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Iron Man 3 Blu-ray Review

Iron Man 3 Blu-ray

While superior to “Iron Man 2,” “Iron Man 3” suffers form an overabundance of subplots.

From the trailers, one would guess that “Iron Man 3” is about Tony Stark/Iron Man facing off against a terrorist foe by the name of the Mandarin. In reality, that’s only a small portion of the overall story. This second sequel is stuffed (and I mean stuffed) with subplots involving the Extremis virus (a highly experimental tissue regeneration treatment program), Iron Patriot (the new iteration of Colonel Rhodes’ War Machine persona), an injured Happy Hogan, Tony’s MULTIPLE Iron Man suits, a child (Harley) helping out Tony Stark, the President being kidnapped, a henchmen with Extremis named Eric Savin, Pepper and Tony’s relationship, Tony dealing with the aftermath of “The Avengers,” and Aldrich Killian (the mysterious inventor of Extremis).

After the rushed and bloated “Iron Man 2,” it was clear that more time needed to be spent on the development of a third film. In their infinite wisdom, Marvel/Disney hired writer Drew Pearce and veteran writer/director Shane Black (best known for scripting action hits like “Lethal Weapon” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) to helm the third installment. Black, who had previously worked with Robert Downey Jr. before, seemed like the perfect hit as he is fully capable of writing action and witty dialogue. While Black’s skill for scripting action and dialogue is ever present in “Iron Man 3,” the screenplay is simply overloaded with far too many storylines.

Now, it’s not uncommon to see superhero films (particularly superhero sequel films) juggling multiple subplots. You only need to look at films like “Batman and Robin” and “Spider-Man 3” to see that. “Iron Man 3,” however, takes bloated scripts to a new level. While I admire Pearce and Black trying to make this story big and ambitious, one can’t help but shake the feeling that the writers are like kids in a candy store here. It often seems like Pearce and Black just went all out in including as many ideas as humanely possible into this screenplay. Some of the ideas work (namely the Air Force One sequence and the Iron suit jumping climax) while other ideas do not (see the first 100 minutes and the controversial Mandarin debacle).    

One thing that viewers can count on, however, are some great performances. As per usual, Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic as Tony Stark/Iron Man. His humor and charisma carries the film even when the story falls flat. His work in the surprisingly emotional final minutes is particularly rewarding. It almost feels like RDJ is bidding farewell to the “Iron Man” franchise. Of course, we know that this will not be the last time we see him in a suit as he has signed on for more ‘Avengers’ films. Not to be forgotten here is Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. While the Mandarin story arc will divide viewers and piss off fanboys, no one can deny that Ben Kingsley is having a blast here. I won’t get into spoiler territory, but the scenes with a laidback Mandarin are amusing to be sure.

Note: There are a whopping 3 Blu-ray editions of “Iron Man 3.” The standard set is a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, the slightly more expensive 2 disc set contains a digital copy, and the Blu-ray 3D set comes with a 3D Blu-ray copy, a Blu-ray copy, a DVD copy, a digital copy and a music download.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. Rating: A+. A perfect transfer.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Rating: A+. From the intense Air Force One freefall scene to the explosive finale, “Iron Man 3” is a veritable feast for audiophiles.

Extras:
* Paramount and Marvel trailers.
* 11 deleted and extended scenes which include 3 outtakes, a Bill Maher segment, and a Thor joke.
* A goofy gag reel.
* “Iron Man 3 Unmasked”- A well made featurette that contains film clips, Tony Stark’s character arcs, behind-the-scenes clips, interviews with cast and crew members, F/X discussions, and much more.
* “Deconstructing The Scene: Attack On Air Force One”- A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the making of this intense action sequence.
* “Exclusive Behind The Scenes Look- Thor: The Dark World”- A look at the upcoming “Thor” sequel. It certainly looks better than the first film.
* Commentary by Shane Black and Drew Pearce. While I would have liked to have heard other commentators, these two have great chemistry together as they discuss the screenplay they worked on (for the most part).
* “Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter”- The extra feature that everyone will be wanting to see is the latest entry in the “Marvel One-Shot” short film series. This one revolves around Peggy Carter (The scene stealing love interest in “Captain America: The First Avenger”). Taking place a year after ‘Avenger,’ we find that Carter is stuck doing boring desk work. She wants to work on a field assignment and she gets her wish when she acts on a call to track down Zodiac. Considering we don’t know what Miss Carter did post ‘Avenger,’ it’s great to see her bad-ass character again. And now, as I have just learned upon writing this review, we may possibly be seeing even more of her as an Agent Carter TV series is currently in development.

Summary: “Iron Man 3” is far from perfect, but it’s worth watching just for the action scenes in the last half hour.

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September 18, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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