Thor Review

Sep 13, 2011 | 7:15am EDT

ALTMarvel Studios took a gamble bringing their mythological character Thor to the big screen. Unlike the X-Men or Spider-Man the Norse God never managed to cross over into the mainstream—his winged cap and signature hammer recognizable only to those in the comic book know.

But the gamble paid off: Thor was a box office hit and a light-hearted piece of pop entertainment that solidified the studios' plans for The Avengers and kicked off summer in all the right ways. Now the movie's hitting Blu-ray and while the disc doesn't pile on too many additional flourishes fans of the flick will relish in the sharp colorful world of Asgard that looks even more pristine in high definition.

The movie is your run-of-the-mill origin story introducing us to the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) who's really no god at all but rather a stubborn ill-tempered meathead from another dimension. After instigating war with the nefarious Frost Giants his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) banishes him to Earth where he's forced to live out his days as a mere mortal. This is all according to Thor's trickster brother Loki's plan who takes the opportunity to ascend to Asgard's throne and rule as he sees fit. Lucky for the universe Thor crosses paths with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her two scientist buddies (Kat Dennings and Stellen Skarsgard) who help him learn how to be a hero. Simple action-packed and fun. Can't wrong there.

Director Kenneth Branagh cooked up some wild visuals for this movie and the Blu-ray makes them pop. The rainbow bridge has never looked rainbow-ier and even the stark desert of New Mexico looks fantastical under Branagh's canted-angle eye. While the sound mix is a little wonky at times (really LOUD action scenes occasionally hushed dialogue scenes) the energetic movie you caught in theaters this summer remains intact. Certain Blu-rays come as a combo pack equipped with a standard definition copy Blu version and 3-D Blu—I didn't get a chance to experience the 3-D in a home setting but the option is there for those equipped with the right tech.

As for the extras the Blu-ray is equipped with enough to pepper the Thor experience for those invested in owning all the Marvel flicks. The 11 deleted scenes feature a ton of additional Warriors Three and Asgard material—but were rightfully cut from the finished film. They're corny they're pointless they're bad. The disc also comes with a "Marvel One-Shot" entitled The Consultant a short film starring Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) that bridges the gap between 2008's Incredible Hulk and next year's Avengers. Again this one's for fans only a mythology-building exercise that doesn't add too much but tickles the fanboy funny bone. The real highlight is Kenneth Branagh's commentary which is insightful playful and engaging. He's an esteemed director for a reason and has plenty to say on bringing his vision of Thor to life.

While the Blu-ray's extras may not be the draw fans of the movie will be happy with the Thor disc a square meal of superhero home entertainment that should leave you properly excited for the upcoming Captain America Blu-ray and 2012 Avengers team-up!

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