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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Blu-ray Review

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The Amazing Spider-man 2 - Movie Review

4 stars

After the epidemic of remakes, reboots (or as the cynic might say, ‘we’ve milked this cow in its current incarnation as much as we can, so here’s a new version!), there is something truly ‘amazing’ in that these things continue to make astounding money. Batman, after a significant absence from the big screen, reclaimed his former glory thanks to Christopher Nolan, but Raimi’s Spider-man series had all but just drawn its last breath when Sony announced it was going to go the reboot route with our favourite web-slinger.

Cue a lot of rolled eyes and honestly not a lot of pent up anticipation for a ‘new’ version of something that was so fresh in our minds. But when Marc Webb’s incarnation of Spidey hit a couple of years back, this reviewer was truly amazed. I liked Raimi’s trilogy very much, but Webb’s new Spider-man, in the guise of British actor Andrew Garfield, was better in my opinion. Combined with a stellar support cast, and a more nuanced origin for the character, against all odds, I quickly embraced the reboot and looked forward to its well-deserved continuation.

In number 2—and in Australia with the ridiculous subtitle: The Rise of Electro—we find Garfield’s Spider-man fully embracing, and getting a kick out of, being Spider-man and helping keep New York safe. He’s graduated, and things are looking up for him, but he has broken his promise to Gwen’s dad and resumed their love affair, haunted by the rather pragmatic and true words that Spider-man has enemies and anyone he cares for will be at risk. There are new adversaries afoot, transforming into caustic and dangerous opponents, who will force Spidey to question how he does things, now and for his future.

There was a risk in this film, just like the downfall of ‘Spider-man 3’, of having too many stories choking the film and not allowing plot threads to breathe and resonate. They avoid it, just. The narrative is a busy one, with multiple players, but everything cross-connects and comes to bear in an entertaining and satisfying way.

What isn’t as consistent is characterisation, with DeHaan’s new rather demonic Harry Osbourne being at the better end of the scale, and Foxx’s Electro coming off the worst. Harry is a tragic figure with a massive chip on his shoulder that becomes dangerous; it accomplishes in one film what Raimi took three to do, and it does it better. Foxx’s character is pretty clichéd, a modern Frankenstein’s monster, but his transformation was far too simplistic and stereotypical for my taste; as a villain he’s imposing, how he becomes the villain doesn’t work. The Peter and Gwen romance is funny, engaging and their ups and down are compelling. More is built upon from the first movie about Peter’s parents and why they left. All the relationship moments for Garfield with both Stone and Field are heart-warming and really hammer home his confliction in letting them be close to him.

The action is spectacular, with new slow motion parts interjected in moments of complex carnage being thrown at the eye (didn’t see this in 3D yet, but it will be a sight!). The overall tone of the film is a bit funnier than the last one, but does in the last act turn quite sinister and affecting.

All the performances from the cast are top notch. Real life couple Garfield and Stone definitely provide a short-hand within their characters that transcends simply playing in love: they are in love, and it shows. This helps with the story’s arc for both of them and makes its conclusion all the more affecting. DeHann may be second fiddle in the billing on the poster, but he’s the standout villain in this one, provided a much more nuanced and relatable person to inhabit that Electro: the persecuted nerd (snore).

This film is not without its flaws, and I don’t think this is a better entry than the first one, but when it does hit a nerve it hits it out of the park, out of the city, out of state. The characters are likable and you find yourself caring about the trials and tragedies that befall them. It’s a fun movie to watch, and it satisfies in having something to say along with all the spectacle. But for a few missteps, a superior sequel this might have been, but as it stands The Amazing Spider-man 2 is a worthy entry into a progressing narrative. If they don’t drop the ball with the next one, or the Sinister Six movie that has been hinted at, then its pros will out way its cons.

PS. There’s an odd, competing studio credits sequence at the end, starring a certain fan favourite X-Men character. Don’t let it make you think Spidey and the X-Men are about to meet: it was a contractual favour between Sony and Fox for letting Webb out of his contract to direct ASM2.       

The Amazing Spider-man 2 - Movie Review

 MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
Runtime:
142 mins
Director
: Marc Webb
Writer: Alex Kurtzman
Cast:
Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline:
His greatest battle begins..
Memorable Movie Quote: "You know what it is I love about being Spider-Man? Everything!"
Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site: http://www.theamazingspiderman.com/site/
Release Date:
May 2, 2044
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis:

We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

It’'s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

The Amazing Spider-man 2 - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - August 19, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French (Canada): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

The 1080p MVC 3D picture was photographed with additional 3D conversion by Legend 3D. As with the previous release, both the 2D and 3D picture attributes are darkly cast, but the color palette is naturally well-balanced with warm and rich hues. Contrast is excellent, with solid and deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Fleshtones are naturally cast. As this is a relatively dark visual experience, for optimization view in a black, darkened room through a display device capable of excellent native contrast. The action scenes do intensify the overall effect of the picture, which effectively enhance the excitement and Spider-Man's fluid swings through canyons of the cityscape. It is these action scenes that deliver impressive visuals and dynamically shape the sense of natural space and effective depth. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamically and spatially engaging, with an aggressive soundfield that is immersive and enveloping, with effective directionalized atmospherics and sound effects.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Leave it to the writers to deliver a strong commentary track. Writers Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinkner and Producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad cover the making of the film and its many themes.

Special Features:

Special features include commentary with the filmmakers; 13 deleted scenes with commentary by Director Marc Webb, including "Peter Meets His Father"; the featurette "The Wages Of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2"; Alicia Keys' "It's On Again" music video; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes (23 min)
  • The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (103 min)
  • Lessons Learned: Development and Direction (19 min)
  • Heart of the City: Shooting in New York (13 min)
  • Triple Threat: Attack of the Villains (21 min)
  • A More Dangerous World: Transforming Goblin and Electro (10 min)
  • Bolt from the Blue: Visual Effects (18 min)
  • The Music of Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Director Marc Webb (8 min)
  • Alicia Keys Music Video (4 min)

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