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Spider-Man 2

The end of the previous Spider-Man movie wasn’t all to happy. Peter Parker had killed Norman Osborn, a brilliant scientist and father of his best friend Harry, who became schizofrenic after an experiment on himself that turned him into the Green Goblin. Meanwhile, he also had to let Mary-Jane Watson go as a relationship could endanger her as Spider-Man has a lot of enemies. We return to Peter as he’s having trouble leading his double life with the daily routines of going to school and trying to make some money by shooting pictures for the Daily Bugle while on the other hand he goes out at night as Spider-Man to fight crime. His nightly actions are affecting his work during the day and on top of that his special powers seem to let him down from time to time as well. After a while he believes that his life as Spider-Man is having a too great impact on his normal life so he decides to get rid of the costume and return to being a normal guy. Immediately his situation improves. His grades and work at school improve, his relationship with Mary-Jane Watson gets better as he can spend more time with her and give her more attention.

Meanwhile, Harry Osborn is financing an experiment with nuclear fusion, lead by Doctor Otto Octavius. When the first experiment went wrong, Otto’s wife got killed and his tentacles that are used for the work in highly dangerous places start to lead a life of their own and with the safety chip destroyed by the accident, they slowly but steadily take over Octavius’ mind. Otto wants to retry the experiment on a larger scale but of course nobody wants to help him so he turns to Harry who promises to deliver the necessary materials if Octavius brings him Spider-Man…

Sound and Vision:
When the original Spider-Man got released on DVD we already stated that the image quality was superb but that the CGI-scenes were clearly computer-animated. With Spider-Man 2 Columbia Tristar does even better than with the original. The 2.40:1 format is perfect with bright colors, fantastic amount of detail, overall sharp image and the CGI scenes blend in as never before. A truly great transfer with absolutely no problems what so ever.

And if you thought image quality is everything, think again. The soundtrack is – if possible – even better! There is no DTS track available but Columbia has done a magnificent job and brought out all registers to deliver one of the best Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks we’ve ever heard on a dvd. All channels are used with good spreading and even split-surround while the whole gets more than enough support from the subwoofer. A truly amazing track that can only be improved by DTS.

Extras:
Disc 1:
– Two audio commentary tracks. The first one is edited and consists out of two pairs of people: Sam Raimi with Tobey Maguire and producer Avi Arad along with co-producer Grant Curtis. The second one is also an edited one and constists out of Edge FX guys Steve Johnson and Eric Hayden or Visual Effects guys John Dykstra, Anthony LaMolinara, Scott Stockdyk and Lydia Bottegoni.
– Spider Sense 2 is an option we remember from the first dvd. Here you get text frames that give some interesting facts concerning Spider-man while playing the movie.
– Web-I-Sode documentaries : A bunch of very short features including “costume design”, “comic-con q&a”, “J.Jonah Jameson”, “Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson”
– Music Video “Ordinary – Train”
– Trailers from Spider-Man 2, Hellboy, Seinfeld, Christmas With The Kranks, Steamboy, Astroboy

Disc 2:
– Making the Amazing : a VERY extensive documentary of no less than 126 minutes that covers everything about the movie and includes interviews with cast & crew and behind-the-scenes footage. The feature can also be checked out in parts.
– Hero in Crisis: Stan Lee and Tobey Maguire talk about how it must be to live the life of Spider-Man and why Stan at one time stopped Spider-Man
– Ock-Umentary: Eightarms To Hold You, : Stan Lee tells about how he came up with Dr. Octavius and also Alfred Molina talks about the character.
– Interwoven: The Women Of Spider-Man, : the actors and actresses along with the cast talk about the different characters of the women surrounding Spider-Man and also Stan Lee gets to talk about them.
– Enter The Web, : multi-angle feature where you can check behind-the-screens
Gallery, : 17 original drawings from Alex Ross for the opening scene
Activision’s Spider-Man 2: The Game 2004 E3 Game,: trailer of the game
Activision’s Spider-Man 2: Spinning The Game,: short feature on how the game was made
DVD-Rom features

Conclusion:
It doesn’t happen often that a sequel is better than the original but Spider-Man 2 succeeds where so many have failed. Maguire and Dunst are clearly more into their character and although this movie spans events that have passed several years in the comic books, I’m sure the fans will like it a lot and so will lovers of action movies. The fact that Columbia delivers a double-DVD with fantastic image and sound quality next to a truckload of extras only adds to the reasons why you should get this release.

Our Score:
8.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Sony Pictures
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