on September 26, 2008
The first disc features 11 deleted and extended scenes. There's more of the opening ambush with Tony Stark being more proactive. We also see more footage of Rhodes and it quickly becomes apparent that he was the character with the most scenes cut from the film. We also see Tony and Pepper Potts attend another party.
The second disc starts off with the impressive "I Am Iron Man," a 108 minute making of documentary that can be viewed in seven segments or altogether, taking us through various aspects of the production. For example, we are taken step-by-step through the construction of the Iron Man armor with Robert Downey Jr. cracking jokes while being fitted for it. It's amazing how much of the suit is practical and looks really good in person. This is due in large part to the genius of the late-great Stan Winston and his company. Also included is plenty of soundstage footage of scenes being filmed.
"The Invincible Iron Man" is a six-part documentary on the comic book, tracing the history of the character. Stan Lee says that he modeled Stark after Howard Hughes, for the most part. He also mentions that he was never fully satisfied with the look of the armor - hence its many changes over the years. This doc also covers various key characters and storylines in excellent detail with several people who worked on the title over the years talking about their contribution to the mythos. This is a very well done overview of the comic book.
"Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man" examines the CGI work that went into realizing Iron Man's powers, like flying, his repulsors, and so on. Director Jon Favreau says that he likes to use practical effects whenever possible, which is wonderfully refreshing to hear, and in this film he mixed the practical with CGI.
"Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test." Incredibly, the actor had to do a screen test because the studio deemed him a risky proposition and this footage shows that he had a handle on the character very early on.
"The Actor's Process" features fascinating footage of Jeff Bridges and Downey rehearsing a scene with Favreau. It's great to see these guys at work and offers insight into how they put together a scene from the film from an acting point-of-view.
"The Onion's Wildly Popular Iron Man Trailer to be Adapted into Full-Length Film" is a funny satire where a newscaster "breaks" a story of how the Iron Man trailer will be made into a film that pokes fun at the rabid nature of the hardcore fanbase of the character.
Finally, there are "Galleries," featuring concept art, technology stills, behind-the-scenes photographs, and poster art.
on August 11, 2008
This is a great superhero film that the whole family can enjoy.
If you are wondering what the special features on the 2-disc DVD are, here they are:
The IRON MAN Ultimate Edition two-DVD set is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Total runtime is 125 minutes. Bonus features include:
I Am Iron Man
-- The Journey Begins
-- The Suit that makes the Iron Man
-- The Walk of Destruction
-- Grounded In Reality
-- Beneath the Armor
-- It's All in the Details
-- A Good Story, Well Told
The Invincible Iron Man
-- Friends & Foes
-- The Definitive Iron Man
-- Demon in a Bottle
-- Extremis and Beyond
-- Ultimate Iron Man
Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test
The Actor's Process (scene rehearsal with cast)
The Onion "Wildly Popular Iron Man Trailer to be Adapted into Full Length Film"
on October 10, 2008
There was a big question mark looming over the theatrical adaptation of Marvel's Iron Man property. It was in the guise of director Jon Favreau. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Favs, but when I heard he was helming a big budget comic book flick...let's just say I was a little worried. Once his cast was set and the fanboys started humming across the internet I started to ease into the decision with high anticipation. Thankfully, after finally seeing the finished product, I was not disappointed in the least. With a great mix of the professionalism and stakes seen in both Spider-Man and X-Men and the comic wit and sheer fun of Fantastic Four, Iron Man shows how a comic can be brought to the screen successfully without all the added drama and weight. We finally have a film with the essence of what makes these picture books so popular, the action and mythology along with a sense of adventure and humor. Favreau never bogs us down with overwrought emotions nor speaks down to us with gags and poorly written jokes. Instead he delivers on his promises and gives us a solid initiation into what could be a great trilogy or more.
Favreau seems to have had an idea to get an origin story out while not boring us with long drawn out back story. His ability to give us dual information at once is nicely orchestrated, showing Tony Stark in his basement creating while the TV in the background explains what is happening in the outside world of the Middle East and inside his own company. We as an audience are allowed to put the pieces together amidst the witty banter of Stark and the wonderful special effects. By the end of the film it is quite amazing how much information you will realize you now know, all culminating in a decent final battle, but more importantly a segue into the inevitable sequel. We are allowed entrance into the character evolution of Stark as he goes from war profiteer to man of action and cause, all while seeing the technology improve and advance before our eyes. Much like Batman, we have a hero here that needs help in fighting crime. He has no superhuman abilities besides his brain and being able to see his thoughts go from paper to reality is a feat of magic. Every stage is shown, every failure and success. It's quite the ride in and of itself, but when you add onto it the threat of global war and destruction, it can only get better.
The real success here is in the bold move of casting an actor over-40 to be a superhero. This takes guts, because no matter how appropriate it is, most studios would have said, "no, change the story and make him younger so we can churn out as many of these babies as we can." I don't know how he did it, but Favreau got Marvel to get Robert Downey Jr. to play Stark, a sarcastic Lothario with the brain capacity of Einstein. I truly can't think of anyone better suited to the role and he proves it by nailing every single scene. I'm sure there was some ad-libbing, but even if not, his comic delivery and ability to switch on a dime to a sincere seriousness at will shows his masterful craft.
As for the rest of the cast, they all do well. Jeff Bridges plays the bombastic creature of villainy over-the-top, but appropriately so; Terrence Howard is nice as the friend and military liaison, not given much to do, but definitely sowing seeds for the future; and Gwyneth Paltrow is good as the sweet assistant Pepper Potts who at times seems a little underwritten and more female prop than anything else, but comes through with some nice moments in a very comic sort of way. I also really liked Shaun Toub as Yinsen, Stark's savior, and Clark Gregg as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Good to see Favreau giving another actor turned director props, (Gregg's directorial debut comes out later this year in the form of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke). I just wish he would have shied away from putting himself in the film. It's one thing to be seen split-second, (like Stan Lee), but its another to give yourself a thankless role with multiple scenes, just adding fuel to the fire on people's opinions of egotism stemming from the drinking game created off of the TV show "Dinner for Five" and how many references to Swingers was made each episode. I'll forgive, though, because, once again, I'm a big fan.
One can't forget that this is an action film above all else, so we can't just praise the actors; every effect is also quite brilliant. Those scenes of Iron Man flying amongst fighter jets in the trailer seemed really lame, but when in context they deliver. The suit itself is amazing as well, through every mach stage right to the end. My main highlight, however, was with the computer systems that Stark utilizes. The multiple screens, instant holographic reproductions, and ability to actually interact with those 3D representations is stunning. We can create them in fantasy, but it's just too bad we can't yet in real life.
Now Iron Man is not a perfect film, nor even a perfect comic book adaptation. What it is, though, is a fun, comic actioner that should light up the box office. The final showdown is a bit of a whimper in comparison to the back story and machine creation; a crucial element is saved from destruction in the one contrived bit of screen writing, (not quite utilized in the way I thought, although still for the same means); and some moments seem a tad campy rather than witty, but otherwise this is some topnotch cinema that should definitely be seen on the big screen. I can't wait to see how the story progresses in a couple years.
Once again I begin with a warning that you need to sit through the really, really long credits for what might be the best cameo appearance since Sean Connery showed up as King Richard the Lionheart at the end of "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves." That was the last time I remember people really applauding a cameo in a film, although I should point out that everybody left at the end of the first showing of "Iron Man" were True Believers who instantly recognized the actor and the character as soon as the first words were out of their mouth. Ironically, the cameo by Stan Lee in the film seemed to go right by the audience, because there was no reaction to what was a pretty good gag (it happens when Stark shows up at the big party).
Now that I have that bit of business out of the way, let me say that "Iron Man" is the best comic book superhero movie I have seen since "Spider-Man 2." I would say that the latter is better, mainly on the strength of Alfred Molina's wonderful performance as the villain and the great fight sequences between Spidey and Doc Ock that take place on the vertical as well as the horizontal axis, but "Iron Man" might be the more solid film (i.e., lower top but higher bottom). There was a point when the number of comic books that Marvel was putting out exploded (e.g., the New Universe titles) and I dispaired over all of the idiotic cloning with Spider-Man and was down to reading only two Marvel titles: Daredevil and Iron Man. This was back when Frank Miller was doing DD and Tony Stark was a full-blown alcoholic. Daredevil might have been cooler, but as Iron Man, Stark always had the advantage that he was a regular guy, by which I mean that he did not have any superpowers. He was just a really smart guy who could invent the gadgets that would make Iron Man work (eat your heart out Ned Kelly). That is certainly what we get with director Jon Favreau's pre-summer blockbuster, with the added angst of Stark growing a conscience and using his armored alter-ego to help restore balance to his own little corner of the universe at war.
Ultimately the best parts of the movie are the opening act, in which Stark is captured (Afghanistan today instead of Vietnam of the Sixties)and has to built the metallic grey Tin Woodsman on roids prototype armor, and the second act, where he works out the new suit. This movie has two or three of the best violent slapstick gags you have ever seen in one of these movies, which engenders some of the biggest laughs. The origin of the character is fairly faithful, for being updated, to what happened in "Tales of Suspense" #39, which was plotted by Stan Lee, scripted by his brother Larry Leiber, drawn by Don Heck, with a cover art by Jack Kirby (who created the character's original look, although it was Steve Ditko who first drew the red and gold armored version). There certainly is more than a touch of "Transformers" to the way Stark dons the Iron Man armor, but as much as I would give credit to the specific effects in this movie, attention must be paid to the screenwriting teams of Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby ("Children of Men") and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. For all of the humor in the script, there is a strong thread of serious stuff extending throughout this film.
As Tony Stark, Robert Downey, Jr., a superb actor whose skills in the verbal repartee department were honed on "Ally McBeal," may well be the most glib superhero we have seen on the silver screen. Certainly he is more glib than we would every have suspected Stark to be, but of course Downey's personal life clearly echoes the character ark of his character (it is that resonance as well as his undeniable talents that make him perfect for the role). As Pepper Potts, Gwenyth Paltrow is more of a romantic figure for Stark than she was in the comic book, especially since Happy Hogan (director Favreau) has been relegated to a minor role as Stark's bodyguard to make room for the character of Jim Rhodes. However, the point is not so much potential romance as it is the fact that with Paltrow we have an actress who can go toe to toe with Downey in quick paced nuanced conversation (although many will think that Downey's best scenes are with his robotic assistant with the fire extinguisher). Besides, by have Rhodes instead of Hogan we not only get another acting talent on the level of the Downey and Paltrow with Terrence Howard, but as fans of the comic book know (and the movie acknowledges), one day down the road Jim is going to get to be in the red and gold suit.
Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) is set up as a godfather to Tony Stark and a regent to Stark Industries instead of being a rival munitions magnate, which provides a bit of Oedipal conflict to the proceedings and compels the big fight at the end to be with Iron Monger (I was actually hoping for Titanium Man even though I was half expecting the Mandarian). But most people who come to see this movie are not going to know any of this stuff, and even most of the comic book fans who will end up making repeat trips to the theater to see this one are not going to be old enough to remember the original Virginia "Pepper" Potts who ended up with Happy Hogan versus the "The Ultimates" version of the character. All that really matters is that the cast and characters are a perfect mesh and the people who put this movie together should be thinking not just about a sequel but about a series. With this launching platform, Iron Man could well replace Superman in the Big Three of comic book superheroes in the movies along with Spider-Man and Batman.
Please Note: Opinions are like...well you know how the saying goes. If you have one, write a review the voting system is for those who HAVEN'T purchased the item and whether or not the review was helpful in that decision.
"Titanium Alloy Man" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Iron Man". Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr. in a terrific, complex and amusing performance)is "The Merchant of Death" building his father's company into a juggarnaut defense company. His latest defense system the Jericho can crush the enemy. When Stark is kidnapped on his way back from a demonstration the injured Stark is forced to build a home made version of Jericho. With bits of metal in his heart kept from killing him due to the ingenuity of another captor, Stark almost literally has a change of heart--particularly when he sees the bad guys have HIS weapons.
He uses the crude tools to build a suit of iron that can protect him and attack his captors as needed. Stark finds himself reenergized and with his new miniature arc reactor powering the magnet that keeps him alive, he sets out to undo some of the damage his company has done by becoming Iron Man. Standing in his way is Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges superb as usual)who wants the company to run as usual and Stark even gets flak from his stauch supporters Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow)and Col. Rhodes (Terence Howard).
The Blu-ray looks brilliant--it's one of the sharpest transfers I've seen to date with colors that pop and some of the best details/clarity I've seen. Heck, even the DVD is one of the top notch ones I've seen in recent years. As for the issue with TrueHD sound--Paramount has fixed that issue remanufacturing the BD and still meeting their release date.
The extras are stunning as well. We get a full documentary "I AM Iron Man" that details all aspects of production giving us a glimpse into everything from pre-CGI work, design elements to on-the-set wire work involving Robert Downey, Jr. Director Jon Favreau (who also plays Happy in the film)manages to seamlessly combine CGI with pratical physical effects such as puppets and the men in suits. His visual effects and physical effects team (from Stan Winston Studios)blend things so well that there were some shots that I could have sworn were physical effects but turned out to be CGI and vice versa. We also get deleted/extended scenes that are interesting but prove that Favreau made the right choice in cutting the bulk of them out. There are also stills galleries, screen test, a featurette "Invincible Iron Man" that gives us an idea about the development of the characterwith interviews featuring many of the Marvel bullpen who contributed to metal head's development, "Wired" which provides us background on the physical effects/visual effects of the film. "hall of Armor" takes us into the development of the "suits".
Director Favreau manages to keep the fun comic book elements of the story and still attach a serious but entertaining element to the film resulting in one of the summer's best blockbusters. It may lack the darkness of "The Dark Knight" (ironic considering that "Iron Man" is really Marvel's version of "Batman" except involving more advanced technology)but the alternating tone of the film makes it an enjoyable companion piece to the best of the "Spider-Man" films directed by Sam Raimi.
The nice thing about "Iron Man" is that it doesn't betray its roots but celebrates them (although it does transport the action which originally occurred in Vietnam to Afgan terrorities and also moves some characters around such as Stane for a stronger, more cohesnive narrative but still remains true to the spirit of the comic book).
Marvel's first in-house production "Iron Man" demonstrates that the comic book company turned movie company can do as good a job (if not better)at during their own material in terrific films that don't betray their origins. Just a reminder--after the credits roll DON'T turn off your TV or BD player. There's a sequence that actually sets up what is said to be the third "Iron Man" film (or second depending upon who you hear it from)and has a companion piece clip at the conclusion of "The Incredible Hulk".
Updated 9/30/08 FYI, if you are having problems playing your disc select "No" if a menu comes up asking if you want to turn on BD Live or change the options in your settings for your PS3. I didn't have this problem however since I elected NOT to watch it on my PS3 but on my stand alone Blu-ray player.
on October 1, 2008
Okay, first off if you own a Web Enabled Blu-ray player like a PS3, you're going to have to wait a long time before you can watch this Blu-ray after you pop it in. Why? Some pinhead executive at the movie studio/blu-ray production house thought it would be cute to require you to download some stupid software you're probably not going to use for "extra features" BEFORE you can even get to the main menu. I had to wait so long to watch it I thought the disc was defective. I had enough time to call Amazon and arrange a replacement. (Then I installed installed Windows XP to my MacBook and I was still waiting. If you've ever installed XP you know how long that takes too.) This means that each time I pop this Blu-ray into a new player, like if I take it to a friend's house, I'm going to have to tell my friend(s): okay let's just wait an hour then we can watch the movie. This is completely and totally absurd. I hope whoever decided this was a good idea gets fired.
After about an hour and a half, I was able to watch this movie though. It's a really great movie. It's right up there with WALL*E and The Dark Knight. It has a very fun comic book feel to it, while not being absurdly stupid. If you can suspend your disbelief for 120 some odd minutes, it's a great ride.
Robert Downey Jr. is a great Tony Stark. When I first heard he was cast as Iron Man, I thought "yeah right! This movie's gonna suck." But I was very wrong. He pulls off the ladies man/billionaire playboy/hot shot role very well. But this is only half of the movie: The other half: Iron Man action scenes are just flat out cool. The poses/angles they choose and CGI work are all great. This is a first rate production.
Also, I didn't know who his assistant was before the credits rolled but she looked familiar (Turns out it was Gwyneth Paltrow) and she made a really interesting character too, for a supporting role. You even have Jeff ("The Dude") Bridges in there doing a great job playing Stark's second in command.
Oh, and when the credits roll, don't turn off the movie. There's a little scene after all the credits that fans of the comics and fans of this movie shouldn't miss.
The Blu-Ray gets a 1 star for the incompetence of whomever decided it was a good idea to make people download something before they could even see the main menu.
The Movie Gets 5 Stars for great execution - cast/acting, storyline, effects, and action scenes. Dare I say: This is the best Marvel Comics movie to date.
on May 9, 2008
A little worried about Iron Man being just another so-so Marvel movie, such as Fantastic Four? Well don't be. Actually you can stop reading my review now if you want and get up and go watch this movie.
If you're still here (oh ye of little faith), then I'll try and help you with that tendril of doubt still holding you to your computer chair preventing you to get up and spend the 300 dollars it costs to go see a movie now. 600 if you are taking a date.
Let me first start off with Rob Downey. I for one was hesitant with him being the man who is playing Tony Stark (Iron Man). I rolled my eyes the first time I saw his name a year or so ago when I found out about this movie being made. Even when I saw the first pics for it. But let me tell you right now... the man IS Tony Stark. He's got this role down. I haven't seen this good of a Downey movie since `Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and `Wonder Boys'. At first I thought he was a total jerk at the beginning, but then realized it's just his way of being funny, and it's absolutely fantastic. Through the whole movie Rob will have you laughing quite a bit. He's not only funny, but he's also quite laid back with his genius. He doesn't bash your face in with how smart he is. To show you how smart he is the film shows a bunch of scientists trying to create something that just isn't possible with today's technology. Though Tony Stark was able to do it an Afghan Cave with spare parts from junk.
The film is about Tony Stark. The son of Howard Stark, also a genius. Tony inherits the company from his father when his father dies. He's basically partners with Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges who also played the part brilliantly). Stark Industries is known for producing military weapons that, according to Tony, needs to be used only once to end a war. Tony soon finds himself captive of an Afghan rebel group that want his weapons made for them, because whoever owns his weapons, basically wins the war. Tony creates the classic Iron Man suit to get out of the captives hands and once he does, Tony decides he doesn't want to create weapons anymore. He wants to create things to help the world, not destroy it. The rest of the owners of Stark Industries isn't to happy with this and they decide to, basically, just not listen to Tony anymore (can't think of the word for this... sorry). While Tony's company is basically doing whatever they want, Tony is in his mansion revamping his original build of his suit. Not to ruin anything about the story (I promise I haven't ruined anything yet, I told you mostly what you can see in the trailers), lets just say Tony is about to put his new suit into some good usage.
The special effects were used just right. I honestly didn't think they would be able to make Iron Man look that cool or move that cool. Well let me just say, have no fear, because he rocks. From the classic Iron Man suit to the new. The old Iron Man walks just like you think he should, a bulky machine. The new, well, lets just say you would almost not think he's wearing a suit it's so human like, but just enough machine movement to know it's not completely fake looking. I don't know how to explain it, but it looked great.
Also the action scenes were great. I think one of the biggest reasons why they were so good is that they were used sparingly. The movie isn't action packed but has just enough to not tick you off that there wasn't enough and also not to many to over do it. It was just right. Which in turn helps the story out, because it helped give us that character development that a lot of people complain about in these Marvel movies.
One last thing I want to say about the actual movie is that Gwyneth Paltrow wasn't bad. I'm someone who really isn't fond of her acting. But she plays Pepper Potts, Tony's `assistant/butler... whatever', and she did a really good job. Paltrow in a supporting role, instead of a lead, is a much better combination, in my opinion.
In the end, I think everyone will enjoy this movie. Go take a second loan out so you can pay for gas, movie tickets, and popcorn and coke (maybe some twizzlers if you go donate some blood first) and enjoy a day at the movies! Make sure you stay past the 10 minute credits to see the special ending.
P.S. When you see Iron Man fighting, imagine him being 2 or 3 stories tall. Just imagine it. Now picture him with an Autobot or Decepticon emblem on his chest. Now watch him fight. See how cool it is to actually see what the heck is going on during his fight scenes? Maybe in Transformers 2, Bay will be able to put a coherent fight scene together that the viewers can actually tell what is going on instead of watching a bunch of polygons mish mashing together.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) is a playboy genius whose passion is making things that go boom, day or night
2. Behind the successful billionaire is a pretty woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) showing off her organizational skills
3. During a product demonstration in Afghanistan, Stark is kidnapped by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings, sustaining serious injuries
4. Ten Rings wants to rule them all, and they want Stark to forge them the one weapon that can do it*
5. Working in the darkness where the shadows lie* Stark and Dr. Yinsen (a fellow prisoner who patched him up) pull a switcheroo and build a full metal power suit with a flame thrower and missile launcher.
6. The Ten Rings are left to pick up the pieces
7. Stark has a new corporate vision which gets a stormy reception from his partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) and the Board of Directors.
8. He fashions himself a new and improved armored suit, with all the trimmings, bells and whistles, plus the obligatory arc reactor which is the heart of the design
9. With help from Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and Lt. Col. Rhodes (Terrence Howard), Stark suits up to battle the bad guys
10. Two sequels are planned
The movie takes a while to get to the really cool stuff, and while I enjoyed the whole thing, my son didn't get into it until "suit time." There's no denying that the finished suit is the coolest superhero costume ever, and I'm buying this on DVD just to watch the cybernetic Mark III suit morph, flex and create havoc and mass destruction
Downey proves himself to be an excellent choice for the lead role, and although they are unable to steal his thunder, Bridges and Paltrow are pretty darned good themselves. Howard doesn't have that much screen time, but maybe he'll get his moment in the sequels
Amanda Richards, May 11, 2008
* One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
on September 26, 2008
Reviewers who received advanced copies of the Iron Man Blu-ray release reported that the Dynamic Range Compression (DRC) flag was active on the Dobly TrueHD audio track, causing a less-than-stellar audio experience for customers who weren't savvy enough to adjust their player and amplifier to compensate.
The good news is that Paramount confirmed on September 25th that they had recalled all of the defective copies and replaced them with newly-authored discs that fix this issue. [...]
This recall occurred prior to Iron Man's release, so no one should have wound up with a defective copy except for the reviewers who received their copies in advance. You can purchase with confidence without worrying whether your product is the corrected one, unlike with the Back to the Future DVDs and Pirates of the Carribbean I Blu-ray which still have defective copies unknowingly being sold by some stores despite having been re-authored after the initial batch.
on May 6, 2008
Jon Favreau (Swingers and Elf) effectively directs the screen adaptation for the comic book superhero Iron Man. Favreau has some fine-tuning ahead of him in terms of directing action films but Iron Man is still among the very best comic book character based films so far. It is about as entertaining as you can get and the few flaws that are present are almost entirely forgivable due to Favreau's knack for developing characters and also understating drama effectively. It might be important to note that it is hard to contain myself and write an honest review, because in all of my years of reading comics, Iron Man, along with perhaps the Silver Surfer, is my favorite comic book character of them all. Fortunately for me, unlike last year's Fantastic Four sequel, this particular film truly delivers in terms of satisfying the little long lost comic book geek-boy dwelling in my brain. There were actually moments during the film that I looked over to my brother in full wide-eyed geek-mode and said things like "that stands for S.H.I.E.L.D.!" The kid in me absolutely loved this movie.
Iron Man, for the uninitiated, is really Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), Chief Executive Officer of weapons manufacturing giant Stark Industries (think Lockheed Martin run by Donald Trump). He is an arrogant womanizing alcoholic who just happens to be an MIT graduate and a technical genius unlike no other man of his time. It is as if Leonardo Da Vinci was sent into a time machine, given a mansion, several bottles Johnny Walker Blue, and no reason not to celebrate his lust for women. In other words, this is not Superman. Stark is flawed and Favreau so graciously provides us an opportunity to watch him grow as a man and as a machine in his ever-evolving nearly indestructible self-made super armor. In the beginning, Stark is captured by terrorists in Afghanistan and unbeknownst to his enemies, he is shown the error of his ways as a weapons manufacturer and begins building his suit as a way to escape his kidnappers. A new man with new motives, Stark develops his suit further and becomes an unlikely but befitting hero. Look out terrorists and look weapons manufacturers, including you Iron Monger! I only wish he could've cleaned up that ugliness in Iraq on his way home.
One can tell by the promotions that the special effects are great and they are amazing from beginning to end. However, the screenplay is very solid, especially the humorous, fast, and witty dialogue for Robert Downey, Jr. The chemistry between Stark and his loyal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) works remarkably well and far better than I would've expected. Jeff Bridges is also great as the villain Obidiah Stane and the rest of the cast is solid all around, with the exception of perhaps Terrence Howard he unfortunately seems to be going through the motions here. But overall, the magic of this film is the casting of Robert Downey, Jr. in the lead role. He is perfect for the role in almost every way. Somehow he gives us a hero we feel compelled to find a reason to root for despite his flaws. I'm not sure another actor could've pulled it off.
This definitely receives a high recommendation from me for pretty much anyone looking for a fun and compelling action movie. For fellow lovers of the Iron Man comics and other crossover stories (i.e. Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.); do yourself a favor and stay until the credits are done rolling, you won't regret it.