The Iron Man film franchise has been quite the success story, earning nearly $2.5 billion at the box office. That's a pretty impressive feat for what has traditionally been a second-tier comic book character. Marvel Studios hit a winning combination with Iron Man. While the film had great special effects and a better screenplay than most blockbusters, the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is what made director Jon Favreau's film such a critical and commercial success.
Unfortunately, Iron Man 2 didn't receive the same amount of acclaim. Ron, echoing the sentiment of many, thinks it “fails miserably to live up to the original.” While I didn't dislike the sequel as much as the general consensus, it was too focused on setting up the Avengers movie rather than telling an Iron Man story.
With Shane Black taking over for Jon Favreau, Iron Man 3 was an enjoyable return to form as the next chapter of Tony Stark's cinematic story was told. Or so I thought. I was surprised to find this film also divided audiences, like Ron. Tony being “out of the suit for most of the film” was a common complaint but I liked that aspect because it was so different from his previous appearances.
What I can't imagine is there being a disagreement about it is how amazing the Blu-ray is. The 1080p/MPEG 4 AVC transfer, displayed at a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, offers brilliant, vivid colors and rich blacks. The focus is consistently sharp. Edges are well defined and fine details and textures seen throughout. Visual effects don't lose any of their realism in high definition. The Mandarin's videos intentionally were created to appear having a lesser quality.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is reference quality and the immersive experience can be used to wow your friends. Dialogue is clear throughout. The thrills of the action scenes are augmented by the surrounds as the effects occur and move about the soundfield. Brian Tyler's score can also be heard through the seven speaker.
In the first of will likely be many, home-video releases, the film is accompanied by a limited number of HD extras. Deconstructing the Scene: Attack on Air Force One (9 min) is a look at one of the signature action scenes and how it was accomplished with the Redbull skydiving team and visual effects.
Exclusive Behind the Scenes Look - Thor: The Dark World (2 min) teases the next Marvel film to hit theaters. The Audio Commentary with director/co-writer Shane Black and co-writer Drew Pearce finds the pair talking about making the film, as well as ideas that were considered and cut. Taking place a year after the events in Captain America, Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (15 min) is a brief but forgettable adventure during Carter's next assignment. Iron Man 3 Unmasked (11 min) offers a quick look behind a number of different scenes. There are also 10 Deleted and Extended Scenes (16 min), which can be selected individually or altogether and a Gag Reel (5 min).
Iron Man 3 is a highly recommended superhero blockbuster, especially with the stunning high-definition presentation the Blu-ray offers.