A blu ray film review of Iron Man.
Marvel comics Iron Man took many years to hit the big screen and this was originally set to become a feature film in 1999 with Quentin Tarantino directing. In 2001 Joss Whedon the writer of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly was in negotiations to direct but once again that never happened due to creative differences. Director Jon Favreau was hired in April 2006.
Rachel McAdams was originally hired to play the part of Pepper Potts but she turned the role down which then went to Gwyneth Paltrow. Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise both wanted the part of Iron Man. Negotiations for both actors hit a brick wall although this was for different reasons. Cruise wanted to act in as well as produce the movie but Cruise's production company and Paramount pictures were having some infighting and this did not happen.
An early draft of the script revealed Tony Stark to be the creator of Dr. Otto Octavius's tentacles from Spider Man 2.
This was Marvel Studio's first self financed film and there is a scene where we see a half constructed Captain America shield on Stark's desk which is a hint that Captain America is being made. This will be released in 2011 under the title The First Avenger: Captain America.
As usual Stan Lee who created the Iron Man character appears in a cameo.
Tony Stark is a playboy genius and while in Afghanistan demonstrating a new missile system which his company created his convoy is attacked and he is captured by Afghan rebel forces. He uses his knowledge and creativity to build an armoured suit to escape.
On his return home he immediately halts all production of weapons of mass destruction and secretly begins working on a new armoured suit which he uses for good. Little does he know that someone in his company is working against him and ultimately there must be a final confrontation between good and bad.
This film has a beginning, a middle and an end. Some movies will throw everything but the kitchen sink at you and still end up being unconvincing and boring but this one has all the ingredients needed to stand the test of time when lesser films which are all action and no plot will long be forgotten.
Robert Downey Jnr is superb in this film as are the supporting cast and the action is grounded in some reality.
This is a character who isn't invincible but uses his brains rather than just brawn to defeat his enemies.
The pacing feels just right and the direction is assured. The CGI effects really do enhance the film and are not distracting but instead are used to good effect and the final showdown is exciting and leaves you wanting more.
I enjoyed the opening scenes which helped build a picture of the main character and the humor he has in overcoming adversity.
At no point did the film ever take itself too seriously but at the same time it never talked down to it's audience and it was pure wonderful entertainment.
Picture quality is very good with a very film like look with a fine layer of grain which is never distracting but gives a cinematic look to the image. Contrast was intentionally slightly boosted in the image giving it a certain artistic look which worked in it's favor and detail levels were very high.
Sound quality was excellent with good dynamics and excellent surround presence and the bass levels and dialogue came across well during intense action sequences. Be warned that some early copies of the disc switched on the dynamic range compression facility found on some blu ray players and this reduces the dynamic range and limits overall sound quality.
You should ensure that your disc does not have the dynamic compression switched on if you want to enjoy the full on dynamic range this lossless track can offer you.
The final showdown is exciting but i wish it had been longer as i felt it was over too quickly.
The music score is more rock than classical but whether that's a negative depends on how you perceive a musical score but personally speaking i feel classical movie scores always stand out more and date better than rock musical scores.
I went into this with lower than normal expectations as i had seen far too many superhero movies some of which had disappointed me but i came out pleasantly surprised and entertained.
An intelligent plot which treats it's audience with respect and a nice sense of humor which runs throughout the film.
The film has thrilling action sequences. This was a box office hit and the sequel iron Man 2 is also available on blu ray.
I think the transfer is superb and retains a real film look and the sound quality is dynamic and alive with lots of low energy bass.
I recommend this film for all those people who normally would not watch superhero type films. It's a fun well paced action film with a good sense of humour.
Technical Disc Specifications
Releasing Studio – Paramount
Film Running Time – 125 minutes
Disc Format – BD -50
Encoding – AVC – MPEG 4
Film Aspect Ratio – 2.40:1
Blu Ray Resolution – 1080p/24
Audio Format – English Dolby True HD 5.1
Starring Robert Downey Jnr, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow
Directed by Jon Favreau
This is a region free release
Film Entertainment Rating – 4/5
Transfer Quality Rating – 4.5/5
Sound Mix Rating – 4.5/5