Thor: The Dark World Blu-Ray Review

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The Movie: 7.5/10
As super heroes go, is an alien from another planet, who happens to be stronger, tougher, and basically just less fragile than human beings, really count as a super hero? Oh, wait, there is that other guy with the tights, he’s an alien who by contrast to humans just naturally has more umph. Hmmmm so, is a super hero just super in comparison to our lameness? Well, Batman is just a dude but with gadgets, not so super, but with a relentless drive to do the right thing. What does Thor offer as a “super hero” that isn’t just built into him as a citizen of Asgard? He does have a brother from another mother on another world who has some pretty comparatively super powers, and he’s a jerk. Loki doesn’t get to be a hero, just the bad guy. OK, we are onto something.

A super hero like Thor, who originates as a mythical god of sorts from our point of view, gets the title from being, A. Super strong and powerful either by his own genetics or gadgets/toxic, natural, or scientific intervention, B. Fighting for what he believes is the good of humanity and other beings in the universe, and C. Has a contrasting set of weak humans to impress and a super villainous brother and other bad guys who make him look even more righteous and goodly to the masses. Got it.

I’ve figured out why Thor scratches the super hero itch, and with that he also brings lots of action fighting not only his enemies but also his family dynamics, some adventure to other worlds. I like it. I liked the first one and I like this one and I am looking forward to the next one. I can’t give it higher praise than that. I am a hard sell when it comes to hero superness. Sometimes it’s too hokey, flakey, obvious. Other times it can be too indulgent and feels like a big money cow. Thor has a little of that too, but the balance is tipped by the story and I do like the lead characters (other than Jane Foster, more on that later). The family issues, a brother from another species who happens to be slightly evil in the world, along with a father who is king and who expects big things from his sons, all add up to a solid foundation for the more fantastic things that come along.

Fantastic things like Doctor Who as a terrible Dark Elf who wants the universe to lose it’s light and go back to the days of darkness, love it. He’s an awesome villain. He is absolute, wants what he wants for nothing more than to kill everything, EVERYTHING. THAT is a formidable bad guy. Christopher Eccleston brings a certain calm darkness to the character and I am convinced he believes fully in his mission to bring the whole of all existence back to it’s dark origin, where he and his kind were the cool kids. A good bad guy wins me over every time and can gloss over a lot of flaws in a movie.

Flaws? Oh yes, there are a lot, it’s a comic book movie made to churn up a lot of cash for the studio. This is reality. This means they will go for a lot of low common denominators like a very unfunny, annoying female character who is Jane Foster’s intern. I don’t mind the young woman who plays her, but the character is so incredibly unfunny and out of place. She’s pushy and tries to be quirky when it’s inappropriate. Jane Foster isn’t near the top of the list of flaws, but she’s really kind of boring to me. I understand she’s a scientist, but she’s not allowed to BE a scientist very often. More than not she’s the damsel in distress in our 21st century kind of way. She’s not tied to a train track, but it’s not far from that, so she becomes the woman to save to salvage our world. Fair enough.

Overall I enjoy Thor. The action is good, the special effects are mostly excellent, and I’m interested in the people/aliens throughout the story. Go go gadgetless super hero!!

Features: 8/10

  • Marvel One Shot: All Hail The King – If you liked Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of “The Mandarin” in Iron Man 3 you are in for a real treat with this latest Marvel One Shot. Our hero is subjected to an interview while in prison and hilarity ensues. Watch out for a cameo from Sam Rockwell towards the end. A must see for all Marvel fans.
  • Audio Commentary – Director Alan Taylor, Cinematographer Kramer Morganthau, Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege and Tom Hiddleston talk their way through the movie in quite a dry technical way. If your looking for humor it’s not really here as the two pairs were recorded separately and it disjoints things a little.
  • A Brother’s Journey – A two part making of that clocks in around 30 minutes. It’s the kind of making of that basically walks you through the entire story and stops along the way to show some behind the scenes stuff. Nothing Marvel has done recently has topped the amazing fly on the all documentary on the original Iron Man movie we need more of that please Marvel!!!
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes – Six deleted scenes (Extended Celebration Scene, Jane Learns About The Aether, Loki The First Avenger, Thor & Frigga Discuss Loki, Dark Elves Prepare For Battle And Extended Vanaheim Scene) these all come with optional commentary and are quite good as far as deleted scenes go.
  • Scoring Thor – Composer Brian Tyler discusses the epic orchestral score he created for the movie.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier First Look – The next Marvel movie is the second installment of Cap’s story. You get a detailed look here that veers into spoiler territory. The movie looks amazing though I am looking forward to it immensely.
  • Gag Reel – Thor and pals monkeying around on the set, lots of people falling over and flubbing lines you know the drill.
  • DVD & Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The image on the box didn’t do much for me, but we now have the poster and I really like it. So, that’s the cover, and clearly I do have the poster in our house:) The menu is actually a surprisingly interesting bit of navigation. Characters from the movie are drawn in with a painterly style, which will win me over every time.

Audio & Video: 9/10
Thor The Dark World is as it’s title suggests a very dark grim type of movie. Subsequently a lot of the scenes are dark but somehow this AVC transfer seems to handle it all as well as Thor handles his hammer. When the movie does step out of the shadows it looks wonderful with great colors and fine detail in every frame. There are no signs of DNR or artifacting but some very inconsistent soft shots take a mark of what would be a perfect score.

Disney’s DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix really delivers the goods boasting so much detail any Marvel fan is sure to enjoy. From the opening score to the thunderous battles in Asgard this is one track you will be impressing the neighbours with time and time again. Surround sound here is impeccable with swooshing pans around the room and LFE response that will test even the largest subwoofer. Close your eyes while watching the film and you will swear somebody is behind you. Thor The Dark World sounds better than it looks and it looks great!!!!


Overall Score 7.5/10