Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World DVD Review – “All Hail Ben Kingsley” Available Feb 25

I realize Sir Ben Kingsley is not actually in Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World.  However, just as he stole the movie in IRON MAN 3, he steals the DVD for THOR 2.  The bonus feature titled ALL HAIL THE KING is just the thing that make me want to run out and buy a Blu-ray.  The 15 minute clip does not disappoint, and you can’t find it anywhere except on the THOR: The Dark World Blu-ray/DVD.  This home edition of the film is sure to please Marvel fans with insightful commentary and engaging bonus features.  Continue reading for the full Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World DVD Review available February 25, 2014.

Thor: The Dark World DVD cover art

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World

Asgard (Film Frame) © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

DVD MENU

Imagery for the menu was animated like the end credits of the film and easy to navigate

FILM

Since THOR: The Dark World has been out in theaters and extensively reviewed since November, I won’t give a full film review here.  THOR was never my favorite of the Marvel super-hero movies.  I get a little distracted by the magic Bifrost rainbow bridge, and think it’s too much like Rainbow Road from Mario Carts with people driving off the sides.  I found the original THOR film lacking in story, and THOR: The Dark World was pretty much the same.  There are some impressive acting performances in the film – notably Tom Hiddleston as Loki (could we please have more of him on screen), but Chris Hemsworth (Thor) seems to be the muscle-headed thug his brother Loki often criticizes him for.  Unfortunately, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman are a little wasted in their roles and don’t have that much to do.  That being said, if you like action films Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World is entertaining enough; just don’t try to follow the plot too closely.  Click here for more images, trailers and news for THOR: The Dark World.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World

Behind The Scenes with Director Alan Taylor. Photo by Jay Maidment © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

 

Audio Commentary

Director Alan Taylor, Producer Keven Feige, Actor Tom Hiddleston, and Cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau provide the behind-the-scenes audio commentary for the film, and made me appreciate THOR: The Dark World more than when I watched the original film.  We learn tidbits of the creation of the film such as how the entire prologue/opening was digitally created after the film was produced, and that the title THOR: The Dark World was not decided upon until halfway through the shoot.  Kevin Feige discusses continuity with the original comic books and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We get foreshadowing of the importance of the “Infinity Stones, and a possible foreshadowing of the upcoming GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.  Tom Hiddleston provides insight into his acting process – such as Loki tossing a cup in the air in his cell was Tom Hiddleston’s nod to Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape.”  Recording the audio commentary was the first Director Alan Taylor had heard of Hiddleston’s homage to the classic film.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) Photo by Jay Maidment © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

BONUS FEATURES

Marvel One Shot: All Hail The King

Sir Ben Kingsley reprises his role as Trevor Slattery (aka “The Mandarin”) in the short film directed by Drew Pierce.  After the events of Iron Man 3, Trevor Slattery is an infamous icon locked up in a high-security prison.  Slattery has agreed to an in-depth profile with a documentary filmmaker that gives us insight into where he came from [including a rejected pilot for an ‘80s CBS television show] as well as what’s next for “The Mandarin.”  This bonus feature is fantastic, and I could repeatedly watch Ben Kingsley flipping between bumbling English actor Slattery, to The Mandarin, to a Russian action star, and even an impression of Sean Connery to boot.  This was a fantastic bonus feature, and makes me want to see all of the Marvel One Shots.

Ben Kingsley - ALL HAIL THE KING

A Brother’s Journey: Thor and Loki

This bonus feature is billed as a 30 minute behind-the-scenes featurette examining the complicated sibling relationship of Thor and Loki.  We get to see the auditions and screen tests for both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston for their roles, and learn how their character’s journey is meant to be sibling rivalry taken to the extreme.  The feature is not all about Thor and Loki, and is more of a backstage look at the story of Thor and Loki in all their films – cleverly called a TriLoki.  We hear from director Alan Taylor how Loki was not a large part The Dark World in the beginning, and how he brought more of the character into the story (YAY!).  Thor and Loki are ultimately brought back together and are forced to team up in this latest film, but there’s always an element of trust – can Thor ever really trust Loki?  This was an enjoyably detailed bonus feature with lots of insight on story from the cast and crew.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World

L to R: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

 

Exclusive Look – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

No new footage is shown for Captain America: The Winter Soldier; clips from previously released trailers are stitched together.  However, we learn more about the story of Captain America 2 from Kevin Feige (Producer) and Directors Anthony and Joe Russo – a continuation of Captain America’s struggles to adapt to the modern world.  Film legend Robert Redford describes his character, Alexander Pierce former head of S.H.I.E.L.D. who recruited Nick Fury into the organization.  And some behind-the-scenes footage is shown of blowing up cars in Cleveland as a backlot for the fight scene between Captain America and The Winter Soldier.  Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie all appear and briefly describe the new political thriller.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

L to R: Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) & Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) © 2014 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

 

Scoring THOR: The Dark World with Brian Tyler

Composer Brian Tyler talked about the challenges of writing an Asgard theme that connected Thor with his father Odin and brother Loki to make a family orchestral piece.  He wanted to write a complicated score to represent the mystery and genius of Loki, and also represent a Norse mythology that’s centuries old.  This was a short, interesting feature that shed some insight into a different side of the creative process that went into the film.

Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" Premiere - Red Carpet

Composer Brian Tyler (L) and director Alan Taylor attend Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on November 4, 2013 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)

DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES

Extended Celebration Scene

More of the Medieval/Middle Earth type of banquet scene with Thor and his friends and Dwarf guy telling a long tale.  Thor does not seem to enjoy the celebration.

Jane Learns of the Aether

Thor attempts to defy the King to protect Jane Foster.

Loki: The First Avenger

More of Loki switching in and out of different companions – this time it’s Tom Hiddleston wearing the Captain America suit instead of Chris Evans.  Best of the lot of deleted scenes.

Thor and Frigga Discuss Loki

Thor questions Frigga why she endulges Loki with gifts and visits.

Dark Elves Prepare for Battle

Very brief bit of the Dark elves scene filmed in Iceland.

Extended Vanaheim Scene

Present day Vanaheim, setting of another battle with marauders – why do the Asgardians fight with swords while the marauders have laser beams.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World

Sif (Jaimie Alexander) Photo by Jay Maidment © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

GAG REEL

Five minutes of bloopers, flubs, laughs, and Thor breaks his hammer.  There’s a nice back beat to the gaffs.  Watch out for capes and dancing Dark Elves.

SNEAK PEEKS

As might be expected the previews included on the THOR: The Dark World disc are rather Marvel and action film heavy.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Combo trailer for all Avengers related Marvel Blu-rays: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger
  • And Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One: Avengers Assembled limited edition collection.
  • Need for Speed from DreamWorks Pictures
  • Marvel’s Avengers Assemble – Disney XD animated Series
  • Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man Season 3 animated series on Disney XD
  • Marvel Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. animated series on Disney XD

To conclude this THOR: The Dark World DVD Review – the Blu-ray/DVD would be a great addition to a Marvel film fan’s collection.  The audio commentary and Marvel One Shot make it worth purchasing, and add to the repeat watch-ability of the film.  For more family movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.