Tag Archives: Iron Man

“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.

Captain America Trailer Released

Kyle

“…because a weak man knows the value of strength, the value of power.”

Marvel has just recently released a full trailer for “Captain America: The First Avenger.” After watching it a few times, I have some mixed thoughts. As good as it looks, I’m not sure if the special effects in the cinematography are applicable. I mean, it looks good but if they are going for a true feel of World War II wartime, they shouldn’t have made given that unnecessary glow that it has. I haven’t seen Sky Captain, just some glimpses from the trailer when it came out, but the look of it reminds of that film. Perhaps my expectations of it are too high. I was kind of hoping for Saving Private Ryan meets X-Men.

The other thing I’m not sure about is Chris Evans’ portrayal of the cap. He played an okay hotshot in the terrible “Fantastic Four,” a good-looking street-smart with super powers in “Push,” and a funny hotshot in “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” My hesitancy comes from the fact that he usually plays cool, confident, and attractive guys more or less. For Captain America, I imagine a guy who you can see and feel the hardship of being a below-average guy with a big heart who’s literally given the opportunity of a lifetime. With Evans’, I just don’t see it. Let’s hope his delivery better than my expectations. With Weaving as Red Skull, I’m not too worried. Weaving has some experience playing at both ends of being good and bad (“The Matrix” and “V for Vendetta”). I really hope the Red Skull’s history is depicted in the film; growing up as an orphan who has to survive by living a life of crime and eventually becoming Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man. I equally enjoy watching the rise of a hero as well as the rise of a villain; it adds some humanity to the protagonist by giving a reason for their ruthlessness.

Despite my two little bugaboos, I still look forward to seeing it. As a nerd, it’s a definite must-see regardless if it’s really good. At its core, it’s about a helpless guy who wants to make a difference and becomes a superhero and, from what I briefly saw, gets the girl. That’s enough appeal to any nerd such as myself. Will it be a huge success? Maybe not but we now live in time where if any comic book-to-film comes out, it’ll be automatically be compared to The Dark Knight and thus denouncing it as “not as good as ‘The Dark Knight.’” That alone creates quite a bit of bias for future comic book films, as different comic characters are very different than that of Batman and the world in which Batman operates. Regardless of this theory, it’s a big budget film that’ll be guaranteed to make a lot of box office dollars. Check out the trailer below and let us know what your thoughts are.

Top 5 comic book movies

This is a tough topic to tackle. It’s not because there’s a huge pot of truly great comic book movies. In fact, the film industry has crapped out careless comic-based movies without any respect to the fans and great respect to the possibility of turning a buck, as we discusses last week. This week, Matt and Brian compare their Top 5 comic book movies of all time.

Matt

5. V for Vendetta, based on the masterful graphic novel by Alan Moore, was treated with both care for the source material and respect for fans – both key elements to a comic film. Hugo Weaving brought great dimension to V with a dark passion for justice while combining elegant body language that gave depth to a character with no face. He also wasn’t afraid to add some humor. Natalie Portman gave another steady performance in a film by the Wachowski brothers, Andy and Larry (better known for the Matrix series). All in all a stand out film for people who never even knew it was a comic and die hard fans of Moore.

4. Iron Man was my favorite book as a kid, and it killed me to rank this at number four. Jon Favreau shook off critics to bring a fun, multidimensional film about the complex character of Tony Stark, played with precision by Robert Downey Jr. Stark is an alcoholic, womanizer who deals weapons that kill people while facing down those demons as he becomes a hero. This was a great origin story supported by a cast that has never been matched in other comic films – Downey, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, all of who have been nominated or won Academy Awards. The only downfall was Terrance Howard, who was wooden and too chummy as Stark’s best friend Rhodey.

3. The Dark Knight is simply a great detective, noir film with excellent acting and superb directing. The show was stolen by the Joker, portrayed in the Academy Award winning role by Heath Ledger. Sadly, his death means the character will no longer exist in the series, brought back to life by director Christopher Nolan. This is a comic book movie that reaches a broad audience because it’s simply a good film with engaging characters, smart action, and villains that work. The scene where the Joker slams a thugs face down on a pencil was simply perfect.

2. Watchmen is a movie that will turn a lot of heads on this list, and perhaps rightfully so. However, the film was perfect in my mind. There was great respect given to the source material, which was the best selling comic book in history. The film looked beautiful and was no easy task to complete given the amount of characters and the depth they are given in the book. However, director Zach Snyder was wise to focus in on Walter Kovacs/Rorschach, who is the most challenging character to the viewer – he‘s a murderer of evil people, but still a murderer. There were several scenes that were directly taken from the pages of the books, including dialogue, which is something that really hasn’t been done before. The ending was changed, which made many comic fans complain, but was a wise choice. It still had the same result, but eliminated the giant squid – which wouldn’t have worked on the big screen.

1. Superman: The Movie was the first film to take the comic genre seriously, and it is a flawlessly made film. It is a charming, funny, exciting film with a performance by
Christopher Reeve that can never be matched. He was a bumbling nerd as Clark Kent, and graceful and beautiful as Superman. Margot Kidder was a feisty Lois Lane, who brought humor and romance to the story, while Gene Hackman brought a comical, but dark Lex Luthor. This movie has yet to be surpassed in the genre. Richard Donner clearly loved Superman and gave the utmost care in casting and writing this wonderful origin story of America’s most famous and beloved super hero.

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Brian

5. Batman Begins: Christopher Nolan did the impossible. Within 15 minutes, he manages to wash away one of the worst film experiences ever in Batman and Robin by bringing us a gem of a film. This is Detective Comics: dark, moody, atmospheric, gripping, and rooted in a loose reality that we can believe in. The cast is superlative. Bale perfectly embodies the angst of Bruce Wayne along with the rage of Batman, Caine is brilliant as Alfred, and Cillian Murphy gives us a chilling Scarecrow. The lone miss in this film is Katie Holmes who comes in flat and nearly sinks any dramatic moment she’s associated with.

4. Iron Man: This is nearly as brilliant a comedy as it is an action film. Robert Downey Jr. carries this entire film and cements himself as an A list star who is gripping every time he is on screen. It’s an oscar caliber performance and a true breaking out for director Jon Favreau who previously was mainly known for his low budget comedy hit Swingers.

3. Spider-Man 2: By far the best of the Spider Man series. This takes Peter Parker in a much darker direction where he has to confront a crossroads in his personal life interfering with the gift that has been given to him to help save the world from itself. Most comic book films are at their best when the hero’s true fight is against their own demons and this is no exception. This film also gives us Alfred Molina in a terrific turn as Doctor Octopus who manages to grab our sympathy as well as our attention. That’s pretty impressive for a film about a guy with Spider powers.

2. The Dark Knight: The quintessential Batman film. Nolan essentially took a complex interwoven Scorsese film and managed to slot it in Gotham City. This film raises serious moral question about choices that people make when they are at their lowest and most desperate moments and how their instinctive reactions can label their good or evil. Of course, the puppet master in all of this is a sick and crazed anarchist that we know as the Joker who is played note perfect by Heath Ledger in an Oscar winning performance that can never be overstated as stunning and masterful. The plot weaves, characters die, decisions are made, and at the end few are left standing. It’s a must see for anyone who just likes good movies.

1. Superman: the Movie: I was torn between this and Dark Knight but I had to choose the originator of the serious comic book film. Before Richard Donner gave the Verisimilitude to Superman, comic books were known for Adam East’s Batman and George Reeves’ Superman. While entertaining, they were treated as a joke that never took the material more seriously than a comic strip. Donner changed the rules by taking Superman and placing him in an epic adventure the likes of Ben Hur of Lawrence of Arabia. We follow him from being a baby , to his teenage years at Smallville, to his rise as Superman with breathtaking cinematography by the late Geoffrey Unsworth(of 2001 fame). The cast is absolutely perfect. Christopher Reeve absolutely embodies Superman to such a degree that he never really broke out from the role. He WAS Superman. All these years later, when I hear John Williams score, I still believe a man can fly.

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.