HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Iron Man 3
HTS Overall Score:79
Marvel has wowed us with some of the best superhero films this generation has ever known. Before Marvel got into producing its own movies, the superhero genre was still considered sub-par, even with such “hits” as the Fantastic 4 series and Sam Raimi’s “Spiderman” series being the better of the batches. Along came “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” which turned the superhero film on its ear. Not only were they considered good superhero movies, but good movies in general. Ever since then Marvel has been producing a whole line up of their comic adaptations and doing so with amazing success. Even some of their lesser outings are still a fun blast to watch. “Iron Man” was an incredible action film and RDJ played Tony Stark to the T, “Iron Man 2” wasn’t nearly as good, but was still an incredibly entertaining flick. Now I hard hear that “Iron Man 3” had the comic community in an uproar due to some dealings with the Mandarin, but I went in expecting to be entertained nonetheless. Nothing prepared me for the horror that waited inside.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is still hard at work building Iron Man suits and dealing with the stress issues stemming from his encounters in “The Avengers.” Unable to sleep at night due to the PTSD, he tinkers in his basement building bigger and better suits, 42 of them to be exact. As one could guess, this puts a bit of strain on his relationship with girlfriend and CEO of Stark Industries, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). To top it all off, a crazed Terrorist named “The Mandarin” is wreaking havoc across the globe, detonating bombs of immense power and leaving wanton destruction in his wake. Dealing with these many factors leaves Tony a mental and physical wreck, barely able to function in society. That all changes when his friend and ex-bodyguard Happy (Jon Favreau) is a victim of one of these explosions. Sending out an arrogant challenge to the Mandarin, Tony invites the inevitable destruction of a madman, sending his house into disarray and leaving him with only the Mark 42, an experimental prototype suit that he can mentally call to him at will.
Presumed dead in the attack, Tony sets off on his own little mission to find out just what the Mandarin is up to and in the process finds out that not everything is exactly as it seems. Tony now has to face his inner demons, pull himself out of this slump he’s in and adapt if he’s ever going to defeat the Mandarin and his extremis warriors. Thankfully he’s not alone; his good buddy, Col. Rhoades (Don Cheadle) has been redubbed “Iron Patriot” and still sporting the War Machine armor is able to give him a hand in unleashing vengeance against the Mandarin.
Now while I’m irritated with the twist regarding the Mandarin, but that’s only a minor annoyance. Many a superhero villain has been changed to modernize himself in a different era, and I have no problem with that as long as it’s done with respect and keeps the essence of the character intact. Here, it was so poorly done he became a laughing stock and ultimately insulted the comic character; but enough on that, I may just be exerting a little nerd rage there since that was the LEAST of the films problems. Instead of Jon Favreau directing the third film as he did the previous two, it was left to Shane Black. Shane Black is an excellent director, but in my opinion, he was the WRONG director for this franchise. It was obvious that he didn’t understand the flow and feel of the first two films since there was a MASSIVE change of pace and tone. While the second “Iron Man” film wasn’t the greatest sequel on earth, it fit very well in with the tone of the previous one. “Iron Man 3” veers off sharply and plays to Shane Black’s trademark witty banter and love of slapstick humor, letting Tony Start run amok with plenty of zany humor and ridiculous situations. The problem is that he injected the ridiculous in areas that really should have stayed serious. The addition of the smart mouth kid was cute for a few minutes, but the character was stretched out soooooooooo long you felt like we were watching a slapstick 80’s comedy at times, and while Tony Stark is GREAT as the smart alec character in the film, he has always been restrained enough in previous films that it never got out of hand; here, it’s obvious that Shane Black let him go about unrestrained and the outcome is downright wearing on the viewer.
A FEW SPOILERS IN THIS UPCOMING PARAGRAPH
The action is done rather poorly throughout, and I have to say, exchanging a villain is all fine and good, but at LEAST exchange him for a villain that’s worthwhile. Ben Kinsley was absolutely BRILLIANT in his portrayal of the Mandarin and easily the highlight of the film. When the rug is whipped out from under us regarding who the Mandarin really is, we’re left with a hollow feeling when you realize that his replacement is a complete joke of a character. We saw he was going to be some sort of villain from the first five minutes of the film (very poor foreshadowing) and when he’s revealed you just have to roll your eyes when it’s nothing but an angry snubbed character who’s back for revenge and with some ridiculous powers to boot. By the time we get to the end of the movie with the final battle, it’s too little too late. While we finally see the famed “hall of armor” and several of them put to good use, it just feels like a slight breather in an otherwise tepid film. While it was fun to see Tony able to jump in and out of armor at will during the first part of the film, it’s taken to the extreme in the final battle and overstays its welcome after being done to death. Fun, explosive and a visual spectacle the ending battle just feels hollow when you see the armors being torn apart and barely holding their own against a few genetically modified super soldiers (I mean, Tony’s armor in “The Avengers” can stand up to a Demigod and take a blast from Loki’s staff all the while going through a WORMHOLE, and a few genetically engineered super soldiers are tearing through them like they’re paper dolls).
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12805[/img]Wooooooowheeeee! While the movie itself may not have been the greatest, the video encode, on the other hand, is top notch. Given a more filmic feel than its predecessors, “Iron Man 3” parades onto Blu-ray with an absolutely fantastic 2.40:1 AVC encode for us to enjoy. Full of scenes that show off its rich colors and ample room for the bright primaries of the suit to pop off the screen it’s a sight to behold. Colors are everywhere and saturation is just beautiful. Blacks are deep and inky at all times and doesn’t give way to nasty anomalies such as black crush or greyed out blacks. Fine detail is stunning with lots of up close shots showing poor Tony’s constant stubble along with even a few scenes where you notice the blood “paint” go awry. Long shots are absolutely stunning, showing sweeping cityscapes and a incredible dock scene that’s ripe with all sorts of shadows and other detail hiding intricacies that are replicated to perfection. My only complaint was that sometimes the contrast was boosted in a couple scenes, but nothing too wild, just a minor annoyance.
The 3D for this film WAS a bit of a letdown though. “Iron Man 3” wasn't a film that was shot in native 3D and wasn't even THOUGHT of post converting during filming. Shane Black personally never had any intention of a 3D transfer, but Disney stepped in and demanded the change, so most of the film wasn't framed and directed in a way that was beneficial to 3D. Even in the post convert there is a distinct lacking of any depth or dimensionality of the film. There’s a few scenes that show case the 3D effect, but the film wasn't shot with 3D in mind so it’s not a surprise. Its not a BAAAAD 3D film, but rather it just wasn't shot for it and it shows. Crosstalk is minimal and I didn't notice any ghosting, overall a mediocre 3D picture.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12807[/img]Every bit as good as the video, the 7.1 DTS-HD MA track is simply stunning. The track was very detailed with an exceptional use of the surround speakers. The “Iron Man” films have always had great use of the surrounds, and this one is no different, the sounds of thrusters blasting from all channels and armor flying apart creating a directional clattering that is just stunning. The dialogue is great, clean and clear, locked in the front channels as one would expect. LFE is strong and powerful, giving us a nice rumbling undertone to the whole film, but really blasting you back in your seat when need be. I was hoping for some more excellent bass in the movie and was slightly underwhelmed with some of the effects until the Mandarin blows up Tony’s home. Then the shockwaves kept me in my seat till after everything had subsided. The LFE is tight and deep, without being a loudness war as with some other modern films. An excellent audio track as per the norm with “Iron Man” films.
• Restore the Database Second Screen Experience
• Marvel One-Shot: "Agent Carter"
• Audio Commentary
• "Iron Man 3" Unmasked
• Deconstructing the Scene: Attack on Air Force One
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Exclusive Look at "Thor: The Dark World"
• Gag Reel
To say that “Iron Man 3” is a disappointment is an understatement. I don’t just judge this as compared to the rest of the series, but as a film in general, it is very underwhelming and full of so many holes that it looks like Swiss cheese. This being said, I think the major blunder here was hiring a director who decided to alienate the film from the rest of the franchise by injecting too many of his own ideas in instead of trying to mate the film with the other two in order to create a more cohesive trilogy. I watched this film in the theaters and was truly appalled, hoping for a better reaction on a second viewing I was not nearly so much appalled as I was saddened by the obviously hollow ending to such a fun series. The movie itself is not some horrible filming, but the obvious lack of cohesion with the previous films and the detrimental use of humor alienated itself from the franchise so much that it's enjoy ability went down the tubes. The video and audio are of course stunning, and will be used as a demo disc for sure. I have a hard time giving a PASS on the film just because it seems to have been liked by enough people, being that it made over 1.2 billion dollars theatrically, but I have to say I’d rent it before I did any blind buys for those of you on the fence.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltro, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley
Directed by: Shane Black
Written by: Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French DTS-HR 7.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 130 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Sept 24th, 2013
Buy Iron Man 3 3D combo pack Blu-ray on Amazon
Buy Iron Man 3 2D combo pack Blu-ray on Amazon
Buy Iron Man 3 2D combo pack with DC Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Rent It
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