Captain America - 1992
Written by Jason Flick
August 26, 2011
With the fairly huge success of this generationís superhero films, itís somewhat hard to believe that there are some attempts that didnít quite succeed as well as they could have. The 90ís were the high time for some of the biggest and occasionally worst translations of some of our favorite comic book heroes. One of the films that I recent found to be more tolerable at my age than some is the 1992 re-release of Captain America to DVD.
Much like the comic from which it aspires to be, this Captain America does tell the story of young Steve Rogers as he volunteers for the experiment that would make him into the living legend he would become. From there they took some fairly obvious liberties that some viewers would hate such as his place of birth (California) as well as everything about the Red Skull. In the film, the Red Skull turns out to be an Italian Fascist (instead of German Nazi) who was kidnapped by the Italian Army. His family is promptly executed and Tadzio de Santis is subjected to an experiment by the Germans to create the deformed red skinned super soldier that we all know.
After a rather painful defeat of Captain America by the hand of the Red Skull and a long rocket trip later Rogers is frozen for the next 50 years. In that time a little boy grows up to be president with thoughts of the masked man he saw as a child, the Red Skull gains a facelift and funds the assassinations of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Dr.King and Rogersí main squeeze moves on after over 16 years of waiting. Rodgers returns home and tragedy strikes causing him and his old loveís daughter to head on an international road trip to learn the Red Skullís identity and rescue the President from an awful fate.
Director, Albert Pyunís vision of Captain America may not be accurate to the comics in many ways but Matt Salingerís honest attempt to portray the comic book legend is rather commendable. The story, while fairly believable and depicting the American spirit throughout parts of the film, still lacks a better plot. This is sort of a disappointment for me as I usually really like even the older Marvel films including the original Punisher. I did like some of the quotes throughout the film including one where Sam tries to remember Dr. Vaselliís name.
Captain America is a film that shows its age despite looking good in its 4:3 /1.33 Full Frame presentation. This is not surprising as this never got a theatrical release here in the States, though it did receive a direct to video release a few years later. This 1992 re-release DVD was created with the best source footage available so we get to see this film as close as to those overseas saw almost 20 years ago. The movie does feature some imagery that at the time may have been a little rough for the young one.
For those seeking a spectacular audio experience youíll have to look elsewhere as Captain America is present in Dolby Digital 2.0. The sound quality is pretty decent with music choices that fit the film well. The best thing that I liked about the film was the conversions between Captain America and the Red Skull. Iíve always liked this comic culture clash in its various forms and despite the change to an Italian villain the mixture just works.
Yeah youíre not seeing things. That value score is nearly none existent. There are absolutely no goodies on this Limited Edition Re-Release of the 1992 version of Captain America other than a movie trailer which is pretty much worthless. The only reason that it got the score it did is because Iíll probably watch this movie again when Iím on a Marvel film kick, and it's a fairly cheap purchase.
There are very few comic based movies that I havenít seen over the years and some that I would rather just forget. Albert Pyunís Captain America treads a very fine line that luckily falls on my more gracious side. The saving grace of this DVD re-release for me is Matt Salingerís performance as the American hero and the banter between him and Scott Paulinís Red Skull. I would recommend this as a rental at best or a possible buy once it drops in price if you are a diehard Captain fan.