Let's be clear, this isn't really a review for the movie. We've already reviewed it and chances are, you've already seen it. The movie is making it's way to Blu-ray and DVD on Friday, November 9. The question is, are you going to buy it? Also, should you buy it?
As in theaters, the movie looks good. When the reboot of the franchise was first announced, it felt like an unnecessary direction as we had just gone through Spider-Man's origin. After watching, you can see and appreciate why the decision was made.
The movie was far from perfect but it was a great start for this new franchise. You almost have to wonder how much pre-development they put into it as everything fell together nicely. That is one of the bits you can pick up on the Blu-ray release.
These sort of released rely on the special features. For some, adding comic book releases to their personal collections is a given but that isn't the case for everyone these days.
There is plenty of extra features to keep you busy. You get close to two hours of behind the scenes development The first is "Right of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn." What immediately caught my attention was listening to producer Laura Ziskin talk about the development of this movie. She mentioned how they were originally developing Spider-Man 4 with Tobey Maguire but switched gears to reinvent the franchise. It was mentioned how the main points of Spider-Man's character were already covered including the relationship with Mary Jane. In the first three films, Peter Parker grew up too fast. Now they can go back to high school and change the tone of the franchise.
The second feature here deals with casting the characters. We get to hear the story about how Andrew Garfield was selected and his being unsure if he could do the role. It turns out in was his inner three-year-old that convinced him he had to do it. Watching screen tests is always interesting in seeing what the actors have inside them. Garfield was so at ease with his lines and the delivery. I wonder how much time he had to prepare for it before the cameras were rolling.
The third sub-feature deals with designing the Spider-Man suit and the Lizard. They wanted a costume that a kid could have actually made. We see that they mention cutting off the bottom of a pair of sneakers for the boots (how does he stick to walls?). There was also mention of using sunglasses for the eyes on the mask and the development of the web shooters. Having Peter develop them himself set to show just how brilliant he was.
The other features deal with the production areas. We see what went down in Los Angeles, Sony Studios and New York City. There's also a feature focusing on the post production period and releasing the movie.
Of course what many will look forward to are the deleted scenes. The eleven scenes run for a total of just under seventeen minutes. The scene leading up to the death of Uncle Ben was different. Seeing Connors talk to his son, Billy, was strange. There was only one scene showing Billy so you have to wonder if there were others planned that were simply not filmed. We see an almost complete scene when Lizard arrives at the high school through the bathroom pipes. There were a couple of girls in the bathroom and thankfully, this scene was cut out. There was also a shot from the sewer scene with Irrfan Khan's character arriving to try to deal with Connors and take Peter to his boss. Saying to Peter, "Do you have any idea what you are?" makes you wonder what the overall story with Peter, his parents and Oscorp will be.
Another feature is a thirty-nine minute Pre-Visualization look at different scenes. We get to see the storyboards for some and CG sequences of others like the subway, rooftop POV (as seen in the trailer), Lizard in the sewer, battle scenes and more.
An art production gallery is included. This shows the different designs for the characters and costumes. There are a lot to see.
Image Progression Reels features four scenes and runs about twelve minutes. It's interesting to see the Spider-Man/Lizard fight in the high school and how it was all completely CG. A step by step process is shown so we can see how it was all created. There's also features on capturing and recreating Spider-Man's iconic poses, the birth of the Lizard and the battle in the sewer.
Something we don't often see included are stunt rehearsals. There are eight scenes included running just under twelve minutes. We often take these scenes for granted or assume everything is CG these days.
Rounding out the special features is a three and a half minute feature on developing The Amazing Spider-Man video game. The developers from Beenox talk about the differences in making this game compared to the previous Spider-Man ones.
There is also a second screen app with new content added weekly that you use with an iPad, Sony Tablet or other similar device. This is designed to give you more reasons to watch the movie again and again. There is two interactive modes, timeline and production. Each allows you to explore more with interviews, storyboards and other content that scrolls across your tablet. (You can read more about this feature HERE).
As mentioned, the chances are you'll likely add this to your collection. Even though I had seen the movie a couple times in theaters and didn't one hundred percent love the movie (the Lizard's voice and a couple scenes still bug me a little), I found it so easy to pop this in and watch the movie again. This is Spider-Man after all. There are a lot of great scenes here and it's a fun film. Between me and my daughter, I'm sure we'll be watching it yet again real soon.