Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
So so. The embossed slip cover is reasonably cool when the light hits it just right. I just don’t care about covers anymore so that might temper my opinion a bit. Maybe someday one will come along that snaps me out of my cover art doldrums. The menu is live action clips and technoized navigation. It’s a slick package, no doubt.
- SHIELD Data Vault – This is a set of files on each of the characters who are becoming part of the SHIELD world. It’s well done, looks great, lots of information, photos, and great for any comic book fan who is following a the movies play out through the years.
- Commentary By John Favreau – Favreau seems to (who really knows with these Hollywood types) love making movies and he does an excellent job of making each one a total package experience. So much detail goes into his movies and he talks about it all with a sense of humor and a certain amount of filmmaking teacher tossed in for good measure.
- 4 Part Making Of Documentary – Excellent. What can I say. I do believe that Favreau puts out some of THE BEST Making Of Documentaries in the movie making world and I appreciate every minute of it. Watch it, just watch it.
- 6 Behind The Scenes Featurettes – Every part of movie making highlighted with it’s own interviews, behind the scenes footage. These guys know how to do extras!
- 8 Deleted Scenes – I can live without deleted scenes, but when they go to so much effort with the costumes and some of the special effects completed before cutting a scene, I feel almost obligated to let it soak into my brain as part of the movie experience. These wouldn’t add anything important to the story, and in fact might have taken away some of the quality of the movie.
- DVD Copy Of The Movie – Yes.
- Digital Copy Of The Movie – Yes.
The Movie: 7.5/10
The Hollywood money machine wants us to bow down at it’s merchandise wasteland, it’s bubble gum flicks with lots of flash and might, it’s rah rah mentality with anti-heroes who aren’t anti-heroes anymore but snazzy rich playboy types with alter egos who become their own kind of bling. They want me to cower at their attempts to entertain me with their trickery of the lowest kind, having fun…bah…oh wait, that last one does apply. Damn, they got me.
Iron Man 2 (and let’s face it, all other comic book movies) is an exploitation of what once was the sacred ground of youngsters flipping through the pages of a freshly cut tree inked up with drawings, ideas, drama, action, adventure, fantasy, and good times. We aren’t talking about solving the world’s problems people. We aren’t talking about a how to guide for fixing your broken relationship skills or resolving old childhood traumas. It’s Iron Man. Even Shakespeare wrote the odd comedy, and there are acient philosophers who jotted down the odd humourous witicism to highlight the foilables of human nature and presumably have a bit of fun in the bargain.
What I’m trying to say is I like this movie. It’s a good time in the world of movie magic and I happen to enjoy that getaway mentality once in a while. If I had my choice I would watch heavy deep kind of movies all the time, but hey, life is hard and it’s good to just blow off steam with a superhero now and then.
Tony Stark is the same as he ever was, or maybe more intense at this point. He’s struggling with the effects of using the power source that keeps him alive as well as gives the Iron Man suit it’s zing-zap-zip. Pepper is stressed out about all the antics he’s prone to. Happy is always the loyal driver. Samuel Jackson is, um, hanging around with an eye patch. The one thing that jolts the whole thing into new life is Whiplash. Whew.
Micky Roarke comes into the picture as the bitter wronged Russian sun of the man who was exiled by Tony’s father a long time ago for not following the Stark vision of the perfect future. Rourke is Whiplash, let’s just say it right now. He’s a bit crazy, looks crazy, acts crazy, intense, and looks tough as nails!! I don’t even think they put him in a costume. I think he came to the set looking like that and everyone was like, “Um, Ok, Mr. Rourke, action? Please? Please don’t kick our asses.” He’s got a certain something I can’t explain. His Russian accent and speaking the language seems spot on, but what do I know about Russian? I dig Rourke, he’s got balls of steel and he looks at people in scenes with a kind of psycho thing going on that transcends the whole little “we’re making a movie here” attitude.
Whiplash, the character, is awesome too. I wish there was more of him, but what we got was cool. We get his origin story a bit, and then he looks so bad-ass it’s like the definition of the term. His motivations are simple, revenge for the family honor. I like that this story isn’t about world domination or kill all humans or anything like that. It’s simple and to the point, one man wants to take out one man and in the process he might do more collateral damage, but that’s irrelavant.
The action in the movie is exciting and fun. It often feels over choreographed at times but so what. The party scene is great with Tony showing the cracks behind the iron mask. The race track sequence is amazing from start to finish. I have never seen a sliced car fly down the race track topping end over end, and I bet you haven’t either. There is a fight scene with Roadie in another Iron Man suit that’s got that annoying hint of modern smartassedness, but it’s still fun to watch the fancy house get trashed. It’s really packed full of good moments that string together well with performances by everyone who seems to take it just seriously enough but with the understanding that it’s a COMIC BOOK FLICK!
Don Cheadle is a good choice for Rhodey. He’s the straightman to Downey’s wildman and he’s got the presense to carry off the more serious nature of his character amongst the wacky world of Marvel.
Scarlett Johannson is lovely as Black Widow. Her moves in the fight scenes are something I look forward to seeing when they make a Black Widow movie. Oh, what’s that you say? They only make shitty female hero movies? Hmmmm (cough choke Elektra, Cat Woman) Oh, you’re right, nevermind.
I’m not amongst the bunch who claim this is just a transitional movie to get to the third in the trilogy and then onto the rest of the Marvel movies. I don’t give a shit about all that. I will see them, yes, but it’s not the way to measure this one. It’s fun. It’s action packed. It’s got excellent special effects. Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr. is brilliantly charged with good and bad, loveable and hateable, the perfect anti-hero for the modern day. They don’t make anti-heroes the way they used to, but for those I need to crank back my time machine dial a bit and I’ll find the real ones buried in my Netflix queue.
This one gets a good score for the combination of good things, the most important of which is that I had an excellent time watching a flick on a Sunday afternoon with my best friend/husband and had an even better time talking about it afterwards….that’s got to be worth something these days.
Audio & Video: 9/10 (By Ascully)
The original Iron Man was one of the benchmark releases that really showed off the power of Blu-Ray. Iron Man 2 is no exception with a stunning 1080P transfer that really shows off this blockbuster spectacle of a film. If you are a fan of the work of ILM this is some of the best work they have done and you really get to see the detail in every shot.
Not much to be said about the audio except that it is impeccable. A scene that plays near the finale of the movie has mechs dropping into the battle all around you. ACDC’s music also comes in crisp, clear, and kick ass. If you like loud, in-your-face soundtracks you won’t be disappointed. In fact how could anyone be disappointed with an audio track as good as this one.
Good time at the movies, great extras, this one has a good overall package that’s worth the 17 bucks you should be finding it for in the stores. If you just like to rock out and have some kicks on a weekend night give it a rental and enjoy the unspent cash for something like comic books. I will put my hands up when a movie is just pure wham bam entertainment and well worth the time and money, and this one is that one, or one of them, or something like that.
Overall Score 8/10