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Marvel's Agent Carter: The Complete First Season (Amazon Exclusive) - Blu-ray Review

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Marvel's Agent Carter: The Complete First Season - Blu-ray Review

4 stars

If people are STILL complaining about the lack of quality female-centered stories and NOT watching Marvel’s Agent Carter then something is seriously wrong with them. Marvel Studios has answered the call with this smartly-written eight-part series that turns an interesting supporting character (seen throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe) into a whip-smart leading lady. And – given what we know from her appearance in other Marvel Studios films – this significant move to fully flesh out this character is totally justified. Make no mistake about it, Hayley Atwell is Agent Peggy Carter.

 The year is 1946 and Agent Carter immediately follows the events seen in Captain America: The First Avenger. From the two-hour opener (which dazzled critics) to the closing chapter of the first season, Carter manages office routine for the Strategic Scientific Reserve and domestic issues as a female in the Big Apple while assisting Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) with some seriously demanding needs of his own. Stark is immediately in hot water and framed for selling deadly weapons to enemies abroad. Enter Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy), Stark’s butler to help Carter put the pieces together. Together, the two characters – across a total of 8 episodes – embark on the mystery behind an organization called Leviathan and the men responsible for the real sale of weapons.

 Series showrunners Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (known for their work on all of the Captain America movies) hit full stride with much of the material in Agent Carter. They have a wealth of history to draw upon and Atwell, who is at once charming and forceful, is totally up for the challenge of presenting audiences with a very human and very interesting major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most of the episodes illuminate what has only been hinted at before and, for the careful observer, we get a lot of clues as to the origins of some our beloved Avengers. It is, indeed, a series to watch on repeat as their attention to the period and to the overall MCU timeline pays off.

 The production values are high and the dynamic series invites both laughs and cheers (with minor hiccups along the way, mind you). To be sure, this is a show with a very deliberate wink and nod; it is solid action in moments and cheeky entertainment at other times that playfully recalls a different era – one without rampant cynicism – as it provides audiences with a very engaging heroine dealing with some interesting situations as she battles to break into the boys club at work and maintain a secret life. Co-starring Chad Michael Murray as war "hero" Jack Thompson and Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa (her kindred spirit), Agent Carter is a serious treat for fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the MCU in general.

 Set when both broadcast radio and baseball were king and, thanks to a slew of strong writers, Agent Carter does exactly what it was designed to do: entertain audiences with a glimpse at the post-WWII world through the eyes of a very HUMAN leading lady. In May of 2015, the show was renewed for a second round of 10 episodes that will be broadcast in 2016. Rumor has it that Madame Masque will be involved in the upcoming season and the show will continue to provide information into the origins of the Black Widow and Winter Soldier programs.

 This release – containing all 8-episodes of Agent Carter – is currently only available through Amazon.com. If I were you, I’d pick it up and prepare for a journey through the golden age of radio shows and the Howling Commandos.

Marvel's Agent Carter: The Complete First Season - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 18, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Discs
Region Encoding: A

 The Blu-ray release of Agent Carter features a striking 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation that will not disappoint its fans. The color palette is a warm one and black levels are inky yet never bleed. Yellows are quite strong, too. Skintones are lovely and nicely saturated, primaries have quite an impression. The detail, meanwhile, is excellent, with well-defined edges free of ringing and aliasing. Textures are crisp. With dialogue clear and sound effects pure, Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is a perfect complement to the engaging picture.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Okay, I’m not entirely sure what is going on with this release but, truthfully, the handling of its release deserves a low rating. Outside of the stellar cover art and slipcover, there's NOTHING here to justify Amazon's price jump.  There are a lot of people angry about how Amazon is handling this and the release of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Two. First is the price gouging as both sets shot up in price upon their release this Friday. Secondly, there are absolutely NO worthwhile special features to accompany the episodes spread across two BD-50 discs. Disappointing is an understatement when dealing with such a well-received show.  Amazon and Disney/ABC ought to be shamed for the handling of this one. 

  • Blooper Reel (3 min)

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