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4.6 out of 5 stars
Marvel's The Avengers [Blu-ray + DVD]
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
VIDEO:

2D VERSION:

The Avengers arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode, which is crisp and error free. The first half of the film is incredibly dark, probably the wishes of director Joss Whedon. The second half of the film is considerably brighter, and the final, extended battle scene is a riot of fine object detail, fantastically robust and well saturated colour, and very strong contrast. Skin tones are natural. Overall, this transfer combines a seamless blend between digital cinema elements and computer generated visual effects. The source material is pristine and blemish-free. The transfer has very sharp resolution and detail. You can examine the hair follicles on Robert Downey Jr.'s face, metallic floors on the Helicarrier, the leather of Thor's costume, and the crumbling asphalt in battle torn New York City. Everything is so clear, from hair and skin to costume fabric and metallic textures. (5/5)

3D VERSION:

The Avengers 3D arrives with a strong MPEG-4 MVC encode that's almost as good as its 2D sibling. The Avengers 3D was filmed in 2D with 3D in mind. Like Alice in Wonderland, it is technically a post-conversion (to be truthful, even natively shot 3D includes some post-conversion to account for mistakes and other variables). In the first part of the movie, there are many night scenes filled with digital atmosphere. This tends to flatten the 3D (and 2D) experiences of these scenes. The Avengers 3D looks fantastic 95% of the time. The source material is pristine and blemish-free. The encode is crisp and error-free. Resolution and detail are resplendent, like the 2D version. Watch the Iron Man/Thor forest fight, and you'll see every pine needle, scrap of bark, and tree. (4.5/5)

AUDIO:

The Avengers 2D and The Avengers 3D both feature identical, reference quality DTS-HD 7.1 MA soundtracks. The sound is fantastically robust, with very deep bass. Immersion is simply perfectly handled. Spaceships whiz through the soundfield with clear panning action. Various punches and bone cracking moves are perfectly placed around the surrounds. Dialogue is always loud and clear. Particular attention has been paid to various ambient effects; notice Stark's "cloistered" sounding voice when he's inside his Iron Man suit, or the creepy, bass heavy tones (very reminiscent of Darth Vader) of Loki's Chitauri collaborator. Fidelity is sterling and dynamic range is amazing. The Avengers is a thunderous example of modern blockbuster surround sound. (5/5)

MOVIE:

As Marvel describes it, The Avengers marks the climactic conclusion of Phase One. This wonderful journey included The Incredible Hulk (here played by Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), with supportive role from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Other important casts include Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson…remember him saying I’ll keep AN eye on you in Iron Man movie) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). The villain is Thor’s brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). The Avengers is about a group of people who, while pretty awesome all by themselves, learn they are not all powerful and, when necessary, can aspire to be even better. Not just as superheroes, mind you, but as people. In teaming up for a selfless, impossible cause, these damaged, detailed characters will each take steps forward to being the best version of themselves possible. Joss Whedon, the director, is also the screenplay writer, who pulled it off to combine an all-star cast with a great story, bringing us this exciting and thrilling movie. (5/5)

BOX OFFICE:

The Avengers has an estimated budget of $220 million, and is the top grossing movie for 2012 so far, with a worldwide gross of $1,509 million, only lost to the box office champion, Avatar (with $2,781 million) and Titanic (with $2,185 million). It is also the top grossing movie from comic books, surpassing the Dark Knight.

PACKAGING:

This 3D combo consists of 4 discs: 1 blu ray 3D, 1 blu ray, 1 DVD and 1 Digital Copy. There is also free digital download of the movie soundtrack. The front cover has a lenticular 3D image of our superheroes…quite nicely done. There are offers for free digital comic book, and free Marvel poster (you have to pay for shipping), available both in US and Canada.

Negative points: The 2 blu ray discs were on top of each other on one side, while the standard DVD is on top of the Digital Copy on the other side. This is a poor design. In Titanic, there are flip-cases, one for each disc. This arrangement is elegant and does not add much more space, but each disc has its own housing. I hate to put one disc on top of each other.

PRICING:

When I first pre-ordered this 3D set, my price was $34.55. Then, it shot up to $39.99, and later dropped down to the current $37.99. Watching the fluctuating price until release is also important: Prometheus 3D blu ray initially cost $41.99, then dropped to $29.99, and now it is an amazing $24.99!

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Joss Whedon made a fantastic adventure film that expertly blends action and character and tone to assembling one of the best super hero films in the history of the genre. For completist like myself, this 3D set is the only way to go. But if you don’t have a 3D TV set, the 2D version is also much cheaper. With top-notched audio and video, and a very enjoyable and thrilling ride, The Avengers set is very highly recommended, and a Must-Own.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
Ok, I admit it, I'm a giant fan of Joss Whedon, and I've enjoyed all of the Marvel super hero movies so far, so I absolutely have a bias for this movie. But, it really is as good as all the hype. It's funny and full of action, but also full of well-written storylines and character development. It takes a character like the Hulk, whose film adaptations to date have been terrible, and makes him one of the most endearing and interesting characters of the movie. Joss Whedon knows how to write real characters in unbelievably situations, that's what he does! And this is just the latest example to prove that he's one of the greatest writers working today.

And all those guys like Michael Bay and Ridley Scott who think they know how to direct an action sequence should study this movie, because I've never seen action that was so well shot. It's amazing. Best action movie of the year by far!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"The Avengers" is brilliant. This is the "Lord of the Rings" of comic book movies -- colorful, epic and emotionally powerful.

This is one of those rare movies that just gets it RIGHT in every way, weaving together half a dozen superhero movies into one shining whole. You need to have seen some of them to understand what's going on ("Captain America: The First Avenger," "Thor," "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2") but it's well worth the effort.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) suddenly teleports into SHIELD headquarters, and immediately steals the Tesseract before the entire compound collapses. He also brainwashes a bunch of people -- including master archer Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) -- into being his minions.

So Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) decides to call in a group of people with very special skills to stop Loki and get back the Tesseract. -- Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) also LITERALLY drops in on them, and reveals that Loki is commanding a monstrous army that the Tesseract will allow into our world.

But even after they barely manage to capture Loki, they soon discover that the trickster god is always a few steps ahead of them -- and he's even manipulating them against each other. This fragmented group of volatile heroes must learn to fight together, or face a world where Loki and his Chitauri army reign supreme.

"The Avengers" is the movie that Michael Bay would make if he weren't a racist misogynist hack. It has massive explosions, a flying battleship and a city-smashing finale that involves giant armored eels.... but it also slows down sometimes to allow us quiet moments where the characters can grow, like Barton and Romanoff's talk. It's understated, but powerful ("I have red in my ledger. I'd like to wipe it out").

But since Joss Whedon wrote AND directed this, it's also a witty, tight script with lots of deliciously funny lines ("Doth Mother know you weareth her drapes?") and moments (the Hulk's assault on Loki). He knows how to intertwine action and character development, and his explosive, kinetic battle sequences always end with a sense of bittersweetness. There are losses, and there is pain.

Jackson, Downey, Johansson, Hemsworth and Evans all slip smoothly into their familiar roles; the white-hot Renner gets fleshed out nicely as the quiet, stoic Barton, and Ruffalo is surprisingly good as the nerdy, fragile man with a "rage monster" seething under the surface. And Hiddleston is devastatingly good as Loki, who is now desperate to make himself a god-king, but still shows occasional flickers of regret and uncertainty.

There are a few changes to the familiar characters, and they work -- particularly Captain America, who is a bit angsty about the loss of his old life. And it's a nice touch that the Avengers don't really get along at first, since all their personalities are so different. It takes a massive shock for them to realize, "We NEED to work together, or everything is lost."

If I had to criticize something, it would be that the first ten minutes are rather rushed, and Captain America's costume looks more cartoonish (unlike his grittier WWII uniform, which combined patriotism AND practicality).

"The Avengers" joins together a bunch of separate stories into one wild, explosive epic -- a brilliant story that sets a new benchmark for superhero movies. On to the next round!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
My husband and I agreed to watch "The Avengers" due to previous good experiences with watching both "Ironman" films, "Captain America" from last year, and "Thor". In my opinion, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans all gave strong and convincing performances in their roles as Ironman, Captain America, and Thor. It was also entertaining watching Scarlet Johansson's Natasha Romanoff character holding her own when confronting Mark Ruffalo's Dr. Bruce character. My husband's favorite character was that of Loki played by Tom Hiddleston. I can understand this because Hiddleston plays a powerful and complex being who proves to be a strong challenge for Thor. For me, it is a tie between Downey's Ironman character and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury persona. Downey plays the role of being the braintrust in deciding how to defeat Loki. Meanwhile, Jackson projects strong leadership and encouraging skills when gathering the appropriate forces to battle Loki. "The Avengers" is best for anyone who has enjoyed any of the previous films: "Captain America", "Thor," and either of the "Ironman" films.
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on February 2, 2013
Notwithstanding the Hulk movies, I've been loving all the Marvel superhero movies so far. I was excited when I heard about the Avengers movie in general, but even more so with Joss Whedon being attached to it. Luckily it didn't disappoint. Loads of action, character-building, and humour. I know there are sequels in the works for Iron Man, Thor, and Capt. America, but I'd love it if they made Black Widow and Hawkeye movies as well before the next Avenger movie (which we all know is going to happen! *grin*); they totally deserve their own.
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on June 1, 2015
They succeded with it. Most entertaining. The Characters are cool, even funny. Gods that are so experienced because they are very old seem to be rather weak? Anyway, I will watch this movie again in the future because it pleased me a lot. I can say the same for my 14 year old son. Great Hollywood movie. A bit expensive at regular price, wait for special, as I am still waiting for Captain America: Winter Soldier... I anticipate the second Avengers movie that should be out soon.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
If you don't want to get stung by a bad description about what is included, head over to the comparison chart on the US Amazon site at http://www.amazon.com/Marvels-The-Avengers-Four-Disc-Combo/dp/B001KVZ6HK/ref=sr_tr_sr_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1341176078&sr=1-1&keywords=avengers because that lays out exactly what is in each package.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
Joss Whedon did an awesome job with this movie. I believe this is Marvel's best film to this day that I've seen. With a box office gross of 1 1/2 billion dollars approximately, this is quite a success and a great movie! A+
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Fans of the classic tv show will have no complaints about this thrilling, action-packed update! Fiennes and Thurman make Steed and Peel their own, while Sean Connery is at his scenery chewing best in a rare villainous turn. Top notch production values and a witty, colourful script make this one irresistible to young and old alike.
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on May 7, 2015
Action packed, but not dumbed down. Excellent story that doesn't stop, the pace doesn't allow you to get bored, the next thing you know the movie is over and you want more. Agents and super heroes shown in clear and realistic way so that they aren't the cardboard cariactures that such movies usually show.
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