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Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Blu-ray Review

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

5 stars

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a serious slice of paranoid espionage. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), the puny kid transformed by Stark’s science into Captain America, returns to kick all kinds of ass in this resolute thriller that ties in nicely with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s round two for Captain America’s solo adventures and it’s time to go dark and, boy, do we ever go straight into darkness. The joyful innocence that plagued the original film has been jettisoned as our hero begins to learn some pretty unnerving truths about SHIELD and a former enemy.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have created a gritty film that seems more inspired by Three Days of the Condor and other 1970’s conspiracy thrillers than the titular comic book itself. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely take chances with returning characters and create real tension as we see some of our heroes fall at the feet of a resurrected HYDRA. In our modern day setting, the filmmakers take the character of Captain America, strip him of his safety structure, and end up transcending the superhero genre; the two and a half hour result – while still very much a Marvel film – is essential viewing.

From Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to his steely-eyed colleague Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), Captain America knows no one to completely trust when a familiar enemy returns to infiltrate all the places he feels safe. He must turn to an old friend, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new one, Anthony Mackie as (the badass) Falcon (Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine aka Iron Patriot, eat your heart out), in order to expose some pretty disturbing truths that will change things permanently.

While Marvel has had excellent action scenes before in their movies – the Russo brothers actually make us feel that untouchable characters like Nick Fury and Captain America are in real danger. This is done through some seriously inspired action sets and stunt choreography. Even if the film goes a bit over-the-top in the final half-hour, I can’t find serious fault with it. There’s also an interesting element that can’t but help be noticed. Sound. Through the phenomenal use of sound throughout the picture, you actually feel every beat-down; every time Cap’s shield hits the cement; and it all works to produce a necessary film in an ongoing franchise that is bound for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a real nail-biter. Its action-heavy moments are, at times, uneasy (and almost unbearable) due to the very nature of the story. How will they survive? Do they survive? Your mind will race and then freeze upon the stance of the Winter Soldier (a menacing Sebastian Stan). That’s when you realize, for these characters, there is no escape. The paranoia that tugs at the quieter moments of the film is sickly palpable. There is danger everywhere and it touches these characters with permanent results.

Marvel Studios has done it again.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout.
Runtime:
136 mins
Director
: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer:
Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast:
Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
In heroes we trust.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Most of the intelligence community doesn't believe he exists. The ones that do call him the Winter Soldier. He's a ghost, you'll never find him..."
Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://marvel.com/captainamerica
Release Date:
April 4, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No detials available
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 9, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is available in the usual digital formats to download or stream and in a 3D Blu-Ray/ 2D Blu-Ray combo pack that includes a legit Digital Copy via iTunes, as well as a single disc Blu-Ray and single disc DVD.  Coming from television, the Russo Brothers really impressed me with this movie in its entirety. However, they also manage to capture a beautiful looking movie.  The special effects are top notch and for the most part look clear as day on the small screen.  Quite simply, this is a flawless 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation.  I really dug the score from this movie and the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track adds so much thunder in its mix of epic sound effects.  Hands down, this is one of Disney and Marvel Studios’ releases. 

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The Russo Brothers – who are deep into the third Captain America film – speak of their love of comic books and discuss the making of the movie in this feature length commentary.  The amount of work that went into this production is exhausting and they guide you through it.

Special Features:

Considering the brilliance of the movie, the lack of bonus features really shocks.  There’s no One Shot, folks!  Like every Marvel movie the blu-ray looks and sounds incredible, the only drawback with this disc is that it doesn't have as many Bonus Features as we would like, although there are the usual Deleted Scenes, Bloopers and some Making-of material.  The gag reel is pretty hilarious but short. The three featurettes provide great behind-the-scenes how-to’s especially the “On The Front Line” featurette which takes you behind the stunt work.  The deleted scenes are extended scenes which seem miscellaneous except for one that features Black Widow and Nick Fury.  In that extra, you get more information about the bond between both characters.

  • Gag Reel (3 min)
  • Four Deleted and Extended Scenes (4 min)
  • Steve Rogers' Notebook (2 min)
  • On Set With Anthony Mackie: Cut The Check! (2 min)
  • On The front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America's Battlegrounds (10 min)

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