Iron Man (2008) - Ultimate 2-Disc Edition [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Drama / Science Fiction
Paramount || PG13 - 125 minutes - $39.99 || September 30, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-09-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby (characters); Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (screenplay)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow


Theatrical Release Date: May 2, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Hall of Armor
  • The Invincible Iron Man
  • Extended/Deleted Scenes
  • BD-Live: Iron Man IQ Trivia
  • I Am Iron: 7-Part Documentary
  • Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man
  • Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test
  • The Actor's Process
  • Image Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Ever since I was a child I've never been a big fan of Iron Man. I was more of an X-Men kid so while I knew who Iron Man was, I found his comics to be rather boring. When I heard it was being adapted into a theatrical film... I still had little to no interest in seeing it. So I didn't. That's right, I never saw this film in theaters even after it did gangbusters at the box office and the numerous people telling me I was crazy. Now, seeing it on Blu-ray for the first time, I'm a bit mad at myself for skipping this.

Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, an intelligent man who was born into billions and controls Stark Industries after his fatherís death. Stark Industries produces some major fire power for the army and after showcasing some new weapons for the United States Army he becomes kidnapped and forced to create the same weapons for a group of terrorists. While in this camp, Stark sees that his weapons are being sold on the black market and after being tortured for three months trying to rebuild a weapon called 'Jericho', he escapes in a badly designed, early concept of his Iron Man suit.

When he returns to America he decides at a press conference that effective immediately his company will no longer be creating any type of weapon and will focus on something else. This news rubs Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridged) the wrong way and he tells Stark to take some time off to re cooperate after his ordeal and during this time Stark creates the Iron Man suit - a well formed, flying machine that he hopes to us to take out all of his weapons that are being sold into the wrong hands.

What I really loved about the film is Robert Downey Jr. I became a fan of his when I saw Wonder Boys and it continued through his various appearances on "Ally McBeal" and then when Zodiac arrived... I knew I loved him. While Zodiac is a very long film, it still stands out of one of 2007's best films and Downey really brought something magical to the film and even after repeated viewings I still find him to be one of the best characters in the film.

So how is his performance in Iron Man? Easily one of the best I have seen in a long, long time. While I did see The Incredible Hulk in theaters along with The Dark Knight, I still think Downey got into his role much better than the other two individuals (Norton and Bale) and brought a certain something to his character that I don't think anyone else could. Gwyneth Paltrow in the role of his assistant does a great job as well; to the point where I didn't even recognize her. That leaves Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane... and I wasn't that impressed. He does a decent job, but didn't seem all that believable to me.

While I don't want to ruin the film for those that have not seen it, the last minute of the film is probably my favorite. While other films tend to hide that detail, I'm glad what happened, happened and we will see Iron Man 2 is a slightly different way. The extra clip at the end of The Incredible Hulk also points to a S.H.I.E.L.D. like film at some point in time so fans will want to pick up that film as well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

ALL Special Features are presented in HD. Its worth noting Iron Man comes complete with a very nice slip cover (though it does give away the main villain on the back cover art).

Disc One:
Hall of Armor - A neat little feature that allows you to check out the various Iron Man suits through the use of Stark's computer. Itís cool, but I can't imagine ever going back to this one again.

The Invincible Iron Man, 6-Parts (~50 Minutes) - Do you know Iron Man from the comics? If not, this hour long documentary (split into 6 sections) goes through some very in-depth details about the title character. While this does have some interviews from notable individuals (Stan Lee and some artists) they are not in it as much as I wanted. Still a great watch!

Extended/Deleted Scenes (~25 Minutes) - We get eleven scenes which were cut for various reasons. Only one of them stood out as being decent the others are not missed.

Disc Two:
BD-Live: Iron Man IQ Trivia - Apparently when this feature goes live you will be able to create your own multiple choice trivia questions that others can answer during the film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

I Am Iron Man, 7-parts (~ 2 Hours) - This is the meatiest portion on both discs which delves into many different aspects of the film that any fan of Iron Man (or comic-book fans in general) will eat up. Everyone from the cast is included in various aspects through the seven different features and this is probably one of the best documentaries I've had the pleasure to watch in the past few months.

Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man (~28 Minutes) - An amazing look at some of the CGI used in the film and a huge amount of details on Iron Man's suit.

Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test (~6 Minutes) and The Actor's Process (~4 Minutes) - Both of these are exactly what you think they are. Itís pretty much just rehearsal footage but I really like Downey's.

Also include are a few theatrical trailers, image galleries and a short odd-ball Iron Man trailer called Widely Popular Iron Man. The only thing missing is a commentary...



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Iron Man is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc (Disc two is a 50GB as well). I was blown away by the transfer here as colors come across very nice and crisp while still maintaining the intentional grain. There is no Edge Enhancement or Digital Noise Reduction applied as far as I can see and blacks look just as they should. What's interesting is I felt the picture quality got better as the film went on as we were introduced to Iron Man's suite as well as some other great CGI affects. While it may not be the best Blu-ray disc pressed, it still looks amazing.

Paramount has included an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track for this release as well as a pair of French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Much like the picture quality, as the film went on it sounded better. This could be because of the more CGI intensive scenes and the use of various explosions, but I found the first thirty minutes or so to be rather lackluster. Once Iron Man appears on screen... get ready for some very impressive magic. Bullets bounce off him with a nice 'ping' and the final fight... wow.



.::OVERALL::.

Iron Man arrives on Blu-ray in one of this yearís best packages. Not only do we get hours of Special Features (all in HD), but we get some very impressive Picture and Audio quality. Not only that, we get one of the yearís best films making this Blu-ray a no brainer.