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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Directors:
Joe and Anthony Russo
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans
Writing Credits:
Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus

Synopsis:
With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos' actions and restore balance to the universe.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$357,115,007 on 4662 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$857,961,559.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Mandarin
Cantonese

Runtime: 181 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 8/13/2019

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and Screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus
• Directors’ Intro
• 7 Featurettes
• Gag Reel
• 6 Deleted Scenes


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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RELATED REVIEWS


Avengers: Endgame [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 14, 2019)

And so it concludes! More than a decade after 2008’s Iron Man formally launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), 2019’s Avengers: Endgame brings the overarching narrative that started 11 years ago to a conclusion.

At the finish of 2018’s Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin) gained the immense power of the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos believes the universe suffers from overpopulation, so he uses his newfound abilities to eradicate half of all life.

Five years later, humankind continues to struggle to adapt, and that includes the remaining superheroes. All of them cope with the loss in a variety of ways.

Due to Thanos’s actions, Scott “Ant-Man” Lang wound up stuck in the microscopic “Quantum Realm”, and after five years, he finally escapes. After he learns what happened to humanity in his absence, he realizes that the Quantum Realm may allow for time travel.

Sensing that this may allow the surviving heroes a chance to undo Thanos’s work, they reassemble the Avengers. This sends them on a far-reaching adventure to gain the Infinity Stones for themselves and restore the eradicated population.

As I write this in August 2019, we’ve already gotten our first taste of post-Endgame MCU via Spider-Man: Far From Home. That film will become the subject of its own review, but it does offer some hints of where the MCU goes from here.

Wherever matters eventually progress, it seems tough to fathom the possibility the MCU will attempt anything as truly epic as the 11-year arc that led to Endgame. Across more than 20 movies, the MCU pursued one overall narrative that climaxed with Endgame.

Of course, some of those films contributed to the arc better than others, and a few showed little real connection to the finale. Still, all added to the MCU tapestry in some way, and this feels like a massive achievement.

One that paid off in spades financially, of course. By the end of its theatrical run, Endgame became the second-highest-grossing film all-time in the US and it narrowly edged out Avatar to wind up as the top-grossing movie ever worldwide.

While the MCU came with ups and downs, it did boast a fairly good level of quality across the 23 films, and Endgame delivers a pretty satisfying conclusion. I admit Infinity War left me less engaged than I’d like, partly because it acted as the first half of a tale that Endgame completed.

That put Infinity War at a disadvantage – who likes to be left hanging? – but I also thought the movie felt inconsistent. Although it came with plenty of positives, the movie struggled to feed all the mouths involved and could seem thin at times.

Thanks to the fact Thanos killed so many of them, Endgame comes with a tighter focus on its characters. Of course, it still includes a slew of heroes, but it seems better able to stick with the narrative and not go off onto confusing side stories.

Endgame also seems to come with a more determined orientation than Infinity War, as it progresses in a manner that allows it a more concentrated narrative through-line. Not that Infinity War felt scattered, but I think Endgame manages a more engaging tale.

It certainly takes chances and deviates from where we expect a big blockbuster to go. Much of the film’s first hour progresses with nary an action beat, so we get little of the usual slam-bang material for long periods.

This benefits the movie and makes sense. After all, Infinity War ended on the ultimate downer, so it wouldn’t seem logical for Endgame to ignore that tone and launch with rah-rah action fun.

Indeed, Endgame may wallow a little too much in the misery – well, at least as it depicts “five years later” Earth. Obviously the death of half the planet’s population would create a slew of problems, but “five years later” Earth shows too few signs of recovery.

Basically all the survivors we see act as though Thanos’s “snap” occurred months earlier, not years. While lingering side effects would persist after five years, I think humanity would’ve moved on much better than what we see.

That said, I appreciate the view of the “snap’s” impact, and these scenes add to the dramatic impact. They also let us engage in the drama before the story slowly emerges from the funk to allow us some of the fun and comedy we expect.

Those moments evolve naturally and work – mostly, at least. Back in 2017’s Ragnarok, the MCU shifted Thor from his prior status as serious, powerful literal god into a goofier, more farcical character.

To its detriment, Endgame accelerates this process, as “Lebowski Thor” becomes a weak take on the role. I get the filmmakers’ choice to show the way the depths of depression impact Thor, and perhaps if Ragnarok hadn’t already degraded the character, I wouldn’t mind so much.

However, the combination of the two films’ changes in the role adds up to a pattern that I don’t like. “Lebowski Thor” doesn’t become a significant problem here, but he remains a distraction, as I can’t connect with a Thor who acts as the butt of so many jokes.

Otherwise, I really can’t find much to criticize here. Despite a three-hour running time, Endgame moves at a great pace, and it ties together all the disparate elements in a tighter manner than Infinity War.

The actors help keep the tale connected as well, and their many years together mean that the movie comes with a natural chemistry that might otherwise not exist. In particular, Downey excels, as he works through Stark’s various stages and emotions in a way that strongly depicts the role’s long journey.

As the climax of an 11-year epic, Endgame could’ve flopped – or at least disappointed. Happily, the filmmakers bring it all back home in a rousing manner and turn this into arguably the best MCU film.

Note that Endgame got revamped for a late June 2019 re-release. The version on the Blu-ray offers the April 2019 theatrical version and doesn’t include the small changes made for the re-release.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Avengers: Endgame appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Because the same people made Endgame essentially at the same time as Infinity War, the two offered virtually identical picture and audio.

As such, I figured I’d fail to reinvent that wheel and just replicate the comments from the Infinity War review. Call me lazy if you must – I prefer “efficient”!

In terms of sharpness, the image seemed solid. It displayed tight, accurate images from start to finish, with nary a sliver of softness on display.

I witnessed no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No source flaws marred the image either.

The film’s palette favored Hollywood standard teal and orange at times, but it also boasted broader tones, with a mix of reds and purples as well. The hues seemed full and well-rendered.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, and shadows offered nice clarity. This became a consistently fine image.

As for the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Endgame, it satisfied just as much as the picture. As anticipated, the many action sequences offered the most engaging moments. These used the various channels to create a good sense of place and action, with battle elements that zipped around the room.

Audio quality was positive. Music showed good boldness and clarity, while speech appeared distinctive and concise.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with nice low-end response. The soundtrack fit the material and added zing to the proceedings.

Although most of the set’s extras appear on Disc Two, Disc One provides an audio commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus. All four sit together for a running, screen-specific view of story/characters, connections to other MCU films, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, music, editing, and related domains.

If you heard the commentary for Infinity War, you’ll know what to expect here, as the Endgame track uses a similar tone to cover similar topics. That makes it enjoyable and informative but a little restricted.

On one hand, I appreciate the focus on story and characters, as we get a good feel for these choices. On the other, I would’ve liked a broader view of the filmmaking process, especially given the enormity of this production. Ultimately, this becomes a useful but slightly disappointing commentary.

Disc One also comes with an optional Directors’ Introduction. During this two-minute, 33-minute clip, the Russos hype the production. It’s painless but not especially useful.

On Disc Two, we start with seven featurettes. With a total running time of 46 minutes, we find “Remembering Stan Lee” (7:15), “Setting the Tone” (5:25), “A Man Out of Time” (12:18), “Whatever It Takes” (7:25), “Journey to Endgame” (5:01), “The Women of the MCU” (4:52), and “Bro Thor” (3:42).

Across these, we hear from Joe and Anthony Russo, McFeely, Markus, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, casting director Sarah Halley Finn, filmmaker/actor Jon Favreau, Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, Marvel Studios Production EVP Victoria Alonso, filmmakers Joss Whedon and Joe Johnston, Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding, Civil War producer Nate Moore, executive producer Trinh Tran, and actors Stan Lee, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Chris Pratt, Danai Gurira, Tessa Thompson, Tom Holland, Evangeline Lilly, Letitia Wright, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Karen Gillan.

The featurettes tend to offer MCU-spanning views of various main Avengers, with only occasional notes about Endgame itself. In general, these feel fairly fluffy.

Not that they lack value, and I like the examination of the characters’ evolution across films. Still, they don’t offer as much substance as I’d hope.

Six Deleted Scenes run a total of four minutes, 51 seconds. Obviously, these don’t go long enough to offer much real development. Nonetheless, they’re fun to see, even if they don’t add anything significant.

Finally, we get a Gag Reel. It spans one minute, 58 seconds and presents a lot of the usual goofs and giggles. That makes it predictable, but at least it’s short.

After 11 years and nearly two dozen movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe concludes a long journey via the effective Avengers: Endgame. Exciting, dramatic and emotional, the film finishes this extended narrative on a positive note. The Blu-ray brings strong picture and audio along with inconsistent supplements. I wish the disc came with better bonus materials, but the film itself succeeds.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main