By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Better in every way than the recent trilogy it reboots, “The Amazing Spider-Man” succeeds by boldly going forward into the comic-book character’s past. The epic-length 136-minute adventure not only updates the web-slinger’s origin but also provides a glimpse of the parents who abandoned him when he was a child. Teen-age Peter Parker (played by a likably nerdy Andrew Garfield) grapples with both high school and amazing super-human crises as his alter-ego Spider-Man battles The Lizard.
Directed by Marc Webb (“(500) Days of Summer”), the action adventure also stars Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors a.k.a. The Lizard, Denis Leary as Captain Stacy, Campbell Scott as Richard Parker and Irrfan Khan as Rajit Ratha. Rounding out the all-star cast are Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt May.
The box office hit movie is available Friday, November 9 on DVD/Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, DVD and a Limited Edition Gift Set with collectible Spider-Man and Lizard figurines, all with UltraViolet. (UltraViolet allows users to collect and access movies and TV shows on their phones and other electronic equipment besides TV sets.)
Asked whether he considered what extras would be put on the DVD while making the movie, director Webb explained it this way: “The making of the film is its own thing. You’re focused on trying to make the script as good as it can possibly be. That said, there are certain moments where you have a sequence that isn’t quite working or it’s taking too long or it feels redundant, so you think, ‘We’ll put it in the deleted scenes.’”
“There’s a feeling that it’s not completely useless,” he continues. “People will still see it but not in the context of the film, so there’s some comfort there. But it’s a secondary consideration for the film.”
Webb grew up watching bonus features on DVDs and learned something about moviemaking in the process.
“In a very real way, a lot of the language that I learned in directing a film came from watching other directors talk about it and visual effects people talk about it,” he says.
“Seeing what pre-vis is and how visual effects worked— that was an important part of learning about it. There is an art form to making DVDs. I wanted to make this as interesting and informative as possible.”
The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack comes with three discs, including a Blu-ray disc that contains the feature film as well as a special feature called a Second Screen App, which can be used with the Sony Tablet S, Xperia Tablet S and iPad. The free App syncs with the film as it plays in “Timeline” mode and features “Production” mode, allowing users to “sling” content from their tablets to the TV screen for a greater and more interactive HD experience. (This is one of director Webb’s favorite extras.) Other content includes interviews, storyboards, concept art, pre-visualization sequences, stunt rehearsals and more.
The Blu-ray disc includes 90 minutes of behind-the-scenes documentaries, giving viewers an insiders look at the development and direction of the film, casting, costumes, location shoots, visual effects and other aspects.
The DVD disc includes the feature film as well as stunt rehearsals and deleted scenes, the Oscorp Archives, an image gallery featuring production art stills and audio commentary with Webb, and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.
In addition to the three discs of content in the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack contains a fourth disc featuring the film in 3D. Exclusive to the Blu-ray 3D is an image progression reel and the “3D 101 with Marc Webb” featurette, providing a look at the 3D techniques used for the film and allowing viewers to toggle through three scenes from the film at different levels of 3D.
The Limited Edition Gift Set, available at select retailers, comes with collectible Spider-Man and Lizard figurines, in addition to the four-disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack.