Iron Man

Iron Man

DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Daniel Hooper

Read Daniel Hooper's film review of Iron Man

Like other comic book film DVDs, Iron Man comes with a wealth of material in this two-disc ‘Ultimate’ edition. Starting on disc one is a selection of 11 deleted and extended scenes - a pretty mediocre bunch offering little other than mild titillation and an extended, hammy ending. Worth watching, though, for the cameo by Ghostface Killah (who once recorded an album called Ironman) and the extended opening combat scene, which feels more tense and authentic than the final version, until Tony Stark saying the ‘f’-word is hilariously bleeped out. Disc one also offers a trailer of the new animated Iron Man show.

Disc two is packed with extras, the main one being the feature length (1 hour 50 minute) documentary I Am Iron Man. Broken up into seven sections for easy consumption, although there is a ‘Play All’ option, this feature is an excellent and exhaustive insight into the difficulties of big budget effects-based filmmaking, intimately charting the making of Iron Man from pre-production to its premiere, in roughly chronological order. One of the major features was seeing the Stan Winston team working on the Iron Man suit (including interview footage of the late, great man himself) and seeing the physically demanding work that Robert Downey Jr and the stunt team put into the film, in having to wear the heavy metal outfits.

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The history of the Iron Man comic book is covered in a 50 minutes documentary, The Invincible Iron Man, again broken down into sections. Though the documentary is a little bit self-congratulatory, it does chart Iron Man’s origins, development and place within the Marvel cannon and also features many full-screen shots of the comic book illustrations, showing the variety of interpretations of Iron Man by different comic book artists.

The 30-minute documentary Wired: The Visual Effects Of Iron Man is both accessible and detailed. Charting the CG effects work done by three companies, it shows the level of work needed for a film of this scale, the problems of working on Iron Man, and technology used in the CGI. This is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in visual effects.

For fans of the actors in Iron Man, there are two featurettes that should whet your appetites. Firstly is the Robert Downey Jr Screen Test, which is both entertaining and highlights how versatile this actor is. The Actors' Process meanwhile shows a scene rehearsal between Downey Jr and Jeff Bridges, illustrating the preparations the two make when practising the scenes.

This Ultimate Edition DVD is rounded off with an extensive gallery (featuring concept art, the technology, unit photography, and posters) and, better still, the satirical news story by the Onion about the adaptation of the popular Iron Man trailer into a feature film – it is quite genius. Sadly, this DVD lacks one key ingredient - a commentary by director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr, two of Hollywood's most naturally entertaining speakers. Nevertheless, this is an excellent package, extensively covering many aspects of the film.

Reviewed on: 24 Oct 2008
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Iron Man packshot
A wealthy industrialist fights evil with a newly invented super-suit.
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Product Code: EU113609DVR0

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, trailer for Iron Man animation, I Am Iron Man documentary, The Invincible Iron Man documentary,Wired: The Visual Effects Of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr screen test, The Actors

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