I was really not expecting much honestly, but after watching it, I am blown away! The story itself feels completely organic and it flows well. Peter's troubles as SpiderMan are more fleshed out and the romance with MJ seems real. My only complaint is with some of the video fades and cuts that others have mentioned. They felt too abrupt and seemed a bit out of place. That is my only complaint though. If you enjoyed Raimi's Spiderman films, please give this edit a try! I was quite pleased and surprised as well.
The editor had a lot of bold ideas, and for the most part it works. As others have said, a few minor details could have been handled differently.
Personally, I enjoyed this edit a lot, its now my go-to version.
I’ve always liked Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy. Refreshingly light hearted, well directed and generally very entertaining, they serve as a reminder to film makers making superhero movies today, that not everything needs to be as dark as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Spidey 2 is undoubtedly the most impressive in my eyes, but the other two (yes, even the messy third chapter) have their moments too. So, the idea of an edit combining the beginnings of the Spiderman legend from the first movie, with the excellent Spiderman 2 was an exciting one.
Generally, it’s an edit which works very successfully. It breezes along, never outstaying its welcome and at just over 2 hours is a perfect length for this kind of combo edit. The key here for me is how natural the “hand-over” part of the edit feels; by that I simply mean the section when Spiderman 1 ends and Spiderman 2 takes over. I’m pleased to say, that g1orkatos executes it about as well as one could hope for. By having the Spidey 2 footage start after a montage of Parker using his new-found skills for the first time, it appears natural that some time has passed and that some of the characters look slightly different – it’s particularly noticeable for example that MJ has had a change in shade of red hair colour.
Also, the use of the thrilling crane-disaster scene from Spidey 3 works wonderfully well. It took me a moment to realise it didn’t actually come from Spidey 2, so seamlessly was it included into the edit. Excellent work there. Indeed, from a narrative point of view, Hero Within comes off as a huge success. Particularly impressive is the heartfelt material with Peter’s Uncle Ben, which because of the nature of Doc Octopus being a more intimidating and interesting villain that the Green Goblin, has more impact with acting as inspiration and courage for Peter to continue his plight as the webbed crusader. Okay, the romance between him and MJ still comes off a little too “school playground” for my liking, but overall the choices made in the edit to show the blossoming feelings between the two are nicely judged.
Technically g1orkatos also pulls out all the stops. The dual layered DVD version I saw looked great, with some nice subtle colour correction to match Spiderman 1 with the palette from the second film. However, the small amount of footage from Spiderman 3 did stand out a little bit, but I think that’s more to do with Spidey’s suit seeming a little darker. Nothing too distracting however. Audio too is very solid throughout.
So, a perfect edit then? Well, unfortunately not quite. A couple of audio transitions are not as smooth as they could be, which go hand in hand with some visual crossfades which bring a little bit too much attention to themselves. Of particular note is the abrupt fade/cut just as Peter is discovering his powers for the first time on the rooftop. Also worthy of note, is the final shot which hints at the forthcoming sequel. As others have said, it’s too short a scene to serve as the last shot of the actual movie… it would have worked much better as a “Marvel teaser ” at the end of the credits.
Overall however, this is an excellent edit and in truth is a perfect way to see Spiderman 2 as if it had been the first in the series. Bring on the sequel!
Very nice combination of the best parts of Spider-Man 1 (the origin) and 2 (the villain) in the style of the already classic Superman: Son of Jor-El. As would be expected, due to the characteristics of such a project it can never be 100% perfect and a couple of things are implied more than stated, but those are minor and I thought the new narrative worked wonderfully for the most part. I was not bothered at all by the late introduction of Doc Ock, because the origin segment was so entertaining and because it gave this a Superman the Movie flavor, of which it really has the same structure: origin, creation of heroic persona, first heroics, and it's just now when we get to meet the baddie. In this respect, I thought the use of the crane scene from Spider-Man 3 was brilliant, and reminded me a lot of the helicopter scene from Superman. A classic introduction. The scenes from SM1 have also been color corrected to match the look of the sequels, and the result is spot-on.
However, I must say the edit abuses quite a lot of dissolves between scenes. Some have been already pointed out: the most jarring one is the one after Peter first tests his webshooting, and which I have solved by fading to white for a second before fading to Peter arriving home. The one after Doc Ock decides to rebuild his sun project in the warehouse feels quite awkward too. Others are not that bad, and some even work fine, but most of them I felt would have worked better as straight cuts. Some audio transitions aren't quite perfect either: when MJ says "do I get to say thank you" in the upside down kiss scene, the line ends a bit abruptly, and at the very end when it fades to the epilogue there's a bit of stray music. The epilogue, incidentally, I think would have worked better as a post-credits stinger in the style of the Avengers movies, it feels too fast to be a movie finale.
Extras on the DVD are very nice, with two hilarious shorts, a few trailers of goodness to come, and a feature-lenght commentary by g1orkatsos, Neglify, and juice, in which they, in their usual style, talk about a lot of things. Even about the movie sometimes.
I recommend this edit, it's a lot of fun and pretty solid storytelling, but being the obsessive perfectionist (read: nitpicking pain in the a**) that I am, I feel that it falls a bit short of true greatness due to the excess of dissolves.
This was a pretty good edit. It's not perfect, but it's enjoyable.
Quality - A/V Quality is excellent. 10/10
Visual Editing - There were some awkward edits (a few dissolves that felt out of place and a couple cuts that stood out a little bit), but they weren't "deal breakers" for me. There was some really spectacular things done with the editing as well, such as the footage used from Spider-Man 3 and all the extraneous characters that are cut out perfectly. 7/10
Audio editing - There were 2 transitions that stuck out to me, but it's not like you raped my family or anything. 9/10
Narrative - This is the real interesting part to me here. When I first watched the workprint I was irked by the flow of the story, as we spend so much time setting up Spider-Man's origins without introducing the villain until half way in. But it's kind of how Amazing Spider-Man is structured, in that the villain's story seems like an afterthought. And in a way it's almost like how Batman Begins in structured (spending majority of time on pure origin and then halfway through get to the bad guys). Watching it a second time, this didn't bother me and I was able to get more into the story at hand. 8/10
Enjoyment - I love Spider-Man 1 & 2, so it was easy for me to really enjoy this edit. 9/10
Recommend? If you're a fan of the Spider-Man movies I think you'll like this take on the story. But if you're a stickler for perfection the flaws may stick out more for you.