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post #1 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



This blockbuster second chapter in the Captain America series teams Marvel’s First Avenger, Captain America, with Black Widow and new ally The Falcon as they battle their most mysterious and powerful enemy yet, the Winter Soldier.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

97



Details:

Studio and Year: Disney - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 136 minutes
Genre: Action/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Cobie Smulders
Directed by: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Music by: Henry Jackman
Written by: Christopher Marcus & Stephen McFeely
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 9, 2014


"In heroes we trust"


My Take:

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Lately it seems like all I do is review superhero flicks. Actually that isn’t true and if it was I have to admit that it wouldn’t be a problem. Growing up I loved comics and seeing some of my favorite figures from their pages brought to life on the big screen has been pretty thrilling. Captain America isn’t among the more dazzling superheroes however he has been a Marvel staple that has continued to thrive. I know there were mixed reactions to the first Captain America film however I liked it. When Captain America: The Winter Soldier was announced I could help but wonder how it would hold up against the latest efforts to come from Marvel Studios. I mean The Avengers is a tough act to follow and Captain America isn’t going to have the flair of Iron Man or the power potential of Thor so…

When The Winter Soldier was released my son and I were there opening weekend. I figured that to be engaging the film would need a solid story that incorporated more action and additional key players. I was pleased to find out that it gave us all of that and perhaps a bit more. The script is spot on delivering an edgy, compelling plot with a character driven narrative that brims with whimsical substance, relevant social commentary and the all too important elements that make popcorn flicks so much fun to watch. There is a lot going on however I didn’t find the film’s 2 hours and 16 minute runtime to be long at all. Captain America’s virtuous essence is faithfully portrayed as he struggles against the tide without straying too far from his established roots. The film is part action/drama/espionage thriller that benefits from a rock solid foundation of characters shaped from a multi-faceted text that continues to expand with each Marvel installment.

Chris Evans continues to do a terrific job in the role of Captain America. He is complimented by Scarlett Johansson’s superb take on Black Widow and the always reliable Samuel L. Jackson who is always fun to watch. I found Anthony Mackie to be an excellent choice as The Falcon and I liked the character’s implementation. The same goes for The Winter Soldier who made for an apropos and equivalent villain for Captain America. Other members of the cast include Cobie Smudlers (reprising her role – I am a fan!), Robert Redford (didn’t think he was the right choice), series newcomer Emily VanCamp (hoping to see more of her going forward), Frank Grillo (underrated and always good), and Sebastian Stan, who as the Winter Soldier had limited onscreen time but didn’t disappoint.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is well executed on all fronts and contains the ingredients that make for a thoroughly entertaining action/thriller/popcorn film experience. I found this second viewing to be every bit as enjoyable as the first and look forward to what is to come next.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):


Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.1 Mbps.

This is a reference quality video presentation that looks superb on Blu-ray. Shot in high definition images have a rich dynamic quality that highlights its near flawless rendering of detail. The video has excellent dimension, smooth rendering and defining clarity. The visual design features a limited color scheme that is aesthetically perfect for the subject matter. The majority of the film boasts deep shades of gray, blue, sepia, white and black. These colors are not vivid in tonality but their depiction is stark and fully appreciable onscreen. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages that only occasionally obscure the finest details. The various wide angle shots, darkened interiors and brightly lit open exterior expanses look terrific. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. This is a sophisticated visual design that successfully combines live action and CGI. The end result is a rewarding and faithful video presentation that evokes the spirit of the film.

Having seen this film in the theater I had high expectations for this soundtrack on Blu-ray and this 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio presentation didn’t disappoint. This lossless soundtrack is reference quality and treated me to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and enriching surround sound experience. ). Dialogue has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose is definable yet never overstated. The sequence when Steve and Natasha explore the bowels of the abandoned bunker are a great example as the echoed expanse, creaking metal and trickling debris are all around you. The mix makes effective and occasionally aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack.

The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. The active sound design utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate its already extended dynamic range. The street level attack followed by the car chase and later the entire battle (beginning with the helicarriers launch) in the finale put it all together in room shaking fashion. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, hard hitting, and deep resonating low frequency detail (I didn’t detect the use of any filtering that would limit extension I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with terrific soundtrack. Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Blu-ray is truly demonstrative worthy as it looks and sounds terrific.



Bonus Features:
  • (HD) On the front line: An inside look at Captain America’s battlegrounds – 10 minutes
  • (HD) On set with Anthony Mackie: Cut the check! 2 minute featurette
  • (HD) Steve Rogers’ notebook – 2 minute featurette
  • Filmmaker audio commentary
  • (HD) Gag reel – 2 minutes
  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes with optional filmmaker commentary





Final Thoughts:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a well-executed and thoroughly entertaining action/thriller that makes for a great addition to the Marvel Studios film canon. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring reference quality high definition video, superlative 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a noticeably light supplemental package that merely skims the surface of the production.

It should be noted that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is also available on September 9th on 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack as well as being currently available (began on August 19th) on Digital 3D and Digital HD, plus Disney Movies Anywhere.

Take your pick, either way Captain America: The Winter Soldier is worth checking out and is deserving of inclusion in your video library.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 08:38 AM
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Great review Ralph. Thank you.

I actually liked this installment more than the first by a fair margin, including Mr. Redford's performance.

I wish it were available with an Atmos soundtrack though. Especially since it was mixed in Atmos for the theater.

Either way, already preordered this one.
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post #3 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 08:41 AM
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Picked up the 3D version from Amazon UK. Can't wait to watch it.


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post #4 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 08:56 AM
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Wow you gave this one a 100 for audio... I cannot wait to watch in with my new set-up. I love the Avengers series and expect I'll like this one too.

Great review!

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post #5 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
Great review Ralph. Thank you.

I actually liked this installment more than the first by a fair margin, including Mr. Redford's performance.

I wish it were available with an Atmos soundtrack though. Especially since it was mixed in Atmos for the theater.

Either way, already preordered this one.
Greetings,

My criticism of Robert Redford is more related to the character than his portrayal. Truth be told it's a very minor quibble that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the film in any way.

Thanks for offering your thoughts!

Regards,
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post #6 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
Great review Ralph. Thank you.

I actually liked this installment more than the first by a fair margin, including Mr. Redford's performance.

I wish it were available with an Atmos soundtrack though. Especially since it was mixed in Atmos for the theater.

Either way, already preordered this one.
I'd like to see the studios institute a rebate program regarding Atmos. Allow us to buy Captain America now and then when it's re-released in Atmos, we submit proof of purchase and get the new disc at a significant discount.
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post #7 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for your Review Ralph!!!
Watched it on Blu-Ray with my Son & I thought it was hands down a much more solid movie than Amazing Spider Man 2 was...
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post #8 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:37 AM
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I truly look forward to checking this one out. Honestly, I've always felt that the Original Captain America was the weakest of the Marvel movies leading up to the Avengers. It sounds like they have upped the ante significantly for this installment. The Mrs. and I decided to skip the theatrical runs of this movie and X-Men Days of Future Past so we could cristen the in-progress theater with the blu rays of those movies once complete. Sounds like this one will be first!
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post #9 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:53 AM
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I truly look forward to checking this one out. Honestly, I've always felt that the Original Captain America was the weakest of the Marvel movies leading up to the Avengers.
Different strokes, I guess. I thought the first CA movie was one of the best. Particularly how it integrated all of Cap's costumes...even the original triangular shield!
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post #10 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:53 AM
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Had a feeling this was going to be the case. The auditorium I saw it in didn't have the greatest bass, but it was next to the Imax theater that this was playing in--Holy Bass Leakage, Batman!! Our screening was practically drowned out by what was going on over there.
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post #11 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:55 AM
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I agree with your review Ralph. Watched it twice already on blu I really enjoyed this at home. Will watch again in a couple of months when I go through the marvel movies again in order
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post #12 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 09:58 AM
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Nice... But since this movie is ATMOS coded I will wait for that version...
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Nice... But since this movie is ATMOS coded I will wait for that version...
Ok, if it actually gets released (maybe this will be part of some Blu-ray 4k release only?), and if its in 3D (if we even get Atmos and 3D on the same disc) (if you care about 3D).

There have been a lot of movies mixed in Atmos in the past couple years, did you not buy any of those either? Or is it different now because we know we are getting home Atmos now? (honestly, did anybody really doubt we would eventually?)

Is this really any different than saying, its not 4K I will wait for that version? I mean, we know we will get 4K BD at some point. But will the disc content and quality match this one? Unknowns.

Sorry, not picking on you, but I don't get this mindset in this day and age when there are so many uncertainties regarding physical media. It would not surprise me in the least if there is a streaming version of Cap 2 with Atmos before we get a physical version. If at all!
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post #14 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

My criticism of Robert Redford is more related to the character than his portrayal. Truth be told it's a very minor quibble that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the film in any way.

Thanks for offering your thoughts!

Regards,
Great movie to review and a superb job doing it.

I'm curious, as I share your thoughts concerning actor selection (RR)

Ralph's eye Only!
Spoiler!


My choice No peeking Ralph :
Spoiler!
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post #15 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 10:32 AM
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I'd like to see the studios institute a rebate program regarding Atmos. Allow us to buy Captain America now and then when it's re-released in Atmos, we submit proof of purchase and get the new disc at a significant discount.
That is a nice thought but given how studios are notorious for double and triple dipping, I doubt they will be decent about a discount for Atmos.


As for the movie - I'll remain in the camp that preferred the first CA movie and say I simply enjoyed this one as an "action" picture. The first movie provided not only action but we see how CA develops as a character. After having seen Chris Evans in a few movies, I would not have imagine him as Captain America and I am glad to admit I was wrong. He does the role justice and provides the right amount of strength and vulnerability.
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post #16 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Great movie to review and a superb job doing it.

I'm curious, as I share your thoughts concerning actor selection (RR)

Ralph's eye Only!
Spoiler!


My choice No peeking Ralph :
Spoiler!
Greetings,



Not bad. Here's another thought:

Spoiler!




Regards,

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I agree, the first Captain America was super weak, but I thought that about the first Ironman too. But I guess they laid the groundwork for the other movies and plots.

This movie was a great flick. The car chase scene and the heli scene had tremendous amounts of lfe. I was very impressed with those parts.

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post #18 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 11:44 AM
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I agree with your review Ralph. Watched it twice already on blu I really enjoyed this at home. Will watch again in a couple of months when I go through the marvel movies again in order



It's no wonder this flick is number one in revenue so far 2014. I haven't see it yet, along with a bunch of other movies, but I think I'll be picking this one first.


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post #19 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 11:53 AM
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Great review Ralph. I did not see this movie in the theaters when it came out, and since I liked the first Captain America movie, this movie will definitely be on my list of BluRays to get from Netflix.

I just hope that Netflix has the lossless audio version!

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post #20 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 11:54 AM
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If only Disney and Amazon would stop fighting so I could pre-order this for street date delivery to my doorstep, that would be super!
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post #21 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 11:57 AM
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I got a big surprise when George St. Pierre (GSP) turned up as the bad guy early on in the movie. I guess he was there for the fight scene on the ship. I wondered what George is doing since he retired from being one off the best pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world?

I liked both CA movies -- this one nicely continued the character development of CA. CA is a class act and IMO stands above the other Avengers. I didn't have to turn off my brain for this one.

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post #22 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 12:23 PM
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I agree, the first Captain America was super weak, but I thought that about the first Ironman too. But I guess they laid the groundwork for the other movies and plots.
Uh, don't hear this everyday. First CA in my opinion of course, was pretty darn good, better than I expected it would be, the 2nd installment was better, we'll agree there.

Now on to Iron Man. The first installment was loads better than the 2nd, which I thought was actually a pretty lousy movie. I thought they made a better installment for the 3rd Iron Man though. We'll have to agree to disagree on this I guess.
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post #23 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 12:43 PM
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Greetings,



Not bad. Here's another thought:

Spoiler!




Regards,
Ruh Roh!
Spoiler!
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post #24 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 12:50 PM
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Uh, don't hear this everyday. First CA in my opinion of course, was pretty darn good, better than I expected it would be, the 2nd installment was better, we'll agree there.

Now on to Iron Man. The first installment was loads better than the 2nd, which I thought was actually a pretty lousy movie. I thought they made a better installment for the 3rd Iron Man though. We'll have to agree to disagree on this I guess.
I am going on more for action content. They laid the storyline, but didnt have enough content for me to consider them great movies. I own them all though, so I guess that does say something.
I find the Thor movies a little boring too, but again own those also.

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post #25 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 01:29 PM
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Great review! I loved this movie in the theaters and is my favorite of the Marvel movies so far (The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy are awfully close behind though). I'm looking forward to it being released and adding it to my collection.
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post #26 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 02:25 PM
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Great review, spot on in almost every assessment. I thought the first CA instalment was decent, but TWS absolutely destroys it. Winter Soldier is a much darker, more sinister film, with an edgier plot and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and engrossed. I actually find Scarlet Johansson's inclusion to be rather annoying. Her acting is mediocre in this series and she isn't the eye candy she was 10 years ago. But this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the film. the only thing I have left to add is that I want the makers of the new spider-man franchise to study this movie in depth, as this is the proper formula one should used to do a superhero sequel.
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post #27 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 03:00 PM
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I actually find Scarlet Johansson's inclusion to be rather annoying. Her acting is mediocre in this series and she isn't the eye candy she was 10 years ago.
And here I thought I was alone. Totally agree that the film would have been better without her. Hey, I'm as big a fan of pulchritude as anyone, but the character is just not very compelling. Why anyone thinks having her in her own spin-off film is good idea is beyond me.

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post #28 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 03:03 PM
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I will admit that Captain America is one of my favorite marvel characters and although the first movie was a little slower it was a origin film so this latest entry had to ramp it up. This is a first day purchase for us and based on the video /audio scores it will be demo worthy.
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post #29 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 07:08 PM
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It's no wonder this flick is number one in revenue so far 2014. I haven't see it yet, along with a bunch of other movies, but I think I'll be picking this one first.


Dan
It's a good film Dan with great audio as well
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post #30 of 312 Old 08-22-2014, 08:58 PM
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If you can't get enough of Captain America

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