Thor: The Dark World appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. From start to finish, the film looked terrific.
Sharpness appeared positive. We got a tight, detailed image with precise visuals at all times.
I noticed no issues with shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes were not a factor. Source flaws remained absent,
As one might expect from a flick like this, Dark World provided a stylized palette. Colors tended toward a golden tint, though they weren’t overwhelming in their orientation, and other scenes leaned in different directions.
Overall, the hues appeared well-rendered and distinctive. The disc’s HDR added vivacity and impact to the hues, as they seemed vibrant and impressive.
Blacks showed good depth and darkness, while shadows were solid, a neat accomplishment given how many dimly-lit scenes appeared during the film. The HDR gave whites and contrast nice power. I felt wholly pleased with this very strong presentation.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Dark World. With a variety of action and ambient elements, the audio brought the events to life in fine fashion.
Fight sequences added the greatest punch, and the pieces used all the speakers to great advantage. Quieter scenes contributed good breadth and smoothness as well. All of this meant the audio filled out the spectrum in a nice manner.
Sound quality satisfied. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.
Music demonstrated good range and clarity as well. Effects worked the best of the bunch, as they were consistently dynamic and vivid. All in all, this was an active and engaging soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Expect a bit more breadth and punch from the Atmos mix.
Visuals showed major improvements. I felt the Blu-ray looked a bit dim and occasionally soft, whereas the 4K UHD corrected those concerns. I don’t know if I’d call the 4K UHD Dark World a revelation, but it certainly acted as a notable upgrade over the Blu-ray.
The disc comes with a reasonable roster of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Alan Taylor, producer Kevin Feige, cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau and actor Tom Hiddleston.
This edited piece combines two separate running, screen-specific chats; Taylor/Morgenthau pair for one and Feige/Hiddleston sit for the other. The track looks at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets, locations and visual design, music and costumes, camerawork, effects, stunts and some other domains.
Of the two pairs, Feige/Hiddleston dominate the commentary. That comes as a surprise, as one might expect the director to give us the most information, but it’s not a problem. Even with the Feige/Hiddleston part in the majority, we still get decent balance and learn a fair amount about the movie. The commentary covers the movie well.
Continuing a series of short adventures, Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King runs
13 minutes, 51 seconds. It gives us a follow-up on the Mandarin character (Ben Kingsley) from Iron Man 3, as he meets with journalist Jackson Norris (Scoot McNairy).
It’s always a delight to see Kingsley in the role, and the short provides an intriguing tale that I’m sure will develop more in the future. Oh, and stick around through the credits for a hilarious cameo.
A two-part documentary called A Brother’s Journey: Thor and Loki fills a total of 31 minutes, 39 seconds. We find comments from Taylor, Feige, Hiddleston, executive producers Craig Kyle, Louis D’Esposito, and Victoria Alonso, Avengers director Joss Whedon, special makeup effects designer David White, stunt coordinator Steve Dent, visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison, production designer Charles Wood, and actors Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Kat Dennings, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Stellan Skarsgaard, and Christopher Eccleston.
As implied by the title, “Journey” focuses on the Thor and Loki roles, though it broadens to other areas as well. We learn about character specifics as well as casting/performances, sets and locations, costumes, various effects, stunts and action, and a few additional topics.
“Journey” provides a decent overview of the film, though it lacks much depth. It spends too much time with basic discussion of characters/story, as these don’t expand our understanding of the film in a substantial manner. The documentary has its moments but seems pretty average.
For a preview, we go to an Exclusive Look at Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In this three-minute, 35-second piece, we get notes from Feige, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, stunt coordinator Thomas Harper and actors Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Redford.
They tell us a little about story/characters as well as stunts. Despite the smattering of movie facts, this remains a promo piece.
Another featurette arrives via the five-minute, 21-second Scoring Thor: The Dark World With Brian Tyler. We hear from composer Tyler as he discusses his work for the film. Despite the program’s brevity, it offers good insights into the film’s music.
Six Deleted and Extended Scenes occupy a total of seven minutes, 49 seconds. These present “Extended Celebration Scene”, “Jane Learns About the Aether”, “Loki: The First Avenger”, “Thor and Frigga Discuss Loki”, “Dark Elves Prepare for Battle” and “Extended Vanaheim Scene”.
For the most part, these seem inconsequential. “Frigga” allows the eternally underused Rene Russo a little more screen time, but the rest seem inessential – and note that “Avenger” offers the same scene found in the final flick but just with a different actor for one short segment.
We can watch these scenes with or without commentary from Taylor, Morganthau, Hiddleston and Feige. They tell us a little about shooting the sequences as well as why the clips got the boot – usually, at least, as we don’t always learn the cause for deletion.
The comments add decent data but not as much insight as I’d like. (Note that no commentary accompanies “Vanaheim”.)
We finish with a Gag Reel. It takes up three minutes, 30 seconds and displays a pretty standard compilation of silliness and mistakes. Nothing unusually interesting occurs.
The disc opens with ads for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and various Marvel DVDs/BDs. Sneak Peeks also includes promos for Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man, Need for Speed and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH. No trailer for Dark World pops up here.
With Thor: The Dark World, we get a serviceable sequel, but it doesn’t do a lot to stand out as memorable. Though the movie offers reasonable excitement at times, it tends to drag and becomes one of the less interesting of the Avengers-related efforts. The 4K UHD comes with terrific picture and audio as well as a mostly useful set of supplements. Dark World works well enough to satisfy Thor fans, and the 4K UHD becomes its best home exhibition to date.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of DARK WORLD