Thor 3D

Featured In Issue 160, October 2011

3D Picture4
WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Kenneth Branagh
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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Thor is an epic adventure that spans the Marvel Universe: from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor (Hemsworth), a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Kenneth Branagh; the short that connects Thor to The Avengers: Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (HD 03:57); the following making-of featurettes: From Asgard To Earth (HD 19:42), Our Fearless Leader (HD 03:18), Assembling The Troupe (HD 04:44), Hammer Time (HD 06:14), Creating Laufey (HD 05:33), Music Of The Gods (HD 02:05), and A Conversation (HD 02:23); the Road To The Avengers (HD 02:57) featurette; 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Branagh; a teaser trailer; the theatrical trailer; The Avengers animated trailer; plus a DVD and a digital copy.

The 1080p MVC picture is a post-production 3-D conversion performed by Stereo D, LLC. According to the filmmakers, the special effects for the film were conceived and executed from the beginning in 3D, particularly taking advantage of the considerable special effects that were conceived and executed in true 3D. The dimensional imagery is largely positioned in the positive parallax referenced to the screen plane, with extremely limited negative parallax dimension, no doubt due to the limitations unforeseen in the original 2-D photography. Still the dimensional perception of depth and perspective is quite effective, especially in the sequences that exploit the other world and the journey of the hero, providing an imaginative look through a window into another world. This is particularly evident in the 3-D treatment of the fantastical citadels of Asgard, surrounded by the stars of the heavens and the rainbow bridge at its gates. The motion capture treatment of the Frost Giants also is impressive. The greatest challenge in a 2D-to-3D conversion is achieving a natural dimensional human presence, particularly in facial characteristics. Thus, the filmmakers have wisely limited such attempts, keeping human imagery at or near the screen plane, with the perception of perspective depth in the surroundings. This, at times, imparts an impression of little depth and flatness that some viewers may feel unimpressively noticeable. The fact that the 3-D conversion choice was made early on and not in post-production shows in the prowess of the otherwise effective conversion. While the outer worldly Asgard and the journey to the Frost Giants domain is dramatically dark, the earthly scenes are naturally contrasted and appear generally vibrant. The color palette is naturally hued with realistic fleshtones. Hues are richly rendered in the Asgard scenes, and the Earth scenes are perfectly realistic. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is revealing. Resolution is excellent, with fine details event in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. Overall brightness is a bit lacking at times, but when viewed in a darkened and controlled-lighting environment with a display capable of superb contrast ratio performance, the imagery is never undiscernible. Virtually no crosstalk ghosting artifacts were apparent. Overall, the 3-D treatment is an enhancement to the 2-D version and provides an engaging dimensional experience that is preferred to the flat 2-D presentation. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic and powerful with aggressive .1 LFE energy throughout, which punctuates the action special effects. Atmospherics and sound effects are effectively aggressive, with a wide and deep soundstage presence and aggressive directionalized energy that ignites the soundfield with an immersive enveloping excitement. At times the SPL intensity is system threatening and pushes the maximum reference levels. Dialogue throughout manages to stay intelligible and reasonably integrated spatially, though, at times the ADR integrity is wanting. The music score is dynamic, with an immersive surround presence. The music is supportive as a backdrop to the otherwise intense use of jolting sound effects. When all the elements are active, the experience is holosonic® in dimensional envelopment and is engaging. The added two channels appear to be positioned at 90 degrees relative to the sweet spot listening position and dramatically enhance the holosonic envelopment experience. This is a well-crafted, though explosively loud, soundtrack that delivers a powerful sonic wallop! (Gary Reber)