There must be an immense amount of pressure writing, directing and starring in a movie with the expectations and hype of something like Avengers: Age of Ultron. How much pressure is there? Well, look no further than Joss Whedon quitting Twitter and discussing how the movie broke him. The first Avengers so was unique, and set the bar so high, that you can’t possibly live up to the expectations and make everyone happy with a second one. And really, that’s exactly what you have with AAOU. It’s a good movie, and even though the old gang of superheroes are back, along with an interesting new villain they have to take on to once again save the world, there’s something that’s keeping this one from being great.
So what is the missing ingredient in AAOU? I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it’s lacking, and while mentioning this, I can’t help but notice that I actually liked it better when I watched it a second time. Maybe a third or fourth viewing will allow me to have even more appreciation for it, and maybe, that really is the overall “problem” with the film. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s really hard to digest all of it. There are so many small moments that you can’t catch in a single viewing. Character interactions that I entirely missed the first time are now clear. My guess is that there are even more little things that I’m still missing, and that’s not really surprising with the large assessment of characters. Not only do we have the original Avengers back, we have a lot of new additions in the form of villains, heroes and even villains that turn to heroes. Maybe it’s all of these little things, the vast number of characters, or perhaps it is simply my expectations are just too high at this point.
Whatever your opinion is of the movie (or if you haven’t seen it), AAOU is a good film and worth purchasing the Blu-ray if you are wanting a first or repeat viewing. That being said, there’s a few extra goodies on the Blu-ray that actually put it over the top if you are on the fence about buying it. First, and foremost, is a feature commentary by Whedon. It’s worth the price of the Blu-ray on it’s own and I’m sure it is something you’ll enjoy. In it, he discusses the things that worked in the film, and some of the things they wish they had time to put into AAOU. It’s also interesting that he takes full blame for the things in the film that don’t work. At the same time, he gives credit to the entire production group for successes. It’s refreshing and much more humble than I’m used to seeing directors behaving, especially those at the helm of a tent pole film.
If you love Blu-ray extras (who doesn’t ?!?!), there are a few additional items you’ll be interested in as well. There’s a “Making-of” feature that looks at how challenging it is to move from ideas through all of the stages of production. The Infinity Stones are so important to the overall MCU story arch that they land their own featurette. There’s also something that should be required on all Blu-rays, the often-loved gag real. Lastly, there’s a small featurette that details the locations shoots around the world. Ultimately, they are all very interesting, but it was Whedon’s commentary that really stands out.
AAOU works more often than not, and as I mentioned earlier, I’ll likely watch it a third time very soon as I enjoyed it so much more the second go-around. The action sequences are amazing and it really gives us a lot to look forward to in future Marvel productions. Like their films, we are probably now getting a little accustomed to Marvel providing amazing Blu-ray releases that have enough features and extras to make them worth your money.
CAST: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man (Marvel’s The Avengers, Marvel’s Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth as Thor (Marvel’s Thor, Marvel’s The Avengers), Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk (Marvel’s The Avengers, Shutter Island), Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America (Marvel’s The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger), Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Lost in Translation, Marvel’s The Avengers),
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye (The Hurt Locker, Marvel’s The Avengers), James Spader as Ultron (TV’s The Blacklist, Lincoln), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained) as Nick Fury
PRODUCER: Kevin Feige, p.g.a. (Marvel’s The Avengers, Marvel’s Iron Man)
WRITER / DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)
COMPOSERS: Danny Elfman (TV’s The Simpsons, Corpse Bride), Brian Tyler (Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World)
RELEASE DATES: September 8, 2015 for Digital 3D and Digital HD
October 2, 2015 for Digital SD, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack (3D Blu-ray+Single Disc Blu-ray+Digital Copy), Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand
PRODUCTS: Digital HD/SD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand
BONUS: Digital HD*, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray
- Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes
- Making-of Featurettes
- Gag Reel
- Audio Commentary
*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer
- Making-of Featurette
FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 141 min.
RATINGS: PG-13 in U.S.; PG in CE; G in CF
ASPECT RATIO: Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD = 1080p High Definition / 2.40:1
AUDIO: Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray 2D = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, French-Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital
DVD = English/Latin Spanish/French Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital
LANGUAGES: U.S.: English & Spanish
Canada: English, French
SUBTITLES: English, French & Spanish
Disclosure: We received a copy of this movie for review purposes. All opinions are our own.