Off the Shelf…’Avengers: Endgame’

​If you’re reading this now, Avengers: Endgame is, at the moment, the most financially successful film of all time. There are a lot of factors and responsible parties who can take credit for this film reaching that milestone, and even from a logistics standpoint, this film should be celebrated. It helps that the characters are so beloved (let’s face it, there is huge brand awareness), and the studio has such reverence for the material. Further, the actors playing these iconic superheroes have done so well with the roles. So well in fact, you could probably make a movie about these guys having lunch or hanging out in the living room (see the end of the first Avengers, and an early scene in Age of Ultron) and it would be entertaining.

The studio, writers, and directors weave an incredible and remarkable narrative using literally every thread in the MCU landscape. The result of which shows that this amazing film, and the one before it, has earned every single accolade it’s scooped up. 

The old saying goes that the hero is only as good as his villain, and you really have to give it to Josh Brolin for bringing everything he had – with the help of an amazing computer graphics and effects – to make the center of the villain universe a true test for earths mightiest heroes…and pretty much every other hero come to think of it.

Herein, the narrative beats work exceedingly well, the dialogue is impacting, the music from legend Alan Silvestri has never been better in the MCU (except maybe Iron Man 3 or the first Guardians of the Galaxy), and even the foresight to know that certain seeds planted just ten years ago could come together for one impacting seeing after another borders on prescient. It really shows the love that people working on this had for the likes of Stan Lee and the old guard at Marvel Comics.

Now that this title has finally made its way to home video, audiences can relish in all the dramatic, exciting and highly emotional beats coursing through 181 minutes of screen time. This film will be looked at again and again, and even when the age of superheroes has lost its luster (I’m looking at all you zombies and vampires) this will still be looked upon very fondly.

And why not? This film – the capstone to the first ten years of Marvel Studios – has succeeded beyond all expectations. It’s a dazzling and satisfying effort that has set the bar for future entries (and other studios). Moreover, Disney shows no signs of stopping – Phase 4 and 5 are well underway to say nothing of the streaming platform they are launching. At this one moment in time, the teams can take as many victory laps as they like. For all those not continuing on in the Marvel universe, we simply say “we love you 3000” to everybody on board. 

Special features on this Blu-ray release offer looks back at characters like Iron Man and Captain America who helped make this series so popular and successful. It’s incredible to think how much has happened since 2008. Then the focus shifts to shine a light on the likes of Black Widow who looks to carry the torch forward. Not a lot is said about Phase 4 or 5 in these supplements, but again, this is the team celebrating the many marvelous achievements that lead to this film and it’s finale.

Probably the best special feature, and one not nearly long enough, is devoted to Stan Lee. Stan passed away during the filming of Captain Marvel, and while his cameos are always lovable earmarks in each Marvel movie, they also show the respect that the filmmakers have for him. He says very honestly that he never expected the heroes to be as big as they became. “In those days, I was writing those books. I was hoping they’d sell so I wouldn’t lose my job, and I could keep paying the rent.” To later hear James Gunn say that Stan is the “whole reason any of this [MCU] exists” is not only true, it speaks volumes, and is a gross understatement.

G-S-T RULING:

This Blu-ray edition gives you the standard gag reel and deleted scenes, but the featurettes make it worth owning. Roughly 1/3 of it are marketing materials for previous films in the series (almost like looking through a high school yearbook), but even the selection of interview clips and unearthed screen tests with Robert Downey Jr. (I’d honestly never seen them before) bring all of this to a close this making Avengers: Endgame the easiest recommendation we’ve ever had for a home video release. The visuals and sound are all top notch, (I for one wish that studios still did “isolated score” tracks on Blu-ray releases, but that admittedly is a niche market) and for roughly 3 hours, the Russo Brothers drop incredible and insightful stories from the production in their commentary. Put the hammer down, and go get your copy today.