Based on the Marvel Comic by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America: The First Avenger focuses on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Stan) and Peggy Carter (Atwell) to fight the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Weaving). (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary by 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 (HD 04:03); the following featurettes: Outfitting A Hero (HD 10:52), Howling Commandos (HD 06:07), Heightened Technology (HD 05:43), The Transformation (HD 08:50), Behind The Skull (HD 10:24), Captain America's Origin (HD 03:55), and The Assembly Begins (HD 01:46); three deleted scenes with optional commentary by Johnston, Johnson, and Ford and one deleted scene with no commentary available; two theatrical trailers; a Sega game trailer; and The Avengers animated trailer.
The 2.36:1 1080p MVC 3-D picture is one of the best, if not the best 2D-to-3D conversions thus far released on Blu-ray Disc™. The 3-D image quality is superb! The conversion was performed by Stereo Director Joe Johnston, who conceived his movie as a 3-D experience but chose to shoot in 2D because it let him shoot faster action sequences than 3-D cameras will, primarily due to their current cumbersomeness and unwieldiness. Johnston shot a whole separate pass on every setup, to record the information necessary to convert to 3D in a seamless and undetectable way. The result is every bit as impressive as a movie shot in native 3D. The depth perception and sense of distance and perspective is impressive throughout, with characters feeling that they have dimension and volume. The perception of depth is layered as well, to create an even greater sense of dimensional realism, with effective character and object placement within each frame, which further heightens the 3-D effect. Virtually all the imagery is portrayed with a positive parallax depth perspective, with a few instances of negative parallax out-of-screen effect, such as when Captain America throws his rounded, brightly colored shield. Other out-of-screen effects are more subtle, yet effective. The overall look of the movie is wonderfully stylized, using various filter and lighting effects to impart a World War II era of Nazi aggressiveness and hi-tech employed by the evil HYDRA organization. While many scenes take place at night, or in dark factory complexes, the 3D is never impaired, as various light sources provide just enough light to keep the picture bright and engaging. In this regard, black levels and shadow delineation are superb. The color palette is stylized, with hues that are desaturated. Still, fleshtones are generally naturally rendered. Resolution is revealing of fine detail in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. The picture is pristine throughout, with not a trace of crosstalk ghosting artifacts. This converted 3-D movie is the result of passionate care and effort, resulting in a perfectly executed 3-D visual experience that is not to be missed. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is terrific! This is a bigger-than-life sonic experience, with aggressively dimensional soundfield envelopment. Alan Silvestri's orchestral music score is spectacular, with an all-encompassing wide and deep soundstage presence that sweeps deeply into the surrounds, with enhanced dimensionality provided by the two additional side channels. Atmospherics and sound effects, as well as Foley, are perfectly rendered, to heighten the sense of engagement with the storytelling. Such effects are aggressively directionalized, to enhance dimensionality. The .1 LFE channel is fully energized often, with bass extension to sub-25 Hz, providing a robust, strong dynamic presence. SPL energy is often at reference levels, including the surrounds. Dialogue manages to always stay intelligible and commendably integrated spatially. This is a perfect holosonic® soundtrack accompaniment to the spectacular 3-D viewing experience. Obviously, a lot of care and passion went into the making of this soundtrack, with the 7.1-channel enhancement providing impressive added dimensionality. This is one sonic experience that won't disappoint. (Gary Reber)