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Captain America [Blu-ray]

3.6 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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(May 21, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Long ago, Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger) was a true American hero, a brave super soldier created by scientists to help the Allied Forces fight for freedom in World War II. But during a battle with the sinister Red Skull (Scott Paulin), he was lost, entombed in ice. Decades later, his body has been found and revived and Steve must again don the mantle of Captain America to help save the President of the United States (Ronny Cox) , and the world, from his arch-nemesis once and for all.

For the first time, director Albert Pyun’s cult classic is presented in widescreen and in astonishing high-definition!


While it can't hold a candle to the blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger, this 1990 screen adaptation of Cap's origins and first battles with his longtime nemesis, the Red Skull, holds its modest own in the action-adventure department despite some serious budgetary challenges. Matt (son of J.D.) Salinger plays both Steve Rogers and his heroic alter ego, Captain America, who is spawned from a World War II experiment to create "super soldiers." Cap immediately locks horns with his Axis number, the Red Skull (Scott Paulin), before becoming entombed in ice for the better part of the 20th century. Upon emerging from deep freeze, he discovers that the Red Skull has been fronting a crime syndicate in the employ of a rogue American military group with designs on controlling the country. Cap is subsequently forced to rescue the president (Ronny Cox) from the Skull's clutches while also contending with the girlfriend (Kim Gillingham), now elderly, he left behind prior to his wartime disappearance, and her look-alike daughter (also Gillingham). As mentioned by Salinger and director Albert Pyun in a 20-minute making-of featurette included on the Blu-ray, Captain America was plagued by production problems almost immediately after The Cannon Group purchased the rights to the character from Marvel. Pyun's attempts to lend comic book brawn to his film were further hampered by a threadbare special effects budget (the effects still look dreary two decades later), and the whole affair was pulled from theatrical release in 1990, only to resurface two years later in shoddy VHS and manufacture-on-demand editions. Shout Factory's widescreen HD Blu-ray looks exceptionally well--often too well, underscoring the corners cut in visual effects--but its restoration probably won't elevate the 1990 Captain America beyond its current status as a curious, well-intentioned, but ultimately minor effort to bring Cap's adventures to the big screen. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Brand New Interview: Looking Back At Captain America With Director Albert Pyun

Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Salinger, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin
  • Directors: Albert Pyun
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BCMT49I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,191 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andre Dursin on May 3, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
A strong Shout! Factory Blu-Ray of Albert Pyun's comic-book production that was shot for Menahem Golan's post-Cannon Group 21st Century Film Corporation but never theatrically released.

Matt Salinger (nephew of J.D.) plays Steve Rogers as he fights the Red Skull both in the `40s and again after he's frozen in time; Scott Paulin essays his arch-nemesis while a better-than-the-movie-deserves supporting cast includes Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Michael Nouri and Melinda Dillon. "Captain America" does move along briskly and has a few fun moments but is basically let down by threadbare production values (there's a WLVI TV-56 Boston microphone during a White House press briefing!) and terrible editing. Pyun further claims his film was ruined by Golan in post-production, but this charge isn't entirely supported by his recent so-called "Director's Cut" that the director sold a couple of years ago on his website (sadly I was dumb enough to buy a copy; the Blu-Ray version looked like some third-gen Youtube video!).

Particularly compared to the dramatic stylings of Reb Brown (who played Rogers in a pair of failed '70s TV pilots), Salinger is actually quite good as Cap -- the movie is more about Steve Rogers than the man in the suit, and there are intermittent moments where the film is effective. Tolkin's script, meanwhile, hits many of the same narrative buttons as the recent Marvel movie, but needed a more seasoned director and a stronger budget for it to come together.

Nevertheless, Shout's Blu-Ray goes a long way to making the '90 "Captain America" respectable. Previously available as a manufactured-on-demand DVD release that recycled its old home video master, Shout's Blu-Ray of "Captain America" is a vast improvement on any prior presentation of the picture.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying this review has nothing to do with the movie itself. For better or for worse, this movie is what it is...and if you don't know what that is, you probably shouldn't make this a "blind-buy". I grew up with it, so I happen to like it...but I do not like this DVD.

Immediately, it starts out with a warning, claiming something along the lines of "This is the best source we could find." TRANSLATION: "We couldn't be bothered to make a new transfer, so enjoy this old one. And, thanks for the cash."

As far as I can tell, MGM's MOD edition recycles the one made for the 1992 VHS and LaserDisc versions. Video is a cropped 4x3 full screen presentation. I had hoped it was open-matte, but after comparing it to a UK edition, I am certain it has been cropped.

And, like the '92 VHS and LD releases, quality is quite poor. Colors are washed-out, the picture is soft, there is heavy grain, and loads of rainbow-artifacts grace the image.

Oh, I forgot to mention the compression problems. Yep, this baby has some pretty big areas of block noise during some of the fast moving action scenes (like the machine gun fire at night during the early portions of the film).

Audio is Dolby stereo and sounds adequate, but has some occasional pops. And, I also think I heard some mild "hiss" at times. However, given that I am sending this back to Amazon in a hurry, I don't have time to check it more thoroughly.

As for extras, a theatrical trailer is included. I would say "hooray", but the quality of the movie itself has left me quite apathetic.

In closing, MGM has delivered the legal equivalent to all the "bootlegs" floating around the "grey market"...complete with being on a DVD-R disc. If you're desperate to own the '92 "Captain America" on DVD, be my guest...but prepare to be underwhelmed.

Thanks, MGM :(
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Format: VHS Tape
I always liked this movie. It was Marvel's answer to Tim Burton's big budget Batman. Although it received a European release, it was shelved in the U.S. until 1992. I thought it was a good low budget attempt to bring the Joe Simon-Jack Kirby comic book character to life. I can remember seeing the movie poster for it at the theater and being excited, "Captain America: Coming in 1990". This movie has a great cast: Matt Salinger, Scott Paulin, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Carla Cassola, Melinda Dillion, Michael Nouri, Kim Gillingham Francesca Neri and Billy Mumy. It was directed by Albert Pyun.

In Italy during WW2, Dr. Maria Vaseli (Carla Cassola) creates a process which transforms child musical prodigy Tadzio de Santis into the hideously scarred 'Red Skull' (Scott Paulin) for the Nazis. Dr. Vaseli escapes to America where she perfects the process and helps the American Military transform Polio-ridden Steve Rogers into the Star Spangled Avenger 'Captain America' (Matt Salinger). Aided by two Resistance Fighters (Scene deleted), Captain America to a hidden Nazi Fortress, Captain America encounters his nemesis, the Red Skull, where he is defeated and strapped to a rocket that the Nazis are planning to launch launch at the White House to kill President Roosevelt. Cap heroically manages to stop the rocket from crashing into the White House; but it crashes in the Alaskan Tundra where he is frozen for the next 50 years.

While Captain America is frozen, the Red Skull and plots and successfully carries out the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King with the help of a group of international businessmen and General Fleming (Mumy/McGavin).
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