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Iron Man

Lisa and I went to see this yesterday. We both really enjoyed it, although owing to her crush on Robert Downey, Jr., I think Lisa enjoyed it a bit more. Robocop is still my favorite film in this particular subgenre, but Iron Man comes in a very close second.

Things I loved:

Robert Downey, Jr. -- He really does make the picture, even if you're more sexually attracted to the power armor. Watching him play the bad boy with the heart of gold, I totally get why women and directors keep giving him extra chances.

Gwyneth Paltrow -- Her performance is arguably even more impressive than Downey's, because she had a lot less character to work with. Like ironymaiden, I appreciated that the filmmakers avoided the usual damsel-in-distress cliches. And yeah, I liked the dress.

Jeff Bridges -- Another great acting job. As a bald, bearded man named "Stane," it was obvious he'd turn out to be a bad guy, but I didn't mind not being surprised.

Robert Downey's mechanical lab assistants -- The one with the fire extinguisher is the Best Robo-Pet Ever.

Things I wasn't as crazy about:

Shaun Toub's noble native sacrificing himself to save Our Hero -- My single biggest disappointment with the story. He was an interesting character, and I wanted to see him make it back to Malibu and become the world's first Afghani superhero sidekick. I know his death was meant to help R.D., Jr. see the error of his ways, but I think he'd have been even more effective as a constant, living reminder of all the innocents killed by Stark's weaponry.

Terrence Howard as the black sidekick with absolutely nothing to do -- ...instead of which, we get this guy, staring wistfully at the spare Iron Man suit and saying "Next time... " Come on, folks, you had a $200 million budget and four screenwriters; either come up with something for this time, or drop the character entirely and give me more of Gwyneth in the dress. It doesn't count as affirmative action if he's boring.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
camies
May. 7th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Terrence Howard as the black sidekick with absolutely nothing to do

So not even an Amusing Black Man?

I hafta admit that the trailer for that movie did not make me want to see it at all - played to the technoweenies and nothing else, I felt.
matt_ruff
May. 7th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
So not even an Amusing Black Man?

No, he reminded more of Wallace on Veronica Mars: definitely not a stereotype, but still a missed opportunity.

I hafta admit that the trailer for that movie did not make me want to see it at all

I really would recommend it, even to non-technoweenies.
kauricat
May. 7th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
I have heard a lot of complaints about Howard's character, but I am clinging to the belief that they wanted to introduce him early on in what will hopefully be a series, while not blowing their whole wad of "cool stuff we can do" in the first movie. It was important to explain the relationship between him and Stark, but by not having him actually get into the suit, they can leave that until the next film (which I just heard should be out in 2010. YAY).
mastadge
May. 7th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
It will definitely be a series. Downey will reprise his role as Iron Man in next month's Hulk flick. And after Iron Man's huge opening weekend, Marvel has announced that 2010 will bring us Iron Man II and Thor; 2011, Captain America and finally The Avengers, bringing them together.
matt_ruff
May. 8th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
Actually, looking at (producer) Avi Arad's credits on imdb, it seems like they've got a bunch of others planned, as well: Nick Fury, Luke Cage, The Silver Surfer, Ant-Man... (Wish I could be more excited about Spiderman 4.)
mastadge
May. 8th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
Yes, but a lot of those are those IMDB entries of movies that looked like they would happen, but didn't. They've still got movies listing as forthcoming in 2007, etc. Also, I think Fox owns the movie rights to Silver Surfer, since he was in the F4 movies, (also to the X-Men films, etc) whereas Marvel has retained the rights to this line of confirmed Avengers pics, so they can do their shared-world thing instead of having all the movies distinct from one another.
larrymac
May. 7th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
I think you're giving RDJr short shrift with that extra chances line. He's been clean for a few years now and has done some excellent work. It's not like he's Steve Howe or something. (no, not the guitar player).
zarathud
May. 7th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
rozk discovered an interesting film detail regarding Obadiah Stane.
matt_ruff
May. 8th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
That is interesting.
Ted Chiang [myopenid.com]
May. 8th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Come on, folks, you had a $200 million budget and four screenwriters; either come up with something for this time, or drop the character entirely

I have to disagree. I think the problem with most superhero movies is that they try to cram too much into two hours. Superhero comics are at their best with long-arc serial storytelling, but the average movie can tell maybe a novelette's worth of story. I can understand if Terrence Howard found the role unsatisfying as an actor, but I think it was better for the movie that Rhodes was a minor character. And, if they manage to give Rhodes more to do in a subsequent movie, it's better that we've been introduced to the character already.
matt_ruff
May. 8th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
Hey Ted. I'm completely unfamiliar with the source comic, so I didn't realize Rhodes was canon (Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Avengers I've at least heard of, and I guessed they wouldn't name a woman "Pepper Potts" unless that was also already in the book somewhere). I can certainly see why they felt like they had to include him if that's so, but I think what I'd have done in that case would be to get rid of Toub's character and have Rhodes be the second captive in the cave -- let him save Stark's life and help him build the Mark I suit. That would really establish their friendship from the start and give Rhodes a lot more to do. Later on, when Stark's in the Mark II suit being chased by jets, I think their phone conversation would be a lot funnier. And it'd make Rhodes' lust for a suit of his own seem less like a throwaway line.

All of which is to say, I should probably get back to writing my own damn book.
citycrystal
May. 8th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
What'd you think of the Nick Fury tease?
matt_ruff
May. 8th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
It definitely added to my already considerable desire to see the sequel.
citycrystal
May. 8th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
apparently also in the new Hulk.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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