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Thor: The Dark World - Blu-ray Review

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Thor: The Dark World - Movie Review

3 stars

Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World might feel - with its Anthony Hopkins-narrated beginning concerning a war with elves – a bit like the next installment of The Hobbit but when it comes down to it, Marvel’s second trip through the Norse mythology is indeed magical.  It is a movie full of hard-hitting action beats and clever humor placements as the otherworld blends with the real world – or at least Marvel’s cinematic universe.  And Chris Hemsworth as the blonde-haired godlike superhero beefcake does not disappoint his fans.

The Norse mythology that fuels The Dark World can get a bit confusing.  This tends to happen with fantasy inside the real world we are all familiar with.  Thankfully, Taylor (and some rewrites from Joss Whedon) play up the cosmic self-serious absurdities as comic relief.  Hemsworth continues to be mighty.  Tom Hiddleston as Loki continues to play the sneaky part – but look closely – there is more in their brotherly exchanges than either character is willing to admit to.  Hiddleston continues to steal the picture whenever he is on the screen.; he is an example of perfect casting.

From Asgard to Svartalfheim to London, Thor: The Dark World gives us the most exotic-looking destinations yet from a Marvel picture.  They are expressed and realized by a fine team and succeeded in making the picture feel like a journey.  We are strangers in a very strange land as an evil race of elves return to cause harm after a long exile.   Christopher Eccleston  as Malekith leads them in their pursuit of total destruction.

The thing is, in order to be truly successful in their overthrow of power, the evil elves need something called the Aether and it – due to the merging of cosmic worlds – has a new residence inside the body of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).  Thor’s leading lady in distress is, once again, assisted by her team of not-so hip scientists, Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings.  While the romance is downplayed this time out, the team of square-headed scientists do wonders to the script and keep it from losing focus and its own sense of self-importance.

Taylor has used his skills from being at the helm of HBO’s Game of Thrones well.  He’s armed with a much bigger budget and he finesses those finances soundly.  No moment is wasted.  No background is weak.  The digital canvas of Thor’s world introduced in the first one continues to impress here in the follow-up film.  The battle scenes throughout much of The Dark World are, at once, tight, overwhelming and endlessly brutal…in a PG-13 sense.  Everything glitters and nothing offends.

Marvel is still on the right foot as it extends itself into Phase Two of its cinematic journey.  Thor: The Dark World is a very comfortable film.  Having previously laid the Norse groundwork, Taylor and company get to explore the wildly imaginative universe.  While there are a few glitches in some of the characters, the film does not disappoint.

The Dark World might not be as heavy as Thor’s hammer, but it does deliver what creators Stan Lee and Larry Lieber intended: fun fantasy for the popcorn-loving masses.

Thor: The Dark World - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content.
Runtime:
112 mins
Director
: Alan Taylor
Writer
: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus
Cast:
Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi | Fantasy
Tagline:
Thor: The Dark World
Memorable Movie Quote: "Born to be a king, I ask one thing in return: a front seat to watch Earth burn."
Distributor:
Marvel Studios
Official Site:
https://www.facebook.com/Thor
Release Date:
November 8, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 25,2014

Synopsis: 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. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Thor: The Dark World - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February 25, 2014
Screen Formats:
2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: Region-Free

These blu rays are always top shelf and Thor: The Dark World is no different. The 1080p AVC encode is as crisp as it gets, with only one exception, and I assume it’s a production choice: the scenes in Svartalfheim are a bit softer than everywhere else. Blacks and colours are striking in their depth and boldness, flesh tones natural, no sign of crush and banding. A beautiful 2D presentation of the flick.

Sound is even better than the spectacular picture. Oh, your surround speakers at the mercy of this 7.1 DTS-HD mix will tremble before it. It’s layered, nuanced, thumpingly powerful, with crisp clear dialogue, wonderful L to R effects, and a completely flawless immersion as a result.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The Dark World Audio Commentary: With director Alan Taylor, cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige

Special Features:

  • Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King
  • A Brother's Journey: Thor & Loki
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
    • "Extended Celebration Scene,"
    • "Jane Learns About the Aether,"
    • "Loki: The First Avenger,"
    • "Thor and Frigga Discuss Loki,"
    • "Dark Elves Prepare for Battle"
    • "Extended Vanaheim Scene"
  • Scoring Thor: The Dark World with Brian Tyler
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier Exclusive Look
  • Gag Reel

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