On DVD & Blu-Ray: August 13, 2019

The culmination of eleven years and twenty-two films worth of story, Avengers: Endgame brings to a conclusion one of the greatest experiments in cinematic history and does so with as much grace and satisfaction as one might hope or expect a single moment to capture. That isn't to say there aren't a few hiccups along the way, but what is here to complain about feels so quaint in comparison to what the film gets right that they hardly seem worth mentioning. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have achieved what felt damn near impossible leading up to the release of the film and that is to have met the loftiest of expectations. Having been invested in these films for over a decade now and experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows with each of the key players, Endgame takes it upon itself to find both closure in and resolution to many of the biggest arcs that have-knowingly or unknowingly-been playing themselves out for much of this same time period. That is to say, while Endgame more than compensates the eager opening night audiences with its pure "fan service" finale, the casual viewer or even the small remainder of the rest of the general population that hasn’t seen a single Marvel movie-should they decide to invest themselves this late in the game-might find themselves rendered surprisingly affected in these times of great trial and potentially even greater consequence. Endgame is certainly something of its own beast in that it thrives on its own, very distinct, structure and strong individual character arcs (especially for the core group of original Avengers) and more or less functions as a stand alone piece if not a direct sequel to Infinity War; yet it is the kind of sequel audiences always complain they don't get enough of. Meaning, Endgame compliments its predecessor without replicating it in hopes of delivering the same type of fulfillment. In every sense, Endgame couldn't feel more different than the largely space-based Infinity War as that film was non-stop from the word go to the moment of the decimation. In Endgame, our titular heroes are dealing with the repercussions of this event, the fallout of certain relationships and the idea that maybe, for once, they won't actually be able to save the day. Full review here. A

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Based on a true story and Abby Johnson's own book, Unplanned follows Johnson as she was one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman's right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Then, one day in 2009, after participating in an actual abortion procedure for the first time she quit her job and walked down the street to join the Coalition for Life. Though I haven't seen the film I know plenty of people who have and can attest to it being a difficult watch as, from the sounds of it, we are meant to mirror the experience Johnson had that day in 2009. This is obviously the point of the film though, and while-from an artistic standpoint I've heard the acting and production quality isn't great-it seems the message still hits right where it's supposed to. For me, personally, this would already be preaching to the choir-I just hope that the film was and is able to play past that audience who already aligned with its perspective and through to those who have reconciled with themselves that abortion is okay. I don't know that, as the father of two young children right now, I'll ever be able to willingly watch this film, but it certainly feels like an important one to take note of.

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