If you're a big fan of superhero movies, you better have a little extra cash to spend on certain Tuesdays, because one of the studios' favorite marketing gimmicks is this: They'll release a well-stocked DVD of, say, Spider-Man 2 a few months after its theatrical run -- but they'll leave some of the cooler "deleted scenes" back in the vault. Then a few years later when, oh I dunno, Spider-Man 3 is about to hit theaters, they'll jam those deleted scenes back into the movie, and then release a DVD with a label like "Director's Cut," "Extended Edition," or (if they're really clever) "Spider-Man 2.1." It sounds like a pretty tacky way for a movie studio to wring a few extra clams out of its loyal fans, doesn't it? Perhaps. But what if the new version actually ... makes a damn good movie even better?
You have to take these things on a movie-by-movie basis, of course, but in the case of Sam Raimi'sSpider-Man 2.1, the eight extra minutes of "new" footage does a lot for the flick: It strengthens the relationships between Peter Parker and his two best friends, it adds a few moments of levity to the proceedings, and (yay!) it actually adds a few fresh moments of high-end mayhem! (I won't spoil the specifics, but if you liked the "train battle" and the "bank robbery brawl," then you're going to really enjoy the new extensions.)