Home Theater Report: Avengers: The Age of Ultron

Earlier this week, I watched Avengers: The Age of Ultron in my home theater. It was an enjoyable “event” movie. But honestly, the experience left me disappointed.

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Poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron

I really enjoyed the first Avengers movie. I thought it was a quality piece of cinema that represented the best representation of movies from the time it was released.

And following that up, Age of Ultron felt very limited. James Spader chewed scenery extremely well, but his villain never really took off or felt like a threat.

There were so many heroes that all of them besides Iron Man, Thor and Vision were nearly superfluous to the final plot. Trading War Machine with Thor and making this Iron Man 4 with a smaller cast would have been a better film. This didn’t seem like any more of a threat than the various baddies from the movies between Avengers 1 & 2.

This is all secondary to the main point of this article, which is to talk about the experience of this movie in my home theater. In this, I was also disappointed.

The a 7.1 DTS-HD soundtrack, was not anything special. The soundtrack was not the rousing orchestral themes of the first movie. Instead the music was muted, and rarely drew my attention.

The voice of Ultron was extremely well done, and this is a case where you definitely want a great center channel speaker. The subtleties of the robotic voice require a very good high frequency response, and allow Spader’s performance to stand out.

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My Home Theater Setup

Nothing else in the sound effects or vocals stood out to me during the movie. They were well done, but not inspiring.

If I’m being honest, this whole soundtrack sounded like it was mixed with a soundbar in mind, not a home theater. Studios often change the mix for home video release, and this is a distinct possibility with a movie that is likely to be one of the most popular blurays of the year.

The visuals were also a bit of a disappointment. The whole movie is darker and more muted than the first. That’s a fine stylistic choice, it just doesn’t make the characters seem larger than life like in the first Avengers. I even checked the settings on my projector and receiver to make sure everything was set right.

All and all though, its an event film that’s worth seeing once if you generally enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It won’t be the movie you show off your home theater with, like the first Avengers film.

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