Just classic Hollywood. If some is good, then more must be better.
That same attitude permeates a lot of pop & rock music these days. Not only is the bass often out of proportion, but the high compression levels suck all the dynamics and life out of recordings in an effort to simply sound "loud."
A pox on them all.
I watched Iron Man on Blu-ray just last night myself. I don't have HDMI audio decoding on my pre/pro, however, so I was just getting a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX downconvert from the TrueHD soundtrack. Although there were some serious crashes and explosions, my sub didn't bottom out as it sometimes does.
For me, the most obnoxious LFE I've heard at home are the HD broadcasts of the Star Wars movies. The Star Wars LFE stuff is not well integrated with the soundtrack at large, and the soundtrack is frequently punctuated with gratuitous LF whumps and swells, and the obvious manipulation takes me out of the movie.
When my neighbors son drives by.
I installed bass pistons in my seats for this reason, you can turn down sub to a level where it will never get out of hand and still feel the impact in your chair, they were only $20 per pair. While my HSU sub handles everything great its the material and mix levels that are often the problem, I have used REW to find optimal placement of all speakers and room is of good size and I have some treatments but nothing will fix an overdone mix.
I watched Iron Man on a blu-ray disc the other day and also thought there was something wrong with the bass.
Yep, I watched Iron Man twice in the last few days, and I found myself in the menu of my new Yamaha RX-V1800 trying to turn down the sub. It seemed at times there was incredible LFE going on that I couldn't figure out why.
I also noticed that even with the master volume turned down pretty low, the bass was way more prominent than I think I have observed with any other movie.
Ok, at least it wasn't just me...Last night I adjusted vol on sub. Again, a very strong LFE presence still. I was going to play around with crossovers etc. then thought to myself. "The movie isn't even that good, why bother"...
I agree as well. I watched it several time in last few days and found the LFE reproduction to be skewed and unexpected, i.e. loud when the image didn't suggest that scale of noise, or quiet when you saw something of scale moving, crashing, or exploding.
And even when you expected loud, there was some bloat or unannatural overhang to some effects. It is hard to find a middle ground between LOTR trilogy DTS superhot LFE, Star Wars, and then your fairly regular movies that do not have a soundtrack intensive approach.
The curse of the hobby...no set and forget...that's why we have remotes...annoying as it is during set-up...
I'm glad someone else feels my pain
Perhaps it would be helpful to know what your audio setups are. Were you using lossless Dolby TrueHD via HDMI or downconverted to DD 5.1 via SP/DIF?
I'm using standard DVD spun/upsampled on an Esoteric DV-60 and powered by a Classe ssp-300/ca-5200 combination. I have Atlantic Technology 8200e system in a 5.2 configuration, so suffice to say I am intimately aware with most LFE playback (2 subs let me know).
They're not as earth shattering as my Velodyne dd-15 is (shocking really) but they do a great job, fast quick, and plenty of impact with a pair (only way to get system to an Ultra 2 spec). Haven't gone for blu-ray yet as I'm waiting for an Esoteric/Classe/McIntosh release of a player.
Standard DVD version...Have never had any LFE issues in the past. No bottoming out, always plenty of headroom. Just this specific dvd.
Well, that may explain why my experience was so different from yours. The bass on the Blu-ray was powerful for sure, but it wasn't overblown, gratuitous, or annoying. I'm familiar with overblown and gratuitous LFE from the HD cablecasts of the Star Wars movies. The Blu-ray of Iron Man had none of that. I've had some soundtracks make my subwoofer bottom out, but Iron Man did not.
So I guess the mixdown for std-def DVD is significantly different from the Blu-ray.