If you have a "Night Mode" or "Dynamic Range Compression" you could try turning these to ON.
These sudden bursts of volume are normal for Movie Tracks, they will have the dialogue at a normal level, but when stuff blows up, it is enough to send yer dogs running to another room. It gives more of a realistic feel to the movie. After all, gunshots and explosions are alot louder than a normal talking voice.
Your reciever may or may not have a Dynamic Range Compression toggle, this will smooth and even out the volume to keep the peaks from getting to loud. In some recievers this is also called a "Night mode" or "DRC"
I used to have a Technics SA-TX50, and i think i remember that feature being on that reciever.
Also, check your DVD player, most DVD players have Dynamic Range compression feature. Make sure it is set to on.
Personally i hate having the compression on, i like it when machine guns go off and the whole house shakes. of course, this can be a serious problem if you have sleeping children or live in an apartment.