Tag Archives: Don Cheadle

“Iron Man 3” (2013)

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When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Directed by Shane Black

Reviewed by Brian –

I really enjoyed the first two Iron Man films and was looking forward to watching this one. It’s tough to put your finger on just why this one doesn’t feel right. I had my Iron Man checklist ready:

Sarcastic and funny Tony..check

Humor within the action…check

Formidible bad guy…check

Romantic chemistry…check

But, why didn’t this one succeed like the first two films? The main problem is the story just isn’t compelling. A former business associate turns into a fire guy while running an underground terrorist organzation to flush out the president so the Vice President can take over to pass his legal agendas? That’s really the best idea they could come up with?

There’s thousands of issues of Iron Man available with far more compelling enemies and plot twists that they could of decided on. Another issue I had is that they really make Iron Man far too vulnerable. One of the reasons that super hero films are so engaging is that you have a collection of characters that can do spectacular things. “Iron Man 3” doesn’t even have Tony in the suit for 85% of the film and when they do a lot of his suit’s functions either don’t work or are ineffective against his foes. It’s hard to accept when in the Avengers movies he was taking out an advanced alien race, fighting toe to toe with a God, and hurling a nuclear bomb into a wormhole. Now I’m supposed to believe that because a group of people can turn their skin hot, he’s done for?

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My criticisms may sound harsh but I still enjoyed watching “Iron Man 3.”  Robert Downey Jr. is typically great in the role, Ben Kingsley has some scene stealing moments, and the special effects are better than ever. It just didn’t click together for me. You could possibly chalk it up to the change in director from Jon Favreau to Shane Black. Black’s tone is certainly darker and more desperate which takes away some of the fun. But, I tend to feel the more of these comic book films come out, the more the writers have to find ways to challenge our super heroes. The problem with Iron Man 3 is it challenged him to the point of making him no longer feeling super.

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Brooklyn’s Finest

Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) directs this tense drama about three New York cops whose paths collide in a Brooklyn housing project where each must make a decision that will change the course of their lives forever. Cynical, washed-up Eddie (Richard Gere) no longer cares about the job or the rules; cash-strapped Sal (Ethan Hawke) sees a shortcut to solvency; and Tango (Don Cheadle) is torn between conflicting loyalties. Ellen Barkin and Wesley Snipes co-star.

Matt
Rating: 8 out of 10

This is one of those movies I rave about to people only to have them turn around and say, “That was awful! It was so dark.”

It’s true, I have a liking for dark cinema, and this is no exception. Antoine Fuqua brings us a sharp film about the more realistic side of being a cop, and it’s a multi-faceted one. There is no one type of anything, let alone police officers. Fuqua does a great job at looking at the world they live in, the crime they see, and the internal and external conflicts they endure. The performances are excellent.

We follow the lives of an undercover officer dealing with drugs and organized crime, a lazy cop seven days from retirement, and a family man who can’t afford to support his family who tries to steal from drug dealers. It’s not an uplifting story by any stretch, but it’s a good one, and it’s ending is unexpected and intense.

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Iron Man 2

With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, must forge new alliances — and confront powerful enemies.

Matt
Rating 9 out of 10

Tony Stark is delightfully unlikable.

He’s the rich kid with all the toys, whose so full of himself it’s amazing he didn’t spend his money and time making clones of himself rather than inventing a suit to help save humanity from war and poverty.

We see Stark as a more flawed character in this film. He’s more arrogant, more brash, and yet he’s weak. His suit is literally poisoning him, and he’s secretly trying to find the cure. He’s also botching things up badly with his love interest, Pepper Pots, and his enemy, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), is more powerful and dangerous than anything he’s faced. His business is also on the firing line as he faces serious competition from his rival (Sam Rockwell). His best friend Rhodes is also upset with him. Stark’s life is going to pot.

This movie develops Stark and the surrounding characters deeper than the first, which was forced to have an origin story. I walked out of the theater saying this movie was just as good as the first, which I gave a nine. The critics are off on this one, which have been giving it mediocre reviews.

Brian
Rating: 8 out of 10

I was sitting in the movie theater watching this film and saying to myself, “Why do I have this perma-grin when I watch an Iron Man film?”  Is it Favreu’s frenetic direction that never takes a front seat to the characters?  Is it Robert Downey Jr’s note perfect performance of the most likeable egomaniac of all time?  Is it the incredible ILM special effects that look better than ever?  It’s all of the above.

This is what a super hero sequel should be.  New characters, new challenges, and an upped ante of special effects with a more compelling villain than the first.  Speaking of the villain, there is not a better actor working today than Mickey Rourke and it’s so good to have him back.  Here he plays Ivan Vanko, the son of the man who invented the technology that keeps Tony Stark alive and he’s none too happy about the fortune and fame it has given him.  I could go on and on about the S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot, Tony’s challenges with not only his best friend but alcoholism, and the absolutely stunning Scarlett Johansson but I’ll just sum it up by saying:  Go See this movie! Is it as good as the first? No, but it’s damn close.