Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United [Blu-Ray]
Director: Eric Radomski, Leo Riley
Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Fred Tatasciore, Dee Bradley Baker (VOICES)
Release Date: Only on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital platforms on December 3, 2013
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
In this action-packed adventure, the invincible Iron Man and the incredible Hulk come together to save the Earth from its greatest threat yet! When two HYDRA scientists try to supercharge a Stark Arc Reactor with Hulk’s Gamma Energy, they unleash a being of pure electricity called the Zzzax – and he’s hungry for destruction. Together, Iron Man and Hulk are the only force that stands in the way of the Zzzax’s planetary blackout. But first the Super Hero duo will have to get through snarling Wendigos, deadly robots and the scaly powerhouse, Abomination. Can two of Marvel’s mightiest Heroes find a way to work together without smashing each other before time runs out?
Two of everyone’s favorite superheroes and key members of The Avengers join forces in a new Marvel Animated film that for the first time is done completely with CGI animation. In ‘Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United’ the two heroes reluctantly team up in order to stop a new threat that could have horrible ramifications if it is not stopped. Unfortunately for these two preferable loners, that means they will have to try to get along and work together long enough to stop this electrifying force.
While the CGI animation here is certainly nowhere near the level of Pixar films or the like, it is actually pretty decent. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but it really flows well and I think the younger fans will quite enjoy seeing two of their favorite superheroes come alive in this fashion. The story stays light hearted enough to be suitable for younger viewers (far tamer than any of the live action Marvel films) while including enough action and elements from the comics to keep the older viewers interested and entertained as well. In addition to Iron Man and Hulk, there are a few more characters fans may recognize, such as Abomination and the infamous Hydra. There is also an additional scene following the credits (similar to the live action Marvel Films) which definitely put a smile on my face and has me hoping that this might only be the first film in the beginning of a new Marvel CGI Universe.
One thing that took some getting used to for me on this release which I must comment on, is when you pause the film it will go into a brief countdown before beginning a bonus feature titled ‘Marvel Inter-Missions’ which are basically silly little Marvel animated gags and shorts that go into play and continue (at least for a good 4-5 minutes) whenever you pause the film. I personally wasn’t too fond of these and found them a bit silly, but I’m fairly certain the younger audience will have a blast with them for the most part which I’m sure was likely the intention and it is certainly a unique and original touch. For those watching alone who would prefer to not have them going in the background, you are able to hit the pause button an additional time once the ‘Inter-Missions’ start in order to completely pause playback of any kind.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation here is quite impressive and really gives amazing clarity to the detail in the CGI animation such as shadows and sharp edges/shapes. There are certainly no issues whatsoever with the video presentation here and everything looks to be spot on.
While I was worried for a moment because the box art did not clarify, and the only audio logo on the rear of the box is a Dolby digital logo, rest assured all of you fellow audiophiles, the Blu-Ray disc does indeed include a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. I must say the lossless soundtrack here was also what I found to be hands down the most impressive part of this Blu-Ray release. There is constant activity occurring throughout all of the channels without in any way preventing or deterring from the clarity of dialog in the center channel. When the action sequences get going and things get crazy, this lossless soundtrack really hits full force and is shockingly bass heavy as well which I must admit was a pretty fun surprise and helped improve my overall experience and enjoyment of the film significantly.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United’ features a few interesting and I must say original extras. Included are a look at Marvel Team-Up’s with Ryan Penagos and Joe Q which was an informative and fun little bonus, and ‘Marvel Mash-Ups’ which take old marvel animated elements and mix them with current elements. Lastly, and probably the most notable extra on this Blu-Ray release is the ‘Marvel Inter-Missions’ which while I wasn’t personally fond of (as I mentioned previously) they were indeed a very clever idea and something I can imagine kids having a lot of fun with, which one would assume was likely the intention. For those who missed my comment regarding them earlier and skipped straight to this section of the review, the ‘Inter-Missions’ are basically silly little Marvel animated gags and shorts that go into play and continue (at least for a good number of minutes) whenever you pause the film. Certainly a few interesting and clever extras here that help contribute to the release and give it something extra and a little different from the norm.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
“Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is available only on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital platforms on December 3, 2013.