Captain America: The First Avenger (Blu-ray Review)

Okay, so here we are at last with the final film in the establishing saga of what will bring us an Avengers film next year.  Here is Captain America: The First Avenger. It’s been what, at least half a dozen individual super heroes, give or take, right? We just had Thor, Iron Man & Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, and so forth. I guess it was time to give Captain America his due since he will be the leader of The Avengers; it makes sense. Now the big question is, will Captain America: The First Avenger makes sense of itself? It’s a tall order, but let’s see what we can see as Why So Blu? takes a stab at Captain America: The First Avenger on Blu-ray! 



Captain America: The First Avenger tells the story of young, sickly, skinny Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) who, despite his fragile state, has the heart of giant and just wants to prove his quality in WWII fighting bad guys. Of course that’s going to be tricky since he can’t get in. Along comes a scientist named Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) who is looking for someone like Steve who embodies these wholesome ideals that come from the heart for his ultra secretive government project.

On the other side of the globe the evil Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) is on a mission to retrieve a special cube that will grant him powers beyond imagination and make him ruler of the world. It’s a race against time as Schmidt aka Red Skull wages war against the world and one man has to lead the guys into battle.

Yeah, it got a bit dramatic in the end there, didn’t it? I think that was the point, because Captain America: The First Avenger does wear its heart and pride on its sleeve. Sure, that’s valid, but that also does it a major disservice, because you’re forced to judge it on the surface without questioning it, because it really is just a big fluff piece.

Captain America: The First Avenger clocks in at just over two hours. This would be awesome if the film didn’t already feel like it was three hours long. Reign in the lines, boys!

Captain America: The First Avenger suffers from some bad editing in the painful first half. If this had been addressed in post production then I’m sure I would have liked the film more than I did. Granted, I hated it in theaters, I only liked it a bit more on Blu-ray, but that could have been me being in love with the Blu-ray format in general. The first act is painfully slow, and I get that it’s an origin tale, but Thor’s intro was actually badass while Captain America’s was…slow.

When things finally pick up in the middle they go by so fast in a rapid fire pace that one isn’t even given a chance to digest the action, because it’s gone even before it started. Why are the Howling Commandos introduced and only given something to do for about ten minutes? Why is Red Skull such a cool looking villain who is a big wuss? At one point there is a scene that establishes his brute strength, but he never uses it again. Talk about annoying plot holes.

Those are my main complaints. Now as for my positive notes on the film, I will say that Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers as someone that we root for, like an underdog of sorts. Nothing phases him, so we continue to root for him even after he gets his butt constantly kicked. Hayley Atwell is hot as Peggy Carter who is tough as nails, and Tommy Lee Jones as General Phillips is pretty hysterical. Hugo Weaving was the perfect person to play Red Skull which is quite unfortunate that the script gave him nothing to do. He’s such a typical villain. Yawn.

Here’s hoping that Captain America will be in full command of The Avengers team, because I can only recommend this Blu-ray on technical merits alone.


Captain America: The First Avenger is presented in 1080p, 2.40:1, widescreen. It’s a fairly above average looking Blu-ray, I will say that. Set in the 40’s, the color palette is almost bathed in pastel-like colors. There’s that hint of noir which reminded me of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Flesh tones look smooth and natural, but not overly “colorful.” Black levels are consistent and stay nice and inky. Edge enhancement is there, and so is a bit of color banding. Nothing distracting, though. Grain is consistent throughout and sharpness levels are tops. It’s a good looking Blu-ray.


Captain America: The First Avenger is presented in DTS-HD MA 7.1. Here’s an audio track that could have done some serious damage, but only does moderate damage. Dialogue is clean and clear all the way through and the patriotic music score pumps trough the channels without sounding distorted or tweaked out. Explosions, bullets, and engines of all kind sound great, as do the many instances of energy blasts. Okay, I’ll go so far as to say that the audio on the Captain America Blu-ray is near reference.

Special Features 

Captain America: The First Avenger comes fully loaded with special features that include commentaries, featurettes, and a short film that is almost worth the purchase price of the Blu-ray alone. It features Clark Gregg as our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D agent as he is on his way to recover Thor’s hammer. You could say it’s a prequel to Captain America. It must be seen to be believed. 😉

  • Commentary by Director Joe Johnston, Director of Photography Shelly Johnson and Editor Jeffrey Ford
  • Deleted Scenes (HD)
  • 6 Featurettes (HD)
  • The Assembly Begins (HD)
  • Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (HD)

Final Thoughts 

Captain America: The First Avenger is an average film at best, but the Blu-ray has some great special features, and the video and sound kick it up a notch. I do consider Captain America: The First Avenger the weakest of all of the latest super hero films involving a member of The Avengers. I have high hopes that The Avengers will rule and that the inevitable sequel to Captain America will also be top notch. I just wish that this one was a better film in general.



Order Captain America: The First Avenger on Blu-ray!


11 Responses to “Captain America: The First Avenger (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Sean Ferguson

    I respect your opinion but I completely disagree with you about the movie. I think the opening sequence wasn’t slow and that it set up the rest of the movie and why Steve Rogers was the perfect candidate to become Captain America. I really liked this movie.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    I think the first act is better than most other Marvel films. Easily a movie that starts better than it ends. Also on par with the rest of the Marvel films that came out this past summer. Bring on the Avengers.

  3. Gerard Iribe

    Thanks guys!

  4. Brian White

    I’m making this statement having only scene the movie once, but I completely agree with Gerard.
    The first act was one of the most slow and painful ones I have ever sat through. Felt like The Thin Red Line. Lol.
    The second act was a blur. It was like non-sensical Jonah Hex rapid fire action all over again.
    And by the time I got to the Third Act I just didn’t care. The Red Skull was a wuss!
    I hope I like it more the second time around and I WILL give it another chance, but I stand along with Gerard in the firing squad line here. Fire away. Cuz I’m bored!

  5. Kori Kemerer

    I have to agree with Gerard and Brian on this one.

  6. Aaron Neuwirth

    Currently watching the Blu as I type this and just loving everything done in the first act to setup these characters. Skinny Steve is great.

  7. Mary Welms

    I also agree with Gerard and Brian. I thought it was slow and I was bored. I could not build a connection with the characters I wanted too, but it just wasn’t there for me.

  8. Patrick

    Not going to lie I am biased because I love all that is Marvel. However worst part of the movie is making this symbol you spent so much money on and turning him away from his main purpose to be a soldier and turning him into a symbol for war profit. Cap. is the symbol for America in everyway shape and form. He embodies what we all wish we could be a strong courageous person willing to do the right thing no matter our size. Unlike some people that would take their power and be corrupted by it he still has that amazing skill to still do what is right. I know some people did not like the movie because it did not give people a chance to get involved with the characters but I think it was the way it had to be done. You can’t get involved in a character and his relationship when you know it’s already not going to last. Great movie and great set up for the awesomeness that will be The Avengers.

  9. Gregg

    I completely agree with you, Gerard. The best parts of this movie are any scene with Hayley Atwell and when the HYDRA soldier flew threw a propeller. As for Brian’s mention of Thin Red Line, I loved that movie, but to each their own. Cap was indeed painfully boring at times. Still, whatever the opinion, this was definitely the year of Marvel at the movie theater.

  10. Marcus Dobeck

    You pretty much knew what was going to happen from the first 15min. It’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but I had a hard time sitting through it. I think I got up about 5 times out of boredom. My kids started talking about schoolwork (if that’s any indication) about 45min into it. All of the action seems like it was squished into a 20min segment at the end. Not saying that every movie needs explosions and ninjas fighting, but for an action movie, there wasn’t a lot of action. I agree that it is difficult to \connect\ with the characters because of the drawn out boring scenes.

  11. Gerard Iribe

    I’m saying that if the film were not as long in the tooth as it was in the beginning, I probably would have liked it more. How long is that intro? An hour, give or take? Then 30 minutes of action? Editing is your friend unless you’re going full out unrated or director’s cut where you can do whatever you want.

    I think Joe Johnston did a better job directing The Wolfman.