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Thor: Love And Thunder (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Marvel’s second summer offering gave us back Thor in the follow up to Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder. The film became the God of Thunder’s biggest hit yet at the box office and one of summer’s Top 5 moneymakers overall when final tallies came in. After an exclusive window on Disney+, its now coming to the best format of all, 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. The release will feature an Atmos track, commentary by Taika Waititi, some deleted scenes and a handful of featurettes. You can pre-order the film now, using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review at the bottom of the page. Thor: Love and Thunder will be out in stores and every for your truest piece of ownership on September 27th.

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Film

Thor embarks on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for inner peace. However, his retirement gets interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who — to his surprise — inexplicably wields his magical hammer. Together, they set out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance.

Thor: Love and Thunder is the victory lap for Thor: Ragnarok we weren’t sure might happen. After all, all the original Avengers seem to have bowed out of solo adventures after 3 films. Thankfully, the gang got back together for another ride here. While not quite as successful as Ragnarok on the whole, it does include a lot of what you love about that film. And somewhere buried around the fun are some excellent themes on life, love and loss that ring pretty strong.

Taika Waititi is one of the stronger voices in the director bullpen for Marvel and Love and Thunder probably lets him go a bit more than they should, but I’m here for it. This film has a lot of his quirks and he doesn’t settle for doing the same thing again. He explores some different aesthetics and a different side of Thor than he had before. His pairing with Hemsworth is aces and there are many a moment where he can elicit just the biggest laughs from a Hemsworth and a floating hammer.

One of the more impressive contributions here is Christian Bale as Gore. While he’s given scenes to give him some backstory and depth, on paper this role could have been another Christopher Eccleston. Bale is able to put together a weird performance that is goofy, spooky, frightening and with a lot of menace. He’s given the prologue of the film, but after, not much. And he makes great time with it when he does and stays on your brain. The visual effects, costuming and make-up around him are aces as well.

Also in the cast is Guns n’ Roses. Waititi plays plenty of their tunes from Appetite for Destruction that give the film a vibe and attitude to carry on. Then he makes a brilliant maneuver in the third act and pulls from Use Your Illusion I to paint some foreshadowing that is nothing shy of brilliant. Its different here than just using “Immigrant Song” as an anthem. And he actually manages to make the overused in cinema history “Welcome To The Jungle” feel sort of fresh again in the films introduction to Thor himself.

 I’ve seen a lot of disdain for Thor: Love and Thunder and it confuses me. This is a fun little comedy superhero movie with a really big heart and a lot of laughs and weirdness that feel like a nice epilogue to watching Ragnarok. Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi are a rock solid pair and I hope they do something outside of the Marvel films someday. Marvel’s latest is a pretty quick jolt of laughs, adventure and heart and seems like something to easily be enjoyed by all.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail Thor: Love and Thunder comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as a native 4K title and its looks quite lovely. Its a vibrant looking image with a loving array of color on display. There’s a nice look at fine details with good depth. The sharp and crisp image does have its bones where some of the scenes shot in The Volume look a bit more obvious, but even there its a good spot of high quality clarity and strong texture and detail.

Depth: Depth of field is pretty strong with good pushback and display of grander scale in the film. Its a nice open field and features smooth, natural movements from the characters within it. No issues with distorted motion from rapid action scenes or camera movements.

Black Levels: Blacks levels are deep and natural with good shade and contrasting to really bring out the better colors and tints on display in the film. No information is hidden in darker areas of the film as patterns, texture and detail is still very visible. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: This is colorful, bursting film as it does not shy away from some flash. There are some more muted stuff on Earth bound sequences, but there’s a lot of this film that just pops and gets a good hand from the HDR.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to end credits scene of the film. Facial features and texture has plenty of easy, clear discernible information from any given distance in the frame. Christian Bale’s “Gore” in particular has a lot of cool stuff going on.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Japanese 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese

Dynamics: Nope, Disney still hasn’t cracked the Atmos code yet, but this is a pretty decent effort from them (and WAY better than Thor’s last Atmos track). Crank it up a little bit and enjoy. It features some nice dynamics and decent engagement on the deep end. Its a pretty playful mix around the room and has some good balance, depth and layering.

Height: From above many things fly over, crumble down, blast across and bring music up to concert. Its active, accurate and fun.

Low Frequency Extension: There’s a good enough, admirable bump of power from the sub with lightning strikes, explosions, energy bursts, crashes and more. The G n’ R drums and bass hit pretty nicely too.

Surround Sound Presentation: There’s a lot of fun to be had by the side and rear channels. Plenty of good ambiance as well as unique sounds or keeping track of onscreen action has this mix fun and active.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Thor: Love and Thunder comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All bonus features are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • By Taika Waititi

Hammer-Worthy: Thor And The Mighty Thor (HD, 5:36) – A featurette that talks about bringing back Natalie Portman and she and Chris Hemsworth’s workout regime and costumes they were put in the film.

Shaping A Villain (HD, 6:11) – This featurette goes over the comic character of Gore and what they wanted from him in the film universe and then how Christian Bale was for the role (“If I hadn’t done it, my children would have disowned me”).

Another Classic Taika Adventure (HD, 7:53) – This one goes over working with Taika Waititi, from him getting hired on Ragnarok to working with him on this movie with this cast and crew.

Gag Reel (HD, 2:45)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:45)

Summary

Thor: Love and Thunder is the victory lap of my favorite MCU movie and I’m happy to enjoy and bask in it. Disney/Marvel’s 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release has a terrific looking image and pretty nice Atmos track to accompany it. The extras are kind of a whole lot of nothing and very light, so that’s sort of where the disappointment in this release comes from. Nonetheless, this is the best route to go in owning the film and adding it to the growing MCU collection you’re building up.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a 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. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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