09/18/2014  
Frontline: Losing Iraq on DVD Oct 7The Calling on DVD Sep 232 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season on DVD Sep 30Found on DVD Sep 23Beyond Borders & Faces of Israel on DVD in SeptemberAfter on DVD Sep 23Transformers: Age of Extinction on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton get epic in 'Tonight Show' ...
Frontline: Losing Iraq on DVD Oct 7...
The Calling on DVD Sep 23...
Julianna Margulies and Jimmy Fallon Perform Musical Mor...
Rosie O'Donnell: "Who is Charles Krauthammer?"...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
Along Came a Spider (2001)

"I'm living proof that a mind... a mind is a terrible thing."
- Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: October 03, 2001

Stars: Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter
Other Stars: Michael Wincott, Penelope Ann Miller, Michael Moriarty
Director: Lee Tamahori

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language
Run Time: 01h:42m:57s
Release Date: September 25, 2001
UPC: 097363365143
Genre: suspense thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ C-AA- D

DVD Review

In 1997, Paramount released Kiss the Girls, adapted from James Patterson's novel, starring Morgan Freeman as detective Alex Cross, on the trail of a serial killer. The film was moderately successful, and Cross returned to the big screen in 2001 in Along Came a Spider, also adapted from a Patterson novel. This time around, Cross is drawn into a bizarre kidnapping case when he is contacted by the culprit himself, one Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott). The methodical Soneji has assumed the role of a private school teacher in order to kidnap little Megan Rose (Mika Boorem), daughter of Senator Hank and Elizabeth Rose (Michael Moriarty and Penelope Ann Miller). Cross must attempt to profile the kidnapper, rescue the girl and solve the crime, with the assistance of troubled Secret Service agent Jezzie Flanagan (Monica Potter), on whose watch Megan was spirited away.

Morgan Freeman is one of those rare actors whose presence can elevate just about any script into the realm of watchability. And he is well cast as Detective Cross, a mature, compassionate sleuth whose insight and intelligence serve him well on the job. Freeman is joined by Monica Potter, who here resembles a cross between Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis as she tries to find the substance of her underwritten character, and Michael Wincott, who gleefully chews the scenery as Soneji. Young Mika Boorem is convincing as the resourceful Megan Rose, Dylan Baker is effective as an uptight FBI agent, and the rest of the supporting cast does a credible job.

Director Lee Tamahori brings a nice sense of pacing to the project, particularly in the dramatic opening sequence—despite some questionable CG effects, this brief segment is full of surprises and sudden shocks that get the movie off to a roaring start. Tamahori balances the story's talkier scenes with economically constructed bits of action, and he successfully keeps the audience off-balance, navigating the plot's numerous twists and turns without giving the game away or foreshadowing any development too overtly.

Unfortunately, as much fun as the ride can be, Along Came a Spider eventually begins to seem... silly. A nicely-constructed first act segues into a pointless second act that seems lifted from other, better action movies, and the events of the third act rapidly stretch credibility beyond the breaking point. Too many strong ideas are tossed aside, and several developed characters are forced into bizarre behaviors for the sake of a plot point. Worse, the central character of Alex Cross begins to seem like a pawn in his own story, buffeted about by plot developments with little rhyme or reason. Instead of marveling at Cross's intuition and skill, or fretting over the fate of little Megan, the audience finds itself with no emotional anchor as the story bounces awkwardly to its conclusion. Betrayals and surprises are plentiful, to be sure, but it becomes very difficult to care what happens. Along Came a Spider wants to be a suspense thriller in the grand tradition—but ultimately, the pot boileth over.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Along Came a Spider is presented in its original 2.35:1 Panavision theatrical aspect ratio, with a solid anamorphic transfer drawn from a fresh source print. Color is natural, detail is crisp, and there's no distracting edge enhancement. The film's many darker scenes benefit from solid shadow detail, and the dual-layer digital transfer is definitely up to contemporary DVD standards.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The disc includes its original English audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround formats, as well as a dubbed French 2.0 track. The sound mix is generally conservative, with dialogue in the center channel and just a few pans enhancing traffic sounds and other atmospherics. Jerry Goldsmith's score occupies the soundstage more fully, with a robust, enveloping sound that enhances the film's best moments. The 2.0 tracks don't suffer badly by comparison, though the 5.1 mix is certainly the superior presentation. A crisp, clean and solid presentation of this recent production.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:01m:14s

Extras Review: The spider's web snags few extras here, just 12 picture-menu chapter stops, optional English subtitles, a theatrical trailer and a promotional featurette. The trailer quality is disappointing, presented in a soft-looking 1.85:1 non-anamorphic letterboxed transfer with Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. The fourteen-minute Making of Along Came a Spider featurette is a standard Hollywood advertorial piece, consisting of clips from the film and sound-bite interviews, tied together with needlessly ominous narration. It refrains from giving away any key plot points, but it's a superficial "supplement" at best. A poor showing in this department.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Along Came a Spider is a stylish, outlandish thriller that starts strong but eventually sinks under the weight of its own contrivances. Paramount's DVD features solid audio and video, though extras are minimal and there are better thrillers out there.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, reality, tonight show, late night talk, nbc, gwen stefani, blake shelton, jimmy fallon, spike jones and his city slickers, documentary, drama, julianna margulies, the tonight show, saugarties high school, taylor swift, shake it off, abc, daytime talk, the view, rosie o'donnell, charles krauthammer, whoopi goldberg, nicolle wallace, music, rihanna, thursday night football, run this town, jay z, kanye west, canceled, cbs, don cheadle, sean mcmanus, comedy, rosie perez, kristen chenoweth, robin thick, vicodin, alcohol, blurred lines, paula patton, paula, horror, movies, box office, foreign, movie, dolphin tale 2, harry connick jr., winter, nathan gamble, cozi zuehlsdorff, kris kristofferson, ashley judd, morgan freeman, saturday night live, weekend update, michael che, cecily strong, colin jost, sasheer zamata, action, u2, songs of innocence, worldwide giveaway, itunes store, bono, joey ramone, raised by wolves, series, sons of anarchy, charlie hunnam, danny trejo, theo rossi, katey sagal, nicki minaj, new york fashion, alexander wang, anaconda, i saw the light, hank williams, tom hiddleston, shelton hank williams iii, move it on over, wheatland music festival, adventure, marvel, guardians of the galaxy, sci-fi, fantasy, superheros, celebrity, joan rivers, johnny carson, atlantic city, edgar rosenberg, 2010 documentary, joan rivers: piece of work, hack attack, rupert murdoch, news of the world, good night and good luck, sony pictures entertainment

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact