O Captain! My Captain!
Captain America: The First Avenger told the story of how Steve Rogers became the legendary Marvel superhero and The Avengers helped develop the character even further. Chris Evans does a spectacular job in the title role of his first two outings as “Cap” and absolutely shines in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but does that make this Blu-ray release worthwhile?
When comparing Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, it is easy to rank The First Avenger as the lesser of the three. However, the subsequent Iron Man films did not live up to the original and Thor: The Dark World was lacking something special. Captain America: The Winter Soldier tops its predecessor and at the time of its release it was above and beyond the best Marvel film to be released. What could’ve been another standard superhero film was turned into a political action thriller that set an extreme standard for the genre. Superb performances by Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson and Sebastian Stan cannot be ignored. If that isn’t enough, factor in Robert Redford as a supporting actor to round out the main cast. Although Guardians of the Galaxy was released in August and surprised us all, the action and complexity of Captain America: The Winter Soldier may still make it the finest Marvel film so far.
There aren’t a lot of bonus features on the Blu-ray release for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but what is present is more than enjoyable. The main feature of the disc is “On the Front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America’s Battlegrounds,” which is a ten minute behind-the-scenes look at the filming of some of the action sequences. A lot of the attention is focused on the stunt doubles, giving them a bit of spotlight and credit that is totally deserved. For those looking for a laugh, watch “On Set with Anthony Mackie: Cut the Check!” and the gag reel. Four deleted scenes are included as well as an extensive commentary with directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Another cool feature is Steve Rogers’ Notebook, which shows how little details, like Captain America’s notebook list of cultural events, changes based on which region of the world the film is shown in.
Disney and Marvel are both known to release some of the best Blu-ray discs, in terms of quality, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier is right up there with the best of the best. To be frank, if you didn’t see this movie in theaters, find the biggest TV you can along with the best sound system and watching this film as it was meant to be seen. Otherwise, you’re not doing this fantastic transfer justice.
A lot of people might disagree and find some fault with this Blu-ray, but this is a release solely focused on presenting the movie in the best way possible and it succeeds. If you don’t like Captain America: The Winter Soldier or you want at least ten bonus features to round out the disc then you’re going to walk away disappointed, but if you just want to own one of the greatest Marvel movies then you are in for a treat.
I can flat out say that I loved everything about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America was one of my least favorite Avengers after Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to a close, but after this strong outing, I can confidently say that he has risen to the top. Between Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014 has been a juggernaut for Marvel. Guardians of the Galaxy has a fun, action-comedy vibe, but The Winter Soldier has a darker side that almost seems reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, which of course is the greatest Star Wars film unless you are a crazy person. The point is, I don’t own The First Avenger, but The Winter Soldier stands up so well on its own I had to add it to my collection and could not recommend it enough. It may not be the biggest box office success, but The Winter Soldier quietly redefined what a superhero movie should be and added a new level of mass appeal to a genre and a character that any nerd could look up to.
Category: TV / Movies