‘The Avengers’ Blu-ray/DVD Review Pt. 2 – Bonus Features for the Comic Book Geek

Stephen Branson September 28, 2012 0
‘The Avengers’ Blu-ray/DVD Review Pt. 2 – Bonus Features for the Comic Book Geek
  • Commentary
  • Item 47 and Gag Reel
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes and Featurettes
  • Soundgarden's
  • Target Exclusive Disc

Earlier this week, 2012′s biggest blockbuster hit stores and fans went crazy. If you’re interested in reading more about the The Avengers, check out Jonathon’s review of the film here. Also, click here to read my break-down of the store exclusives for the film and figure out which version of the Blu-ray is perfect for you. I had originally planned to go with Target’s 2-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack with Exclusive Bonus Disc, but I changed my mind and decided to upgrade to their 4-Disc version due to the fact that the price was reduced to $20 for a limited time. Finding it in stores was a different story. By the time I made it to Target on the 25th to get my copy of the Blu-ray they had sold out. Four different Target stores later I was still having no luck. I guess I picked the wrong day to sleep in. Fortunately, the next morning I was up early and the 4-Disc Blu-ray was mine.

Commentary by Joss Whedon

Kicking off the bonus features is the commentary by director Joss Whedon. I know a lot of people don’t particularly enjoy listening to the commentaries, but this is one that I highly suggest you make an exception and listen to. Not only is it filled with tons of fun facts and insights into the making of the film and what goes on in Whedon’s mind, but it is also full of Whedon’s personal brand of humor. This commentary is a must for any Whedonite.

Marvel One Shot: Item 47

At 11 minutes long, this is the longest of the Marvel One Shots, and also the one with the most story. Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Bradford star as a down-on-their-luck couple who find one of the discarded alien guns from the climactic New York City battle between the Avengers and the Chitauri – and proceed to make some incredibly bad decisions. Two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (Maximiliano Hernández, returning from Thor and The Avengers, and Lost’s Titus Welliver) are given the job of cleaning up the mess and stopping this modern-day Bonnie and Clyde (not coincidentally named Benny and Claire.) It’s a great epilogue to The Avengers, and a great short film that fans of the movie are sure to enjoy.

Gag Reel

What is an epic blockbuster hit without a gag reel? Not only are they fun to watch, but you can also learn a lot from them. For instance, did you know that Tom Hiddleston can do a pretty spot on impression of Alan Rickman? Or that Jeremy Renner knows nothing about Star Trek? I bet you didn’t know that Thor can sometimes have a bad case of butterfingers. To learn more, check out the gag reel for yourself.

Deleted/Extended Scenes:

Alternate opening: “Maria Hill Interrogation”
This alternate opening takes place 48 hours after the New York City battle with Maria Hill being questioned by the World Security Council about the events that have taken place.

“Loki & Barton Strategize” (Extended)
This is an extended look at the scene between Loki and Hawkeye discussing details about Nick Fury assembling the superhero team.

“Steve Rogers: Man Out of Time”
In this alternate Captain America-oriented scene, we are shown a darker, more depressing side of the super-soldier and how he tries to adapt to today’s world. The scene also features an alternate Stan “The Man” Lee cameo, and horrible product placement by Nokia and Acura.

“Nick Fury & World Security Council”
Nick Fury defends the actions of the brainwashed Hawkeye and his decision to create the Avengers in this deleted scene.

Extended Viaduct Fight – Raw Footage
Featured in this deleted scene is some unfinished animation showing an alternate fight scene during the battle in New York City at the climax of the film.

“Fury and Hill Discuss the World Security Council”
This scene is a discussion between Nick Fury and Maria Hill regarding Fury’s meeting with the World Security Council in a previous deleted scene.

“Banner and Security Guard” (Extended)
Bruce Banner continues his conversation with the security guard in this extended scene. Banner tries his best to describe the Hulk to the security guard, but has trouble doing so. The guard offers Bruce some words of wisdom and tells him to take his motorcycle so he can meet up with the other Avengers.

Alternate ending: “Maria Hill Interrogation”
In this alternate ending Maria Hill continues her questioning with the World Security Council and defends Nick Fury and his decision to bring together the Avengers.

After watching all the scenes, it’s easy to see why Whedon decided to leave them out. It felt like the scenes would have slowed the pacing of the film and added unneeded information to an already, in my opinion, perfect superhero film.

Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes:

A Visual Journey
Director Joss Whedon, producers, and visual effects designers give us a look at a few locations in the film. They also explain how they designed the Helicarrier and how it toes the line of fantasy and reality.

Assembling the Ultimate Team
Whedon and the actors tell what it was like to have Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury all in one movie, as well as all on the set. They talk about their journey from their individual films to the ensemble film and how much fun they had with each other. This feature was mostly everyone patting each other on the back, but that’s to be expected from a film that has grossed over $1.5 billion dollars worldwide.

Soundgarden’s “Live to Rise” music video

The song “Live to Rise” is the first newly recorded song that the rock band Soundgarden has released since reforming in 2010, and is one of the tracks featured on Avengers Assemble - the soundtrack inspired by The Avengers. Their music video consists of them singing in a dark warehouse while the energy from the Tesseract gradually expands behind them, mixed with shots from the movie. It’s a pretty cool video for fans of Soundgarden and The Avengers, and is called “the Incredible Hulk on this all-star soundtrack for the all-star superhero movie The Avengers” by USA Today.

Want To Know More?

Interested in learning more about your favorite superheroes? When “Play” is highlighted on the main menu, hit the left button so the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo lights up and press “Enter”. There you will find short bios on each of the superheroes featured in the film.

The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App

Back in July, Marvel released The Avengers Initiative, available for download on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. By downloading the app, you gain access to exclusive content, special access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. database, links to character profiles, stories and scenes, interactive Marvel comic books, trivia, and much more. When synced with the Blu-ray, the app gives you behind-the-scenes experiences and looks at concept art related to the scene playing on your TV. This app is a must have for anyone with an iPhone watching the Blu-ray. Think of it as an extra set of free bonus features.

Target Exclusive Bonus Disc – Building A Cinematic Universe

  1. Assembling The Avengers
  2. Iron Man
  3. The Incredible Hulk
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. Thor
  6. Captain America: The First Avenger
  7. Marvel’s The Avengers

With over 90 minutes of original footage, these exclusive featurettes take you behind the scenes of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with never-before-seen footage, cast and crew interviews, and the history of Marvel comics. Each individual featurette highlights the process of creating the films and how the superhero genre has exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. For superhero geeks like myself, it was really fun to watch a documentary that lets us travel back to the very beginning with the creation of Marvel comics, and takes you on a journey all the way up to the premiere of The Avengers.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

As far as bonus features go, what more could you ask for? I was glued to my TV for hours watching everything. I think I’m one of the only people in the world who actually listens to the director commentary, but I think more people should start. You can learn so much from listening to it. That and Marvel’s first ever gag reel were my two favorite parts of the bonus features. Pick up a copy of the film and judge these features for yourself.

Buy It, Rent It, or Skip It

More like buy it, buy it, or buy it. The Avengers is truly the greatest superhero film ever made. There is no question about it in my mind. Whether you are a superhero fan, a Joss Whedon fan, or a fan of any of the actors in The Avengers this film deserves to be in your collection (and it’s well worth the $20 I spent on it). I have loved everything that Whedon has had a part in and I can’t wait to see what he does with The Avengers 2.