Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Iron Man - Wrapped and Ready for Christmas|
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Leslie Bibb
Director: Jon Favreau
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
You know you're going to get a different kind of superhero when you cast Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. And Iron Man is different, in welcome ways. Cleverly updated from Marvel Comics' longstanding series, Iron Man pu... more »
The 2-Disc Ultimate Edition Delivers!
Cubist | United States | 09/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first disc features 11 deleted and extended scenes. There's more of the opening ambush with Tony Stark being more proactive. We also see more footage of Rhodes and it quickly becomes apparent that he was the character with the most scenes cut from the film. We also see Tony and Pepper Potts attend another party.
The second disc starts off with the impressive "I Am Iron Man," a 108 minute making of documentary that can be viewed in seven segments or altogether, taking us through various aspects of the production. For example, we are taken step-by-step through the construction of the Iron Man armor with Robert Downey Jr. cracking jokes while being fitted for it. It's amazing how much of the suit is practical and looks really good in person. This is due in large part to the genius of the late-great Stan Winston and his company. Also included is plenty of soundstage footage of scenes being filmed.
"The Invincible Iron Man" is a six-part documentary on the comic book, tracing the history of the character. Stan Lee says that he modeled Stark after Howard Hughes, for the most part. He also mentions that he was never fully satisfied with the look of the armor - hence its many changes over the years. This doc also covers various key characters and storylines in excellent detail with several people who worked on the title over the years talking about their contribution to the mythos. This is a very well done overview of the comic book.
"Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man" examines the CGI work that went into realizing Iron Man's powers, like flying, his repulsors, and so on. Director Jon Favreau says that he likes to use practical effects whenever possible, which is wonderfully refreshing to hear, and in this film he mixed the practical with CGI.
"Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test." Incredibly, the actor had to do a screen test because the studio deemed him a risky proposition and this footage shows that he had a handle on the character very early on.
"The Actor's Process" features fascinating footage of Jeff Bridges and Downey rehearsing a scene with Favreau. It's great to see these guys at work and offers insight into how they put together a scene from the film from an acting point-of-view.
"The Onion's Wildly Popular Iron Man Trailer to be Adapted into Full-Length Film" is a funny satire where a newscaster "breaks" a story of how the Iron Man trailer will be made into a film that pokes fun at the rabid nature of the hardcore fanbase of the character.
Finally, there are "Galleries," featuring concept art, technology stills, behind-the-scenes photographs, and poster art."
Iron man fires on all thrusters; and does NOT disappoint
Justin Heath | Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada | 10/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There was a big question mark looming over the theatrical adaptation of Marvel's Iron Man property. It was in the guise of director Jon Favreau. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Favs, but when I heard he was helming a big budget comic book flick...let's just say I was a little worried. Once his cast was set and the fanboys started humming across the internet I started to ease into the decision with high anticipation. Thankfully, after finally seeing the finished product, I was not disappointed in the least. With a great mix of the professionalism and stakes seen in both Spider-Man and X-Men and the comic wit and sheer fun of Fantastic Four, Iron Man shows how a comic can be brought to the screen successfully without all the added drama and weight. We finally have a film with the essence of what makes these picture books so popular, the action and mythology along with a sense of adventure and humor. Favreau never bogs us down with overwrought emotions nor speaks down to us with gags and poorly written jokes. Instead he delivers on his promises and gives us a solid initiation into what could be a great trilogy or more.
Favreau seems to have had an idea to get an origin story out while not boring us with long drawn out back story. His ability to give us dual information at once is nicely orchestrated, showing Tony Stark in his basement creating while the TV in the background explains what is happening in the outside world of the Middle East and inside his own company. We as an audience are allowed to put the pieces together amidst the witty banter of Stark and the wonderful special effects. By the end of the film it is quite amazing how much information you will realize you now know, all culminating in a decent final battle, but more importantly a segue into the inevitable sequel. We are allowed entrance into the character evolution of Stark as he goes from war profiteer to man of action and cause, all while seeing the technology improve and advance before our eyes. Much like Batman, we have a hero here that needs help in fighting crime. He has no superhuman abilities besides his brain and being able to see his thoughts go from paper to reality is a feat of magic. Every stage is shown, every failure and success. It's quite the ride in and of itself, but when you add onto it the threat of global war and destruction, it can only get better.
The real success here is in the bold move of casting an actor over-40 to be a superhero. This takes guts, because no matter how appropriate it is, most studios would have said, "no, change the story and make him younger so we can churn out as many of these babies as we can." I don't know how he did it, but Favreau got Marvel to get Robert Downey Jr. to play Stark, a sarcastic Lothario with the brain capacity of Einstein. I truly can't think of anyone better suited to the role and he proves it by nailing every single scene. I'm sure there was some ad-libbing, but even if not, his comic delivery and ability to switch on a dime to a sincere seriousness at will shows his masterful craft.
As for the rest of the cast, they all do well. Jeff Bridges plays the bombastic creature of villainy over-the-top, but appropriately so; Terrence Howard is nice as the friend and military liaison, not given much to do, but definitely sowing seeds for the future; and Gwyneth Paltrow is good as the sweet assistant Pepper Potts who at times seems a little underwritten and more female prop than anything else, but comes through with some nice moments in a very comic sort of way. I also really liked Shaun Toub as Yinsen, Stark's savior, and Clark Gregg as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Good to see Favreau giving another actor turned director props, (Gregg's directorial debut comes out later this year in the form of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke). I just wish he would have shied away from putting himself in the film. It's one thing to be seen split-second, (like Stan Lee), but its another to give yourself a thankless role with multiple scenes, just adding fuel to the fire on people's opinions of egotism stemming from the drinking game created off of the TV show "Dinner for Five" and how many references to Swingers was made each episode. I'll forgive, though, because, once again, I'm a big fan.
One can't forget that this is an action film above all else, so we can't just praise the actors; every effect is also quite brilliant. Those scenes of Iron Man flying amongst fighter jets in the trailer seemed really lame, but when in context they deliver. The suit itself is amazing as well, through every mach stage right to the end. My main highlight, however, was with the computer systems that Stark utilizes. The multiple screens, instant holographic reproductions, and ability to actually interact with those 3D representations is stunning. We can create them in fantasy, but it's just too bad we can't yet in real life.
Now Iron Man is not a perfect film, nor even a perfect comic book adaptation. What it is, though, is a fun, comic actioner that should light up the box office. The final showdown is a bit of a whimper in comparison to the back story and machine creation; a crucial element is saved from destruction in the one contrived bit of screen writing, (not quite utilized in the way I thought, although still for the same means); and some moments seem a tad campy rather than witty, but otherwise this is some topnotch cinema that should definitely be seen on the big screen. I can't wait to see how the story progresses in a couple years."
Movie: Awesome, Blu-ray:Crippled
M | CA, USA | 10/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, first off if you own a Web Enabled Blu-ray player like a PS3, you're going to have to wait a long time before you can watch this Blu-ray after you pop it in. Why? Some pinhead executive at the movie studio/blu-ray production house thought it would be cute to require you to download some stupid software you're probably not going to use for "extra features" BEFORE you can even get to the main menu. I had to wait so long to watch it I thought the disc was defective. I had enough time to call Amazon and arrange a replacement. (Then I installed installed Windows XP to my MacBook and I was still waiting. If you've ever installed XP you know how long that takes too.) This means that each time I pop this Blu-ray into a new player, like if I take it to a friend's house, I'm going to have to tell my friend(s): okay let's just wait an hour then we can watch the movie. This is completely and totally absurd. I hope whoever decided this was a good idea gets fired.
After about an hour and a half, I was able to watch this movie though. It's a really great movie. It's right up there with WALL*E and The Dark Knight. It has a very fun comic book feel to it, while not being absurdly stupid. If you can suspend your disbelief for 120 some odd minutes, it's a great ride.
Robert Downey Jr. is a great Tony Stark. When I first heard he was cast as Iron Man, I thought "yeah right! This movie's gonna suck." But I was very wrong. He pulls off the ladies man/billionaire playboy/hot shot role very well. But this is only half of the movie: The other half: Iron Man action scenes are just flat out cool. The poses/angles they choose and CGI work are all great. This is a first rate production.
Also, I didn't know who his assistant was before the credits rolled but she looked familiar (Turns out it was Gwyneth Paltrow) and she made a really interesting character too, for a supporting role. You even have Jeff ("The Dude") Bridges in there doing a great job playing Stark's second in command.
Oh, and when the credits roll, don't turn off the movie. There's a little scene after all the credits that fans of the comics and fans of this movie shouldn't miss.
The Blu-Ray gets a 1 star for the incompetence of whomever decided it was a good idea to make people download something before they could even see the main menu.
The Movie Gets 5 Stars for great execution - cast/acting, storyline, effects, and action scenes. Dare I say: This is the best Marvel Comics movie to date."
The best comic book superhero movie since "Spider-Man 2"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once again I begin with a warning that you need to sit through the really, really long credits for what might be the best cameo appearance since Sean Connery showed up as King Richard the Lionheart at the end of "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves." That was the last time I remember people really applauding a cameo in a film, although I should point out that everybody left at the end of the first showing of "Iron Man" were True Believers who instantly recognized the actor and the character as soon as the first words were out of their mouth. Ironically, the cameo by Stan Lee in the film seemed to go right by the audience, because there was no reaction to what was a pretty good gag (it happens when Stark shows up at the big party).
Now that I have that bit of business out of the way, let me say that "Iron Man" is the best comic book superhero movie I have seen since "Spider-Man 2." I would say that the latter is better, mainly on the strength of Alfred Molina's wonderful performance as the villain and the great fight sequences between Spidey and Doc Ock that take place on the vertical as well as the horizontal axis, but "Iron Man" might be the more solid film (i.e., lower top but higher bottom). There was a point when the number of comic books that Marvel was putting out exploded (e.g., the New Universe titles) and I dispaired over all of the idiotic cloning with Spider-Man and was down to reading only two Marvel titles: Daredevil and Iron Man. This was back when Frank Miller was doing DD and Tony Stark was a full-blown alcoholic. Daredevil might have been cooler, but as Iron Man, Stark always had the advantage that he was a regular guy, by which I mean that he did not have any superpowers. He was just a really smart guy who could invent the gadgets that would make Iron Man work (eat your heart out Ned Kelly). That is certainly what we get with director Jon Favreau's pre-summer blockbuster, with the added angst of Stark growing a conscience and using his armored alter-ego to help restore balance to his own little corner of the universe at war.
Ultimately the best parts of the movie are the opening act, in which Stark is captured (Afghanistan today instead of Vietnam of the Sixties)and has to built the metallic grey Tin Woodsman on roids prototype armor, and the second act, where he works out the new suit. This movie has two or three of the best violent slapstick gags you have ever seen in one of these movies, which engenders some of the biggest laughs. The origin of the character is fairly faithful, for being updated, to what happened in "Tales of Suspense" #39, which was plotted by Stan Lee, scripted by his brother Larry Leiber, drawn by Don Heck, with a cover art by Jack Kirby (who created the character's original look, although it was Steve Ditko who first drew the red and gold armored version). There certainly is more than a touch of "Transformers" to the way Stark dons the Iron Man armor, but as much as I would give credit to the specific effects in this movie, attention must be paid to the screenwriting teams of Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby ("Children of Men") and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. For all of the humor in the script, there is a strong thread of serious stuff extending throughout this film.
As Tony Stark, Robert Downey, Jr., a superb actor whose skills in the verbal repartee department were honed on "Ally McBeal," may well be the most glib superhero we have seen on the silver screen. Certainly he is more glib than we would every have suspected Stark to be, but of course Downey's personal life clearly echoes the character ark of his character (it is that resonance as well as his undeniable talents that make him perfect for the role). As Pepper Potts, Gwenyth Paltrow is more of a romantic figure for Stark than she was in the comic book, especially since Happy Hogan (director Favreau) has been relegated to a minor role as Stark's bodyguard to make room for the character of Jim Rhodes. However, the point is not so much potential romance as it is the fact that with Paltrow we have an actress who can go toe to toe with Downey in quick paced nuanced conversation (although many will think that Downey's best scenes are with his robotic assistant with the fire extinguisher). Besides, by have Rhodes instead of Hogan we not only get another acting talent on the level of the Downey and Paltrow with Terrence Howard, but as fans of the comic book know (and the movie acknowledges), one day down the road Jim is going to get to be in the red and gold suit.
Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) is set up as a godfather to Tony Stark and a regent to Stark Industries instead of being a rival munitions magnate, which provides a bit of Oedipal conflict to the proceedings and compels the big fight at the end to be with Iron Monger (I was actually hoping for Titanium Man even though I was half expecting the Mandarian). But most people who come to see this movie are not going to know any of this stuff, and even most of the comic book fans who will end up making repeat trips to the theater to see this one are not going to be old enough to remember the original Virginia "Pepper" Potts who ended up with Happy Hogan versus the "The Ultimates" version of the character. All that really matters is that the cast and characters are a perfect mesh and the people who put this movie together should be thinking not just about a sequel but about a series. With this launching platform, Iron Man could well replace Superman in the Big Three of comic book superheroes in the movies along with Spider-Man and Batman.