Iron Man

Iron Man

Year: 2008
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Written By: Many for screenplay and character creation both, most notably Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is where The Avengers started, it’s where is all began and it got things kick started with a bang.  The Avengers was such an incredible movie because it was the culmination of something many films had already built over many years.  This was the first one, the first movie about one of the characters, and the first one to feature Samuel L Jackson in role of Nick Fury. This one was the right one to get things started.  Plenty of superhero films crash and burn but this one is rock and roll. It was incredibly successful because it was the real deal. It’s a cool movie and it tells an interesting and exciting introductory story.

Robert Downey Jr.’s career certainly has had its ups and downs but I think he got his game back with this role. He has always been a great actor but when he became Tony Stark he became Tony Stark.  Today’s Robert Downey Jr. isn’t the guy we saw back in the early 90s. He is an altogether entertainer that has blossomed into this really likeable guy much like Alec Baldwin or well Samuel L Jackson for that matter.  These guys are just super cool and suddenly have more charisma than anyone would have ever imagined.  Alec Baldwin once starred in Thomas and the Magic Railroad for crying out loud.  Robert Downey Jr. is now one of those guys.  He has played this character so many times now and so well that he is that guy.  Just as Jon Hamm will always be Don Draper and James Gandolfini will always be Tony Soprano.  I think it’s a good thing because I think he is great as Tony Stark and I couldn’t imagine anybody else doing it now. He may have done some great things in his career before but I think it’s obvious that this was the role he was made for.

As for the rest of the cast I don’t know that anyone was really stellar by any means.  I am a big Jeff Bridges fan but come on, The Dude does no harm.  Whose idea was it to cast him as a bad guy? He did well with it but I don’t think it was an exceptional performance or anything. I think Gwyneth Paltrow is great but this doesn’t seem like the right role for her.  It seems like a strange thing to say given how much I like the movie but I think the role of Pepper Potts is beneath her.  I think she is too good to play this kind of part in a movie like this. I am a big fan of Paul Bettany as well but I would never know he was the voice of Jarvis if it wasn’t listed in the credits.  However, I will say that the computer he personifies is really badass and I wish I had one. Terrance Howard did OK with his role as well but given he was replaced in the sequel his role means very little now.  If I remember correctly I read somewhere that he was really difficult to work with on this film and was not asked back the second time around.  I do not know enough about what happened though to be honest. Samuel L Jackson is awesome per usual but his role is so small and after the credits; it hardly matters when speaking about the cast.

I had really high hopes for Iron Man 2 but walked away feeling really disappointed.  It was too much of set up for The Avengers and I thought the Iron Man part of the storyline was really lame.  I know the character of Tony Stark has problems with consumption and that in the comics it sometimes gets out of hand. I think the writers probably had plenty of storylines to pick from though and one along those lines is lame.  I thought they could have created a more powerful Tony Stark instead of one that was dying and desperate. When he peed in the Iron Man suit I had given up on the film.  We do not own the sequel to this film because I really didn’t like it but the third film is set to be released this summer and I have high hopes. It looks really good and I am looking forward to it.  You can see a trailer here.

I don’t think this movie rivals the original Spiderman in the genre but it is high up on the list of Marvel Comics best movies.  I mean of course the films based on their characters and not simply films produced by the studio. We muct not forget about the greats aside from Spiderman was must keep X2, and Blade in mind.  This was a good movie and that is what is most important to keep in mind.  I would find it weird if you hadn’t seen this movie given its immense popularity but if you haven’t then it’s time you’ve seen it.  This movie is worth your time and I would give it my stamp of approval.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I was really surprised by this movie. I went into it thinking that I probably wouldn’t like it, and it proved me completely wrong. I don’t really know anything about the comics of Iron Man so it was fun to go into without any preconceptions.

ironman

Oh look, another one! They tried to pack in every single person in the movie. I have to say though, I don’t really think the designer is at fault. This had to be like a contract thing or a “client demands” situation. I think this poster would have been a lot cooler if it was a straight-on shot of Downey and then Downy in the suit. Split it down the middle and show half of each, but the center glows out of both. It would look a lot cooler than this one.

NEXT MOVIE: The Island (2005)

The Avengers

Amber and I just finished watching The Avengers and it was incredible.  I have been following the movie since they decided to do it a few years ago and it has more than exceeded all my expectations.  I had my doubts over the years because they were putting so many large personalities onto the screen at the same time but they made it look easy. This was easily one of the best films made after the Marvel characters and that is saying a lot with such great movies to compete with like X2 and the Spiderman franchise. I found myself disappointed with all the recent Marvel movies so this really was a pleasant surprise.  I did enjoy both Thor and Captain America but I had expected them to be better, and I all but hated Iron Man 2 and X-men First Class.  The Avengers simply couldn’t have been any better though.  It was action packed, all the stars were on point with their performances, and it was surprisingly funny.

I openly criticized the choice of Joss Whedon to direct this powerhouse when it was announced a couple years ago.  Clearly I grossly underestimated him and should have done my homework on him before jumping to conclusions.  He had an extended hand in the making of the film getting a writing credit to go along with his role as director.  He made a great movie and should be seeing a lot of doors opening up for him in his career now.  Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic and seemed to really shine in his role as Iron Man.  He is Tony Stark, and he is only getting better at playing the part.  I think Tom Hiddleston was awesome as Loki, really really great as the main antagonist of the film. He is so villainous yet such a joker all the same.  The whole movie he has that sinister smile on his face as if he is humored by a joke that only he knows and it is the entire world.  Samuel L. Jackson had to do little here but stand tall and look cool, but who better to do so?  This was the largest role Jackson has had as Nick Fury now and I think he is great at it.  Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson all did well reprising their roles as Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow.  I thought Jeremy Renner was really good playing the part of Hawkeye.  I didn’t know what good a guy with a bow and arrow would be against an army of aliens but I was really surprised by how much I liked the character.  I wish Ed Norton had returned as the Hulk but Mark Ruffalo wasn’t bad.  I really liked Norton’s The Incredible Hulk but he ended up battling with the studio over a writing credit after the movie came out and they ultimately decided not to bring him back for this.  Not to mention that The Incredible Hulk wasn’t exactly considered a successful film, I thought it was really good though.  I think this movie made great use of the Hulk, and Ruffalo did a good enough job playing Bruce Banner that it didn’t matter that the character was recast.

All of these actors had fantastic chemistry in this movie, and I am very hopeful they will all be able to come together to do it again in the future. They had great dialogue that really reflected their comic book roots with a lot of witty banter and goodhearted humor. Ruffalo and Downey Jr. particularly had good chemistry together, but you really get the feeling that all of these actors liked one another.  I was so surprised by how funny the movie actually was; I found myself laughing out loud from beginning to the very end. If you wait through the entire credits you see the movie end on a really funny final scene. The whole movie had such a casual and natural feeling to it, that surprised me too although it shouldn’t have.  This has been something like six films in the making with buildup coming in nearly every Marvel film since Iron Man came out in 2008. All the characters were well established before this movie even started production so they didn’t have to waste any time introducing every character. That allowed them to do so much more with the script and I think that made this an exceptional comic book film.

Amber and I both loved this movie, if we had the freedom to do so we would have gotten right back in line and watched it again. However we had a lot to talk about on the way back to pick up the kids, there was so much to like about the movie.  I hope everybody out there goes to see the movie because it is worth your time and money. Given the opportunity Amber and I might even go back to the theater and see it a second time on the big screen. We did not watch the film in 3D format, opting for the safer 2D choice.  The last two films we saw in 3D looked awful, but I cannot say how good or bad they might have been in this movie. If you saw it in 3D leave a comment and let me know how it looked.  If it looked good I might check it out the second time around.

UPDATE #1

Santa Claus was awesome this year and brought us a copy of this movie to add into the collection. I enjoyed this movie just as much the second time if not more.  It is a fun and exciting movie that couldn’t have been made any better.  I look forward to the next installment as there will undoubtedly be one, and can’t wait to find out who might be joining the team.  Until then I look forward to the next Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man movies that will be hitting screens this upcoming summer.