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Thor Blu-ray Review

Actor Chris Hemsworth carries “Thor.”

The plot: After disobeying his father’s orders, Thor has his powers taken away and is banished from Asgard to New Mexico. In New Mexico, Thor meets a trio of astrophysicists and begins to fall for one of them (Jane). At the same time, Thor begins to realize his mistakes and hopes that he can redeem himself. Meanwhile on Asgard, Thor’s trickster brother (Loki) is up to no good as he proclaims himself King, plots against Thor, and is hatching a plan with the the villainous Frost Giants. Can Thor redeem himself and get his powers back? Will Thor be able to stop Loki? Tune in to find out.

When Kenneth Branagh was announced as the director of “Thor,” I was immediately intrigued. Considering his Shakespearean background, it seemed like he’d be a natural fit for the material. After seeing “Thor,” it’s clear that he no doubt proved he was the right man for the job. Unfortunately, he had to work with a rather mediocre script (which has 3 credited writers and 2 credited story creators).

While this origin story is certainly better than most, it’s far from great. The romance between Thor and Jane is forced, the humor is dopey, the Rainbow Bridge is used as a storytelling crutch far too many times, and the movie is disappointingly light on action. In fact, the best action set piece (which features Thor and friends battling Frost Giants) happens in the firs half hour. The movie offers nothing else as exciting as that for the rest of the runtime which leaves little to look forward to. The only thing that makes the rest of the movie watchable is actor Chris Hemsworth (Thor).

If you had reservations about Chris Hemsworth going in to the movie, you won’t have any after you see the film. Hemsworth simply owns the screen as Thor. He steps into the role with ease and is completely and utterly believable as the character. I can’t wait to see more of him in “The Avengers.”

As for the rest of the cast, it’s really hit-and-miss. Natalie Portman is woefully miscast as Jane and is the least believable astrophysicist you’ll probably ever see. I wasn’t too keen on the throwaway characters performed by Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings either, but they do the best they can with their limited parts. Clark Gregg unfortunately returns to the Marvel movie universe yet again as everyone’s least favorite character- Agent Coulson. Why Marvel continues to shove this character down our throats is beyond me. I don’t know a single soul who likes this character.

On the plus side, Jaimie Alexander (whom I was not a fan of in “Kyle XY”) pulls out a surprisingly fun performance as the Asgardian Sif. Equally entertaining were the cameos by Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and, of course, Stan Lee.

Summary: Is “Thor” one of the best Marvel movies? Not by a longshot. With that said, it’s still worth a watch thanks to Chris Hemsworth’s career defining performance as the title character.

Video/Audio:

Let me start off by saying that this is a great transfer. In fact, it’s a little too good. What do I mean by that? I’ll just say that the CGI flaws (namely the Asgard shots) are very apparent here in 1080p.

This is how you do an audio track. Whether you’re hearing the soaring music score, the booming action, or the sound f/x, this 7.1 DTS-HD audio track delivers the goods.

Extras:
* DVD and digital copy.
* A teaser and theatrical trailer for “Thor” and an animated “Avengers” trailer.
* 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Kenneth Branagh. All of these scenes were wisely cut.
* “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant”- A short film featuring Agent Coulson chating about the Abomination. Footage of Tony Stark’s scene from “The Incredible Hulk” is also featured. Honestly, there’s not much to this. It’s a throwaway short.
* “Road To The Avengers”- Joss Whedon and others chat about the upcoming “Avengers” film briefly. Footage from the 2010 San Diego Comic Con panel is included. There is no footage of the film here unfortunately. 
* “Music Of The Gods”- A featurette on Patrick Doyle’s music score composition. 

* “Creating Laufey”- A featurette on the Frost Giant design and make-up (specifically Laufey).
* “A Conversation”- Stan Lee and J. Michael Straczynski talk about “Thor” briefly.
* “Hammer Time”- A featurette on Thor’s hammer (Mjolnir).

* “Assembling The Troupe”- A featurette on the cast. 
* “Our Fearless Leader”- A featurette on director Kenneth Branagh with cast members talking about him.

* “From Asgard To Earth”- A featurette on the designs, sets and the costumes.
* Commentary by Kenneth Branagh- I’m not a big commentary fan for the most part, but Branagh manages to give a thorough, in-depth track that covers everything from the characters, his vision, auditions, etc.

 

 

September 9, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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