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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2011

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"Captain America: The First Avenger" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-november-2011-capt-america

Synopsis

In 1943, a scrawny (but brave) military reject named Steve Rogers is enlisted in a super-secret experiment masterminded by a kindly scientist and skeptical military commander. Rogers emerges, taller and sporting greatly expanded muscles, along with a keen ability to bounce back from injury. In both sections Rogers is played by Chris Evans, whose sly humor makes him a good choice for the otherwise stalwart hero. The film comes up with a viable explanation for the red-white-and-blue suit 'n' shield--Rogers is initially trotted out as a war bonds fundraiser, in costume--and a rousing first combat mission for our hero, who finally gets fed up with being a poster boy. How do we incorporate a 1940’s hero into the present day Avenger’s team? See this flick and find out!

Specifications

  • Paramount Studios
  • 2011, Color, Rated PG-13, 124 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: MVC
  • 1080p
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell
  • Directed by Joe Johnston
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This is about the best Marvel action flick since Ironman. Lots of action ensues as our hero mops up on the nasty Nazis. The story sets up how a puny Steve Rogers becomes the nearly indestructible hero through a military science project. The same actor portrays the 98 pound weakling (how do they do that?) as well as the muscle bound Capt. America. If you like your heroes as underdogs with big hearts, you'll love this guy. Weaving played the evil Red Skull to a “T”, and without a good anti-hero, you can't have a good guy to root for. This movie seemed to fly by and was a lot of fun to watch. Of course, this is all just a big set-up for the upcoming Avenger flick due out earlier next year, but it is an entertaining ride none the less, so just sit back and enjoy the show.

Technical

The PQ is first rate with lots of details, especially the close-ups of Capt. America’s leather and cloth outfit. Skin tones are spot on and the contrast of the picture presents a lot of depth of field. I saw no noticeable digital artifacts or blocking. The color palette reminded me of The Rocketeer (which also took place at the onset of WWII), with some scenes exhibiting a soft nostalgic glow. HD does nothing to soften the craggy face of Tommy Lee Jones, whose face looks like a bag of melted caramels. Though the sound was well mixed, I was a bit surprised that it was not more impressive. Explosions were not quite reference and the surrounds could have had more bullets zinging by. That’s not to say the sound mix was bad in any way, but it did not really tax my system the way I had expected.

Extras

Commentary with director Joe Johnston, director of photography Shelly Johnson, and editor Jeffrey Ford; “Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer,” “Outfitting a Hero,” “Howling Commandos,” “Heightened Technology,” “The Transformation,” “Behind the Skull,” “Captain America's Origin,” deleted scenes with optional commentary, 2 theatrical trailers; also a digital and DVD copy of the film.