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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Disney - 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Cobie Smulders
Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Christopher Marcus & Stephen McFeely
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
September 9, 2014
"In heroes we trust"
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
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.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
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.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- (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
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.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package