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Spider-Man: Far From Home (Blu-ray Edition) Review

October 1, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME Stealth Suit
7.5
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Spider-Man: Far From Home (Blu-ray Edition) Review  

Fresh off of his adventures in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man is back in his own solo adventure with Spider-Man: Far From Home. Continuing off not long from where Endgame left off, Peter Parker tries to return to his normal school life after the loss of his mentor Tony Stark. But now, Peter must truly come into his own as a hero and understand that with great power comes great responsibility. Coincidentally, the film hits home video a short time after the news that Marvel parent company Walt Disney and film franchise rights holder, Sony Pictures, managed to reach a new co-production deal, so the MCU version of Spider-Man will continue. So, at the very least, there will be a third MCU/Spider-Man adventure featuring Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, along with his appearance in another MCU film.

The Movie: So, it’s been a few months since I first saw Far From Home for my initial review. Since that time, my general feelings on the movie have not changed. There’s a lot to like about Far From Home, and there are a lot of things it does well. However, there are other flaws that keep it from truly being one of the greatest cinematic installments of Spider-Man ever.

The first half of the movie is rather rough and has troubles finding its footing. There’s not really enough Spidey action in it. I think what really could’ve helped the overall narrative flow a bit more is putting some of the material from the “Peter’s To-Do List” short film in the opening act to help re-establish the new status quo for Peter Parker and where he is in his life as Spider-Man post-Endgame.

Other than that, two of the other film’s main issues are the comic relief of Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington and J.B. Smoove as Mr. Dell. Homecoming had a suitable amount of the Harrington character, when a significant amount of his footage was left on the cutting room floor. There is way too much of both these characters in Far From Home. Most of their comedy isn’t funny or doesn’t hit the mark.

That leads to another major issue for the film in dealing with a film that’s set after the devastation caused by Thanos. Society has adjusted by calling it “The Blip.” Now, to acknowledge an actual flaw with Endgame is this. If the wiping out of half of all life in the universe in Infinity War was such a devastating and apocalyptic event, one would imagine suddenly restoring that other half back into the universe would cause an equal amount of devastation. However, in Far From Home, it’s generally played up for humor. It doesn’t seem like anything bad has happened by Thanos’ devastation or “the Blip.” It seems odd so soon after all this that parents would even allow their children to resume school activities and go on an overseas trip to Europe.

In fact, pretty much any story relating to the Blip or the aftermath of such is generally treated as an afterthought or some type of comedic gag. Apparently, Aunt May also died due to the Thanos snap, but when she returned, it was believed she was a mistress of the people who moved into her apartment. OK. How is Aunt May feeling other than that? We know she supports Peter being Spider-Man, but the movie doesn’t delve into that very much. It’s one thing not to dwell in the depressing devastation caused by Thanos, but it’s OK to have a little drama and pathos around it. Most of the drama here comes from Peter dealing with the loss of Tony and trying to figure out a way to overcome it.

All that aside, Jake Gyllenhaal is great here as Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio. Other than how the movie leans a little too much into the idea of Mysterio being a hero, it’s a great performance by Gyllenhaal. There’s one sequence that’s basically like comic book art and the 1990s animated Spider-Man series come to life in live-action that really demonstrates how cool of a character Mysterio can be. All that is where the movie shines, and when Tom Holland is allowed to be Spider-Man, the movie is a ton of fun.

It’s really the second half where this starts to become a cool, fun Spider-Man movie. Also, the cat’s well and out of the bag on the return of J. Jonah Jameson, once again portrayed by JK Simmons. The new iteration for Jameson is perfect and definitely presents a world of possibilities for the next installment. With a third MCU Spider-Man movie in the works, hopefully, Jon Watts and Feige will be more comfortable bringing in those more traditional Spider-Man elements, such as Uncle Ben, without having to worry about MCU connections quite as much.

Blu-Ray Info: The Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy multi-screen edition release for Spider-Man: Far From Home is a two-disc release: one for the film and extras on Blu-ray; and another disc for the film on DVD. It’s packaged in a standard Blu-ray clamshell case with translucent blue plastic. There’s a slip cover for the Blu-ray case. Besides the Blu-ray discs, there’s also an insert with a download code for the digital HD version of the film.

Video Info: The standard Blu-ray version for Spider-Man: Far From Home is presented in 1080p High Definition Widescreen with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Overall, it features a good Blu-ray transfer. The video presentation looks vibrant and bright. The locations and sets look beautiful. Everything pops and comes across very well.

Audio Info: The original English language track is presented in 7.1 DTS-HDMA. There are also optional Spanish and French language tracks with optional subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. There’s also a descriptive audio track for the visually impaired. The sound mix and score all sound crisp and exceptional. The sound mix is decent. I believe Michael Giacchino is not quite performing to his full potential with his music score for the last two Spider-Man films. For example, the trailer for this film used an orchestral version for the 1960s animated Spider-Man theme song. That music is genuinely better than anything in Giacchino’s own score for the last two films. He used this film very briefly for the opening Marvel Studios logo in Homecoming. It’s well understood that’s a great iconic theme. OK…so why not incorporate that into the actual film? It doesn’t have to be overused. Alan Silvestri remains the best composer to date for the MCU, and no other composer has come close to touching his work for Captain America, The Avengers, Infinity War, and Endgame.

Special Features: The Blu-ray for the film features various behind-the-scenes featurette. There’s some good material here overall, but some actor or filmmaker commentary would’ve really rounded out this release. Unfortunately, there’s no commentary track for the release. There’s a new short film, some deleted scenes, and the featurettes that are cool, but not earth-shattering. It wouldn’t be surprising if Marvel and Sony are holding off on extras for a double-dip release or to pack it in with another Spider-Man Blu-ray movie collection down the line.

Peter’s To-Do List: This is a brand-new three-minute short film showing Peter getting ready for his trip to Europe. This is almost like an extra montage of deleted material that got put together in a neat, little short. Some of this has footage that should’ve actually been re-purposed into the movie. It shows Peter getting some crime-fighting done as Spider-Man and has some better setups for the remainder of the film. Overall, a neat feature, but some of this material likely should’ve remained in the actual film.

Deleted & Alternate Scenes: There’s about six minutes in total of deleted material and alternate scenes here. For what’s available, there’s nothing especially earth-shattering. There’s another Mysterio scene that’s a bit redundant. There’s a longer version of that scene where one of Fury’s agents gives Peter his new suit. There’s a cute scene of Peter and MJ on their plane ride home together, and Peter meeting Aunt May at the airport. There’s even more class trip high jinks that the movie definitely could’ve gone without, considering there was too much in the film already. This is Spider-Man, not National Lampoon’s Eurotrip.

Teacher’s Travel Tips: This is a five-minute feature featuring more goofiness with Peter’s teachers. Considering they are my least favorite characters in the movie, I didn’t care for this.

The Jump Off: This is a six-minute featurette looking at the stunt work and choreography for the film, and the ones that Tom Holland got to perform himself. It’s a good, little behind-the-scenes look.

Stepping Up: This featurette runs 3:42 and features the cast and crew talking about Peter Parker’s role in the MCU and where he is at this point in the saga.

Suit Up: This is a featurette exploring the new costumes and suits for Spider-Man in the film. It runs a little over four-and-a-half minutes.

Now You See Me: This is a six-minute featurette looking at the character of Quentin Back/Mysterio. Thankfully, the featurette acknowledges that his powers are the powers of “illusion.” There’s some new interview footage with Jake Gyllenhaal talking about his approach for the character, which is nice.
Suit Up (1080p, 4:38): Looking at several of the different Spider-Man suits seen throughout the film.

Far, Far, Far From Home: This is a five-minute behind-the-scenes featurette looking at the European locations for this international superhero romp.

It Takes Two: This is a three-minute featurette offering a look at the working relationship between Tom Holland and director Jon Watts. There’s a bit more of some good onset footage here showing their chemistry and rapport onset.

Fury & Hill: This is a three-minute featurette looking at Samuel L. Jackson returning and Cobie Smulders returning to their respective roles of Nick Fury and Maria Hill, *wink, wink*.

The Ginter-Riva Effect: This ties back into the appearance of Dr. Ginter-Riva who first appeared in the 2008 Iron Man movie, and actor Peter Billingsley reprises his role here.

Thank You, Mrs. Parker: This is a three-and-a-half minute featurette showcasing the evolution of the May and Peter relationship for Far From Home and showing a different side to the relationship. There is precedence for Aunt May finding about Peter being Spider-Man and actually being supportive and OK with it. That did work here for the most part. Aunt May didn’t have a major role, but hopefully the third movie can explore the dynamics of their relationship more, as well as Uncle Ben.

Stealthy Easter Eggs: This is a four-minute featurette that specifically looks at the various Easter eggs littered throughout the film, in case you missed them. Looking at this younger, more vibrant, more enthusiastic version of Aunt May.

The Brothers Trust: This is a video looking at the work charity work done by Tom Holland and his brothers.

Gag Reel & Outtakes: This is your typical DVD/Blu-ray Gag Reel extra feature. It runs about three-and-a-half minutes.

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
Spider-Man: Far From Home is overall a good experience, though, it has its flaws. The Blu-ray release is packed with some fun, little extras. However, it could've really used either a commentary track or some more in-depth behind-the-scenes material to really put this over the top. Personally, I think the fact that Disney and Sony managed to come together to make a deal to share Spider-Man is huge. In light of the most recent events, I think there should be some sort of documentary or behind-the-scenes extra that explores that relationship and how things came together to work out that way. What's disappointing here is that a much better job was done with Into the Spider-Verse, which had both commentary and a completely alternate rough cut of the film. I would like to see more superhero movies try outside-the-box features like the Alternate Universe Mode. The features here are fine, but the are a bit on the generic side. It's not a bad addition to your MCU collection. But I would wait to see if a better home video release is made for this one down the line.
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