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Captain America: The First Avenger (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000218070
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 2/6/2022 18:05
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    Review for Captain America: The First Avenger

    8 / 10


    It’s somewhat ironic now, given how the DC Universe has fallen flat, but in 2008 when Marvel kicked off their Cinematic Universe, I was certain that it would fail. And now, almost 30 movies and several TV series in, it’s hard to imagine a world without a Marvel Cinematic Universe. DC had it all, the best known comic book characters and years of material to draw on. Marvel launched their studio effort with the intention of bringing their vast roster of characters and stories back in house, and coincidentally allowing for the kind of franchise crossovers that are easy to do in print, but nigh on impossible to accomplish on film.

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    But in 2008, Marvel’s biggest crowd pleasers and fan favourites were out of their control. Sony had Spider-man, Twentieth Century Fox had the X-Men, and Universal had Hulk. I consider them second tier Marvel, but Fox also had The Fantastic Four. To kick off their Cinematic Universe, Marvel had a trio of characters who, quite frankly I had never heard of, let alone partaken of in print. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman they weren’t. Yet on the back of Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, a world-changing film franchise was born. I have to admit that I wasn’t all that enthused by those first few movies. I’ve never really liked Iron Man as a character, while it’s only the forthcoming Love and Thunder (with the return of Natalie Portman) which has tempted me to revisit the first two Thor movies. It’s the Captain America trilogy that stands out to me now, as three films that got it right.

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    The discovery of a craft, buried in the ice reveals a seventy year old secret, and more.

    In 1942 at the height of the Second World War, Hitler’s research division, Hydra led by Johann Schmidt a.k.a. The Red Skull uncovered a mysterious artefact in Norway that promised ultimate power. Subsequently, Hydra broke away from Hitler and launched its own mission of world domination. But in the US, the Strategic Scientific Reserve had its own plans to counter Nazi tyranny, using the research of escaped German scientist Dr Abraham Erskine, coupled with the industrial might of Howard Stark.

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    A serum to create super-soldiers could tilt the balance of the war in the Allies’ favour. All they need is a volunteer. Enter Steve Rogers, a puny asthmatic who has been consistently labelled 4F. But all Steve Rogers wants is to serve his country, to protect that which he cares about.

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    The Disc

    The film gets a 2.35:1 widescreen 1080p presentation on this disc, with the choice between DTS-HD MA 7.1 Surround English, DD 5.1 Surround French, German, Italian, Spanish, and English Audio Descriptive, with subtitles in these languages plus Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. Captain America’s presentation is great on this disc, a nice, crisp, detailed image with no visible issues with compression or the like. The effects are really good for 2011, effectively punifying Chris Evans for the first act with the seams rarely showing. The film gets a sepia look to evoke the era, which by this point is beginning to feel like a cliché, but didn’t feel that way when the film came out. The surround is effective, making the most of the action, and Alan Silvestri’s score, while keeping the dialogue clear.

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    Now that Disney own everything, they seem to be shying away from physical media, and the last couple of years of pandemic didn’t help. Buying the three films in boxset form was the easiest way to find one of the films on Blu-ray. But all you get are the three individual Amaray releases wrapped in a thin-card slipcase, so I’m just reviewing them individually.

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    The first film was distributed by Paramount, and the disc boots to an animated menu. On the disc you’ll find the following extras.

    Commentary with director Joe Johnston, director of photography Shelly Johnson, and editor Jeffrey Ford.

    Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (4:03)

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    - Outfitting a Hero (10:52)
    - Howling Commandos (6:07)
    - Heightened Technology (5:43)
    - The Transformation (8:50)
    - Behind the Skull (10:24)
    - Captain America’s Origin (3:55)
    - The Assembly Begins (1:46)

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    Deleted Scenes - x4 with optional commentary (5:32)

    Trailers (2 movie, 1 videogame, 1 animation)

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    I had the biggest jolt of déjà vu when I watched the first Wonder Woman movie, until it dawned in me that they had pretty much remade Captain America: The First Avenger, merely shifting their story from World War II to the First World War. The reason is obvious; Captain America: The First Avenger is really good. It’s got action aplenty, and with a wartime setting, it can justify the carnage and mayhem in its story. That story is good, with plenty of intrigue. The heroes and villains are clear cut and have tangible motivations. The Red Skull has seen Hitler’s lunacy, and decides to go it alone to conquer the world, but whereas Hitler’s pursuit of the occult and the fantastic is misplaced, The Red Skull can use ‘magic’ to attain his ambitions. He’s also a ‘victim’ of Erskine’s serum, explaining his moniker, and fuelling his paranoid ambition.

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    Steve Rogers on the other hand is a frustrated patriot, betrayed by his physical shortcomings when it comes to signing up for the war effort. Erskine has perfected his formula, and Steve Rogers is the perfect test subject, a man with compassion and integrity, compared to the trained soldiers that the government want Erskine to enhance. And of course there is a whole lot of spying and machinations going on, on both sides, when it comes to Hydra’s plans, and the SSR’s goals. Erskine’s experiment succeeds, but at a cost, leaving Rogers sidelined again. But now he has the physical strength to back up his desire to serve, and he has to find his way to the front lines, using the Captain America persona and reputation, that the government have created for him, using him to sell war bonds to promote the war effort. When he gets to the front lines, he’s seen as a mascot at best, and he has to prove himself in a trial by fire.

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    The characters are great, it has Tommy Lee Jones giving full Tommy Lee Jones as the army Colonel who has to evaluate Rogers for the serum program, and subsequently commanding at the front lines. There’s even a bit of romance as well with the Agent Carter character. It all unfolds at a pace, with great action sequences, plenty of adventure and just enough emotion to engage the audience. And all the while Marvel are insidiously sowing the seeds for the rest of the franchise, without making the film feel diminished by excessive referencing; leaving that egregiousness for the in and post end credit sequence.

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