Oh snap, Avengers: Infinity War comes out this week. It's been twenty years since Iron Man began the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In that time, Marvel has changed the landscape of film, television, and how far reaching franchises can get. These days, everybody is trying to get into the cinematic-universe game and pretty much everybody else is failing at it. Marvel has made billions of dollars from their films, television series, and other tie-ins. They’ve proven you can make individual films that maintain their own style and yet are able to be brought into a larger cinematic fold. In some ways, Infinity War is the culmination of all those years and films. It brought together pretty much every major character from all of the films up to this point.
They’ve been teasing Thanos for years as some kind of master villain and he finally came. And boy, is he ever a bad guy. He’s been collecting the Infinity Stones, making him into the most powerful creature in the universe. It's up to the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and everybody else to try to stop him. In doing so, it become one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
It mostly worked for me. It was way overstuffed with characters and while the action sequences were mostly good, there were too many of them, leaving not enough time for character development. There were some really fun interactions between characters we know and love that had not yet met in this universe, but all too often those moments were too short. It was a grand spectacle and that ending is one of the ages (even if I have no doubt it will be reset with the next movie).
Overall, it was a big bunch of fun. Of course, there are multiple versions of it hitting the Blu-ray shelves this week. I’ll try to break most of it down, but as Marvel has been a little cagey on the details, you’ll want to do a little more research before you buy.
Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy have the 4K UHD Blu-ray Combo pack. It comes in the Cinematic Universe Edition and includes a roundtable discussion of MCU directors. Target and Best Buy have the Blu-ray Combo Pack, which comes with various behind-the-scenes features, plus deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, and audio commentary. Wal-Mart has the Exclusive Edition, which does not include a DVD or digital copy but does include the above special features and has a collectible package. Best Buy has a Steelbook with the coolest-looking cover. There is no info on what special features it includes. Target has two other exclusive deals, one includes an Iron Man Funko doll and the other comes with a 40-page booklet.
No matter what version you get The Avengers: Infinity War is my pick of the week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
What Have They Done to Your Daughters?: Massimo Dallamano directs this giallo/poliziotteschi hybrid about a motorbike-riding, butcher’s-cleaver-wielding psycho butchering anyone trying to uncover an underage sex ring. You can read my full review here.
How To Talk to Girls at Parties: Jon Cameron Mitchell directs Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman in this "based on a Neil Gaiman story" drama about an alien touring the galaxy who pops into a London suburb, meets a boy, and might just cause the end of the world.
The Ballad of Gregory Cortez (Criterion Collection): Edward James Olmos stars in this true story of a Mexican American farmer being chased by Texas Rangers over the death of a lawman.
12 Monkeys: Season 4: I’m shocked this show made it to Season Four. I heard about it briefly when it first premiered but thought it died shortly after that. I’m a big fan of the Terry Gilliam movie so I guess I should give the series a shot.
Here and Now: Season 1: Dark comedy from Alan Ball is about a multi-cultural family who from the outside seem like the perfect American family, but from within, things are falling apart. It stars Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter.
Shout Factory Steelbooks: They are releasing some pretty cool-looking collector’s editions of Army of Darkness, Lifeforce, and The Howling, plus a non Steelbook edition of Return of the Living Dead, Part II.