Thor (Blu-ray Review)

It has been an extremely busy year for comic book based films, and we’re still not done yet; Captain America, I’m looking at you!  Before we get to the Cap’n, we’ve got to get to the God of Thunder himself; Thor!  I need to preface this review by stating that I received the full 3-D Blu-ray set, but for all intents and purposes, this will be a full review of the 2-D version along with the special features.  We will leave the “Limited Edition” artwork for reference purposes, as well.  So how will Kenneth Branagh’s epic tale of the Norse-comic book-mythology play it out?  These, and all of your other questions will be answered in our review, so without further ado, let’s get it started, yo! 




Thor is the latest Marvel film featuring what will be a future member of The Avengers in a later film.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) son and rightful heir to the throne of Asgard.  Loki (Tom Hiddleston is Thor’s brother who secretly wants to be the rightful heir to the Asgardian throne.  He will do whatever it takes to become king.

Thor is a structurally simple film as it lays down the story before us.  It begins in the New Mexico desert as Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Skellan Skaarsgard), and her assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) are essentially chasing a storm disturbance. What they didn’t count on was that there was actually someone inside the storm that they were chasing.  Dramarama!

We quickly cut to an awesome prologue that sets up the various worlds and solar system of Asgard, Jotunheim, etc… It appears that back in the day on Earth, in Northern Europe, the Frost Giants beamed down to kill and enslave mankind.  Laufey (Colm Feore) and his army didn’t count on Odin and his legion to put an end to his reign.  You’d think that the previous two synopsis’s would be the majority of the film, but that’s just about ten minutes worth.  After Odin strips Laufey and company of their power casket, the Frost Giants no longer have the ability beam down to cause havoc.

Later on, in what is present time Asgard, Thor is on the verge of being crowned king, but the ceremony is disrupted when a couple of Frost Giant spies try to infiltrate the weapons room to retrieve their casket.  With revenge on his mind, against Odin and Frigga’s (Renne Russo) wishes, Thor gathers Sif (Jaime Alexander), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Fandral (Joshua Dallas); The Warriors Three with the warrior princess Sif.  Call them The Warriors Four if you like.  They journey out to bring the pain to the Frost Giant’s home turf and upon doing so risk war.  Odin is displeased and strips Thor of his powers and magic hammer: Mjolnir.  Only those worthy enough may possess the hammer and be worthy of the name Thor.

That sets the main plot of film in motion as Thor is on Earth, meets up with the pesky humans mentioned earlier and hijinx promptly ensue.  I need to touch upon a few things before we finish up and that is on Kenneth Branagh as director.  Thor had been in development hell for years then all of a sudden it was brought out of the darkness to see the light in a big budget film set to tie in with the upcoming Avengers film.  Thor was to be the “Lord of the Rings” of films in terms of scale.  Bringing in Kenneth Branagh was icing on the cake, because he not only understood the source material, but bringing in his thespian skills along with his directing mojo was awesome!  He’s a film director who understands actors and knows how to work with them.  He’d have to, considering his films based on Shakespeare are great.  It’s that meshing of disciplines that makes Thor work.  Do you think if he didn’t make it work the characters would be able to say “Frost Giants” with a straight face?  Branagh knows this and he makes it work.

Other memorable casting includes the great Idris Elba as Hiemdall, the all knowing guardian of the Bifrost Bridge, and seer of the 9 realms.  Hiemdall gave me chills whenever he spoke and was present.  Feore as King Laufey was great, and also gave me chills when he spoke.  Ha, no pun intended.

Loki was great as he was played in an almost non-threatening way by Hiddleston.  People seem to forget that Loki is also a God, but his traits and specialties aren’t like Thor’s.  He is a trickster by nature, so his talents reflect that.  Not all is what it seems.

A lot of people complained that the romance between Thor and Jane Foster seemed forced and unrealistic, because everything seem to happen in a relatively short time span. Well, I will explain a bit as to why it works.  Jane is an uber geek.  Yes, she’s hot, but she’s a geek.  Thor is a freaking God with the body of an Adonis.  Of course the romance is going to kick into higher gear, she thinks he’s hot!  It’s simple.

Branagh being well versed in literature and what not, also weaves a bit of Excaliber and The Sword in the Stone into Thor. It’s a great addition to the storyline and it works for the best.  There are nice little nuances like that sprinkled throughout the film.  I better watch myself, because if I don’t stop this review now it will end up reading like a love letter to Mr. Branagh.  I do think that along with X-Men: First Class, Thor ranks as one of the best comic book films of the year.


Thor is presented in 1080p, 2.35:1, widescreen.  Thor is up there in terms of presentation, but bad news first, and not really that bad, but we have to talk about it for a bit.  Black levels in the Jotunheim scenes are extremely dark, and in some instances, sort of washed  out. If you watch it in the daytime make sure that there is no light coming into your viewing room. It can get difficult to see what is going.  No, it isn’t black crush, but I think it has to do with the source material and how the filmmakers intended Jotunheim to look.  With that quip out of the way, the rest of Thor looks GREAT!  From the hallowed halls of Asgard, to the dry desert of New Mexico, Thor reigns supreme.  Flesh tones look natural and do not flush.  The shiny armaments of everyone glow and glisten with surreal realism that I could not keep my eyes off the shiny outfits.  I want some armor, too!   Dirt, artifacts, and noise are nowhere to be found.  Contrast is warm in those outdoors scenes in the desert, and I did not detect any DNR smears.  You could say that Thor rides the lightning on Blu-ray!



Thor is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless.  I’ve got three words for you: Reference, reference, reference!  Did I mention REFERENCE?  Okay, good.  Thor rocks the house, so if you have roommates or neighbors then I do feel sorry for you.  You will probably get a knock on the door or a bang on the wall.  To say that the Thor soundtrack is anything but “robust” would be a damn lie.  Dialogue is crystal clear, explosions are loud and deafening without sounding harsh.  The LFE works overtime in bringing the low end without sounding distorted.  You can feel the bass in your face.  The surround channels produce amazing dimensionality to the various scenes of objects being thrown around and fired upon.  Lightning, fire beams, and energy blasts, oh my!   Thor brings the noise alright.   

Special Features 

Thor comes packed with special features, but the real treat on this Blu-ray is the exceptional commentary track by the great Kenneth Branagh.  The commentary is informational, fascinating, and most of all FUN!  Amazingly enough, Kenneth runs through it a very brisk pace while continuing to be screen-specific in the process.  That’s awesome.  Other features included are: Featurettes, deleted scenes, trailers, and an Avengers preview.  The other stand out feature is something called The Consultant which expands on the this comic book film universe within The Avengers characters.  It’s a nice touch, and they’re all presented in HD.

  • Commentary by Director Kenneth Branagh
  • Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (HD)
  • 7 Featurettes (HD)
  • Road to The Avengers (HD)
  • 11 Deleted Scenes (HD)
  • Teaser and Theatrical Trailers (HD)

Final Thoughts 

Stack them up high, because The Avengers are coming and Thor will be part of it.  Until then, have yourself a good time with the film. I do believe it has something for everyone, and do believe it’s one of the better comic book films to come out this year. Kenneth Branagh comes through on a large scale.  Bring on Thor 2! *smashes cup on the ground*



Order Thor on Blu-ray!




7 Responses to “Thor (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I’m reserving judgment for when I see this again next week. I so wanted to like this film!

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I really liked the film and I’m glad the Blu-ray turned out good!

  3. Gerard Iribe

    The AQ is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!

    Remember Tron Legacy? Yeah, like that!

  4. Matt Goodman

    Absolutely LOVED THIS!!

  5. Gregg

    Enjoyed it the first time, really enjoyed it the second time. Looking forward to the Blu-ray!

  6. Christopher

    Did not see this in theaters and I’m not familiar with the Thor character so I’m not sure if I will like this. I might pick it up still.

  7. Brian White

    Much respect for this film after a second viewing! I’d give it up to a 4.