Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The best Marvel film is here on blu-ray! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the true follow-up to the events after The Avengers.

After we see Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) meet, we are thrown into an amazing action sequence featuring Steve leading a S.T.R.I.K.E. Team for S.H.I.E.L.D. on a mission.

We see that Steve has an unnerving relationship with both Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his teammate Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). This relationship only becomes worse as we see that both of them kept the real reason behind this mission from Steve.

Steve is still trying to fit into the modern world where clearly his sense of duty and what is happening today are at odds with one another. Where in the past the enemy was clear, today that answer is hazy. Rogers believes that criminals should be punished after the crime has been committed but Fury believes that the world cannot wait that long. Fury shows Steve Project Insight, a set of HeliBattleships, set on preemptive strikes.

Then an intense assassination attempt puts the Captain face to face with the Director of U.S. Security Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and a mysterious assassin called The Winter Soldier. Steve is told to not trust anyone and ends up being hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Steve is then forced to trust not only Natasha but his new friend Sam. Then a massive conspiracy quickly begins to unfold.

I am doing my best to stop from including spoilers but I will say that there are so many twists and turns here. There are even some great references to Marvel characters that we are already familiar with and maybe one that will become a new Marvel Cinematic Universe hero. But this film goes back to the very origins of S.H.I.E.L.D. and tying together bits and pieces from every Marvel film thus far. Plus, the two post-credit scenes bring us to next year's Avengers 2 as well as the next Captain America movie.

This film is huge and epic! The stakes are high for all of our heroes. We get so much more character development for not only the Captain but for Fury and for Natasha as well. We finally get to see both Fury and Natasha play a bigger role in the action this time. Sam and Steve have great chemistry together and you see how that plays against the link into the Cap's past with The Winter Soldier.

Everything here needs to be discovered by watching and to not let anyone, including myself, spoil it for you. From the cameos to the all of the twists and turns throughout the film there is not one bit of slowdown. This is the nail biting, emotional, edge of your seat movie you have been waiting for. This is the summer movie that you want but rarely get. This is the best Marvel film to date!

Once again Disney and Marvel have a visually stunning presentation. The 1080p/AVC-encoded video is flawless. Every detail, every color, from the lifelike skintones to textures are all breathtaking. 
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is just as stunning as the video. The front channels blast every gunshot, punch, HeliBattleship and more. The rear channels are dynamic and create immersive soundfields of the buildings and streets. The dialogue is crisp and clear even in the middle of a battle or car chase. Another fantastic audio presentation by Disney and Marvel.
Bonus Features:
  • Audio Commentary: The directors and screenwriters deliver a detailed and exhaustive audio commentary. They talk about 1970s conspiracy thrillers and their influence on the sequel. Then they cover everything from casting, to performances, to story development, to themes, to characters, to shooting styles, to using visual and practical effects, to the stuntwork, to the fight choreography, to the editing, to the music. 
  • On the Front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America's Battlegrounds (HD, 10 minutes): The members of the cast and crew take a look at the development of the sequel, the tone of the movie, and the stunt work involved. They even look at the evolution of Captain America from the comics through the various movies. 
  • On Set with Anthony Mackie: Cut the Check! (HD, 2 minutes): A look at Anthony Mackie's casting, his performance, his role in the movie and his habit of ending a scene with "cut the check!"
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 4 minutes): Four scenes are showcased here along with commentary from the directors - "Hill and Sitwell Talk Loyalty," "In Pursuit of Captain America," "Nick Fury's Circle" and "Widow Reveals Her Past".
  • Steve Rogers' Notebook (HD, 3 minutes): Taking a look at Steve's notebook and how each list was made for some of the various international releases of the film.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 3 minutes): Take a look at some of the flubbed lines and prop miscues.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best Marvel film to date and the blu-ray delivers! A high adrenaline ride from start to finish! Not only is the movie the best comic book movie to date but one of the best movies of all-time. From high quality video and audio presentations to some fun yet brief bonus features, this is a blu-ray that you must add to your movie collection.

*Disclaimer: The blu-ray was provided for a review but the review is strictly my own opinion.*

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