Jun 062013

This “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray release does offer excellent audio and video transfers but it’s not that much better versus the original Blu-ray release. Add to that this version fails to port over any features so you’re really losing out and if you do already own it, the nearly $30 is REALLY not worth it…




The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Genre(s): Action, Science Fiction
Sony | PG13 – 136 min. – $40.99 | May 14, 2013

Directed by:
Marc Webb
Writer(s): Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (characters); James Vanderbilt (story), James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves (screenplay)
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, Sally Field

Theatrical Release Date: July 3, 2012

UltraViolet Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 40.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

THE MOVIE – 3.75/5

Note: This portion is from the original review of the Blu-ray/DVD combo released back in October.


Thanks to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 and a poor reception from a fair number of the fan base (critics interestingly enough gave it a respectable 63% on “Rotten Tomatoes”), Sony scrapped any plans for a third sequel and decided to take the Batman Begins route and reboot the franchise. Directed by Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man attempts to do a reset with mixed, though mostly positive, results.

The movie begins with a young Peter Parker playing a game of hide-and-seek with his father, Richard (CAMPBELL SCOTT), when he comes upon his father’s office which has been ransacked. When his father sees this, he and Peter’s mother (EMBETH DAVIDTZ) pack up and the pair drop Peter off at his Aunt May and Uncle Ben’s (SALLY FIELD, MARTIN SHEEN) home and take off in the middle of the night, never to be seen again.

Fast forward a number of years and Peter (ANDREW GARFIELD) is now a teenager dealing with the angst associated with being that age. In high school he’s apparently a science whiz/master photographer and has a crush on the beautiful Gwen Stacey (EMMA STONE) and is also the target of school bully Flash Thompson, who, when Peter refuses to take a picture of Flash humiliating another student, lays the smack-down on him. The good news is this catches the attention of Gwen…

After the basement is flooded, Peter discovers his father’s old satchel which, at first glance, contained nothing of value, until he finds a secret compartment with some important science gobbly-gook and also learns that his pops worked with a Dr. Curt Connors (RHYS IFANS), a one-armed genetic scientist working at Oscorp, a pharmaceutical company. So Parker does a bit of reconnaissance work taking an intern slot and, after getting busted by Gwen who is Connors’ assistant and posting questions to Dr. Connors, gains entry to a secure area where a bunch of spiders are being bred in a glitzy, blue-lit, room where upon he gets bitten by one of them. You can guess what happens next: Peter starts acting like a drug-induced teen and strange things start happening.

As with the comic book origin (I think) and with the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, Peter’s calling in life with his new-found powers come in to focus. After slacking off – including forgetting to pick up his Aunt – Peter and his uncle get into a nasty fight causing Peter to storm off with Ben chasing after. While at a convenience store, Peter witnesses robber take cash out of the till and because the cashier was a jerk to him before, he allows the crook to go free. Any clue what happens next? Yep, old Uncle Ben gets gunned down after attempting to stop the robber. Thankfully we don’t get drippy final words to Peter like in Raimi’s version… Peter makes it his mission to find the criminal eventually donning the Spider-Man outfit and persona which catches the attention of NYC Captain Stacy (DENIS LEARY) who is, of course, Peter’s main squeeze’s father. Cue awkward dinner scene.

In the meantime, Dr. Connors research isn’t going so well and the funding is being pulled by Oscorp, so in desperation he utilizes the formula given to him by Peter earlier in the film, where he grows a new arm but encounters a side effect resulting in a creature that will be known as The Lizard. He eventually goes nuts and like any good supervillain, he wants to terrorize the city by turning everyone else into lizards via an air-born toxin. Personally, this makes Lex Luthor’s hare-brained real estate schemes seem more mischievous.

So what’s to make of this franchise reboot? Well, for one thing, I actually found it quite entertaining. On the other hand, the script had issues especially concerning a lackluster, anti-climatic finale. Even so, Andrew Garfield was a good choice to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man and, speaking as somebody who has only read ONE “Spider-Man” comic book, gives the character a different attitude versus Maguire/Rami’s interpretation. I know some complained Garfield was a bit too, um, Twilight-y but to me it’s just normal teen angst seen in numerous other movies and television shows (alright -1 for creativity).

As for the supporting cast, Rhys Ifans does the best with what he’s given, and that is a CGI villain but he does give it a certain sadness and regret which is nice to see; Martin Sheen and Sally Field, much like what Michael Caine did for Nolan’s Batman movies, gives an emotional depth for Peter; Denis Leary in his limited role as Captain Stacy was a hoot and provided for both comedy and drama (such as the awkward dinner scene); and of course Emma Stone filling the role of Peter’s first love, Gwen, is amazing and shares some great chemistry with Garfield (so much apparently the couple began dating). All around, the filmmakers put together an incredible cast.

I don’t normally mention the score, but for a brief moment I will. First, I liked what Danny Elfman did with the Raimi Spider-Man movies but outside of the main title, it’s not especially notable. Taking over in the scoring department, is another veteran composer, Oscar winner James Horner (Titanic). While his theme isn’t particularly impressive, the rest of it is actually pretty good, nothing I would buy or anything, but decent nevertheless.

Adequately directed by Marc Webb, especially considering it’s his first big budget movie, I think The Amazing Spider-Man had opportunities to be, well, amazing. The acting isn’t bad, the plot itself might’ve been weak but Rhys Ifans made his Lizard villain with some depth and Andrew Garfield seems suitable in the title role, maybe even better than Tobey Maguire’s initial outing (of course, it helps not to have a lazy voice over). Despite my concerns with a ho-hum final act, I still recommend the film as the filmmakers have provided the franchise a foundation for possibly better sequels.


The only “feature” is a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy.

VIDEO – 5.0/5

Sony re-releases Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man on Blu-ray with a 4K master which provides a sharper and all around crisper viewing experience. The colors, albeit dark by design, looks amazing showcasing a wide variety from the blood red of Spidey’s costume to the dark green of The Lizard. Black levels are nice and stark while lighter areas show no flaws. That being said, the original Blu-ray transfer already looked pretty darn good so it should come to no surprise that a 4K master wouldn’t disappoint.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

The provided 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is more or less the same as the original Blu-ray release. As with the other one, this track shows off at different moments such as James Horner’s soaring score, the quieter dialogue-driven moments or the numerous action scenes that provide a more dynamic showing. It’s certainly an impressive track but it’s not a big improvement, if at all, over its predecessor.

OVERALL – 3.75/5

Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man certainly had opportunities to be a great movie and although I still enjoyed the film, sometimes even immensely, there are times the script could’ve been tweaked. Even so, the casting was pretty good starting with Andrew Garfield who will hopefully find more bearings with the sequel(s) while Emma Stone was a delight. I know some didn’t like the movie, and no doubt it doesn’t compare with other superhero movies (like the Nolan Batman movies or The Avengers) but for me, it managed to entertain for the 130-minute duration.

This “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray release does offer excellent audio and video transfers but it’s not that much better versus the original Blu-ray release. Add to that this version fails to port over any features so you’re really losing out and if you do already own it, the nearly $30 is REALLY not worth it…


Published: 06/06/2013

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