THOR (2011)

 

THE PLOT THUS FAR

The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

 

WHAT WE THOUGHT

Thor is the son of Odin the King of Asgard. He is a great warrior and his father has been preparing him to be the future King of Asgard. It is no easy task because Asgardians are the keepers of the peace in all nine realms. They can travel from one realm to another with the help of Heimdall. Odin saved Earth from extinction many centuries ago when the Frost Giants tried to destroy the planet. Odin defeated them and took away their power so they could no longer leave their planet, Jotunheimr. Odin has kept the peace during all these years but now it’s time to proclaim Thor as his heir to the throne. On the day of his proclamation something unexpected occurs and three Frost Giants manage to enter Asgard and almost steal the cube which holds their power. However The Destroyer does his job and kills the invaders before they can do any harm. Thor is furious and wants to give the Giants a lesson, but Odin wants to maintain peace and orders Thor to remain in Asgard. Against his father’s command Thor travels to Jotunheimr with his younger brother Loki, the 3 warriors: Volstagg, Hogun, and Fandral, and Sif. Together they face the Giants who tell them there is a traitor in Asgard. Odin discovers that Thor disobeyed his command, rescues the warriors from the Frost Giants but vanishes Thor to Earth without his supernatural powers. In Earth Thor meets a group of scientists: Dr. Erik Selvig, Jane Foster, and Darcy who help him rediscover his path.

The idea of a “classic” director like Kenneth Branagh making a superhero film might initially sound strange, but in the case of Thor that ended up being very appropriate, because the comic always used Shakespearean drama and archaic language to tell the story of the God of Thunder, the political/family conflicts in the Asgard kingdom and its interaction with the universe of Marvel Comics. And Branagh’s competent direction, the excellent performances and the solid screenplay make Thor to be a very entertaining movie.

I honestly had always preferred the character of Thor in small doses or as part of an ensemble, like he was on the beginnings of the comic The Avengers and in its modern reinterpretation The Ultimates. So, I did not have big expectations on a movie exclusively focused in that character; however, Chris Hemsworth brings a brilliant performance in that role, because he could perfectly combine the pompous and operatic “classic” Thor with the dynamic and unstable modern Thor. I do not know how the purist fans of the Kirby/Lee era will take that mash-up, but I think it was a very good decision, specially because Thor does not only work as an origin of that superhero, but also as an efficient preamble of the highly anticipated film The Avengers, which will be an unification point of Marvel’s film universe.

The Blu-Ray comes a DVD, 3D Blu-Ray and Digital Copy to cover all of your home entertainment bases. The Blu-Ray 3D component worked for the main feature, but it took my player roughly thirty minutes to play the feature due to need for firmware upgrades and various other technical maladies. While it is a Post-Convert 3D movie, it still fares better than a lot of its recent compatriots. The only other glowing example I can think of would be Warner Brothers’ work on “Green Lantern”. All of the special features are in 1080p HD quality.

There’s also plenty of deleted scenes and a featurette about getting the Marvel Film Universe ready for “The Avengers” next year. I would’ve liked to have had a more detailed commentary from director Kenneth Branagh. But, I guess with the rushed production schedule and his decision to forgo “Thor 2″…Marvel probably wasn’t too keen on this. That being said, it’s a fun flick that has never looked better than it does with this incredible Limited Edition. There’s literally no way that hasn’t been approached by this set for viewing pleasure. It’s one of the best of the year with its stunning 1080p transfer and DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track. Truly reference quality material here.

RELEASE DATE: 09/13/2011

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