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post #1 of 29 Old 09-13-11, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thor - Blu-ray Review

Title: Thor
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Written by: J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Protosevich
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 114 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 9/13/2011


Movie:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:
Overall:



HTS Overall Score:92



Summary:
The world has many superheroes... but only one is a god. When the arrogant warrior Thor (Hemsworth) is banished to Earth from his home world of Asgard by his father Odin (Hopkins), he must fight to reclaim his lost powers. However; that will be easier said than done as Thor's greatest nemisis is also one of his most trusted friends. With the help of new friends and old allies, Thor must regain that which he has lost, recapture his birthright and save the his most hated enemies from annihilation. Growing up I read a lot of comic books, but for some reason Thor never appealed to me unless I was reading 'The Avengers'. I think it's for this reason that I kind of always thought of him as a secondary character. Luckily this film has rectified that hugely in part to a simple story, great action and a solid cast. While I wouldn't put Thor in the same class of a Batman or Iron Man, Thor is none the less a main character with a mythology as old as the Nordic Bronze Age.


Other than Star Trek, I am unfamiliar with Chris Hemsworth’s other work. His role in Star Trek was short but significant as father to the one and only James T. Kirk. His role as the one and only god of thunder is vastly different from that. Natalie Portman is usually a hit or miss for me as I find her to be good in certain roles and “meh” in others. I thought she fit into this character quite well as a tough and smart scientist with the courage to back up her convictions. Anthony Hopkins is always good to watch and Tom Hiddleston did a great job in the role of the jealous younger brother Loki.

Honestly I wasn't expecting much of this movie which may be one of the reasons that I enjoyed it as much as I did, and while I thought that X-Men: First Class was a better film, Thor is definitely not without its strengths. The story, while basic, is fairly solid and the filmmakers don’t spend a lot of time trying to take something simple and complicating it. My biggest concern going into Thor was that it would be used to simply establish the character for next year’s Avengers movie; luckily that was not the case and I am actually really looking forward to a sequel in 2013. Marvel has done a magnificent job in recent years with establishing fun, character driven movies based on some of their most popular comics. From Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men to Captain America and Thor, Marvel keeps hitting it out of the park. Sure, there were some mis-steps such as Ang Lee's 'HULK' and Daredevil, but they have been far more consistent than Warner/D.C. have with their properties. Thor is definitely another solid effort by Marvel...



Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence

Video:

The only issue I found with Thor was actually related to some of the technical work on the CGI. I was unsure if I wanted to put this here or in the main section as the issue that affects the video presentation is actually a production issue and not a technical glitch with the transfer. Parts of the film's CGI are less defined than I would have liked to see. There are a couple of shots of Asgard that the edges of the architecture actually soften as the camera pans around the city. I thought it was odd at first and had to go back just to verify but it is definitely there between the 6-7 minute mark. This didn't at all kill my enjoyment of the film, but I did notice it and thought that I would mention it.

Other than the above mentioned issue, I found Thor to be a quite flawless transfer. I was very impressed with the color reproduction and clarity of the resolution. Razor sharp 99% of the time and only falling short with the above mentioned CGI, the transfer as a whole is definitely A-grade. Black levels are deep and infinite and shadow delineation is near flawless. The opening scene in the desert has a wide shot of the area; the sky is pitch black but you can clearly see the mountain ridge line that is an even deeper shade of black; I found that this was a pretty consistent representation of the black levels and shadow delineation throughout the film. Color pops in Asgard giving the mythological city a somewhat ethereal look as one would expect. The red of Thor's cape really stands out as do the rest of the colors throughout Asgard. However; colors shift to what feels like a more muted tone when on Earth when compared to Asgard, but hues are much more natural looking on Earth and obviously lack “other worldly” look. Fleshtones are natural as well and change appropriately by location. Overall I thought that this was a great looking transfer even with the minor film production flaws.


Audio:
I’m going all in on the DTS-HD-MA 7.1 for Thor. Let’s get this out of the way; the LFE in Thor is absolutely brutal! I am not sure who would expect less from a movie about the mythological god of thunder, but this one exceeded my expectations. It’s not as refined as Tron nor is it as balanced as Battle: Los Angeles, but to me Thor succeeds on a level with Cloverfield; yes Sonnie, I said it… Cloverfield. The bass in Thor is thunderous, no pun intended, and incredibly impactful. The final battle between Loki and Thor is off the chart, so bassheads take notice; you need this Blu-Ray.

Surround activity is as impressive as I have ever heard as directionality is properly synched with character and action movement in a given scene. There is plenty of rubble and debris flying around all channels as the ensuing chaos takes center stage. I didn’t notice any problems with dialogue reproduction during the action oriented activity and voices were clear and well textured giving the dialogue a bit more depth. The overall sound was clear, consistent and very dynamic and is a must for Blu-Ray owners.


Extras:
  • Director Commentary
  • Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant
  • 7 Featurettes
  • Road to The Avengers
  • Trailer
  • 11 Deleted Scenes
  • DVD and Digital Copy of the Film

Overall:
Thor is a fun popcorn movie with great visuals and a simple story line that doesn’t insist the viewer dwell on the plight of man or some other long winded subject. It is a comic book hero come to life with tons of action and never loses sight of that. If you are looking for something deeper than what I have said, then you should probably keep looking however; if you want a fun PG-13 type of family action that doesn’t take itself too seriously then Thor is your kind of film. That being said, if you need a new Blu-Ray that will push your system and give your sub/subs a ridiculous workout then you should definitely stop and pick this one up. I accept no responsibility for any damage you could potentially do to your system so be warned; this one is brutal! Highly Recommended!

Recommendation: Buy It!

Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring

Regards,
Dale Rasco




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Last edited by Dale Rasco; 09-15-11 at 06:38 PM.
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post #2 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 08:18 AM
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Re: Thor - Blu-Ray Review

I will get the BD just for the LFE to give my pb13 ultras a workout. Sounds like the movie isn't so bad as well.
Good review Dale

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post #3 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 08:25 AM
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Re: Thor - Blu-Ray Review

Nice review, Dale!

I also agree wholeheartedly about the bass! I had to pick books up from the floor and straighten pictures on this one (upstairs, even...?!?), and replaces WotW as my LFE demo disc. I wish I had read your review before I cranked the MV, because I was unprepared for the brutal SPL afforded in the prologue. At least now I know that if my subs can handle this (which they did), they can handle most anything!... Great way to start out the fall BD-buying season!

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Last edited by Vader; 09-14-11 at 09:44 AM.
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 09:02 AM
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I saw this one in theater and fully agree with your synopsis of the show. I guess I need to pick up the BD to find out if my subs can shake the cars on the street enough to set off alarms.

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post #5 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 12:46 PM
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Re: Thor - Blu-Ray Review

Great Review as always, Dale! I haven't seen it yet and have yet to pick this up, but I was planning to. This just solidifies my decision to buy the movie up.

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post #6 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 02:24 PM
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Re: Thor - Blu-Ray Review

I watched the DVD last night and I came away with pretty much the same opinion of the movie as you did Dale. I really enjoyed the movie but not quite as much as Ironman (it's hard to beat Robert Downey Jr). The sound was fantastic though, the bass was demo-worthy abusive and the fight scenes were fun to watch.

Don't forget to watch the Avengers teaser after the credits which ties into Captain America.
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post #7 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 06:06 PM
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Re: Thor - Blu-Ray Review

Excellent review Dale..I was on the fence about this one, but from what you've said I think it could be a keeper..

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post #8 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 08:22 PM
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Dale, what blu-ray player did you review this disk with?
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post #9 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thor - Blu-Ray Review

Hey Trizzly, I used my Panasonic BD 80K on this one. Why do you ask?

Regards,
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post #10 of 29 Old 09-14-11, 08:44 PM
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I thought I remembered reading you saying how good a blu-ray player the PS3 was in another thread. Therefore I assumed that is what you viewed Thor on. I usually play my blu-rays through my blu-ray player but decided to test out the PS3's playback. After the first battle scene I couldn't take it anymore. It sounded terrible. And given your review above, I thought it had to be the PS3's fault. I switched back to my blu-ray player and the difference was night and day. There was the brutal bass you mentioned. So i was wondering if you had gotten different results with a PS3.

Long story, sorry.
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