Disc 1- Spider-Man
This disc had the most special features of the set, clocking in at over an hour’s worth of interviews, making-of features, special effects, and trivia.
One of the best (if initially frustrating) features was “The Cutting Room Floor.” This allows you to cut and paste parts of the movie, playing them as you see fit, making you a film editor. The feature was very confusing at first due to the unclear instructions, but once you play around with it, the confusion went away, and it was quite simple. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an updated Blu-Ray player or one that can receive updates, this feature will not work. I had to go next door to my neighbor’s house to get their Blu-ray player to access this feature.
“Spider-Man Trivia” was a nice feature as well. This feature allows you to watch the movie and answer pop-up, multiple choice trivia questions along the way. As an award for your efforts, you get a cut scene not previously offered in the movie. I got one from J. Jonah Jameson, talking to me as if I were a reporter for his paper. It’s funny because J.K. Simmons’ delivery is so straight forward that you really feel like he’s talking to you. This feature offers five different cut scenes; however, I did not find the time to watch the movie five times to see each. Using this feature did make the movie a tad more fun, especially since I was watching it with my 14-year-old neighbor, and I totally schooled him! This can be used as a party game if you have some friends over and want to watch the movie.
“Spider-Man: Mythos of the 21st Century” was a nice 20 minute commentary featuring Stan Lee, John Romita Sr., and Todd McFarlane discussing the ins and outs of how they drew and wrote stories for Spider-Man. The evolution of Spider-Man was heavily discussed, including how Ultimate Spider-Man came to be. This was a nice one to watch if only to hear their inspiration over the years and how important the birth of the Ultimate Universe was to the character.
There was a Webisode with “Macho Man” Randy Savage that was awesome, as you see him prepping to step into the “Bonesaw” role, but the rest of the webisodes were lackluster (more on those later).
The “Blooper/Gag Reel” was basically Willem Dafoe going bananas during takes and flubbing up some lines here and there. Dafoe is a master of his craft, and his outtakes were second only to J.K. Simmons.
All of the aforementioned features were worth the watch, and to a DC fan-boy like me, who knows just enough about Marvel to get by – I was very impressed by the commentary by Avi Arad and Sam Raimi as their passion for the first film shines.
If those were the highlights of Disc 1, a few other extra features serve as “lowlights” here. The “Webisodes,” for example, were very “blah” and not as interesting as one would think. In the “Webisodes,” you have 15 minutes with a Spider wrangler, the prop director, the scene editor, and the wire work team. I felt there was nothing there to go, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” The E! Entertainment Special was another “eh” moment as it was just recycled hype that lead up to the first movie. Really, you’re only seeing bunch of old red carpet footage.
Disc 2: Spider-Man 2
This disc has the same offerings in the “Commentary from Directors and Cast,” and “Bloopers” sections, while also offering some story building extras. I was, however, disappointed that there was neither trivia to accompany the film, nor was there a “Cutting Room Floor” option like on Disc 1.
Disc 2 does have an outstanding documentary called “Great Power/Great Responsibility” that has Stan Lee talking about the story arc that was a big factor in the second film, where Peter Parker begins losing his abilities. Another great part was Alfred Molina (Doc Ock) talking about how he thought he wasn’t going to get the role when he auditioned for it. Then, the documentary shows Avi Arad and Sam Raimi discussing why they chose him. Alfred Molina is a class act, and his portrayal of Doc Ock is a testament to his acting talents. Molina had never done a villain of that magnitude, and he immersed himself in the books to study.
Another great feature was the birth of the “Spyder-Cam .” This documentary was exciting to watch because seeing New York through the eyes of Spider-Man is simply amazing. By far, this was one of the more interesting tech commentaries from the disc due to the complex nature of the rigs needed to make the camera operate.
Much like in the first disc, you’re also given music videos, previews, and original trailers.
Disc 3: Spider-Man 3
When I was offered to review this set I thought, “Ugh, I have to watch this train wreck.” Then, I got super excited about the first disc feature, “The Cutting Room Floor,” and I hoped I could basically cut out all of Peter Parker’s emo moments and dancing. Unfortunately, there is no “Cutting Room Floor” feature, and I had to subject myself to “Emo Parker” and all of his chair-surfing.
Disc 3 had the least of all the special features and extras. It offers only basic features, including “Director and Cast Commentary,” “Blooper and Gag Reels,” a photo gallery, and a music video.
Still, there was no apology given by any of the crew for the train wreck that they called the black suit, as the third movie felt rushed and Venom was NOT done right at all. Topher Grace was a bad choice as Eddie Brock and the whole symbiote suit, as important of the Spider-Man mythos as it is, seemed bastardized just to sell the film to the masses.
At the end of it all, the special features that we received on this set were cool, but many were repetitive and, with the exception of those unique few on the first disc, unnecessary. Disc 1 had the most interesting and more entertaining of any of the features and extras, and I would definitely watch them again. If you’re looking to replace your DVDs to Blu-Ray, I recommend purchasing this set as the quality of the films are amazing and clear as opposed to previous DVD releases.
3 Alarm Comics and DC Fan Boy