Director Jon Watts takes over the reins of the Spider-Man franchise for Spider-Man: Homecoming, now hitting home video on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony. The film is the first standalone feature for the webslinging hero to be fully integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet another reboot for Spidey on the big screen, in Homecoming Peter Parker (Tom Holland, who does many of his own stunts in the film) learns how to become the hero we all know and love and a part of the Avengers under the tutelage of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) while trying to balance his school life and a crush on high school “it” girl Liz (Laura Harrier). While Peter fails to gain the attention of his mentor Stark and Stark’s assistant Happy (Jon Favreau), Peter becomes embroiled in trying to take down a nefarious criminal known as Vulture (Michael Keaton) who is using alien technology he stole when he once worked as a cleanup contractor after the Battle of NY to wreak havoc on the city and attain more wealth and power.
Homecoming bypasses the usual reboot-itis this franchise has suffered from choosing to skip over the backstory about how Peter Parker obtained his powers by being bitten by a radioactive spider or how he gains purpose through witnessing his Uncle Ben murdered by a criminal. Instead, it throws us right into a young hero’s struggles with his newfound abilities, trying to fit in with the well established superheroes the Avengers and trying very much to impress and live up to the expectations of mentor Tony Stark.
That’s where Homecoming gets it right. Where it gets it all wrong are the silly changes for the purposes of making Spidey fit into the MCU that the film makes to the superhero fans have known and loves for so long. Where is Spider-Man’s Spidey sense? It’s gone – or more precisely it has been offloaded into a snazzy new gadget-filled suit supplied by billionaire Tony Stark. Now Peter Parker only gains strength, agility, and the ability to scale walls. The Spidey sense is a supped up suit with AI that gets snarky, can change the shooting modes of his web formula, and give him a fancy digitized heads up display just like the one in Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. Is this really Spider-Man?
At least we haven’t been forced to sit through yet another origin story about he webslinger and Tom Holland is arguably the best Spider-Man to come along on the big screen, rivaling Toby Maguire’s first turn in the original Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man. He has a youthful exuberance and wit yet confidence you expect from a hero.
Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Donald Glover also star.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was shot on the Arri Alexa Mini and Arri Alexa XT Plus in 2.8K resolution and a 2K DI was utilized in post-processing. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is mastered in Dolby Vision HDR from the 2K master and encoded in HEVC 2160p (4K). Despite being upscaled to 4K, the image looks superb and shows a great amount of detail with no motion artifacts like banding or aliasing. The Dolby Vision offers a gorgeous array of color that really ‘pops’ on the screen. Spidey’s red and blue costume stands out much more than it does on the Blu-ray as do the effects of Vulture’s and Tinkerer’s alien-based weapons. The bluish and purplish highlights have more glow and more variations of color on the UHD versus the BD.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Spider-Man: Homecoming gets a brilliant Dolby Atmos immersive mix that is dynamic and balanced without being extremely loud. There’s a lot of headroom left in for range and the mix goes from picking up small, quite ambient sounds in the surround channels and Atmos overhead channels to big bombastic sound effects like explosions. Dialogue is full and clear. This is pure reference.
This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set comes with over an hour’s worth of special features. The best is the The Spidey Study Guide pop-up trivia track that delves into the film’s connections to the comic book mythology. The rest of the special features, the majority of which are deleted and extended scenes, are “making of” features that include lots of behind the scenes footage and interviews.
- Digital HD UltraViolet
- Blu-ray with Feature Film and Special Features
- The Spidey Study Guide (UHD & BD)
- Gag Reel (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:17)
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (1080p/24; 00:16:17):
- A Film by Peter Parker (Director’s Cut)
- Return from ATM
- Triskelion Cleanup
- Anxious Toomes
- Aaron Still Stuck
- Go it Alone
- Happy Calls His Mom
- Midtown News Final Segment
- Harrington Lessons in Love
- A Tangled Web (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:11) – Bringing Spider-Man into the CMU
- Searching for Spider-Man (1080p/24; 00:08:04)
- Spidey Stunts (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:48) – A look at Tom Holland, his background and his ability to do the stunts.
- Aftermath (1080p/24; 00:04:47) – The MCU after the battle of NY.
- The Vulture Takes Flight (1080p/24; 00:06:01)
- Jon Watts: Head of the Class (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:29)
- Pros and Cons of Spider-Man (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:28)
- Rappin’ with Cap (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:26)
- Photo Gallery (1080p/24)
- Spider-Man Homecoming VR Trailer
- An Inside Look at Marvel’s Spider-Man | PS4
The Final Assessment
Spider-Man mostly does whatever a spider can again in this new MCU reboot of the beloved Marvel hero. The action, comedy and ties to the MCU all unfold with ease with just a few quibbles about changes to the core abilities of Spidey himself. This home video release is one Marvel fans will want to have.
Spider-Man: Homecoming out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony October 17, 2017.
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