November 15, 2007 by Marshal Rosenthal
This latest installment of the wall-crawler continues the series fairly well - if a bit long - with few dull moments since action is always just waiting behind the wings (that black suit looks good, I must say). And if there’s anything that the special effects team is getting good at, it’s creating digital characters as well as enhancing living ones - to the point where you don’t know (or care) where one starts and the other stops. Which is a good thing when you’ve bad guys turning into sand and black ooze becoming villains. And of course Spidey himself web-slinging left and right. Good thing too that the effects have advanced as much as they have, as otherwise watching them in high-def would only be embarrassing, but here we can see every clothing fiber, building side, or musculature of a character presented as powerfully as it was on the big screen.
As creators of the format, you would hope Sony would know what they were doing in mastering this film onto disc and certainly that is the case. Sharp, sharp detail that pushes the limit on just how much realism you want to see in a film (gives the makeup artists a lot to do knowing that every crack and crevice of the actor’s face is going to show). For those who spent years with their face pressed up against a cartoon panel, image clarity of this caliber just seems right.
Colors need to be solid and bright - you know, like in a comic book? And it’s great that there’s Dolby TrueHD as one of the audio options, ‘cause it’s about time the BD boys got behind the new audio formats. That’s not to say that PCM stinks but TrueHD really rocks when you’re willing to play it loud and in an action film like this it’s just plain tailored to fit. But it also does a good number on dialogue too.
Now although the photo-composited splash screens really pop out at you, Sony seems to have opted to be a bit conservative at this point and the extras show it by high-rolling in BD-Java. Still you get enough featurettes, how-tos, audio commentaries and behind-the-scenes to keep any fanboy salivating, especially as they’re in all mostly in HD. And if you really want to go whole-hog, get the box set and pig out on all the movies on Blu-ray.
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Disc Specs and Credits
Format reviewed: Blu-ray
Disc Size: N/A
Aspect ratio: 1080p, 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD, PCM
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Theresa Russell, Dylan Baker, Bill Nunn, Bruce Campbell, Elizabeth Banks, Ted Raimi
Studio: Sony Pictures
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