The Amazing Spider-Man 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a killer transfer, the image looked positive.
Sharpness became a minor issue at times, as a handful of elements looked a smidgen soft in terms of wide shots. Those didn’t create a notable distraction, though, and the majority of the flick looked tight and well-defined. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.
Colors tended toward a blue feel. This meant a lot of teal as well as a cooler blue that fit within Electro’s universe. Other hues materialized as well, though all within a stylized feel; don’t expect natural tones here. Within the movie’s design parameters, the colors seemed perfectly fine. Blacks looked dark and dense, while shadows showed good clarity and smoothness. Except for the mild softness, this turned into a strong presentation.
I liked the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Amazing 2, even more, as it created a dynamic affair. With all the movie’s action scenes, the mix offered plenty of chances for lively material and it took good advantage of them. Many components cropped up around the various channels and blended together in a satisfying manner. Expect plenty of involving moments through this well-integrated soundscape.
Audio quality also pleased. Music seemed robust and full, while speech sounded distinctive and clear. Effects worked best, as they showed terrific punch and power throughout the movie. Everything combined here to form a vivid, engrossing mix.
The set provides an audio commentary from screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinkner and producers Matt Tolmac and Avi Arad. They all sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/character/screenplay areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, effects, music, and other filmmaking areas.
This chat turns into a generally good commentary but not one that excels. On the positive side, it focuses a lot on character/story domains and provides nice insights into the decisions made in that realm. Other aspects of the track seem less successful, though, and create a lack of consistency. Still, it’s a perfectly listenable piece with a fair amount of worthwhile material.
13 deleted scenes run a total of 23 minutes, one second. Usually when we get cut footage, it tends to be insubstantial, and some of these clips fall into the category of “minor additions”. However, we get a few with greater impact, including one that presents the return of a major character. You won’t find the excised Mary Jane shots here, but the stuff we find seems good.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from director Marc Webb. He tells us a bit about the sequences and lets us know why they got the boot. Webb offers useful information and makes me wish the disc included a director’s commentary for the feature film.
Under The Wages of Heroism, we find a collection of six featurettes; all together, they occupy a total of one hour, 43 minutes and 42 seconds. Across these, we hear from Arad, Webb, Kurtzman, Tolmach, Pinkner, co-creator/executive producer Stan Lee, costume designer Deborah L. Scott, location manager Justin Farrar, production designer Mark Friedberg, executive producer E. Bennett Walsh, special effects supervisor John Frazier, NAC Company’s Marc Noel, stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong, costumer Deborah Zimmerman, makeup artist Sarah Rubano, key stunt double Ilram Choi, stunt double Jennifer Caputo, makeup effects designer Howard Berger, Weta Workshop’s Joe Dunckley, visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen, CG supervisors Bob Winter and Chris Waegner, animation supervisor Dave Schaub, senior CG supervisor John Haley, digital effects supervisor David Alexander Smith, composer Hans Zimmer, musician Tom Holkenborg, music producer Stephen Lipson, editor Pietro Scalia, and actors Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti.
“Wages” covers aspects of the movie’s development and screenplay, story/character choices, cast and performances, costumes, sets, locations and production design, stunts, action and various effects, music and editing. One might assume a nearly two-hour documentary would cover a movie well, but that doesn’t always prove to be true, as I’ve encountered some forgettable, not-especially-informative “marathon” programs.
Happily, “Wages” uses its time effectively. It covers a wide variety of filmmaking areas and does so in a concise, enjoyable manner. Add a ton of great behind the scenes footage and this becomes a terrific show.
Next comes a music video for Alicia Keys’ “It’s On Again”. It shows a few shots from the movie but mostly concentrates on lip-synch performances and a vague story line of its own. The video never threatens to become memorable, but it’s better than most that accompany songs from films.
The Music of Amazing Spider-Man 2 goes for eight minutes, nine seconds and presents an interview with Marc Webb. He gives us his thoughts on what he wanted from the movie’s music and how the composers executed it. This seems a bit redundant after the segments in “Wages” but it comes with a few good thoughts.
In this package, we get both the 2D and 3D versions of the film. The picture quality comments above reflect the nature of the 2D edition – does the 3D image add much to the proceedings?
Definitely – the 3D brings a lot of involvement to the proceedings. Much of the film opts for depth, and those elements come across in a natural manner that delivers a nice feeling of space.
The action scenes turn into the most dynamic, though, mainly due to all the characters and components that zoom around the image. With Spider-Man as well as two flying villains, we get a lot of moments that pop off the screen. These lack the gimmicky “in your face” feel of bad 3D; instead, they create an impression of dimensionality that makes them exciting. This turns into a nice 3D representation.
Note that while the audio commentary also shows up on the 3D disc, none of the other extras appear there. This platter does present a 3D trailer for the first Amazing Spider-Man; for reasons unknown, it fails to provide an ad for Amazing 2.
A third disc provides a DVD copy of Amazing 2. It includes the commentary, four deleted scenes, and the music video.
After a disappointing first movie, I hoped The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would offer an improvement. It does, but not to an enormous degree; a good third act redeems it somewhat but it remains a disappointment overall. The Blu-ray presents solid picture and audio along with some informative bonus materials. Amazing 2 has its moments but doesn’t deliver a consistently satisfying movie.