Spider-Man:(Not So) Far From Home (Digital Release)

Night Monkey saves the day!

Spider-Man can’t be seen far from home so former SHIELD Director Nick Fury helps Peter become – Night Monkey!  Okay, that part is Ned’s fault.  Ned, Peter Parker’s best friend, is struggling to explain a Spider-Man-like hero appearing out of nowhere, so he dubs Peter as Night Monkey – which sticks.  Hilarity ensues.  Fury needs Spider-Man’s help to save the world, but Peter is on a school field trip where he’s hoping to tell MJ how much he likes her!  So, without Peter’s knowledge, Fury manipulates the field trip to fit both of their needs.  The result is an action-packed, funny, coming-of-age story where Peter has to figure out how to live in a world without training wheels.  Peter’s had the luxury of knowing Tony Stark is there to guide him, mentor him, and look out for him.  He’s had this father-son relationship with Tony / Iron Man that now is gone after Tony’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.  And Spidey grows up.  The film is truly a masterpiece of the MCU – except the very end.  What will Spidey do now?

Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME.

The film alone would be worthwhile to own, even without special features.  But Sony’s digital home release contains tons of great stuff that makes it even more worthwhile.  Of course, it has many of the special features you’ve come to expect – alternate and extended scenes (rather than deleted), gag reel and outtakes, and the normal behind-the-scenes stuff.  BUT what makes this collection special are some of the added features!

Not only is there an entire original short included (Peter’s To-Do List which shows our favorite wall-crawler getting stuff done around town before his class trip including a great scene with the police), but there’s a funny feature called Teachers’ Travel Tips which shows Mr. Harrington and Mr. Dell in their often hilarious and quite dysfunctional relationship.  I’m not sure if these clips were originally meant to be part of the film or were always intended as a side feature, but it’s great.  I’m also loving “The Ginter-Riva Effect” which shows how the filmmakers tied this film all the way back to the very first MCU film – Iron Man (the original – no numbers).  It’s cunning and brilliant.  “Stealthy Easter Eggs” is another great feature which shows some of the homages to Spidey’s comic book past, the comic creators who gave life to Spidey in different ways, and also part of the in-film continuity – like subtle peeks at Quentin Beck shadowing the kids’ arrival in Europe.  There’s even a billboard ad for the MCU!  Two of my favorite features are “Suit Up” and “Thank You, Mrs. Parker.”  “Suit Up” is about the different suits Spidey has, but not the technical aspects.  Instead it shows how the development of the suits mimicked Spidey’s development as a character from rookie to full-fledged solo hero.  “Thank You, Mrs. Parker” shows how the film version of Aunt May differs from the beloved comic book version – but for reasons which add depth to Spidey’s character and gives him a support structure that a young teenager would need when confronted by a world of super-powers.

Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME.

All in all, this is not only a great film, but a great digital release.  Spider-Man: Far From Home is available in digital release, BluRay / DVD, and 4K Ultra HD.  If you’re a fan of the wall-crawler, love the MCU, or just like a great action film, you should add this to your collection.

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