After the Cataclysmic events in New York with THE AVENGERS, Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy to while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, The Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy – the Winter Soldier.
Presented with a glorious 1080p AVC encode in 2.40:1 the transfer here is faultless.
Looking as good as you would expect it too, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER arrives on Blu-ray in the UK with a perfect video presentation. Detail is fantastic throughout, facial details, hair lines, clothing, scenery, everything is defined and clear. Edge definition is also razor sharp. The colour palette used is somewhat muted, but this doesn’t stop the colours on screen looking brilliant. Both indoor and outdoor scenes look lifelike onscreen, with black levels retaining every bit of detail and add great depth. Skin tones also appear natural. I did not notice any kind of motion blur, digital noise, crushing or banding anywhere at any time.
Also included in the UK set is a separate 3D Blu-ray disc. Surprisingly here, the 3D was actually very good. I’ve found in the past some of the Marvel 3D movies to be poor but the presentation here was probably the best I’ve seen so far from Marvel. Aside from making the picture a little darker, as most 3D conversions tend to do, the 3D throughout the movie added some great depth to the picture. It hasn’t been used in any gimmicky way, there are no obvious ‘throwing’ towards the camera just simple use of 3D to make a more three dimensional experience.
A flawless video presentation for the UK Blu-ray release of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.
An array of different audio tracks are included on both the 3D and 2D discs for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. There’s an English DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 track, Dolby Digital 5.1 Hindi, Tamil and Telegu tracks and finally an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track. For the purposes of this review, I’ll be looking at the DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 track.
Much like the video presentation, again the DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 track is faultless. The whole track is explosive right from the start, all channels get used to full effect whether it be from car chases, explosions, gun fire, the sound of the ‘Heli-Carriers’, fighting right through to hustle and bustle of background noise. A special mention for Cap’s shield; this is when you get the full effect of just how good this surround track is, hearing the shield bounce and hit its way around enemies and deflecting gunfire, creating one of the best tracks I’ve heard in a long time. It also goes without saying that your sub-woofer is in for one big workout, from start to finish! Dialogue is delivered precisely with great clarity, never lost or drowned out in what is an action packed movie.
Also included are English HOH, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER arrives onto 3D/2D Blu-ray with the following extras (all extras are found on the 2D Blu-ray disc)
* Audio Commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – This is a fantastic listen, very extensive in content detailing probably everything you’d want to know from 70’s conspiracy thrillers and how they were used to inspire the Captain America sequel. Also listen out for a brief tease as to what we can expect from the next Captain America movie. Easily one of the best commentaries I’ve had the pleasure of listening too.
* On the Front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America’s Battlegrounds (HD, 10 mins) – A brief featurette with the likes of Kevin Feige, the Russo brothers and some members of the cast and crew who offer their insight and thoughts of the movie from production, development, the tone and style of the movie as well as the evolution of Captain America throughout the Avenger movie franchise.
* On Set with Anthony Mackie: Cut the Check! (HD, 2 mins) – A very brief behind the scenes look at the character of The Falcon and the role in the movie.
* Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 4 mins) – “Hill and Sitwell Talk Loyalty”, “In Pursuit of Captain America”, “Nick Fury’s Circle” and “Widow Reveals Her Past”. All also feature optional commentary from the Russo brothers.
* Steve Rogers’ Notebook (HD, 3 minutes) – A nifty little piece looking at Captain America’s notebook with the differences on the list depending on what country the movie was played in
* Gag Reel (HD, 3 mins)
Not much to complain about there. The inclusion of some more cast interviews, especially with Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson would’ve been nice, but the audio commentary really makes up for it.
I, annoyingly, missed the first CAPTAIN AMERICA movie when it was released in UK cinemas, but immediately bought the UK Blu-ray upon its release. This was my second foray into the ‘Avengers’ Marvel Cinematic Universe set of movies (after IRON MAN) and I have to admit that I instantly loved the movie, and couldn’t wait see THE AVENGERS and then subsequently CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.
When the sequel was released into cinemas, I was lucky enough to catch a 3D double bill of both CAPTAIN AMERICA and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Now, I’m a big fan of the first movie so naturally the sequel had a lot to live up to for me and with a very poor IRON MAN 2, and half decent efforts with IRON MAN 3 and THOR: THE DARK WORLD my expectations were pretty high for Cap. It goes without saying that my initial viewing of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER was simply superb and watching it again at home was just as good, if not even better the second time around. This is a great comic book movie, but in my opinion it’s an even better espionage thriller, which gets touched upon in the audio commentary. It has a much more serious, darker tone to any of the other ‘Avengers’ orientated movies and it really works in its advantage.
The whole primary casting to me was perfect for the movie. Chris Evans is Steve Rogers, I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing him now and is perfect as the choice for Captain America. Scarlett Johansson again is perfect as ‘The Black Widow’, and is given much more screen time here as one of the main stars of the movie, and at the same time we get to learn more about the character of ‘The Black Widow’. Sebastian Stan as ‘The Winter Soldier’ was, just as Chris Evans is Cap, superb. The scenes these two share on screen together are brilliant, ‘normal’ fight scenes are turned into quite an intense emotional battle between the pair. I don’t want to say too much more on that in fear of spoiling it for anyone who has yet to see the movie. Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford and Samuel L Jackson bring up the rest of the principal cast. Anthony Mackie joins as ‘The Falcon’, given a slightly more comedic, light heartedness side to him, he is good and used well within the movie. Redford is great in the role of ‘Alexander Pierce’, playing the part brilliantly, with Jackson coming back as ‘Nick Fury’ and much like ‘The Black Widow’ having more of a prominent role within the movie, including a superb car chase towards the beginning.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER has become my joint favourite Marvel movie, twinned with THE AVENGERS. This is a fantastic movie, if you like the first part then there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy this sequel. If you’re not the biggest comic book movie fan, put that aside and give this a watch. The spy-espionage element and darker tone to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINDER SOLDIER makes for an extremely well made action movie that can be enjoyed by a varying amount of different film fans.
The 3D/2D release is almost perfect! The audio and visual elements are perfect only let down ever-so slightly by the extras, but it goes without saying that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER improved on the first movie ten-fold only propelling the Marvel Cinematic Universe higher and higher. All I can say is roll on AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON!
Buy your copy from Amazon.co.uk