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Bonus Points: Weekly Guide to DVDs

'Spider-Man 2': Plenty of Peter Parker

By Jen Chaney
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2004;

"Spider-Man 2" (Rated PG-13; List price: $29.96)
Release date: Nov. 30

There's no question that the "Spider-Man 2" DVD is packed with plenty of Peter Parker extras. (Try saying that three times fast.) But fans of Sam Raimi's blockbuster sequel -- and one of the most entertaining movies of 2004 -- may not care to watch all of them.

Tobey Maguire may get hit in the face during the DVD's blooper reel, but he still manages to save this subway train in "Spider-Man 2." (John Bramley - Columbia Pictures)

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Sony certainly hasn't skimped on the supplemental material that accompanies this two-disc set, the centerpiece of which is the two-hour-plus documentary "Making the Amazing." Unfortunately, it's not entirely amazing: With a few notable exceptions, most of it is deadly dull, a surprise for a movie that remains thrilling even after multiple viewings.

Fortunately, other extras -- including several featurettes; "Enter the Web," a multi-angle look at the filming of an action sequence; a pop-up trivia track that can be activated during the movie; and commentary from Raimi, star Tobey Maguire and two of the movie's producers -- make up for what "the Amazing" lacks. It's possible we'll see even more extras when "Spider-Man 2.5," a DVD featuring an extended version of the film, arrives, though a release date has not yet been confirmed. In the meantime, even if this "1.0" version of "Spidey 2" doesn't quite soar to superheroic heights, its 10 hours of bonus material save it from falling too far.

Most Amusing Bonus Point: I must have watched too much "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" when I was growing up because I'm always a sucker for a good blooper reel. "Spider-Man 2" serves up a fun one, including a scene where Raimi (playing the role of an extra) nails Maguire in the face with a messenger bag. Movie stars getting hit by moving objects: That's what I call comedy.

Most Worthwhile Bonus Point: The "Spidey Sense 2" pop-up trivia track is filled with all sorts of factoids bound to impress the Mary Jane Watson in your life. For example, did you know that when he was in high school Maguire wanted to be a chef? Or that J.K. Simmons (otherwise known as newsman J. Jonah Jameson) provides the voice for the yellow M&M in the M&M commercials? Thanks to the feature, now you do. Added bonus: The track also lists the credits of many of the movie's supporting actors so you won't have to turn to your fellow viewer and ask, "Where have I seen that guy before?"

Most Multi-Limbed Bonus Point: "Ockumentary: Eight Arms to Hold You," a look at the evolution of villain Doc Ock, succeeds in all the ways "Making the Amazing" does not. Using behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, it provides a fascinating backstage look at how the character was created, from his comic book beginning to his debut on the big screen in the form of actor Alfred Molina. Best of all, it does so in a succinct 22 minutes rather than dragging on and on for two hours-plus.

Coming in next week's "Bonus Points": "Dodgeball." And don't forget to check out the DVD holiday gift guide.

If you have feedback about "Bonus Points" or want to suggest a DVD for review, e-mail Jen Chaney.

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