Back in April, Marvel Studios released their ninth film in the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier to rave reviews, and massive commercial success, and you can read my full review here. But now, just a few months later, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming home on blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. The film, which sees Steve Rogers broken and on the run from the people he believed he was helping to protect the world, as a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Soldier begins to hunt him. Teamed up with Black Widow, and his new friend Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon, the trio fight to uncover the truth behind the Winter Soldier, while trying to protect the nation from a takeover of a dark, and long forgotten advisory.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not only Marvel studio’s strongest film, but it’s also their best. The film works so well because Joe and Anthony Russo, the men behind the lens, because of their understanding of the characters and the Marvel Universe. The duo have crafted a film that is not only a great follow up to Steve’s story in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, but it’s a very interesting and game changing film for the MCU. It’s always great to see a film that is willing to change the status quo of its series, really turning everything upside down. The story that the directors, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based the film on is one of the most personal for Captain America, and the way they’ve adapted it is is fantastic. The basis of the story is based on Ed Brubaker’s run of the same name, and it translates very nicely on film. It creates a tense, thrilling, and really well made action picture that is easily one of the best of the year.
Thankfully, the film is done justice from a technical standpoint on blu-ray, coming to video with beautiful picture and sound. The film has an excellent, and frankly perfect transfer, that completely translates how the film looked in theaters. It’s one of the year’s best transfers, and one you can use to show off your home theater if you wanted. The same goes for the 7.1 DTS-HD audio track, that if you play too loud, may bring your house down. It’s a very strong, vibrant, and loud sound mix that’ll really give your speakers a test, making this a very demo worthy disc to show off just how exciting your home theater can be. This film looks and sounds absolutely astonishing.
It’s just too bad the film isn’t treated better in the special features department, which is this release’s most disappointing and glaring aspect. For a film with so much love and time put into it, you’d think that there would be more than just thirty minutes of extra features to talk about the making of the film. On the plus side, Joe and Anthony Russo do have an excellent and fun commentary track, where you to really listen to them talk about the film, and it shows just how much they love the material and the characters. But that’s sadly where the really informative information stops. There’s a small ten minute feature that talks about the making of the film, but it hardly feels like enough time to dig in to the behind the scenes process, because for a film like this, I would love to see more about the making of, from comic to screen. There’s four minutes of deleted and extended scenes, as well as a short gag reel, which is standard for these releases now. Finally, there’s a small Anthony Mackie feature, about him as the Falcon, and how he got the part, that should have been much longer, and a short look at the notebook that Captain America keeps on him in the film, which shows how the items in the list change in different international territories.
Overall, it’s a very disappointing set of features, which is disheartening to the say the least. The Marvel Studios films used to have some of the best special features to offer on the market, with the blu-rays of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, as well as Iron Man 2 really being stacked with content. But that seems to slipping away, which is unfortunate not just for the comic fans and film fans, but consumers in general, because they’re not getting a chance to really get good behind the scenes looks at how these films are made anymore.
While Captain America: The Winter Soldier may not excel in its special features area, the film looks and sounds great, and is easily the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Full of action, mystery, and a gripping story, it’s a no brainer to pick this release up to add to your collection. It would just be great to see more from the overall special features down the line for some of these films, because films like this are the ones that really benefit more having a plethora of features that breaks down the behind the scenes process of making it. This is a hugely entertaining film that deserves the praise, and it’s a no brainer to be added to your shelves at home. Recommended.