AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – A Digital HD Review by John Strange

 
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – A Digital HD Review by John Strange
 
With the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the filmmakers have given us a HUGE mash-up of all of the elements that make up that universe.  Avengers: Infinity War brings together most all of the characters and more storylines than I would have expected.  Based upon the info I learned in the featurette, "The Director's Roundtable", this has never been done before.  They also made the film in about half the time that the previous films had to solidify their stories.
 
The central theme of this film is that Thanos (Josh Brolin) has finally started to gather the Infinity Stones to give him the power to eliminate half of the people in the universe. Why is he doing this?  He feels that only by doing this can he save the universe from literally running out of resources.
 
The base storyline in this film is complicated because of the sheer number of major players acting out their subplots.  Each subplot is absolutely necessary to bring all of these heroes to their own section of the final battle at the proper time. 
 
This meshing of the heroes goes about as smoothly as you might expect from this huge gaggle of oddly inspired individuals.  Example: from Guardians of the Galaxy you have a group (Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Drax (Dave Bautista)) determined to stop Thanos and save their friend, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Thanos' adopted daughter.  Their first meeting with the heroes from Earth (Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.),  Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)) on Titan does not begin well. They don't truly become "team-ish" until they actually face-off with Thanos.
 
The teams on Earth had a much easier time of it in this respect though there are a lot of wide-eyed expressions as some see Wakanda for the first time.  The early battles are tough but the heroes prevail.  The climatic fight is, at least to me, unlike anything ever seen in one of the films of the MCU series.  If, like me you are a huge fan, this fight will thrill you while wearing you out emotionally.
 
What comes from the filmmakers in the upcoming films will ultimately tell us whether this series will be one of the best ever or dies a sad tragic death.  If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the first option.
 
Now we get to my favorite part of home releases, the bonus extras!  Starting with the Director's Commentary, we get to listen to Anthony and Joe Russo (Directors) with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (screenwriters) discuss the film as it plays out.  When you listen to them discuss how they managed to bring this film to the screen, you may find yourself experiencing a feeling of awe.  The size of the task was daunting but they took it on and did a magnificent job with it.
 
The gag reel is pretty much what you would expect from these insanely talented actors and actresses.  It's well done and fun to watch.  The deleted scenes are always interesting to watch.  As with most deleted scenes I have seen, these are interesting but would either have changed the feel of the film or caused a stutter in the pacing.  Leaving them out was a good decision.
 
The featurettes, all interesting, each take a part of the film and give us more info on the reasoning behind scenes or characters and how the filmmakers made those decisions work.  Perhaps the best of the four given to us is "The Mad Titan" as the filmmakers and acting talent discuss Thanos' character and its effect upon everyone..
 
My favorite featurette for this film is "The Directors' Roundtable" where the directors who helmed all 19 films sat around a table (well, Taika Waititi attends by Skype or Facetime) and talk about what they each created.  They give us some great behind the scenes tales that are really fascinating.  These men created their films, each imbuing their stories with their own unique brands of style and humor.  And somehow, with the assistance of the Marvel executives like Kevin Feige, it all works together and flows like no series of films I have ever encountered. (NOTE: This featurette is ONLY available on the Digital HD offering!)
 
This is a film you MUST watch if you are a fan of the MCU.  You may not like what happens.  You may love it.  The people I have spoken with since the film came out in late April have been split with most taking an "I like it but I am waiting to see what comes next" attitude.  Personally, I liked it and I cannot wait to see what they do next!
 
 
Directed By:
 
  • Anthony and Joe Russo
 
Cast:
 
  • Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk
  • Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
  • Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
  • Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
  • Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
  • Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther
  • Zoe Saldana as Gamora Karen Gillan as Nebula
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki
  • Paul Bettany as Vision
  • Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
  • Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon
  • Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall
  • Danai Gurira as Okoye
  • Peter Dinklage as Eitri
  • Benedict Wong as Wong
  • Pom Klementieff as Mantis
  • Dave Bautista as Drax
  • featuring
    • Vin Diesel as Groot
    • Bradley Cooper as Rocket
  • with
    • Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
    • Benicio Del Toro as The Collector
    • Josh Brolin as Thanos
  • and
    • Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord
 
Extras:
  • Blu-ray & Digital:
    • Strange Alchemy (5:08)– Share the thrill of characters from across the MCU meeting for the first time—and discover why some were teamed up together.
    • The Mad Titan (6:34) – Explore the MCU’s biggest, baddest villain, his trail of influence through the stories, and the existential threat he represents.
    • Beyond the Battle: Titan (9:36) – Dive into the climactic struggle on Thanos’ ruined world, including the epic stunts and VFX, to uncover the source of its power.
    • Beyond the Battle: Wakanda (10:58) – Go behind the scenes to find out how the filmmakers pulled off the most massive and challenging battle Marvel had ever attempted.
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes (10:07)
      • Happy Knows Best (1:23) – Tony and Pepper spar over the details of their upcoming wedding—until a hassled Happy Hogan pulls up with an urgent request.
      • Hunt for the Mind Stone (1:24) – On a darkened street, Wanda Maximoff and the wounded Vision attempt to hide from Thanos’ brutal allies.
      • The Guardians Get Their Groove Back (3:20) – As Peter Quill and Drax quarrel over their failed mission to Knowhere, Mantis interrupts with news.
      • A Father’s Choice (4:00) – Thanos confronts Gamora with a vision from her past—and with lying to him about the Soul Stone.
    • Gag Reel (2:05)– Watch your favorite Super Heroes make super gaffes in this lighthearted collection of on-set antics.
 
  • Digital Exclusive:
    • A Directors’ Roundtable (approx. 32 min.) – Eight amazing directors reflect on how their movies contribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s larger storytelling adventure.
 
 
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 149 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
 
Release Date:
 
  • 07/31/2018
 
Region:
 
  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Website:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references)
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • 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