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The Amazing Spider-man [Blu-Ray]

Marc Webb

The Amazing Spider-man [Blu-Ray]
7
However premature a reboot of Marvel's former flagship film franchise may have felt, the result of Sony's Marc Webb-shepherded web-slinger do-over takes the Spider-man story into territory much richer in dramatic potential than where Sam Raimi's original camp-hampered trilogy left it. This is more thanks to carefully considered world building, Andrew Garfield's wonderfully nuanced performance as Peter Parker and his phenomenal chemistry with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy than the film's admittedly underdeveloped narrative. The Amazing Spider-man is at its best before the requirements of the action genre push the picture into a series of escalating physical conflicts between the nascent superhero and the well-meaning doctor driven mad by hubris, Curt Connors. It's the quiet, human moments between Peter and his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen), his search for paternal connection, in the brilliant but misguided doctor Connors, and the authentic sparks of young love that give this iteration of the uniquely relatable crime fighter believable heart to balance out the fantastical wish-fulfillment vigilantism. Marc Webb's distinct sense of pacing and respectful collaboration with his actors (hinted at in the director's commentary, with producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach) fosters a crackling sense of humour that relies on charm more than kitsch. So rammed with bonus content is The Amazing Spider-man on Blu-Ray that it takes an entire disc to house it all. The main attraction is "Rite of Passage," an extremely long and in-depth look at the film's making, from development to post-production, including a talk with James Horner on his emotionally evocative score. In discussing how this project came together, the producers never explicitly state why Spiderman 4 collapsed, though Avi Arad does let it slip that they would have had to re-cast the role of Mary Jane. Juicy tidbits like that will likely only appeal to super-fans, but the majority of the features are quite instructive in the technical craft of filmmaking. In addition to the already extensive look at production design and special effects work there's a tremendous volume of pre-visualization and storyboard scenes, a production art gallery, "Image Progression Reels" and raw footage of stunt rehearsals that show how much practical physicality went into the choreography. Also included: deleted scenes (some of which are quite good) and a feature on the tie-in videogame. (Sony)
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