'Captain America: Civil War [3D Blu-ray]
(Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, et al / Blu-ray 3D+Blu-Ray+Digital HD / PG-13 / 2016 / Marvel)
Overview: The most explosive clash to ever rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe ignites a firestorm of conflict in the game-changing epic, 'CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR'. In the wake of collateral damage, government pressure to rein in the Avengers drives a deep wedge between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), causing a catastrophic rift that turns the two friends into bitter enemies. Against a backdrop of divided loyalties, their fellow Avengers must deal with the fallout.
Blu-ray Verdict: OK, so, well, I'm not gonna beat around the bush here, sorry. That said, in truth, the year of the big Superhero movies started so well - with 'Deadpool' and then 'Batman v Superman', two movies I enjoyed very much; both different from one another and I felt delivered on what they were meant to be.
So, I was really looking forward to 'Captain America: Civil War' a lot due to the love I have for Cap's previous movie, 'The Winter Solder'. However, this film was a massive disappointment for me.
The film starts off in Wakanda where the Avengers have tracked down terrorists, led by Crossbones and as a result of the confrontation between the two groups, part of a building gets blown up and people die, which all of a sudden is a big deal. Due to that the government wants the Avengers to be reined in and be controlled solely by the government; which Tony Stark is for (following a brief encounter with the mother of a dead child thanks to the Avengers) and Steve Rogers is against.
From there on, the film is mainly focused on Tony trying to get Steve to agree to the terms posed by the government, with no success until it all comes to a head once both Tony and Steve create their respective sides/teams.
Marvel took a serious story line in 'Civil War' and just didn't know how to handle it, in my humble opinion. It felt like the Russo's were caught between making a darker movie about a serious issue and making a lighthearted comic book movie. In the end, we got a standard Marvel movie. Nothing different or ground breaking about it whatsoever - and it's taken 13 movies to get to this point! It feels like the Marvel films are standing still and cannot progress to the next level, maybe in fear of the backlash from fans if they changed the formula, I guess.
What 'Captain America: Civil War' does well though is it showcases the arguments of both Tony and Steve well and you find yourself choosing a side halfway through the movie also (without even knowing you had done such a thing, trust me!) However, we don't really get anywhere and by the time the famous airport scene comes about, you forget who's fighting for which team to be quite frank. Indeed, one or two turn sides quicker than a pancake toss! Some heroes don't even know why they're there! It all felt very forced, once again, sorry.
The action was great though and so were the debuts of Spider-Man and Black Panther, however the whole movie could have been done without Spider-Man. He added no value to the story, but man is his Aunt HOT! Wow! Anyway, moving on and the film had its standard levels of humor, of course, and whilst some of the comedy was done well, it went into overdrive once we had the inclusion of Ant-Man and Spider-Man. [For the record, Paul Rudd's acting here was a combination of a man out of his league and one being drunk of his ass, for some strange reason!]
Indeed, the only part of the movie that was heartfelt was the final scene between Cap, Iron Man and Bucky as you felt the heartbreak that Tony had at that moment - great acting from Robert Downey Jr. However, even that scene came about via coincidence, which was really the trend of this film - everything that happened was coincidental, from Tony showing his younger self with his parents at the MIT presentation, to the video of Bucky killing Tony's parents.
So, in conclusion, 'Captain America: Civil War' was COMPLETELY the wrong title for this movie. It should've been called, 'The Avengers: World's Collide' or some such, because this is, without a shadow of a doubt, yet another, full on Avengers movie! All in all, the movie felt pointless as nothing was achieved by the end. Everyone remained friends and the only casualty of the movie was the least cared about character in War Machine. The movie just felt like a stepping stone to 'Infinity War' and the solo Spider-Man and Black Panther movies.
No doubt that this will be praised by everyone and will make a ton of money, but as someone who appreciates movies, this one fell well short of the mark. [FYI: Hope Davis, who is only 1 year older than Robert Downey Jr., plays Tony Stark's mother, Maria Stark here in 'Captain America: Civil War'!]
Regarding the Blu-ray 3D aspects of this 'Captain America: Civil War', well, they are of the top notch quality you would expect them to be. In general, the 3D effects are well done and when it comes to the en masse of frenetic action sequences, well, the finer points of the 3D effects are a little diminished, it has to be said. Not that you'll ever notice, given that you are concentrating more on the action scenes, of course.
I think, personally, some of the best 3D work comes , such as from Captain America's shield being wizzed around the screen. Sure it's much like a boomerang returning to him, but not before you yourself have ducked a few times too! Gun barrels also frequently appear to extend beyond screen confines, much like actors arms, but it's all within acceptable levels of 3D "belief" for us fans.
Overall, the film is worth a watch in 3D, but videophiles will probably want to stick with the superior 2D effort on most occasions. Also, the sound is a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack, which is lovely, smooth to hear, but again, it all sinks into the action sequences like a delicious cake being baked.
Taking a look at the Special Features and the big one out of the gate is the two-part feature United We Stand, Divided We Fall - The Making of Captain America: Civil War - Part 1 & Part 2. Filmed in 1080p, Part 1 (22:25) features cast and crew looking back at the story's comic book origins and discussing the story's thematic depth and relevance. They also discuss, in depth sometimes, the large assortment of characters featured in the film, the directors' contributions, and then they delve into the casts' abilities to perform complex stunt work and such.
Part 2 (23:18) begins with a discussion of Vision's role in the film and Paul Bettany's stoci, yet comedic at times performance, the part Black Panther plays in the movie and Chadwick Boseman's work on the film. We then get their views on Tom Holland's first appearance as Spider-Man in the film, the making of the large-scale battle between the warring factions, and even the villain Zemo!
In Captain America: The Road to Civil War (1080p, 4:11) we get a more indepth, detailed look at Cap's role in the fracture and Chris Evans' performance of the iconic Avenger. In Iron Man: The Road to Civil War (1080p, 4:27) we get a closer look at Tony Stark, what influenced him to take his position in this film, and his relationship with Captain America.
In Open Your Mind: Marvel's Doctor Strange - Exclusive Sneak Peek (1080p, 4:02) we are invited to take a quick (trust me, it's visually quick when it comes to the actual movie!) peak into the next Marvel film, with concept art, clips from the movie, and cast and crew interview moments. The Audio Commentary with Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and the screenwriters is self explanatory, and in the Deleted & Extended Scenes (1080p) we get the following: Extended Peggy's Funeral (5:57), Zemo Meets Doctor Broussard (0:33), "You Are Not Used to the Truth" (0:52), and "Gotta Get Me One of Those" (0:29). The Gag Reel runs at 2:53 and is, of course, 1080p. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the special features of:
UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL -- THE MAKING OF CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR -- PART 1 & PART 2 - From skinny volunteer to backbone of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, chart Captain America's journey through every decisive moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this complete behind-the-scenes look at a landmark in the Marvel saga
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE ROAD TO CIVIL WAR - Explore the First Avenger's fascinating evolution from loyal soldier to seasoned, conflicted hero who questions authority
IRON MAN: THE ROAD TO CIVIL WAR - Tony Stark's path has been no less epic or transformative than that of his friend and ally, Steve Rogers
OPEN YOUR MIND: MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE - EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK - Go behind and beyond the scenes as Doctor Strange makes his journey to the big screen
AUDIO COMMENTARY - With Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and the screenwriters
DELETED & EXTENDED SCENES