Spider-Man: Homecoming (Blu-ray) (2017)

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Released 18-Oct-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure On-Screen Information Track-The Spidey Study Guide
Outtakes-Gag Reel
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-A Tangled Web
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Searching for Spider-Man
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Spidey Stunts
Featurette-Aftermath
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Vulture Takes Flight
Featurette-Jon Watts: Head of the Class
Featurette-Pros and Cons of Spider-Man
Additional Footage-Rappin' with Cap
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 133:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jon Watts
Studio
Distributor
SONY Pictures
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tom Holland
Michael Keaton
Robert Downey Jr.
Marisa Tomei
Jon Favreau
Zendaya
Jacob Batalon
Laura Harrier
Tony Revolori
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music Michael Giacchino


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Czech
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Turkish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes, Mid and post-credits scenes

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Plot Synopsis

††† 2017ís Spider-Man: Homecoming represents the second reboot of the titular Marvel character in just a decade, which may seem excessive and even unnecessary a mere three years following the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But Sony have done it right this time, collaborating with the good folks over at Marvel Studios to create the best possible cinematic rendering of the popular web-slinging superhero, at last. Although this introductory picture is less than perfect, Homecoming nails both the characters and the world that they inhabit, which is what matters the most going forward into the inevitable sequels. Of course, for more involved film-goers, the title does ostensibly hold dual meaning - the story takes place in the lead-up to the school homecoming dance, but the movie also sees the character finally joining the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe after his introduction in 2016ís Captain America: Civil War. And what a homecoming this truly is, with director Jon Watts (Cop Car) paying attention to both colourful action sequences as well as the high school drama. And perhaps best of all, unlike the dire Amazing Spider-Man pictures, it feels like youíre watching an actual self-contained story here, rather than an extended trailer for future movies.

††† Picking up a few months following the events of Civil War, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) spends his afternoons prowling the streets of New York City as Spider-Man, desperately waiting for a phone call from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) about his next mission. However, the 15-year-old must still tend to his high school studies, hanging around with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and harbouring a crush on sweet senior student Liz (Laura Harrier). Peter keeps his crime-fighting activities a secret from Aunt May (Maria Tomei), who believes that heís taking part in a Stark Industries internship program. Peterís patrols are typically unexciting, until he spots and thwarts an ATM robbery being carried out by criminals using powerful weapons. Further investigating the matter, Peter discovers that Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is using alien tech recovered from the New York Chitauri invasion to manufacture weaponry to sell on the black market, and turn himself into airborne threat The Vulture. Anxious to prove himself, Peter takes it upon himself to foil Toomesí plans, despite outside pressure and his own inexperience.

††† Thankfully, Spider-Man: Homecoming eschews rehashing the well-worn origin story of Spider-Man yet again, catching up with Peter who has already been bitten by a radioactive spider, and whoís already using his Stark-manufactured suit to keep the streets of NYC safe. The approach pays off, particularly since origin stories generally arenít as fun and the formula is now stale. Itís certainly what we needed right now, though it might not make full sense to newcomers in a few decades - there is a brief aside in which Peter mentions the radioactive spider, but perhaps something more concrete would have more staying power. With a script credited to six writers, Homecoming is as much about adolescence and high school life as it is about saving the world. This is the first time a Spider-Man movie actually feels authentic in its depiction of high school life. All previous attempts felt too Hollywood, but the characters look their age here, and Peter isnít so much a social outcast but just a regular teen who seems well-liked enough, if not exactly popular due to his intelligence and meekness. Little touches help to solidify the sense of authenticity, such as his fondness for building Star Wars LEGO with Ned.

††† Homecoming allows Peter to use his intellect as much as his strength - this is a detective story in some respects, and he calls upon Ned to provide some technological support along the way. Whatís also refreshing is that Homecoming provides a different perspective to the MCU, since itís set outside Avengers HQ and shows high school life within this universe. One especially amusing touch is that, even though Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is now considered a criminal, school teachers are still obligated to play fluffy educational videos featuring Captain America. Homecoming is frequently amusing, adding levity to the proceedings and making it feel closer to a John Hughes teen comedy rather than just another blockbuster. This is slyly solidified in a sequence that pays homage to Ferris Buellerís Day Off (complete with people actually watching the scene being referenced). Whereas the Amazing Spider-Man films were sullen and dark, Homecoming is enjoyable and bubbly. It helps that comedy writers were involved in the screenwriting process, including Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Horrible Bosses, Vacation). Homecoming should play fine for the uninitiated as it isnít burdened by extensive world-building, though there are subtle references to the MCU that long-time fans will pick up. The script even makes a shrewd reference to the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie, and there appears to be a very cheeky underlying metaphor about Peter begging to be part of the Avengers...

††† This is Wattsí first time overseeing a big-budget blockbuster, and even though he seems like an odd choice considering his previous credits, he handles the responsibility with assuredness and grace. Itís certainly refreshing to watch a more grounded and smaller-scale superhero movie, as Peter does for the most part function as the ďfriendly neighbourhood Spider-Man,Ē stopping mundane crimes as he craves tackling something bigger. The climax set in and around a large cargo plane up in the air is certainly vast in scale, but Watts keeps the film on a tight leash. In fact, all of the action set-pieces are armrest-clenching, thanks to taut direction and enormously convincing visual effects. Watts also proves to be adept at cinematic tension - when a twist of sorts is revealed, the subsequent couple of scenes dealing with said twist are almost too intense to bear. In fact, one particular scene set in a car could be the most nail-biting, gripping moment in the entire MCU canon. Homecoming is backed by an enjoyable selection of vintage songs, including tunes from the Ramones and The Rolling Stones, while Michael Giacchinoís original score is superb, opening with a brilliant rendition of the classic Spider-Man theme song to set the scene.

††† After making such a positive impression in Civil War, Holland continues to delight as the titular hero, emerging as arguably the best cinematic Peter Parker/Spider-Man to date. The young Brit offers a real take on the character, making him feel lived-in and real, and giving him an authentic-sounding Queens accent. Holland is a believable smartarse, but you can also believe him as an intelligent student and a young man in love. Downey, meanwhile, is a valuable presence as Stark, scoring a few laughs and providing some meaty moments of drama. Added to this, he still shares magical chemistry with Holland. Surprisingly, Downey really shows up to play here - this is far more than just a ďphoned inĒ cameo. Itís also a treat to see the return of Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, and thereís an excellent scene towards the end of the movie that makes Homecoming well worth seeing for fans of the Iron Man trilogy.

††† Another huge win is Toomes, played to perfection by Keaton. Toomes is not a monster whoís simply determined to kill innocents, but rather a blue-collar worker whoís screwed over by the system, and who just wants to make a living to protect his family and his workers. Keaton (who was, of course, seen in 2014ís Birdman, making him a fun pick for The Vulture) ensures the character remains human, but heís also sinister when he wants to be. Another aspect that really works is Peterís suit A.I., voiced by Jennifer Connolly. (Whoís married to Paul Bettany, otherwise known as Jarvis/Vision, which is just a f***ing adorable touch.) Zendaya is a downright treat as one of Peterís classmates, delivering some of the biggest laughs in the movie, while you can truly believe that Batalonís Ned is best friends with Peter, and Tomei proves to once again be an endearing Aunt May.

††† The only thing thatís lacking in Homecoming is the emotional resonance we usually see in the MCU (and which made Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 such a standout). The whole Uncle Ben storyline has been thoroughly played out, and while itís wise that the movie avoids rehashing it a third time, thereís no emotional reference point to replace the function it has previously served in Spider-Man movies. Nevertheless, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a delightfully fun, eminently rewatchable superhero blockbuster, and it seems that this modern reimagining of the web-slinger is thankfully here to stay this time, leaving the previous reboot dead in the water. This one ranks behind Raimiís Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (both of which still hold up), but itís superior to Spider-Man 3 and the two (less-than)Amazing movies. In typical Marvel fashion, there are two additional scenes after the movie - one midway through the credits, and another at the end of the credits. Stick around for both.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† Spider-Man: Homecoming was shot digitally with Arri Alexa camera rigs, and is presented here on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition framed at its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. (Though Peter's vlogs are framed at 1.33:1, which is how it was at the cinema.) Sony have always been one of the best in the business when it comes to Blu-ray encoding, and Homecoming's MPEG-4 AVC-encoded transfer is another win for the studio, though of course it lacks the more refined precision of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a few areas. Sony make use of a dual-layered BD-50 to accommodate both the movie and the special features, which is more than sufficient to maintain a high bitrate throughout.

††† As to be expected from a new release title, the presentation is bursting with detail from the first frame to the last. The intricacies of Peter's suit are capably brought out, and there are textures to behold on every piece of clothing and every face. Close-ups and medium shots display the most amount of texturing, of course, and the presentation thankfully doesn't falter during darker sequences. At night, blacks look suitably inky and deep, and object delineation is consistently strong. Colours are vibrant and saturated as well, which is particularly evident every time Peter puts on his suit. I viewed the movie multiple times at the cinema, and can confirm that the colours on the disc are faithful to the theatrical presentation. Furthermore, the transfer is often razor-sharp.

††† Nevertheless, Homecoming's standard Blu-ray presentation is not quite perfect, as it looks a touch flat and slightly soft from time to time. In addition, the transfer looks a bit too smooth in certain scenes, which made me check to make sure all forms of noise reduction were turned off on my television. In addition, when Tony Stark is seen talking to Peter over the phone in India, the scene looks too blown out, with noticeably weak contrast, denying precise detailing. Arri Alexa rigs usually produce a stronger image, so perhaps post-production processes limited how good this transfer can look. With that said, though, the transfer is thankfully free of aliasing, banding, ringing, macroblocking and other bothersome errors. Those without the capacity to watch 4K Blu-ray discs should be pleased with Sony's efforts on this one.

††† A number of subtitle options are available.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† Whereas Homecoming's 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray comes with a superior Dolby Atmos mix, this standard Blu-ray only gets a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, which is destined to make audiofiles cry foul. Nevertheless, this 5.1 mix is extremely good, consistently making use of both the surround channels and the subwoofer to terrific effect. Despite being a loud blockbuster, there are no issues with dialogue - it's always properly prioritised and easy to comprehend, even despite the slight muffle of Peter talking from behind his Spider-Man mask.

††† Surround channels are constantly put to good use, with ambience and Giacchino's original score coming through the rear channels with real crispness and precision. This is a professionally-mixed track, and a faithful recreation of the cinema experience. When Peter stops a bicycle thief, the sound of his web-shooting comes from the rear channels, and whenever Spidey swings towards the camera, subtle panning moves the sound effects to the rear channels, amplifying the illusion and sense of immersion. During Peter's battle with The Vulture on top of a moving truck, panning effects are employed whenever Toomes flies around. When Peter is trying to escape Damage Control and shoots webs towards both sides of the screen, each web has its own sonic trajectory. Subwoofer is equally excellent, with real impact throughout the movie's many action sequences. The loud climactic mid-air battle will make you believe you're in the air with a cargo plane, and wind is suitably loud when Peter stands at the top of the Washington Monument, nearly 200 metres off the ground.

††† As ever, I am deducting a star for the loss of channels, but this 5.1 mix is better than expected, with superlative dynamic range and pristine encoding. Free of any encoding flaws like drop-outs or sync issues, Spider-Man: Homecoming sounds great on Blu-ray, complementing the top-flight visual presentation. The disc also includes several additional lossy audio options in other languages, but I was only interested in sampling the primary English track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† Like most MCU movies, Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives on Blu-ray with a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes and other goodies, though the lack of an audio commentary track is enormously disappointing. Watts has confirmed that he did record an audio commentary, but Sony hasn't included it on the disc for whatever reason. How annoying, too, that both Amazing Spider-Man movies arrived on BD with extensive making-of documentaries, but the best Spider-Man movie in other a decade gets nothing so substantial.

The Spidey Study Guide

††† Instead of an audio commentary, we get this pop-up trivia track that provides pieces of information about hidden easter eggs, the production, the actors, and the movie's relationship with the comic books. These tidbits are interesting for the most part, but I would have much preferred a director's commentary track.

Gag Reel (HD; 2:17)

††† No surprises here - this collection of line flubs and goofing around is highly amusing. Keaton even sneezes during a take.

Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD; 16:17)

††† Here we have a selection of deleted and extended scenes, which can either be watched individually or via a "Play All" function. Some of these moments are worth watching (including seeing Peter partying in Berlin with his suit on), but it's clear why other material was excised. Naturally, some of these scenes feature incomplete digital effects. Here's what's included:

A Tangled Web (HD; 6:11)

††† This first featurette explores the history of Spider-Man in the comics, and bringing him into the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe at long last. His appearance in Captain America: Civil War is touched upon, and it's interesting to hear many of the key players talk about the collaboration between Sony and Marvel to bring Homecoming to life.

Searching For Spider-Man (HD; 8:04)

††† As implied by the title, this featurette is solely concerned with the casting of Holland, who really is the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man we could have possibly wished for. Many members of the cast and crew speak nothing but praise for Holland, and we get to see some of his casting tapes, including chemistry tests opposite Chris Evans and Downey. Holland has a dancing background, and was able to do a lot of his own stunts despite being so young. Stan Lee even chimes in to sing Holland's praises.

Spidey Stunts (HD; 5:48)

††† Many of the stunts were specifically designed to ensure Holland could do them, and he was also called upon to provide motion capture for the more perilous moments. In this segment we get to see behind-the-scenes footage of many of the live-action stunts, intercut with interviews from cast and crew.

Aftermath (HD; 4:47)

††† Next up is a short featurette about Homecoming's many connections to the MCU. The aftermath of The Battle of New York is discussed, as well as the idea that Peter grew up seeing these events take place around him. Another interesting touch is inventing the Department of Damage Control, who are responsible for cleaning up after destructive Avengers battles.

The Vulture Takes Flight (HD; 6:01)

††† Stan Lee pops in again to talk about the comic book origins of The Vulture, which was one of Spider-Man's first villains in the comics. Watts and co. talk about the design of The Vulture, while many of the cast talk highly about the perpetually-amazing Keaton in the role.

Jon Watts: Head of the Class (HD; 5:29)

††† This particular segment focuses on director Watts, who cut his teeth making low-budget indies. The crew talk about his unique vision for the movie, while the cast discuss his enthusiasm and sense of fun as a director.

Pros and Cons of Spider-Man (HD; 3:28)

††† The last featurette on the disc is a fun piece in which actors Holland and Jacob Batalon point out the good and bad points about being Spider-Man. It's clear that the pair get along as they banter, making for an enjoyable segment.

Rappin' with Cap (HD; 2:26)

††† Four Captain America PSAs are included here, which can either be watched individually or via a "Play All" function. These are suitably cheesy and fun, and it's certainly nice to see Evans loosen up and have a bit of fun after recent events in the MCU.

Photo Gallery (HD)

††† A collection of behind-the-scenes photos, official stills and concept artwork images. For those with the patience to sit through the slideshow or manually navigate through the gallery, this is a nice inclusion to the disc.

Spider-Man: Homecoming VR Trailer (HD; 1:38)

††† A trailer for the Spider-Man: Homecoming Virtual Reality Experience, complete with comments from Holland.

An Inside Look at Marvel's Spider-Man | PS4 (HD; 2:45)

††† Those involved in making the new Spider-Man game chime in to give their thoughts on what they have created, and explain their various production decisions.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † Our disc appears identical to the U.S. release in terms of supplements, only differing with language options. An American Target-exclusive does come with a bonus disc, which will reportedly also be available in the HMV-exclusive steelbook in the United Kingdom. I cannot confirm what is on said bonus disc, but these exclusives earn the win. Import if you can.

Summary

††† Thank goodness that Sony decided to kill its terrible Amazing Spider-Man franchise and collaborate with Marvel to bring him into the MCU. Spider-Man: Homecoming is an ideal beginning of a new franchise, and I already cannot wait for the inevitable sequels. Spider-Man is finally in good hands.

††† Sony's Blu-ray release is bolstered by terrific video and audio, plus a decent selection of special features. However, the disc lacks a more substantial making-of documentary, and could have done with an audio commentary as well. Perhaps a beefier collector's edition will appear further down the track. Nevertheless, all things considered, this disc comes recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Saturday, November 04, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDLG UP970 4K UHD HDR Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayLG OLED65E6T. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationSamsung Series 7 HT-J7750W
SpeakersSamsung Tall Boy speakers, 7.1 set-up

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