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"We don't take any sides or try to make any big statements. It's just like what we do on South Park - we just make fun of everything. "  -- Matt Stone and Trey Parker on Team America: World Police
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 

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Awkward high school student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is in love with girl next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) but too shy to declare his feelings. After being bitten by a genetically altered spider, Parker becomes the crime-fighting superhero Spider-man. While battling the evil Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Spider-man/Peter Parker must choose between love and responsibility.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
Take the phone off the hook for the weekend and you might just make it through all the features on this release. Make that a long weekend if you have DVD-ROM access. One of the biggest box-office hits of the year is bound to become one of the best-selling DVDs once word spreads about the bonus material crammed on to the double disc set. The film itself needs no further recommendation; under Sam Raimi's expert guidance it's one of the best comic book adaptations ever filmed and delights on any number of encore viewings.

The repeat factor is important when you consider four viewings are required to take in the film on its own, the two audio commentary tracks and a 'pop-up factoid' option that super-imposes Spider-info as the film plays. All are worth the time, particularly the banter between producer Laura Ziskin and Kirsten Dunst on the main commentary track. As for the truckload of other features, where does one start?

How about with a couple of excellent documentaries on the background of Spider-man. Creator and Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee appears, along with just about anyone else of note to give us the vitals on the enduring creation. Photo galleries galore, a rundown of prominent villains, comic-to-film comparisons and even tips on how to master the Sony Playstation game are just the start of it.

On the film side everything's covered from screen tests to rehearsal footage and a welcome profile on ace composer Danny Elfman. The chapters are beautifully presented with snazzy graphic introductions and a level of care that should impress even the most committed Spidey-buff. There's really not much to complain about here, apart from the promo-plug inclusion of trailers for other Columbia Tri-Star films and a menu navigation that is sometimes confusing. The icons are very small and the screen is too lively with distracting colour flashes.

It's hard to know where you are sometimes. On the preview disc I watched there were no subtitles on the main feature despite English, English (HOH), Dutch and Hindi being listed on the back cover. Dutch and Hindi? Who decides these things? The 1.85:1 transfer is so crisp it shows up some minor effects imperfections you'd miss on the big screen and the Dolby 5.1 mix is top notch, though it's a shame this wasn't also released with a DTS mix. Spider-man is a good value purchase and that's putting it mildly.

Published October 31, 2002

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Congratulations to the winners of Spider-Man prize packs. Winners are:
Anthony Clementson (Vic), Emily Birth (WA), Brett Maney (NSW), Rhonda Galea (Qld), Yasmin Szabados (SA)

Prize packs will be sent by Columbia TriStar Entertainment

(US - 2002)

CAST: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson


RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

PRESENTATION: ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1; AUDIO: Dolby 5.1; Language: English. Subtitles: English, English HOH, Dutch, Hindi

SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One Features: Audio Commentary with Director Sam Raimi, Kirsten Dunst, Producers Laura Ziskin and Grant Curtis. Separate Commentary with Special Effects Supervisor John Dykstra; music videos; 6 Behind the scenes Featurettes, 12 TV Spots, DVD-ROM features including Script to Film and Film to Comic Book Split-Screen options and Record Your Own Commentary option. Trailers, Biographies.

Disc 2 Features: 'Spider-mania' 40 minute documentary, 25 minute Documentary on Spider-man's 40 year history, 25 minute Making Of documentary, profiles of Director Sam Raimi and Composer Danny Elfman. Gallery of Spider-man Villains, Gallery on The Loves of Peter Parker. Screen Tests, CGI Tests, Costume, Make-up Tests, Spider-man Playstation 2 game hints, DVD-ROM Features incl 3 exclusive Spider-man Electronic Comics, PC Game Demo + Screensaver. Spider-man Comic Time-Line, Photo Gallery including conceptual art.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: October 30 2002

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