Spider-Man Trilogy on Blu-ray

            Spider-Man was one of the first superhero franchises to become a blockbuster success and set the standard for so many others to follow. Not only was it a major financial success, which insures sequels and copycats in Hollywood, but it did so with an interesting choice for a director. Sam Raimi is best known for his contribution into the horror genre, but his unique style proved perfect for the telling of this beloved comic book story. If it weren’t for this trilogy which began in 2002, Christopher Nolan may not have been chosen for the Batman franchise, and it is likely Jon Favreau would not have directed Iron Man nor Joss Whedon The Avengers. Spider-Man was one of the first greats, though we have come full circle again and ten years later another Spider-Man franchise has begun.

            In anticipation of the newest attempt to adapt the Spider-Man tale, all three of the Sam Raimi films have been brought to high definition Blu-ray. As an added incentive to upgrade to Blu-ray, each disc comes with a $10 movie ticket offer to see The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D. Each Blu-ray also comes with an Ultraviolet digital copy of the film, not to mention the endlessly informative and entertaining special feature selections available.

            Spider-Man began the franchise in 2002, with moderately good special effects and an effective storyline about a geeky kid in high school who develops superpowers from a spider and must learn to use them for good. Tobey Maguire stars as the super-hero, with Kirsten Dunst as the girl next door and Willen Dafoe as the first villain, The Green Goblin. Along with the previously released special features, exclusive to the Blu-ray is a trivia challenge and an editing program to cut together your favorite portions of the film.

            Spider-Man 2 continues my theory that the second film in a franchise is always the best film in the series. The Godfather 2 is better than the first, Empire Strikes Back is better than Star Wars and Sam Raimi’s follow-up film has the best storyline and special effects of the three. It comes as no surprise that this is the film which is given an extended version. Both the theatrical and extended versions are included on the Blu-ray disc, along with fight sequences which weren’t seen in theaters. Additional special features are taken from the DVD, including several commentary tracks and a 12-part making-of documentary.

            The only disappointment in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy is the conclusion. The first one was establishing, the second absolutely brilliant, and the third somehow ended up absurd and silly. From a musical number to characters acting out of character, Spider-Man 3 is a strange and not altogether solid film. It looks much improved in high definition, but the storyline is just as shaky as it ever was, especially in comparison to the first two films. Special features are also limited, including nothing that wasn’t already on the DVD version.

No comments: