Here’s the weird thing about an already great movie like Captain America: Civil War. It’s such a big hit that it doesn’t have to be a good Blu-ray. It could be the movie on a disc in a paper slipcover and it would sell like crazy. But thankfully, Marvel decided to pack the release with lots of solid, additional content.
The centrepiece of the disc is a two-part documentary called United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Making of Captain America Civil War. Clocking in at 45-minutes, this is an entertaining, informative, yet fairly straight-forward look behind-the-scenes of the film. Virtually every major character is given their own segment here and each one is filled with on-set footage you’ve never seen before.
The problem with the doc is there isn’t really any conflict or narrative to it. It’s more or less a fluff piece, but at least an extensive and crazy watchable fluff piece. It starts with the Civil War comics, drops in lots of little teases about sidebars and tangents in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and features interviews with everyone. The highlight is in part two when two-and-a-half minutes are dedicated to Tom Holland as Spider-Man, featuring footage of him in a full motion-capture suit. There’s also some very raw footage of the big airport battle that makes you appreciate the effects work in the film.
I could have watched another 45 minutes of behind the scenes footage, but the ending comes kind of abruptly. From there it’s on to two four-minute recaps of the events that led Captain America and Iron Man to Civil War. There are new interviews here, but nothing a Marvel fan hasn’t seen or known before.
Other extras include eight minutes of deleted scenes, which really should be called “One Six-Minute Scene and Lots of Short Clips.” The long scene is the extended version of Peggy’s funeral, which features lots of extra moments for Cap, Sharon, Falcon, and Widow. After that there’s a very brief scene where Zemo meets Doctor Broussard (played by co-director Joe Russo), a small exchange between Black Panther and Black Widow that’s cool but adds little, then a short moment from the final battle where Bucky gets a hold of Cap’s shield. This moment, which is already online, 1000% should not have been cut.
Those scenes then roll into a three-minute gag reel, which is always fun but not something you’d ever watch again.
At this point, the disc would already be worth owning, but there’s more. Civil War has a feature-length audio commentary to accompany the film, an extra that has become less and less typical on a release like this. Even better, this commentary features both directors (Joe and Anthony Russo) and both writers (Steven McFeely and Chris Markus), all together, in the same room watching the movie at once. That in itself is rare, as often multiple people will record separately and be edited together. But having everyone in the same room gives the commentary a very loose, “hanging-out” feel, and it’s packed with interesting insights, anecdotes, and more. (Our friends at Film School Rejects compiled a list of the biggest reveals from the track, if you’re interested).
Finally, along with the disc itself, you get a digital download of the film. The iTunes version includes its own list of exclusive features, most of which are from previous releases of Captain America and Iron Man movies. Still, if you don’t own those, they are an awesome trip down memory lane, as is a rousing six-minute montage of all the Marvel movies so far. Oh, and there’s an early look at Doctor Strange too.
If you are on the fence about picking up Captain America: Civil War, don’t be. The movie is great, totally rewatchable, and you’ve got at least two full nights of content to enjoy in addition to the film. The one caveat is that we know from history that Marvel rereleases their discs in large box sets at the end of a Phase. As this is the first film in Phase Three, though, it’s going to be quite the wait for that. Grab this one.