has an average rating of 8.2 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
are ALL in Hi-Def with BD-Live content!
– 126 minutes
Disc 1 uses 31.1GB for the movie out of 44.0GB total.
Disc 2 uses 21.5GB total.
Overall Verdict – A DEFINITE MUST-OWN
The Movie Itself is directed by Jon Favreau (known for “Elf“). Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a the definition of a playboy billionaire. Known for his father’s Stark Industries, which like most arms dealers provides weapons to pretty much anyone who wants them, Tony lives the high life going anywhere and sleeping with anyone. Demonstrating his newest weapon in the Middle East, Tony is attacked and captured by a group of radical terrorists. The reason for his capture revolves around his intelligence in weaponry and science. These terrorists want Tony to build them a missile. It’s here that Tony decides to build a suit of armor that can withstand anything. Eventually escaping, Tony realizes just what his father’s company did — irrespectively supply weapons to the most dangerous of foes, for money. Upon his return, Tony seeks to change the ways of the company, secretly becoming a mechanically-aided vigilante, Iron Man. Without question, “Iron Man” is one of the most highly enjoyable films of the year.
What makes “Iron Man” work on the level it does is not only director Jon Favreau (which I’ll discuss later) but the highly underrated actor Robert Downey Jr.. Having always been a fan of Downey, I will say I’m extremely pleased that he’s seemingly getting the well deserved praise he should have gotten years ago. Here as Stark Downey brings a sense of style, wit, intelligence, humor and action to the role. Take one of the opening lines where a reporter says he’s been dubbed the ‘Da Vinci’ of our time to which Stark responds ‘that makes no sense as I don’t paint’. Sure this line doesn’t sound humorous on paper but Downey delivers it with such lack of caring that it comes off not only funny but badass in a manner that makes the audience immediately connect with the character a mere 5 minutes into the movie. The other actors do a fine job as well.
The supporting cast from Jeff Bridges as Stark’s business partner Obadiah Stone who doesn’t necessarily agree with Stark’s new company position and goes off to become Stark’s foe, does a serviceable job as the “villain”. Gwyneth Paltrow, as Stark’s second in command Pepper Potts, was entertaining and played a great character who was able to jab back and forth with Downey in a manner that sometimes made me wonder if their interactions were fully scripted or some was off script. Terrence Howard, as Col. James Rhodes, wasn’t as impressive as he typically is in his roles but that’s not a negative folks. Howard always brings his A game making each character his own (sort of how Pacino can turn any character into something interesting). Surely “Iron Man” wouldn’t have been as convincing without a solid director.
Another strong point is director Favreau presents an all around smart film with many, many numerous sequences of not only strong character building, impressive action shots but also a real complete film. In fact “Iron Man” is one of the most complete films to come out this year minus the highly excellent “The Dark Knight“. From frame one to the closing moments of the film (which ends on such a great note that many other comic book films would never end on) Favreau has truly directed a classic movie. He makes each shot mean something and doesn’t just throw in pointless scenes that just move the film along. Each and every scene has a purpose and when looked at from a further perspective helps us build a connection with the film. That folks is something very few comic book films do (only a few come to mind in “The Dark Knight“, “Spider-Man 2” and “Hellboy“). “Iron Man” does this with a sense of true style with Favreau delivering precisely what the audience deserves: nothing less than a top notch film.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Blu-ray Disc). First thing worth noting is that IMDb indicates this was shot on Super 35mm on PanArri and Panavision cameras using Angenieux and Cooke Lenses. This choice by Director Jon Favreau to shoot on two different types of cameras and lenses doesn’t seem to have been as drastic of one as by Christopher Nolan on “The Dark Knight” but at the same time was one that was semi-equally as rewarding. The black level is extremely solid, delivering bright vibrancy in the color palette and fleshtones are accurate. The opening scenes of the Afghanistan setting (which was actually filmed in Lone Pine, California), start immediately with a bitrate of 37.3Mbps, giving you lots of detail as this video can definitely breathe on its BD-50 disc.
There is at times an amount of film grain present as this was shot on Super 35mm film and not digitally so you have to keep that in mind when judging the video quality itself. Later on in the film once “Stark” has the “Iron Man” outfit on and you’re caught in the midst of the action you’ll really learn to appreciate how good this Hi-Def transfer really is. It’s not quite as much the type video quality to “jump off the screen” at you like “Transformers” but it is definitely enough to look extremely visually impressive and earn an excellent “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality on this release. The major usage of CG (computer generated graphics) actually doesn’t result in showing off any flaws here for those curious about that. Keep in mind we have to compare this to stuff like “Transformers” which I’ll mention for the last time here I assure you. Some scenes (namely those involving action, obviously) do hold a “5 Star” picture but because of the choice to use different cameras and lenses it doesn’t seem to be consistent enough to keep that amount of clarity throughout. Aside from that there’s really nothing at all to complain about here that comes to mind yet it’s just not worthy of an absolutely perfect rating.
Audio Quality on this release is in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround. To say this TrueHD mix is INTENSE would be an understatement. The film starts out with action only 2 minutes roughly in that is sure to shake your room. Great bass presence that will give your subwoofer a work-out and excellent rear channel presence here. The sound of “Iron Man” walking leaves a loud monstrous low pitch reverberation with each step and is sure to scare your pets if you have any. Dialogue is delivered very distinct throughout. Sound effects such as gunfire, explosions or missiles whizzing past you all come across very lifelike and do a great job of getting you into the vibe of the film. This is totally a “demo disc” in terms of audio and earns a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. Another amazing TrueHD 5.1 audio presentation from those geniuses at Paramount Home Entertainment.
Bonus Materials are ALL presented in High Definition video using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. Audio mostly is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo but in some cases it is in Dolby Digitial 5.1 surround — we’ll note accordingly in the descriptions. This release includes two Blu-ray Discs, one with the film as well bonus materials and the other with even more bonus materials.
- “Hall of Armor“: An interactive feature allowing viewers to virtually enter the Stark database and get an up close look at any of the three Iron Man suits, or Iron Monger; you even have the option to fly around in each suit. Viewers also have the option to activate the digital 3-D schematics and get a better look at the weapons used.
- “The Invincible Iron Man” is a documentary about the details of the comic book character split up into the following chapters:
Disc 1 :
- “Origins” (8 minutes)
- “Friends & Foes” (3 minutes)
- “The Definitive Iron Man” (5 minutes)
- “Demon in a Bottle” (1 minute)
- “Extremis and Beyond” (26 minutes)
- “Ultimate Iron Man” (4 minutes)
Disc 2 :
- “The Journey Begins” (21 minutes)
- “The Suit that makes Iron Man” (10 minutes)
- “The Walk of Destruction” (22 minutes)
- “Grounded in Reality” (15 minutes)
- “Beneath the Armor” (16 minutes)
- “It’s All in the Details” (14 minutes)
- “A Good Story, Well Told” (12 minutes)
Overall these bonus materials are absolutely amazing and fans will enjoy every minute of them. The addition of the BD-Live features and ability to download additional content at a later point (just like on “Transformers“) is a major plus. Another excellent set of supplemental materials presented in Hi-Def from Paramount. This studio totally knows how to do their bonus materials, earning a very solid “4.5 Star Rating” overall.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.