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Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray Review

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“Captain America: Civil War” is a fine addition to the MCU.

The Plot: After a botched mission in Lagos (not to mention the extreme collateral damage that has occurred over the years), the United Nations has decided to implent the Sokovia Accords which are designed to essentially control the world’s heroes. Tony Stark (who has been suffering from a guilty conscience as of late) is on board with the idea while Steve Rogers is understandably weary of it. I won’t spoil the stance of the other team members. Things become further complicated for The Avengers when Steve’s old pal Bucky Barnes (AKA The Winter Soldier) resurfaces and is implicated in a bombing. On top of that, the team faces an initially unknown threat with Helmut Zemo who has an agenda of his own. Suffice it so say, everything comes to a head eventually. Obviously, there’s more going on than this, but I’m trying to remain as spoiler free as possible here as there are undoubtedly many people who will be watching the film for the first time on home video.

After doing an amazing job with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (the best MCU film in my humble opinion), the Russo Brothers have returned to the Marvel Universe to direct “Captain America: Civil War.” While it’s not on the level of ‘Winter Soldier,’ it is still a worthy albeit flawed follow-up.

I’ll touch upon the plot in a bit, but it must be said that ‘Civil War’ is at its best when it focuses on the characters. The rift between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers is front and center in the story and it is a fascinating component of the film. Seeing these two friends divided is a bummer and it’s supposed to be. I dig that the film isn’t biased in who it sides with. We understand both characters’ positions at multiple points in the film. There are no easy solutions which adds to the complexity.

One thing we can all agree on is that the new character additions are perfect. As a big Spider-Man fan, I firmly believe that the character has not been properly done on the big screen until now (no, I am not a fan of the previous 5 films). Luckily, Spidey (wonderfully played by Tom Holland) is FINALLY in the MCU and it couldn’t be better. Between his fantastic first scene with Tony Stark and his action sequence, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely capture the character to a T. I can’t wait to see his solo movie “Spider-Man: Homecoming” next year. The other new addition here (T’Challa/Black Panther) is equally amazing. For those that think his scenes would be limited, think again. The character has his own agenda/storyline that ties into the main plot. Again, I can’t wait to see the “Black Panther” solo movie. I really want to see more Chadwick Boseman.

Another new character is one who has strangely been criticized and that is Helmut Zero. We all know that MCU villains have been decidedly hit-and-miss, but to me, Zemo was actually a good villain. He’s a villain that actually succeeds in what he sets out to do. It’s rare to see a villain survive let alone win and I appreciated seeing that.

In terms of all of the other Avengers characters (minus Thor and Hulk), War Machine, Black Widow, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man all get their moments to shine. Ant-Man and Falcon in particular have a lot of great moments. Ant-Man has a rather giant scene that has had fans buzzing for months now. You’ll know it when you see it. As for Falcon, he has much more to do here than in previous films. It was especially gratifying to see him with Redwing finally.

As for the plot, it is both interesting and frustrating. The story works as a real world examination of  heroes and politics, but as an adaptation of the comic book source material, it falls a little flat. In the comic book series, there was real danger and consequences to the characters’ actions. Heroes died. In this film, I never felt like any of the heroes were in grave danger. Now, granted, there are some seriously tense moments and epic action sequences of heroes battling, but the drama often feels restrained. There are several other moments that feel a bit disappointing as well such as Black Widow’s “stance,” the lack of Bucky and Steve scenes, and the strange scene transitions. Scene transitions may seem like a minor nitpick in the grand scheme of things, but I found myself baffled by some cuts such as as a deep conversation to a funeral, a bombing to Steve and Sharon banter, and Steve and Bucky in the water to Baron on the phone. They just felt so awkward and jarring to me.

Another place where the plot does work well is with all of the connections to past MCU films. The film rewards fans who know the MCU inside and out as it digs into Bucky’s past more, brings back the former General Ross, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” fallout, etc. Sure, the plot might confuse those who are not caught up on the 13 films, but I like that the movie was so deeply entrenched in Marvel film mythology. It makes everything feel cohesive.

Note: This film is available on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D: Collector’s Edition, and DVD.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look The Blu-ray transfer is crystal clear. No one will be letdown by the video quality here.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HS MA. How does it sound? The action dazzles but the dialogue sounds a bit too low at certain points for my taste. It’s still a stellar track though.

Extras:
* Disney trailers.
* A very funny nearly 3 minute gag reel.
* 4 deleted/extended scenes that offer more character development.
* “United We Stand, Divided We Fall- The Making Of Captain America: Civil War”- A 2 part 43 minute extra that contains film clips, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and discussions about the characters, action, fight choreography, “Civil War” comics, and story. Good stuff.
* “Open Your Mind: Marvel’s Doctor Strange- Exclusive Sneak Peek”- This will tide you over as we wait for Marvel’s next film.
* “Captain America: The Road To Civil War” and “Iron Man: The Road To Civil War”- 2 short featurettes that explore both character’s journeys through various films.
* A thoughtful, but bland commentary by the Russo Brothers and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Overall Thoughts: “Captain America: Civil War” has its problems, but it’s a big and ambitious film with much to admire.

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September 10, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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