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DVD Shopping Bag: Iron Man 3 Blu-ray

The most fun all summer

By Robert T. Trate     September 24, 2013
Source: Mania.com

When last summer began, I was really at a fever pitch for Iron Man 3 and not because I was a huge Iron Man fan (movie or comic). In fact, I didn’t really love the first one or the second. I appreciated what Robert Downey Jr. brought to the role, but the movies were single viewings for me. With that said, I still can’t see anyone else playing the part. So, where did the fever pitch lie? I would like to say that it all came down to post The Avengers hype, but it didn’t. It was the pure and simple desire to see if Shane Black and RDJ (what I call Robert Downey Jr.) could pull off a third act and a fourth story for the Armored Avenger. 

SPOILERS for IRON MAN 3

“Third Time’s a Charm”. This term might be true for some things, but rarely for movies. The Empire Strikes Back, The Bride of Frankenstein, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and The Dark Knight are all proof that the second film is as good as it gets. With all eyes on a new director and a post Avengers adventure, could Marvel pull it off? For this film aficionado and comic book collector, they did and the proof is in the pudding. 

A Kid Friendly Story
When a third film arrives, it usually has a different audience from the first one. I’m not saying that the first Iron Man didn’t have its fair share of toys. It’s just that by the third film, they really are hooking in the kids and the next generation to keep the franchise going. How do they do this? Well, Hollywood likes to involve some sort of kid in the story. Need proof? Let us try and remember the nightmares that are Rambo III and The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor. So what did Shane Black and Drew Pearce do in Iron Man 3? They added a kid. The twist is that Tony Stark treats him as an equal. His back and fourth is no different than it was with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) or Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in The Avengers, thus removing all the cheesy and “over the top” moments that are both cliche and insulting to a modern audience. The best part of the relationship between RDJ and Ty Simpkins is that it shows how kids would want to be treated by their heros. 

The Villain and His Puppet
I’m sorry, die hard Mandarin fans, if there are any out there, but Sir Ben Kingsley nailed it. What is even better is that, like the EXTREMIS formula, Tony Stark had the Mandarin all figured out. Watch the film again and you’ll see that Stark nails it with one of his rants while trying to piece together who and what the Mandarin is. What really tipped me off was the prevalence of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) in so many of posters and ads. When the “wag the dog” moments started to unravel, I absolutely loved it. Despite spending the majority of the Spring wondering if Benedict Cumberbatch was Khan or not, none of us wondered if Kingsley was really the Mandarin. Awesome!

Bigger, More, and Then What?
My problem with the ending of the first Iron Man is that he fought a bigger version of himself for the finale. I’m sorry,  but that was extremely predictable.  In the second film, he teams up with War Machine, but the big finale is Stark and Rhodes taking on an army of Iron Man type robots. Where is the danger or the surprise in that? Upping the ante in this matter is the doom of films and their sequels. Take a look at Major League 2 (if you will). Every joke is the same old rehash of the one before. Only this time, it is bigger. That is why that sequel is better left forgotten. The appeal to the Iron Man character, both on screen and in the comics, is how this man of science deals with other problems. I was hoping that the Mandarin was going to use magic against Tony Stark. With the introduction of Thor into the Marvel Movie Universe, magic (or other dimensional science) has been explained. The finale in Iron Man 3 pits Stark against his greatest challenge, himself. Throughout the film, he is riddled with insecurities. Aldrich Killian would have been no problem for the Avengers. For Tony Stark, a man who doubted not only himself, but his ability to protect his loved one, it was something else.

As the summer of 2013 progressed, I kept hoping for that same feeling of something different and better with the summer movies as we got bogged down in the Into Darkness/ Wrath of Khan debate. We then switched gears and found ourselves divided between a Superman who kills and one who doesn’t. That debate, I think, can be salvaged in the Man of Steel sequel. Further and further the summer went on, and yet no other film left me as satisfied as Iron Man 3. It was the most fun this critic and film aficionado had at the movies. Why? Because it dared to be a little different. 

Iron Man 3 arrives on Blu-ray and DVD today!

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Iron Man 3 (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)
2. Halloween (35th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
3. Prince Of Darkness (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
4. Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series
5. Psycho II (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

4closed [Blu-ray]

Apartment 1303

Blood of Redemption [Blu-ray]

Paid in Full [Blu-ray]

Redemption

Sparrow

ANIME

GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka Complete Series (7DVD)

Is This a Zombie: Season Two (Limited Edition)

Kaijudo: Rise Of The Duel Masters: Darkness Of Heart

Looking Up at the Half-Moon - Complete Collection

Medaka Box Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

Pokemon: Lucario & The Mystery of Mew

Queen's Blade Rebellion: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

Rio: Rainbow Gate

CARTOONS

American Dad! Volume Eight

Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Vol. 2 [Blu-ray]

Betty Boop: Essential Collection 2

Family Guy: Volume Eleven

Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Ruh-Roh Robot

South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season

CLASSICS

Americano [Blu-ray]

Americano

Ambush at Cimarron Pass

Big Combo [Blu-ray]

Blazing Guns (1935) / Midnight on the Range (1937)

Classic Western Double Feature: Feud of the West (1936) / Rainbow's End (1935)

Fighting Kentuckian [Blu-ray]

Guest Wife

Pals Of The Range

Shack Out on 101

Voyage of the Damned - Blu-ray & DVD Combo

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Critical Condition

Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

Necessary Roughness

Trekkies

Criterion Collection

3 Films By Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

HORROR

21st Century Serial Killer

Arise of the Snake Woman

Black Eve

Bloody Homecoming

Bug

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter

Carriers

Fade to Black

Halloween (35th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

Inbred

Is This a Zombie: Season Two (Limited Edition)

I Spit on Your Grave 2 [Blu-ray]

The Monster Club [Blu-ray]

The Monster Club (remastered widescreen edition)

My Bloody Valentine

Psycho II (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

Psycho III (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

Prince Of Darkness (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

Ringu 0

Ringu 2

Satanic Double Feature: The Devil's Wedding Night (1973) / The Witches Mountain (1972)

Silent But Deadly

Tam Lin Aka the Devil's Widow [Blu-ray]

Ultimate Horror Classics (SD Blu-Ray) (The Ghoul / White Zombie / Sweeney Todd / House on Haunted Hill / Phantom...

V/H/S/2 [DVD+Blu-ray+VHS Tape]

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / SUPERHERO

Dollman [Blu-ray]

Iron Man 3 (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

The Matrix [Blu-ray]

TV LAND

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season

China Beach Season 1 (3DVD)

Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series

Foyle's War: Set Seven

Hannibal: Season One [Blu-ray]

Hawaii Five-0: The Third Season

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The Fourteenth Year

Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season

Power Rangers: Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers

Two and a Half Men: The Complete Tenth Season

BOX SETS

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]

IRON MAN 3 Air Force One Jump CLIP:

 

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
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CaptAmerica04 9/24/2013 8:35:45 AM

Sorry, but I am one of those Mandarin fans.  I wanted to see him start wielding the rings like we were "promised" since the first film (I know it was more of an inference, but nonetheless, it was there and the true geeks saw it and jumped all over it, holding out for the big Iron Man v. Mandarin fight for the last 5 years).
     I was EXTREMELY disappointed when it turned out that the Mandarin was just a straw man, and I would not get my big magic vs. technology fight; I would not get my big "comic book moment" of these two arch-nemeses battling it out.

With that said, I do respect what Shane Black was doing, and the direction that he took it in.  I didn't LIKE it as much as I would have liked the ending that I hoped for, but I appreciate and respect what they did do.  It was clever and within the parameters of the film universe that Marvel has established (somewhat).

Unfortunately, in everyone's (especially the lay-people/non-geeks) rush to like this third installment, we miss a very big issue:  this was Marvel's first failure.  It was their first failure to uphold the rule that they set back in 2008 and that they have stuck to quite well for the last 5 years/6 films:  stick to the source material.  For the entire history of cinema, we the comic fans have been subjected to movies that were tampered with or created outright by non-fans of the source material, who just borrowed the little bits they knew of or liked and threw the rest out, like tossing the baby out with the bath water.  We had to see every film from Superman to X-Men to Spider-man (and then again with Dark Knight Rises) with the shrug and the justification of "well, that's as good as I can hope for, so I'll take what I can get.  At least I got to see Wolverine/Superman/Batman on the big screen!"  Then Iron Man came along with (admittedly updated) true to the source material films.  Captain America, Thor, even Incredible Hulk... gave us characterizations of our heroes in bite-size snap shots including epic villains and events that, while updated for the time, were still true to the source material.

Now we come to Iron Man 3 and suddenly, IMHO, we take a step back with one of Iron Man's long-time arch-villains turns out to be an actor and a fraud, with no powers at all.  WHAT?!  I'm sorry, but that was bullshit.  They could've done the same idea and called the guy any other name than "the Mandarin."  Non-geeks wouldn't have known the difference, and geeks wouldn't have been slapped in the face.

I'm sorry, but Shane Black just gave us a nuclear-bomb-proof refrigerator and a crystal skull.  The rest of the film was really solid and a worthy sequel, but that one gross mis-characterization really screwed the film for me.  And, I think if other geeks are honest with themselves, it screwed the film a bit for them, too.

RedHood2010 9/24/2013 8:45:06 AM

Nice reply Capt.  I am by NO means a historian or claim to know anything about the Marvel universe.  My experience has been a few comics and starting with the first Iron Man movie.  For me, IM3 blew.  I went with my two teenage boys and we all left feeling let down with Tony's character.  Entertaining, yes, but for what I felt I knew about the recent Marvel movie universe, I was let down.  We are renting it this weekend to let the wife experience it and get her take.  I am looking forward to checking it out again and see if anything changes.

goirish83 9/24/2013 9:29:56 AM

Capt. and RedHood, WELL SAID !!!  I hated this movie.  Lousy writing and a lousy story.  How much actual screen time did IM have?  Not the robots or Pepper Potts in the suit.  This movie should have been called "Tony Stark and his young sidekick".  This, and the B-bullshit that Stark creates Ultron does not have me excited about Marvel Phase 2.  I pray I am not as letdown for Thor and Captain America as I was when I left the theatr after IM3.

And, oddly enough I think I am in the minority with these thoughts. 

So unless the Blu-ray has an entirly new movie I won't be buying it.

doublec 9/24/2013 1:30:51 PM

 Robert, I agree with you in commending this movie for daring to be different. But sadly, the above posts show what happens when someone dares to be different with a sci-fi/comic book movie anymore, you get a shitstom of butthurt fanbois. As you pointed out, this happened with all three of the bigges SF movies this summer, screams of outrage over altering the holy and almighty  "source material" rather than discussing the movies on their own merits. I take the criticism this movie gets over its lack of spectacle (given it's a summer blockbuster) rather more seriously than rather this or that character was EXACTLY like he was in the comics.

Shellhead88 9/24/2013 3:06:52 PM

Couldn't agree more. Anyone who knows that my username is a nickname for Iron man, so that should tell you how a big fan I am. Iron man was my very first comic book and always been my favorite. So I really hated this movie.

monkeyfoot 9/24/2013 3:08:22 PM

I completely understand the upset some comic geeks had with the changes that were made. You had a basic idea of what you thought you were going to get and it got turned upside down. Also Marvel's movie track record has been pretty excellent in its adaptations most of the time. There was no reason to suspect that it was going to make such a severe left turn from the comics.

All that being said I enjoyed the movie. I love RDJ's rendition of Stark and I could pretty much watch just a movie of his antics without him throwing a single armored enhanced punch or replusor ray. (and that's close to what we got).  From some of the interviews before the movie came out I suspected something was up and was a little disappointed that I didn't get an evil mastermind terrorist who happens upon some alien tech from the invasion in The Avengers and uses it to fashion a set of badass rings (that was the scenario I thought would work for the movie). But once I got over my suprise I thorouglhy enjoyed the movie. Stark's troubles and clever solutions are fun for me to watch. The ad lib dialogue between him and Paltrow is always adorable. The changes to the storyline worked in the context of the Marvel movieverse and more specifially in the Iron Man movieverse. I left the theater satsified.

More impoirtantly, Marvel,director Black, and big producer cheese Feige took a major chance with the loyal fanboys in changing a piece of the IM story. But it worked. It worked tremendously. It was the the number one movie of the year. It was critically acclaimed and website polls from places like Rotten Tomatoes are in the 80% approval. In other words they did everything right again. There is nothing more you can ask of a blockbuster film than it be a huge moneymaker and the vast majority of the critics and audience love it.

I give you a Merry Marvel Marching Society salute! Excelsior!

karas1 9/24/2013 4:43:03 PM

I had a different problem with this film.  Tony Stark has been many things in these movies but never before was he a fool.

Stark knows Hawkeye, Black Widdow, Captain America and Nick Fury.  One phone call to any of them and he could have had a ton of federal agents and Super Heroes to help him storm the hedquarters of a heavily armed terrorist group.  Instead, for reasons I didn't really understand (nobody can be THAT insecure) he decided to do it by himself using a few "weapons" he cobbled together from stuff he bought at Home Depot.

I realize that this was an Iron Man film, not an Avengers film.  Captain America and the others weren't going to appear.  It was just really bad writing to put Tony Stark into a situation where the only logical move was to call in backup which was readily available and not let him do that. It makes him look like an idiot.  Put Stark into a situation where he could be heroic where backup wouldn't be any help.  THAT would be a good film.

 

RedHood2010 9/25/2013 4:27:06 AM

Agree with your POV karas1.  Better stated than my problem with the film.  We were watching The Avengers this past weekend and I kept saying that is the Tony I wanted to see in IM3.  I expected some left over shock from New York, but not the complete isolation and lack of intelligent moves. 

And I am not going to apologize for my expectations not being met.  I was let down with this movie.  Does that mean others couldn't love it?  Nope.  I just didn't it.

redhairs99 9/25/2013 8:30:33 AM

Kara, you're right on with your assessment, but I think unfortunately for any of these Marvel films (and for DC once/if they get the JLA rolling), the problem with the general viewing audience is going to be "Why doesn't Stark (or insert other hero name) get the Avengers/JLA to help out with this massive problem/terror/vilian/threat, etc.   Hell DC hasn't even gotten their team-up off the ground yet and I already have friends saying how can a Batman movie work if there's other more powerful heroes he could simply call up anytime he wants.  It's a major problem that Marvel and DC will have to figure out an answer to and soon.  

And with Iron Man, you already have the problem of others wearing the suit which are run my AI systems yet sometimes the suit works for them and other times it doesn't.  Why couldn't the president operate the suit?

As for IM3, I thought the twist was brilliant...as far as Ben Kingsley goes.  I wasn't a big fan of the reveal that Killian was The Mandarin.  I've never really been a fan of Iron Man in the comics and didn't know much about the character until the first flick.  I think RDJ has been amazing in the role and I can't believe they turned what in my mind has always been a 3rd or even 4th tier hero in one of the best superheroes on film.  I know that will probably piss off a lot of fans, but I'm sorry, no one outside of comic fans knew or cared about Iron Man prior to the first film in 2008.  All that said, that reveal of Killian as The Mardarian was weak.  I think they could've kept someone else in the background, working the shadows as the real Mardarian, but still had Killian come off as a halfway decent villian.  But, I still thought the movie was pretty damned fun and enjoyable especially Ben Kingsley.

karas1 9/25/2013 9:20:15 PM

Batman works in the JLA because he brings something to the table that the other heroes don't.  He may not fly or read minds or wield a power ring but he's smart and devious and he thinks outside the box in ways the other heroes can't.  In the comics Batman routinely saves more powerful heroes from supervillians and it's totally believable.

The strength of Iron Man as a hero is his armor.  He's a flying, bulletproof technoknight with astounding weaponry.  In his armor Tony Stark could take on a few dozen terrorists with automatic weapons in his sleep.

He's also formidable without his armor.  In the first film he used his intelligence to outwit the terrorists who kidnapped him and create the technology which first saved his life and then allowed him to become a hero.

But that's not the kind of formidable which works against fanatics with guns.  If they were going to strip Stark of his armor (a good move in my opinion.  Stark is more fun to watch than Iron Man.) they needed to come up with a threat which Stark could realistically defeat.  They needed a threat he could counter with his intelligence and creativity.  Not one which needed to be solved by force.  Sending him into the lion's den alone against overwhelming odds didn't make him look heroic.  It made him look dumb.  And that he could defeat that situation by himself with jurryrigged weaponry made the situation look unbelievable.

And several dozen remote controlled suits of flying, fighting armor was overwhelming and silly.  It was a great film until Stark got to Florida.  Stark alone, with his armor malfunctioning, hiding out in that kid's house and dodging the agents looking for him was exciting and believable.  Stark was using his intelligence and creativity to defeat a foe in a realistically logical way.  Then the movie jumped the shark and shattered my suspension of disbelief.  After that it was just meaningless special effects sequences.

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