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Iron Man 3 - Blu-ray Review (2)

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Iron Man 3 - Movie Review

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3 stars

So concludes the four picture deal that began so spectacularly in 2008 with Marvel’s major cinematic gamble: Iron Man. Now three stand-alones/and a crossover film later, has that film gotten a worthy third entry?

Phase Two of Marvel’s cinematic universe kicks off with a pared back exploration of the man in the iron suit, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). Jon Favreau has abdicated his throne to let Lethal Weapon originator Shane Black take the director’s chair this time round. From conception the order of the day was to centre this and the following films in Marvel’s next run on the central characters of each franchise, and not have the same cross-pollination of Phase One.

In this story, Stark is struggling from the events of The Avengers in a Howard Hughes’ eccentric kind of way. It’s affecting his relationship with Pepper and he’s becoming more and more withdrawn from the world. Consequences of his former bad boy ways are about to crash down on the already fragile Stark, and when he publically goads the terrorist known as The Mandarin, all hell breaks loose on him and his life. Stripped of his Iron Man suits, with only one dangerously malfunctioning suit left, Stark must dig deep and learn to function again without being Iron Man to finally reclaim the title of hero.

Character is a much better focus in this one, compared to the last. Also, the stakes are lethally high for Stark, and the challenges, both internal and external, make the story compelling enough, but here’s what bugs me about the narrative: the whole emotional crux of Stark in this one stems from a previous movie this film wants you largely to ignore. It’s only really mentioned in passing, so the result is a messed up protagonist with not a very well defined reason for why these events were such a problem in the first place. Now, the subplot that shows demons born from Stark’s indifference years before on the other hand has some weighty and dramatic potential that was really enough to get the film by, but it is diluted by a sloppy post-traumatic stress note that never fully works for this reviewer.

The action at the start of the film leaves the rest of it for dead. The climatic showdown was, visually, nowhere near as interesting as the attack on Stark’s house. This is Black’s first mega budget action picture in the director’s chair, and I don’t think he’s found his visual legs just yet. I think Favreau’s action work in the previous two is better.

Effects are great, including the Extremis pumped up baddies taking on a rather demonic appearance. The cast are sensational, with Gwyneth Paltrow given a much more prominent role in this one. Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin will surprise you greatly, is all I will say for that. Someone likened him to Ledger’s Joker, which I find a ridiculous comparison: it’s apples and oranges apart, but Kingsley’s role is a winner for sure.

All in all, this is a decent flick and story-wise it’s a better movie than Iron Man 2. But it has its shortcomings, and although the pros vastly out way the cons in this one, you’re not going to think this an equal to the original. It’s decent, but not as coherent or as emotionally resonant as one might expect for a third instalment.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Iron Man 3 - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.
Runtime: 130 mins.
Director
: Shane Black
Writer
: Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Cast:
Robert Downey, Jr.; Gwyneth Paltrow; Don Cheadle; Guy Pearce; Rebecca Hall
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
Unleash the power behind the armor.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Ladies, children, sheep... Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes, there is no such thing."
Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site:
http://marvel.com/ironman3
Release Date: May 3, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.

Synopsis: Marvel's Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Iron Man 3 - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 24, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: DTS-HD HR 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); iTunes digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free

The visual projection is very good with the HD quality 1080p presentation providing excellent imagery as close to theater class as any Blu-ray can.  The colors are vibrant and the blacks amazingly good.  Shadows are nice and skin tones are warm.  Contrast and sharpness are both solid.  The superiority of the sound using the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 plays theater quality dialogue and special effects clean and clear.  If you have a sound bar or upgraded sound system it has enough power to give the feel you are in the first row of a movie theater.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

The Blu-ray Combo pack has a good measure of supplemental material, but for this popular of a title the rabid fans may be somewhat disappointed in actual content.  Being Iron Man is top dog of Marvel's Avengers; some might be expecting at least another hour of how the film was made.  You don’t really get that.  There are plenty of cut scenes, a nice gag reel, an up-close look at the effects and stunts, and a brief look at the filming of the movie.  Of interest is a short film featuring Agent Carter.  Rounding out the collection of material is an extended look at the Thor sequel coming out later this year.

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