The Ultimate Avengers Collection on Blu-ray consists of the two direct-to-video animated films based upon the Marvel comic book The Ultimates. For those not familiar with the comic book, I’m sure you will have heard of more than one of the films’ main characters: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, to name a few.
The first movie starts during the closing days of World War II, when the super soldier Captain America foils a Nazi plan to launch a nuclear missile at Washington, DC. Although the missile hits the ocean, completely short of its target, Captain America falls into the depths of the ocean as well, being lost for over a half century. Suspended in frozen animation, Captain America is revived by the American Military in hopes of re-discovering the poorly documented drug that made Captain America into the super soldier he was. Bruce Banner is the head of the group of scientists, who are trying to re-create the serum. However, instead of trying to benefit his government, Banner is really out to discover a way to control his alter-ego, The Hulk. Meanwhile, aliens that were helping the Nazi?s 60 years previous are back and threatening the freedom of the world, so Nick Fury (correct me if I?m wrong but wasn?t he a middle-aged white guy in the comics?) assembles a team of super heroes including the Iron Man, Giant Man, Black Widow and others.
This first movie was pretty out there ? Nazi aliens taking over the world, wow. It was really cool to see all these Marvel characters together in a nice-looking animated movie, but I just couldn?t get past the horrendous plot. The action was fun and the characters were neat, but really, Nazi aliens? Enough said about that one.
The second movie was a bit better. Even though the Nazi aliens are back, the storyline is definitely more enthralling. We?re introduced now to the Black Panther, a classic Marvel character who plays a pivotal role in the story as he contracts the help of The Avengers to fight off the aliens. Ultimately, the second film has the same story as the first but in a different setting, yet I still found it more entertaining. I won?t delve into the second picture too much because certain aspects of it may give away some plot points in the first one.
These movies had some pretty ridiculous storylines, but putting that aside I just really enjoyed the collection of the characters. I?m pretty sure some of you will even enjoy these stories, and the collection of cool Marvel characters. I would recommend a rental to fans of the Avengers series, but if you just thought it?d be cool to check out you probably shouldn?t.
Presented in 1080p 1.77:1 aspect ratio, The Ultimate Avengers is undeniably a pretty cartoon, but for an animated movie I would have expected a lot more from the transfer. Countless times I noticed banding; the sky was a mesh of layers as well as water and even terrain, which is really disappointing for an animated movie. Also, there were some problems with the picture looking quite blurry. The boundary lines of the drawings were blurred, and I felt as if though I was experiencing some double vision. Luckily, the rich colors give the transfer some life. Ultimately, for an animated film I was very disappointed with how things turned out here.
Lionsgate presents The Ultimate Avengers in two optional audio forms, a more impressive 7.1 PCM and a standard Dolby Digital EX. As opposed to a slightly less polished looking video, the audio was extremely impressive. For an animated movie of lower budget, it sounded very impressive. Even when compared to a big-budget Blu-ray release, the audio sounds good. My favorite scene that showcases the audio capability was when The Hulk went nuts and took out the city and took on the Avengers. Explosions rattled my walls and his groans filled my room. All channels were put to good use through the entire duration, leaving me completely satisfied.
Lionsgate has included a fair amount of features for this disc. Fans of The Avengers will want to check out the two featurettes.
?Avengers Assemble? Featurette – A 23-minute look at the origins of The Avengers. This interesting feature interviews long-time artists and writers of the Avengers comic. Fans of the series will want to check this out.
?The Ultimates? Featurette – A 23-minute look at new Avengers, The Ultimates. The writers talk about the continuity and other problems they ran into when rebooting the series.
The Ultimate Gag Reel – 4 minutes of gags. Some of these are pretty funny and should provide some mild amusement.
The Ultimate Voice Talent Search – An opportunity for a fan to become the voice of one of the characters in this movie. Unfortunately, none of them made the cut but we are given 5 minutes of auditions.
The First Look at Doctor Strange – A 7-minute look at the Doctor Strange feature.
Advance Trivia Track – A trivia track that plays through the film, offering some added information about various characters.
Although the storylines were completely out of whack, I still got a good amount of entertainment out of these two films. I really had hoped for a more engaging storyline with more variety and less Nazi aliens, maybe even an appearance from the Red Skull, but what can you do. If you?re a fan of the Avengers this is definitely worth checking out; the video is pretty dismal but the audio makes up for it, and the features are decent in their own right.
Special Features List
- ?Avengers Assemble? Featurette
- ?The Ultimates? Featurette
- The Ultimate Gag Reel
- The Ultimate Voice Talent Search
- The First Look at Doctor Strange
- Advance Trivia Track