We take a brief look at the special features on the Avengers: Infinity War Cinematic Universe Edition 4K Blu-ray (contains spoilers), which is due out on the 14th of August.
The deleted scenes are a testament to the massive contribution the post-production artists make to these films. It's absurd to see the actors playing against nothing or half finished placeholder animation. The lack of final lighting, animation, and rendering highlight how heavily these films rely on CG.
That being said, there are some tidbits in the deleted scene. Some of the more interesting backstory moments include an extended face off between Gamora and Thanos. My personal favorite was catching up with Drax, Star-Lord, and Mantis as Nebula tries to get in touch with them.
The gag reel is much shorter than I would have liked, and it again highlights how silly it would be to watch one of these films with just the practical production elements. I wouldn't have complained if we'd gotten a little more here. I'm also now convinced there is no longer a line between Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark.
The featurettes are an interesting retrospective on the accomplishments of Marvel Studios over the last decade.
Strange Alchemy gives a bit more insight into why the characters were paired up as they were during the film. THANK YOU for pairing Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Still the best part of the film by far.
The Mad Titan – We get a deeper look into Thanos as a villain. It's a nice reminder of how they've been weaving him in as the big bad for a while. Though it takes away some of the drama when you see little ol' Josh Brolin walking around a soundstage in mocap pajamas back to back with the final rendered Thanos.
Beyond the Battle: Titan explains a bit more of the bridge between Captain America: Civil War to Avengers: Infinity War and continues to explore the challenges of bringing together such a massive cast. This is one of the slightly meatier featurettes as it breaks down the amount of CG and layers involved. Seeing them have to match up CG Thanos and real Benedict Cumberbatch again continues to show just how daunting a task these films are. They continuously reiterate how high the stakes are, and my greatest concern for the next film is that with a snap of their fingers they'll use the Time Stone to undo any of the peril the Avengers faced in all the films prior. What's the point of continuing to watch these films if we always know all of our favorite heroes will survive?
Beyond the Battle: Wakanda is just the other half of the cast reiterating how high the stakes are. Admittedly by this point the featurettes start to feel a smidge recycled. That being said, I love seeing any additional development involving Black Panther. Much like the previous featurette we get to see some of the scale of the practical side of these films. It's interesting to see how the Russo brothers had to work in tandem with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to make sure the Wakanda felt like the one established in Coogler's film. One bizarre thing I learned from this: Thor's sleeves are CG'd in… Why? No clue. But Chris Hemsworth was running around in a sleeveless tunic. They also dive into the logic behind who dust busts and who doesn't. They knew how to gut punch us for sure. Also the actors supposedly weren't told until they got to set as to who was going to go adios.
If you only had time to watch one featurette, I'd make it Beyond the Battle: Wakanda. It has the most insight, behind the scenes footage, and other featurettes contain similar elements. There's also a pretty meaty commentary track for the film.
Avengers: Infinity War arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on August 14th, 2018. It's currently available for digital download now.