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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Comedy > Romance > The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014/Marvel/Columbia/Sony Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D & DVD)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014/Marvel/Columbia/Sony Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D & DVD)

3D Picture: B+ 2D Picture: B+/C+ Sound: B+/B- Extras: B Film: B-

The most underrated commercial big budget film of 2014 by far is Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), a worthy sequel to the first Amazing Spider-Man (2012) that introduced Andrew Garfield into the title role. A big hit with mixed critical response, the film may have some small issues, but it is an increasingly rare blockbuster where the studio has people who actually know what they are doing, know how to make a feature film and go all out ensuring the highest quality throughout. Some might still love the earlier trilogy with Tobey Maguire, which is fair enough, but the previous Garfield film has been my favorite of the five and the makers had the boldness to take the high road in making a family film with humor, charm and frankly one in the classic superhero tradition.

Seems some people want some dark, angry film filled with blood, gore, anger, hate and explosions or buildings collapsing every five minutes, but that is bad action genre storytelling and not what the superhero genre is at its best. The two Garfield/Webb films have achieved the heart and soul lacking in the Maguire/Sam Raimi films (thus the issues with the third and final film they made, despite an aborted fourth being planned) and especially in this day and age, that is a personal, artistic and moral triumph we rarely see in blockbusters anymore. There is nothing wrong with this film, plus so much works it is a real pleasure to see it again. I think it will receive positive revisionist thinking in a few years, but onto the film itself.

Peter has found a way to continue his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, again a perfect match with Garfield and some of the best chemistry of ANY couple on the big screen in the last few years) and they're personal winning ways continue as Peter (unbeknownst to Sally Field as Aunt May) continues to swing into action as Spider-Man protecting the city at large. After an encounter with an angry, tough Russian guy (Paul Giamatti in fully and hilariously fired-up mode as only he can be) with deadly weapons of his own, a kind lonely worker at a power plant (Jamie Foxx so good juggling the comedy, pain and loneliness of his character) is about to have an accident that will change his life forever and Harry Osborn (incredible newcomer Dane DeHaan) comes home and it turns out he is old friends with Peter, but also has a condition that is killing him unless he can find a quick medical solution.

The result of both events brings on the advent of two of Spider-Man's most classic, formidable villains and makes for some fun situations, action where the makers have gone all out in budget and imagination and yet, the screenplay knows the characters are the most important and never sells them short in the 141 minutes this runs. Campbell Scott, Embeth Davitz, Colm Feore and Marton Csokas lead the solid supporting cast. Along with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and new Godzilla revival, Amazing Spider-Man 2 delivers the kind of top action entertainment you expect from a big event film and helped make 2014 a better summer at the box office we do not see or get enough of. Nice to see someone still knows how to do a blockbuster so throughly well!

Can't wait for the next one!!!

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D - Full Resolution digital High Definition image is fun like the previous film and has some great effects that shows yet again, someone cared and it does add to the fun of seeing the film, but this time, I was even more impressed with the 2D 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer with fine detail and depth for the most part that rarely has a flaw and falls between the 2D version of the Amazing Spider-Man in its 3D set and the even richer, basic Mastered In 4K 2D Blu-ray with its stunning color range, visuals and even better DTS-MA sound. The film was shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision with Kodak's insanely excellent Vision 3 camera negative stocks, the kind several major studios and filmmakers just contracted with the company to keep producing no matter what HD arrives. They are that good and I was re-reminded how underrated, rich, details and advanced they really are. That easily makes this one of the best-looking feature films of the year (it was shown digitally as well as in 35mm film prints worldwide) and we can thank the outstanding work of Director of Photography Daniel Mindel (Enemy Of The State, Spy Game, Mission: Impossible III, both J.J Abrams Star Trek films so far and the next Star Wars film) uses the very widescreen frame and largeness of the big screen possibilities to give us some great visuals, great form, fine composition and that makes it a real demo disc for its best shots which even rank higher in quality than my overall rating!

The anamorphically enhanced DVD is on the soft side, but is passable.

As for sound, not only is the film one of the rare, new 11.1 films issued in both current theatrical 11.1 formats of Auro 11.1 and Dolby Atmos 11.1, but is one of the most sonically competent and advanced sound mixed on any film in the last few years. It was even issued with D-BOX motion bass in select theaters (bass comes through the chair, which also moves around), but that is not officially on this disc. What we do get is a terrific DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixdown of the original soundtrack that is very rich, thick, directionally accurate, recorded in superior form and is demo quality throughout. Too many lossless 5.1 and 7.1 tracks we get are more noise than sound and also tend to leave their dialogue flat and monophonic, but not here. Everything is clear and offers better dynamic range than just about any big budget film you can get on Blu-ray. Dolby Atmos is coming to regular Blu-ray in the future and the two Amazing Spider-Man films should be among the first wave of those. Here, any home theater will be more than challenged.

The DVD's lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is also passable, but no match for the DTS MA to say the least.

Finally we have extras, starting with Deleted Scenes (most Blu-ray exclusives) that last nearly a half-hour. It is here that I see some moments and clips that should have stayed in the film and would have really helped both the exposition and box office of the film. Now you can see for yourself. We also get Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices, feature length audio commentary track by Producers Avi Arad & Matt Tolmach plus co-writers Alex Kurtzman & Jeff Pinkner, a Music featurette hosted by director Webb, Webb commenting on the Deleted Scenes, Alicia Keys Music Video and a Making Of featurette entitled The Wages Of Heroism, running in multiple parts at 100 minutes. That's a nice set of bonuses all worth your time.

All of that adds up to make The Amazing Spider-Man 2 one of the best Blu-ray releases of the year so far. For more on the first Amazing Spider-Man, try these links:

Blu-ray 3D set


Mastered In 4K Blu-ray


- Nicholas Sheffo


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