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Avengers: Endgame (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

 Here we are with the home video release of the biggest movie in the world of all time, Avengers: Endgame. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? That one that followed up the previous years’ giant film with a giant cliffhanger and brought together all of the major superheroes on screen together? No, not Justice League. Okay, I’ll stop being dumb, but how else to introduce a movie that practically the entire population knows what it is and has seen it AT LEAST one time? Its coming to all the formats, including the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format which I am reviewing here. A format that Disney has struggled with overall, with some bright spots leading to hoping a corner had been turned, only to backpedal quickly after. Where will Endgame stand in that pantheon? THERE’S our mystery for the intro paragraph! Well, lets continue!

Film 

Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers — Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner — must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos — the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe.

Following 11 years and 21 films, Avengers: Endgame had no small task on providing a grand finale to the three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the last film, but that’s more or less an epilogue (And a damn fine one at that). How would this play out? Would it live up to immeasurable hype that on comes to cinemas once every so often? And to for the most part and all intended purposes, Endgame truly did and lived up to everything fans and moviegoers were hoping it would.

Endgame delivers in finding to somehow manage to go in an unexpected direction, giving us some nice turns, surprises and cameos we had no idea were on the docket while never letting their eye off the character work and interactions and in turn celebrating where the series came from before giving it a big grand, happy/sad closure. There’s a lot to pack into this film and they did it in over 3 hours. And rarely does a film that long move so briskly, but Avengers: Endgame easily handles that feat. I saw it 3 times in the theater, it flew by every time and I never went to the restroom.

One of the best decisions to come off of Infinity War was to leave us with just the core of the original Avengers team as it was very much a one last time affair. In addition, the other series weren’t forgotten as they had key representations in many areas who were integral plot devices to it all. Hawkeye and Ant-Man sat the last film out, but they return here to give some new juice and add some stakes as to what they are trying to fight for and show some of the darkness that this snapped world has turned things into. And, Paul Rudd honestly almost sneakily steals this movie from everyone as he’s absolutely terrific. Its this kind of appearance for him that honestly could potentially bump a 3rd Ant-Man adventure’s box office.

While I have some issues that the movie doesn’t want to answer or think about regarding the world at large when this movie enters the credits; that all kind of doesn’t matter when just focusing on this movie. They went for the fun ride with maximum emotional payoff instead. And they CRUSHED it. Cheating ahead, they DO begin to acknowledge the fallout from Endgame in the next Spider-Man movie, but in a joking fashion, we’ll have to see if there are more serious consequences later on in films or if they just consider that enough and brush it off entirely. But, this film, as it was always intended to be, the finale of this original Avengers group, hits every damn button it needed to and many unexpected ones as well for some incredible and unmatched Marvel entertainment.

Video 

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the 4K UHD Movies Anywhere stream, not the 4K UHD disc. 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Avengers: Endgame was shot at 6.5K then as per usual, finished with a 2K digital intermediate (Hi Marvel, its 2019). Regardless, this is a pretty finely tuned picture with a pretty crisp and sharp image that relishes in varied detail and textures to a pretty high degree. The colors do get a chance to stand out when necessary, though that slightly faded Marvel polish holds them back from being completely rich. CG effects hold up quite well and feel natural to the live action aesthetic. This is a pretty damn good picture, even if it isn’t the greatest or going to win any awards.

Depth:  The film features a nice, well spaced and free, 3 dimensional-like appearance with a good pushback on background in relation to the foreground. Camera movements are confident and loose, action movements and sequences find no trouble with motion distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are quite deep and are saturated very well, holding on to details and showing plenty of tints and shades with clothing/surfaces/hair and the like. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty solid and the HDR really gives a nice pop to Captain Marvel, blaster fire, explosions, outlying planets and more. Regular colors are pretty well saturated and plenty bold on their own.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and texture like stubble, wrinkles, make-up, dirt, dried blood, lip texture and even stuff like Nebula’s design come through pretty clear and discernible from any given distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), Spanish (Latin America) 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, French (Canada) 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish (Latin America), French (Canada)

Dynamics: Well, when it comes to the biggest film of all time, I’m happy to report that Disney has not slipped on the banana peel when delivering the Dolby Atmos track. They’ve come through here pretty impressively, but I’m not going to say they’ve turned a corner again, as I cried wolf on the Ant-Man and the Wasp 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray last year. Endgame has a nice, wonderfully layered and playful mix that brings you into the moment quite well and doesn’t require you to crank your system super loud to force in some effectiveness.

Height: There are plenty of things to talk about here as the film always has something flying or falling from above. It even includes unique ship noises and the like that will keep you entertained from above.

Low Frequency Extension: The biggest difference maker here is the power with which Disney finally allows the subwoofer in the track as it grounds and pounds during battles, giant ships flying by, pulsating power beams and more. Its refreshing to brace for impact and then there actually be an impact felt that follows.

Surround Sound Presentation: No surprise here that the speakers are quite well thought out, spacey and delivering unique sounds that fit the film and shape the room. Rolling motion is excellent in all directions and helps bring the picture to life with a good whoosh and tumble.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, plenty audible no matter the pounding loudness of the heat of battle.

Extras 

Avengers: Endgame comes with the 2-Disc Blu-ray edition and a digital copy code. All bonus features are found among the 2-Disc Blu-ray set.

Disc 1

Audio Commentary

  • By directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Play With Intro By Directors Anthony And Joe Russo (HD, 2:33) – The Russos discuss the opportunity of a career, grateful for everyone involved, how they are going to miss everyone and the importance of getting it right.

Disc 2

Featurettes (HD, 46:00) 

  • Remembering Stan Lee – Told from Stan’s own interviews, on-set footage and cast/crew asides, this is a nice touching farewell to the godfather of all of this.
  • Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. – A focus on the first Iron Man and how none of what they were doing was friendly or safe at the time, especially Robert Downey Jr.’s casting (Though he was their first pick). Features footage of his screen testing.
  • A Man Out Of Time: Creating Captain America – This piece tells the important of Captain America being the backbone of the series and Chris Evan’s journey and the importance of what he brings to Marvel.
  • Black Widow: Whatever It Takes – In this one we see the history of Black Widow and her evolution through the series of films as well as Scarlett Johansson’s influence, excitement and contribution.
  • The Russo Brothers: Journey To Endgame – This is of course, the piece on the directors and how they came to be in the role of concluding this saga and where they came from to get here.
  • The Women of the MCU – Celebrates the growth, development and full display of the “Marvel sisterhood” over the course of the 22 films and how it came to a grand scale in Endgame with the big charging scene.
  • Bro Thor – Discusses how Thor responds to 2 major tragedies occurring back to back in his life, letting himself go physically and emotionally. Shows him getting into the fat suit and plenty of behind the scenes fun with Hemsworth.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:51)

Gag Reel (HD, 1:58)

Summary 

Avengers: Endgame may have some issues once you step back and think logically for a moment (And some good jokes to make) but ultimately lands a ultra-satisfactory emotional closing to this initial run of films. Disney’s 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray has a pretty top notch picture and one of their best Atmos tracks to date (Yes, I said it, but I’ll refrain from thinking things have improved for them overall). For being the biggest film of all time, these extras feel a bit too generic and weak. And who knows if bonus features will be valued going forward in the Disney+/Streaming RULEZ! future for home video. Anyway, this film and its presentation comes with decent extras, is well worth your buck and the best quality way to watch the film. Pick it up.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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