Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Video review: "The Amazing Spider-Man"

For an absolutely unnecessary reboot of the web-slinging superhero franchise, "The Amazing Spider-Man" is terrifically well-done. It attacks the character of Pete Parker, a nerdy kid who gets bitten by a radioactive arachnid, from a darker perspective than the previous trilogy.

Andrew Garfield, taking over the lead role from Tobey Maguire, draws a portrait of a socially ostracized kid who was probably headed to a lonely life of despair if he hadn't been turned into a non-caped crusader.

Becoming Spider-Man teaches him harsh lessons about responsibility -- particularly after his believed Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) is slain because of his inaction -- but it also helps him come out of his shell, especially with regard to lady love Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

The heavy here is Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a scientist who becomes Peter's mentor as they try to unlock the secret of transferring the regenerative power of reptiles to humans. It does help Connors regrow his missing arm -- but also turns him into the fearsome, toothsome Lizard.

Director Marc Webb was an unlikely choice for a big-budget action film, his only other credit being the indie romance, "(500) Days of Summer." But Webb and the trio of screenwriters have made something genuinely new out of something old.

Please note, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will be released on video Friday, Nov. 9.

The film comes with a heaping helping if extras, even with the base DVD version. It boasts a feature-length commentary track by the filmmakers, deleted scenes, product art gallery and footage from stunt rehearsals.

Upgrade to the Blu-ray/DVD combo, and you add more than 90 minutes of behind-the-scenes documentaries, focusing on casting, story development, costumes, locations and special effects. There's also a Second Screen App for mobile devices with storyboards, interviews and more.

Opt for the 3-D Blu-ray combo and you add some featurettes on 3D imaging processes.

Go all in for the 4-disc Limited Edition Gift Set and you also get special packaging and collectible figurines of Spider-Man and the Lizard.

Movie: 3.5 stars out of four
Extras: 3.5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I didn’t see The Amazing Spider Man when it was in theaters. After reading your review I’ve decided that this movie may actually be worth a look. I added this film to our Blockbuster @ Home queue which is available through DISH for my husband who is a comic fanatic. The movie conveniently gets shipped by mail and it should be here in a day or two. I have to admit that even with mixed reviews I’m curious now to see if it really is worth watching. My DISH co-worker swears that this one is the best out of all the Spidey movies. I hope that it’s worth adding to my collection.