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Review: 'Captain Marvel' is the hero we need anytime

Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 5:03 PM Central
Last updated Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 5:11 PM Central

by John Couture

I really never understood the whole backlash on Captain Marvel. Of course, it sounded a lot like the same fanboys airing their own insecurities about the last few Star Wars films. Guess what guys, women can kick ass too and that's precisely what Brie Larson does as Captain Marvel.

I really don't want to get my soapbox out, but if there was one criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it was its reliance upon male superheroes to carry the load, especially in the early films. This is something that Marvel has acknowledged and I think they have really done a spectacular job in bringing more balance to the storytelling in the last few years.

Still, Captain Marvel was the first film in the MCU to prominently feature a female superhero and there had to be some trepidation leading to its release. Thankfully, aside from the vocal minority, Captain Marvel is not only a wonderful film and great addition to the MCU, but it gives a new voice to a franchise that has thrived in destroying preconceived barriers. I mean, hello, Black Panther was amazing.

In the latest MCU entry, Carol Danvers is a member of an elite Kree military team called Starforce who find themselves locked in an eternal struggle with their sworn enemy the Skrulls. Her latest mission goes awry and she finds herself back on her former home planet Earth with new questions about her past. Paired with a young Nick Fury, Danvers must uncover the truth and unlock her full potential before it's too late.



As the father of a seven-year-old daughter, I find that I'm extra sensitive when it comes to issues such as gender representation in entertainment. We live in an enlightened period and as such, my daughter should be able to look up to role models in whatever flights of fancy she comes across. Both DC with Wonder Woman and Marvel with their recent slate of films have worked hard to give young girls a strong female warrior to emulate.

Naturally, my son has always been a big comic book movie fan, but I have really noticed more of a pronounced interest from my daughter as she is able to identify more with the characters on the screen. She loved Captain Marvel and as a result, she was much more invested in Avengers: Endgame when we went to see it in theaters.

For me, the biggest source of my enjoyment came from the setting of the film. The early to mid-1990s were the years that I spent in high school and college. These formative years were instrumental in shaping the man that I would later become and to revisit them, even for a brief moment in a movie, was pretty exciting. I mean I was literally geeking out when Danvers crash-landed in a Blockbuster. Given that I have spent the last 20+ years in the home entertainment industry, this scene brought a tear of nostalgia to my eye and it wasn't the last one.



I was fortunate to review the 4K UHD version of the film and it was superb. The 4K video transfer was pristine and the HDR was really showcased in several scenes with a wide gamut of luminosity. That dark scenes, like the aforementioned Blockbuster scene, are really crisp and the detail is remarkable.

Likewise the daylight action sequences, of which there were plenty, were clear and offered a sharp resolution that we have come to expect from this superior home entertainment format. For a film that spends equal amounts of time in space as it does on Earth, the contrast could be distracting, but the 4K transfer handles the transfers with great aplomb.

The real scene-stealer though on the 4K UHD is the Dolby Atmos soundtrack. There is just something about this top-of-the-line audio format that really complements a strong action film. The fight sequences and battles occur all around you and the fight sequence on the train, in particular, stood out as a format-defining audio scene for the ages.



Of course, it's not a tough sell to convince you that a film that earned over $425 million at the box office is worthy of ownership, but Disney makes the argument even more convincing with its effusive bonus features. Disney is really the exception to the rule when it comes to their initial home entertainment offerings.

It would be so easy to simply release a bare-bones version initially and then double-dip later with all of the extra goodies. But Disney has done a wonderful job of making sure that you are getting as much bang for your buck as possible. The 4K Cinematic Universe Edition (their terminology, not mine) includes a host of featurettes that explore various aspects of the movie such as Nick Fury's origin, the long-standing feud between the Kree and the Skrulls and that crazy Flerken Goose.



There are also six deleted scenes, a gag reel, image galleries, an audio commentary and so much more. As someone who is not as steeped in the whole comic book mythology as some of you, I found the included bonuses useful to help bring my knowledge up to snuff. They truly allowed me to enjoy the film that much more when it was all said and done.

Captain Marvel is now available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD.