Avengers Assemble DVD and Blu-Ray review

Avengers Assemble is out now but reviewing the thing might prove to be a tad tricky. With so many versions out there it’s a bit hit and miss with what you will or won’t get extras wise.

You might already be aware of the lack of a commentary and if you were getting the DVD version you might find that a few other things have gone walkies too. So let’s get on with it shall we?

The Film:

What is there left to say that hasn’t been said already? The Joss Whedon led final product was a bundle of fun at the cinemas that had people clapping and cheering.

For a film that had to balance so many characters and ideas it managed to balance them perfectly, allowing everyone their chance to shine. Whedon’s dialogue is always a joy to listen to and he really did do the best he could with the tough task given to him.

Of course there are some minor issues that might bug some viewers. The Chitauri warriors ended up being simple CG cannon fodder that weren’t particularly interesting to look at and in a film with flawless effects they were a weak link. Then there’s Hawkeye’s all too quick change from the possessed to a regular guy again. Watching it back, the scene is a little awkward.

For a film like this though, it’s impossible for the flaws to get you down. It’s not just the action but the small moments and the big arguments that will have you coming back for more. Avengers Assemble is an excellent end point for Marvel’s “Phase 1” and should prove to be an essential building block for the films to come.

The Extras:

Okay let’s say you’re someone that doesn’t have a Blu-Ray player and a DVD is your only option. Well you might be a bit peeved that your version of Avengers Assemble is missing the odd extra.

The only “special feature” is the documentary A Visual Journey which at 6:28 is just too short to go into any sort of detail.

If you’re going for the Blu-Ray version you will also get the Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel and Marvel One-Shot: “Item 47”. The deleted scenes (some previously released to the ‘net) are an interesting watch.

The best are the scenes with Captain America as he copes with his new life. They take on a more sombre tone than the rest of the film and will possibly shine a light on how the next Captain America will go.

The alternate opening with Maria Hill gives a clearer representation of the character and extended scenes offer more insight in to why some things happen the way they do. It’s also interesting to think how much the tone of the film could have shifted had these scenes made it in.

The Gag Reel is a bit of a giggle and is the sort of thing missing from far too many special features. The highlight was definitely Cobie Smulders’ horrified screaming, a reminder of how funny the woman can be. And let’s not forget Thor juggling his hammer.

Finally, you get the 12-minute short film “Item 47”. The last Marvel One-Shot was a fun little movie featuring Agent Coulson kicking some ass at a petrol station. This is a step up from that with a much bigger scope. The characters are enjoyable to watch and the pay off should bring some smiles.

The extras are good enough that they will have you watching them more than just the once. Unfortunately there’s a real lack of a decent “making-of” documentary.

The Sainsbury’s special edition does include a 90-minute documentary, Marvel: Building a Cinematic Universe, but if you’ve bought the previous Marvel films then there really isn’t much that’s new here. The section that actually covers Avengers Assemble is only for the last 15 minutes and once its finished you won’t feel like you’ve learned anything.

So all in all the score for the “special features” really depends on what format you buy and where you buy it. In fact, for some, a US import may just be worth a look in. And if you don’t do your research before buying, you could risk being disappointed.

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