The extras, the film and the packaging combine to make this more than a double dip.
How can the "ultimate experience" not have a commentary track?Iron Man is the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). When this weapons dealer/playboy is wounded on a routine visit to Afghanistan, he survives only to find that he has shrapnel in his chest and captors who want him to build them a weapon of mass destruction. Having always been a man that profits off these weapons and the money they bring in, Stark finds religion and builds himself a suit made out of iron. After fighting his way away from those that would do him harm, Stark returns to the US and begins working on an armored suit so that he can fight crime. Little does he know that Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), his chief second at Stark Industries, is actually selling merchandise to the very people that would do the world harm. Stark proceeds to fight the Afghanis and Obadiah in the process.
While little more than an exercise in good popcorn fun, it is Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Favreau's respect for this material that ultimately elevates Iron Man e normal comic book fare.
Deleted and Extended Scenes
There are 11 deleted scenes all of which look good on this first disc. They have titles like "Convoy," "Ambush" and "Tony Comes Home." While some are just longer versions of the scenes we have already seen, others are new and should please fans who loved this movie. While I didn't have a personal favorite, I was impressed with the attention to detail that these things received.
I Am Iron Man and Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man
Put together in 7 parts the I Am Iron Man documentary is awesome. It looks at the production from the ground up and it really takes us into what goes into making a movie of this nature. We see the project from it's initial gestation, all the way through production and then closing out in post production. The most interesting thing to me was the idea of setting a release date for this film and then scrambling to get it made. The effects of this movie look incredible and it's mind blowing to think that they were working within such time constraints. I put Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man in with this section mainly because they cover a lot of the same ground.
Iron Man: Armed and Adventurous
Robert Downey, Jr. Screen Test and Actor's Process
Downey, Jr, dressed as Tony Stark, is seen here going through various scenes. What stayed with me the most after I watched this is how fully engaged with this character he was from the beginning. Okay, it isn't like he really had to stretch too much to become this person, but I thought that he did bring a certain quality and freshness to this role that folks like Hugh Jackman and Brandon Routh just don't seem to possess.
Widescreen Version Enhanced for 16:9 TVs. Even in standard definition this movie looked great. There seemed to be a lot of work done on the compression so that things didn't get overly pixilated or too baked. I also never felt like this movie was contained. I am sure that on Blu-ray disc it probably looks better but for those of us still in the standard universe, I will more than take what this two disc set has to offer.
Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround/French 5.1 Surround/Spanish 5.1 Surround. Subtitled in English/French/Spanish. The audio on this release was decently put together. I think that there was a little too much disparity in the audio when things got loud and when they were at a normal audio level. I found myself adjusting a lot while I was watching this movie but that is my only complaint.
There is a cardboard, embossed slip-over cover that shows us Iron Man. Take this off and we see Downey as Stark with an ominous look about him. The back of the cardboard slip piece gives us a collage of images and actors from this movie, a tiny description of what this film is about, a Special Features listing, cast list and technical information. Paramount Home Entertainment has stored both discs in one amaray case.
It is easy to see why Iron Man resonated with the viewing public both in the states and overseas. On the one hand it is a film about an immoral man who comes to realize the error of his weapon toting ways. On the other this movie is a microcosm of America. Stark is us, we are Stark and it seems like corruption will always rear its ugly head when there is money to be made. However, is there a way to be this machine (to be Stark Industries) and actually use all that power and money for good? This film seems to be saying that there is, however, the temptation to make more and more will always effect things in a slightly skewed way.
Made for close to $200 million (they probably spent at least $150 million to market it) Iron Man pulled in nearly $600 million worldwide (not counting DVD and other ancillary revenues). So in a sense, this very production is a microcosm of the very story it was telling.