Just in case you've been living in a cave for the past four months, I should inform you that there's a movie that's done moderately well at the box office called Spider-Man. It's the story of a high school nerd who gets bitten by a genetically altered spider who develops super powers. He then uses these abilities to fight crime and woo babes, both of which are noble pursuits.
Coinciding with the release of Spider-Man, Kevin Smith (Dogma, Clerks) had the pleasure of sitting down to interview Stan Lee (who I should point out actually did a cameo in the Kevin Smith opus to shopping, Mallrats), the man who pretty much invented just about every one of the "classic" heroes for Marvel Comics, including everyone's favorite arachnid ally. This DVD is split up into three distinct features:
• "Creating Spider-Man," which pretty much covers what's in the title. Lee covers the inspiration, the original artist, and Spider-Man's supporting cast, as well as several other topics regarding Spider-Man.
• "Here Come the Heroes," which deals with just about every other hero that Lee created back when Marvel Comics was still young. Smith also gets Lee to talk about the issue of creator credit and the movies that are in the works for these various properties.
• Special Features. This is a hodge-podge of very short vignettes and outtakes from the interview. The topics are listed below.
The presentation of this DVD is nothing spectacular and it's in line with something you would see on television. In fact, the two features, even though they're part of the same interview, clock in at about 47 minutes each, suggesting that they were made for television broadcast. The special features are presented in a letterbox format (I hesitate to use widescreen in this case), though they are not anamorphic.
All in all, if you're a comic book fan, you may enjoy this DVD. Lee is a colorful personality, though Smith's interviewing skills are somewhat lacking. It's an enjoyable conversation, though if you've read books like "Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics" by Les Daniels, then there's not exactly a wealth of new information here.
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