AVENGERS: ENDGAME – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange
The MCU’s 22nd film, Avengers: Endgame, is perhaps the most ambitious film made in a long time. The Avengers failed to stop the threat of Thanos which resulted in one half of the population of the universe being eliminated in Avengers: Infinity War.
Avengers: Endgame happens 5 years after the “snap”. People are still trying to get past the loss of so many loved ones. This dilemma’s effect is no less stressful on the remaining members of the Avengers. Their emotional world is still in tatters. Some handle it by keeping to ‘business as usual” (such as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Scarlett Johansson), some by attempting to have a normal life (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Chris Evans), while others take their pain out on others who may be deserving of such pain and retribution (Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Jeremy Renner).
But our heroes pull it together in the best tradition of the heroes of our history (and our comics)! This film lives up to its advance publicity with breath-taking action and a story that will pull on your heartstrings.
But, as always, the most important part of this review concerns the extra featurettes available with the digital and Blu-ray/DVD releases. Avengers: Endgame regales us with tales about some of the heroes we have come to respect and admire.
“Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr.” talks to us about how Downey came to play the role of Tony Stark, at the start of this ambitious saga. To me, he was the lynchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU), setting the tone for all of the films that came after.
“A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America” talks of the other man whose actions brought the Avengers together. Chris Evans’ portrayal of Steve Rogers as he grew from a 4-F kid to the man who inspired a nation during WW II and then after 70 years out of time in the ice to co-lead the Avengers was epic. Steve was the moral heart of the Avengers.
My second favorite featurette was “The Women of the MCU” which talked about the amazing ladies and their characters who inhabit the MCU. From Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to Rene Russo’s Frigga to Letitia Wright’s Shuri, these ladies have brought characters to life that have been more than a match for their male counterparts.
“Remembering Stan Lee” was my favorite featurette as it honored the man who gave us many of the characters we have been allowed to watch in the MCU films. As a kid, I eagerly read the comic books that gave us a look into the lives of these heroes. That same kid attended comic book conventions and rubbed elbows with hundreds of other fans where we discussed Stan’s various storylines and had the opportunity to meet the artists and writers who gave us those monthly pearls of wisdom (and action)!
Also presented are featurettes about the road the Russo brothers took to direct Avengers: Endgame (“The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame”), “Black Widow: Whatever It Takes”, and “Bro Thor”. The last two are good but the others just manage to edge them out of my favorites.
The Blu-ray includes a “Gag Reel” which could have been left out except that it is pro forma to include one these days. The “Deleted Scenes” has six scenes, each would have changed the tone or length of the film in one way or another. One which touched me. “Avengers Take A Knee” which was an amazing scene. It really showed the respect that the warriors felt for Tony Stark.
Owners of the digital version will get to see “Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance” an homage to their love. It’s a wonderful look back, especially in light of the events from this film.
The filmmakers have given us not one but two additional links to the film. One includes an introduction of the film by the Russo brothers. The other is one of my favorite features, the director’s commentary. This audio commentary includes directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. No matter how much you think you know about a film like this, you’ll learn more watching this commentary. I loved it.
This film is an epic story and should be watched (and owned) by all lovers of the MCU and action films overall. I highly recommend it. I do, however, have one little question… What happened to Mjolnir while Captain America is returning the stones? Hmm.
- Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
- Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Letitia Wright, John Slattery, Tilda Swinton, Jon Favreau, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Marisa Tomei, Taika Waititi, Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, William Hurt, Cobie Smulders, Sean Gunn, Winston Duke, Linda Cardellini, Hiroyuki Sanada, James D’Arcy, Jacob Batalon, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Redford, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson, Lexi Rabe, Ross Marquand, Emma Fuhrmann, Michael James Shaw, Kerry Condon, Ben Sakamoto, Ava Russo, Cade Woodward, Stan Lee
- 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.
- Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance (Digital Exclusive)
- Deleted Scenes
- Avengers Take A Knee
- Tony and Howard
- You Used to Frickin’ Live Here
- Suckiest Army in the Galaxy
- Bombs on Board
- Goji Berries
- Gag Reel – Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs, and gaffes from the 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.
- 181 Minutes
- Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
- A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
- PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language)
- BRAND NEW
Selig Rating Scale:
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target