Thor: The Dark World (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 16, 2014 by Dennis Amith
If you were a fan of the first “Thor” film and you can’t get enough of Marvel action films, “Thor: The Dark World” is an action-packed Marvel superhero film that looks and sounds wonderful on Blu-ray! Recommended!
© 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Thor: Dark World
FILM RELEASE: 2013
DURATION: 95 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese
COMPANY: Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Story by Don Payne, Robert Rodat
Based on the Comic Book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby
Producer: Kevin Feige
Executive Produer: Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Nigel Gostelow, Craig Kyle, stan Lee
Line Producer: Leifur B. Dagfinnsson
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau
Edited by Dan Lebental, Wyatt Smith
Casting by Sarah Finn
Production Design by Charles Wood
Set Decoration by Guani Lindal Benediktsson, John Bush
Costume Design by Wendy Partridge
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Anthony Hopkins as Odin
Christopher Eccleston as Malekith
Jaimie Alexander as Sif
Zachary Levi as Fandral
Ray Stevenson as Volstagg
Tadanobu Asano as Hogun
Idris Elba as Heimdall
Rene Russo as Frigga
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis
Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig
Alice Krige as Eir
Clive Russell as Tyr
Buried beneath the Arctic ice since the Cold War, genetically modified Soviet soldiers have been rediscovered, reactivated and are ready to unleash devastating destruction. They are cold-blooded killing machines with super-human strength and one man, a scientist who has been searching for them his entire life, will try to stop the carnage before they complete their terrifying, top-secret mission. Dominic Purcell (TV’s “Prison Break”), Michael Ironside (X-Men: First Class) and Adam Beach (Cowboys & Aliens) star in this pulse-pounding, action-packed thriller.
With the success of the 2011 Marvel superhero film “Thor”, which earned over $449 million in the box office worldwide, there was no doubt that a sequel was going to be made.
And in 2013, the sequel titled “Thor: The Dark World” would go on to have even more amazing success, earning over $638 million in the box office.
Directed by Alan Taylor (“The Emperor’s new Clothes”, “Palookaville”, “Game of Thrones”), “Thor: The Dark World” would feature an all-star cast starring Chris Hemsworth (“The Avengers”, “Thor”, “Rush”, “Star Trek: Into Darkness”), Natalie Portman (“Star Wars” films, “Black Swan”, “Leon the Professional”, “V for Vendetta”), Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers”, “War Horse”), Anthony Hopkins (“Hannibal”, “Red Dragon”, “The Elephant Man”), Christopher Eccleston (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”, “Elizabeth”), Jaime Alexander (“Rest Stop”, “The Last Stand”, “Kyle XY”), Zachari Levi (“Chuck”, “Tangled”, “Less Than Perfect”), Ray Stevenson (“Punisher: War Zone”, “The Book of Eli”), Tadanobu Asano (“Battleship”, “Ichi the Killer”), Idris Elba (“Pacific Rim”, “RocknRolla”, “Prometheus”), Rene Russo (“The Thomas Crown Affair”, :Lethal Weapon 3″, “Outbreak”, “Ransom”), Aweale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”, “The Bourne Identity”), Kat Dennings (“2 Broke Girls”, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”, “The 40-yeear-old Virgin”) and Stellan Skarsgard (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Good Will Hunting”).
And now “Thor: The Dark World” will be released as a single Blu-ray and also on Blu-ray 3D and DVD in Feb. 2014.
“Thor: The Dark World” begins with an introduction to a war on Asgard as Odin’s father, Bor, fought against the Dark Elf Malekith, possessor of the weapon known as the Aether, which he can destroy the world with.
The Asgardians won the war, conquering the Dark Elves including their enhanced warriors known as the Kursed. And as for the Aethir, Bor has kept it inside stone, so it can never be used for evil again.
But as Bor and the Asgardians thought they have defeated all Dark Elves, Malektih, Lt. Algrim and a few of their clan have escaped and were in suspended animation.
Fast forward to the present and Loki (portrayed by Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned for his war crimes on Earth (as featured in “The Avengers”). And as for Thor (portrayed by Chris Hemsworth), he and his Agardian warriors which include Fandral (portrayed by Zachary Levi), Volstagg (portrayed by Ray Stevenson) and Lady Sif (portrayed by Jaime Alexander) fight their enemies in Vanaheim, as they try to pacify the Nine Realms.
But the group learns that the Convergence, when the alignment of the Nine Realms will link worlds at random.
Back on Earth, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster (portrayed by Natalie Portman) and her intern Darcy Lewis (portrayed by Kat Dennings) get a spike on their equipment and making the two wonder if that means Thor is coming back. And we learn that Jane has not seen Thor for two years and there has not been any communication between the two.
As Jane, Darcy and her intern begin to investigate, they notice a group of kids who found some sort of unusual portal in which objects that are dropped, will return back from the top….sometimes.
As Jane goes to investigate, she ends up traveling to another world and her body becomes infected with Aether.
As Thor is visiting his friend Heimdall (portrayed by Idris Elba), to check if everything is fine with Jane, Heimdall is no longer able to read her and Thor becomes concerned.
Back on Earth, Jane wakes up and is reunited with Darcy. She learns that she has been gone for five hours and they are surrounded by police, meanwhile rain is pouring everywhere, except around her.
As police go to arrest Jane for trespassing, immediately the Aether begins reacting on its own and repels the police officers. Thor arrives and as both he and Jane reunite, she is upset with him for not communicating with her for the past two years.
But concerned about her well-being, Thor breaks Asgardian law by bringing a human to Asgard for medical help. As Odin arrives and is upset with his son for bringing Jane to Asgard, the Aether begins to work again and Odin recognizes the Aether and explains to Thor that the Aether will kill Jane and that the fact that it has returned, can only mean that the Dark Elves are back and that a catastrophic prophecy make come true.
As for the Dark Elves in a suspended state, all have awaken due to the Aether’s release and now, he and the Kursed go to Asgard to get back the Aether. Which leads Thor and the Asgardians to fight their enemy.
As chaos takes place in Asgard, Thor’s mother Frigga (portrayed by Rene Russo) uses her holographic technology to protect Jane from being found. Malekith arrives with the Dark Elves and Frigga tries to fight and defend Jane from being caught by them and in the process, she is killed by Malekith but was able to protect Jane from being found.
Distraught by how powerful the enemy is and the death of his mother, Thor knows that the only way they can beat Malekith is by going to the Dark Elves home of Svartalheim and using Jane to draw Malekith out and getting his revenge on Malekith. But the only person that has access to enter Svartalheim in Asgard is Loki.
But can Thor trust Loki by freeing him from his imprisonment?
“Thor: The Dark World” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1). And for those who have owned previous Marvel films from Disney know already that Disney goes all out in picture quality for their Blu-ray releases.
Picture quality is amazing as Asgard is absolutely beautiful! Skintones are natural, there is no banding, artifact or any crush. This is a beautiful film that looks absolutely amazing on Blu-ray! Great colors, visual effects are amazing and overall, picture quality will be loved by videophiles!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Thor: The Dark World” not only looks fantastic, the lossless audio is absolutely magnificent. Presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, the lossless soundtrack is what audiophiles want to hear from a film with a plethora of action scenes. The surround channel is utilized heavily and also fantastic use of LFE.
This is an active soundtrack and definitely one of the best lossless soundtracks I have heard on a Blu-ray release in 2014.
Subtitles are in English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
“Thor: The Dark World” comes with the following special features:
- Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King – (13:51) A fascinating short film which includes Trevor Slattery (who played “The Mandarin” in “Iron Man 3”). And for any Marvel Comic book fan who criticized “Iron Man 3” for the way “The Mandarin” was used, will no doubt love this Marvel One Shot! Prepare to be surprised!
- A Brother’s Journey: Thor & Loki – (31:39) A two part look at the relationship of Thor and Loki from the first film and the sequel. Plus interviews with the cast.
- Exclusive Look: Captain America: The Winter Soldier – (3:35) Behind-the-scenes of the “Captain America” sequel.
- Scoring Thor: The Dark World with Bryan Tyler – (5:21) A featurette with composer Brian Tyler and discussion of the films’ score.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes – (7:49) Featuring six deleted and alternate scenes with optional audio commentary.
- Gag Reel – (3:30) A fun bloopers featurette.
- The Dark World Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Alan Taylor, cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and actor Tom Hiddleston.
I grew up reading the “Thor” comic books from Marvel. And he was one of my favorite characters because not only did he have the strength to fight powerful enemies but also hold off the Incredible Hulk, but he was also naive and a hit with the women!
But it was also a storyline unlike other Marvel superhero storylines because it included Norse Mythology and featured a different world as a lot of the action was featured in Asgard than on Earth, so while connected to the Marvel Universe (especially with “The Avengers”), it was different because of its many characters that were featured in Asgard.
And it’s what I wanted to see with the latest film, more Asgard, more of the Asgardian warriors and this is what we get with the sequel “Thor: The Dark World”.
The way the world of Asgard is created and the various lands, its creatures, the Dark Elves, everything about the film featured wonderful visual effects, costume and set design, I was very impressed by the visual aspect of the film.
And we also get a little of the naive, charismatic Thor in this film as he goes back between Asgard and Earth. And we get more of the relationship between Thor and Jane Foster, rekindled after two years later and suffice to say, the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman was done very well and as usual, Kat Denning’s Darcy manages to steal the scene with her blunt humor and actions.
And also, what I enjoyed about the film is how “Thor: The Dark World” was able to feature a continuance of the storyline post-The Avengers and continue to have the connection, as what “Iron Man 3” was able to accomplish.
The film delivers in action, visual effects and humor and there is no doubt that the film sets up viewers for a third film with its surprising ending. While not a perfect storyline, I still enjoyed it over the first film.
As for the Blu-ray release, “Thor: The Dark World” has emerged as one of my favorite Blu-ray releases for early 2014 due to its fantastic picture quality and lossless audio. This is a title that videophiles and audiophiles want to see in a Blu-ray release, fantastic PQ and AQ and you’re getting it!
There is also a good number of special features included and for any Marvel fan, the “Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King” will no doubt enjoy the return of Trevor Slattery but also the big surprise that this feature delivers. Suffice to say, I think this can easily segue to another Iron Man storyline or perhaps another Marvel character that has been long discussed for having a feature live-action film, Dr. Strange.
But for the most part, this Blu-ray release of “Thor: The Dark World” is fantastic and when it comes to visual and lossless audio, it’s definitely a heavyweight contender for best lossless soundtrack for a Blu-ray release for 2014.
Overall, if you were a fan of the first “Thor” film and you can’t get enough of Marvel action films, “Thor: The Dark World” is an action-packed Marvel superhero film that looks and sounds wonderful on Blu-ray! Recommended!
J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.
For Product Reviews:
For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.
Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.
J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”