A/V: Mostly no problems here. Spider-Man 1 is cropped so that it matches footage from 2 & 3. There were one or two video fades, and several times where the audio faded out too quickly. Otherwise, most of the cuts were unnoticeable.
Narrative: This is essentially an expansion of Spider-Man 2 which supplements the story with footage from 1 & 3, whilst eliminating the love triangle stuff and Green Goblin. Although I feel even more could have been cut, this edit works quite well as a standalone film, containing Peter Parker's origin and a single main villain. It also fixes the Mary Jane plotline significantly, and even teases Venom at the end. There's also a pretty hilarious extra in the DVD.
I encourage fans of Spider-Man 2 to check this one out.
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.
G1's Spidey was Spectacularly and Amazingly Entertaining!
I can easily see why this edit won FEOTM. While there are some minor technical things here and there (as other have mentioned in other reviews), I found them easily foregivable as the story moves at such a great pace and is restructured enough that it feels fresh and new.
And I did not realize it until the edit the was over -- NO NORMAN OSBORN!?!?!
It hit me like a ton bricks at the end! I was having such a good time, I did not even realize he had been cut. This is an incredible piece of editing in my opinion since this character haunts and shapes the entire original Spidey trilogy. Great work G1!
If I were to nitpick, I would have liked a better sense of a passage of time. I think a montage or two may have assisted with this, particularly in moving Peter from High School to University to his life in the city. Also, I am not certain Peter losing his powers fit with the over all arc in this version. It felt too soon for that drama, though I would have definitely keep the courtship scenes. And as others have pointed out, I would have to agree the final Venom tease would have worked better as a post credit teaser.
But as I said above, G1 has crafted such a wonderfully fun and engaging story, expertly choosing the best parts from the trilogy, that any shortcomings are, for the most part, very easy to over look.
An interesting take on the films, seamlessly blended together. Unfortunately, the whole does not equal the sum of the parts – Hero Within is a weaker film than both 1 and 2 (although better than 3!).
It’s an action heavy film, with some great set pieces. Pacing is generally quite good. Editing is technically very well done, as is the sound. Visually and aurally it was excellent.
The structure of the film, the narrative, was quite clear, but the characters didn’t have room to breathe and grow. It was a bit action-movie-ish where the characters are secondary to the plot/set-pieces.
The ultimate problem is too much being packed into one film. Peter’s emotional journey is up and down and up and down. The love story gets abruptly forgotten along the way, and when we finally see MJ again after about 30minutes (in the café) there’s two seconds of dialogue before the action starts again. The love story ended up, therefore, having very little resonance.
The lack of love story also breaks Peter’s arc by removing the primary motivation for him losing his powers. There was very little time for us to see his pain in being apart from MJ.
Further, by losing the voiceover at the end of 1 we don’t ever really understand why Peter can’t be with MJ, which makes the separation aspect artificial.
There was also none of the pain of “Spiderman as menace” which is an additional motivation – and has a payoff in the train rescue.
Hero Within also lacked humour entirely, which I think was a mistake. It made the film overly serious, which doesn’t really fit the tone of Spidey.
On the whole, this was a nice idea, fairly well executed, but ultimately ended up being a decent film, rather than a great one. Spidey 2 is still the go-to film for Spidey fans, but this one is worth a spin just to see the films from a different angle.
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!