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Spider-Man Trilogy Spinning Blu Web In October

Yet another high profile series is hitting HD on a disc this October 30th- the entire blockbuster Spider-Man> trilogy is hitting Blu-ray, day and date with the DVD release of Spider-Man 3. According to the press release, while Spider-Man 3 will be available as a separate two-disc Blu-ray Special Edition, the first two films in the trilogy will only be available in the Spider-Man High Definition Trilogy, which will carry an MSRP of $99.

The double-dsic set of Spider-Man 3 will be a loaded special edition. In addition to 1080p video, it will feature both uncompressed PCM and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks. Over six hours of bonus features you'll probably never watch will be included, including two commentary tracks, a blooper reel and "more than 10 featurettes."

Of course what won't be featured here are the kind of picture-in-picture extras that one sees fairly routinely on HD DVD. I wouldn't bring this up, but after seeing Warner's 300, with the running blue screen video PIP features I can't help but think of how cool a feature like that would be for Spider-Man.

HD on a disc is shaping up to be a major presence this holiday season. Standalone Blu-ray players are now selling for under $500 and there's speculation that prices will go lower still by Xmas. HD DVD is still leading in that department with players holding MSRPs of $299 and selling for less.

But the movies themselves are what make players sell, and that's where the biggest news is coming in, practically on a daily basis. In addition to Spider-Man's day and date release Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is scheduled to hit stores on December 4th. And rumors abound that this summer's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will hit high-def along with the first four films in that series this holidays season (possibly on Blu-ray and HD DVD since Warner releases in both formats). It would susrpise no one if Universal releases The Bourne Ultimatum to HD DVD in time for Xmas.

And other recent hits and serious classic catalog titles are playing a prominent role as well. Other Blu-ray exclusives set to hit stores this holiday season include Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Pixar's Cars. Warner is releasing Blade Runner on both formats to celebrate its 25th anniversary- the Ultimate Collection will feature five cuts of ridley Scott's seminal sci-fi film, all in 1080p HD. The first season of the original Star Trek series is hitting HD DVD, and several of Stanley Kubriock's most highly regarded films will be hitting both formats, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

For the early adopters who are already committed to HD on a disc, happy holidays indeed!

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