Hollywood Gothique
LA Cinema Gothique

Laserblast: Spider-Man 2.1

This is one of those weeks when Hollywood has little new to offer in the way of fantasy films, mystery movies, and sci-fi cinema on DVD. Yet they do manage to come up with creative ways of repackaging already-released titles. Read on…

In honor of the upcoming release of SPIDER-MAN 3, our friends at Sony are offering us a new DVD release of the second SPIDER-MAN film, under the unwieldy heading of SPIDER-MAN 2.1 Unrated Extended Cut (two-Disc Delux Edition). The new DVD presents a 127-minute cut of the film in a 1.66 aspect ratio, with closed captions, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (English, Spanish, French), and optional subtitles (English Spanish, French). Features include:

  • Commentary by Laura Ziskin and Kirsten Dunst
  • Eight minutes of new footage, including extended action sequences
  • A sneak peak of Spider-Man 3
  • An introduction by Avi Arad and Grant Curtis
  • A Trivia Track with all-new branched video pieces.
  • Inside 2.1 – a featurette on the new cut
  • Viewfinders: the Art of Storyboarding
  • Activision “3” game exclusive trialer and ROM link to demo.

FEAST is a wonderful, kick-ass horror flick that got some brief theatrical exposure before heading to home video last year. Today, it becomes available on HD-DVD, so the bright red blood and sharp, slashing claws will be visible with even sharper and brighter image quality. The film made out Top Ten list for 2006.

THE GAME is one of those films that falls onto the borderline of what we cover: it’s not really horror, but it is a mystery-thriller that develops an overwhelming sense of paranoia; it also has a TWLIGHT ZONE feel and takes a big leap into impossibility for the surprise ending. Many viewers refused to take leap of faith along with it (including me the first time around), but a second viewing proves how logical (in filmic terms) the twist is, even if it does violate reality. In any case, director David Fincher handles the noirish thriller with style to spare, and Michael Douglas holds center stage with an engaging performance. This 1997 title has been available on home video for years; today it gets re-issued in the new HD-DVD format.

After all these oldies, you’re bound to be wondering: Isn’t there anything new coming out today? Well, you’re in luck – to a certain extent: THE MARSH arrives on DVD today. is a ghost story, starring Gabrielle Anwar as an author of Tim Burton-style children’s books filled with spooky rhymes and paintings. Apparently her inspiration comes from her chronic nightmares; when she discovers an actual location that conforms to the place she sees in her dreams, she sets off to explore. The film has good production values and some nice CGI effects (the ghosts don’t just manifest; the human characters see the surrounding room morph into a past version of itself), but the story is slow and the ultimate explanation for the haunting is muddled. The talented Forrest Whitaker shows up as a psychic consultant, but there’s little he can do to save the film, which features the lamest method of exorcising a spirit ever recorded on scream: the spook is lured back to the other side with a blanket he owned while alive – oooh, scary!