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Monday, February 24, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Thor: The Dark World


Thor: The Dark World is the sequel to the hugely successful Thor.

Director Alan Taylor has created an epic feel to this movie with its tone, visuals and theme. At times the film feels like a sci-fi war film and the one thing it doesn't feel like is a superhero movie which is a great thing. The human element is there and the roller coaster of emotions throughout the film will keep you on the edge of your seat.

There are throwbacks to The Avengers including a fantastic take on the shawarma scene and a hilarious cameo from well...I won't give that one away! It begins the same way as Thor with dialogue from Odin King to set up the movies villains, the Dark Elves and the Aether, a super powerful source of dark matter.


After that the film hits the ground running! We see Thor helping to clean up the mess in the nine realms, Loki is in Asgard jail and Jane Foster is now in London. Then things get completely out of control and we find Thor reaching out to his brother Loki for help. 

The leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith is poised to fill in the hole left by Loki. He has the loyal to a fault following of the Dark Elves who essentially commit mass suicide bombings of themselves as seen in the prologue. The final battle between Thor and Malekith is truly epic and makes you wonder why the climatic fight in Man of Steel couldn't be this entertaining! The fight, while epic, still manages to keep you on your toes and even find yourself laughing out loud! Watch the movie and you will see why! 

But make no mistake, this film lives up to the word dark in it's title. People die, Asgard is dark and grim, and Alan Taylor brings a lot of what he brought to Game of Thrones into this film! Yet, at the same time the film is equally funny to balance things out. 



Video Quality:
Another outstanding video presentation by Marvel! Every detail is crisp and clean! Vibrant colors and skintones! Asgard looks bright and full of life. Svartalfheim, the home of Malekith, is dark and dreary. Even London is overcast and seemingly devoid of color. This another fine example of what a blu-ray presentation should look like!


Audio Quality:
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. surround track will put your audio equipment to the test! The sound is powerful as you will hear and feel every explosion and impact! The rear channel is very active and creates an amazing immersive experience! Plus, all the dialogue is crystal clear! I would easily say that the audio presentation is even better than the video presentation!



Bonus Features:

  • Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King (HD, 14 minutes): Sir Ben Kingsley returns as Trevor Slattery in this short film.  I won't ruin the surprises here for you but all I have to say is I can't wait to see how this all plays out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Also, stay to watch the credits! As if you already didn't know to do that!
  • The Dark World Audio Commentary: Director Alan Taylor, cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, and actor Tom Hiddleston give a great audio commentary. In a day and age where it seems like audio commentaries are going to the way side, I'm happy to see one on here and learn some really cool things about the Marvel Universe!
  • A Brother's Journey: Thor & Loki (HD, 32 minutes): A great documentary taking a good look at the development, casting and performances of Thor and Loki with interviews with the cast and crew.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 8 minutes): Six deleted scenes are included -- "Extended Celebration Scene," "Jane Learns About the Aether," "Loki: The First Avenger," "Thor and Frigga Discuss Loki," "Dark Elves Prepare for Battle" and "Extended Vanaheim Scene". They all come with optional audio commentary. I would have loved to see all of the scenes re-inserted into the movie.
  • Scoring Thor: The Dark World with Brian Tyler (HD, 5 minutes): Composer Brian Tyler briefly discusses creating the score for the sequel as well as creating brand new themes.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier Exclusive Look (HD, 4 minutes): An all too short behind the scenes of the Captain America sequel with the cast and crew.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 4 minutes): Share a laugh with the cast.


Conclusion:

A great sequel to Thor and a great follow up to The Avengers! Great acting by Chris Hemsworth adds a lot of depth to the character of Thor but is still upstaged by Tom Hiddleston. A top notch video and audio presentation with some great bonus features makes this a must own for Marvel fans!

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