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on 12 November 2008
I decided to watch this film based on the strength of the trailers (as did everyone else!). However, I was sorely disappointed, because the film did not concentrate on the real story and also greatly embellished in many aspects.

Firstly, in the original comic series, Tony Stark was hurt due to an act of industrial sabotage by one of his competitors and not because of some Arabs purchasing his weapons and using them against him (which is complete tosh!).

Secondly, the real story was two-fold. It lay with the building of the suit (which surprisingly, the film did pay some attention to, although inadequately).

Thirdly, the main chunk of the story (the real twist), lay with Obadiah Staine, who tried to murder his boss (Tony Stark) and then tried to steal the company from him. In fact, Obadiah tried to murder his boss not once, but TWICE!!. Please note, Obadiah Staine is an American white guy. He is not an Arab!. Unfortunately, the film paid very little attention to this twist and instead focused on demonising Arabs.

Overall, the film relied heavily on CGI but did not focus on story line. This is now the trend with films. The film also has another (less endearing) agenda and again this is a common trend, which is becoming more prevalent. How unfortunate.

I found only two good aspects to this film. The CGI and Robert Downey jr. He portrayed himself very well as Tony Stark, as an arrogant, womanising, gold digging, imperialist. This is why this film deserves only 1 star.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 July 2017
Despite only being 9 years old, 'Iron Man' is the grand-daddy of them all and marked the first cinematic venture into the Marvel Cinematic Universe; indeed, as further releases progressed (the total being 16 with 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' recently having hit the screens), 3 of them are 'Iron Man' headliners and they all feature in the first 7 to be produced.

I saw this film in the cinema on release and was blown-away with it's freshness, great special-effects, sharp action, snappy dialogue and charismatic lead character (played by Robert Downey Jr.).

Apparently, the production was kicked around film studios for many years before Marvel Studios regained control, with the usually excellent Jon Favreau in the directors chair; he went on to direct 'Iron Man 2', but despite not then directing 'Iron Man 3' he maintained a presence as he also has quite a prominent acting part in all 3 films.

If you agree with my earlier reflections, it's not hard to see why 'Iron Man' is such a successful film series and why the character prevails, even after 'Iron Man 3', courtesy of prominent contributions in many of the remaining 'Avengers' genre movies - IMHO there is really a 4th in the series, as whilst I didn't particularly like the film, 'Captain America: Civil War' should really be titled 'Iron Man 4: Civil War'....

So, this film is a 'first' in more than one respect as, by definition, it was also the first 'new character' film and also where the 'Avenger' (and 'S.H.I.E.L.D.') seeds are sown.

Necessarily, the plot of 'Iron Man' is quite involved and a lot is revelation - so for the few people out there that might not be aware, instead of reading the full 'spoiler-laden' Amazon synopsis, here's an edited version :

"Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is the billionaire owner of Stark Industries, a corporation that specialises in weapons development. When in Afghanistan to demonstrate a new weapon to the US military, a life-changing event occurs...."

'Iron Man' was the first Avengers film I bought on DVD, but when Blu-ray came to the fore I eventually succumbed; this was despite the 2-disc 'Ultimate' DVD I owned already being very acceptable. So, on the face of it the Blu-ray was not likely to be much of an advance, especially as the disc extras (assuming you get the 2-disc Blu-ray release) were identical to the 2-disc DVD and the soundtrack 'only' being of the TrueHD variety, when more modern releases make a jump to at least DTS-HD Master Audio.

Happily, whilst I'm still not convinced that the sound is much improved the picture most definitely is.

So, we initially learn a little about Tony Stark, then after the opening drama section we quickly get a fuller understanding about him, his work/legacy and his 'diverse' personality. Then 'Iron Man' really comes to the foreground with the, largely combative, action content being elevated dramatically - with a wide-array of technology on show as developments ensue....

Even with filming/effects having progressed, the production-values of the film remain top-notch with effective/expansive sets and convincing special-effects. There are a number of notable acting performances, but Downey Jr is dominant and really goes to town portraying such a dynamic, enigmatic, often dismissive character such as Tony Stark.

There is drama, but also a load of humour - plus more 'sexism' than some might like, since Stark is not just a talented businessman/engineer but also a very rich 'playboy' type of person. Jon Favreau really deserves a lot of credit for being at the helm of this highly-effective blockbuster.

As we should expect from a modern film, on Blu-ray things look and sound very good; the flawless and clear print-quality of the DVD is replicated, but in HD sharpness/detail is advanced significantly; it's just as so much is usually on the screen, the definite improvement can be missed - the DVD was that good !

The TrueHD soundtrack is clear and active, but I'm not sure it is as much of an advance over the DVD as the HD picture is.

Similarly, assuming you get the 2-disc Blu-ray release, the copious disc extras are replicated in their entirety, without addition - even down to them appearing on a 2nd disc, but being in HD. That let-down aside, those largely featurette-type extras are substantial, with a total running time some 30mins longer than the film itself !

Here is the Amazon lnk to the 2-disc edition :

Iron Man [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free]

I've attached a photo of the case back with all the disc info as Amazon omits it.

So, 'Iron Man' might be the oldest 'Avengers' films but it still remains one of the best and often puts some of the later releases to shame, with a detailed/credible plot and decent/'justifiable' action scenes. It is just as well-made as what follows, and is often much more entertaining courtesy of effective humour and snappy dialogue.
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on 24 September 2009
Hated it, hated it! Robert Downey Jnr. can't act and he's pant as Ironman!
I turned it off after 16 mins with an hour and 44 mins to go. Yes, it was that bad!
Don't recommend it unless you like Ironman. I don't like Ironman, Spiderman I like it. Those films were good, this film was terrible!
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on 3 August 2011
This goes down as the most blatant case of misleading advertising I have ever seen.

If like me, you were led to be believe that Philippe Starck is a progressive designer then you will feel severely shortchanged here. Not only does he exhibit misogynistic and bullying personality traits but also, despite all his labour saving devices which can pick up fire extinguishers and ornaments and the like, he goes nowhere even close to justify that moniker of his: to tackle the ever present challenge of modern day man in a hurry, with creased shirt and pantaloon.

I have since realised that, it is in fact his outfit itself which, literally acts like some sort of Super Duper Corby Trouser Contraption, but where is the fun in watching that.

I read that director Mathew Perry was so disappointed in the post production editing that he will release a director's cut in the New Year. This version will showcase his keen macro shooting stop capture of the suits all important central dial detail. This adds an extra 8 minutes to the films duration, but Le Blanc makes no apologies for this, he feels it absolutely essential to give the viewer a sense of the stupefyingly complex modern day temperature dial settings. What the difference is between silk and cotton is anybody's guess, why not just use a scale of hot and cold for goodness sake.

4 stars.
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on 7 February 2009
Iron Man [2008]This item was bought as a Christmas present so I am unable to make any comment as I do not have sufficient knowledge of the content of the DVD
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 October 2014
At the time of writing this Marvel has created an intertwining set of media that spans 10 movies and a spin off tv series with many more announced. They have acomplished something no one thought possible by bringing the overlapping comic book universe to the big screen, not only suceeding but doing it seemingly effortlessly and it all started in 2008 with the release of the first film Iron Man.

Iron Man is an amazing film. I almost feel like I could stop this review there. The story is obviously an Origin tale of how weapon industrialist playboy genius billionaire Tony Stark becomes Iron Man. During a weapons demonstration Tony gets kidnapped by terrorists who want him to build weapons of their own, instead Tony builds his first suit of armour to escape which sets him on a path realising his weapons haven't been just protecting America as he thought, and how he can right the wrongs using his newly developed armour.

The plot may not sound interesting from what I wrote but the acting, wit and charm of the film is really something else. Robert Downey Jr steals the show as Stark, this is a role he was born to play, he couldn't be any more perfect for it if he tried though the rest of the cast also put in great and often funny performances.

To tie it all off the film looks and sounds fantastic. The special effects are so good I can't tell what's a real suit and what's computer generated and because of the making of extras I know which are which and it doesn't help. In HD the film looks stunning and the soundtrack kicks ass to boot. (Driving with the top down is my favorite song)

The blu-Ray extra features are surprisingly extensive. There is an origins interview with the comic creator Stan Lee as well as other writers and artists involved in his creation. Extended and deleted scenes, a seven part making of documentary (which is really thorough and detailed), special effects making of, Robert Downey Jr's screen test etc etc. It's all pretty great and is a few hours worth of content.

To sum up if you don't have Iron Man, buy Iron Man.

+ Writing and humour are excellent.
+ Robert Downey Jr. Is perfect casting as Tony Stark.
+ Special effects and music are outstanding.
+ Has a decent selection of blu-ray extras.
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on 2 October 2008
It was OK, what I can't understand is these people who give poorly written blockbusters based on comic books full 5 star film ratings, BTW I am not a comic book geek. Is this really great cinema? I'd realistically give it 3 stars, it wasn't quite as good as Transformers.

Gwyneth Paltrow gave her usual simpering wooden performance, I know she wasn't given much material but she can be interesting (just look at Proof or The Royal Tenenbaums). When Jeff Bridges appeared I thought hey it's the dude, He then showed his hand as one of the most one dimensional villains in the history of film, and he didn't even look like he was having fun with it. Robert Downey Jnr did a stand up job, I've never thought of him as great but he has a certain look of pathos which looks good playing someone with dubious morals.

I enjoyed this as what is was! a fairly well put together effects driven film based on a comic book story. I only felt I needed to review it so I can give it a low rating to try and even out the score. I mean this movie cost $135 million to make, shouldn't people expect more for this kind of money.
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on 13 April 2016
This is how it all began. Iron Man was the first movie based on a Marvel superhero actually produced by Marvel, and as such was the first instalment of the rapidly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man was perhaps a strange choice as outside comic book geekdom he probably wasn’t the best known superhero – certainly not universally known like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man – but that didn’t stop director Jon Favreau forging a brilliant movie that catapulted the character to international fame and set Marvel’s ball well and truly rolling.

Iron Man is by no means a perfect film (I would have preferred to see more set pieces with the Mark III armour, and it does end with a fairly predictable mano-a-mano bash-up between Stark and his nemesis), but the flaws are outweighed by all the good stuff. The decision to cast Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark was inspired; his charismatic, witty performance is a joy to watch and he really makes you believe that he could invent all this implausible technology. The scenes showing Stark developing the suits are brilliant and often hilarious. The supporting cast is also superb; the banter between Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow is marvellous, and Jeff Bridges is a seriously imposing presence as Stark’s father figure-cum-opponent. Terrence Howard is also fine as James Rhodes though I prefer the Don Cheadle interpretation of the character in later movies.

However the real stars of the show are the brilliantly realised suits. Stan Winston’s team did a truly remarkable job creating beautiful, practical suits, which are supplemented by almost flawless visual effects work. A few more scenes with Iron Man in action and a more inventive finale would have made this a five-star classic, but it’s still damn good fun.

Technically the blu ray release is superb: picture quality is almost flawless, though as often seems to be the case with Paramount releases I found myself having to turn the volume up more than usual.

If you’re going to get this movie on BD you have to seek out the 2-disc Ultimate Edition. Sadly this is no longer being made so you’ll have to look on eBay or find a private seller on Amazon, but the difference between it and the 1-disc version currently available is like night and day. On disc 1 you get a 40-minute history of Iron Man, deleted scenes and the rather pointless interactive ‘Hall of Armour’, while disc 2 features a brilliant in-depth ‘making of’, a VFX documentary, Downey’s screentests, storyboards and galleries. Although I’d give the movie itself 4 stars, the extent and quality of the bonus features easily bump this set up to the full five.
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on 27 October 2008
Iron Man arrives on DVD hailed as the DVD event of the year, a 10/10 blockbuster with brains, commercial success, an overwhelmingly positive reception from audiences and critics alike and not to forget it contains one of the best casts assembled in any picture this year. All of these elements taken into consideration I was expecting something slightly more transcendent of the comic book genre, as well as one of the best pictures of 2008, having seen Iron Man a matter of hours ago, the fresh sense of indifference I felt towards this took me by complete surprise, unfortunately that was about the only thing about Iron Man that caught me off guard, bar an intense chilling scene between Bridges and Downey late in the film, and a very poignant scene involving Downey early on in the proceedings. I don't think Iron Man is in any way a bad film but I do think its far from being great and certainly well below the standard Christopher Nolan has set in his excellent Batman double-header. Obviously going into Iron Man so long after its theatrical release knowing that it is considered not only one of the years finest but also a landmark achievement in the comic book staple ended up creating certain expectations that probably ruined the film for me somewhat. As a colourful action packed superhero blockbuster it certainly delivered, at the very absolute least the bare minimum, one would expect from a superhero adventure, not to mention a Marvel release, which do tend to specialize in slightly more audacious comic book adaptations, as opposed to something as gritty as say, Batman Begins.

But I wanted more than the same extremely well done routine that has made most of these films work, and with Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges attached, not to mention the praise that has been lavished on Iron Man for being something out of the ordinary, I really expected it to deliver more than more of the same. One of the most disappointing and surprising aspects of Iron Man I thought was how quickly it settles into formula.Without giving the story away we get our hero who after a traumatic event decides to use his powers (in this case its his big brain and even bigger bank account) to fight evil, which was the same set-up we had in Spider-Man and Daredevil and Tim Burton's Batman to name a few. Then on the side a villain presents himself, generally someone who is a lot closer to a hero personally than he thinks as was the case in Spider-Man and Daredevil and Tim Burton's Batman, in the meantime our hero is perfecting his techniques or in the case of Iron Man or Batman his gadgets. Gwyneth Paltrow provides a love interest of sorts with a type of character that has been present in every comic book based film I have so far seen in my life. Terrence Howard provides a friend to Iron Man who if you really think about it doesn't contribute too heavily to the overall picture because quite frankly there is nothing in the script that gives the character real emotional weight. Iron Man director Jon Favreau himself played a similar character in Daredevil and James Franco had a role like this for most of the first Spider-Man, my point here being that so much of this has already been done before down to the same details and I honestly believed that with the direction Hellboy, X-Men 1 and 2 and Batman Begins and its sequel were going in I thought this would continue the trend of slightly more creative and involving films to be based on a comic book or graphic novel.

Granted anything adapted from a comic book or any other piece of fiction will follow the story from which it was spawned but it would appear that in the Marvel universe too many of these characters have similar stories to tell and given the stories in the comics necessitate certain characters to appear in the films despite not doing an awful lot to justify their presence. That said I know not everyone is going to play a crucial role, but some feel like their just brought along for the ride (the characters now not the actors). Its just a shame that in this case the whole thing feels so familiar and certain characters feel more like comic book templates than actual characters that could be substituted into another comic book film so easily, like Tony Stark's friend played by Terrence Howard who is underused to the point where it is even suggested that he may have a bigger role to play in the sequel (which is already slated for a summer 2010 release, which in case your interested and hadn't heard will not feature Terrence Howard who will be replaced by Don Cheadle of Traffic and the Oceans Eleven movies ). All of this of just leads to an inevitable showdown. In case anyone has actually read this and thinks I've given the whole plot away look again because I haven't mentioned what happens to anyone in Iron Man, just the odd coincidence that this supposedly superior comic adventure fits so neatly into a box of worn out clichés, origin stories and superfluous supporting characters that all build up to an all too familiar looking climax that I've already seen in Spider-Man, Batman, Daredevil and a particularly lesser film that I wouldn't do Iron Man the injustice of comparing it to( although none of them bar maybe Spider-Man have pulled its ending off as well as Iron Man does).Obviously Iron Man does what it sets out to do extremely well and the action sequences are impressive and Brides is superb in a particularly menacing turn and Downey is very effective bringing the over-sexed, over drinking and initially arrogant Tony Stark to life, who is in the aftermath of his experience actually quite moving before the film quickly moves on to the work he must do in the refined Iron Man suite and all the very, very, very cool things it can do. Overall I enjoyed Iron Man for the easy to enjoy ride it provided, but given the enormous amount of hype surrounding it, not to mention some of the names involved I just wished it could have been more involving and if possible gone further with its ideas as opposed to just being a really well done comic book movie.
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on 29 April 2015
We are now on Avengers:Age Of Ultron and have the likes of Ant Man,Doctor Strange and Captain America:Civil War on the way and they all as well as many other superb movies have Iron Man to thank for such a strong cinematic universe.This first movie in the MCU is a breath of fresh air with a actor becoming a superstar in the leading role as well as having a terrific supporting cast,awesome action,enjoyable fun filled tone and the genuine feel of a comic book come to life and a little known character becoming the main player in the Avengers team.

Playboy billionaire,inventor and owner of Stark Industries Tony Stark(just near perfect Robert Downey Jr)son of fellow genius Howard Stark gets ambushed in Afghanistan by a terrorist group known as The Ten Rings(who are employed by a famous villain) when coming back from a demonstration for a missile test.As he is held captive along with Yinsen who helps him by putting a electromagnet in his chest which saves his life from shrapnel,the terrorists are trying to get them to build one of the missiles that Tony was demonstrating but instead secretly build a suit of armor with which Stark will use against the villains along with a reactor to power the magnet but after finding out whats going on the terrorists attack them both but Yinsen helps Tony get in the suit and Stark takes out the bad guys though Yinsen sacrifices himself to help Tony.
After his experience Tony decides to rebuild the suit and use it to help others and stop other villains from hurting people but after shutting down other plans to manufacture weapons his business manager Obadiah Stane(big name star Jeff Bridges)thinks this is a bad idea and starts plotting Stark's downfall and plans to get power of the company in his favor and wants a suit of his own.
With Stane wanting to take over and destroy Stark in his own suit the Iron Monger can Tony with the help of loyal assistant and love interest Pepper Potts(stunning Gwyneth Paltrow),friend and army colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes(Terrence Howard)and AI system J.A.R.V.I.S.(Paul Bettany)bring down Stane's Monger before he destroys his life and business.

This is a origin story and a bit like Batman Begins it takes a bit to get going but once out of the cave this becomes a action packed experience with Tony soon flying round in his newly updated red and gold suit and when he is getting first into it there are some very funny scenes and his prized cars get the brunt of the damage before he goes on his first mission to bring down more bad guys and saves a small village close to where he was captive.This is Downey Jr's show and without this movie who knows where he would be and we have a confident but very lovable hero who is always cracking a joke and enjoying himself.I like how after what happened to him he changes his way of thinking using his money to help those and though still stuck up to some is a rich guy trying to do good.Robert is the perfect choice for Stark as he himself had a hard time in the limelight and like Tony managed to change his ways and do good with his life,he is wonderful in this and always has a quip to help him along and a smile on his face which often irritates Potts and Rhodes as he puts himself in danger a bit too much,i just love how he just wants a cheeseburger after his ordeal and its that tone that makes this film zip along even though it not once is camp it does it without being over the top.Downey Jr's Stark may come across as cocky at times but is a hero of the super kind even if he isn't a superhero till he puts the suit on,he is already one of my favorite actors and i cannot imagine Iron Man or The Avengers with Downey Jr as its one of the finest casting choices ever.

The rest of the cast though excellent can be wasted at times none so more than Jeff Bridges who like other IM bad guys are not given enough time to showcase themselves and feel like Whiplash from IM2 he isn't the most interesting villain Marvel has produced,thats not to say Bridges isn't good as he is a powerful actor but feel is wasted in this,i also feel he verges on a over the top take over the world type villain and this film needs a more grounded bad guy,leave this type of villain for the Avenger or Thor movies,a top actor with a real presence and says his lines with real authority but wasted for me and the Iron Monger finale is a bit silly.
Gwyneth Paltrow on the other hand is quite possibly the best superhero love interest to date and she truly is a stunning woman who looks incredible and the best scenes in the film are with her Potts and Downey's Stark and their will they won't they vibe is lovely and just love how she tries to stay normal even when Tony is doing something dangerous and outrageous,its also nice to see her cracking a smile and jokes after many of her straight roles and after being wasted in future IM movies she just excels in this first movie.
Terrence Howard is a bit hit and miss and like Bridges can be wasted as Rhodey but makes his scenes count but do believe actor Don Cheadle was better suited to the role as i could never see Howard as War Machine and wonder if the plan was to replace him future films.
Other actors make their mark like the films maker Jon Favreau as Stark's bodyguard Happy Hogan who like any Favreau character is always funny and lights up any scene.We also have Paul Bettany as Alfred in a AI J.A.R.V.I.S who though is only heard is excellent and gets Stark out of many a sticky situation(check him out as The Vision in Age Of Ultron).Finally we have movie icon Samuel L Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury in a post credits scene and Clark Gregg as a agent of the same company and though they have very small roles(Jackson especially)they really do make an impact and sets up future movies and makes any fan of the Marvel universe like myself very happy to see the wheels in motion.Just want to say check out head honcho Stan Lee's Hugh Hefner type cameo moment.

The action and set pieces though slow in coming zip along when they arrive and we have a top moment to start the film as Stark is ambushed by the bad guys when the cars are blown in the air.Other memorable things are when Stark is flying round for the first time and makes a mess of his house and quips'yeah i can fly',or scenes with Pepper where humor is coming think and fast and she has a quip too saying he has a heart when she sends him a arc reactor,the scenes in the cave with the first suit and then the suit we all know in the desert later on are brilliant and action packed as Tony makes quick work of bad guys even throwing one to the villagers to get their own back,the scenes too with Iron Man flying through the skies and by planes are great on the eye.The finale though spectacular is a bit of a let down after some of the other thrilling moments as strangely it seems to drag but at the same time be over without much happening and just wasn't a fan of Iron Monger as i felt him a fat version of Iron Man and beaten too easily,its the weakest finale of the trilogy.I would of loved to see Rhodey become War Machine too but like i said i reckon they were replacing Howard after this for the more action suited Cheadle.

I don't have many negatives but here is a few like Bridges was wasted and not the best baddie,Howard good but not great,the finale was a bit plodding after some epic action before hand,the origin was a bit slow to start with and would of loved to see more J.A.R.V.I.S..

This though is the perfect way to introduce this awesome character and start this incredible cinematic journey that has brought so many superb characters and films to audiences and as a solo movie its up there with the best with a actor simply born to play Tony Stark in Robert Downey Jr and a beautiful and brilliant lady in Paltrow by his side with a director at the top of his game bringing a little known comic book to life and making Iron Man a superstar creation with some outstanding action,sound and special effects.Its hard to imagine early choices for Stark were Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage,though great talents i can't see them playing Tony like Robert does,not many actors were born for their roles but he is for damn sure.

He is Tony Stark,he is Iron Man.
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