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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Chris Hemsworth plays Thor and Anthony Hopkins stars as Odin in "Thor: The Dark World."

New "Thor" Blu-ray has extras, film shorts for comic book movie fans


When Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" hits the shelves tomorrow, it delivers a fun, fantasy-filled story bringing a spotlight on a family feud that affects multiple worlds.

OnMilwaukee.com's film czar Matt Mueller reviewed the theatrical release, and I have to agree with his synopsis of the movie – it's an entertaining good time.

From a home theater perspective, "Thor: The Dark World" is a must buy, especially if you are a fan of "The Avengers" or just enjoy comic book movies in general. One of the extras – "All Hail The King" – is reason enough to purchase the Blu-ray.

I had the opportunity to screen the Blu-ray for the film and extra features over the weekend.

In the Marvel One Shot short film, Ben Kingsley reprises his role as Trevor Slattery, the actor who played the Mandarin in "Iron Man 3." Slattery is locked up in a high-security prison, and is enjoying his new-found fame, while being interviewed for a documentary. I don't want to say too much more as the action in the short, directed by Drew Pierce, may lead to a future plot of an upcoming "Avengers" or "Iron Man" film.

Look for a cameo appearance of Sam Rockwell as arms dealer Justin Hammer from "Iron Man 2," as well.

Also, on the extras is the official trailer and an extended feature of the next Captain America film, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." The film brings back Chris Evans in the title role, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. From the exclusive look on the film, it looks like it will be more of a political mystery thriller, and that aspect is what attracted Academy Award winner Robert Redford to be a part of the "Phase Two" group of Marvel Studios films.

What's been the most interesting part of the Marvel movies is how intertwined the story lines are. The writing and producing teams have taken the extra time to keep a big picture approach, combining the universe that the characters are a part of, while allowing each film to stand on its own.

"Thor: The Dark World" is the third movie where Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki have had the chance to play brothers, whose doomed relationship has caused havoc on Earth and other planets as part of the Nine Realms that their home of Asgard is a part of.

One of the key feature extras takes a deep look into the lives of Thor and Loki, and how the relationship has developed through three feature films.

Another nice gem on the Blu-ray is a short with composer Brian Tyler as he worked with the London Symphony to create an original score for the film, which ends up playing a character of its own. The music had to have a feel of a story that is centuries old as Norwegian folklore goes, and yet, be fitting for bringing this story to life with music that feels genuine enough to fit in our contemporary lives.

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