“Captain America” and Paul Walker Top Week’s Blu-Ray Releases

A Marvel superhero and the late Paul Walker are among new Blu-Ray releases for the week of Sept. 9.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Chris Evans returns as the star-spangled superhero. This time, he’s taking on a Soviet agent called the Winter Soldier. Along the way, he uncovers a shocking secret about his new nemesis. Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robert Redford co-star.

Marvel continues its winning streak with this sequel, which has the flavor of a 1970’s-era conspiracy thriller. (The casting of Redford, star of Three Days of the Condor and All the President’s Men, is no coincidence.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier contains all the action and excitement you’d expect, but the approach gives it a vibe all its own.

Bonus features on the Blu-Ray are audio commentary from the directors and screenwriters, a 10-minute look at the production and how Marvel decided on a tone, a 2-minute piece focusing on Anthony Mackie’s character, four minutes of deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a brief glimpse at how Captain America’s notebook (which constitutes a clever joke) was altered for international markets. A 3D version of the Blu-Ray is also available.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season One – Tied in with the Captain America sequel is the release of the first season of Marvel’s Avengers spin-off, which ran on ABC. Clark Gregg stars as Agent Coulson, a role he’s played in numerous Marvel pictures.

All 22 episodes are here, along with copious supplementary material. You’ll find a feature on the show’s presentation at Comic-Con, five making-of shorts, a look at how Marvel made the move into television, VFX breakdowns, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and audio commentary from the filmmakers and cast members.

Brick Mansions – The late Paul Walker’s last completed film casts him as an undercover Detroit cop teaming up with an ex-con to bring down a drug lord. The hitch: the baddie operates in a neighborhood surrounded by a containment wall. David Belle and RZA also star.

The Blu-Ray will contain both the theatrical and an uncut version of the movie, in addition to two behind-the-scenes segments focusing on Walker, and the original trailer.

Fed Up – This documentary, produced and narrated by Katie Couric, takes a tough look at America’s obesity epidemic. It is highly critical of the food industry, and may cause you to think twice (or even three times) about what you eat. Critics raved about the film, which has been “certified fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes.

The only extras are four deleted scenes, running about twelve minutes.

Also hitting Blu this week are the 1965 Natalie Wood/Tony Curtis/Jack Lemmon comedy The Great Race, the 40th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Mel Brooks’ classic Young Frankenstein, Scream Factory’s collector’s edition of the 1988 creature feature Pumpkinhead, the stunning (and occasionally terrifying) war-on-terrorism documentary The Hornet’s Nest, and the Bobcat Goldthwait-directed Bigfoot chiller Willow Creek.

What are you planning to buy or rent this week? We want to hear your picks in our comments section!

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Mike McGranaghan

Mike McGranaghan is the film critic for The Aisle Seat. His film writing can also be found at Film Racket and Daily Grindhouse, and his reviews are heard weekly on the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as the author of two books, "Straight-Up Blatant" and "My Year of Chevy."

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