Captain America: The Winter Soldier BluRay Review
Unless you've been living a under a rock, then you already know how great of a movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier is. Iron Man 3 and Thor The Dark World get a mixed response from folks but this movie was Marvel Studios' way of telling folks, it was still the King of making comic book movies. This movie took Captain America to another level. The Russos basically made an action spy thriller but instead of James Bond and MI-6, it was Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. On top of that, the implications of the movie rippled through not only Marvel's Cinematic Universe but also on the small screen with a significant tie-in with Agents of SHIELD. To be honest there's just not much to dislike here. Even if you aren't a comic book fan, this movie was just fun to watch. Period.
One of the things I love about this film is how it treated it's secondary characters. It's funny seeing everyone clamor for a Black Widow movie because I remember when Scarlett Johansson first took the part Natasha Roamanoff in Iron Man 2 and people weren't convinced that the character deserved to be a part of The Avengers, much less have her own movie. But in The Winter Soldier the character is given a lot of development. I love the fact that Black Widow never loses her mystery or sneaky side, yet the character goes to the point where not only Steve Rogers trusts her but the audience does. I’m also a big fan of Anthony Mackie as Falcon. The Russos could have easily made him another “black sidekick” but he’s so much more than that in this film. Sure he has limited screen time, but he’s more of an equal member of a team than a sidekick. And again, Mackie’s performance as well as how the character was written, just makes people want to see more of the character. Some even want to see him take over for Captain American now (just like in the comics).
My only real "disappointment" is that Alexander Pierce wasn't really The Red Skull. It wasn’t necessary at all but it would have been the final “holy shit” moment in this movie. Pierce was actually great as the “snake in the grass” villain in this movie mainly because he didn’t act like one. This movie is so great not only because of the movie presented to us but because it literally changes the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a huge way.
One of the underrated things about this film is the score. It wasn't until I was writing this that I found out a lot of people didn't like it. I don't get that. Watching it at home, I thought the score by Henry Jackman worked perfectly with this movie. It's not my favorite score but that's because Brian Tyler (Iron Man 3, Thor the Dark World, Avengers Age of Ultron) and Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy) have set some pretty high bars. But the score of this The Winter Soldier fits this movie and character.
So if I've just spent the whole review talking about how great this movie is and how awesome it looks in BluRay, why am I giving it only 4 stars? Because this is a review of the BluRay, not just the movie. Captain America The Winter Soldier is one of Marvel Studio's best films. In my book its a 3 way tie for #1 with this movie right beside The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, as a BluRay package this might be one of the weakest ones I've seen from Marvel. I list the special features below but it's surprisingly lackluster to be honest. There's no Marvel One Shot. No cool BluRay features like the Iron Man 3 BluRay that came with a way to connect with the Jarvis App. There's not even a featurette on the musical score which has become almost a requirement with these movies. Even the featurettes they included are criminally short. I feel like Marvel really rested on tehir laurels with this BluRay. That’s a real shame because so much went into this movie and it had such a rippling effect in not only the movie world but also on Agents of SHIELD, it would have been nice to see more about the creative process involved in putting it together. The only thing I can figure is that there are still more surprises coming from the events that took place in this movie and Marvel didn’t want to spoil anything. Still doesn’t excuse the lack of features though. I’ve really become dependent on the special features in BluRay’s, particularly for comic book movies because they introduce me to so much of the comic book lore and just get me excited all over again. I have to say, it’s a real disappointment that such a good movie didn’t get better treatment in the features department.
So with that said, does this mean you shouldn't buy this? Don't be silly. I would just recommend getting the Instant Video version if you don't have a 3D TV. The lack of features don't warrant buying this BluRay disc over the Video on Demand version. If you do have a 3D TV then absolutely grab the disc. The 3D looks terrific and is worth buying the disc. However if you do not have a 3D TV, then getting the instant watch version is just as good and can allow you to watch it just about anywhere. Whichever version of this you decided to get, this movie is a MUST OWN in your library. I might be let down by the features but this movie packs enough punch on its own to make me forget all about that.
As I mentioned above, the featurettes are pretty light and short. There are a handful of deleted scenes. Nothing really major that adds anything extra to the movie. There is commentary for the deleted scenes which I think it's a great thing that these BluRays are now coming with. There's also a gag reel and commentary for the feature with directors Anthony & Joe Russo as well as screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.
[tab title="On the Front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America's Battlegrounds"] This focuses on the action and stunt work involved in this film. There really is a maturation of Steve's fighting abilities in this film. I love how they showed his improved hand-to-hand combat skills as well as the way he used his shield. Cap's shield really is an extension of him and his use of it in this film is fantastic. The Russo's also talked about the Nick Fury car chase scene and how they took inspiration from Heat. Once they said that, the similarities between that scene and the infamous scene in Heat became abundantly clear to me. This was a really good feature but it's criminally short.[/tab]
[tab title="On set with Anthony Mackie: Cut the Check"] Anthony Mackie is hilarious. I definitely want to see more of him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He really represents actors/actresses who WANT to be in these films. He was campaigning to get into a superhero movie and once he did he killed the role. The Russos wanted Falcon to be more than a sidekick but because they knew the character would only get limited screen time, they needed someone who could carry the role. And Mackie did that. This featurette is, once again criminally short, but that might be a good thing because it's a bunch of funny cuts of Mackie doing his "Cut the Check" catchphrase on set. It's pretty hilarious but you can also tell it was probably driving people on set crazy.[/tab]
[tab title="Steve Roger's Notebook"] I didn't know that they did an Internet Campaign to get suggestions for what to put into Steve's notebook. Each region got its own specific mention in the notebook in some way. They wanted to make Captain America more global which makes sense. I thought it was pretty cool to see what each region voted to put into their notebook[/tab]