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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Science Fiction > Comedy > Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015/Marvel Studios/Disney Blu-ray)

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015/Marvel Studios/Disney Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: A- Extras: B- Film: B-

Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) reassembles the Marvel superhero team after their near apocalyptic debut adventure, but in this brief break, Dr. Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) work on a cyber peace program, while the rest of the team sort out their lives, but new opponents (shown in a disturbing clip at the end of a previous Marvel hit) in Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) possess deadly powers of their own and blame the team for decimating their world, teaming up with darker forces to bring them down.

Little to Banner and Stark know that their work is about to backfire in the deadliest way by bringing a killer super-robotic being alive named Ultron (a great tour de force performance by James Spader in motion capture and exceptional voice) who also thinks the team must die. However, Stark Industries cyber security cyber presence Jarvis (Paul Bettany) is on the lookout for them, until he is highjacked, though that is also about to get twisted into something no one is expecting.

Inevitably, Banner becomes The Hulk, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and all of S.H.I.E.L.D. will quickly snap into action to take on the new mega-grand menace. At 141 minutes, it never seems too long and as I originally saw it, it became a very dark film, so much so that it seemed like that aspect of the film was rolled back for commercial reasons and now seeing some extras and knowing a longer cut was about 195 minutes, my suspicions are confirmed. Yet, the angry violence jokes that were almost overdone in the first film are here too much and play as recycled as they are unnecessary, the poorest part of the script left in for unnecessary insurance at the box office.

Fortunately, the cast is even tighter and their chemistry has increased, the money is on the screen and most of this works. However in the end, it felt like some things were missing and it is just not the surprise fun of the first film or better marvel films of late. I won't spoil any of the storyline or other star/character turns (fans can easily guess a few of them), but Ultron is still more than worth your time and you don't have to see the first film or other connected Marvel films to enjoy it, but these interlocking films are designed to work together and play better the more of them you have seen. I just hope that approach does not hold back future films in this universe so they don't get lazy in their exposition or narrative range.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer was shot on several different HD cameras and are melded here together pretty well with all the money on the screen, so playback is worth of the first film, though it is lacking the Jack Kirby-esque largesque of the first film. However, Director of Photography Ben Davis, B.S.C. (Layer Cake, Guardians Of The Galaxy) delivers an approach that can deliver the personal moments, massive action and comical episodes with a masterful balance you don't see much enough of these days. All the more reason to be fired up for the already amazing-sounding Dr. Strange, which he will also lens. This has also been issued on Blu-ray 3D.

The theatrical sound at its best was a Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix repeated in superior IMAX engagements, but like the Blu-ray of the first film, we get a very strong, rich DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix that is a mixdown this time (some theatrical engagements offers D-BOX motion LFE too) that is at the top of all Blu-rays on the market sonically with amazing mixing, recording, articulation and detail that is as state of the art as just about anything out there. There is even a bit more sound here since they began with more tracks.

Extras include another feature length audio commentary track by Joss Whedon, another hilarious Gag Reel, Deleted & Extended Scenes that should have mostly stayed in the film, a Making Of featurette called From The Inside Out, The Infinite Six featurette and Global Adventure featurette.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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