Iron Man: Ultimate Edition DVD Cover Art
SRP $36.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT
Iron Man BRAY Cover Art
SRP $39.99 2.35:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 PARAMOUNT

Upon first hearing that Jon Favreau was directing "IRON MAN," this critic had low expections for the film. As great a job as Favreau did with "MADE," his other efforts were pretty abysmal. Surprisingly, "IRON MAN" is one of the best films to be released in 2008, and one of the most intelligent super-hero films made since the original "X-Men!"

Robert Downey jr, stars as the millionaire playboy owner of Stark Industries, the company responsible for the numerous dangerous weapons he sells without any concern for the misery they bring, or the uncertain necessity of their utilization. However, shortly after the film begins, Stark is captured by terrorists, and forced into building weapons for them. Instead, he secretly builds himself into a weapon,.."IRON MAN!"  Most of what follows is "close" to brilliant! Various themes with social commentary are well handled, and even the minor love story of sorts, isn't ruined by the presence of Gwyneth Paltrow! She's actually not too overbearing here, and that's not a minor deal!  The supporting case, including Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard, are quite good. Unfortunately, the last 20 minutes becomes bogged down with the confrontation between altruism and evil, and a great film just misses the mark of "masterpiece" status.

PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for both dvd(16:9 enhanced) and blu-ray formats, with 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encoding. The image on both formats varies in quality greatly. For about the first 30 minutes, the image veers towards being a little too grainy and oversaturated, especially on blu-ray. The blu-ray also appears to be virtually flat during this portion. However, close to an hour into the film, the image suddenly kicks into high gear with rich colors, perfectly balanced, inky blacks and consistent "jump-off-the-screen" type of depth(blu-ray). The dvd also picks up with detail quality at the same point, but not nearly with the level of depth achieved with the superior resolution of 1080p blu-ray.  After a disappointing start, both formats offer a quality of detail and balance of demonstration quality!

PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for blu-ray.  Both formats offer a mix that rivals any others as "best" mix of 2008!  From beginning to end, subtle and discrete effects engulf the audience into another realm wherein the fantasy/gritty world of "IRON MAN" takes hold. Music, LFE and dialogue are perfectly balanced without either overshadowing the other. Brilliant mixes on both formats, with the Lossless TrueHD 5.1 mix standing out due to the deeper bass and slightly better fidelity.

Various featurettes, documentaries, deleted scenes and more are featured on both formats, with the blu-ray offering these in HD.