An epic 10 years in the making… 4.5 Stars

Marvel’s box-office behemoth, Avengers: Infinity War, tries to cram all of your favorite MCU characters (except two) into one giant movie, and does so rather spectacularly, paying off what was set in motion at the end of 2012’s The Avengers.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Released: 27 Apr 2018
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 149 min
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans
Writer(s): Christopher Markus (screenplay by), Stephen McFeely (screenplay by), Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comics by), Jack Kirby (based on the Marvel comics by), Joe Simon (Captain America created by), Jack Kirby (Captain America created by), Steve Englehart (Star-Lord created by), Steve Gan (Star-Lord created by), Bill Mantlo (Rocket Raccoon created by), Keith Giffen (Rocket Raccoon created by), Jim Starlin (Thanos, Gamora and Drax created by), Stan Lee (Groot created by), Larry Lieber (Groot created by), Jack Kirby (Groot created by), Steve Englehart (Mantis created by), Don Heck (Mantis created by)
Plot: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
IMDB rating: 8.7
MetaScore: 68

Disc Information
Studio: Disney
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English DVS 2.0, Spanish 7.1 DD+:Spanish 7.1 DD+, French 5.1 DD, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 29 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: ABC
Release Date: 08/14/2018
MSRP: $29.99

The Production: 4.5/5

Warning: spoilers ahead….

Avengers: Infinity War picks up shortly after the conclusion of Thor: Ragnarok, with Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his Titan army laying waste to the Asgardian’s escape ship, capturing the Space Stone, and leaving Thor (Chris Hemwsorth) for dead, floating in space, but not before Heimdall (Idris Elba) hurtling Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) back to Earth by summoning the Bifrost one last time. With two stones down and four more to go (he captured the Power stone on Xandar while the audience was getting their popcorn), Thanos begins his ultimate quest to obtain the Infinity Stones to enable him to course-correct the universe by wiping out half the population wit a snap of his fingers. Two of those stones are on Earth and Thanos has sent Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughn-Lawlor) and Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary) to retrieve the Time stone from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) while Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon) and Corvus Glave (Michael Shaw) try to obtain the Mind stone from Vision (Paul Battany). The Maw kidnaps Strange, with Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) hot on his tail. Proxima Midnight fails in her attempt, thwarted by Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Falcon (Anthony Mackie). With Thor rescued by the Guardians (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper), nearly everything has been set in motion for one doozy of a cliffhanger after all-out battles on Titan and in Wakanda. Let’s just say things do not end well for The Avengers, at least until the story comes to a conclusion next summer.

Joe and Anthony Russo, who excelled at directing the two previous Captain America features, Winter Soldier and Civil War, take over for Joss Whedon, and bring a sense of fun and definite humor to a very dark story, stuffing just about every major and supporting character we’ve seen in just about all of the movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last ten years, and finally bringing Thanos to the front and center after being a puppet master to Loki in The Avengers and Ronan in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Josh Brolin brings some empathy to Thanos, brought to life on screen by Weta Digital as a performance capture, with the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely portraying him as an eco-terrorist, wanting to do what he believes is the right thing, regardless of what the ultimate cost is. The only major complaint is that most of the characters we’ve grown to love over the years are often delegated to supporting roles, with Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr,) Captain America (Chris Evens), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) getting most of the screen time, and rightfully so, as they are the major plot points of the epic story. I did get a kick out of Peter Dinklage as the giant dwarf Eitri on Nidavellir.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Avengers: Infinity War was captured in 6.5K resolution on Arri Alexa IMAX cameras and at 8K on Red Weapon Dragon VV and Helium S35 cameras, and was completed as either a 2K or 4K digital intermediate with Dolby Vision high dynamic range color grading. Disney’s 4K UHD Blu-ray features the film in 2160p resolution with HDR10 color grading and retains the 2.39:1 aspect ratio as it was presented in traditional movie theaters. This is an excellent transfer, although some may feel the difference between the 4K and Blu-ray are minimal. There is a noticeable increase in fine detail, particularly in fabric textures and facial features. Take a good look at chapter 2, starting around the 14:00 mark. This is a darkly lit scene inside the New York Sanctum with Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Wong discussing Thanos and the Infinity Stones. You can clearly see the stress of being Iron Man in Tony’s weathered face, the intricate and ornate stitching and textures in Strange’s cloak, the various layers of reds, browns, and blacks in Wong’s costume, and there is a perceived depth between the characters and the various items within the Sanctum. Looking at the disc overall, colors are more vibrant and consistent, blacks are deep and inky, whites are bright without clipping, and there were no banding issues whatsoever.

Audio: 4.5/5

Nearly everyone it seems, including myself, have been giving Disney a hard time lately with the audio on many of their 4K UHD discs. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Avengers: Infinity War corrects all of those complaints, but, like the recent Wrinkle In Time and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s another small step in the right direction. Disney has provided only one English language track, Dolby Atmos, and did not include a Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 ort any other English track (possibly due to the length of the film). The big news is that I did not have to really crank the volume on Infinity War to obtain a more reference level of audio. That being said, I found the amount of surround activity (both rears and heights) to be a bit underwhelming for a movie with so much action happening on and off the screen. The track isn’t necessarily front-heavy, and it is obvious those speakers are in use, but one just expects much more from this type of film. Dialogue is clear and understandable, but still a tad weak compared to other Atmos mixes. LFE, while nowhere as anemic as it was on Thor: Ragnarok, could have been a bit more punchier. I did not have the chance to see this film theatrically, so I cannot say whether it is the home video mix or the source mix.

Special Features: 4.5/5

I have one very major complaint regarding the authoring of the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc, and that’s the fact that after selecting the menu language, the disc then takes you the UltraPlay menu asking if you want to go right to the movie or to the main menu. The only problem, though, is that the selection options are in the lower left corner, the same exact place where my Sony UBP-X800 overlays the UHD Blu-ray Paused on-screen display, and by the time I hit the display button twice to clear it, the menu chooses Play Movie for me. I’m done griping.

As usual, the 4K UHD disc contains only the movie. The included Blu-ray edition has a nice set of Special Features, plus a few m ore are supposed to be available on-line when you redeem your Movies Anywhere digital copy code.

Introduction by Directors Joe and Anthony Russo (1080p; 1:32): At the very least, this should have been included on the 4K UHD disc. This can only be found under the Play option on the main menu on the Blu-ray edition. The brothers discuss very briefly their thoughts on the making of the film.

Featurettes (1080p; 32:18): A series of featurettes on the making of the film, viewable individually or as one complete feature – beware of spoilers. Strange Alchemy, The Mad Titan, Beyond the Battle: Titan, and Beyond the Battle: Wakanda.

Deleted Scenes (1080p; 10:13): Four mostly extended scenes, one or two I thought should have been left in. Happy Knows Best, Hunt for the Mind Stone, The Guardians Get Their Groove Back, and A Father’s Choice.

Gag Reel (1080p; 2:05): The obligatory blooper reel.

Audio Commentary with Directors Joe and Anthony Russo and Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely: This is a very enjoyable and knowledgeable track, with the four discussing the development and production of this massive undertaking, while still managing to keep things light, such as their ability to not include any kind of Sherlock Holmes references when Robert Downey, Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch first meet on-screen.

The Director’s Roundtable (1080p;  32:50): “Eight amazing directors reflect on how their movies contribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s larger storytelling adventure.” Available when you redeem your Movies Anywhere digital copy code, and viewable on Movies Anywhere, Vudu, and FandangoNow. May also be available on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes, but cannot confirm since Amazon lumps all the special features at the end of the film and can’t figure out how to watch the special features on iTunes without an Apple TV.

Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy on Movies Anywhere. It looks like when redeemed on Movies Anywhere, you will get the movie in 4K UHD plus special features on Vudu and FandangoNow, movie only in HD on GooglePlay Movies, movie plus special features (added on to the end) in HD on Amazon Prime Video and reportedly on iTunes.

Overall: 4.5/5

Avengers: Infinity War is a movie told on a very epic scale, and the 4K UHD Blu-ray excels in the video department, and Disney is starting to improve upon the Atmos audio tracks they are including on their releases.

https://www.amazon.com/AVENGERS-INFINITY-Robert-Downey-Jr/dp/B07BZ5F71X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534214061&sr=8-1&keywords=786936858112

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Todd, thanks for the review! Can you definitely confirm that the 4K UHD disc includes Dolby Vision? There was info floating around before the release that Infinity War would NOT include a DV encode and would be HDR only. Also, could you please clarify what you mean by "completed in either a 2K or 4K digital intermediate"? Which is it for the 4K UHD? Thanks!
 

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Todd, thanks for the review! Can you definitely confirm that the 4K UHD disc includes Dolby Vision? There was info floating around before the release that Infinity War would NOT include a DV encode and would be HDR only. Also, could you please clarify what you mean by "completed in either a 2K or 4K digital intermediate"? Which is it for the 4K UHD? Thanks!
I can't definitely confirm, as both my player and display only support HDR10. But word on the street is that this and Solo will be HDR10 only.
 

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Todd, thanks for the review! Can you definitely confirm that the 4K UHD disc includes Dolby Vision? There was info floating around before the release that Infinity War would NOT include a DV encode and would be HDR only. Also, could you please clarify what you mean by "completed in either a 2K or 4K digital intermediate"? Which is it for the 4K UHD? Thanks!
I’m set up to prefer DV, and mine only played with HDR, so I’d say there’s no DV on this release.
 
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As for 2K or 4K digital intermediate, there is no definite way to determine that. IMDB keeps changing back and forth as to what the movie was completed as.
 

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That's what I thought. Thanks for the clarification.
You bet.

And thanks for the review, Todd. Tonight was my first time seeing this film and I found it to be terrifically entertaining. Quite dark in tone and event, so the many doses of humor were most welcome.
 
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dpippel

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As for 2K or 4K digital intermediate, there is no definite way to determine that. IMDB keeps changing back and forth as to what the movie was completed as.
Maybe we'll get a clarification from Disney at some point.
 

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Maybe we'll get a clarification from Disney at some point.
This site says its fake 4K aka upscaled.

http://4kmedia.org/real-or-fake-4k/

Check the other titles listed, if they are correct for them then it gives a clue to how accurate their batting score is for being correct for other things.

Much of the film is probably 2k CGI effects work, so it is upscaled anyways, the differences will come from wide colour and HDR, talking of HDR, i really hope HDR10+ takes off and more discs get it because i think its a pity it was not ready for UHD launch titles and hardware.
 
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As I noted in the Movies Anywhere thread:

If anyone is having difficulty redeeming their codes for any of the Avengers 4K discs, apparently Disney has not released the codes into MA's system yet, but they should be live later today, according to the rep I chatted with at MA.
 
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As I noted in the Movies Anywhere thread:

If anyone is having difficulty redeeming their codes for any of the Avengers 4K discs, apparently Disney has not released the codes into MA's system yet, but they should be live later today, according to the rep I chatted with at MA.
Redeemed mine no problem a few hours ago
 

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Redeemed mine no problem a few hours ago
Well, mine finally redeemed, and I've updated the Special Features and Digital Copy sections.

Since some had no issues redeeming their codes prior to street date, it makes me wonder if Disney just didn't load all of the codes in time, because the chat rep seemed pretty annoyed with all of the complaints this morning of codes not redeeming.
 

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This site says its fake 4K aka upscaled.

http://4kmedia.org/real-or-fake-4k/

Check the other titles listed, if they are correct for them then it gives a clue to how accurate their batting score is for being correct for other things.

Much of the film is probably 2k CGI effects work, so it is upscaled anyways, the differences will come from wide colour and HDR, talking of HDR, i really hope HDR10+ takes off and more discs get it because i think its a pity it was not ready for UHD launch titles and hardware.
I often find that site to be about as accurate (or inaccurate) as IMDB. But then, considering what one of the producers said in the Special Features that Infinity War contains just over 3,000 shots and 2,900 of them are effects shots, it wouldn't surprise me if this was completed as a 2K DI. However, I've also heard that Disney prefers that their films be completed as 4K DI's going forward - this was as of Last Jedi.
 

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HDR is appropriate for Infinity War because it was presented with HDR in theaters, the grading of which was supervised and approved by the filmmakers.

But HDR is not appropriate for those who prefer to see films as originally presented in theaters and as envisioned by the filmmakers, as many films weren’t shown theatrically with HDR and have had HDR created for them by people who were not the original filmmakers.
 

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When I was supervising the Twilight Zone transfers I was discovering that the technology (about ten years ago) in telecine was not allowing me to keep bright items like street lights and car headlights from going in to the 'clip' during night scenes. Similarly in daylight scenes where you have a situation with extreme bright sky and a character walking in shadow in the same shot. To handle this I asked the grader to reduce the 'luminance' to the point where the sky was well below the clip until you could see detail within it, regardless of how much the sky took up frame space, then let the dark shadowy area find its own level without going into 'crush'. I was battling this kind of situation throughout as I am sure all the high and low detail was properly exposed in the 35mm original negative and fought to get as much of the resolution out of it as possible.
Presumably the HDR technology would now glide over all these issues.
If one would want to encode these transfers with this new technology you would have to return to the original film source material as the transfers would contain areas where 'clipping' of highlights etc. embedded in the transfers was unavoidable.
Josh, presumably StephenPI would disagree with you, based on this quote from the HDR, Why wasn’t Dynamic Range an Issue thread. It seems to me that HDR can do a better job of preserving what is on the negative for new media presentations, presuming what is on the negative supports it and that HDR is not applied with a heavy hand.
 

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This debate has been going on for a couple of years now - whether HDR is another tool that can be used to better replicate what was seen on the screen or whether it will inevitably turn all of our beloved movies into bad real estate photos. I tend to believe the former.
 
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This debate has been going on for a couple of years now - whether HDR is another tool that can be used to better replicate what was seen on the screen or whether it will inevitably turn all of our beloved movies into bad real estate photos. I tend to believe the former.
And I think the folks at Sony has proven that point very well with titles like Bridge Across the River Kwai.
 

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Fair enough, wasn’t the appropriate thread for my comment to begin with. My apologies for temporarily diverting from Todd’s excellent review.
 
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