- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Chines, French, Portuguese, Spanish
- Region: A (B? C?)
- Rating: PG-13
- Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + Digital Copy)
- Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2011
- List Price: $54.99
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Director Kenneth Branagh (William Shakespeare’s Hamlet; TV’s Wallander) brings his great sense of Shakespearean drama to Marvel Entertainment’s latest cinematic entry in the Marvel Universe. Marvel’s comic hero, the Mighty God of Thunder Thor (Chris Hemsworth; Star Trek) roars onto the screen in a visual effects extravaganza that is not only an adrenalin rush of action, but plays up the conflicts between the characters that Branagh deftly handles. The all-star cast includes Anthony Hopkins (The Rite; Dracula; The Silence of the Lambs) as Odin and Natalie Portman (Black Swan; Hesher; The Other Woman) as Thor’s mortal love interest Jane Foster.
With a story that could have been torn right out of the pages of a classic Thor comic book, the powerful but arrogant Thor is just about to be made the king of the realm of Asgard, but when the coronation is interrupted by an invasion by the dreaded Frost Giants, Thor and his friends, the Warriors 3 and Sif (Jaimie Alexander; TV’s Kyle XY; TV’s Covert Affairs) defy Odin’s wishes and invade the world of the frost beasts starting a war. This gets Thor banished to Earth from Asgard by Odin, stripped of his powers. Meanwhile, back in Asgard, Thor’s jealous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston; TV’s Wallander; TV’s Cranford)) is manipulating his way onto the throne and into a battle with the Frost Giants as Odin lay in a deep comatose state. Back on Earth, Thor, stripped of his powers and his mighty hammer, has found a friend and love interest int the mortal Jane, an astrophysicist who, along with her colleagues (Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgård) witnessed him fall from the heavens. But with Asgard in turmoil, Thor must find his strength and worthiness to reclaim his hammer in order to save both realms from destruction at the hands of his brother.
There is great acting and superb action all around in Thor, making it one of the better Marvel films to come along in a long while. It goes beyond mere eye candy and delves a bit into the complexities of relationships between Thor, his father Odin, and his brother Loki. It’s almost a comic opera in its scope.
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]
Thor in 3D is yet another 2D-to-3D conversion that Hollywood is so fond of these days. Unlike Avatar or Resident Evil: Afterlife, this wasn’t captured in 3D originally. Still, Thor is one of the better-looking 3D conversions I have seen recently, unlike the hack of a rush job committed by the creators of the Clash of the Titans remake. Thor in 3D on Blu-ray (and theatres) has a fair amount dimensionality and looks rather natural. Of course, there isn’t much pop-out, but it doesn’t have many artifacts normally associated with a conversion and one can still see a lot of the finer details in the image, such as grain structure and skin texture.
The 2D image looks much stronger, with much more extension into the backgrounds, brighter colors and a thin layer of grain. Shadow detail is spot on. There is only some slight crush in blacks, but shadows are nicely nuanced. Flesh tones are realistic as well.
This English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is downright bombastic! In fact, it may be a little too overwhelming. I had to turn my system down -4db from my normal listening volumes for this one. It is an onslaught of deep resonant bass and discrete panning throughout the room from the very beginning. Thankfully, with all of that going on, the high frequencies sound very clean and natural, never becoming fatiguing. Dialogue sometimes drops a little too low and also has the slightest bit of crackle.
The 2D disc has been loaded with 1080p extras plus a commentary from Kennet Branagh. These supplements will take you deeper into the production of Thor the film, the comic book on which it is based, and also the Marvel Universe in which he exists, including a special sneak peek at the upcoming Avengers film.
The supplements provided with this release:
- Audio Commentary by Director Kenneth Branagh
- Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1; 00:03:57)
- From Asgard to Earth (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:19:42) – See the filmmakers discuss the production design of Thor’s Asgard.
- Our Fearless Leader (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:18) – The cast and crew speak of working with actor/director Kenneth Brannagh.
- Assembling the Troupe (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:44) – Branagh and others discuss casting the characters that populate Thor onscreen.
- Hammer Time (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:14) – A discussion of Thor’s powerful weapon, his trusty hammer, as depicted in the film and the comics.
- Creating Laufey (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:33) – This featurette examines the visual effects involved in creating the look of the Frost Giants and in particular their leader Laufey.
- Music of the Gods (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:05) – Composer Patrick Doyle discusses writing and arranging the score for Thor.
- A Conversation (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:23) – Thor Comic book creator J. Michael Straczynski, Co-creator and legend Stan Lee, and the film’s Co-Producer Craig Kyle have a discussion on-set about the film and its similarities to the comic books.
- Road to The Avengers (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:57) – A sneak peek at the forthcoming Avengers film featuring the Marvel Universe superheroes, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America.
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary from Director Kenneth Branagh (2.35:1; 1080p/24):
- Thor and Loki Before the Coronation
- Warriors 3 and Sif Turn Over Their Weapons
- Thor and Frigga
- Rah Rah (Extended)
- Hospital (Extended)
- Frigga Confronts Odin
- Loki is Made King
- Selvig Sings with Thor
- Warriors 3 and Sif Arrive (Extended)
- Darcy’s Dog
- Selvig is Saved by Thor
- Teaser Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Avengers Animated Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- Digital Copy
The Definitive Word
Thor continues to set the stage nicely for the highly anticipated Avengers film and it may well be the most underrated of the Marvel Universe films to hit the big screen. Iron Man certainly gets all the press and Captain America much praise, but Thor has a more subtle humanity to it underneath the special effects that may easily get lost.
Additional Screen Captures
2D HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]