Michael Scott

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Avengers: Endgame


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Movie: :4stars:
4K Video: :4.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



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Movie

I don't usually do this, but since we were only given the Blu-ray to review from Marvel, borrowed a friend's 4K UHD copy so that the world's biggest box office success EVER could get a 4K review for you guys.

11 years, 22 films, billions in production costs, and countless billions in return. Few film franchises can boast the CONSISTENT (key word there) longevity, with a single focused goal in mind, while pumping out a mean average of 2 films a year for the last decade plus. Few franchises can boast the world building that Marvel has accomplished with the first 3 phases of their super hero movie binge, and fewer more have seen the financial success raise itself higher higher. I’ll be the first to admit that there are several films in the Marvel universe that I actively dislike (*cough*Iron Man 3*cough*), some that were mediocre, but overall I’ve enjoyed a goodly majority of the 22 films that 2008’s Iron Man spawned. The last several Marvel movies had been rather disappointing and bland, but with last year’s Avengers: Infinity War the franchise hit it’s peak. I absolutely loved Infinity War and felt it was a breathe of fresh air in the Marvel universe, and it left audiences shocked with Thanos seemingly winning the war against all life. So you can bet people were anxious to see the conclusion, which kind of was backed up by the box office when Avengers: Endgame raked in a STAGGERING $2.8 Billion (actually unseating Avatar as the largest box office draw of all times). I’ve seen the film three times, both in the theater and twice in my own home theater, and I have to say, Marvel did a good job bringing it home. I personally feel that Endgame was a little weaker than Infinity War, but with so many threads and so many plot points needing wrapping up, it’s not hard to see how the final film can sometimes struggle with making EVERYTHING perfect.

It’s been one month since Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers and half of the universe’s population instantly ceased to exist. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and the rest of the surviving Avengers are trying to put a fractured world together and hunt down Thanos in hopes of recovering the Infinity Gauntlet and reversing what he’s done. However, when they find Thanos he reveals that the stones are no more. He used the gauntlet to well them out of existence so as to prevent this very scenario. Now the rag tag remainders are left with the realization that there is no going back.

5 years pass and the world is still piecing itself back together from the devastation. But the Avengers have still been desperately seeking a way back to fix things. When Ant Man (Paul Rudd) returns from the quantum realm that he was trapped in, he brings with him a solution. The quantum realm itself exists in a different space time dimension, and if handled JUST right, could be used as a time machine so that they could go back in time, pull the infinity stones from various locations and times, then come back to the future and use them to bring everyone back. It’s a risky plan, and one that only has a slim chance to work, but sitting idly by and hoping for the best was never the Avengers mode of action.

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Endgame is really a good movie. As a finale it’s heartwarming, tear jerking, and a massive action ride from beginning to end. There’s a lot of good points to the film, and it does a fantastic job of tying up most loose ends. At this point everyone is introduced to everyone, so there’s zero need of backstory and the characters can interact freely. HOWEVER, there are some issues that make me put it below Infinity War. The biggest drawback comes from too much over explanation on time travel. Being that time travel has no proof to back itself up with, and everything is theoretical it can be like a snake trying to eat itself from the tail end, a constant loop. Time travel in films tends to work best when it’s NOT explained too much and we take it at face value. Endgame spends so much time elaborating the rules and regulations of this new time travel theory that it makes them breaking their own time travel rules all the more obvious when they inevitably do so (the ending with old man Captain America was a prime example of that). The center act is also a bit bloated as they all go chase down the differing stones, giving different characters time to say goodbye to each other (Tony Stark to his dad, Thor to his mother, etc). Nothing wild, but still a bit sluggish.

Sadly the character arc of Hulk that was the weak spot of Infinity War is never really resolved. They pushed Hulk into the comic book arc of Professor Hulk (hulk body, Bruce Banner in control) without really setting the backstory for that, and really just used him as a macguffin so that he would be able to hold the infinity gauntlet and do the finger snap. So they neutered one of the most powerful avengers ever, and never allowed him to get back in the fight ever since he was whomped at the beginning of Endgame. The same is true of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who was heavily HEAVILY neutered simply so that other characters could shine. Again, not a horrible movie issue, but it was noticeable.

That being said, there’s a LOT more good points than bad. The action is intense, and the unveiling of the final plan actually works quite well, while altering the original ending of the comics to be fresh and exciting. There were three points in the film that REALLY stood out as not just being good, but absolutely incredible. The first is the heart breaking scene where Hawkeye (now reborn as Ronin due to his rage at loosing his family) and Black Widow realize the sacrifice that has to be made in order to get the soul stone. It was a touching scene and one that had multiple people in my theatrical viewing snuffling and grabbing hankies. Then there’s Cap and Mjolnir (not going to spoil it if you haven’t seen it, but this was an EPIC scene that caused audiences all over the country to go literally NUTS over, and is personally my second favorite of the movie). And last, but not least, is Scarlet Witch finally going head to head with Thanos. I’ve griped about how Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel (who, even though Marvel hyped her up with her own movie, was only in the film for like 5 minutes) feels too over powered, and didn’t really earn her powers, which was why her encounter with Thanos feels so hollow. But this scene with Scarlet Witch literally had chills down my back. It was THE perfect display of power, accumulated from the sheer rage of watching Vision being murdered in front of her eyes, creating a jaw dropping scene that was probably the highlight of the movie for me.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language




4K Video: :4.5stars: Video: :4.5stars:
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Endgame was shot on Arri Alexa cameras and then finished with a 2K digital intermediate master before being put on Blu-ray and 4K UHD disc. The new encode doesn’t feature the 1.90:1 IMAX digital shots that were in the theaters, but it still looks nicer than the Blu-ray by a good amount. While the upgrade is definitely noticeable, it’s not a head and shoulder’s leap over the 1080p disc, but rather an incremental upgrade that fine tunes colors, background details, better CGI blending and a cleaner look. I also noticed off the bat that the 4K UHD disc looks just a wee bit darker than the Blu-ray, and when comparing both side by side it feels that the Blu-ray is definitely brighter with more emphasis on the white levels. Colors are bright and shiny though, and have a richer and much more robust texture to them. Nebula’s gold headpiece is deeper and darker, with more nuances, while the reds and blues and greens of the Avenger’s outfits definitely pop with the added HDR. Black levels are deep and inky, but I still noticed a tad bit of digital noise in that underground shot where Rhodey, Ronin and Rocket get trapped under after Thanos guns the Avengers base down.







Audio: :4.5stars:
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Like the Blu-ray’s 7.1 DTS-HD MA track, the Atmos track found on the 4K UHD disc is a definite step up over the normal Disney/Marvel gimped tracks and is rather nice at reference levels. It’s also a step up over the 7.1 mix, with slightly better dynamics, some heavier LFE and the use of the overheads with spaceships and battles to make it a slightly superior track. Like the Blu-ray, the volume level is only needed adjustment by 2-3 decibels and once at those levels is full and rather rich. The LFE isn’t wildly aggressive and could hit a bit deeper in my humble opinion, but there’s copious amounts of it, such as when Thanos’s ship start gunning down the Avengers, or the roaring and thundering of the armies as they clash. Dialog is crisp and precise up in the front of the room and the ear level surrounds get a lot of workout with the chaos. At the end of the day the upgrade over the 7.1 track isn't night and day, which is why I gave them both a 4/5 score, but it IS there. They're both very similar and share some of the same pros and cons









Extras: :3.5stars:
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• Remembering Stan Lee – Filmmakers and cast honor the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos.
• Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. – Hear the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the original "Iron Man" — and launched the MCU.
• A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America – Trace the evolution of Captain America with those who helped shape the look, feel and character of this compelling hero.
• Black Widow: Whatever It Takes – Follow Black Widow's journey both within and outside the Avengers, including the challenges she faced and overcame along the way.
• The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame – See how Anthony and Joe Russo met the challenge of helming two of the biggest films in cinematic history … back-to-back!
• The Women of the MCU – MCU women share what it was like to join forces for the first time in an epic battle scene — and be part of such a historic ensemble.
• Bro Thor – His appearance has changed but his heroism remains! Go behind the scenes to see how Bro Thor was created.
• Six Deleted Scenes – "Goji Berries," "Bombs on Board," "Suckiest Army in the Galaxy," "You Used to ' Live Here," "Tony and Howard" and "Avengers Take a Knee."
• Gag Reel – Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs and gaffes from set.
• Visionary Intro – Intro by directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
• Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.











Final Score: :4.5stars:


As I said, Avengers: Endgame is a good movie with a few flaws. There’s a lot to love about it, and a few things that are hard to swallow. Still, I can’t fault Marvel too much, as wrapping up a 22 movie series conclusively and with EVERY storyline given the proper credence is very hard to do (although that Captain America sendoff at the very end really rubbed myself and many fans the wrong way, as it completely invalidates the Bucky/Steve relationship and makes little sense from a time travel point of view), and they did an admirable job making a good conclusion to the great Infinity War. The 4K UHD is a nice upgrade over the Blu-ray, and if you have the equipment is my personal choice to go with due to both the Atmos track AND the video upgrade. All extras are housed on the Blu-ray disc, and rather healthy ones at that. All in all, definitely recommended for comic book fans or those who have been following the Marvel universe for this long.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Rudd
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French DD 5.1, Spanish DD+ 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 181 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 13th, 2019
24107





Recommendation: Great Watch

 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. A great movie to own that is for sure. :)
 

Sonnie

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Great review as always... it just goes without saying it... you know that.

So would it be required to watch all 22 films to get it all... as I've seen a few of them... or could you just watch the 4 Avenger movies and this conclusion make sense?
 

Michael Scott

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Great review as always... it just goes without saying it... you know that.

So would it be required to watch all 22 films to get it all... as I've seen a few of them... or could you just watch the 4 Avenger movies and this conclusion make sense?

REQUIRED, no. The 4 Avengers movies CAN be seen on their own, but there's a few key ones that I'd see first

Iron Man
Captain America (all three)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Ant man (the sequel would be very very helpful as it explains the backstory to where this whole time travel stuff comes from)
Dr. Strange

the rest CAN be skipped, but you will miss out on stuff if you miss them, but it's lessened as the majority of the heavy lifting was from those before mentioned movies
 
Last edited:

Sonnie

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Thanks... I've seen some of them, but it's been a while... probably need to watch them again anyway.

I wonder if any are on Netflix or Amazon.
 

Michael Scott

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all of them are I believe (at least on Netflix)
 

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Hmmm... might be a lazy weekend coming up. :whistling:
 

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Just watched this (for the first time) over the weekend. Great show and great wrap-up. Really enjoyed it. And I was pleasantly surprised to find some pretty deep bass in certain parts, which has not been the case in many Marvel movies of late.
 

Michael Scott

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yeah, they kicked up the sound a notch over their normal audio mixes. It was definitely appreciated
 
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