Iron Man

Featured In Issue 136, November 2008

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and brief suggestive content
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Two-Disc Set: BD-50/BD-25
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Not Indicated
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Jon Favreau
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) survives an unexpected roadside attack while in Afghanistan and is kidnapped by enemy forces who wish to force the genius inventor to develop a diabolical weapon for their use. But Tony uses his time in captivity wisely developing an invulnerable robotic suit that he uses to escape his captors. Once free, Tony discovers a deadly conspiracy that threatens society on a global scale and dons his Iron Man suit in an attempt to protect Earth and its inhabitants. Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Liebner, and Jack Kirby. (Stacey Pendry)

Disc One of this two-disc DVD set contains 11 deleted/extended scenes, a one-minute animated short Iron Man: Armored Adventures, and previews. Disc Two contains two-multi-chaptered behind-the-scenes featurettes. I Am Iron Man contains the following featurettes: The Journey Begins (20 minutes), The Suit That Makes The Iron Man (ten minutes), Walk Of Destruction (22 minutes), Ground In Reality (14 minutes), Beneath The Armor (15 minutes), It's All In The Details (14 minutes), and A Good Story, Well Told (12 minutes). The Invincible Iron Man contains the following featurettes: Origins (eight minutes), Friends And Foes (three minutes), The Definitive Iron Man (five minutes), Demon In A Bottle (one minute), Extremis And Beyond (25 minutes), and Ultimate Iron Man (four minutes). Also included on Disc Two is an additional 27-minute featurette Wired: The Visual Effects Of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.'s screen test (six minutes), a scene rehearsal The Actor's Process (four minutes), a four-part stills gallery, and a spoof news segment The Onion: Wildly Popular Iron Man Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full Length Film (three minutes). In addition to those features, the Blu-ray Disc™ includes a Hall Of Armor gallery, which features 3-D images of Mach I, II, III and Iron Monger super-suits, high-definition trailers, and a BD-Live™ in-movie trivia quiz Iron Man IQ, which was not active at the time of review, but will be by the disc's street-date.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.37:1 DVD exhibits a sharp picture, with fine details resolved well. Black levels are fairly inconsistent, occasionally raised to a level that gives the entire image a washed-out appearance. Shadow delineation is generally good, and when the black levels are at their deepest, the image can have an enjoyable sense of dimension. Colors are saturated well, with good lightness, and contrast is balanced well for the most part. Fleshtones appear fairly natural. Edge enhancement is noticeable on high-contrast transitions, and compression artifacts are distractingly noticeable on occasion. The H.264 AVC encoded Blu-ray Disc shows very good resolution, with fine details delivered nicely. Fleshtones are nicely delineated, although they are slightly too orange. Black levels are elevated some, and are still inconsistent, but details in the shadows are presented well. Colors are bold and vibrant. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack can be fully engaging, with the split surrounds incorporated very nicely to create a wonderfully defined soundfield. There are moments, though, when the soundtrack is constrained to the front three screen channels, leaving the soundtrack dimensionless. The LFE channel is active quite frequently throughout the presentation, and it is integrated well with the rest of the sound design. Bass is defined well, dropping below 25 Hz in the LFE channel (it rarely goes below 40 Hz in the full-range channels with much vigor). The front stage is mixed very well, sounding both broad and deep, and phantom imaging is incorporated nicely with seemless pans employed as well. Micro dynamics are articulated nicely, and dynamic range across the board is maintained fairly well. The soundstage is mixed well, with individual elements of the soundtrack easily localizable in the room. This is an enjoyable soundtrack. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding provides better overall fidelity, with tighter, more impactful bass and a more articulate midrange. The LFE channel seems to be encoded slightly too high, and levels should be watched to ensure that system damage does not occur. The mix still has its problems, but the soundtrack is enjoyable. (Danny Richelieu)