This world needs saving.
It is this one constant that makes, no matter how far-fetched, the reality that bad things happen hit close to home. Our humanity is able to allow us to identify with a character in a rough situation and cheer for them when they overcome the adversity in their path.
I believe that is why superhero films are the top draw in the theater. When Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" made its way to the big screen in early summer, we were still a nation at war with terror. We live in a world that in a lot of ways needs saving. It has us searching for solutions in a world long for a lasting peace – even just for a couple hours of escape.
In the new "Avengers," we see the uncanny group of heroes pushed to their physical and emotional limits to take down the very artificial intelligence that was created to save us from ourselves. In dramatic fashion, Ultron (voiced by James Spader) delivers Shakespearean-like monologues that speak to our condition of wanting better but being afraid of change. For him, only our destruction can bring about the proper condition of the peace in our time that we seek.
The box-office busting film took the world by storm again last Friday when it was released on Blu-ray, DVD, digital streaming download and On Demand.
In the combo pack, there isn’t only the next story in the evolution of the characters of Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and others, but there are scenes that were dropped out of the film that share a greater insight into some of the new characters that were introduced in the story.
Most important of these – beyond the introduction of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch – is the creation of Vision, the holder of the Mind Stone and the crux point of what connects this movie with all of the others brought forth by Marvel.
When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) leaves the group, he goes on a vision quest figuratively and literally that seemed a bit out of place in a more-grounded Avengers film. It was a move that may have been more fitting in the magic-filled world of Thor, but the quest he goes on is better explained on the Blu-ray, where Joss Whedon explains how everything fits together.
There is little doubt that the film will sell on its comic book geekdom – in all of the greatest, positive meaning. But for the casual fan of cinema, the Blu-ray is a must-buy based on the extra content alone of how the physical world can only enhance the storytelling done with computer-created characters and atmospheres. The tapestry of the world is literally tapped as the film crew uses Italy, South Africa and Korea as beautiful backdrops for our adventure-fueled, far-fetched story.
The behind-the-scenes content offers a glimpse of the what a big budget production can do to entertain us in ways using classic character-in-peril archetypes.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.