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REVIEW — “Captain America: Civil War” Blu-ray

Captain America: Civil War is the thirteenth film in Marvel Studios’ interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the $1.1 billion dollar grosser standing as a Marvel masterpiece. Followup to Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the film finds Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) leading warring factions of Avengers over a schism caused by the Sokovia Accords – a government-imposed set of internationally ratified legal documents meant to provide regulation and frame-working for the military and law enforcement deployment of the world’s superhumans. Captain America: Civil War is now available on Digital HD and is yours to own on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, September 13th. Presented in stunning, picture-perfect 1080p resolution with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless track, Captain America: Civil War is a stunner at home – and a must-own for any collector.

Captain America Civil War

Walt Disney Home Entertainment’s releases often boast the best picture and sound, but where the home video release for Captain America: Civil War stands ahead of its Marvel Cinematic Universe brethren is its cache of special features. Disney’s Blu-ray discs are often frustratingly sparse in the supplemental features department, making Captain America: Civil War a rare exception and, hopefully, a turning point for Marvel Studios’ films on disc. (Earlier Blu-ray disc releases, such as Iron Man and Iron Man 2 – released through Paramount, not Disney – contained a surplus of extensive bonus features across multiple discs, including in-depth documentaries. Disney’s Marvel Studios releases have been reliable stunners in terms of picture and audio quality, but inadequate when it comes to supplemental features).
Captain America Civil War
Captain America: Civil War isn’t exactly stuffed to the brim with extras, but it’s a step in the right direction from the relatively bare bones discs of past (such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man). Aside from an audio commentary by directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – all whom have proved they get the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its collection of rich and colorful characters – the Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray includes a funny gag reel (2:52), four deleted/extended scenes (7:51), two “The Road to Civil War” featurettes focusing on Captain America (4:10) and Iron Man (4:26), a sneak peek at Marvel Studios’ upcoming theatrical release, Doctor Strange (4:01), a Marvel Cinematic Universe retrospective (5:54), and a Making Of divided into United We Stand, Divided We Fall – Part I (22:27) and United We Stand, Divided We Fall – Part II (23:18).
Captain America Civil War
Captain America: Civil War‘s bonus features are all worthwhile and satisfying supplements to a film that fans are going to want to delve into after revisiting the film at home. Spoilers for Captain America: Civil War ahead.Deleted Scenes (7:51)

– Airport battle (unfinished CGI with green screen visible): Black Widow shoots a conflicted look onto the battle waging before her, while a pre-vis War Machine goes after Cap.

– Peggy Carter’s funeral is slightly extended. Steve helps unload the casket out of the hearse before escorting it into the church. Sharon’s eulogy is slightly extended, with the mournful niece sharing a funny joke her Aunt Peggy had shared. Natasha’s subsequent talk with Steve in a now-empty church is slightly extended as she shares a personal anecdote about a loss of her own.

– Natasha and T’Challa share a moment of conversation at the Joint Counter Terrorist Center before Everett Ross chimes in with the news of extradition.

– Zemo meets up with doomed psychologist Dr. Broussard at the airport.

Captain America Civil War
Captain America: The Road to Civil War (4:10)– Joe and Anthony Russo, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Kevin Feige, and more discuss Steve Rogers’ journey towards Civil War, from his humble beginnings as a runt to his eventual transformation into the world’s greatest soldier in Captain America: The First Avenger. Serving as a recap of Steve’s character and his journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point, this breezy featurette is a nice primer for Civil War newcomers.

Iron Man: The Road to Civil War (4:26)

– Discussing Tony’s motivations and inner workings, this pair of featurettes are welcome additions for non-obsessive fans or newcomers who need a quick rundown before jumping into Civil War. For longtime fans, the recaps may not be essential – but knowing Disney’s general aversion towards special features, any featurette is a welcome addition.

Captain America Civil War
Open Your Mind: Doctor Strange Sneak Peek (4:01)– Get a deeper look at Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, in theaters November 4th. Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige sets up Doctor Strange and his mystical world, while the good doctor himself – star Benedict Cumberbatch – speaks on becoming the newest Marvel superhero. Meet supporting players Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), who introduces Strange to “real, proper, inner magic.” The biggest revelation here is the information concerning Strange’s foes as glimpsed in the trailer, people who, as revealed by Feige, “become seduced by what they find on the other side.” Says Mads Mikkelsen of his character Kaecilius, who is interested in spilling the barrier between dimensions, “If the majority are looking for the truth here, he’s looking for the truth over there.” Fans are treated to new, never-before-seen footage from the mystical and mind-bending world of Doctor Strange, with director Scott Derrickson telling prospective audiences they can expect a “mindtrip action film” when Doctor Strange arrives this November.

Gag Reel (2:52)

– Goofs, mishaps, flubs, and silliness abound as your favorite actors and actresses goof around on the amiable set of Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America Civil War

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (5:54)

– A summarization of the universe thus far, as The First Avenger gives way to the film that started it all: Iron Man. The briefest of time is spent with the perennial stepchild of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Incredible Hulk, before the events of Thor, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man are revisited. The refresher culminates with footage from Captain America: Civil War, with this worthwhile recap concluding with a tease of upcoming big bad Thanos – who will prove to be the still-fractured Avengers’ enemy come Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.

Captain America Civil War
United We Stand, Divided We Fall – Part 1 (The Making of Captain America: Civil War) (22:27)
A two-part making of and the undisputed must-see feature of the disc, United We Stand, Divided We Fall isn’t as exhaustive as I Am Iron Man – the seven-part 110 minute documentary found on the original two-disc Iron Man Blu-ray – but it’s an interesting and much-appreciated look behind the scenes of Captain America: Civil War, offering fans interviews with directors Joe and Anthony Russo, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige, stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, and more. The making of is comprised of titled segments that play in  order:
“Page to Screen”
– Kevin Feige and the filmmakers introduce the Civil War arc as it originally appeared in the Marvel Comics before moving onto adapting the story for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “We realized the fact that audiences had embraced [Captain America: The Winter Soldier] all around the world, [which] gave us the leeway to do things that were tonally somewhat different than what we had done in our films in the past – but also to do things that have incredible repercussions for the films to come,” teases Feige, before the focus switches to the juxtaposition between Captain America and Iron Man – and why the relationship of the two heroes as seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes this dynamic so interesting. Behind the scenes and on set footage are mixed with interviews that make for engaging viewing.“War Begins”

Stunts, fights, action, and an exclusive look at that Cap/Bucky/Black Panther car chase and tunnel scene that’s rightfully described as “epic.”

“Brothers in Arms”

The continuing story of the Winter Soldier, with a focus on Steve and Bucky’s relationship – and how Steve’s personal decisions play into the wider conflict at hand. Sebastian Stan speaks on the amount of playing room available to the filmmakers in regards to the direction of Bucky’s character, and Sam Wilson’s Falcon is spotlighted as “Cap’s best friend in the modern world.” Get a look at Sam’s evolution as an Avenger – including new duds and how the filmmakers created Red Wing, the high-flying Avenger’s mechanized bird. In addition to a look at the Lagos opening set piece – and the filmmakers’ incredible efforts of recreating a real life Nigerian location – Frank Grillo delights in the mean new outfit for his villainous Crossbones.

“Secret Weapons”

Elizabeth Olsen shares her views on Scarlet Witch’s place in the story, and the adherence to Wanda’s movements as established during her debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron. New techniques, like moving opponents, using energy, flying, and what writers Markus and McFeely call “grounded telekinesis.” Jeremy Renner compares his bow-wielding Hawkeye to Han Solo, and his special ties to the still-developing Scarlet Witch.

“The New Guy”

Ant-Man and Paul Rudd’s introduction to the wider Marvel Universe. “Man, I really am part of it,” says Rudd, who expands on Ant-Man’s newly redesigned, streamlined, and more high tech suit.  The Russos go into the importance of specifics and why each character ends up on the side they end up on, adding that “every single character had a personal, emotional reason for making the choice that they made.” Adds Chris Evans during a look at the inner-workings of Team Cap and Team Iron Man: “It’s not villain versus hero, it’s friends, it’s family – this is sometimes the most dramatic conflict when it’s people who have history and care about each other.”

“The Wild Card”

A look at Tony’s team – and Black Widow’s place on that team. “In the absence of Nick Fury, she’s thinking like a Fury,” says Joe Russo.

“The Company Men”

William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross – mellowed out but with the same agenda – takes the spotlight here. “What about the collateral damage?” asks Hurt, whose character is the “company man” pushing the Sokovia Accords. Don Cheadle’s War Machine,  another military vet, is no stranger to oversight – but he’s new to his bulkier new look, described as “a wearable tank.”

Captain America Civil War

United We Stand Part 2 (23:18)

“The Diplomat”

Paul Bettany’s Vision and his place in the war – with a note made of his developing affections for Scarlet Witch. They’re powered from the same source – an Infinity Stone – and that just may play an important footnote in the future.

“The Hunter”

Black Panther, “the third side,” an exciting new addition to the universe who can see Steve and Tony’s sides with fresh eyes – while also having his own agenda. This is both actor Chadwick Boseman and Black Panther’s introduction to the MCU, and the filmmakers are excited for the possibilities ahead. A look at Panther’s unique abilities and “flowy martial arts” are explored, as is a closer look at his suit and its cultural roots and African influence.

“The Rookie”

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is highlighted in this all-too-brief focus on finally bringing the webslinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “He is the top of that pyramid when it comes to our characters,” says Fiege, who notes the young hero’s place in both Civil War and the universe as a whole. Spider-Man’s retro but technologically advanced suit, actor Tom Holland’s youth, innocence, and physicality are all topics of discussion before moving on to a look at Team Iron Man.

“The Battle”

Go behind the scenes of the unforgettable second act climax that is the German airport battle – “One of the biggest scenes in any Marvel movie ever,” says Anthony Russo. Friend versus friend, this showstopping throwdown is “the cinematic equivalent of a [comic book] splash panel.”

“The Saboteur”

A look at the villainous Zemo, and how the Russos wanted the third act climax to be between the Avengers themselves. Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo is “fanning the flames,” says Feige. It was important to the Russos that Zemo be a regular human being with no superpowers – and for all his complexities and human failings, he managed to tear Earth’s mightiest heroes apart.

“The Aftermath”

A look at the shocking revelation that propels the intense third act: Steve Rogers’ best friend killed Tony Stark’s parents. After the Avenger vs. Avenger fight in act two, there was no topping that – so Markus and McFeely wanted to get smaller and more intimate with a climax focused on the fallout between Steve and Tony. An exploration of the dramatic heft contained in that gut wrenching scene, Feige asks: “Will this division tear them apart completely”? In the documentary’s closing moments, we move an eye toward the future. “You have the opportunity to tear down this family unit just prior to their darkest hour… you’re giving the audience a great distance to travel to see if they actually can pull it back together to defeat what the universe will ultimately consider its biggest threat ever,” says Joe Russo, teasing the “end and new beginning” in store for the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Avengers: Infinity War arrives in May 2018.

Captain America CIvil War

Captain America: Civil War is the latest and best addition to the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is a must own for any collection. Captain America: Civil War is now available for Digital HD download, and hits store shelves with a 3D/2D/Digital HD Blu-ray combo pack, a 2D Blu-ray, and a DVD set on Tuesday, September 13th.

The Breakdown

Perfect picture and sound plus a batch of supplemental features - including a two-part Making Of that goes behind the scene of Marvel Studios' latest hit - makes Captain America: Civil War a must-own on Blu-ray.
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