On DVD: With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story

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The following DVD review was featured on J!-ENT

“With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” is a fantastic documentary honoring the comic book legend who has created many characters that many generations have grew up and loved. His legacy will continue to live on forever and at 94-years-old, while Stan Lee continues to appear at conventions and appear on film, its amazing how he continues to touch the lives of many today, as he has done many decades earlier. “With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” is highly recommended. ‘Nuff said.

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DVD TITLE: With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story

YEAR OF DOCUMENTARY: 2010

DURATION: 80 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:33:1, English 2.0, English Closed Captioning

RATED: N/A

AVAILABLE ON: July 18, 2017


Directed by Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes, Will Hess

Written by Nikki Frakes, Will Hess

Produced by Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes, Will Hess, Paris Kasidokostas Latsis

Co-Produced: Max Work

Music by Kostas Christides, Minos Matsas

Cinematography by Keyan Safyari

Edited by Nikki Frakes, Nicholas Stich

Art Direction by Pierre Buffin


Starring:

Stan Lee

Joan Lee

Avi Arad

Sean Astin

Dick Ayers

Tobey Maguire

Frank Miller

Bryan Singer

Joe Quesada

Kevi Smith

Patrick Stewart

John Romita Sr.

Seth Rogen

Kenneth Branagh

Ian Bryce

Nicolas Cage

Gill Champion

Michael Chiklis

Thomas Haden Church

Paris Hilton

Gene Colan

Roger Corman

Grant Curtis

Tom DeSanto

Ramin Djawadi

Kirsten Dunst

Danny Elfman

Harlan Ellison

Mark Evanier

Jon Favrewau

Kevin Feige

Lou Ferrigno

James Franco

Evan Goldberg

Jim Goodkind

Michael A. Helfant

Samuel L. Jackson

Kenneth Johnson

Jason Lee

Jim Lee

Ralph Macchio


WITH GREAT POWER: THE STAN LEE STORY explores the vivid life and imagination of Stan Lee, the 89-year-old comic book legend who co-created over 500 legendary pop culture characters including Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk. Featuring interviews with both fans and colleagues including Kevin Smith, Patrick Stewart, Samuel L. Jackson, and Eva Mendes, the film is the tale of one man’s determination to tell incredible stories that have enchanted the world for over 40 years.


When it comes to comic books, Stan Lee is a true legend.

Known for writing comic books and was an editor and publisher for Marvel Comics, but known for co-creating Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, thor, the X-Men and many other characters.

Known for his humor and also challenging the comic industry’s censorship organization, the Comic Code Authority, Stan Lee was inducted to the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the National Medal of Arts in 2008.

Back in 2010, the Epix documentary “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story” was aired.

Directed by Terry Douglas, Nikki Frakes and Will Hess

While released in DVD in 2012, the DVD will be re-released, the documentary honors Stan Lee’s legacy, his working relationship with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, the challenges of making Marvel television series and earlier films, his appearances in the superhero movies but also the personal lasting relationship between him and his wife Joan, raising a daughter and also the pain of losing a child and more.


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” is presented in 1:33:1 and in English 2.0. As with most documentaries, the footage utilizes footage from a variety of sources from different periods of Stan Lee’s life, so picture quality varies for certain footage. For the most part, picture quality is good as one can expect on DVD and dialogue is clear.

Closed Caption in English is included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by filmmakers Terry Dougas, Will Hess, Nikki Frakes, cinematographer Keyan Safyari and co-producer Max Work.
  • Disc 1 Special Features – Featuring the following: A Star is Born, Stan Lee’s Love Story, The Biggest Fan, Music is the Story, Pow! Zip! Boom! The Sound of cinema, Heroes Helping Heroes!, Stan Lee at UCLA with Kevin Smith & Joe Quesada, A Coffee with Stan Lee: Slamdance 2012, Further Thoughts from Stan, An Unsung Partnership, SDCC 2007 Q&A, Characters Stan Co-Created, Trailer, Stan Lee Biography
  • Disc 2 Special Features – Additional Extended Interviews – Featuring extended interviews with Avi Arad, Sean Astin, Dick Ayers, Kenneth Branagh, Nic Cage, Gill Champion, Michael Chiklis, Gene Colan, Roger Corman, Tom Desanto, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Evanier, Jon Favreau, Kevin Feige, Lou Ferrigno, James Franco, Thomas Haden-Church, Paris Hilton, Sam Jackson, Jim Lee, Paul Levitz, Tobey Maguire, Todd McFarlane, Jim McLauchin, James Marsden, Frank Miller, Jeremy Piven, Joe Quesada, Seth Rogan with Evan Goldberg, John Romita Sr., Joe Simon, Bryan Singer, Joe Sinnott, Kevin Smith, Ringo Starr, Flo Steinberg, Patrick Stewart, Mel Stuart, Roy Thomas, Michael Uslan

I am a huge comic book fan. I grew up reading comic books with his name gracing the front or interior pages, hearing his voice on “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” and pretty much, part of my childhood, college years and even my adulthood.

I credit Stan Lee for creating these wonderful superhero characters that have been part of my life but also millions of people from different generations.

Watching “With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” (and I probably have watched this documentary a dozen times as it is one of my favorites) is something that I feel that true comic book fans should watch in their lifetime.

The filmmakers not only get to interview the legendary writer/editor/publisher and entertainer and audiences get to see the comedic side but also the personal side. But most importantly, many people from the comic book industry and entertainment industry who were just as moved by Stan Lee and grew up reading comic books, are part of this documentary.

It’s one thing to read about Stan Lee in the many interviews featured online or comic book magazines from the past, but this DVD gives us a perspective of Stan Lee that I haven’t seen before and that’s Stan Lee, the loving husband and father but also hearing his heartfelt answer when asked about his relationship with Jack Kirby. Prior to this documentary, many people assumed there was bad blood between Lee and Kirby, but we realize it’s admirable respect that both men had with each other. Part of the problem was that Stan Lee was famous for being Stan Lee and as a writer, the media covered him more, while Jack Kirby the artist wasn’t. Which would eventually lead to Kirby leaving Marvel Comics. (You can read more about the dispute on this article from Vulture.)

The documentary does an amazing job of showing the wonderful career of Stan Lee, which one would expect from a documentary about the legend. But the filmmakers also knew that they would have to take on the more challenging questions, from the failed TV series of the ’70s and terrible films of the ’80s and early ’90s, which Stan Lee said he tried, but entertainment company execs wouldn’t listen.

And also, the filmmakers showcase the scandal involving Stan Lee Media and the company’s bankruptcy, one of the dark clouds that hovered over Stan Lee in his career.

But for the most part, this documentary is a positive document showcasing the career and respect that people have towards Stan Lee.

As the film is being re-released on DVD, a lot has changed since the release of this documentary. The loving wife of Stan Lee passed away earlier this month. Joan, died at the age of 93, and watching this documentary, you realize how in love these two are. As Stan Lee is featured prominently in the documentary, in order to get to the personal side of Stan Lee, the filmmakers also chose to feature Joan Lee and Joan’s vibrance and love towards Stan is frequently featured.

While the documentary is pretty much safe for the entire family to watch, this DVD release contains two DVD’s with hours of special features including appearances at Stan Lee at various conventions and Q&A’s, to extended interviews with many big names from the comic book industry taking part. These are not family friendly, especially the interviews with Kevin Smith (hilarious, but expect a lot of profanity and sexual discussions).

Overall, “With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” is a fantastic documentary honoring the comic book legend who has created many characters that many generations have grew up and loved. His legacy will continue to live on forever and at 94-years-old, while Stan Lee continues to appear at conventions and appear on film, its amazing how he continues to touch the lives of many today, as he has done many decades earlier.

“With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story” is highly recommended. ‘Nuff said.


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