Sep/2017

Blu-ray Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’!

by Gumbercules9000 on Sep 6th, 2016

Hi everyone, Bryan here…

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THE FILM

The ‘Civil War‘ story line in the Marvel Universe is one of the better story lines in recent memory in all of Marvel. It pitted your favorite superheroes against each other and caused some real havoc, before taking on a much bigger enemy. The day has finally come when that comic book miniseries is put up on the big screen in a very large way with ‘Captain America: Civil War‘. This is the third ‘Captain America‘ movie, and a lot of you will wonder why this isn’t just an ‘Avengers 3’ film since most of the ‘Avengers’ show up here throughout the movie. You might be right, but in a big way, this is really Captain America’s movie that shows us just how Steve Rogers ticks.

I can say with great ease that this is one of the best Marvel movies yet and putting the Russo Bros. in charge of directing this was the right decision. I’m so happy that they will continue on with the ultimate ‘Infinity Wars‘ films in a few years. The reason is that they were able to cohesively tell a big story with many characters in a fluid way, while allowing every superhero enough time to shine on screen. The script also took its time in setting up each character’s decisions and thoughts in such a manner that you really are torn on which side you want to take. It was rather brilliant. The film takes place about a year after the events of ‘Avengers 2‘ where the superhero team saved the world from Ultron.

When that city fell back to Earth, some innocent people died from the collision, and certain people think the Avengers need to answer for it, which calls for the United Nations to come up with the “Accords”. This league of nations wants to control the Avengers, unmask them, and make them answer for anything they’ve done wrong, instead of being run privately by S.H.I.E.L.D., and free to cross borders and do anything they want. This hits Tony Stark in a big way, as he thinks that the innocent people that have died in the Avenger’s wake is solely his fault and is want to comply to help heal the victims.

On the other hand, Captain America thinks that the Avengers need to keep operating like they have, which causes the heroes to split up. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier is wanted for a variety of bombings and murders, but as we know, he was brainwashed by Hydra with a series of trigger words that turn him in to a killing machine. Only Captain America can stop him, but come to find out, the person behind Bucky’s recent past is pulling the evil strings so to speak. Another reason why ‘Captain America: Civil War‘ works so well is the motive and reason behind this person’s beliefs and actions. It’s so realistic and painful, that you actually sympathize with this person, which really hasn’t been done before in the Marvel movies. Instead, it’s usually just evil being evil, but that’s not the case here. It was a breath of fresh air to see.

The two big newcomers to the Marvel Universe is Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), which the Russo Bros. have integrated into the Avengers in a seamless and amazing way. There is not one moment where you feel overwhelmed with the amount of superheroes onscreen. The big fight scene between all of the heroes is one of the better fight scenes I’ve ever seen on the big screen. The Russo Bros. know just how to film an intense and complex scene that lasts quite a while. Every superhero gets time to show off their skills and never feels rushed or is anyone left out.It’s so fluid that it might be one of my favorite scenes so far this year in a movie. It’s that good.

Again though, this is a movie about Captain America and how he thinks and comes to his decision making process, and just what makes him the embodiment of America. There will always be opposing views on almost everything in life, even film criticism, which is one of the things I like most about writing about movies. Captain believes his way of thinking is right, just as Tony Stark believes what he thinks is right. Sure, the two can get along with opposing views and two different personalities, but it’s how far you choose to go to with these beliefs to do the right thing. It’s a fantastic set up with some twists and turns that will just make you love both Stark and Captain that much more, no matter what side you choose to take.

There really isn’t anything to complain about here. The performances here are amazing with Boseman and Holland playing Black Panther and Peter Parker respectively in such a great way, that you can’t wait to see their stand alone films. I do wish there was an iconic score in play here. Sure the ‘Avengers’ have a decent score, but nothing that sticks out, and the other stand alone Marvel films don’t have iconic scores either. It’s a small gripe, but I want a score that I remember, like something as big as ‘Star Wars‘ or the original ‘Superman‘ or ‘Star Trek‘. ‘Captain America: Civil War‘ is a damn good movie, maybe one of the better Marvel films out there. I can’t wait to see this again.

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THE VIDEO/AUDIO

Captain America: Civil War‘ comes with a demo-worthy 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The image here looks just spectacular on all levels and might be the best looking Marvel Universe film yet. At least on Blu-ray. The detail is extremely sharp and vivid throughout. It doesn’t matter if the characters are in a dark room or outside in the light of day – the detail is always sharp and never goes soft. Closeups reveal the finest textures in the superhero costumes with each stitch and scuff mark on Captain America’s Shield showing up nicely.

Individual hairs on Robert Downey Jr. and Anthony Mackie’s beard are crystal clear. The excellent visual effects and CG work look incredible too and never has an impact on the detail of the image. Wider shots have a great deal of detail as well and give the image a ton of depth, no matter if it’s a fast paced action sequence on a highway or an intimate conversation. It all looks excellent. Colors look amazing and well-saturated at all times. The different shades of blue on Captain America’s uniform are striking and the red and gold color on Iron Man’s suit is exquisite.

Every color pops right off screen from the blue skies and the green grass to even the gray stone walls. It all looks beautiful, specifically the big airport action sequence. The red and blue colors on Spider-man’s costume look phenomenal as does the shad of black on Black Panther’s outfit. The black levels are consistently deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. There are no issues with banding, aliasing, or video noise at all. This is a top notch video presentation and I can’t wait to watch it again.

This release also comes with demo-worthy lossless DTS-HD 7.1 MA mix that just brings the house down. If you want to show off your speaker system to your friends, then do it with ‘Captain America: Civil War‘. Every noise and sound is well balanced, layered and packs a punch when needed. The directionality throughout all of the action sequences is amazing too no matter if it’s a passerby chatting or a gunshot in the distance – all of it sounds amazing. The sound effects all pack a powerful punch. All punches, kicks, ground and pounds, and gun blasts are impressive.

The explosions have the bass behind them that fully immerses the soundscape as well. The score is sweeping and energetic and never drowns out any of the other sounds. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. There are no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills either. Every clank on the Shield or Iron Man’s armor sound precise and realistic as well. I just wish there as an Atmos track here to hear the overhead effects too. This audio presentation is so good.

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THE EXTRAS

Audio Commentary – Filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely deliver a fun and entertaining commentary that gives a ton of information on the characters and shooting the big action sequences. They give away some easter eggs as well as some technical information, in addition to some abandoned story lines and anecdotes from the set. There is some fun laughter and jokes throughout. A great listen.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall – The Making of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (HD, 47 Mins.) – This in depth behind the scenes look of the film is set in two parts, both of which are basically the same thing. There are tons of cast and crew interviews with all players involved, discussing their characters, the story, the tone, and the big action sequences. There are tons of on-set footage with green screens, stuntmen, and wire work. Each major superhero gets their time to shine here with in depth discussions on their psyche. The Spider-Man footage is particularly fun. Then of course the big airport sequence is talked about. 

Captain America: The Road to Civil War (HD, 5 Mins.) – Here are some cast and crew interviews, discussing the past ‘Captain America’ movies and how we arrived at Civil War, and how the character has evolved. 

Iron Man: The Road to Civil War (HD, 5 Mins.) – This is basically the same thing as the above Captain America featurette, but focusing on Tony Stark and Iron Man and his evolution in his character through all of the films. 

Open Your Mind: Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ Exclusive Sneak Peek (HD, 4 Mins.) – The filmmakers and producers, along with Benedict Cumberbatch discuss his upcoming role and film ‘Doctor Strange’ with some footage from the film and background information on his character. There is even some on-set footage here too.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 8 Mins.) – There are four deleted and or extended scenes here, including a funeral, dinner, and a short action clip that is pretty funny. The visual effects are not finished here.

Gag Reel (HD, 3 Mins.) – Your standard, quick blooper reel, full of laughs, missed cues, flubbed lines, mistakes, and set destruction. 

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War L to R: War Machine/James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

THE ULTIMATE WORD

Captain America: Civil War‘ is one of the best, if not the best Superhero movie ever made. It works on every level. Some of the best action sequences in any movie are in this film, along with some excellent character development, dialogue, and acting. There is also a very intimate story here between just two people with the action as the back drop, and the filmmakers capture their downfall perfectly and sets up the upcoming films perfectly. There just isn’t anything bad with this film. The video and audio presentations are both top notch quality and demo worthy for sure. The extras are all worth watching as well and give tons of information you would want to know and see how the filmmakers accomplished some of the bigger scenes in the film. This release is a MUST-OWN!

MUST-OWN!

-Bryan Kluger

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We are receiving a message from the Chancellor's office, sir.
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Send it through.
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Yes, sir.
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