Blu-ray Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

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Blu-ray Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’
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"The Amazing Spider-Man" hits the Blu-ray shelves with a three-disc set consisting of two Blu-ray discs and one DVD. This package houses the film's HD, SD, and UV digital copies, along with a wealth of supplements. This 2012 reboot of the "Spider-Man" franchise proves it can still wield that blockbuster web through the crafty hands of the suitably named director Marc Webb and the new face behind the Spidey costume Andrew Garfield. The story focuses on the intimately familiar origin story of Peter Parker after mysteriously losing his parents as a child, growing up with his aunt and uncle, enduring the outcast and bullied life in school, falling in love, developing superpowers, and transforming into the hero he is destined to be. This cinematic offering also stars Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, and Denis Leary.

Visuals

The Blu-ray transfer looks downright amazing with its crisp and rock-solid imagery. Superbly defined and naturally detailed, the picture's mixture of practical and special effects rightfully picks up the intricacies of facial features, clothes, and cityscapes. Looking sharp and nuanced up to the smallest details, most shots look technically proficient in capturing both still and dynamic visual elements on screen. However, an exception to this is how The Lizard doesn't look seamless as a digital monster.

The colors are not blindingly brilliant or saturated. Instead, the cinematography promotes a dark and steady palette that is dominated by accurate blacks and impeccably delineated shadows. Skin tones are consistently true-to-life. No intrusive digital flaws plague the presentation.

Audio

The package hosts a five-channel lossless soundtrack, along with five-channel alternatives in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Thai. The precision of the master track is a pleasure to hear from start to end. It provides the expected thrilling superhero movie sound experience that listeners demand for. Potent sound swooshes and powerful bass bring heft to the proceedings but not to the point of distraction.

The stellar mix paints a very vivid sonic picture in every scene. Its sense of pacing translates impressively in this Blu-ray offering with perfect clarity and surround presence. There is a lifelike realism in how aural elements skillfully swing from one speaker to the next.

Supplements

The set boasts a great assortment of extras distributed in the two Blu-ray discs. The first disc contains the film, along with an audio commentary track by director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach and a short informative piece explaining the release's Second Screen app designed for the iPad or Sony tablet. The second disc is jam-packed with a collection of deleted scenes, effects and stunt featurettes, image galleries, and a seven-part making-of documentary. Subtitles are available in a number of languages. These include English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Korean, Indonesian, and Thai.

Final Thoughts

"The Amazing Spider-Man" serves as a decent character study that tells the same core Spidey tale reverent to comic book and movie fans. This re-imagining of the "Spider-Man" story focuses on the darker and more human aspects of the emotionally wrought main character's life, while incorporating a good dose of drama, action, romance, and comedy into the mix. Webb's slightly more human take on the series and Garfield's level of likeability for his role work well in grounding the story's sensibilities. However, there are some instances when the film suffers from pacing issues and compromised storytelling in favor of conventional blockbuster requirements. Nevertheless, this superhero flick still has enough emotional weight to keep the narrative engaging from start to end.

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