Tags: Adriana Barraza, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, Clark Gregg, Colm Feore, Digital Copy, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Jeremy Renner, Josh Dallas, Kat Dennings, Kenneth Branagh, Marvel Comics, Marvel Studios, Natalie Portman, Paramount, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo, Stan Lee, Stellan Skarsgård, Tadanobu Asano, Thor, Tom Hiddleston
has an average rating of 7.1 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio
are over an hour long & ALL in Hi-Def!
– 114 minutes
This uses 29.8GB for the movie out of 41.8GB total.
Street Date: September 13th, 2011
Overall Verdict – Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is based on the Marvel Comics character (of the same name) who first appeared in comics in August of 1962 — see HERE. The character was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and was also inspired by the original mythological character, the Norse god of thunder, of the very same name. The film here was directed by Kenneth Branagh, best known for film adaptations of other (larger) literary works like “Henry V” (1989), “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein” (1994) and “Hamlet” (1996). To go from directing works by folks of the likes of William Shakespeare to a film about a comic book character had to definitely be a huge change for the director.
The story here involves our hero “Thor” (played by Chris Hemsworth) at first being in his homeland of “Asgard” and set to inherit the throne from his aging father. Thor also has a brother by the name of “Loki” (played by Tom Hiddleston) who is obviously a bit jealous of his brother being their father’s successor. The father of the two is “Odin” (played by Anthony Hopkins) who has long since fought against their enemies the “Frost Giants” who are led by “King Laufey” (played by Colm Feore). When the frost giants make an attack during what would have been the crowning of Thor as king, he becomes frustrated and decides to travel to their realm and declare war. Joining our hero on this journey to that realm are his brother Loki, childhood friend “Sif” (played by Jaimie Alexander) and “The Warriors Three” which include “Volstagg” (played by Ray Stevenson), “Fandral” (played by Joshua Dallas) and “Hogun” (played by Tadanobu Asano). This attack on the frost giants doesn’t go as planned and ends up being “broken up” by none-other than Odin himself. It’s when Thor and Odin return to Asgard that the father makes the tough decision to banish his son to another realm and separate him from his mighty hammer “Mjollnir”, which gives him his power. The realm Odin decides to send Thor is our realm, Earth.
Meanwhile on earth, right around the time Thor is about to come crashing out of the skies, we get to meet a group of researchers led by a beautiful young lady by the name of “Jane Foster” (played by Natalie Portman) with “Darcy Lewis” (played by Kat Dennings) and “Erik Selvig” (played by Stellan Skarsgård). The group thinks they are witnessing a strange scientific event in the sky but instead they have just been present when Thor came crashing down to our realm. In the panic of things the group of researchers manage to hit Thor with their S.U.V. and afterward find him laying on the ground in the desert. Jane approaches Thor and tries to check and see if he’s been injured only to see a man get up and act very, very strange and in obvious shock. This strange man (Thor) is scary enough to provoke Darcy to taser him and they end up taking him and leaving him at the hospital. Jane and her partners think this is the last they’ll see of this “Thor” guy but they are quite wrong. It’s right before a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent shows up and takes all of her equipment and research that Jane is shown something by Darcy that makes her return to the hospital to seek Thor for answers. This sets up the film, with the addition of a conflict back in Asgard between Loki who has tried to take the throne and the ill-fallen Odin.
“Thor” proves to be a solid film in terms of entertainment, story and even has its share of comedic elements as well. Director Kenneth Branagh may have worked previously on more serious projects but he brought this unique type of style to the film that a lot of other comic book films lack. In fact, it was because Branagh was directing this that Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins chose to be part of this project. The film did pretty damn good in its theatrical run by earning more than $440 million in the global box offices. “Thor” will return — just as the end credits promise — in 2012 with “The Avengers” film and again in 2013 with a rumored sequel to this film. Fans will want be be sure to look for “Clint Barton“/”Hawkeye” (played by Jeremy Renner) who makes a short appearance in the film as well as an expected cameo from co-creator Stan Lee.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. According to IMDb‘s technical specifications listing for the aspect ratio this was shot on 35MM film using the following cameras:
- Arriflex 435
- Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL
- Panavision Panaflex Platinum
- Photo-Sonics 4ER
Let me first say that you’ll notice there’s not even the slightest hint of “3D pop” here on this 2D Blu-ray Disc release and there’s a reason for that. This film was actually shot in 2D and converted to 3D in post-production for the 3D theatrical release. Speaking of which, this review IS for the 2D version, however I’ll mention that there is a Blu-ray 3D version also available. Anyway, as mentioned and shown above this was shot on film using Panavision Panaflex cameras. It really has a nice amount of detail here, especially in the close-ups. For example take a look at THIS close-up of Anthony Hopkins as “Odin” — via screenshot. Notice all of the hairs on his beard standing out perfectly and the pores and wrinkles of his skin; namely forehead? The same applies in regards to detail in close-ups for Chris Hemsworth as “Thor” (seen below) as well as HERE with “King Laufey” played by Colm Feore. Lots of detail in all three of these screenshots, regardless of the amount of light.
The black level here is perfectly solid and it helps to emphasize that detail. The color palette is vibrant and the fleshtones seem accurate throughout. No real signs of much if any digital noise here in this digital intermediate source nor signs of heavy, if any DNR (digital noise reduction) used. If DNR would have been used it would have actually likely been applied in post-production for the original theatrical release, not this home video release. This Hi-Def presentation is great enough to impress but maybe not 100% perfect. Still though, “Thor” on Blu-ray Disc in 2D boasts a pretty damn impressive visual presentation and undoubtedly worthy of a “4.5 Star Rating for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio. First let me say I’m happy this got the 7.1 treatment on Blu-ray Disc as it actually had 7.1 in some select theaters; ironically via Dolby, whereas here it’s DTS. This makes excellent use of the extra two rear channel speakers with ambient noise, sound effects, the film’s original music (Score) and includes even a few pans and such that span out across the entire four rear channels. There’s a whole lot of LFE (bass) present here throughout and it comes mostly from the film’s original Score (music) done by Patrick Doyle. Doyle’s music fits the mood perfectly here and is done justice by the 7.1 lossless mix. Dialogue is delivered very distinctly here and despite all the action and/or intensity at times it has no issues — requiring no volume adjustment. Most of the sound effects will get a majority of delivery from the front left and right channels but it spreads out across the entire soundscape at times. This 7.1 mix definitely has some “oomph” to it and in my opinion contains a few action sequences that are worthy of deeming “demo material” — although I’m sure others will argue against that statement. All and all this earns a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. Glad to see that 7.1 mix and totally pleased with it, I can’t stress that enough.
Bonus Materials are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound @640kbps — unless noted otherwise below.
- Audio Commentary by Director Kenneth Branagh
- “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant” (3:57 – HD) is a cinematic short that links this film to the upcoming film “The Avengers” due next year, in 2012.
- Featurettes all offer a glimpse into the making of the film. They include the following:
- “From Asgard to Earth” (19:42 – HD) which takes a look at the film’s to two main settings (sets).
- “Our Fearless Leader” (3:18 – HD) focuses on the Director Kenneth Branagh.
- “Assembling the Troupe” (4:44 – HD) discucesses assembeling the cast to the film.
- “Hammer Time” (6:14 – HD) discusses Thor’s weapon of choice and source of power.
- “Creating Laufey” (5:33 – HD) looks at the Frost Giant leader with & without make-up.
- “Music of the Gods” (2:05 – HD) offers an interview with the composer.
- “A Conversation” (2:23 – HD) features an interview with co-creator Stan Lee.
- Teaser Trailer (2:34 – HD)
- Theatrical Trailer (2:32 – HD)
- “Avengers Animated Trailer” (1:19 – HD) for the TV series has Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound @224kbps
Overall the bonus materials here are pretty solid. You get a good 80 minutes or so of featurettes of which ALL are presented in full 1080p Hi-Def video quality and most even include Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. There’s also an audio commentary by the director worth checking out, a DVD and Digital Copy of the film included. Plus, those couple of “glimpses” at the upcoming “Avengers” film are pretty cool and should leave you anxious for next year to come along.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.