Sunday, October 30, 2011

FILMonBLU-RAY: Thor (Review)

2011 - Paramount
Released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 13, 2011

# of Discs: 2 (Blu-Ray, DVD)
Runtime: 115 Minutes

In the cosmic realm of Asgard lives the headstrong warrior, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and brother to Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is about to ascend to the throne. The ceremony is disrupted, leading Thor to recklessly seek justice and in the process reignite a cold war between the Asgardians and the Frost Giants.

His actions lead Odin to strip him of his powers and banish Thor to Earth. While Thor is gone, his trickster brother Loki finds himself unexpectedly with the throne of Asgard. Can Thor find his way back before Loki's machinations bring down Asgard?

The epic story in THOR literally spans the entire universe, starting out in Asgard with its magnificent design of the world there, with grandiose architecture, jaw-dropping landscapes and elaborately styled outfits befitting those living in such opulence. But the most awe-inspiring location on Asgard would be the rainbow bridge, where the Asgardians go to when they are set to travel to the other realms in the universe using the Bifrost under the watchful eye of its gatekeeper Heimdall (Idris Elba).

The filmmakers clearly thought enough about the location to use it for multiple pivotal story points, first the confrontation between Odin and Thor where Thor is stripped of his powers and banished from Asgard was inside the Bifrost, and then the it was the perfect setting for the final confrontation between Loki and Thor at the end of the film.

To contrast Asgard with the desolate small desert town in New Mexico, along with their own set of unique characters in astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and her colleague Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) that crash into the banished Thor and come to his aid. Much of the humor in the film comes between Thor interacting with these characters and the New Mexico environment.

Throw in a trip to the land of the Frost Giants early on in the film that sets the bar for epic battles and an amazing visual surroundings, and the true power of Blu-Ray comes in handy for the film.

Quite a few extras come along with the movie, including several behind the scenes featurettes that give a revealing look at the process of making the film, deleted scenes that flesh out some of the characters that might have had their time shortened to smooth out the film, a short focused on Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. that helps to connect the Marvel movie universe and a teaser for Marvel's upcoming The Avengers film.

By far the movie had a high risk, high reward factor when it came to being made and in the end it is clear that Marvel hit a home run with their first outing with Thor. Blu-Ray is a perfect complement to the high quality visuals of THOR and makes it an easy recommendation of not only fans of superhero or summer movies but also those just looking for an entertaining two hours. If you haven't checked it out yet, get this movie now.

Look to buy the THOR Blu-Ray over at Amazon for $26.12.

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