The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo, Jaimie Alexander, Christopher Eccleston
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen Feely
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 25, 2014
Worlds collide when a powerful ancient enemy threatens to plunge the cosmos into eternal darkness. Experience this action-packed adventure featuring exclusive bonus content, including a gag reel, deleted scenes and a new Marvel short film available on Blu-ray.
Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s "Thor" and "Marvel’s The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet, forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves…but our universe itself.
I grew up reading Marvel Comics and Thor was my first superhero favorite. This came from reading about his exploits with The Avengers and sporadic episodes of his own comic. I initially tried to keep up with his extended battles/adventures that took place away from Earth (Mid Guard) but eventually lost interest. He remained a personal favorite though and I looked forward to enjoyed his initial transition to the big screen in 2011’s Thor. I took my son to see Thor: The dark world during its theatrical release and found it to be a fun sequel with a slightly better story than the original. Like the first film the opening and first act move at a deliberate pace as it sets things up for act two which provide a bit of thematic melodrama followed by rewarding action with the heart of the story resting on the correlation of details and interpersonal relationships that ultimately drive the unfolding events leading to the finale.
As I have alluded to in other reviews these movies certainly aren’t highbrow filmmaking (nor are they supposed to be) but the screenplay is very decent and contains some nicely integrated humor, satisfying character development and corny but effective romance. The production elements are top notch and carry the proceedings quite effectively. Chris Hemsworth continues to do a nice job in the title role and the return of Thor’s various characters including my girl Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, and light comic relief Kat Dennings is always fun to watch. Thor: the dark world is a solid sequel that makes for excellent popcorn entertainment while proving to be a worthy addition to the Marvel Film franchise. The ending is left wide open for more so we will see what comes of that.
* It should be noted that Thor: the dark world is also available in a 3D Blu-ray combo pack however as with Iron man 3, that wasn’t an option for review. My apologies to those hoping for coverage of that release.
The rating is for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Thor: the dark world comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.
This is a great looking and faithful Blu-ray presentation that delivers high level detail, gratifying depth and resolute definition that brings out the lifelike textures captured by the camera lens. Colors are lavish and eye popping with oversaturated primaries and warm tonality that make them pleasing. Flesh tones are tonally natural with appreciable delineation among the varied complexional types in the cast. This isn’t a bright film however spot on contrast and inky blacks enhance sequences containing mixed content (the exterior shots of Asgard and the dark world look terrific). Shadow detail is discerning which adds depth to the film’s low lit environs. On occasion the nature of the photography softens some shots but its effects are innate as fidelity appears unaffected. From what I could see there are no compression related video artifacts or noise present in this whistle clean high definition video transfer that looked superb on my big screen.
The 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn’t disappoint. This is a powerful mix that utilizes the entire system to create a theater like experience. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated. Sound effects traverse the room during the action based sequences. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and resolute clarity. This is an aggressive mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer to accentuate its already strong dynamics. The result is that all points of contact seem to resonate with tactile low bass impact. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, deep resonating low frequency energy. Dialogue has excellent soundstage presence with clear, defining vocal character and discerning room penetration. This is a reference quality audio presentation that offers demonstration worthy material for those who like to show of their home theater systems.
- (HD) 6 Never-Before-Seen Extended and Deleted Scenes with optional filmmaker commentary
- (HD) Gag Reel – 3 minutes
- (HD) Marvel One shot: All hail the king – 14 minute film short
- (HD) Exclusive Look – Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier- Get an exclusive first look at the latest installment in the Captain America franchise and it’s incredible cast of characters, including Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Director Nick Fury, Chris Evans, our hero Steve Rogers, his new ally Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon played by Anthony Mackie, and a mysterious enemy from the past…the Winter Soldier played by Sebastian Stan – 3 minutes
- (HD) A Brothers’ Journey: Thor & Loki- In this 30min two segment feature go behind the scenes with filmmakers and cast as we explore two of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Universe with stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) & Tom Hiddleston (Loki), and journey through the key moments that have defined and endeared these characters to audiences around the world
- (HD) Scoring Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World with Brian Tyler - Go behind the scenes with the filmmakers and acclaimed composer Brian Tyler for a look at the creation of the movie’s stunning original score – 5 minutes
- Audio Commentary with Director Alan Taylor, Producer Kevin Feige, Actor Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau.
Deft and slightly more rewarding than its predecessor, Thor: the dark world is an engaging and fun action film that captures the essence of the Thor mythos in an exciting, contemporary and entertaining way that fans can enjoy. It roars onto Blu-ray from Disney featuring top notch high definition video, pulse pounding DTS-HD 7.1 channel surround sound and a solid supplemental package. Thor: the dark world deserves a place in the collections of fans and comes recommended on Blu-ray.
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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package