Avengers: Age of Ultron is out on Blu-ray this weekend, should you get it?
Well, before we answer that question, let’s back up for a bit.
If you’re an Overmental reader, realistically, you’ve more than likely already seen Avengers: Age of Ultron when it was in theaters (and have probably booked a seat on the one way MCU train to Infinity War-ville, no less). So the question here isn’t really whether or not the movie is worth seeing (for the record, totally is), but if it’s one you need to add to your collection, or if your theater viewing was enough to hold you over until the next installment.
How is the movie presentation itself?
At a minimum, the Avengers: Age of Ultron Blu-ray’s presentation is unsurprisingly flawless. So if nothing else, it’s going to be your best bet if you’re looking to experience the story again.
I’ve heard rumors of an extended cut…
So have we, but this release definitely isn’t it. There is only one version of the film included on the Blu-ray: the theatrical 141-minute cut.
And what formats is it available on?
Age of Ultron is currently available as a single disc Blu-ray, as well as a Blu-ray 3D combo pack. If you’re just looking for a digital copy, that’s available at the usual retailers (Amazon, iTunes, etc), and all of those options include access to the movie on Disney Movies Anywhere.
How’s the bonus material? Any deleted scenes?
The Age of Ultron Blu-ray includes four deleted scenes, which honestly feels a bit light given how much material we know was cut out of Whedon’s original version.
The biggest inclusion is probably an extended, alternate version of Thor’s cave scene. As we previously discussed, this cut has Thor entering the Water of Sight and becoming possessed by a supernatural being called a Norn. The Norn (through Thor) then answers Erik Selvig’s questions.
In addition to that, there’s an extended version of Banner and Romanoff’s “monster” conversation that escalates a bit more than the version we saw in the final film.
There’s also some exposition that was cut in the sequence where the team prepares to go after Ultron for the first time. It’s not anything particularly game-changing, but there is a solid explanation for where War Machine was before the Battle of Sokovia, and a throwaway line on why Heimdall couldn’t just step in to find Ultron himself.
Finally, there’s a short scene where we see Pietro Maximoff distributing stolen food and other items to impoverished Sokovians, taking place right before he and his sister meet Ultron for the first time.
While all of these deleted scenes are fine, I can’t help but feel a bit let down that there’s only four of them, when we know that nearly an hour of material was cut from the final film.
What else is on there?
Aside from deleted scenes, there’s a gag reel, and two behind-the-scenes clips highlighting the “making of” process.
There’s also a featurette on the Infinity Stones, which got me pretty hyped for Infinity War, but probably isn’t going to reveal very much if you’ve been keeping up with the MCU. It’s a decent primer for what the Stones are and how they fit into the story so far, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
Finally, there’s a Disney Movies Anywhere exclusive video that highlights some of the links between the MCU movies and comics. Again, interesting stuff, but probably not a lot that’ll surprise an Overmental reader.
Is that all?
Surprisingly, yeah. Given how big of a movie Age of Ultron is, it is a bit strange how little bonus material there is included here. I’m a bit curious if Marvel is saving some of it for an extended cut re-release, but given the fact that they’ve never done that before, I’m not entirely sold on that bit of speculation.
So, final verdict, should I get it?
Despite my reservations on the amount of content on the Blu-ray, I’m going to have to say that if you’re an MCU fan, then this one is an unequivocal yes (and not just to complete your collection).
Why? Well to put it simply, Age of Ultron is our best link to the future of the MCU, and for that reason, it’s absolutely worth revisiting before the next wave of movies hits. It might not technically be the final film of Phase Two, but for all intents and purposes, it is the culmination of all of the world-building we’ve seen so far.
The next movie up in the timeline is Captain America: Civil War (if you remember what the last Cap film did to this universe, you’ll know why this is a big deal). And as much as I loved Ant-Man, Age of Ultron is the proper lead in to that. In my opinion, it’s going to be the one MCU entry that you’ll want to have fresh in your mind before seeing the Civil War.
Plus, it’s also laying the groundwork for Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, making it the best entry point we have for Phase Three. So while I’m not especially happy about the limited selection of deleted scenes, there is Iron Man punching the Hulk, so I guess that makes even?