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Carol Danvers is trained by the Kree as an elite military member but when she escapes to Earth, while under attack by the Skrulls, she discovers more of her past with the help of agent Nick Fury.
Marvel has been hitting us with success after success for more than a decade now and this doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Of course now that the story of our main heroes is reaching it’s end with Avengers: Endgame, Marvel have brought forward some of their other secondary superheroes that may not be very known to the general public and one prime example is Captain Marvel. We will not go over the long historical dispute that Marvel and DC had over the naming as there are already too many articles analyzing in detail how Marvel managed to keep the naming of a character that originally belonged to DC.
Marvel during all these years tried very hard to establish all the characters we saw and loved through their own self contained films in order to allow for more character development and make us care more for each and everyone of them. And while there are some films that this didn’t work perfectly like with the Hulk movies in general we can say that this tactic worked rather well so until we reached each Avengers film we already knew what to expect from most of them making it easier to concentrate on the new storyline rather than trying to understand each superhero’s character.
And when you have a recipe for success and one that had worked so many times in the past you just don’t change it. With Avengers: Endgame Marvel was ready to throw another one of their superheros to the mix so in true Marvel fashion we had to get a standalone film before the Last Avengers film in order to know the character and what this superhero represented. And while in some of the more known characters like Spider-man or Iron-man this may not have been a necessity as these were already commercially known heroes, with Captain Marvel it was very important as everyone except the fans didn’t know what to expect.
But with Avengers: Endgame fast approaching and Captain Marvel being absent from all previous films it was a bit of a mystery how they would introduce a new superhero without any continuity errors from all the stories we got the last 10 years. And in this Marvel found a brilliant solution as they placed the film in the 90s, long before SHIELD, Iron-man or any superhero alliance had ever formed. Of course some kind of connection to the rest of the movies was needed in order to establish a believable bridge to the already told storylines and Marvel gave us this in the face of Nick Fury and his assistant Phil Coulson.
Of course during Captain Marvel’s time Fury and Coulson had no idea about superheros, aliens or Mad Titans so in essence Captain Marvel is the starting point where the Avenger initiative idea was born. Chronologically Captain America: The First Avenger is the first film from all our characters but being set in World War 2, Nick Fury was not present back then and with Captain America being frozen on ice for more than 70 years he was literally non existent.
Usually when introducing a new superhero a film takes it’s time to show us how the character transitions from their human character to their new state. We have seen this in many Marvel films like Spider-man, Iron-man, Hulk, Captain America and Antman to name a few but with Captain Marvel the filmmakers decided to takes things a bit backwards as we are introduced to Vers (Captain Marvel) being already part of an elite Kree military unit called Starforce. We can say that this works better as we get into action much faster and we don’t have to go through the usually boring first act until our hero gets it’s superhuman powers. Instead we get a bit of backstory later on, on how did Carol Danvers got all her powers.
The films structure works very well on so many levels because it may be a new entry to the MCU series but it feels new and fresh because it is not so much constraint by the stories of the other superheroes. Making the film in the 90s gives it a bit more breathing space in an era that is not cluttered with stories as all of them are happening at later dates. Another thing we liked is that because of the year the film is taking place on we get a distinct look of an era that we were not so much familiar with. Captain America also offered something similar but we were already very familiar with the World War 2 setting while the 90s feels like a bit of empty space when it comes to MCU.
This gave this film a very distinct look with very nice settings and locations while the attention to detail in every scene is remarkable with a 90s vibe throughout the film’s running time. Of course we get our fare share of alien worlds and locations like the Kree homeworld that could not be missing from a Marvel film and we felt that there was a nice balance between Earth and outer space time.
The film mostly centers around two characters as Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) get acquainted and while for Carol Danvers superhuman powers and aliens is an everyday thing for Fury this is the moment where he turns from a boring bureaucrat to the person that starts the whole Avengers thing and becomes a pivotal element in the whole MCU history. Of course seeing both Fury and Coulson 25 years younger is intriguing but what makes them more interesting is to see how their characters change from the first moment they meet Carol until the end of the film where they are set on a path that will bring them in the front line of the Avengers initiative.
Although the film had it’s fare share of action and CGI scenes we felt that it was a bit on the light side compared to other heavy hitters in the MCU. Of course it was a given that topping Avengers: Infinity Wars would be an almost impossible task but we got the feeling that the filmmakers were not trying to do that because they also knew that something like that would not be easy. Instead they decided to see this entry as if the other films didn’t exist and so they didn’t feel the pressure of trying to surpass any of the previous entries.
Technically the film was perfect as you would expect from a first rate Marvel blockbuster. Either you like these superhero films or not we admit that Disney and Marvel put everything they’ve got in order to offer the best quality in every shot. From the scenery, the costume design, practical and special effects, CGI and audio the film was radiating perfection in every frame.
With Captain Marvel now out in home media, Avengers: Endgame coming soon and the second Spider-man film almost upon us it almost feels that Captain Marvel is a character that was made to bridge the closing of Phase 4 of MCU with whatever comes next. With all the main heroes having made their run with multiple entries it seems that we will mostly see them in supporting roles as we are seeing with Iron-man for some time now and Captain Marvel seems like the perfect choice for taking the initiative of becoming the leader of what could be a new breed of Avenger characters.
Brie Larson is the perfect actor for Captain Marvel, this role goes so much to her and we would certainly like to see her leading the next generation, so to call, of Avenger characters as we don’t see Marvel stopping at pumping out superhero films any time soon. And if things so far were more or less known where they were heading the post-Phase 4 era is really shrouded in mystery making thing so much more exciting.
If you are a fan on the Marvel films then Captain Marvel is a very solid entry and one that has much to offer to the Marvel universe but even if you are just a fan of action and sci-fi films in general then Captain Marvel will definitely offer you a couple of hours of cinematic pleasure and in the end this is what matters the most.
Captain Marvel blasts it’s way into the 4K UHD format with a 2160p resolution, HVEC/ H.265 encode from Disney with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and HDR10 but unfortunately no Dolby Vision. The first thing that was immediately obvious was the amount of sharpness and clarity of this release. When doing closeups on people’s faces you could see so much details on their skin and hair while the textures and shapes on their clothes were extremely defined. Custom design is top notch and the extra clarity helps to see so much more on Captain Marvel’s suit.
Wide color gamut helps a lot to bring more colors to the scene while black levels feel improved also. HDR is the perfect element needed in such a film and really make each frame so much more pronounced while CGI effects like the photon blasts of Captain Marvel appear dazzling and almost three dimensional. In total we would say that there is improvement in all areas with the most obvious in our opinion being the amazing sharpness of the image while brightness, colors, black levels and HDR all come together nicely in order to offer the best possible image of this film so far.
As for the included Atmos track while it may not offer the most breathtaking performance this audio format has seen so far the overall quality of it is above average. Such an effects driven film give the perfect opportunity for the sound effects to really immerse you as it offers all the dimensionality you will ever need. During action scenes there is plenty of action happening not only at the front but also behind us as energy projectiles go flying all around. There is certainly more height here also and while the height layer may not have been the most busy we have seen there were many moments that we could hear action coming from above.
The Atmos track also offered plenty of bass power as spaceships, projectiles and explosions offered the perfect opportunity for the lows to shake us a bit giving every moment the necessary weight and power needed. Dialogue felt distinct and well defined on the center channel even when action was in full swing while the music enveloped the action well in order to create a nice overall acoustic result.
In total the 4K UHD disc of Captain Marvel offers amazing sharpness with good colors and HDR while it’s Atmos track comes with the necessary height and depth when action asks for it. It may not be reference material but the UHD version offers a nice boost over all the other versions including the Blu-ray one in order for it to be the best one to view the film so far.
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