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A view on Hi-def discs by Gary W. Tooze

Hulk vs. Wolverine / Hulk vs. Thor Blu-ray

(Frank Paur, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze


Studio: Lions Gate



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Chapters: 16 X 2

Feature film: 1080p / MPEG-4 AVC

Disc Size: 23,190,458,289 bytes

Feature Size: 8,093,552,640 bytes / 6,523,705,344 bytes

Time: 45:28.767 / 37:02.261

Average Bitrate: 23.73 Mbps / 23.48 Mbps






DTS-HD Master Audio English 5253 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5253 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround



English, Spanish, none



On "Wolverine," Audio Commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, 2nd Audio Commentary with Frank Paur, Kevin Altieri and Butch Lukic

• On "Thor," Audio Commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, 2nd Audio Commentary with Frank Paur, Sam Liu and James Peters

• This is Gonna Hurt: The Making of Hulk vs. Wolverine (20:11 in HD!)

• Of Gods and Monsters: The Making of Hulk vs. Thor - (18:25 in HD!)
• Fan Frenzy: San Diego Comic-con (8:02 in HD!)
• First Look: Wolverine vs. the X-Men (5:46 in HD!)

Jack Kirby - Thor (4:47 in HD!)

• First Look: Thor Tales of Asgard (4:40 in HD!)




Single disc in a standard Blu-ray case.

Release Date: January 27th, 2009


Summary: Marvel Animated Features premieres two all new action-packed films together on one release - Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs.Thor. Hulk vs Wolverine: Alberta, Canada. The Incredible Hulk has been tearing a line across the Canadian countryside, leaving a swath of destruction in his wake. He has to be stopped, and there's only one man up to the job. He's the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice. He's Wolverine, an elite agent of Canada's top secret Department H, and he's been put on Hulk's trail with a single objective: stop the green all costs. Hulk and Wolverine are about to enter the fiercest battle of their lives. Hulk vs. Thor: Asgard, realm of the gods. For ages, Loki the trickster has sought a way to bring defeat to his accursed stepbrother, Thor. But for all the battles Thor has fought, in all the nine realms, only one creature has ever been able to match his strength - a mortal beast of Midgard known as The Incredible Hulk. Now, with Odin, the almighty king of the gods, deep in a regenerative sleep, and the forces protecting Asgard at their weakest, Loki is finally ready to spring his trap. In an epic battle that will pit gods against monsters, that will test a hero's limits more than ever before, only The Mighty Thor can hope to prevail.






The Film:

Inspired by the very first appearance Wolverine ever made (The Incredible Hulk issue number 180, released in 1974) the story takes place in a Yukon wilderness where Hulk appears to have gone on a crazed rampage. “Department H” calls in Wolverine to help stop him. Unfortunately for everyone involved, some of Wolverine’s past, namely the villains from the Weapon X project that bonded the adamantium to his skeleton and tried to turn him into a weapon, show up and capture both Wolverine and Hulk. One would be bad but both, together, turn out to be downright disastrous.

On the second of the two DVDs, Hulk Vs. Thor, Loki, the Viking god of mischief and mayhem and Thor’s evil brother, somehow brings the Hulk to Asgard, the home of the mythical Viking gods. Asgard, normally guarded by the all-father, Odin, is left vulnerable each winter while Odin sleeps. Odin is protected by Thor, the god of lightning and thunder. Loki’s plan is to use the Hulk, the only creature to ever match Thor’s might, to kill his brother. However, Loki’s control over the Hulk is lost and Hulk heads straight for Odin’s tower. Without Odin, Asgard would fall forever and the dreaded “Age of Ragnarok” would be unleashed.

Excerpt from Jodie Bass at Beyond Hollywood located HERE


Image :       NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.


Being digital video - especially on Blu-ray image quality is extremely faithful to the original production standards. Reviewing the image really depends  how you perceive the style - which, in this case, can be a bit inconsistent - looking magnificent in some scenes to slapdash in others. This single-layered Blu-ray really has no faults as it is representing the original animation as well as the animators hoped for. Zero noise, exceptionally clean and colors seem very true and pure. There is no need for any DNR filters or edge enhancements due to the nature of digital animation transfer. I hope the large screen grabs can give you a good idea of how it will perform on your system. The Blu-ray gave me a satisfying presentation for both but motion always seemed a bit herky-jerky and there may be a few 'jaggies'.  Instances of walking and other movement are not especially smooth - but I suspect it is a factor of the animation process used - certainly no fault of the transfer. Our big green protagonist can look pretty imposing and scary - especially in the dominant close-ups used. There are some impressive visuals interspersed with some moderate ones. Overall it is hard to say this looks anything but highly successful. Colors and contrast are standouts in excellence.



















Audio & Music: We are given a dynamic DTS-HD 7.1 track with plenty of instances utilizing the surround option. Action sequences show decent range and this mix, expectantly has some aggression (just like the green guy.) Bass can be overpowering.  Music in the Thor segment was also notable. Audio, for both, may be in advance of the image - it is that strong. There are optional subtitles in English or Spanish.

Extras: In a single word 'stacked' - on "Wolverine" we have the choices of two audio Commentaries - the first has Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, the second is with Frank Paur, Kevin Altieri and Butch Lukic, on "Thor," there is also two - another commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, and a 2nd Audio Commentary with Frank Paur, Sam Liu and James Peters. I'm always impressed by how enthusiastic and knowledgeable these guys ('geeks' - said with the utmost respect) are with their superhero topic. These chaps seem comfortable with the Marvel Universe in a way that connotes fandom, obsession and thorough hard work. It shows in the commentaries and if you are in the mood they are a pleasure to listen to. In a multiple degree of separation writer Chris Yost is the son of a man I credit with forming my interest in classic cinema. His father, Elwy Yost, ran a weekday show, which I faithfully tuned in to, called 'Magic Shadows' and also a 'Saturday Night at the Movies' program. He taught at my high school and also worked with my father. I've even been to his house when he lived in Thorncrest Village!  Anyway fans should be right at home with the commentaries. There are featurettes as well - 20 minutes on The Making of Hulk vs. Wolverine (entitled 'This is Gonna Hurt'), for Thor it's 18 minutes (Of Gods and Monsters.) Both have interviews with the writers, director, animators - and both are in HD! We have 5-8 minutes each, also in HD, takes on Fan Frenzy: San Diego Comic-con , First Look: Wolverine vs. the X-Men, Jack Kirby - Thor dealing with some history, and First Look: Thor Tales of Asgard. There are also trailers. Whewww.



BOTTOM LINE : My only complaint is the excessive violence that renders it unsuitable for those young enough to appreciate it most. This is for adults in my opinion and the niche of individuals keen is still fairly large but the gratuitous and graphic violence limits the potential audience. The animation is imperfect but suitable to enjoy and the audio is strong. Big kids (like moi?) will get a kick out of it although Thor can be a bit confusing. As always Canadians Wolverine  and smart-mouth Deadpool steal the show and this can get pretty intense but overall is entertaining. The single-disc Blu-ray is the way to go for convenience and top transfer although I haven't seen the DVDs - which are only $2 less.   

 Gary Tooze

January 26th, 2009


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Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze