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    Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray Disney

    Nov 25 2013 02:24 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    The writers for the Marvel Comics universe have been combining members of their various superhero families for years in interesting mash-ups where their very unique personalities join to make a deadlier fighting force than the individual members can muster alone. Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United is an animated look at two of the more popular members of the Marvel family. While the adventure the two supermen have in this made-for-home video release isn’t exactly earth shattering, it’s a cinch that fans of the two characters will enjoy their blustering banter and the non-stop destruction that make up this animated adventure.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Disney
    • Distributed By: N/A
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
    • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
    • Rating: PG
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 11 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
    • Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
    • Region: ABC
    • Release Date: 12/03/2013
    • MSRP: $39.99

    The Production Rating: 3/5

    In their attempt to create a super-powered villain who can match any of the Avengers, Doctors Cruler (Dee Bradley Baker) and Fump (Robin Atkin Downes) instead create a runaway energy-devouring monster who takes the name Zzzax (Dee Bradley Baker). It’s up to Iron Man (Adrian Pasdar) to save the day, especially since the Hulk (Fred Tatasciore) filled with his gamma ray energy had been kidnapped to be used as one of the energy sources in the creation of the beast. Tony Stark must first rescue the green guy and try to win him over to his side before they can both tackle the seemingly unstoppable Zzzax before it consumes all of the Earth’s energy.

    It’s a fairly basic scenario for this dual match up between Iron Man and Hulk, but despite the film’s non-stop confrontations, action, and destruction, fans will likely savor most especially every brittle wisecrack and putdown each of the heroes lobs toward the other as they try to pound one another into submission before finally wising up that only their combined efforts will be powerful enough to conquer their enemy which they dub “living lightning.” The motion comic animation isn’t anything unique though it’s certainly more detailed and elaborate than the animation found in various Marvel animated television programs (just a glance at one of the bonus features drawn from the television programs shows what a huge step up this feature is from those episodes). And some of the tropes of Tony Stark’s existence (Jarvis, his floating armada, the plethora of different Iron Man suits) are here to see and savor for fans of that character.

    Adrian Pasdar as Tony Stark/Iron Man isn’t quite as nonchalant in his dry wit and wisdom as Robert Downey Jr. is in the live action films, but his voice performance is a more than reasonable substitute for the actor from the live action movies. Fred Tatasciore gets across the Hulk’s continual desire to smash and mash quite nicely and even gets off a few quippy putdowns himself before the film draws to a close. Dee Bradley Baker is just fine as both villains Dr. Cruler and Zzzax. David Kaye voices computer valet Jarvis quite wonderfully.

    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The film is presented on Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is offered in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. Sharpness and color are first-rate though the style of animation doesn’t offer the kinds of details that one gets in quality traditional animation. The lines are mostly quite solid though there is a touch of aliasing which can be seen on occasion. There is no banding in the backgrounds in a mostly excellent high definition encode. The film has been divided into 16 chapters.

    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix will really give your subwoofer a thorough workout. There are very few of the film’s 71 minutes that don’t feature some kind of thundering crunch, explosion, or eruption, and the lossless encode handles them all wonderfully. There might not be quite as many split surround effects as one might have anticipated with the movie, but what’s there is nicely rendered. Dialogue is also completely discernible in spite of all of the thundering on the soundtrack, and it’s been placed in the center channel.

    Special Features: 2/5

    Marvel Intermission (HD): excerpts from the Marvel animated television programs featuring Iron Man or the Hulk pop up when the movie is paused. This feature can be turned off from the set-up menu.

    Marvel Team-Up (11:37, HD): Marvel executives Ryan Penagos and Joe Quesada talk about their introductions into the Marvel universe as kids, mention their favorite Marvel heroes, and discuss the mash-ups of various characters which have been going on for quite a while.

    Marvel Mash-ups (2:02 each, HD): three mash-ups must be watched individually featuring Iron Man/Shield, Hulk/Betty Ross, and Hulk/Li’l Hulk.

    Promo Trailers (HD): Iron Man 3, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., among others

    DVD/Digital Copy: disc and code sheet enclosed

    Overall Rating: 3/5

    Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United would seem to be mostly fashioned for preteen boys though certainly anyone who enjoys the Marvel universe of heroes and villains might find some momentary amusement with the story and characters in this made-for-home video release.

    Reviewed by: Matt Hough
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    1 Comments

    Ya know, I think we saw a trailer for this movie when we were on the Disney lot last October.  It kept getting delayed...I'm still wondering why.  Nothing in your review, Matt, leads me to believe this is a terrible movie or it had to be reworked late in the process.  So what gives?

     

    I'm not fooling myself: I'll be picking this up at some point.  Most likely at a $10 price point in a few months.