Tag Archives: Gwyneth Paltrow

“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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Iron Man 3 Trailer

Here it is, the first full-length trailer of Iron Man 3! I have to say, it automatically has a much darker feel than the other two films — which I’m a huge fan of. This one plays off of last summer’s smash blockbuster, “Avengers,” which  was very fun. At the end of that film, Iron Man goes through a hole to another world. In this, we see that’s it has changed him. And, of course, this is the first appearance of his great comic book enemy, The Mandarin, played by Academy Award-winner Ben Kingsley. This film has massive promise.

Country Strong

While out on tour to revive her stalled career, once-popular country singer Kelly (Gwyneth Paltrow) falls for emerging newcomer Beau (Garrett Hedlund) and tries desperately to hide their burgeoning romance from her ever-present husband and manager, Ed (Tim McGraw). Written and directed by Shana Feste, this musical drama co-stars Leighton Meester as a former beauty queen trying to break out as a songstress.

Lauren
Rating: 4 out of 10

Country Strong. It isn’t long exactly, but it does feel like it won’t end.

There are too many main characters – Gwyneth, a country super star fresh out of rehab; McGraw, her asshole of a husband and manager; and the two young wannabes along for the ride. The writer really should have picked whose story this was before trying to jam all their lives down our throats. As the story builds it feels forced and phony. This is not at all like last year’s successful movie about a washed up, drunk country star – Crazy Heart, which was authentic and raw.

Country Strong moves along quickly, it has to in order to fit it all in. Alcoholism, dead babies, affairs, parents in prison, lies, music – this movie has it all. The story isn’t unfolding as much as is being thrown at us. The scenes don’t build and reveal secrets slowly, they just spat out some issue and then the next scene spats out something new and unbelievable. And even without any build up everything is completely predictable.

I don’t really like any of the characters but the secondary leads are better than Tim and Gwyneth. It is weird watching Blair Waldorf sing country music, but she’s not bad. The young, sweet country crooner, who prefers singing in honky-tonks to good people who just want to hear some good music while they drink their beer, is cute, but his facial hair is distracting. It’s long and straight and grows in patches. He needs to shave.

The end came just in time with a big, sad, to some, dramatic finale that, again, is predictable even though there isn’t any preparation for it.

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.