When I found "Spider-Man 2.1" at Wal-Mart, I wasn't expecting much. Ever since "Lord of the Rings," extended DVDs of movies in franchise series have become the norm, and some are not very impressive. One thing that made me decide to get it was completely new Special Features. I'd bought the first two Spider-Man films earlier this year, and I hate getting a DVD with an altered movie but the same Special Features rehashed.
The extended film is worth it! (Especially at $13) Instead of little bits where you immediately think "Oh, look, something new," the new bits of footage here are so seamlessly interwoven, most of the time I realized "That wasn't there before!"
There's a longer talk between Harry and Peter during Pete's birthday party, which leads into Aunt May and MJ bringing in the cake. (I didn't pause to count the candles!) There's a new scene where a friend of MJ's asks her if she's sure she's with the right guy, strengthening the ending. The elevator scene is not extended: it's a completely different and longer version! I don't laugh at movies much, but this new scene dug up some chuckles! There are also new bits added to the fight on the train, as well as other bits. Because of the seamless integrating, I can't quite recall them all!
I would have liked to have seen some other scenes extended: more about Aunt May would have been nice: in fact, after watching this, I found out there was a scene in some theatrical versions that had Peter call Aunt May near the end of the film, but for some reason she doesn't answer the phone, though she is seen hearing it ring. This would've been interesting, and helped further whet our appetites for "Spider-Man 3."
However, there is nothing here that would make the movie go beyond a PG-13 rating, so if you're looking for more violence, blood, gore, nudity, or sexual or sensual material, it's not here. As above stated, some of the fight scenes are extended, but nothing worse than what was already in the movie.
Regarding the Special Features, now: I haven't watched them all yet. Like I said before, the Special Features of the previous DVD are not repeated, but the menus are otherwise identical. Not even the Audio Commentary is the same. In fact, this time Producer Laura Ziskin and Screenwriter Alvin Sargent get to do the commentary. I'm an aspiring screenwriter myself, so I intend to listen to this commentary soon.
From what the packages say, the Spidey Sense feature (I haven't used it on the other one) is at least enhanced, showing you behind the scenes footage. However, the shrinking of the movie to make it "Picture in Picture" can be annoying, especially if your DVD player pauses for a transition.
There is one weak special feature: "Inside 2.1" just points out the new and extended scenes... really, shouldn't this be on the audio commentary?
The other special feaures are "Sneak Peek: Spider-Man 3," "Multi-Angle: Danny Elfman's Score," "With Great Effort Comes Great Recognition," and "Visual Effects Breakdowns."
If you're planning a "Spider-Man Party" before going to see "Spider-Man 3," get this one! You will not be disappointed!