Pietro's Blu-ray Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

What was my favorite movie of the summer has now become my favorite home release of the year. The Captain America Blu-ray not only lets you relive the excitement of amazing action film but offers some of the best special features of all of Marvel Studios' properties.

The Film

The scale, story, action and character development present in Captain America: The First Avenger is top notch and does not fail to please. This is the Captain America film fans of the comics hero have been waiting for and a much needed breath of fresh air from a summer packed with big budget productions lacking heart. As a character, Marvel's Star Spangled Avenger is one of the toughest to transition onto screen without coming across with unnecessary campy overtones, misguided patriotism and a shortsighted storyline (given the specific WWII time frame it takes place in). These issues never came to light; on the contrary, unique, non-comic book canon story elements that were added specifically to the film helped assuage these tentative problems.

The cast is nothing short of brilliant from Evans to Weaving and everyone in between, the entire kaleidoscope of characters are played very well and true to form. Effects and action-wise, the film offers quality computer generated imagery (most notably for Steve Rogers' pre-transformation scenes) and fast-paced action beats that seem very realistic. Alan Silverstri delivered a score that, among other beautiful aspects, finally offers a true "superhero theme" for a Marvel character that works perfectly with the project.

Though it does suffer from a few minor missteps that were inevitable for a project of this scope, but they do not take away from the film's overall enjoyment and successful translation. Director Joe Johnston has given us a film that is full of heart, charisma and hope; I would say it is a combination of Indiana Jones and the Rocketeer with a heavy dose of costumed, heroic grit.

Special Features Breakdown

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer - This short film, the second of two Marvel One-Shot's, gives fans another moment to share with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson and takes place between his appearances in Iron Man 2 and Thor. The writing is witty and sharp and I hope Marvel continues to film/include these with future releases.

Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes - This home release is packed with exactly the BTS footage I wanted to see. Titled Outfitting a Hero, Howling Commandos, Heightened Technology, The Transformation, Behind the Skull & Captain America Origins, these videos are chock full of never before seen footage and commentary that breaks down key elements of the film; the stand out one being Steve Roger's transformation scene.

The Assembly Begins - Although Marvel has already released several still images and the first official trailer for their upcoming ensemble film The Avengers, this featurette definitely helps build upon fan excitement for it's release as it charts the long journey to bring these heroes together on screen for the first time.

Deleted Scenes - These surprisingly insightful extended/alternate scenes are highlighted by new dialogue between Steve and Peggy and more footage of Bucky and the Howling Commandos.

Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the NAZI'S in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy's earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment... Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Solider Serum and bombarded by "vita-rays." Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later,he was given his first assignment as Captain America.Armed with his indestructible shield and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and as leader of the Avengers.

Paramount Pictures introduce the latest addition to the incomparable Marvel Super Hero team with Captain America: The First Avenger starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Haley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones and Neal McDonough ready for action on high definition Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD October 25, 2011.

4-5 Stars