Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-ray Review
How do you take a character who is wholesome and good and turn him into a hero for whom you can root? That may sound like a strange question but when you think about it, a character essentially without flaw just isn’t interesting to watch, not in the slightest. So what do you do with Captain America, essentially THE good ole’ boy of the Marvel universe. Mister perfect. This isn’t to say that I don’t like the character, or the movies; in fact I have quite enjoyed them. But given the success of the Marvel movies recently, how could filmmakers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo raise the stakes and make something to top the recent successes of IRON MAN 3 and THE AVENGERS?
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is the third film to debut as part of Marvel’s Phase Two, after the closing of Phase One with THE AVENGERS. Two years after the events of THE AVENGERS we pick up with Cap and Company. He’s been working with SHIELD in the time since and has become quite the super-soldier we’ve all wished to see in the previous films… but never really finishing his training for the prior films he wasn’t nearly the man soldier he could have been, and becomes finally. Getting to see him in action in the opening moments is indeed a joy.
Now Cap has been paired with Black Widow, and though the two are as completely different in their approaches as they are varied in their response when action is required. This is clear from the opening moments onboard the satellite launch boat with Cap knocking out his foes and Black Widow taking hers down by more fatal means. But everything changes when there is an attempt on Nick Fury’s life that results in his apparent death. We learn there is a secret soldier, an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. When Cap takes Fury’s last words, to not trust anyone, to heart he is branded a traitor by SHIELD and now he has to figure out who he can trust on his own.
How do you take a character without flaws and make him interesting? The answer, thanks to the brother’s Russo, is to put Captain America on his heels and make him go round after round with tough opponents. And they do exactly that with CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. From A-Z a brilliant espionage thriller in the vein of 1970s films. In short, it’s one of the finest worlds crafted for the Marvel universe and while the third act might be a little bit much for some folks I found the entire ride to be enjoyable, nay, a blast; and well worth checking out.
The addition of Anthony Mackie to the cast, as Falcon, was a beautiful choice. He has the swagger to stand next to Cap and Black Widow and seem like a worthy member of the Team. The additional characters of the Winter Soldier, played by Sebastian Shaw (who played Bucky Barnes in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER) is also an excellent addition with a great narrative arc. All-in-all this film ranks among my favorite of the Marvel films to this point. I highly recommend it.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) Disney does amazing things with their Blu-ray presentations and the video on CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is no exception.
Audio: (English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The audio for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is equally strong in its presentation.
On the Front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America’s Battlegrounds (10:11) A high definition look at the stunt work and literal battlegrounds featured in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. There is some really interesting behind the scenes looks at the fight scenes as well as discussions about creating the visceral feel at the core of the movie.
On Set with Anthony Mackie: Cut the Check! (01:55) This shorter feature focuses on Mackie’s on-set persona and his ‘idiomatic’ terminology – “Cut the Check”. It doesn’t go very indepth into CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER but gives a few interesting points.
Steve Rogers Notebook (02:26) This feature specifically focuses on the variation of Cap’s list for each region identified by the film’s producers. It certainly adds some interesting moments to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and gives a few very nice moments connecting the movie to the greater world context around it.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (03:36) Available with optional commentary and a play all option, these scenes were decent without adding too much to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.
Gag Reel (02:37) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER gives only a few fun moments but I was happy to find it on the disc.
Audio Commentary with directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. This is a great, exhaustive, and incredibly interesting look at CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and the inspirations of the filmmakers. An incredible commentary any way you slice it. Well worth your time.