Blu-Monday: Iron Man 3 Blu-ray Review

When Iron Man 3 released a few months back, I waxed lyrical about hit was the best in the trilogy. After getting my mitts onto the recently released Blu-ray, I may have been a little too eager with that claim and how I wish Iron Man 3 turned out a differently

Film Review

There’s really no need for me to go over this again, while my opinions of the film were largely positive, they still are and I stand by my critique. Iron Man 3 is a great superhero film – it’s filled with action, comedy, and suspense…unfortunately it’s not filled with as much Iron Man (oh sure there are plenty of suits, but Tony hardly ever uses them…WTF?)

When I watched the first trailer for IM3, I was convinced that director Shane Black was taking some influence from Chris Nolan’s Bat trilogy – the clip was dark and brooding, emotionally charged and distinctly lacking in comedic flair – I thought this was the Iron Man movie that I had been waiting for.  Then, when I heard about how the film would follow the Extremis story arch, I knew that we had cinematic gold on our hands. The movie never really turned out the way I thought it would, yeah it was good but it just didn’t have any emotional gravity and came across as silly, perhaps even sillier than the Raimi Spider-Man movies.

So what would have been better than Iron Man 3? Well a straight adaptation of Extremis would have been nice. The Iron Man franchise has always been a balance of cheesy and serious (like James Bond), but Warren Ellis’ contribution to the character cut the cheese and went for a dramatic, emotionally charged upheaval of a character that was more often than not, relegated to B-list status. This Extremis plot of the movie is so far removed from the original story, it may as well be something different entirely, and that pushes my buttons as they picked this story, never made good on its potential, and now it can never be realised the way it should have been.

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Iron Man 3 is a great ending to a film series that took the character back to his goofier routes, but with Robert Downey Jr. splitting the Iron Man scene, I think it’s about time we start seeing a mature Iron Man that is charming but gets business done.

Audio/video quality

I’m not too certain who worked on the Blu-ray release of Iron Man 3 (could be Disney or Paramount) but the 1080p transfer is simply sublime. I watched Iron Man 3 in 3-D initially, and this 2-D release is by far the superior version (as it was only a conversion after all). Colours are true to the original footage with rich midnight blues and California golds – it’s a visual treat and reference title.

At the time of review, our surround sound is currently out for repairs, but I recall the 5.1 cinema mix was pretty generic with the occasional directional cues. My biggest criticism is that the audio levels at some points are very favourable towards the soundtrack, which gets a boost in heated action scenes and subsequently engulfs all the dialogue tracks and sound effects.

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Bonus Features

As is the case with most SA releases, we get the ass end of the Blu-ray special features handout. Standard features like Director Commentary are appreciated (given that The Avengers lacked even that essential bonus). More interesting than that and the few featurettes included on the disc is the Marvel One-Shot short film that they seem to be including on every new release. Agent Carter follows Peggy Carter, bereaved love interest of Captain America how to her knowledge has died in an attempt to crash Red Skull’s plane into the Arctic circle. Now a full fledged agent, she has been marginalised due to her gender but manages to find a way to work on cases in spite of being stuck at a desk as a glorified secretary. The story is fun and pulpy and looks impressive in terms of production values and killer edition to an otherwise by-the-books special features offering.