by-step making of the film, featuring interviews with Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe. There's a huge amount on the technical side, as well, giving a blow-by-blow account of stunts, action scenes, set design and Manhattan skylines.

You could go on and on outlining what this DVD has. The point is, there's nothing it doesn't have. This is undoubtedly a good thing. It's value for money, if nothing else.

Yes, there is some repetition and an excess of geekiness, but that goes hand in hand with Spider-Man. In reality the excessive features are testament to the way Hollywood blockbusters are marketed on the small screen nowadays, especially one as big as this.

At the end of the day, you can pick and choose the bits you want and the bits you don't. And with DVDs, you don't have to fumble around with rewind and fast forward buttons, like you did in the good old days of video cassettes.

Reviewed on: 09 Dec 2002
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Spider-Man packshot
Bitten by a spider in a museum, a shy youth begins to develop strange abilities.
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Product Code: CDT32161

Region: 2

Ratio: 1:85:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Commentaries from filmmakers and cast, visual effects designers and crew; Spider sense; Pop up factoids; Character files (filmographies); Marketing campaign; DVD Rom: further computer options; Bonus Disc – The Evolution of Spider-Man (comic); Hints and tips for computer game; The Making Of Spider-Man; Spider-Mania – an El Entertainment Special; Director Profile; Company Profile; Screen Tests; Gag/Outtake reel.

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