Spider-Man 3 Two-Disc Special Edition DVD
Disc One Special Features:
— Digitally Mastered Audio and Video.
— Audio: English Dolby True HD 5.1, English PCM 5.1 (Uncompressed), French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai 5.1 (Dolby Digital).
— Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Cantonese.
— Photo Galleries.
— Snow Patrol Music Video.
— Audio Commentary with Director Sam Raimi and cast members Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
— Audio Commentary with Producers Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad and Grant Curtis, Editor Bob Murawski and Special Effects Supervisor Scott Stokdyk.
— Bonus Previews.
Disc Two Special Features:
— Digitally Mastered Audio and Video.
— Audio: English, Spanish 5.1 (Dolby Digital). English, Spanish (Dolby Surround).
— Subtitles: English, Spanish.
— Featurette: Grains of Sand – Building Sandman.
— Featurette: Re-Imagining the Goblin.
— Featurette: Covered in Black – Creating Venom.
— Featurette: Hanging On…Gwen Stacy and the Collapsing Floor.
— Featurette: Fighting, Flying & Driving – The Stunts.
— Featurette: Tangled Web: The Love Triangles of Spider-Man 3.
— Featurette: Wall Of Water.
— Featurette: On Location Cleveland – The Chase on Euclid Avenue.
— Featurette: On Location New York – From Rooftops to Backstreets.
— Featurette: The Science of Sound.
— Featurette: Inside The Editing Room.
— Theatrical TV Spots From Around the World.
Oh, what a tangled web Spider-Man 3 turned out to be. The third entry in this highly successful franchise suffered from a convoluted plot, undeveloped characters, and one of the worst (and unnecessary) dance sequences in the history of film. I saw the film twice in the theatres, and both times I was disappointed. So, did a little bit of time and a third viewing of the film make it any better?
As a matter of fact, yes, it did. Allow me to explain.
When the film was released, there was a huge outcry from the fans. Much like the third film in the X-Men franchise, this film tried to do too much in too little time. Director Sam Raimi really upped the stakes this time out by having not one, not two, but THREE villains for Spider-Man to tangle with. That’s perfectly fine. Some movies have done the multi-villain formula before, and still managed to be successful. However, this was not the case in Spider-Man 3. Raimi choose three villains that had very complicated back stories, and gave them very little screen time to grow. Let’s start with the Sandman.
In order to make the character more sympathetic to the audience, Raimi & Co. added a daughter into Flint Marko’s life. He’s shown as a criminal with a heart of gold. Sure, he may be stealing money and committing crimes, but he’s doing it for a good cause. His daughter has a terrible disease and he’s trying to raise the money to pay for an operation to cure her. While this may be a good idea, this subplot disappears by the films midpoint. We only see his daughter once, in the very beginning, and then she is never heard from again. Flint’s objectives change gears, when his mission of trying saving his daughter changes into a personal vendetta against Spider-Man. Despite the character’s flaws, I really think Thomas Haden Church was a great choice for the Sandman. He had the look of the character and even played it off really well.
Venom was a tough choice for the fans. I firmly believe that no matter what the movie did with him, fans would have hated it. Venom is perhaps the most beloved of all the Marvel villains. He is essentially evil incarnate. The character changed from a burly bastard from the comic into a skinny nerd. But you know what? It worked. At least, to me it did. Eddie Brock was everything Peter was not, but hoped to be. Topher Grace really did pull off the arrogant prick role quiet well (though I had a hard time believing he would have a girlfriend as good-looking as Bryce Dallas Howard, let alone treat her that badly and still be together).
The real problem with the character was the amount of screen time. Venom doesn’t even show up until the very last reel. Eddie has no real time to explore the extent of his new abilities. He just jumped into his crusade against Spider-Man. I would have really liked to have seen Eddie become Venom in this film, and then really explore the character more in the next. Alas, that’s not going to happen now. Regardless, Eddie’s transformation into Venom toward the end of the film was absolutely frightening. It was very interesting to see how quickly he went from ‘help me’ to accepting this new found rage that found him.
The only villain that can be argued about the amount of development he has had is Harry. Over the course of three films, we have seen Harry go from a very loving best friend to a total prick. Harry has, perhaps, the best character arc out of anyone else in the franchise. James Franco has really grown as an actor, and it definitely shows. In this film, we really see how far he will go to destroy those he believes did him wrong. When he is at the restaurant with Peter, telling him that he is the ‘other man,’ with a smile on his face the entire time, it’s absolutely amazing.
On the other hand, Tobey Maguire left a little to be desired. He seemed to be playing the character the same way he’s been in the past two films. Sure, at some points it worked, but the character has grown a lot over time, and Tobey did not show that as much as he could have. When “Emo Peter” comes out to play, it just seems like he is going through the motions to get his paycheck. I remember when I saw it in the theaters that any time he cried, a lot of people laughed. He seemed to be forcing his emotions and it just came off as comical.
As always, the worst part of the film is definitely Kirsten Dunst. I’m sorry, but she is terrible. She is the weakest link in all three films, and I really hope that, if they do a fourth film, they do not bring her back.
I know I did a lot of complaining about the movie, but I do think it grows on you. Like I said earlier, a repeat viewing after a little bit of time definitely did make it better in my eyes. This movie IS a fun little film, and I did enjoy myself watching it. The fight scenes are pretty awesome, and just watching Harry and Peter wail on each other is fantastic. Sure, it may not be a great film but it’s still a good one. Watch it again and expect a good time, and I guarantee that you’ll have one.
Hell, I’d watch it for the fantastic Bruce Campbell cameo alone.
Like the other Spider-Man discs, this one also comes packed with a bunch of special features. Both the single disc and special editions of the film come with a bit of fun stuff on the first disc. The commentary from the cast is pretty funny. There are a lot of little inside stories that they tell, and everyone seems to have had a good time making the film. However, I’m fairly certain that some of the cast members were recorded in different sessions, as they sometimes don’t interact with each other. The commentary from the producers talks more about the business side of things. Also rounding out the disc is a music video from Snow Patrol and a short blooper reel.
The special edition of the film contains a second disc filled with more goodies. Each featurette runs anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. Each of the three villains has their own feature, with Raimi & producers talking about how they developed each character for the film. The actors even through their own two cents in, and you can see that they have a deep love for their characters. Especially noteworthy is watching crew members pull fishing lines attached to Topher Grace’s face during the transformation sequence…it looked absolutely painful. A lot of the behind the scenes stuff are ‘fly on the wall’ sort of things, letting us see Raimi in action and running the show. Pretty interesting stuff. The Love Triangle feature was the only one I didn’t like that much. It showed us pretty much everything that has happened between Peter, MJ, and Harry and the love triangle they have been caught in. All in all, not a bad offering.