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The Avengers: Age of Ultron (Blu-ray Review)

Avengers-Ages-Of-UltronMarvel Studios unleashes the next global phenomenon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, arriving on Digital 3D, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere September 8th and on 3D Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and On-Demand October 2nd! The iconic heroes are forced to reassemble and face their most intimidating enemy yet- Ultron. The home entertainment release includes Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes, Making-of Featurettes, Gag Reel and more! Marvel Studios reunites Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the unprecedented movie event, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Iconic heroes are forced to reassemble and face their most intimidating enemy yet – ULTRON.  Pushed to the brink of their physical and emotional limits, the team must recruit both new heroes and familiar allies to face an escalating danger that threatens the entire planet.

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Film 

Good intentions wreak havoc when Tony Stark unwittingly creates Ultron, a terrifying A.I. monster who vows to achieve “world peace” via mass extinction. Now, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk—alongside Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury —must reassemble to defeat Ultron and save mankind… if they can!

Quite easily the most anticipated films of the summer was its kick-off film, the one that got all the Avengers back together for another crossover/shared universe/superhero mashup extravaganza.  This time the luster and newness of seeing all of these entities come together from separate films for one big one wasn’t there.  Everybody from before was back, as well as some of the friends they picked up along the was during Phase 2 and we’d also be introduced to a couple new super powered being teased at the end of Captain America’s second adventure.

If you’re looking for overall world/universe progression on a big whole narrative, Age of Ultron somewhat doesn’t do exactly that in the big grand scheme of things.  It stands as more of a one-off or monster of the week kind of story.  And folks, this isn’t a bad thing at all.  What I appreciated a lot about this film was that it is indeed a sequel to the previous Avenger film.  It call backs and relates to it more than any of the films in Phase 1 or Phase 2.  If you happened to just stick with the Avenger films in this Marvel series, then you really wouldn’t be all too lost.  With all that had happened, its not something that I would think is too easy to do and would require some level of precision and restraint to appease both the hardcores and casual viewers while streamlining the material to keep both at the same level.

Age of Ultron may be a stagnate adventure but the journey of our heroes and their relationships definitely progresses the story.  Getting back together this time around isn’t the holly jolly time it was before.  These heroes now know each other better and in their time apart have learned different things and had their lives changed in interesting ways.  Rifts begin to start coming in the form of the teammates finding opposite ideals on how to be Earth’s mightiest heroes.  While they ultimately will come together in the end, its not without philosophical discussion, arguments, fights and reluctant compromises.

The Marvel Avengers canon has constantly been praised for the great job it does with their heroes, but knocked for weak, forgettable villains.  Luckily the first film had Loki, established in a prior film and having Tom Hiddleston just chewing up scenery the whole film.  Once again for the “big” film, this movie brings about a terrific Marvel villain.  Ultron is a groovy, super smart and almost unstoppable character to begin with, but having James Spader breathe life into him takes him up just a few more notches.  A lot of reason you’ll find Ultron enjoyable is because of why many always find James Spader enjoyable, but it completely works here.

With a film that has so many characters, adapted ones at that, there are endless things to write about when it comes to an Avengers movie.  There are many different angles, different paths, different points of view.  That’s why when one comes out the streamline of articles and think pieces seem to dominate the geek and film lover’s reading que.  I picked the path I picked for this.  I enjoyed the continued emphasis on Black Widow being a lead in these big films, and they improved the hell out of Hawkeye in this movie.  Jeremy Renner was given dynamite material and he showed that franchise star power here that people thought he had for that couple years after Hurt Locker.  Ruffalo continues to make me want a Hulk-less Bruce Banner movie.  I love Scarlett Witch as Elizabeth Olsen is one of my favorite young actors.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson continues to bore me, even though his Quicksilver was ok.  Oh and the top 3 guys did their business well as usual.  Honestly Hemsworth and Evans are under appreciated like crazy for the work and performances they have done with Thor and Cap.  See, there is so much ground to cover and not enough review time to cover it.

Personally, I think at worst, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is just as good as its (true) predecessor, the first Avengers film.  In many ways, this film surpasses it and does better when handling similar plot points and issues.  When I first saw the film, I was satisfied but not super hyped leaving the theater like I was that first venture.  But, on my second viewing at the theater, I was seeing something else and a film I truly was enjoying a lot more.  And with this third watch, I definitely keep enjoying it more.  Sure, maybe its more of the same, but when that “same” is something that was really awesome and you’re improving upon it, how is that a bad thing?  If this is the last we saw the original team in this form, they definitely did good work and saved the day in a most satisfying fashion.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Depth:  This one was set for 3D conversion, so you know it is very good in its spacing and loose feeling.  Movements are smooth and backgrounds are are defined and sharp as the focus will allow.

Black Levels: Blacks are nice and inky.  No detail lost, no crushing to report.  Things in the dark and in the shadows still carry all their texture and definition.

Color Reproduction:  The film features a stunning little palette as each hero carries their own color scheme.  Reds, golds, purples, greens, blues…they all look gorgeous and are set at the perfect level of vivdness.  Popping without bleeding at all.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and hang that way for the majority of the picture.  Facial features, at any distance are outstanding.  The highlight of it all is the face of Vision and all the patterns, textures, gloss and overall appearance of his face.  You can feel it just by looking at the superhero.

Noise/Artifacts: You kidding me? haha, its clean, don’t worry.  Pristine.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  Yeah, this track rocks and will make sweet sweet love to your system.  All of the action sequence play as a concert symphony of heroics and destruction.  This audio is very loose free, crisp and layered in its presentation.  Effects, vocals and the score all sound much defined and well rounded.

Low Frequency Extension:  You name it, cities being destroyed, beams firing, a shield connecting, ships and rockets roaring…you get it…this one rumbles.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Through 7 channels this movie tells its story with a great filter of ambiance, movement, distance and placement of character and action throughout.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is loud, crisp, clean and catches every breath of every word muttered.

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Extras 

Please note, when you purchase it through Disney Movies Anywhere you get the exclusive clip, “Connecting the Universe” that explores the epic intertwining story lines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Joss Whedon

Featurettes

  • From the Inside Out: Making of Avengers: Age of Ultron (HD, 20:54) – Interviews, on-set footage and effects test tell the story of the shoot, discussing the action sequences through previsualization, motion capture and execution.  There is plenty of time dedicated to the creation of Spader’s Ultron and Bettany’s Vision.
  • The Infinite Six (HD, 7:28) – This goes through the infinity stones and their history in the comics and involvements in the films.
  • Global Adventure (HD, 3:01) – This brief featurette covers the extensive location shooting due to The Avengers now being a global entity.

Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 12:04) – Come with optional audio commentary by Joss Whedon.

Gag Reel (HD, 3:37)

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Summary 

At worst, I think most everyone will enjoy The Avengers: Age of Ultron and walk away completely satisfied.  As expected, this Blu-ray is top of the line when it comes to the picture quality and the audio presentation.  It rocks your living room for sure.  The extras, like all the Marvel Blu-rays, is business as usual with nothing digging too deep on the couple of featurettes, deleted scenes and gag reel that are the always par for the course.  I really don’t have to tell you to buy this, because you likely already have pre-ordered it or didn’t need my review to convince you to buy it.  In that case, thanks for reading anyway.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “The Avengers: Age of Ultron (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    Does it come with a Digital Copy or do you have to buy the 3D version to get that?