Avengers: Age of Ultron appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No obvious issues impacted the presentation.
In terms of sharpness, the image seemed solid. It displayed tight, accurate images from start to finish. I witnessed no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No source flaws marred the image either.
The film’s palette favored Hollywood standard teal and orange with some amber along for the ride as well. Those choices left me cold but the Blu-ray replicated them appropriately.
Blacks seemed deep and dense, and shadows offered nice clarity. This became a consistently fine image.
As for the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Age, it satisfied, though not quite as much as the picture. The soundscape opened up the material in a fairly active manner, but I thought it wasn’t quite as bold and dynamic as I expected.
Still, the soundfield added to the experience. As anticipated, the many action sequences offered the most engaging moments. These used the various channels to create a good sense of place and action, with battle elements that zipped around the room.
They just weren’t as dazzling as expected. The track used the moments well but I felt the mix seemed a little restrained at times. That wasn’t a big complaint, though, so the track mostly impressed.
Audio quality was positive. Music showed good boldness and clarity, while speech appeared distinctive and concise.
Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with nice low-end response. I would’ve liked something a bit more “over the top”, but the soundtrack still added to the experience.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Age - how did the two compare?
Visually, they seemed very similar. I felt the 3D rendition offered picture quality that felt virtually identical to the 2D rendering.
The 3D Age really shined, as the stereo imaging added a lot to the proceedings. Airborne elements – Ultron, Iron Man, War Machine, planes, etc – all boasted a fine sense of movement and impact, while depth and dimensionality appeared terrific.
When we went into Ultron’s “mind”, the 3D material engulfed the screen, and plenty of other moments fared nicely as well. As much as I liked the 3D Avengers, the stereo Age topped it and became the best way to watch the film.
As we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from writer/director Joss Whedon. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at story, character and thematic areas, cast and performances, stunts and action, various effects, sets and locations, music, editing, and connected domains.
I really enjoyed Whedon’s look at the first film, so I looked forward to his discussion of Age. Did it live up to his chat for the prior movie? No, but it still worked pretty well.
The main flaw here stems from Whedon’s tendency to lavish praise on all involved, as that trend gets tedious. However, he recognizes this and seems to correct course along the way, so I think Whedon keeps things more fact-based as he goes. He brings us a good array of notes and turns this into a mostly informative and engaging commentary.
Three featurettes follow. From the Inside Out runs 20 minutes, 54 seconds and offers info from Whedon, producers Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham, production designer Charles Wood, executive producer Victoria Alonso, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend, stunt double Bobby Holland Hanton, and actors Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, James Spader, Andy Serkis, Samuel L. Jackson, Claudia Kim, Paul Bettany and Linda Cardellini.
We learn about sets and locations, cast, characters and performances, effects, and moving ahead with the franchise. “Out” offers a pretty fluffy look at the film, but it comes with some good moments.
The featurette gives us a fair amount of footage from the set, and it throws out a reasonably amount of useful data. That leaves it as a decent overview.
The Infinite Six lasts seven minutes, 28 seconds and features Latcham, Whedon, Feige, Hemsworth, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Guardians co-producer Jonathan Schwartz and Guardians actor Chris Pratt.
The show discusses the Infinity Stones and their connection across various films. It’s a good way to give fans a refresher summary.
For the final featurette, we get the three-minute, one-second Global Adventure. With notes from Whedon, Feige, Johansson, Ruffalo, Latcham, Evans, and Hemsworth. “Global” looks at the variety of countries in which Age shot. It’s too brief to offer much of merit.
Four Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, four seconds. We find “The Man in the Church” (1:11), “Watch Your Six” (2:48), “Bruce and Natasha Talk” (4:20) and “The Norn Cave” (3:44).
In these, we get more of Wanda and Pietro as well as additional Avengers discussion of Ultron. “Talk” digs more into the Bruce/Natasha relationship, while “Cave” gets farther into Thor’s side of the action. “Six” and “Talk” are fairly forgettable, but “Church” and “Norn” add some decent material.
We can view the deleted/extended scenes with or without commentary from Whedon. He tells us about the sequences as well as why he cut them. Whedon offers informative notes.
Lastly, we get a Gag Reel. This one takes up three minutes, 37 seconds with the usual goofs and laughs. A few funny bits emerge.
The disc opens with ads for Ant-Man, Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Playmation: Marvel’s Avengers and two short promos for Age of Ultron. No formal trailer for Age appears here.
Though not a bad superhero flick, Avengers: Age of Ultron lacks the heart and spirit to make it a real winner. While it comes with decent action and excitement, it doesn’t quite coalesce into anything better than average. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture and audio along with a smattering of useful supplements. This isn’t a great superhero movie, but I admit the 3D rendition makes it more fun than its 2D counterpart.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON