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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Captain America [Blu-ray]

 

(Albert Pyun, 1990)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 21st Century Film Corporation

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:37:04.944 

Disc Size: 22,515,621,114 bytes

Feature Size: 18,222,422,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.97 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 21st, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1708 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1708 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• A Look Back at Captain America (20:05 in 1080i)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In World War II, America needed a hero. This hero was Captain America. During WWII one brave soldier, Steve Rogers, underwent experiments that effectively turn him into a super-soldier known as Captain America! Not all was well however, and during Captain America's attempt to thwart German Nazi soldiers, 'Red Skull,' a new nemesis, freezes Captain America until he emerges in 1990, only to find that Red Skull has changed his identity and has plans to kidnap the President of the United States!

***

After a scientist creates superhuman warrior Red Skull for the Nazis during WW II, she defects and does the same for the U.S.-- injecting a polio victim to transform him into the titular heroic beefcake. Forty years after a confrontation which left Captain America frozen in Alaska, he is found and thawed and must take on Red Skull once again.

 

 

The Film:

The film introduces us to Steve Rogers, a patriotic soul trapped in a frail body who yearns to fight for his country in World War II. He’s given the chance when he is chosen to participate in a secret government experiment to create physically enhanced soldiers. The experiment is a success, and Rogers becomes Captain America, a fighting symbol of his country. His first mission is to parachute into Germany in order to prevent a rocket from being launched at the White House. But waiting for him is his German counterpart, the Red Skull.

The two battle, and Captain America is defeated and strapped to the rocket bound for Washington D.C. He manages to knock the missile off course and crashes into Antarctica, where he is frozen for 50 years. He awakens in the 1990s, and soon discovers that the Red Skull is still very much alive and active. Now operating under the guise of a wealthy businessman, the villain controls a vast criminal empire and is responsible for the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. When the Red Skull kidnaps the American president and plans to implant a mind control device, Captain America returns to stop his old enemy once and for all.

Excerpt from Beyond Hollywood located HERE

Though not as horrifyingly bad as you may've been told, CAPTAIN AMERICA is a perplexing, bewildering attempt to bring the red, white & blue-clad hero to the silver screen.

I'll be totally honest with you...I've never been a big fan of the Captain. In fact, his rampant patriotism and "gee whiz" mannerisms were always a bit too Supermanish for my tastes. I've always preferred comic book heroes that busted heads first and asked questions last (ala Wild Dog). I guess the only time that I followed the comic adventures of the Cap was during the 1970s when the funky black Falcon was his partner; you know, that whole Shaft-with-wings thing. What's the point??? I don't know how much of this flick is faithful to the comic origins of the character, and I don't really care.

Excerpt from Exploitation Retrospect located HERE

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

The 1990 film version of Captain America inexplicably gets a release on Blu-ray from Shout Factory. Why this film as opposed to 1000's of other titles is... perplexing. It looks quite average. The 1080P image quality shows some minor grain and a bit of noise. This is only single-layered and transferred in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Colors gain a shade of vibrancy - most notable is the Red Skull character. Contrast is reasonably modest but this is all in-line with how it probably looked theatrically. This Blu-ray is probably exporting an accurate image, but the visuals lack depth and won't impress many for their HD quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is rendered via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1708 kbps and is about as unremarkable as the image. There are some effects that have a more robust quality and Barry Goldberg's score suits the era (actually more 80's - very 'pop' related) and flamboyant in the superhero-mode. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

The only extra is the 20-minute long, new, "A Look Back at Captain America" with director Albert Pyun and 'Cap' himself Matt Salinger reminiscing about the production, their challenges and goals.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Sure this is weak, but it's not that baaaad. There are good supporting players in Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, and Darren McGavin. I think the major flaw here is the script. The Blu-ray is nothing special in terms of film or transfer and we can only recommend if you are willing to accept a modest product. It's only redeeming feature is that it leans to being a 40's-50's wholesome feel and that part I appreciated. But overall - not recommended! 

Gary Tooze

May 14th, 2013


 

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 5000 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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