In case you were among the very few who missed the memo: Superheroes are very, very big in 2008. The Dark Knight took in more than 400 million over its late summer run, and The Incredible Hulk got ably resuscitated from his near-deadly turn helmed by Ang Lee two years ago, taking the form of Edward Norton in 2008. And the biggest lug-nut laden metal menace-thwarter of them all is now on dvd and blu ray. That’s right, Iron Man, all shiny and red and repackaged for the small screen.
Robert Downey Jr. is a revelation as Tony Stark, a big business genius who decides to use his power and money for good after a near-fatal run-in with terrorists. Enter one hell of a heart that runs on battery power and a souped up iron suit, and a serious superhero with very human flaws is born. Gwyneth Paltrow is subtle, smart, and sexy as the uber-competent assistant and love interest, and who knew a bald Jeff Bridges could be equally believable as a campy villain named Iron Monger as he was as a fabulous Baker boy.
Many fans will bemoan the lack of an audio commentary on the extras disc, especially since Robert Downey Jr. is a gas to hear go on and on. And Favreau is no small shakes in the chatty department either, oh he of the legendary Swingers diner/parking lot/couch conversations. But, take heart. There is a 47-minute mini-documentary on the Marvel comic’s hero’s origins, plus 27 minutes more on the CGI effects and exactly what went into making that marvelous red suit come to life on the screen. (About $20)
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