Avengers: Infinity War Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews Marvel Studio’s record-breaking adventure that was ten years in the making and features nearly every member from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as they battle to save not only mankind but, the entire universe.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

94

Details:

Studio and Year: Disney/Marvel – 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 149 minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, English/Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, 1080p Blu-ray: DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chadwick Bosman, Don Cheadle, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Olsen, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, Peter Dinklage, Josh Brolin, Paul Bettany, Tom Hiddleston, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Sebastian Stan
Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: August 14, 2018

“An Entire Universe. Once and for All”

My Take:

Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

I have reviewed each of the Marvel Studios Blu-ray releases connected to the characters/events depicted in Avengers: Infinity War and wanted to incorporate some of my comments from those reviews.

I used to love reading comics and seeing some of my favorite figures from their pages brought to life on the big screen has been well executed and pretty thrilling. I dabbled a little bit in DC comics but my heart belonged to Marvel. Spiderman was my first Marvel favorite, followed by Thor and then I picked up an Iron man comic. There was always something about Iron man that I found intriguing. I can’t say for certain whether it was Tony Stark’s money/fame/brilliance or Iron man’s vulnerable side that showed that underneath the armor was a man who was fallible but couldn’t show it. I guess it might have been the idea that potentially anyone could be Iron man once they donned the armor. For me I always thought that his armor was just so freakin’ cool.

Captain America isn’t among the more dazzling superheroes however he has been a Marvel staple that has continued to thrive. I always liked the character but didn’t collect/read his comic on a consistent basis. I was familiar with his origins, powers etc. and appreciated the attention to detail that went into developing the character for the purposes leading up to his connection with The Avengers. My connection with Thor started from reading about his exploits with The Avengers and then sporadically catching issue of his own comic. I initially tried to keep up with his extended battles/adventures that took place away from Earth but eventually lost interest. He remained a personal favorite though and I was anxious to see how he would translate to the big screen. I enjoyed the first Thor film and the integration of the elements that would carry over into The Avengers.

For fans the handwriting was on the wall as the various Marvel Universe film installments introduced narrative threads and characters that would segue into the release of The Avengers film series. I had high hopes for the first Avengers film and needless to say I wasn’t disappointed in it or its sequel. Along the way we have releases from the MCU that have introduced characters and connective elements leading up to Avengers: Infinity War and the ride has been a good one. The question was whether or not it could live up to the bar set by a ten year build up? You bet it did!

When Avengers: Infinity War was released earlier this year I went to see it opening weekend. Expectations were high and I walked away from it feeling wholly gratified, appreciative of the effort that went into balancing and executing an overtly monumental undertaking. Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and directed by The Russo Brothers it retained the entertaining balance between story, action, and levity while incorporating an emotionally grounded essence that captured the spirit of the Marvel hero mythos.

It all comes together quite well making for an exciting, well executed action/adventure that blends the components that make superhero films so much fun. I recall thinking that the film was overlong and that didn’t change during this second viewing. Two hours would probably have been right on the money but I wouldn’t say that the pacing is sluggish. The production elements are everything you would expect from a big budget film and compliment the proceedings. The returning members of the cast reprise their roles naturally with each providing an enriching element to the film. I was every bit as impressed with Avengers: Infinity War this time and perhaps enjoyed it even more. I look forward to what is to come!

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi violence/action throughout, language, and some crude references.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 98
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Avengers: Infinity War comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Disney featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Avengers: Infinity War was rendered from a 6.5K source and finished on a 2K DI.

Avengers: Infinity War is a fantasy/action-based film that is essentially boldly colorful throughout, and this Ultra HD rendering makes the most of its elements. With an appreciable increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the image appears refined and vivid when compared to the 1080p version. Primary and secondary colors are beautifully rich, while whites appear gradational and vibrant. When brought together, the combination of rich color, sepia, and gradational gray tones literally pop off of the screen.

I also enjoyed the presentation’s implementation of HDR. This film contains a host of brightly lit interior/exterior and low-level interior/exterior sequences. The cinematography makes frequent use of shadows, cascading/streaming light and a mix of light/dark elements. It’s application here is used very well drawing upon HDR’s ability to create stark contrast between the two. The added dimension in blacks, and shadows as well as the detail rich specular highlights are immediately noticeable. The film’s opening sequence provides a glimpse of this while the scenes where Thor helps create/obtain his new axe, Wanda and Vision battle Thanos’ minions in Paris, or the interior of the Alien ship carrying Dr. Strange, Spider Man and Iron Man to Titan, drive it home.

The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. At times the level of minutia is outstanding, as even the finest nuance in the physical features, costumes and interior sets is resolvable. The exterior shots and CGI featured in the story have superb depth which adds an enriching, and eye-catching aesthetic to them. There is some innate softening due to the extensive CGI, but it’s rarely depreciating. The difference between viewing Avengers: Infinity War in Ultra HD and HD isn’t night and day, but there is no question that it benefitted from the increase in resolution, emboldened color and high dynamic range treatment. I was extremely pleased with this presentation and hope to see more like it.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the reserved variety in its use of sounds that emanate from above. It rarely engages when you wouldn’t expect it to but makes up for it when the action kicks in. Its use of audio objects placed above is less than expected, consisting of discretely placed pans, fills, and ambient extension. Don’t get me wrong, while I like the utilization of the overhead channels, and get a charge out of hearing sounds raining down from above, I also appreciate a well-crafted sound mix that draws me into the onscreen elements, regardless of where the sounds are emanating from. This Atmos mix does a terrific of achieving that as audio objects at ear level are spot on. The soundstage is appreciably broad as effects swirl, shift and whiz through the listening area.

The action-based sequences, create an engaging level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the various action encounters the use of discretely placed objects is ramped up, placing you inside the action. While this mix may not make noteworthy use of audio objects from above, I frequently switched off the ear-level speakers and went back to listen in order to ensure that the sounds I was hearing weren’t in fact coming from above. All in all, this an entertaining and involving listening experience.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 

Avengers: Infinity War comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This film essentially utilizes two distinct visual styles to convey its thematic content. One makes use of darker/monochromatic color schemes, while the other features richer contrast and vibrant colors emboldened by warm accents. Each provides the look that the filmmakers strove for to drive the narrative components. Close ups reveal crisp definition and perceptible detail that reveals the presence of pores, stubble, peach fuzzy hair and the minutia visible in the costumes and make-up worn by the members of the cast. The texture on the surfaces of objects is just as defining which give them visibly apparent structure and lifelike quality. Black levels are deep and contrast is spot on which delivers bright punchy whites and appreciable dimension when mixed light/dark elements are present onscreen. The video has a noticeably clean and pristine quality that appears devoid of video related anomalies and artifacts.

I had high expectations for this soundtrack on Blu-ray and this 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio/Dolby TrueHD (Atmos core) presentation didn’t disappoint, and bested what I heard in the theater. This lossless soundtrack is reference quality and is dynamically supported which accents the active nature of the sound design. Dialog has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. The mix makes involving use of the surround channels as multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that they coincide with the events transpiring onscreen.

The surround mix utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate the action-based sequences which feature a solid low end. Essentially throughout the presentation the quality of the bass is excellent, as it is fills the room with clean, resonating, low frequency detail. * Note: As with other recent Disney releases on Blu-ray I found that I needed to set playback at volumes above where I normally listen. In this case I found it to be less of an increase, only requiring a 4db boost. Once there, it played back as expected with no signs of unwanted dynamic compression.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with this terrific soundtrack. Avengers: Infinity War on Blu-ray is demonstrative worthy and makes for a great home theater experience.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Avengers: Infinity War Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray
    • 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.
    • Audio Commentary (approx. 149 min.) by Anthony and Joe Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

    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.

  • Digital

Final Thoughts:

Avengers: Infinity War is a thrilling and engaging film experience that met expectations thanks to solid casting, apt writing/direction and the big budget production values that make these films so much fun to watch. It comes to Blu-ray in this Cinematic Universe Edition from Disney featuring top notch Ultra HD video, excellent lossless surround sound, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive listening experience and a fair supplemental package that is worth exploring. Avengers: Infinity War is an entertaining film that fulfills the legacy of the best Marvel Cinematic Universe films that preceded it. It comes highly recommended.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems

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