The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 130 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD 7.1 High Resolution, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French/Spanish
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. Don Cheadle, Gweneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Jon Favreau
Directed by: Shane Black
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Drew Pearce & Shane Black
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 24, 2013
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against and enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: Does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
As a kid I was definitely a comic book fan. I dabbled a little bit in DC comics but my heart belonged to Marvel. Spiderman was my first Marvel favorite, followed by Thor and then I picked up an Iron man comic. There was always something about Iron man that I found intriguing. I can’t say for certain whether it was Tony Stark’s money/fame/brilliance or Iron man’s vulnerable side that showed that underneath the armor was a man who was fallible but couldn’t show it. I guess it might have been the idea that potentially anyone could be Iron man once they donned the armor. For me I always thought that his armor was just so freakin’ cool. After the success of the first film I eagerly awaited Iron man 2. Following up a movie like Iron man can be tricky. I had faith in the director, and cast but wasn’t quite sure how the continuing storyline would shake out. My reaction to it was/is lukewarm at best and when Iron man 3 was announced I couldn’t help but feel apprehensive.
As I have done with all the Marvel films that have come to the big screen I went to see Iron man 3 in the theater. The storyline picks up after the events depicted in The Avengers with Tony Stark suffering from some anxiety and post traumatic distress after his near death encounter with the aliens. Channeling his inability to sleep into work he goes about redesigning his armor and working up several new integrative concepts that further enhance his ability to connect/interact with it. His relationship with Pepper has flourished but has become a bit strained due to his condition which he has kept from her. In the meantime past deeds come home to roost when a terrorist calling himself the Mandarin arises and embarks on a world wide reign of terror. When the Mandarin’s attack hits close to home, Tony publicly challenges him which leads to a devastating confrontation that places Tony on the defensive, far from home and with little to no resources with which to mount a “suitable” (pun intended) defense.
Having to resort to ingenious methods as well as relying on help that comes from well outside of his usual means Tony comes face to face with a seemingly impenetrable foe that is hell bent on destroying him. The result will put those he loves at risk and open his eyes to the truth about what he has come to believe has defined him.
Let’s be honest anyone that goes into a film based on a comic book superhero expecting Hamlet is probably going to be disappointed. Iron man 3 isn’t high brow entertainment but it deftly adheres to the formula that has made the franchise successful and in my opinion easily improves upon its predecessor. Robert Downey Jr. proves once again that he owns this character and his Iron man continues to be my favorite of the Marvel Universe heroes brought to the big screen. The narrative’s angst ridden subtext plays perfectly against its infused humor/wit which is of course executed perfectly by Downey Jr. There is a bit of corn and a pretty good plot twist, which I am not ashamed to admit that I didn’t see coming, to go with it. There is ample action headlined by a couple of entertaining set pieces but I must say that I found it somewhat disappointing that for large portions of the film Downey isn’t wearing his armor. The production elements are as you would expect, top notch and lots of fun.
In addition to Robert Downey Jr., returning cast members Gweneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau have it down pat. Gweneth is drop dead sexy and I really liked what was done with her character. The new faces in James Badge Daley, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce are spot on. Rebecca Hall is a quality actress that didn’t have enough of a role to be a factor in my opinion but she certainly didn’t detract in any way. Having seen Iron man 3 twice now it is safe to say that I like it and feel that it compliments the series. Iron man remains my favorite with this installment coming in second followed by Iron man 2. I am not certain what lies in store for the character but rest assured I will be there to see his next adventure.
The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and some language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Iron man 3 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film coming to Blu-ray. Resolution is strong as images exhibit crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera’s lens during close ups. The level of sharpness especially during wide angle shots fluctuates some however this is attributable the extensive CGI used and I never felt it adversely affected the quality of what I was seeing. The range of colors used appears vibrant with warm vivid hues and delineated textures that look great in high definition. Fleshtones are naturally rendered with warm accents that give them lifelike tonality. Blacks are inky and noise free with discernibly deep and variant shades that enhance the films dark sequences. Contrast is elevated slightly which gives the image a dynamic quality but I didn’t feel it adversely impacted fidelity. The deep shadows, gradational grays, delineated colors, and inky blacks looked terrific on my large screen. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or compression related noise.
After seeing Iron Man 3 theatrically I couldn’t help but look forward to experiencing its lossless soundtrack in my home theater and of course it did not disappoint. The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix makes for a dynamic presentation that features hard hitting transient peaks and room shaking bass that will reward those with systems capable of reproducing them. Low frequency effects are used to underscore the bombastic nature of this soundtrack and it does so with palpable authority. This is a sophisticated sound design that is loaded with various sound effects, spatial cues, music, and dialogue. Each is clearly rendered with enriching dynamism, and high level detail via an aggressive surround mix that where appropriate utilizes the entire system to envelope and revolve around the listening position. Brian Tyler’s music is blended with the action and sounds terrific. Dialogue is clearly rendered and variably distinctive. Iron man 3 on Blu-ray Disc from appears faithful to the film’s theatrical presentation and makes for an enriching home theater experience.
- (HD) Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter – 15 minute short film featuring the character from Captain America: The First Avenger
- (HD) Iron man 3: unmasked – 11 minute featurette
- (HD) Deconstructing the scene: Attack on Air Force One 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Exclusive behind the scene look: Thor – The Dark World
- (HD) 10 deleted/extended scenes
- (HD) Gag reel – 5 minutes
- Audio commentary with director/co-writer Shane Black & writer Drew Pearce
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
Deft and more closely reminiscent of Iron man than its predecessor, Iron man 3 is an engaging and fun action film that captures the essence of the Iron man mythos in an exciting, contemporary and entertaining way that fans can enjoy. It blasts onto Blu-ray from Disney featuring top notch high definition video, rip roaring DTS-HD 7.1 channel surround sound and a slightly disappointing but passable supplemental package. Iron man 3 deserves a place in the collections of fans and comes recommended on Blu-ray.
Here is the trailer:
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JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package