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5.0 out of 5 stars The Avengers 3D combo (blu ray)…a thrilling ride with top-notched audio/video…a must-own!, Sept. 26 2012
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This review is from: Marvel's The Avengers (4-Disc + Music Download) [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
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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Dr. Joseph Lee
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (#1 HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Toronto, Canada

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3