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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2012

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"The Avengers" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

The Avengers (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

Evil demi-god Loki comes to Earth to steal the Tesseract, a source of unlimited energy, from SHIELD who recovered it from Captain America's plane some 70 years earlier.  In doing so, he unleashes a huge alien force bent on the destruction of the planet.  Nick Fury manages to gather all the Avengers together, in an uneasy alliance, to battle this global threat.  With vast technological resources at their disposal, the Avengers locate Loki and the Tesseract just as he mounts an attack on Manhattan.  Our heroes finally understand the meaning of teamwork as thousands of alien soldiers stream through a dimensional portal wreaking havoc and destruction on everything in their way.  When the mysterious committee behind SHIELD decides to level the city with a nuclear bomb, Iron Man swoops in to save the day.  After the planet is once again safe, Thor takes his brother Loki into exile and the rest of the Avengers scatter now that the world knows of their existence.

Specifications

  • Paramount
  • 2012, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 23 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MVC
  • English, DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
  • Starring:  Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson
  • Directed by Joss Whedon
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

I'm a big fan of superhero films and this one may just be the best yet.  It truly checks all the boxes:  non-stop action, great characters portrayed by great actors, an awesome plot that's easy to follow (take that Michael Bay!), bar-raising special effects, complete ignorance of the laws of physics, snappy one-liners (Joss Whedon, you rock!) phenomenal production design; and there's even a monster that eats New York.  The construction delays are going to be legendary after this one!  This is a film I'll watch again and again; my highest recommendation.

Technical

The Avengers checks the box for reference quality video as well.  Every shot is super crisp and detailed with beautifully saturated color and stunning contrast.  The overall palette is a little cool but given the amount of metal in play here, it makes sense.  The battle scene in New York has a nice warmth which I enjoyed.  CGI effects were seamless and completely convincing and there was no visible edge enhancement or other artifacts.

Sound was reference-level as well with a smashing DTS lossless encode.  Surround effects were top-notch and the front sound stage was enormous in all directions.  My only nit was the LFE channel seemed a little light given the material.  There were plenty of tactile moments to be sure but with the destruction I witnessed, my chair should have been shaken a little harder.

Extras

Bonus features include a 11-minute short film set in the Avengers universe, a 14-minute making-of featurette, 15 minutes of deleted scenes, a short gag reel and commentary by Joss Whedon.  There is also a "second screen experience" accessible on iOS devices or a laptop which I did not try.