Spiderman 3 Review and Bluray Features
4 May 2007
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
While Topher Grace was a big comic book fan and had read the first Venom stories as a boy, he found the suit he had to wear as Venom extremely unpleasant. It took an hour to put on (and four hours to apply the prosthetics); and it had to be constantly smeared with goo to give it a liquid organic feel. Grace also had to wear fangs, which bruised his gums.
How is it that Peter was struggling to rip the black suit off at the church bell tower after he could easily take it off at his apartment?
The suit has a will of its own. It didn’t resist before because Peter took it off normally. It knew that Peter would eventually wear the black suit again. At the church bell tower, Peter was taking it off because he didn’t want it. The suit sensed that, and resisted. As such, the symbiote knew that Peter wanted to throw it away, so even if Peter “acted normal” in his apartment and just dressed off, the symbiote would have put resistance. Throughout the film, the audience was shown that Peter kept the black suit on while engaging in reckless acts. Therefore, he was likely wearing it at the bar when he attacked MJ. After realizing his error and deciding to rid himself of the suit, he went to the nearby Church to do so. Actually, he finds that this is the perfect spot to get rid of the suit, because, as we can see in the ending sequence, the symbiote has one big weakness: sound. The bell made the symbiote weak, and helped Peter to “break it”. This is the same method used by Spidey in the comics, but he uses it already knowing that weakness. Another answer can be like a reference to the 1994’s “Spiderman: The Animated Series”, when he accidentally found the weak of the Symbiote in a fight with Shocker in the The Alien Costume saga.
How did Eddie Brock know about Sandman’s daughter?
The answer is twofold; Eddie worked for the daily bugle and thus likely found out about Marko’s escape and motives as the bugle was covering it. He then bonds with the symbiote which retains it’s memories of it’s time bonded with Peter including the fight in the subway.
Is Venom really dead?
Eddie Brock Jr. could be brought back for a sequel or spin-off. Additionally, the Symbiote is still alive in a couple places — remember that Dr. Connors still has a piece of the Symbiote. It is widely believed that the Symbiote that Connors has will eventually bond with the yet-to-be-introduced character of Cletus Kasady to form Carnage, as was the case in the comics that Carnage was created in Venom’s wake. It was recently announced in July, 2008 that there is now Venom spin-off in early pre-production that will follow Spider-Man 3. However, Topher Grace may not return for the role, as there have been several other hosts to the Venom Symbiote in the comics that could be used in a solo film, including the short lived Angelo Fortunato, and the Scorpion aka “Mac” Gargan. Eddie Brock, meanwhile, had the bits of Symbiote left over in his blood bond to his white blood cells, giving him a new white Venom-like suit. Along with a more altruistic attitude, Brock calls himself Anti-Venom. A potential spin-off could follow either of these plots
The highest-grossing movie of 2007.
It was considered at one point to split the movie into two films.
How Sandman got into this Franchise
Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire were the driving forces that got Sandman into this film. During press interviews for the first two Spider-Man films, Raimi and Maguire repeatedly mentioned Sandman as a villain they would like to see in the third film.
Portrayal of Eddie Brock/Venom
The character of Eddie Brock/Venom, as portrayed in this film, is an amalgamation of his “Amazing Spider-Man” (an obsessive journalist) and “Ultimate” (a skinny young man with a crush on Gwen Stacy) versions. This was done to present Eddie Brock as a shadowy reflection of Peter Parker (which shows that Peter Parker, when affected by the symbiote, starts to act like Eddie).
Harry’s lab contains his father’s Green Goblin mask, as well as a gold “Hobgoblin” mask from the comics.
My spider-sense is tingling
Eddie’s line – “My spider-sense is tingling… if you know what I’m talking about!” – when referring to MJ, was Topher Grace’s idea.
Preparation In creating villain Sandman
It took three years to create the visual effects required to portray the Sandman’s powers. To understand the dynamics of sand, various experiments were conducted with sand (launching sand at stunt men, splashing the stuff around and pouring it over ledges). Sand sculptors were also consulted for advice.
Introduction of symbiote in the film
Reportedly an early draft had John Jameson, the astronaut from Spider-Man 2 (2004), returning from a space mission with the symbiote as a stowaway. To save time and money, this was eliminated in favor of having the meteorite just happen to land next to Peter Parker.
Weakness of Main Villain
The alien symbiont’s main weakness is that it is susceptible to high ultra-sonic sounds. This weakness is also shared by Daredevil, another Marvel Comics character.
During one of the scenes in Jameson’s office, a newspaper in the background says “Doc Ock Still at Large”.
Sam Raimi’s portrayal of symbiote
In the comics, the symbiote was a flowing sentient liquid ooze. Sam Raimi was very clear on the film’s portrayal of the symbiote: he wanted it to have character, but not to resemble a spider or octopus. As portrayed in the film, it possesses a webbing form (it was composed of many separate CGI threads) that gives it a sense of life and an appearance of gripping onto someone’s body.
RT/Meta Critic Review
But it’s intelligently directed by Sam Raimi and, with all those eye-popping set pieces, it’s certainly never boring. (Click here to see)
Action movies rely heavily on dynamic video, and the 1080p presentation of Spider-Man 3 framed in 2.40:1 is essential to view the special effects, stylized colors and costumes. DVD simply cannot do justice to this films. The level of detail and depth on Blu-ray is extraordinary, with tremendous definition in the cityscapes, costumes, special effects and sets. Even microdetail in skin and clothing is extraordinary. For example, in the scene in the skyscraper where the models are posing for the camera, the skin of the women shows remarkable definition in theirFACIAL expressions as the horror of a runaway crane quickly unfolds around them. Everywhere in the picture, the detail is apparent.
Watch the way Parker swings through Manhattan like a modern day Tarzan. Every pixel is rendered convincingly to show the detail, speed and power that bursts from the screen during these action sequences. The camera follows Parker closely as buildings, traffic and streets far below sail past with lightning speed. Every bit of the 1080p resolution is required to convincingly pull off this effect. And what a stunning effect it is. I can think of few other BDs to show off the quality of the format as effectively. Usually, CGI-stylized scenes are lacking in depth and other cues of visual realism, but not here.
Scenes with less motion are equally detailed, but the small grain is highly visible, especially in light areas. This was a welcome sight for me. I was afraid some type of digital noise reduction would be used to wipe the video clean. That approach would remove the grain, but also take away some life from the picture. Not so. The video is dynamic, with such definition thatFACIAL expressions yield tremendous detail. Watch the scene where James Franko faces off with himself in the mirror. His expressions convey the intensity of his character’s emotions, and the 1080p allows us to see Harry’s full acting range during his transition into the Green Goblin.
Initially, Sony was including PCM on their newer releases but has since stopped doing that. Yes, I know that Dolby TrueHD is “theoretically” the same as lossless PCM. But in my experience with audio, theory and reality are not best friends. This PCM track is significantly better than most TrueHD tracks I have heard. The soundstage is strong and cohesive with instrumentation, voices and sound effects rendered gorgeously and with heart-stopping dynamics that can go from a whisper to a tremendous crescendo that rocks the floorboards and windows. The spotlighting on certain strings in the orchestral arrangements sounds solid and sweet in the midrange, especially in the more dramatic scenes where the music really is layed on thick. The surround channels and subwoofer are used to very dramatic effect.
Perhaps the greatest feature of the audio is the soundstaging of the 5.1 mix. All sounds have very precise imaging and provide a convincing illusion of the action taking place all around. Within this soundstage, individual voices and sound effects have good tonal characteristics. The original engineering–microphone placement and recording of both voices and other sounds–goes beyond the quality of most films. Voices have a distinct charm and resonance to them. Sam Raimi uses the score very effectively–from sweeping orchestral passages to the aforementioned James Brown track “People Get Up Drive That Funky Soul”, which features one of the beafiest horn arrangements ever recorded. Throughout the trilogy, the audio, as much as the actors, sets the mood and complements the drama of each scene. Bottom line: the audio is warm, dynamic and open. Best of all, it images with pinpoint accuracy.
Spider-Man 3 is a two-disc set that has the same bonus features as the DVD. One of the more worthwhile features is in the film commentary itself on Disc 1. I’m not referring to the mostly mindless banter with James Franco, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Hayden Church and Bryce Dallas Howard. Instead, listen to the filmmaker’s track with producers Avi Arad, Grant Curtis, Laura Ziskin, visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk and editor Bob Murawski. Many interesting anecdotes and observations are given to provide some insight into how the film was made. I highly recommend it. Disc 1 of Spider-Man 3 also includes a Snow Patrol music video. But the most entertaining feature is a blooper reel. If you need a good laugh, check it out. Maguire is hilarious. Rounding out the extras on Disc 1 are photo galleries and two video game previews.
The meaty featurettes are on Disc 2, including 11 behind-the-scenes features. “Grains of Sand: Building Sandman” is perhaps the most interesting due to the eye-candy of the villain’s special effects. The feature focuses on Stan Lee and shows many instructive behind-the-scenes shots and interviews with effects technicians. A feature on the Green Goblin delivers insight into the goblin’s most fearsome weapon, the armband with several retractable, menacing blades. The third villain in Spider-Man 3, Venom, is the focus of “Covered in Black: Creating Venom”, which explains the CGI effect of the black substance that first covers Spidey. Yet another worthwhile feature, “Hanging on: Gwen Stacy and the Collapsing Floor”, demonstrates the use of specially designed hydraulics to give the effect of a quick drop. It also shows how rubber life-sized furniture models are used to give the illusion of dangerous falling objects.
Other features include “Inside the Editing Room”, “The Science of Sound”, “Tangled Web: The Love Triangle of Spider-Man 3“, “Wall of Water” and a documentary on each of the two shooting locations: New York City and Cleveland. These featurettes provide important insights into budgetary and feasibility factors that are rarely considered by an audience. But it’s actually intuitive to realize that location shots will have challenging problems associated with them. The cast and crew describes how they dealt with those challenges, including problematic crowds.