Captain America: The First Avenger may not be the best comic book movie out there, but it does entertain and will have you cheering as the scientifically-enhanced super solider puts away the evil HYDRA forces and the Red Skull with his mighty shield and old-fashioned American exceptionalism. Veteran director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jurassic Park III) does an admirable job leading a great cast head by Chris Evans’ as the signature hero that will inevitably assemble other stars’ in Marvel’s roster like Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man, in next summer’s hugely-anticipated The Avengers.
Let me begin by stating I’m a HUGE Captain America fan. While many might think the story of a scrawny guy getting the chance to serve his country by being experimented on and becoming a superhero a bit disconcerting, I actually enjoy having a powerful, but humble hero you can believe in. To give us more insight into the film, here’s fellow reviewer Chris Pandolfi with his take on the theatrical version, and you can read his full review HERE:
“Along the way, we will meet the showy military inventor Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), father of Tony Stark, who we know as Iron Man. You saw those movies, right? We will also meet Schmidt’s right hand man, biochemist Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), who suspects his master may be einen Vogel haben. I think the main reason Captain America: The First Avenger is so much fun is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously; it retains that air of heightened reality, and it does so with absolutely no apologies. Although not the best entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – that distinction belongs to the original Iron Man – it’s still a highly entertaining film. Note: All the recent films in the Marvel cannon have required you to sit through the end credits, and this one is no exception.”
Cap’s never looked better as he does here, as the transfer to Blu-ray looks awesome. Colors and details come in perfectly here, which helps with all the frantic action and fighting going on. And the audio doesn’t slouch either, as the 7.1 DTS-HD audio fights right along with the picture to give you every detailed explosion, punch, shield toss, and piece of dialogue – no matter how corny – through your sound setup with crystal clarity.
Captain America’s shield isn’t the only special thing here, as the extras are pretty super as well. There’s audio commentary featuring director Joe Johnston, director of photography Shelly Johnson, and editor Jeffrey Ford. They talk a lot about the technical aspects of making the film while having a good time doing so. “Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer” is a fun short film that features S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Colson (Clark Gregg) having a small adventure with a gas station robbery. “Outfitting a Hero” talks about the evolution and making of the new costume, while “Heightened Technology” goes into the gadgets, weapons and vehicles used in the film that are based on technology from that era, with just a touch of sci-fi added. I enjoyed “The Transformation”, that shows how the special effects team turned Chris Evans into the skeleton-like Steve Rogers before he becomes Captain America.
There’s even a few deleted scenes, a sneak peek at the upcoming Avengers film, and a “Behind the Skull” feature that goes into the history of the nose-free character, and Hugo Weaving’s portrayal of him in the movie. A few other features round out the available extras, such as trailers for the film, the videogame from Sega, as well as some spots for the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series.
Captain America: The First Avenger may not be the best Marvel adaptation out there, but it’s one of the most fun and entertaining of all the pre-Avengers films yet, and even more exciting on Blu-ray. As the central character in Marvel’s grand, multi-film scheme to finally bring The Avengers to the big-screen, director Joe Johnston has crafted an exciting adventure that does the original all-American super soldier’s storyline justice, and Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers better than I could have ever hoped for. As with most of Paramount’s recent Blu-ray releases, this 2-disc set comes ready for action and filled with more special features and extras than most higher-profile (and higher-cost) films. Forgive the pun, but this is definitely one Blu-ray you’ll need to assemble your own Avengers collection at home.
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