I bought the first two Spider-Man movies from Best Buy a couple weeks ago. They were in a pack together for 15 dollars. Hard to say no to, and I'm glad I didn't, as the movies are a lot of fun.
Watching them so close together, the difference in the look of the two movies was very stark. The first movie was shot in 1:85:1 aspect ratio, which surprised me, as all other superhero movies I've seen have been 2:35:1--from Donner's and Singer's Supermans, to Burton's and Nolan's Batmans. Spider-Man 2, though, goes to 2:35:1, according to imdb, to accommodate Doctor Octopus’s tentacles.
But the big difference was in cinematography--the lighting and the use of colour was completely different. I was struck, watching the first movie, by the rich use of colour, almost like an old Technicolor movie, especially when it came to red. You had Tobey Maguire's bright red lips, Spider-Man's costume, Mary Jane's hair and Chinese gown. All contrasting sharply with bright green for the Goblin. There was something kind of pleasantly lush about it.
The second movie, which indeed had a different cinematographer, looks almost as though it was lit for black and white film. With black shadows and light brightly reflecting off surfaces like people's foreheads, it had a sort of dour quality. I guess it was okay, and maybe it helped the cgi look a little more convincing. I love the action sequences in those movies, even when they look fake, simply because they're so well put together. I don't know what convinced Christopher Nolan to try to follow Spider-Man 2's el train sequence with one of his own in Batman Begins, but it's nowhere near as good.
I wonder how Spider-Man 3's going to look. I wonder a lot of things about that movie, especially since reading about Danny Elfman's very nasty split from the franchise.