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Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 5, 2015 by  



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Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” is a fantastic and exciting action film. While it does not have the same epic-feel of the original, fans of the first film will no doubt enjoy the film’s intensity of the many action scenes that this film has to offer. Looking for an action film and enjoyed the first “The Avengers” film? Then it’s a no brainer…”Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” is recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition

YEAR OF FILM: 2015

DURATION: 141 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Color, 2:40:1 Aspect Ratio

COMPANY: Disney

RELEASE DATE: October 2, 2015


Directed by Joss Whedon

Written by Joss Whedon

Based on the Marvel Comics Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Executive Producer:  Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, Jon Favreau, Alan Fine, Jeremy Latcham, Stan Lee, Patricia Whitcher

Producer: Kevin Feige

Co-Producer: Mitchell Bell

Associate Producer: Jamie Christopher

Music by Danny Elfman, Brian Tyler

Cinematography by Ben Davis

Edited by Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Lassek

Casting by Sarah Finn, Reg Poerscout-Edgerto

Production Design by Charles Wood

Art Direction by Thomas Brown

Set Decoration by Sheona Mitchley, Richard Roberts

Costume Design by Alexandra Byrne


Starring:

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye

James Spader as Ultron

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch

Paul Bettany as Jarvis/Vision

Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill

Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter

Idris Elba as Heimdall

Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton

Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig

Claudia Kim as Dr. Helen Cho

Thomas Kretschmann as Strucker

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue

Julie Delpy as Madame B

Stan Lee as himself


Marvel Studios unleashes the next global phenomenon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. Good intentions wreak havoc when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) unwittingly creates Ultron (James Spader), a terrifying A.I. monster who vows to achieve “world peace” via mass extinction. Now Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — alongside Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) — must reassemble to defeat Ultron and save mankind…if they can! This action-packed adventure is a mind-blowing blast!


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With the first film of “The Avengers” (2012) earning $1.52 billion in the box office, becoming at the time, the #3 film to have the highest gross of all time and the first billion dollar film for Marvel Studios.

And with the sequel “Avengers: Age of Ultron” gaining plenty of hype and the good news that director/writer Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and the original cast will be returning, Disney/Marvel hoped to achieve similar success.

And sure enough, “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron” accomplished just that.  Earning $1.4 billion in the box office, the film would become the sixth highest grossing film of all time and the second highest grossing film of 2016.

The all-star cast for the film includes Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man” films, “Chaplin”, “Sherlock Holmes”), Chris Hemsworth (“Thor” films, “Rush”), Mark Ruffalo (“Shutter Island”, “Now You See Me”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), Chris Evans (“Captain America” and “Fantastic Four” films), Scarlett Johansson (“Lost in Translation”, “Lucy”), Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”, “American Hustle”, “The Bourne Legacy”), James Spader (“Boston Legal”, “Lincoln”, “Stargate”) as the voice of Ultron, Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”, “Django”, “Star Wars I-III” films), Don Cheadle (“Iron Man 2 & 3”, “Hotel Rwanda”, “Crash”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass” films, “Godzilla”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Godzilla”, “Old Boy”, “Very Good Girls”), Paul Bettany (“A Beautiful Mind”, “Iron Man” films”), Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) and Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Real Steel”).

While the film received mixed, but yet positive reviews, it set into motion the third and fourth films to be released in 2018 and 2019.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be released on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD in October 2013.  The film is also available on Disney Movies Anywhere and when you buy the film through Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) you get an exclusive bonus feature, “Connecting the Universe.” Disney Movies Anywhere is a cloud-based digital movie service that is available on Roku, Android TV, iTunes, Google Play, Walmart’s VUDU, Amazon Video, and Microsoft Movies & TV! Disney Movies Anywhere provides more ways to buy and watch your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies at home or on the go.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” begins with the Avengers raiding a Hydra outpost led by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in Eastern Europe country of Sokovia.  The team is trying to retrieve a scepter that was previously wielded by Loki and is being used for experimentation of humans.  Two of the humans that are part of von Strucker’s experiments are twins, Pietro (who has superhuman speed) and Wanda Maximoff (who has the ability to manipulate minds and project energy).

As the Avenger’s retrieve the scepter and Thor is to return it to Asgard, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner discover that the scepter has artificial intelligence within the gem embedded in the scepter.  While Stark has AI via Jarvis, Stark with Banner’s help (and not letting any of the other Avengers know) that they will use the scepter’s power to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program.

But once the group are having a party, the Ultron AI becomes sentient and immediately wants to eradicate humanity to save Earth and tries to destroy the Jarvis AI.  Ultron immediately takes control of other robotics and tries to create other robots based on Ultron to destroy the Avengers and their friends, by attacking them at their HQ after the party.

Ultron immediately escapes with the scepter and heads to Sokovia using the resource in Strucker’s base to build an army but also teaming up with Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who want revenge against Tony Stark for creating missiles that killed their parents.  As they head to Wakanda, Africa to obtain the tough metal known as Vibranium, in order to build his army, the Avengers lead an attack, but are quickly beaten thanks to Wanda’s power of mind manipulation, but also manipulating the Hulk’s mind, who ends up causing major damage and becomes a threat to human life.

Because of the wide-scale destruction blamed entirely on the Avengers, they must come up with a plan on how to defeat Ultron, the twins and his army, considering the worldwide backlash the Avengers are receiving.


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VIDEO:

“Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). The film is presented in 3D and 2D.

First, let’s discuss the 2D.  The film looks magnificent in HD.  CG elements are well-balanced with live action scenes and there is amazing detail when it comes to closeups.  Outdoor scenes are vibrant, the colors are well saturated and black levels are nice and dark.  But it’s important to note that there are many scenes that were purposely made to look gloomy and soft, but for the most part, the film looks fantastic in HD!

As for the 3D version of the film (included on a separate disc), the film does feature good use of displaying depth.  From the introduction action sequence, to the first battle with Ultron, the Hulk Buster Iron Man vs. Hulk and seeing Tony Stark and his floating visuals around his helmet or the final action scenes, depth was well-utilized for the 3D.  But in terms of any 3D elements that look like they are coming straight out you, you’ll find that it’s the smaller things that look more effective.  Sparks, glass shattering, rocks and debris flying out to you, those are the most effective, but for the most part, this is a depth-driven 3D film.  One shouldn’t be bowled over by the 3D but if you do love your films showcasing solid depth, then you’ll enjoy the 3D version of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the lossless audio, “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital Language Tracks.

The lossless soundtrack is quite immersive with great use of the surround channels and LFE via the subwoofer.  Due to the large amount of action sequences, many times I felt the room tremble to my delight.  Dialogue and music were crystal clear but I felt the surround channels were well done!  Audiophiles for the most part, should be quite satisfied with the overall mix.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” comes with the following special features:

  • From the Inside Out – Making of Avengers: Age of Ultron – (20:54) Featuring interviews with director Joss Whedon and the cast of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.  Featuring footage from pre-production, production and on the red carpet.
  • The Infinite Six – (7:28) A featurette about the Infinity Stones (gems) and featuring the storyline of the Infinity Gauntlet and how they were featured in other Marvel films.
  • Global Adventure – (3:01) A short featurette of where the film was shot around the world.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes – (12:04) Featuring four deleted and extended scenes with optional audio commentary from Joss Whedon.
  • Gag Reel – (3:38) A hilarious gag reel from “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
  • Audio Commentary with Director Joss Whedon

EXTRAS:

“Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” comes with a slipcover and a Disney Movie Rewards code.  Plus the 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs for the film.


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Watching the first “The Avengers” film, I was actually in awe of how the film was well-done in terms of execution of bringing all major characters from various films together.

While I wasn’t expecting a faithful adaptation to the comic books (fans of the comic books should know that faithful adaptations to the comic book series will not happen in superhero films or TV series), what was important to me is how faithful the films were for the individual character’s behaviors. And for the most part, the film delivered and felt it was an amazing action film when it was released.

Here we are in 2015 with the second film and I’ve read many Ultron-related comic books with his appearance in “The Avengers” and “Fantastic Four” comic series, but I was really interested in seeing how they would be able to pull things off for the sequel.  Especially as the film introduces us to Wanda (Scarlett Witch) and Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver), especially one Avenger that I couldn’t wait to see… Vision.

With that being said, this was going to be a difficult film for even Joss Whedon.  When you have too many superheroes, it’s really hard to craft a storyline when you have to include everyone.

Captain America as the leader, Tony Stark becoming the mad scientist, Bruce Banner wanting to get away from everyone because he’s afraid of the damage that the Hulk will do, the Black Widow and her past, Thor’s nightmares after being mind controlled by Wanda Maximoff.

And then you have to throw in Nick Fury and Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., add a few other characters from the other films such as James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine from the “Iron Man” films, Peggy Carter from the first “Captain America: The First Avenger” film and “Agent Carter” TV series, Samuel Wilson a.ka. Falcon from “Captain America: The Winter Soldiers”, Heimdall and Erik Selvig from the “Thor” films and then you have Dr. Helen Cho, Hawkeye’s family and there are way too many characters to fit in the film.  In fact, Tom Hiddleston film scenes of Loki that were cut out of the final version of the film, which would complicate things even more.

And while I love seeing many characters make guest appearances in a comic book series, for a film, it took away too much from the plot.    Yes, I like how characters connected to the various Marvel Superheroes films but the execution and balance of the film didn’t feel right.

But despite the “too many characters” problems in the film, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is still a fantastic, exciting popcorn action film that delivers in battles (Hulk Buster Iron Man vs. the Hulk) to major destruction in various countries.

This is Joss Whedon’s final film for “The Avengers”, as the next two films will be directed by the Russo brothers and will be a two-parter titled “Avengers: Infinity War”, which shows us the next Avengers antagonist, Thanos.  And for those who have read the “Infinity Gauntlet” comic books, that’s a major storyline in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also a theme that has been mentioned in other Marvel films including “Guardians of the Galaxy”.  So, there has been a build up for these next films, but with so many characters, it will be interesting to see the Russo brothers take the helm.

But I did enjoy the film a lot, but perhaps the simplicity of the first film and focus on the prime characters made me enjoy it even more.

As for the Blu-ray release of “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition”, while I preferred the 2D of the film, the 3D does provide great depth and sparks, debris, glass coming at you.  But the film looks great in HD (although a bit soft than sharp) and features great detail on closeups.  Lossless audio is fantastic and great utilization of the surround channels and LFE.  Special features were surprisingly more on the short side, but you do get audio commentary.  I was just expecting a bit more in terms of special features.

While the Collector’s Edition includes the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and Digital HD version of the film, the film is also available on Disney Movies Anywhere and when you buy the film through Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) you get an exclusive bonus feature, “Connecting the Universe.”  For those not familiar with Disney Movies Anywhere, it is a cloud-based digital movie service that is available on Roku, Android TV, iTunes, Google Play, Walmart’s VUDU, Amazon Video, and Microsoft Movies & TV! Disney Movies Anywhere provides more ways to buy and watch your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies at home or on the go.

Overall, “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” is a fantastic and exciting action film. While it does not have the same epic-feel of the original, fans of the first film will no doubt enjoy the film’s intensity of the many action scenes that this film has to offer.

Looking for an action film and enjoyed the first “The Avengers” film? Then it’s a no brainer…”Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Collector’s Edition” is recommended!






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