The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (2012/Sony Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D & DVD)
Picture: B+ 2D Picture: B/C+ Sound: B+/B- Extras: B Film: B
Raimi made such a success of his Spider-Man
Trilogy, many wondered why a new version of the adventures were being
launched. Raimi was even planning a
fourth film, but the third was so compromised for commercial reasons and Raimi
still could not make the connection between the action with the heart and soul
of the characters, that continuation fell apart and all the major actors left
with him. Yet, there is so much more
Spider-Man material and so many more stories to tell, so as with any other
all-time popular character, it was time not just to “reboot” in some shallow
way, but dig deeper into the character and world he lives in.
starters, the producers and studio hired Marc Webb, the highly successful Music
Video director whose feature film debut (500)
Days Of Summer was terrific and showed how well he
handled relationships. Then it was
rumored The Lizard would be the villain, a great choice. Then the biggest coup of all was scored when
the makers looked for a successor to the very successful Tobey Maguire and
found the perfect choice in Andrew Garfield.
actor had already found international recognition as Eduardo in David Fincher’s
The Social Network and has made
impressive showings in every film he has made to date. I thought it was a great choice and now, I am
convinced he is the best actor to ever take the role on, including those who
have voiced his animated versions.
Garfield is perfect throughout as the hero, Peter Parker and adds so
much more that I actually caught remarkable things he pulled off the second and
third screenings I missed the first time I saw The Amazing Spider-Man In 3D (2012).
his work (he is one of the best actors of his generation) as his love interest,
friend and more, Gwen Stacy is played by the dynamic and very talented Emma
Stone, making for a classic cinematic pairing that is magnetic, chemistry-filled
and even electric. It is one of those
rare male/female pairing we do not see enough and together, they are incredible
and put an already ambitious, quality, grade-A big budget Hollywood film that
works over the top.
supporting cast is just as impressive with Sally Field in her best role in
years as Aunt May, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Dennis Leary as Gwen policeman
father, Chris Zylka as Peter’s school nemesis Flash Thompson and other actors
and performances that keep this film moving with a smoothness and energy we do
not see enough in major motion pictures today.
audiences had some adjustment disorder to deal with when this opened and
despite doing huge business in North America, too many did not see it or give
it a chance and I hope those who missed out will catch up on Blu-ray and the
other formats because this is every bit is great as Marvel’s The Avengers and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. The Amazing Spider-Man is not just a
part four, but a return to basics with seriously detailed character development
so we can really know the characters and the action is equaled with heart,
soul, humor, intelligence and a pure cinematic sense that shows a studio
serious about making a film everyone can enjoy without being phony, condescending
or fake towards it audience.
result, it is the biggest of the Spider-Man films overseas and the underrated
Rhys Ifans is dead-on as a pumped up version of The Lizard, though he is
equally as effective as the Dr. Curt Connors.
As much as any actor here, he gives a performance that is easy to
overlook and underrate because he is the villain, but also an ambiguous
challenge to the moral center of the film and the people init, so his madness
is not as easy to write off as pure evil and “just getting rid of him” like so
many formulaic (and even angry) action genre films is insufficient in the world
of the film.
This is a
more layered and complex work, which the characters needed to grow after the
successful previous trilogy. Ifans pulls
off some fine work here and you have to (hard as it might be with all the great
things that are going on here) really concentrate strictly on him to see what
he achieves. It is not easy, but then
all involved go all out and as a result, The
Amazing Spider-Man is one of the year’s best films, period!
X 1, 1080p full HD MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition
image on the Blu-ray 3D version is the best presentation of all the options
here, even though we do not get pure 3D all the time. The point is, the 3D is not used all the time
and that actually adds to the world and narrative of the story by not overdoing
it. Seeing it in only 2D, even on the
fine 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition 2D Blu-ray robs the viewer of the
full impact that filmmakers intended as in a too rare case in a live action
release, the 3D adds to the world and even secrets of what is going on here and
I was very pleased with this smart approach.
amazing amount of money on the screen and one of the few advanced uses of color
in any HD shoot to date and the result is a true state-of-the-art release
handled masterfully by Director of Photography John Schwartzman, A.S.C, who
described using the 5K RED EPIC HD camera for starters (native 3D camera
systems were also used, plus some conversion was involved in scenes and via
visual effects added later) as akin to using VistaVision and he goes for it
scene after scene. Though not offering
the advanced detail that 35mm film format can deliver, this is one of the best
uses of any RED camera I have seen to
date. The overall look can still be
mixed between 3D vs. 2D and different settings (the tech labs vs. school lab
vs. school, vs. homes vs. several versions of New York City, etc.) so the look is more
comic book than classical or contemporary cinema, yet it is just as effective
as the previous Spider-Man films
(reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) and one of the best looking films
of the year.
anamorphically enhanced DVD version is 2D only and passable, but no match for
the Blu-ray editions.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray is one of the most
impressive sound mixes of the year, even though it is not 7.1, it has a warm,
constantly fine soundfield with character that ranges from simple dialogue
scenes to general sound effects to sonic full force as the .1 LFE kicks in and
the sound design delivers demonstration-level mixing and editing throughout.
Horner with one of his best music scores to date and you get an amazing overall
soundtrack that can and will challenge any home theater system around as well
as any Blu-ray soundtrack to date.
Enhancing the narrative thoroughly without ever making this animated
radio or coming across as phony, even audiophile show find movie sound bright,
limited and even sloppy will be in for a big surprise.
Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD version is good, but not great and no match for
the Blu-ray DTS-MA.
include Ultraviolet Copy, a promo for a new charity project Garfield is
promoting that looks great, a really interesting feature length audio
commentary track by Webb, Avi Arad & Marc Tolmach, Deleted Scenes, Stunt
Rehearsals, Oscorp Archives – Production Art Gallery, Blu-ray exclusive Second
Screen App., Progression Reels, Pre-Visualization Sequences, Rite Of Passage – The Amazing Spider-Man
Reborn documentary (90+ minutes) and Blu-ray 3D exclusive 3D Progression
Reel and Interactive 3D Film School
with Webb. Even this collection of
extras is one of the best of the year!
- Nicholas Sheffo