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Spider-Man [WS] [Special Edition] [2 Discs] [DVD] [2002]

Release Date:11/01/2002
Some have criticized this two-disc special edition of the mega box-office smash Spider-Man, but those pans are way off base. In reality, there is little, if anything, wrong with this DVD. To begin with, the visual presentation, framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic (yes, there is a full-frame edition out there to confuse consumers), is near perfect. Detail is solid and colors are vivid. In addition, the darker scenes, a crucial element of the film, are stable, with no signs of breakdown. The auditory part of this set, presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital (in both English and French) is both aggressive and crisp. Dialogue is never washed out by sound effects, while at the same time, the use of those effects with the surround speakers is generous. The real marvel of this disc though are the special features, and they are plentiful. The first disc, with the movie, not only contains subtitled facts about the production and the history of Spider-Man, numerous television spots and theatrical trailers (for this and other Columbia/TriStar films), and bibliographies for the main cast, but also two full-length, scene-specific commentaries, one from director Sam Raimi, co-producers Grant Curtis and Laura Ziskin, and star Kirsten Dunst and the second from visual effects producer John Dykstra and his team. The second disc continues the supplements. Divided into two sections, "The Web of Spider-Man -- The Comic" and "The Goblin's Lair -- The Movie." As you might have figured, the first section covers the history and mythology of the comic book series. There is a documentary from the comic book artists over the years, a comic book archive of Spidey over the years, galleries for the villains and the girlfriends, and more. The second section covers the film, with a nice documentary on the making of the film, with plenty of behind-the-scene footage, and an even longer E! Entertainment television special called "Spider-mania." In addition are a couple of very short screen tests, profiles on director Raimi and composer Danny Elfman, a gag reel, and plenty of conceptual art and production paintings. If this all weren't enough, also included are a number of DVD-ROM features for each disc, including the ability to create your own commentary. There is plenty here to please any fan of this film, from those that grew up with this classic comic book character, to those that are newly introduced.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    95% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (136 out of 143)

    Special Features

    • Widescreen presentation
    • English & French 5.1 (Dolby Digital)
    • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
    • Weaving the Web: subtitled factoids (pop-on production notes and historical facts)
    • Commentary: Sam Raimi (director), Kirsten Dunst, Laura Ziskin (producer) & Grant Curtis (co-producer)
    • SFX commetary: John Dykstra (special effects designer) & Visual Effects Crew
    • Branching Web-i-sodes
    • Music videos: Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott, Hero; Sum 41, What We're All About
    • TV spots
    • Theatrical trailers
    • Filmographies & character files
    • DVD-ROM: comic/feature comparison, record your own commentary, countdown to Spider-Man 2, weblinks
    • HBO Making of Spider-Man
    • Spider-Mania: An E! Entertainment Special
    • Director profile: Sam Raimi
    • Composer profile: Danny Elfman
    • Screen tests: Tobey Maguire, J.K. Simmons & CGI Spider-Man
    • Costume and makeup tests
    • Gag/outtake reel
    • Conceptual art & production design gallery
    • Historical documentary - Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century
    • The Spider-Man comic archives
    • Rogues gallery
    • The Loves of Peter Parker
    • Comic book artist gallery
    • Activision game hints and tips
    • DVD-ROM: Activision PC game, 2 playable levels; 3 exclusive Marvel dot.comics (Spider-Man: Blue #1, Black Cat #1, & Peter Parker: Return of the Goblin); Spider-Man Visualizer
    • Closed Captioned


    After incorporating elements of comic book style and design into many of his films, director Sam Raimi helms this straight-ahead, big-budget comic book adaptation, which also marks acclaimed young actor Tobey Maguire's first dip into live-action blockbuster filmmaking. Spider-Man follows the template of the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko source material, with hero Peter Parker an orphaned, intellectual teen loner living in Queens with his aunt (Rosemary Harris) and uncle (Cliff Robertson), and dreaming of the girl next door, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). On a field trip to a Columbia University lab, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider and overnight he gains superhuman strength, agility, and perception. At first, Peter uses his powers for material gain, winning a wrestling match with a purportedly lucrative prize. But when Peter apathetically fails to stop a burglar from robbing the wrestling arena, a tragedy follows that compels him to devote his powers to fighting crime -- as the superhero Spider-Man. When he's not busy fighting crime in a spider suit, Peter moves into an apartment with his best friend, Harry (James Franco), and begins work as a photographer at the Daily Bugle. Meanwhile, his do-gooder alter ego finds a nemesis in the form of the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), a super-powered, megalomaniacal villain who happens to be the alter ego of Harry's father, weapons-manufacturing mogul Norman Osborn. Spider-Man was written by the prolific blockbuster scribe David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Panic Room). ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Tobey Maguire
      Tobey Maguire - Peter Parker/Spider-Man
    • Willem Dafoe
      Willem Dafoe - Norman Osborn/Green Goblin
    • Kirsten Dunst
      Kirsten Dunst - Mary Jane Watson
    • James Franco
      James Franco - Harry Osborn
    • Cliff Robertson
      Cliff Robertson - Uncle Ben

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.