Thor: Ragnarok 4K Blu-ray Review
|Pros||Great film, good use of HDR and WCG, Atmos soundtrack is very dynamic when needed.|
|Cons||Not a true 4K transfer despite a 6.5K camera.|
|Summary||With Ragnarok, Thor finds it's groove and makes the best Marvel universe film since Guardians of the Galaxy.|
|Video||4.5 / 5|
|Audio||4.5 / 5|
|Movie||4.5 / 5|
|Negative Formats||ALEXA 65|
|Stars||Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba|
|Review Date||February 26, 2018|
Summary: In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) – and grapple with his silver-tongued adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the fierce warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and the eccentric Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).
Movie Review: In the first Thor movie, the script took Thor much too seriously. Everything was very important, and while there was humor it was interspersed lightly. With a few more Marvel films completed and a much better understanding of how to write the character, Thor: Ragnarok is a far better film. From beginning to end they have lots of fun with the character, almost a complete opposite to the dour and depressing Christopher Nolan Batman films.
While I skipped the second Thor film (as the first wasn’t amazing) I was a bit lost on the plot points with Odin at the beginning, but it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the film at all. It isn’t as deep as some of the other Marvel films, but more in tone with the Guardians of the Galaxy ones, which is good. Overall Thor: Ragnarok is a very enjoyable film, and one worthy of repeat viewings at home.
Technical Review: Thor: Ragnarok was shot on an Arri Alexa 65, but only has a 2K digital intermediate. Some shots are also done with a Phantom Flex 4K, a camera that does 4K resolution at up to 1000 frames per second, making for some of the cooler scenes in the film. While it lacks full 4K resolution, it does look better over the Blu-ray when I did some head-to-head comparisons for detail. The use of HDR and WCG is very visible, with lightning being the brightest object, but also some rich orange flames and other scenes. Some of the HDR elements are not as bright as other films, but they still look very good and it offers an improvement over the Blu-ray version.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack does a very good job of putting you into the action when needed. It doesn’t always use every channel, but it does when appropriate. Bass is very present, and it was easy to hear in the SVS subwoofer that is currently here for testing as well. Objects move all around the room when necessary, and the gladiator scene is a real workout for any home theater sound system. Having watched both the Blu-ray and 4K versions, the 4K is certainly a step-up and worth it.
- Director’s Introduction
- Deleted/Extended Scenes – Deleted Scenes: The Sorcerer Supreme, Skurge Finds Heimdall & Hulk Chases Thor Through Sakaar and Extended Scenes: Thor Meets the Grandmaster, Stupid Avenger vs. Tiny Avenger & Grandmaster and Topaz
- Gag Reel – Watch a collection of goofs, gaffes and pratfalls starring the cast
- Exclusive Short/Team Darryl – Fresh off being unseated as the ruler of Sakaar, the Grandmaster makes his way to Earth to start a new life. It’s been over a year since Thor left Australia and Darryl has been struggling to pay his rent. Now Darryl needs a new roommate to help make the monthly payments. Unfortunately for Darryl, the Grandmaster was the only one who answered Darryl’s “Roommate Needed” ad and with no viable options, the Grandmaster moves in.
- Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – The Evolution of Heroes – Marvel’s universe is vast and transcends both time and space. We’ll examine the Cinematic Universe as a whole and revisit each of our heroes’ current location and their place in the current MCU timeline, as it all leads up to the one culminating event: “Avengers: Infinity War.”
- Getting in Touch with Your Inner Thor – “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi has brought his unique sensibility and sense of humor to the film in a great many ways but it is the evolution of Thor’s own sense of humor, which stands out the most in the new film. This piece explores the impact Chris Hemsworth has made on the development of his widely-loved character and celebrates the mighty cast and crew who reveal the fun and hard work that went into assembling Thor’s eccentric counterparts.
- Unstoppable Women: Hela & Valkyrie – This piece explores the strong female characters in “Thor: Ragnarok,” their importance in the MCU, their incredible casting and their epic comic origins.
- Finding Korg – A tongue-in-cheek interview with Taika on casting Korg. He describes the difficult search for just the right evolution of the character design, and the nuances of this instantly classic character in the MCU. This conversation will also delve into all the extraordinary visual effects that brought Korg, Sakaar and the worlds of “Thor: Ragnarok” to life.
- Sakaar: On the Edge of the Known and Unknown – Sakaar is the collection point for all lost and unloved things. This documentary will answer all known and unknown questions while also exploring the hard work and creativity that went into creating the look and feel of Sakaar. From design inspired by Jack Kirby’s classic artwork to the dedication of the visual development team to the awe-inspiring physical and digital production, you will see this distant world come alive.
- Journey into Mystery – A deep dive story piece with the writers, director and producer Kevin Feige about the inspirations for “Thor: Ragnarok” within the comics. Most notably, the contest of champions limited series where the Grandmaster pitted our favorite heroes against one another as he does in the film. This piece also further explores Thor’s comic book origins and classic arcs through interviews with some of the most important comic creators, such as Walt Simonson and Jack Kirby.
- 8bit Scenes – Final Bridge Battle + Sakaar Spaceship Battle. Dive into these climactic sequences presented in retro video-game format.
- Directors Commentary
Review System: Sony A1E OLED, Sony UBP-X800 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS SB-4000 Subwoofer.