I’ve got to be honest.
As someone who normally doesn’t track the comings and goings of comic book characters in cinema, I found the latest 4k offerings from Sony to be extremely confusing.
Setting aside the Best Buy exclusives, steelbook packagings, and other entities that go bump in the night, I found that I had to give real thought to what these were. And that’s not taking into account other feature films, the TV series, animated films, games, et al.
After consultation, it was advised that I segregate the Columbia films from all others, and work by series, and the actor who donned the outfit.
That was helpful.
Tobey Maguire was in three of them.
Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Spider-Man 3 (2007).
One would think that the series would have been given a rest, while allowing it to regain interest, rather like Sir Alfred putting away his films for a couple of decades, to create a mystique.
But that wasn’t the case, as only five years later we had The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), now with Andrew Garfield as the masked arachnid, and Emma Stone replacing the little nymphet vampire as the love interest.
And then came the appropriately entitled The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).
But wait, there’s more.
Tom Holland arrived, just in time for the 2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Let’s see where things stand.
We’ll forget about the old DVDs and Blu-rays, as well as “mastered in 4k” releases, either singly or in sets, and limit ourselves toward the 4k UHD releases, which all arrived in an interesting order.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2. That would be the second of the Garfield films arrived on March 1, 2016. That’s early 4k.
Then, the great event on October 17 of 2017, with the release of Spider-Man Homecoming (2017), along with a Limited Edition of The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2, as a 7-disc set.
Along with this came a Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3 Limited Edition Giftset. That means that in several states, this is illegal to purchase for one’s own use.
But let’s not forget the Spider-Man Legacy Collection Steelbook, with contains the three Maguire films, the Holland film, plus the Spider-Man 3 Editor’s Cut (on Blu-ray only).
And finally the Steelbook Edition of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
As far as I know, Sony did not send these out as review copies, or if they did, it was on a limited basis, but knowing that these should look superb via 4k, I bit the bullet, and purchased — I have to think here — ah, The Spider-Man Limited Edition Collection.
The specs on these are interesting.
All shot on film, with much large format, presumably for fx shots. Spider-Man finished in 2k, but printed to film, and 2 and 3 in full 4k.
My hunch — remember, this is Columbia — paid off.
The first film, gives us every bit of grain structure along with a highly resolved image, and a delicate use of HDR. The film is so highly resolved that I believe I detected some wire that should have been removed, as it would not have been seen in 35mm prints.
Bottom line, is this an upgrade from the Blu-ray releases? Absolutely.
And what else can one learn?
True 4k can be really nice, especially in projection, and paired with Dolby Atmos…
Home theater nirvana.
Is it worth the asking price of around $50 or less. especially on all of those “black” days, which are no longer so dark, as you don’t need to actually show up anywhere, and battle crowds?
Especially, since along with the package, you receive — absolutely free — the previously mentioned Editor’s Cut of S-M 3, as well as Spider-Man 2.1
Image – 5
Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)
4k – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from Blu-ray – Definitely