Aug 082018
 

Avengers: Infinity War was an amazing feat for comic book movies and although I don’t believe it’s the greatest one, it’s still a great accomplishment from all involved.

 

 

Avengers: Infinity War
(2018)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Disney | PG13 – 149 min. – $44.95 | August 14, 2018

Date Published: 08/08/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Writer(s): Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (comic book); Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (screenplay)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, William Hurt
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K): English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1)
Audio (BD): English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Buena Vista Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


Note: This review contains some spoilers so reader beware.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination, well in part anyway, of 10 years of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began with Iron Man back in 2008. Throughout the years, the films built up these characters for an ultimate battle against the ultimate comic book villain, even if this end result might not have been fully formed when Thanos first appeared in The Avengers before being more fully fleshed out in Guardians of the Galaxy, and now has become arguably the greatest comic book villain (on film) of all-time. I can’t disagree.

The movie is jam-packed with nearly every Marvel character save for Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, both of whom likely will play a pivotal role in Avengers 4. In any case, we jump around from different parts of the galaxy, I’ve chosen to do a bullet point presentation for each of them:

  • Ship: On a wrecked ship, the remainder of the Asgardians — Thor (CHRIS HEMSWORTH), Loki (TOM HIDDLESTON) and Heimdall (IDRIS ELBA) — are injured and Thanos (JOSH BROLIN) has come aboard to retrieve the Infinity Stone which Loki has stolen before the destruction of Asgard. Also there is the Hulk, and though they fight valiantly, of course Thanos has no problem dispatching them. However, Heimdall is able to send Hulk back to Earth to warn the others.
  • Earth (New York City): Strange (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) and Wong (BENEDICT WONG) are looking after the NYC Sanctum when Bruce Banner (MARK RUFFALO) comes crashing through. Strange brings in Tony Stark (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) who has a personal issue with Thanos following his near-death experience at the end of The Avengers. Before reinforcements can be called, Thanos’ minions arrive attempting to collect Dr. Strange’s Time Stone. Helping in the battle is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (TOM HOLLAND) and soon enough he and Iron Man end up on the alien ship going after a Strange who has been taken.
  • Earth (Scotland): Vision (PAUL BETTANY) and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (ELIZABETH OLSEN) are spending some time together away from the prying eyes of the Avengers but also get visited by Thanos’ lackeys as they want Vision’s Mind Stone, but receive much needed help from Steve Rogers/Captain America (CHRIS EVANS), Black Widow (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) and Sam Wilson/Falcon (ANTHONY MACKIE), all coming out of hiding with the United States government wanting them arrested and incarcerated.
  • Space: Our raucous Guardians of the Galaxy crew — Peter Quill/Star Lord (CHRIS PRATT), Gamora (ZOE SALDANA), Rocket (BRADLEY COOPER), Groot (VIN DIESEL) and Drax (DAVE BAUTISTA) — come across Thor adrift in space but alive. The team gets split up for another side adventure, Quill, Gamora and Drax go to head off Thanos for another one of the stones while Thor, Rocket and Groot travel to a place where Thor hopes a new mighty hammer can be created.

Alright, I think that is the gist of all the plotlines and characters, trying to keep it somewhat spoiler-free. As you can tell, there are a whole lot going on with dozens of characters on their own little plots that probably would’ve been enough to have their own frickin’ movie if they wanted. But I digress, this just shows the job directors Joe and Anthony Russo accomplished, making each one of them rather compelling and mess-free, as so many plots in the air could’ve easily become rather messy.

The acting all around is decent, though the standouts were probably Robert Downey Jr. who looked like he gave a damn (can’t say the same for his highly credited cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming); Chris Hemsworth once again shines as Thor, a character I couldn’t care less about… until of all of the MCU entries, Thor: Ragnarok; Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, in his limited capacity was charming.

Strangely enough, Josh Brolin was fantastic as Thanos, a full CGI-character, giving him so much depth, something lacking in the other MCU movies, just a wonderful and heartfelt performance, though his ultimate goal didn’t make a whole lot of sense… But that still doesn’t detract for the entertainment value.

On the technical front, the visual effects are mostly good. Although I felt Spider-Man, in his new tech suit, looked more like a video game, I was impressed with Thanos. The combination of the mo-cap work with Brolin’s performance was well done, and while you do have that artificial look, how else would someone in purple looks realistic, he did at least look like he had substance and weight.

In the end, Avengers: Infinity War is a well done and impressive… first part of a two part movie; they might have removed the “Part 1” as that had fallen out of favor with the public, but Avengers 4 will be interesting to see where they go with the story and which characters will be gone forever… or until Avengers 5 when a few might get resurrected for one reason or another.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5


This release comes with an embossed slip cover and inside a code for the Digital HD copy which also includes an exclusive The Director’s Roundtable featurette with all eight directors from the MCU discussing how their movies contributed to Infinity War.

Audio Commentary – Anthony and Joe Russo & Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely provide an extensive background on the process of making the epic movie, offering tid-bits on the production, the story and location shoots.

Featurettes (32:18; HD):

  • Strange Alchemy (5:08) explores the new team-ups and analyze how these creative choices will influence the future of the universe.
  • The Mad Titan (6:34) goes into the MCU’s biggest villain and the events he’s orchestrated throughout the films.
  • Beyond the Battle: Titan (9:36) breaks down the massive and intricate, production with interviews by the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage.
  • Beyond the Battle: Wakanda (10:58) looks at the climactic battle sequence featured at the end of Infinity War.

Deleted Scenes (10:13; HD) – Here we get four scenes that were either cut down or removed, and probably for all the right reasons, one of which featured Jon Favreau, and not just to cut down on the running time (*cough* DC *cough*).

Gag Reel (2:05; HD)

 


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 5.0/5


Avengers: Infinity War arrives on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where it is presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p HD transfer (1080p for the Blu-ray). No real surprise here, but this does look brilliant with a good balance of the bright colors during certain segments (primarily the daylight scenes on Earth and the Guardians sequences) bolstered by the HDR and dark levels which are stark without losing any of the detail nor showing off any flaws like artifacts or aliasing, nor was there any obvious signs of banding. Detail itself is very sharp on the 4K and although there is a noticeable difference, the detail on the Blu-ray isn’t bad either.

4K AUDIO – 4.5/5, BD AUDIO – 4.5/5


The 4K UHD disc comes with a Dolby Atmos track while the Blu-ray is DTS-HD MA 7.1. Although this is a strong track with well defined dialogue levels coming via the center channel, and some good ambient noises, I found it wasn’t all that dynamic and lacked a certain depth. This isn’t to say this is a bad track but I expected to have my socks knocked off during the action/fight sequences and instead it came across as kind of… ordinary. I also found the Blu-ray’s audio track to be pretty similar, so perhaps this just didn’t have an amazing sound design to begin with. Instead, it still sounds great all things taken into consideration, but hardly reference worthy material.

 


OVERALL – 4.25/5


Overall, Avengers: Infinity War was an amazing feat for comic book movies and although I don’t believe it’s the greatest one, still place the likes of The Dark Knight and Captain America: Winter Soldier well ahead, it’s still a great accomplishment from all involved, especially the Russo Brothers for being able to balance all of these characters and storylines. As for this 4K UHD release, the video is incredible, audio great but could’ve been better while the bonus features were on the disappointing side, yet still decent.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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