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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Captain America: The First Avenger [Blu-ray]

 

(Joe Johnston, 2011)

 

  

  

  

There is also a 3-disc Combo with 3D Blu-ray version available:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:04:11.610

Disc Size: 46,654,531,309 bytes

Feature Size: 36,270,796,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.78 Mbps

Chapters: 17

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 25th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 5097 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5097 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director Joe Johnston, director of photography Shelly Johnson, and editor Jeffrey Ford

• 4 Deleted Scenes (3 with optional director commentary) - (5:32 in total)
Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes - Outfitting a Hero (10:52), Howling Commandoes (6:07), Heightened Technology (5:43), The Transformation (8:50), Behind the Skull (10:24), Captain America's Origin (3:55), The Assembly Begins (1:47)
Marvel One Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer -- Go deeper inside the Marvel Universe and unveil secret plans to assemble the ultimate superhero team, the Avengers (4:03)

2 Theatrical Trailers, Sega Game Trailer, Animated Trailer

Second disc DVD and Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Captain America leads the fight for freedom in the action-packed blockbuster starring Chris Evans as the ultimate weapon against evil! When a terrifying force threatens everyone across the globe, the world’s greatest soldier wages war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix). Critics and audiences alike salute Captain America: The First Avenger as “pure excitement, pure action, and pure fun!” – Bryan Erdy CBS-TV

***

"Captain America: The First Avenger" will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers volunteers... to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes and Peggy Carter to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull.

 

 

The Film:

Instead of saving the planet with supernatural powers, this man of steel merely wields a badass shield. As the World War II-set film is this summer’s only mainstream superhero flick, it already has advantages over the recent “Thor” and “Green Lantern”. “Captain America: The First Avenger” has taken great strides to embody a relatable hero who’s born into strength from weakness. Quite simply, his head’s on straight and his heart’s in the right place.

And while the costuming and American patriotism are well known, the layman is still confusingly hazy on what super powers fuel this superhero. Captain America is just blessed with strength and speed thanks to a somewhat realistic, government-administered serum. While this plot line directly pilfers from Jason Bourne’s films, Captain America refreshingly isn’t invincible.

Excerpt from HollywoodChicago located HERE

 

Good acting in such minor roles helps anchor the story. Tommy Lee Jones plays a cranky Colonel (when typecasting goes right), while Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter mostly looks nice in snug military garb while undressing Rogers with her eyes. She also gets to fire a gun several times, at good guys and bad guys.

The result is fun and refreshingly retro. It’s nice to see superheroes (as in the recent, 1960s-set X-Men: First Class) battling evil without all that post-9/11 angst. Captain America might be just a touch too long at 125 minutes (one attack montage too many, perhaps) but there’s a lot of ground to cover, not least explaining how a 1940s war hero will re-emerge in the here-and-now to star in next May’s sequel/spinoff, The Avengers. It’s the final piece of the puzzle, deftly handled.

Excerpt from The National Post located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

I didn't get the opportunity to see Captain America: The First Avenger theatrically - although I wanted to. But you can see the period and comic-book ethos have affected the visual style by the filmmakers. It has a smoke-edged appearance that doesn't always translate perfectly to digital leaving some unexpected noise via the dual-layered Blu-ray transfer from Paramount. This has a high bitrate and looks to have captured the image qualities without lending a pristine glossy look to the 1940's. Bravo. It can only be presumed that this was intentional and adds unique flavor to the overall presentation. It only alters when the time frame shifts (sorry - no spoilers.) When the film sports some eye-candy action the disparity between the more modest scenes becomes significantly intense with grandiose contrast shifts of light and energy leaping across the screen. Actually part of Captain America: The First Avenger's appeal is that it doesn't tend to rely on these retina and ear-drum attacks to remain suspense-building. This is clean with solid contrast and some depth but never looks artificial or unnaturally plastic. This is surely an attribute rather than a 'what gives?' disappointment. Thumbs up for the 1080P image in its effort to translate the visual style. 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 7.1 track at an intense 5097 kbps honestly had me walk upstairs to check that some catastrophe had not occurred outside of my Home Theater (like, maybe, the fridge toppled over or something?). Not being a chap who learns quickly - I almost repeated this journey before catching onto the outstanding separation and depth working in tandem to produce some amazing aural effects. This is crisp and subtle but also has the ability to blow out your windows. Alan Silvestri's score is in perfect step with the 'builds' and comes across wonderfully room-filling during the presentation. I think this is one of the most impressive lossless tracks of the year. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

The package offers many extras including a thorough commentary by trifecta of director Joe Johnston, director of photography Shelly Johnson, and editor Jeffrey Ford who cover production qualities in details sharing their information generously about the project. There are also 4 kinda neat deleted scenes lasting about 5,5 minutes (3 of which offer an optional director commentary.) There is also a 7 part Behind-The-Scenes Featurette (actually seperate pieces) under the headings Outfitting a Hero (10:52), Howling Commandoes (6:07), Heightened Technology (5:43), The Transformation (8:50), Behind the Skull (10:24), Captain America's Origin (3:55) and The Assembly Begins (1:47). Fans of 'Cap' will benefit the most from these with a fair amount of nostalgia available. I was hoping the Marvel One Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer was longer than 4-minutes but is described as " Go deeper inside the Marvel Universe and unveil secret plans to assemble the ultimate superhero team, the Avengers". Lastly we have 2 Theatrical Trailers, a Sega Game Trailer and an Animated Trailer as well as a second disc DVD and Digital Copy included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The more flawed and vulnerable Marvel superheroes always get my vote over the frequently immortal DC brand. Despite your appeal regarding the excessive retro comic-book binge that has been going on for the last decade in Hollywood - Captain America: The First Avenger is done exceptionally well. This holds the origin milieu with gentle delicacy, some tongue-in-cheek pokes at war-time propaganda and a good old-fashioned action-adventure story suitable for boys of any age. This is a certain build-up to the upcoming Avengers flic. The Paramount Blu-ray is a complete package with kudos to the uncompressed audio (WOW'ser!) and we can easily recommend it to anyone who might be keen.

Gary Tooze

October 14th, 2011

  

  

  

There is also a 3-disc Combo with 3D Blu-ray version available:


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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