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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Spy > Anime > Comic Book > Avengers Confidential - Black Widow and Punisher (2014/Sony/Marvel Comics Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Avengers Confidential - Black Widow and Punisher (2014/Sony/Marvel Comics Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Picture: C+/C Sound: B-/C+ Extras: C- Animated Film: C

Admittedly I am a bigger DC Comics fan than Marvel, but being a comic book fan boy I partake in all walks of superhero life. The latest release from Sony/Marvel seems to be a direct attempt to compete with the many DC Comic straight to home video releases; while keeping the Avengers brand in the forefront of people's minds.

Avengers Confidential - Black Widow and Punisher takes us back into the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. where a mole has infiltrated the seemingly impenetrable organization; allowing super-secret weapons, amongst other device schematics to slip into the wrong hands. They have found a link to the terrorist group, but that individually managed to escape; but not before The Punisher could get some intel (*cough* torture *cough*) of his own. Nick Fury is on the scene as well, not happy with Punisher's dangerous tactics, but Punisher thinks the same of Fury. The group of terrorists is revealed as Leviathan and Punisher is determined to bring them to their knees. Due to their stylistic differences (to put it lightly) Nick Fury and Punisher come to a compromise; Punisher could release his wrath on Leviathan, but would have the spy named Black Widow tag along to keep him in line.

As the duo explore the hellish affairs of Leviathan they discover that the job is much more complicated than expected; meaning the will need the full power of both S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers to bring this organization down.

The pairing of Black Widow and Punisher may seem odd at first, but exploring their dark, shrouded pasts and their hopes of redemption it is understandable. The dark tone of the characters seems to fit well with the Anime-like style of the film; even if it isn't truly this reviewer's preference for animation. Again this pairing seems to attest to the fact that Marvel is looking to expand the general consumers' knowledge base of their comic heroes, while catering to longtime fans. This will allow them to more readily integrate these expanded universe characters into future films and television series. Making it easier to swallow that Black Widow and/or Punisher could be a member of the primary Avenger team.

The film is OK. Again, I don't particularly care for Anime so that made this film somewhat distracting. Also, whereas I love the Punisher and Black Widow is a solid enough peripheral character; having an entire film devoted to them was a bit of overkill (no pun intended). It left me wanting more heroes to appear and to diverge from them being the primary focus.

The technical features here on Blu-ray are adequate, but far from great. The picture is presented in a 1080p, 1.78 X 1 digital high definition image presentation that has blunted colors and weak black levels; concurrently having an inconsistent image that is soft throughout; having this reviewer questioning its High-Def claim. The sound is somewhat better in its 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track; presenting crisp, clean dialogue. Panning is weak and lacks that extra umph as it is not nearly as aggressive as it should be for a superhero feature.

The DVD is a downgrade even beyond the wavering Blu-ray presentation.

Extras are short and lack detail. Extras include:

  • The Vigilante vs. The Spy (featurette)

  • Espionage and Punishment (featurette)

  • Art Gallery

  • Michael P. Dougherty II


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