Get more education out of your entertainment dollar with 2-disc Spider-Man DVD

When Spider-Man was released this summer, it marked the return of two things: good comic book super hero movies and good, old-fashioned popcorn entertainment.

Not since 1989’s Batman has a quality flick been produced featuring a familiar character that pleased fans of the comic, as well as those looking for a good bang for their buck.

And it’s rare when an audience member can sit in his or her seat and relax as mindless amusement plays out in a dark theater. Armageddon came close in 1998, but Spider-Man took the cake with its blend of humor, action, romance and solid character development — all in the name of making a dollar.

As for the DVD, there’s no shortage of extra goodies for the film buffs. Among the supplements: two commentaries, two music videos, a dozen different marketing trailers and TV spots for the film, an HBO making-of special, an E! Entertainment special,director and composer video-profiles, screen tests, gag/outtake reel, documentary of updated comic book, and more.

So, is it worth it? At $19.99 retail, you better believe it, baby.

However, for all its slick style, the DVD serves more as an educational tool than mere entertainment. And that’s cool for fans of Spider-Man, because, well, who wouldn’t want to know more about Peter Parker? Or see a half-dozen interviews sprinkled throughout with Marvel Comics mogul Stan Lee?

You can hear Kirsten Dunst giggle through all of Tobey Maguire’s scenes on one of the commentary tracks. Or another option available is reading, comic-book style, video pop-ups as the film plays.

One of the highlights is getting to see and hear how Danny Elfman composes a film score — with Spider-Man’s ranking among his best — in the profile diary about him. Also, the plethora of marketing ploys collected all in one menu allow those who adore all things Spidey to see the progression of advertising for the film.

Which brings us to the disc’s only flaw: the omission of the initial theatrical teaser featuring the World Trade Center. A year before its release, audiences were treated to one of the most exhilarating sequences in recent film memory. (As bank-robbers escape in a helicopter, they fly it around two tall buildings. Suddenly, the copter stops moving. As the camera zooms out, you see the flying object stuck in a gigantic web woven between the two towers that once peaked the New York City skyline.) Pulling the teaser from advertising was a good call two Septembers ago. But it’s still a fantastic arrangement, and showcasing it here — and even explaining why it was pulled from the movie — would have been nice to see.

Other than that, this DVD is a keeper for the collection.

Contact Will Albritton at