Michael Scott

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Avengers: Endgame


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



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Movie

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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Sourced from a 2K master and using Arri Alexa digital cameras, Endgame is given a great looking Blu-ray encode for home video. The film is bright and colorful, with large swathes of reds, whites and blues from the various costumes all showing up wonderfully. There’s some digital noise when Ronin/Hawkeye and the rest are trapped under the rubble, but otherwise this is a fairly artifact free Blu-ray disc. Facial details and outfits show up with intimate detailing, but I did notice some of the CGI in the end battle with Thanos looked a bit wonky (especially seeing the Maw walk). Black levels are deep and inky, and the environments that the heroes battle in are incredibly nuanced and detailed, even in the darkest of planets such as Morag. The chapter 5 scene where everyone is sitting around the table is a standout scene to show textural detail and blending of CGI, as the hulk looks impeccable for being a close up character midst live action stuff. There’s some mild softness around CGI heavy battles, but that’s to be expected and the overall clarity of the disc is superb.







Audio: :4stars:
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Now here comes the million dollar question that most people are going to want to know. Has Disney gimped the audio like they are known to in Marvel films? Well, the answer is yes and no to that. The Blu-ray is given the “downgraded” 7.1 DTS-HD MA mixing while the 4K UHD disc get the Atmos track, but for this DTS-HD MA track they haven’t gimped the dynamics and volume levels of their big blockbuster film….well, at least not too much. The track is a few decibels lower than normal listening volume, but when boosted up to reference levels it kicks pretty hard. Dynamics are fairly wide and immersive, with some incredible surround usage during the battles. Even the quieter moments (such as Hulk snapping switches in the background) are clearly and readily heard with pinpoint precision. LFE is punchy and powerful, and while it could definitely hit a little harder hear and there, is way better than many of the other tracks Disney/Marvel puts out and is about on par with Infinity War. All in all, a very good track that has it where it counts.









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: :4stars:


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 Blu-ray is top notch quality, with a great video and really nice audio that ISN’T nearly as gimped as Marvel tracks have been known to be recently. Definitely a must own for Marvel fans and anyone who loves super hero movies.



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 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 181 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 13th, 2019
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Recommendation: Great Watch

 

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Thanks for the review. We saw this in theaters and we liked it. We will get this one. A must buy for us. :)
 

Todd Anderson

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I asked this question to @JBrax... I'm a little (embarrassed, possibly?) that I haven't watched the Avengers story unfold.

Are these movies accessible if you just jump in and watch... or will I be lost?

One comment on your AV conclusions... how HOW!!!! is it possible that Disney doesn't have the audio on this franchise (this movie in particular) dialed in to the Nth degree? This is a quintessential demo material disc. And people watch these movies for the action. It just blows my mind that they'd take a film like this right to the edge and NOT have audio that's edging into six-star territory.
 

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For the first part Todd, Yes, you can jump in but you would be lost. You should at least watch at the minimum, Avengers: Infinity War before Endgame, since that was the first part of this two-part epic conclusion.
And to really understand the Epic in it's entirety, should watch all of the MCU movies since the various characters are introduced in the prior movies and their stories are all intertwined so to speak and come together in Infinity War and Endgame..
 
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tripplej

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Michael Scott

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I asked this question to @JBrax... I'm a little (embarrassed, possibly?) that I haven't watched the Avengers story unfold.

Are these movies accessible if you just jump in and watch... or will I be lost?

One comment on your AV conclusions... how HOW!!!! is it possible that Disney doesn't have the audio on this franchise (this movie in particular) dialed in to the Nth degree? This is a quintessential demo material disc. And people watch these movies for the action. It just blows my mind that they'd take a film like this right to the edge and NOT have audio that's edging into six-star territory.
for the first thing... yes and no. You can jump into MOST of the MCU moves (aside from direct sequels) and be able to enjoy them quite easily outside of references to past movies. the Avengers films are a bit different though, as they're ensemble cast films that span MULTIPLE of the stand alone movies and build off of them to make sense. For example, even if you've never seen the previous films, you could watch the Ant Man, or Captain Marvel movies, or Thor movies just fine. But going into an Avengers movie without seeing those movies would be a bit confusing in some ways as they're an ensemble version of the stand alone movies.

as for the audio. It's just Disney being Disney. They've been doing this to their audio mixes for the better part of 25 years. If you actually look back over their history they are INFAMOUS for this on all but a small handful of animated classics. Good but never GREAT in the audio (Pixar does stand out though as they seem to be run differently in regards to their audio mixers)
 

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Thanks for the timeline. I have seen them all except Thor, Captain Marvel and Endgame.
 

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Time to do a marvel marathon Asere! :)
 

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Thanks for the review. I will watch Endgame before I watch the other two at this point.
 

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Sounds good. You may have to revisit Infinity War to refresh your memory. I had to do that. :)
 

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Sounds good. You may have to revisit Infinity War to refresh your memory. I had to do that. :)
That might be a good idea but man these movies are too long. Especially Endgame at 181 mins, wow!
 

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Yeah, a mini marathon. :) Have fun!
 

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That is a lotta movies to watch.
 

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lol. Yeah, great for a movie marathon session. Luckily you can watch it all at home to take care of bathroom breaks and food breaks. :)
 

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Amen to that... lots of popcorn for this many movies.
 

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Saw Endgame with the family and boy the movie is epic. Great from start to finish! A whole lot of FUN.
 

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Glad to hear you liked "endgame". Did you have to rewatch "infinity" to catchup or you were good without it?
 

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Glad to hear you liked "endgame". Did you have to rewatch "infinity" to catchup or you were good without it?
I was good without it. Endgame was so good I did not feel the three hours.
 

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Yeah, that is good. Yeah, watching both back to back would be an all day event. lol. :)
 

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Now I'm really feeling like I've made a mistake NOT watching the Averngers series of flicks! :sad:
 

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Now I'm really feeling like I've made a mistake NOT watching the Averngers series of flicks! :sad:
The MCU movies are not perfect, but there are many good ones out of the 22 films, and they have done something completely unprecedented. Created a world building experience that flows seamlessly from movie to movie over the course of 11 years
 

Todd Anderson

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Ok... 22 flicks. I've seen 7. Hmmm... this is beginning to sound like a project.
 

Michael Scott

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Todd Anderson

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Can I skip the individual films and just focus on Avenger titles?
 

Michael Scott

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it CAN be done, but it's not recommended. There's at least 4-5 of the singles which really explain what's going on with the films. For example, The beginning of Infinity War makes ZERO sense unless you've seen Thor Ragnarok. And the original Avengers film really needs at least Thor, Captain America and Iron Man (the first one of each series) seen to understand Loki and his motivations, as well as the weapon he wields. Avengers 2 can be seen without anyting else, but IMO the MUST SEES to understand a good majority of the stuff that happens between films is

Ironman
Thor
Thor Ragnarok
Captain A.
Captain A Winder Soldier
Captain America Civil War
Guardians of the Galaxy (the 2nd one if helpful but not NECESSARY)

Ant Man 1 and 2 are really helpful too, as what happens in those movies and the characters introduced there explain a lot of the time travel stuff that happens in Endgame....
 
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