Third ‘Iron Man’ installment lacks immediacy of first two
A superhero and super cops top this week’s DVD releases.
• “Iron Man 3,” B-minus: When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
The heart of the movie remains the same: the glib performance turned in by Robert Downey Jr. Even in the face of this new threat, Stark never runs out of quips. Jon Favreau mixed the quick retorts with some regular dialogue, but Shane Black’s script is so loaded with wisecracks that it begins to wear thin. It’s the type of banter that better fits a buddy cop movie.
This film has as much action as the first two outings. But Black isn’t as skilled as Favreau at pulling the audience into the middle of the battles. The big showdown is loaded with firepower, but it is shot with such an arm’s-length approach that it’s like watching a fireworks show rather than setting the fireworks off yourself.
Black’s brought his own voice to the franchise, and it’s a big change. It would have been better had he toned down some of the dialogue, stayed a little more loyal to the source material and not had so many scenes in a movie called “Iron Man” without the character.
• “Hawaii Five-0: The Third Season,” B: The updated version of the classic TV detective series has settled into a solid rhythm because of the strong cast. Alex O’Loughlin anchors the team as the leaner, meaner version of Steve McGarrett. But, he gets a lot of support from Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.
The show also works because of a strong central villain in Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos). Even when he’s not the center of the police investigation, the character continues to cast a shadow over the island. Add in Christine Lahti as McGarret’s mom with a spy past and the series has numerous ways to go with stories.
The DVD set includes all 24 episodes, plus deleted scenes, a cast and crew gag reel and several short behind-the-scenes features.
Also new this week
“Unfinished Song”: Music changes the life of a grumpy man (Terence Stamp).
“Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot!”: The 12 mysteries include the new cartoon “Scooby-Doo! Mecha Mutt Menace.”
“Dear Mom, Love Cher”: A look at Cher’s close relationship with her family, including her mother, Georgia Holt.
“Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series”: Includes 13 episodes and two Christmas specials.
“Gene Simmons Family Jewels”: Final season of the cable reality show about the KISS member and his family.
“Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit”: Animated tale of how Fu goes on a trek to become a kung fu master.
“Redemption”: A man (Jason Statham) sees the efforts to put his life in order fail because of London’s criminal underworld.
“Anything Is Possible”: Ethan Bortnick plays a young boy who must strike out on his own after his mother goes missing.
“Dark Girls”: An exploration of the prejudices dark-skinned women face throughout the world.
“Barabbas”: A man seeks redemption after his life is spared at the cost of Jesus Christ’s death. Billy Zane stars.
“Hannibal: Season One”: NBC series about the “Silence of the Lambs” serial killer.
“The Lady Vanishes”: New version of the 1938 Alfred Hitchcock classic.
“South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season”: Includes 14 episodes of the animated series.
“Ashes”: Two brothers fight to survive in this urban drama.
“Foyle’s War: Set 7”: Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) takes on the world of spies.
“Geronimo Stilton: Operation ShuFongFong”: Series inspired by the best-selling Scholastic book series of the same name.
“Fill the Void”: A woman must decide on whether to marry for love or family.
“2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season”: Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs star in the CBS comedy.
“Silent But Deadly”: An outsider seeks revenge when his pet goat ends up as the daily lunch special.
“The Kings of Summer”: Three teenage friends decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.
“Two and a Half Men: The Complete Tenth Season”: CBS comedy starring Ashton Kutcher.
“Halloween”: The John Carpenter horror classic is being released to mark the 35th anniversary.
“War and Peace”: Malcolm McDowell stars in this version of the Tolstoy novel.
“Prince of Darkness”: John Carpenter movie starring Alice Cooper is on Blu-ray.
“Kaijudo: Rose of the Duel Masters – Darkness of Heart”: Animated series about a teen recruited by the Duel Masters.