Directed by Jon Favreau
Written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway
Cinematography by Matthew Libatique
Special FX by Stan Winston Studio
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Faran Tahir & Leslie Bibb
2008/126 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
2.35:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Paramount DVD
While demonstrating his latest weapon of mass destruction, industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is attacked and almost killed by Afghanistan rebels. Barely making it alive, he is ordered to create that same weapon for them. Instead he decides to build a mechanized armor (to be known as Mark I) and escape the lair where he was captured.
Upon his return to the States, what happened makes Tony realize of all the wrong things Star Industry have caused around the world. He immediately decides to stop manufacturing weapons, much to the disagreement of his business partner and "friend" Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). Unknown to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his military buddy James Rhodes (Terence Howard) and everyone else is that the ingenious, cocky billionaire bachelor is secretly building a new suit, one that can fly and that he wants to use to make the wrongs right.
I remember that as a kid I never was a big fan of Iron Man. His character and adventures lacked the fantasy and out of this world elements that I found in others. In fact, I would even say that by most Iron Man was considered to be a second-rate superhero. When the live action adaptation was announced I was skeptical. HULK has always been my favorite superhero but I deeply hated Ang Lee's version of the classic green/grey monster. How could Jon Favreau, who had yet to impress me as a director, would make someone like Iron Man interesting? Boy I was wrong! Watching IRON MAN and remembering the character from the comics made me realize just how more complex and especially adult themed the whole Iron Man character was... something that as a kid I simply couldn't understand. And out of all the recent Marvel based superhero adaptations that failed to bring any excitement to me, IRON MAN delivered the goods. The gadgets are a nerd's dream come true, the action is exhilarating, the comedy and love angle actually works and it features some of the best computer generated FX I've seen.
The Iron Man character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963), and was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. The film was in development since 1990 at Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, and New Line Cinema, before Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2006. Marvel put the project in production as their first self-financed film. Be sure to watch the film until the end of the credits and to catch Tony Stark's cameo appearance in THE INCREDIBLE HULK.
IRON MAN flies to DVD from Paramount in a two-disc set that features a die-cut, foil-embossed slipcover revealing the holographic cover, pretty cool! Both disc features superbly designed CGI menus with Iron Man moving around and choosing the selected items you want in a MINORITY REPORT-esque holographic computer screens. Presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and anamorphic, the movie looks simply spectacular! Rich and vibrant colors, deep blacks, and without any compression, artifacts or defects. I would go as far as to say that it looks perfect! English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are available. I've tested the English and French ones and they sounded pretty impressive, with well-balanced speaker-to-speaker FX and a loud .1 subwoofer channel. Still I would have preferred a DTS track, which would have, make the audio-phonic experience even more enjoyable. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish and French.
The first disc features 11 deleted/extended scenes, which run 24 minutes. It also includes the trailer for ARMORED ADVENTURES which is an animated series coming to Nicktoons in 2009, starring a teenage Tony Stark. Finally there are trailers for the upcoming STAR TREK remake, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULLS and THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Unfortunately, there is no commentary track. The film is separated in 15 chapters.
The second disc is loaded with extras. First of all 'I Am Iron Man' is a seven-part documentary on the film that runs a feature-length 1:18! It goes deep into all the details of the making-of the film. From pre-production, storyboards, the suits, special effects, sound mixing, the premiere and everything you want to know about IRON MAN. One very cool thing I learned is that producer Peter Billingsley is the former child actor from Bob Clark's classic and favorite of mine CHRISTMAS STORY.
'The Invincible Iron Man' is a very interesting 47-minute six-part documentary on the history of the IRON MAN comic featuring Stan Lee, Warren Ellis, Joe Quesada and Adi Granov. Watching this made me want to go back to the comics and read them again. 'Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man' is a 27-minute documentary taking us into all the details behind the various suits and special effects. There is also a six-minute screen test with Robert Downey, Jr., a supposedly funny clip from The Onion about the adaptation of the IRON MAN trailer into a feature-length film, an images gallery with concept art, technical drawing, stills and posters. There is no booklet or inlay card. Paramount has also released a standard one-disc edition, which includes only the film and the deleted/extended scenes.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2008. ©