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Spider-Man 3 (w/UltraViolet) Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), LPCM 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese, Cantonese, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 139 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 12, 2012
  • List Price: $19.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2.5/5]

The third outing for Spider-Man is probably the least effective in the franchise. Tobey Maguire resumes his role as Spidey and Kirsten Dunst as his beloved Mary Jane Watson. Sam Raimi is once again at the reins as director and co-writer in this third and final part of the original big screen Spidey trilogy. The story finds Peter Parler/Spider-Man finally at peace with his double life, the city embracing his superhero alter-ego as their champion, and the girl of his dreams, Mary Jane Watson, finally knowing the truth about him, and loving him anyway. Of course, his best friend Harry (James Franco) also knows who he is and is out to avenge his father Norman Oswald/Green Goblin, wrongfully thinking Spider-Man was responsible for his death.

Just as things were going so well for Spider-Man in his personal life, things go badly. An alien substance infects him, amplifying his aggression, just as his relationship with Mary Jane hits the skids because of his lack of attention to her needs. Meanwhile, an escaped prisoner (Thomas Haden Church) who turns out to be the man who really killed Peter’s uncle Ben, gets caught in a physics experiment that allows him to change into sand. “The Sandman” who broke out of prison in an effort to find funds to help his sick daughter, goes on a bank robbing spree that Spider-Man finds difficult to halt in the face of Sandman’s seemingly unstoppable superpower.

Back at the Globe, a new freelance photographer, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), is vying for Peter’s job as the main Spider-Man photographer. When Peter finally realizes that the alien substance is ruining his life, despite the new power and confidence it gives him, he fights it off, managing to peel it off of his suit, but it falls onto a spying Eddie, who, once covered in the substance, becomes an evil version of Spider-Man, Venom. Determined to bring down Peter Parker for a previous incident at work that ruined his career, Venom teams up with Sandman to go after Spider-Man and remove him as an obstacle once and for all. The way they determine to do it, is to go after Mary Jane. In the face of overwhelming odds and sure death, Spider-Man must turn to the one person who hates him the most for help – Harry Osborn, the New Goblin – appealing to his love for Mary Jane.

You’d think with all these villains, Spider-Man 3 would be filled with non-stop action, but in fact it isn’t. This film has far too many lulls, nearly the entire middle portion is devoted to Peter Parker’s emotional angst. It doesn’t play well. The villains aren’t convincing either. Come on, Topher Grace as Venom? The guy couldn’t scare a group of girl scouts in a dark alley. After this, there is no wonder that Spider-Man was and is ready for a reboot.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

There’s no new remaster here, so if you have the original Blu-ray release of Spider-Man 3 you’re already familiar with the picture quality here. If not, then rest assured it is gorgeous. The original Super 35mm source, which is provided in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement is clean and detailed with strong contrast, deep blacks, extended shadow details and excellent flesh tones. There are no issues with compression errors or post-processing like edge enhancement and DNR.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Since this is, in fact, just a re-release of the same Blu-ray that was previously released minus additional bonus materials that were contained on a second disc, the audio options are identical and still contain the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) and LPCM 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) mixes rather than the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) of the other two releases. Still, as they are both lossless or uncompressed respectively, they still sound great, especially the TrueHD track with its added bit depth. It is probably the biggest, most aggressive mix of the entire original trilogy. Big, rattling lows, active surrounds, strong balance between the front channels and rears, and clean dialogue make it thoroughly enjoyable.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

There’s nothing spectacular about the supplements provided on this Spider-Man 3 reissue. Everything is ported over, in standard definition, and there is very little of it. The only thing that holds real value is the UltraViolet digital copy and the movie ticket offer.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary with Director & Cast
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Bloopers (1.33:1; SD; 00:06:43)
  • Galleries (1080p/24)
  • Music Video “Signal Fire” Performed by Snow Patrol (1.33:1; SD)
  • UltraViolet Digital Copy
  • $10 Movie ticket offer for The Amazing Spider-Man 3D

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Spider-Man 3 looks and sounds great, but this reissue from Sony actually takes supplements away that were included in the original, an entire disc’s worth. The included UtraViolet and movie ticket offer are provided in place of the removed extras, but this isn’t worth it for people who own the original Blu-ray as everything else is identical, including the transfer and audio encodements.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Spider-Man 3 (w/UltraViolet) on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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Purchase Spider-Man 3 (w/UltraViolet) on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]


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