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Thor (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Thor (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
Studio: Paramount Pictures
List Price: $44.99
Street Price: $30.92
Amazon.com: $20.49
Release Date: Sep 13, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Running Time: 115 minutes

4.5 Stars (out of 5)

Synopsis

Kenneth Branagh directs this Marvel Comics-inspired action flick about the thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful warrior whose father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) -- the king of Asgard -- forces him to live among humans on Earth and learn humility. Once there, he finds a friend (Natalie Portman), along with unexpected enemies sent from his world.

Starring:

Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Blu-ray Release Date:

September 13, 2011

Subtitles:

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer - 5.0 Stars

● Dialog - 4.5 Stars

● Surround Effects - 5.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range - 5.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

This film is about a Norse God that can control thunder, so you should expect some rumbling. However, this movie is filled with deep penetrating rumbles. Of course the explosions carry heft, but so does Odin's staff, the Bifrost, and even footsteps of the Destroyer. Surround speakers also get plenty of action. Thunder rings throughout the room, cheering crowds fill the air, stars whip by during the closing credits, and high pitched shattering glass come from all directions. Dialog was only hindered a few times during action scenes, but over all its my only gripe. This film has a great audio presentation, and it shines brightly during the battle sequences, especially the battle with the frost giants.

Video 4.3 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 4.5 Stars

● Shadow detail - 4.0 Stars

● Clarity - 4.0 Stars

● Skin tones - 4.5 Stars

● Compression - 4.5 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

The color pallet of Thor changes depending on what planet your on, Asgard is golden and warm, Jotunheim is blue and cold, Earth has natural colors. No matter what planet your on, the colors look great. However, at times dark scenes or heavy shadows lose a some detail. Clarity is decent and is clean enough to draw attention to loose hairs, display details in beards, freckles and wrinkles on faces. I really enjoyed seeing the rainbow bridge, its unique colors and intricate design always captivated me and caught my attention.

Bonus Features 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

● Audio Commentary: With Director Kenneth Branagh

● Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (1080p, 3:57): A snippet of film that ties together some of the goings-on in the Marvel movie universe.

● From Asgard to Earth (1080p, 19:42): Featurette covering set design

● Our Fearless Leader (1080p, 3:18): The cast discusses Director Kenneth Branagh.

● Assembling the Troupe (1080p, 4:44): A featurette about the cast.

● Hammer Time (1080p, 6:14): History and use of Thor's hammer.

● Creating Laufey (1080p, 5:33): Designing the Frost Giants

● Music of the Gods (1080p, 2:05): A look at the score by composer Patrick Doyle.

● A Conversation (1080p, 2:23): Co-Comic Book Creator Stan Lee, Co-Producer Craig Kyle, and Comic Book Writer J. Michael Straczynski discuss Thor.

● Road to the Avengers (1080p, 2:57): A small featurette that features the up and comming feature The Avengers.

● Deleted Scenes (1080p, 24:34) Several deleted scenes, available with optional director commentary.

● Trailers (1080p): Teaser (2:34), Theatrical (2:32), and Avengers Animated (1:19).

Movie - 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

Review

When I first heard Thor was going to be a movie I was hesitant. It could easily be corny and awkward, however the acting and direction of Kenneth Branagh brought this movie to life and helped fit it into the existing Marvel movie universe. I'm glad they decided to go light on the fish out of water story. They do reference it here and there just enough to make it work in the movie's favor. Thor is basically a story of two brothers vying for their fathers throne mixed with a the classic sword in the stone story. Even though the story can be a little confusing and has a few plot holes, it's solid enough build the framework for this fun movie.

This film has officially made Chris Hemsworth a star. Almost every soccer mom I know thinks he's hunk. Somehow he was able to make the bold and arrogant Thor likable, and was able to make the hero personable and even charming. It was strange to watch a big superhero battle happen in such a small town. It works, but we're used to seeing a lot more damage in this type of film, and it seamed to make the movie a little smaller. Thor is a fun movie that is easy to watch with the family. The film also makes it a point to show what a true hero's heart is made of without getting too preachy.

Posted by The HT Guys, September 26, 2011 7:34 AM

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About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.