MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE 3D  [3D Blu-ray + 2D Blu-ray] [UK Release] Earth's Mightiest Heroes!
Marvel presents the 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D,' the Super Hero team-up of a lifetime. Iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man [Robert Downey Jr.], The Incredible Hulk [Mark Ruffalo], Thor [Chris Hemsworth] and Captain America [Chris Evans] assemble for the first time ever in this new action-packed Marvel saga, starring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson], Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself needing a team to pull to pull the world back from the brink of disaster to defeat Loki [Tom Hiddleston], the darkest villain the Earth has ever known. Complete with must-own exclusive content including a never-before-seen adventure and spectacular special effects.
FILM FACT: The film garnered numerous critical awards and nominations, including Academy Awards® and BAFTA® Awards nominations for achievements in visual effects.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany (Jarvis voice), Alexis Denisof, Tina Benko, Jerzy Skolimowski, Kirill Nikiforov, Jeff Wolfe, M'laah Kaur Singh, Rashmi Rustagi, Powers Boothe, Jenny Agutter, Arthur Darbinyan, Donald Li, Maximiliano Hernández, Dieter Riesle, Walter Perez, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Clohessy, Enver Gjokaj, Jamie McShane, Michael Zhang, William Christopher Stephens, Kelley Robins, Damion Poitier, Ricardo Andres (uncredited), Logan Bennett (uncredited), Mayank Bhatter (uncredited), Gene N. Chavez (uncredited), Jeffrey Feingold (uncredited), Israel Hall (uncredited), Patrick Kellums (uncredited), Demoine Kinney (uncredited), Annette Lawless (uncredited), Todd Manes (uncredited), Jorge Mardel (uncredited), Andrea-Nichole Olivas (uncredited), Jeremy Orr (uncredited), Martin Palmer (uncredited), Alexander Daniel Pimentel (uncredited), Frank Powers (uncredited), Jaime Powers (uncredited), Kelly Ruble (uncredited), Robert B. Schneider IV (uncredited), Alonda Shevette (uncredited), Colin Strause (uncredited), George Thomas (uncredited), Jerry Lee Tucker (uncredited), Tai Urban (uncredited), Seth Zielicke (uncredited) and Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk voice)
Director: Joss Whedon
Producers: Alan Fine, Jeremy Latcham, Jon Favreau, Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee and Victoria Alonso
Screenplay: Joss Whedon (screenplay), Joss Whedon (story) and Zak Penn (story)
Composer: Alan Silvestri
Cinematography: Seamus McGarvey
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English: 3.0 Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH and English
Running Time: 137 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Paramount Studios
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: One of the biggest blockbuster of 2012, which brings together some of the most well-known comic book superheroes in the Marvel universe, has arrived on the Region Free 3D Blu-ray format, here in the UK. However, it may come as a surprise to some that the 'Marvel Avengers Assemble' was converted to 3D in post-production, i.e. none of the footage was actually shot natively in the third dimension using stereoscopic techniques. Post-conversion can be as effective as stereo 3D when done skilfully, but some spectacularly bad jobs, back when 3D was still a novelty have planted in the public's mind a preconception that all post-converted movies are substandard. Let's hope and pray that this release of 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' can change their opinion.
First impressions were even better than I thought and far superior to what I viewed in 3D in the cinema, even before I popped the 3D Blu-ray disc into m OPPO Multi-region Blu-ray Player. The case of the UK version, which also includes a 2D Blu-ray disc, comes enclosed within a lenticular beautiful designed embossed sleeve cover which depicts repulsing rays fired from Iron Man's palm, which is a much more dazzling touch than the far more inferior North American Blu-ray Cover. And the warm fuzzy feeling continued right through the main menu which began with a tri-dimensional skeleton of the S.H.I.E.L.D.'s aircraft carrier flying from in front of the screen, with negative parallax that comes into view, as if to prepare you an extra-dimensional bonanza ahead.
Following the opening credits which naturally delivered convincing 3D effects, the movie started off quite dark, with Loki scheming with the Chitauri's leader in a dark corner of the universe, followed swiftly by a cut to a night scene where a chopper brought Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] to a research facility harbouring the Tesseract. The general exacerbated by the darkening effect of the 3D glasses, not only meant that shadow details were quite hard to make out on screen, but also robbed the picture of some much-needed 3D depth especially with the brighter Tesseract cube.
Despite the murkiness persisting for a short while, although there were still some memorable stunning pop-out moments, for example when the ever-so-delectable Agent Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow [Scarlett Johansson] pointed a handgun at Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk [Mark Ruffalo]. The 3D effects really picked up a notch during the sequence where the possessed Agent Clint Barton/Hawkeye [Jeremy Renner] launched an attack on the helicopter carrier leading to The Hulk's transformation, with fire sparks and shattered glasses seemingly spilling beyond the screen all over our viewing area.
But the 3-dimensional treats really kicked into overdrive when the superheroes had to defend New York City against the Chitaurian army swarming through the opened portal - the entire sequence taking place in broad daylight helped immensely. Between air vehicles whooshing in and out of our view, and laser beams, arrows and rubbles flying everywhere, there were enough pop-out effects every minute to elicit oohs and aahs from even the fiercest 3D sceptic. This is demo-worthy material, certainly up there among the best tri-dimensional clips and that includes those shot in 3D I have seen.
Blu-ray Video Quality ' The 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Paramount Studios (who distributed this Blu-ray in the UK) with an encoded stunning 1080p transfer in the spectacular 1.78:1 aspect ratio. 3D activity here is generally consistent but suffers sometime from the same problem which affects the film's 2D version, namely its ubiquitous darkness, which I hate and detest, as I need to see what is going on, as otherwise it spoils the enjoyment, so why do these studios do it [answers on a postcard]? The second half of the film, which is considerably lighter and brighter, really explodes with some fantastic stunning 3D action, including Hawkeye's arrows shooting toward the viewer and the massive, dinosaur like Chitauri vessels exploding through the interstellar portal and seeming to burst out of the screen. Keep your eye on the lower right side of the screen when the flying aircraft carrier is introduced and you may see a double image on one of the tether ties that extends beyond the frame. Colours are also just slightly more muted in the 3D version, though the ubiquitous blues which dot the film courtesy of the Tesseract and its accoutrements pop magnificently. But these are minor quibbles in what is overall a thrilling and immersive visual experience.
Blu-ray Audio Quality ' The 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' features an astoundingly effective 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround mix. For those of you who are new to high definition audio and wonder what all the fuss about is about, pop the 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' in your Blu-ray player and prepare to feel the might force of interstellar energy pulse through your very being. This is one of the most fantastically robust mixes I've personally experienced, one that keeps the low frequency effects coming from virtually the first second of the film, but which never overplays its hand, allowing the listener to catch a little "breathing room" before launching off on a new sonic attack. While the side and rear channels aren't the most aggressive I've ever heard, surround activity serves the story well, articulately panning around the room in a full 360 degrees is subtle at times, but roars when needed, shaking the room with every weapon-fire, explosion, or burst of alien-energy. If I could ask for anything more, I think it would be a little more environment immersion (in the non-action sequences, specifically), but that's more a personal preference. The `Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D', whether or not you're watching it in two or three dimensions, is a thunderous example of modern blockbuster surround sound. Even if the film itself wasn't a rock-em-sock-em good time with reference 2D video and a strong 3D presentation, this track alone would make the `Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' a definite must own.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Marvel One Shot: Item 47 [1080p] [11:20] Lizzie Caplan and Jesse Bradford star in this short film about two wannabe bank robbers who found one of the alien weapons after the Battle for New York.
Special Feature: Gag Reel  [4:05] According to the liner notes, this is the first ever for a Marvel film.
Special Feature: Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes [1080p] [14:59] Alternate opening: Maria Hill Interrogation. Steve Rogers: Man Out of Time. Nick Fury & World Security Council. Extended Scene: Loki and Barton Strategize. Extended Viaduct Fight: Raw Footage. Fury and Hill Discuss the World Security Council. Extended Scene: Banner and Security Guard. Alternate Ending: Maria Hill Interrogation.
Special Feature: A Visual Journey [1080p] [6:28] Josh Whedon and his collaborators discuss how the film's exciting visuals and set locations were grounded to enhance the characters and the story.
Special Previews [1080p] 'Marvel Avengers Alliance' and 'Frankenweenie.'
Finally, 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 and the 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' is also a rocking good film extravaganza, regardless of the "Superhero" label. As a Blu-ray, all versions feature are reference quality 7.1 surround audio and also on the 2D Blu-ray. The 3D version is pretty fantastic also, though it has a few flaws, including darkness and some displays crosstalk. Special Features are okay, but despite this being the `Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' is definitely worth the purchase alone. Regardless of what edition you purchase, the 'Marvel Avengers Assemble 3D' easily earns a MUST OWN rating! This is why I am so happy to have another Marvel Comic Book Blu-ray added to my Blu-ray Collection and to also have it in the stunning 3D 1080p image quality, is a massive bonus and you will not be disappointed. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller ' Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
"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!