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In one box set - Ramie, Maguire, Dunst, Franco and Willem Dafoe as that lovable villain Green Goblin – we’re watching the entire SPIDERMAN trilogy on Blu-ray this weekend baby

Sony Pictures decided the release of Spiderman 3 to DVD was the perfect opportunity to release all three in the trilogy to Blu-ray. Finally, Spiderman in HD! This hotly anticipated box set will have a lot riding on it. I wouldn’t be the only one reading into the sales numbers this weekend as indicative of the format’s future success. This set should be where Sony busts out with a masterpiece of Blu-ray production.

But, let’s set aside the politics of BD vs HD DVD for now shall we. As you can see by this picture, I love Spiderman and this is cause for celebration.

I’m a sucker for superhero movies (as you can see from my picture I'm ready to mete out justice onto the streets far below). Ive even been known to wear my underwear on the outside of my pants as a tribute to some of my favorite costumed vigilantes. But enough about my social ineptitudes. Having a girlfriend would only get in the way of spending this weekend in non-stop high-definition Spider-bliss.

Sound and Vision

I’ve only taken a cursory glance at all three discs. The Blu-ray presentation of Spiderman (1, 2 and 3) at first glance certainly looks incredible. The full 1080P image quality easily tops my local multi-plex.

Nuthin’ but TrueHD

All three discs feature Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio tracks. The first two discs are limited to only Dolby TrueHD 5.1, the thrid adds an Uncompressed 5.1 option.

My Blu-ray player can decode TrueHD (one of the few available today that can) although it can only send it through analogue 5.1 cables to my receiver. It sounds amazing, as Spiderman should. I performed my own sighted A/B testing to compare what I believe will be the downsampled version of the Dolby soundtrack.

Using the Blu-ray players S/PDIF digital output to my receiver I reasoned lossless TrueHD audio would be downgraded to standard Dobly Digital 5.1.

In my own unscientific comparison I did notice a distinct difference in the tiniest of details. I used the scene from Spiderman 2 where Dr. Octopus conducts his tritium reactor experiment. The scene goes from suble tinkling when Doc Ock is fiddling with his arms making precise refinements to his appratus. You can hear lots of subtle directional effects through all your speakers. Then the scene suddenly gets loud when his experiment goes horribly wrong. I found the TrueHD version (through analogue to my receiver) had superior imaging and separation. Although one thing the DACs in my receiver does is give me lots of bass, I have to turn down my sub to compensate for the difference. The TrueHD was definitely more refined.

My only gripe with the collection so far is that it would have been nice to see an Uncompressed 5.1 audio track on discs 1 and 2 especially considering those are easily the best of the three.

Jeez Sony, couldn’t you do something with all that extra space on your discs!?!

The presence of the lossless TrueHD codec and an uncompressed 5.1 soundtrack may seem by many to be redundant. But I dissagree! Most Blu-ray players today can’t decode TrueHD. I am pretty sure most of this weekend’s screenings of Spiderman on Blu-ray will be have audio delivered in a downsampled Dolby Digital mix.

Special Features

The Spiderman 1 and 2 discs are leaner than Willem Dafoe’s frame strapped to the table before giving gassing himself into the Green Goblin. You’ll only be bitten by a few radioactive movie trailers.

Spiderman 2 surprised me. I was presented with a choice between viewing Spiderman 2 or Spiderman 2.1 I didn’t even know they came in incremental versions like my ‘puter’s CMOS.

Spiderman 3 is loaded with special features. In fact it has a disc dedicated to Spiderman 3 speacial features. One great thing about these is that most of them are in high definition. This is a hopeful effort on behalf of Sony. Sadly, the features themselves are quite pedestrian. Tons and tons of overinformative behind – the – scenes documentaries about Spiderman 3 only. They look and sound great but after awhile they all start looking the same.

Then IT happens! Oh No, it’s Snow Patrol… NNNNNOOoooo!

There is one gag inducing Snow Patrol video on the features disc. So, if you were falling asleep watching more Spiderman 3 documentaries than you should be allowed – you now have an opportunity to run to the toilet and throw up when this whiney wretch of saccarine sentimentality invades your livingroom. Snow Patrol videos makes me wish Blu-ray players came with a delete key.

386 Posts
Re: Spiderman Trilogy on Blu-ray; First Look Preview

Heh, I know what you mean about the Snow Patrol video- there was better music in the others (Dashboard confessional), but this buried it.

As far as story, I thought this one was better than the second, but few can match the first in a story like this (witness The Matrix).

I watched it in standard def and found it had good colors, good blacks, good sound, etc.

Definitely a worthwhile rental, but I doubt I'll own it (I'm only buying HD DVDs now, so I might not have a choice).

487 Posts
This weekend a buddy was over and our wives went shopping. Perfect recipe for loud obnoxious action. Unfortunately someone packaged a romantic drama inside my Spiderman 3 case. It looked great and sounded great, but there was only about 15 minutes that were worth seeing or hearing. I kept watching and hoping that it would improve, but it didn't. Should have had the ladies watch this one and the guys go shopping.
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