DVD Shopping Bag: THOR: TALES OF ASGARD on Blu-ray (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Source: Mania.com


With any big summer movie there is the inevitable tie in. Thor is obviously no exception. There are video games (see article), toys (see column) and next week the cartoon arrives. Oddly enough, Marvel and Lionsgate will unleash this straight to home video film almost two weeks after the film’s release. An odd choice as this often happens before the big film release. Let’s get right into Thor the movie, Thor: Tales of Asgard, and Marvel’s animated features.
My quick two cents on the Thor movie is that it was enjoyable. I didn’t think that it set a new standard for superhero films though. I found it a great prequel to the Avengers movie due out next summer. Chris Hemsworth made the character come to life and Kenneth Branagh’s directing was perfect for the blending of the two realms. Where I thought the film faltered was Thor’s relationship with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Did she really teach him about humanity? Bad boy Thor’s spoiled attitude seemed to change pretty quickly when he was human and vulnerable. I never really bought that he did indeed find his humanity or the importance of doing the right thing. I only bring this up because it is an interesting contrast to the younger Thor in Thor: Tales of Asgard.
Thor: Tales of Asgard is a prequel set several years before the film actually takes place. There are still Frost Giants, the Warriors Three but Odin (Chris Britton) has both his eyes and Thor (Matthew Wolf) is without his hammer. Thor is an arrogant rascal of a prince who fails to see that Odin’s elite warriors let him win in combat. Only his best friend Sif (Grey DeLisle) tells him the truth in the hopes to curb his arrogant nature. Thor believes that he should test his manhood and his skills by going on a quest. He journeys with his brother Loki (Rick Gomez) and the Warriors Three to Jotunheim in search of the Lost Sword of Surtur. There Thor not only discovers the value of life but what it means to take one as well. The adventure is packed with magic, a bar fight, an epic battle, and a ton of warrior babes. Anything and everything young boys will love to watch. Older fans will appreciate the animation and that this story packs more of a punch than its theatrical big brother. Greg Johnson’s script not only sets the tone with its dialogue but it delivers a message that kids can understand. Thor fans will undoubtedly appreciate both of these in spades. There is only one direct connection to the movie and outside of that it completely stands on it own. This makes it perfect for any new fan to get sucked into the world of Thor.
This is yet another example of Marvel’s seeding a whole new generation of fans. Their animated features have mainly been origin stories or tales that take place out of the comic’s continuity. Planet Hulk (see column) is one of the few exceptions were a comic book’s story line has been translated to screen. Unlike Warner Brother’s DC Universe which makes almost every feature a translated work. There are arguments for both sides. Marvel is creating a new generation of readers with a hope that today’s cartoon watcher will be tomorrow’s book buyer. DC on the other hand is giving the fans, their tried and true, what they want in bringing classic tales to life i.e. Batman: Year One (see article). When it comes down to it which do you prefer? Personally, we’re all about the story and keeping us entertained. Thor: Tales of Asgard accomplishes this beautifully.
Top 5 Picks of the Week*:
1. The Usual Suspects [Blu-ray Book]
2. The Terminator [Blu-ray Book]
3. Equilibrium [Blu-ray]
4. Bravestarr - The Complete Series - 65 Episode Collection
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray Book]
* Please note the Alien films are released separately this week. They would be included in the top 5 if not for the box set released last year.
Almighty Thor Starring Cody Deal, Kevin Nash, Patricia Velasquez
An Innocent Man [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Selleck, F. Murray Abraham and Laila Robins
Asunder Starring Blair Underwood, Debbi Morgan and Michael Beach
Black Death (+ Digital Copy) Starring Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne
Black Death + Digital Copy [Blu-ray]
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray Book] Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford
Blindness Starring Julianne Moore, Danny Glover, Mark Ruffalo and Sandra Oh
The Crossing Starring Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright Penn, Anjelica Huston
Getting High Starring Paz de la Huerta, Isaach De Bankole, Kirk Acevedo
Good Bad & Ugly [Blu-ray] Starring Gabby Concepcion, Rene Requiestas, Paquito Diaz
Hang Em High [Blu-ray] Starring Clint Eastwood and Ed Begley
The Hit List Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Cole Hauser, Jonathan LaPaglia
The Hit List [Blu-ray]
Home of the Brave [Blu-ray] Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Brian Presley
The Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, William Holden, Hoot Gibson and Ken Curtis
How I Ended This Summer Starring Grigory Dobrygin and Sergei Puskepalis
Master & Commander: Far Side of World [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Bettany and Russell Crowe
Romper Stomper Starring Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Alex Scott and Leigh Russell
Supercop [Blu-ray] Starring Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh
Supercop / Twin Dragons (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Jackie Chan
Super Storm Starring Valerie Niehaus, Jan Sosniok, Max Tidof and Xaver Hutter
Texas Rangers [Blu-ray] Starring James Van Der Beek, Rachael Leigh Cook and Ashton Kutcher
The Usual Suspects [Blu-ray Book] Starring Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne and Kevin Pollak
Valkyrie [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten
The Yards / The Lookout (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron
Chobits: The Complete Series (Classic) [Blu-ray] Starring Michelle Ruff, Karen Strassman, Crispin Freeman
Chobits: The Complete Series (Classic)
Coffee Samurai / Hoshizora Kiseki
Pokemon Dp Galactic Battles 3
Pokemon Dp Galactic Battles 4
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles Gift 2
Pokémon Heroes / Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray]
Shigurui: Death Frenzy - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] Starring J. Michael Tatum, Laura Bailey, John Burgmeier
Shigurui: Death Frenzy Complete Series (Classic)
Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars DVD ThinPak Collection
Bravestarr - The Complete Series - 65 Episode Collection
The Illusionist (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jean-Claude Donda and Edith Rankin
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated: Season 1 V.2 Starring Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLisle and Matthew Lillard
Boys Town Starring Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney and Henry Hull
Misfits [Blu-ray] Starring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift
My Little Chickadee Starring W.C. Fields and Joseph Calleia
Patton (40th Anniversary Limited Edition) [Blu-ray Book] Starring George C. Scott, Karl Malden and Stephen Young
Some Like It Hot [Blu-ray] Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and George Raft
Bull Durham [Blu-ray] Starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Trey Wilson
Spaceballs [Blu-ray] Starring Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis and Bill Pullman
Criterion Collection
Something Wild (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta
Something Wild (Criterion Collection)
Anonymous Rex / Cookers / Hitters - Triple Feature Starring Sam Trammell, Costas Mandylor
Blood Junkie Starring Nick Sommer, Mike Johnson and Sarah Luther
Blood Oath Starring Sarah Bloodworth, Tiffany Sheppis, Jamie Alford
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest [Blu-ray] Starring Mari Morrow
Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror / Children of the Corn 666: Isacc's Return (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Natalie Ramsey, John Franklin, Stacy Keach
Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror featuring Eva Mendes Starring Eva Mendes, David Carradine and Alexis Arquette
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return
Dahmer Vs. Gacy Starring Ford Austin, Randal Malone, Art LaFleur
Detention Starring David Carradine, Billy Aaron Brown and Thomas Calabro
Devil in the Flesh / Devil in the Flesh 2 / Interlocked - Triple Feature Starring Alex McArthur, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Jsu Garcia
Dracula 2000 [Blu-ray] Starring Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller
Dragon Lord featuring Jackie Chan Starring Jackie Chan
Eyes Of The Chameleon Starring Ann Teal, Lawrence Bucher, Robert Scott Howard
From Dusk till Dawn / From Dusk till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Robert Patrick, Bo Hopkins and Duane Whitaker
Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers [Blu-ray] Starring Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd and Kim Darby
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers / Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Kim Darby and Jamie Lee Curtis (2011)
Hellraiser: Bloodline / Hellraiser: Inferno (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Adam Scott, Bruce Ramsay, Valentina Vargas and Doug Bradley
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline [Blu-ray]
Ice Cream Man / Jack Frost 2 / Killer Tongue - Triple Feature Starring Justin Isfeld, Christopher Allport, Eileen Seeley
I Saw the Devil [Blu-ray] Starring Lee Byung-hun and Choi Min-Sik
I Saw the Devil
Killer Yacht Party Starring Kate Luyben
Naina / Evil Behind You / Night Feeders - Triple Feature Starring Gwendolynn Murphy and Manuel Velazquez Hilary Kennedy
The Nameless Starring Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde and Tristán Ulloa
Phantom of the Opera / The Fear 2 / Within the Rock - Triple Feature Starring Stacy Grant and Caroline Barclay Asia Argento
Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy Starring Christopher Lee, Jason Scott Lee, Louise Lombard
Sledgehammer Starring Ted Prior, Linda McGill, Stephen Wright and John Eastman
Slime City Massacre Starring Debbie Rochon
The Other Side / Grim / Night Junkies - Triple Feature Starring Jaimie Alexander, Todd Jensen, Samantha Janus and Jay Brown
Venom Starring Agnes Bruckner, Jonathan Jackson, Meagan Good
The Violent Kind Starring Joe Egender, Cory Knauf, Tiffany Shepis
The Violent Kind [Blu-ray]
Rocky [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Carl Weathers
Rocky II [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky III [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky IV [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky V [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Alien [Blu-ray] Starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Aliens [Blu-ray] Starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
Alien 3 [Blu-ray] Starring Charles S. Dutton and Charles Dance
Alien: Resurrection [Blu-ray]
Alien Visitor Starring Ullie Birve, Syd Brisbane and Alethea McGrath
Doctor Who: Terror of the Autons (Story 55) Starring Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin
Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74) Starring Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin
Equilibrium [Blu-ray] Starring Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs and Emily Watson
Gene-Fusion Starring Nicolas Canuel, Mark William Hauser, Kaniehtiio Horn
The Terminator [Blu-ray Book] Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton
Total Recall 2070: Machine Dreams Starring Michael Easton
McMillan & Wife: Season 3 Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James
Webster: Season Two Starring Emmanuel Lewis, Alex Karras and Susan Clark
Home Improvement: 20th Anniversary Complete Collection Starring Tim Allen, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Zachary Ty Bryan
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.