Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Iron Man 2

The reviews of the Iron Man sequel are pretty much dead on: Good, probably not as good as the first one. Though there were things about this one that were better than the last, I think.

Rather than review the movie (what's the point, really?) I'll just make a few random observations.

Robert Downey, Jr., is still a great actor, even when doing a phone-it-in kind of role like this. (Seriously, didn't he play this character in Less Than Zero? No, wait..Weird Science? I dunno. Looks familiar—but it works.)

While I like these movies, it seems like they might, with a little more script effort, be able to reach some of the greatness of some of the greatest superhero movies: Donner's Superman, Singer's X-Men, Nolan's Batman, Raimi's Spiderman. There's something almost casual feeling about these films, something afraid to go near the greatest heroic themes.

Terence Howard sure looks a lot like Don Cheadle in this movie. Waitaminute. They actually replaced Terence Howard with Don Cheadle!

What the hell did Gwyneth Paltrow do to her face? Is it just me? I'm seeing botox and plastic surgery everywhere! She's looking kinda scary-thin, too. And she was so cute in Shallow Hal!

I know Blythe Danner's my mom's age but is it wrong I think she's hotter than Gwyneth?

Actually, Paltrow does a good job, acting-wise, with a much meatier part. It's a bit scoldy, which seems to be the fallback for women these days, but she has a certain warmth, too. She was just a decoration in the last flick.

Heheheh. MSNBC is anti-Iron Man. And O'Reilly is anti-Pepper Potts. Anyone doubt that it would play out that way in real life?

The Old Man doesn't like Sam Rockwell's performance. Too goofy. We're pretty big fans of the Rockwell here at the 'strom, generally speaking, and I wonder if there isn't a generational gap. He would've liked Jeff Bridges in the first one better, I think. Rockwell's more patterned after a Steve Jobs.

Speaking of Bridges, a lot of the dramatic heavy lifting in this movie comes from Mickey Rourke as the...uh...Russian dude. It's not his fault that he's not exactly playing an iconic villain who's much different from the iconic villain in the last film.

I wonder if the film's impact isn't somewhat diluted by the need to pervade it with threads to pick up in all the various spin-offs they're planning.

Case in point: Scarlett Johansson as Molotov CockteaseNatasha Romanov. OK, she looks great in the catsuit. (Though, I dunno, to my eye she doesn't act sexy so much as sort of stand there being young, pouty and curvy.) But talk about an extraneous character, not really developed, and not really all that interesting.

Nice. (Director) Jon Favreau gives himself the scene with Johansson. Funny, too.

The whole super-bad-ass chick has been done to death by now, hasn't it? I mean, that's why the aforementioned Molotov (from "The Venture Bros") is so funny. Is it just me that's finding it less-and-less plausible? I mean, first of all, in any serious fight, she'd be hard pressed to maintain consciousness, considering the diet she had to undergo to fit in that suit....

You know who actually could do that kind of zillions of characters thing well? George Lucas. The original Star Wars movie really did kind of give you a sense of depth even on characters just passing through. (Shame about when he actually fleshed them out, of course.)

Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, looking more like Nick Irritated or Nick Yer-Startin'-To-Piss-Me-Off. C.O.N.T.R.O.L. or S.H.I.E.L.D. or whoever it is he represents has bigger fish to fry than what's going on in this movie.

That's nice. Tell the audience they're idiots for going to see the lesser of two movies, when the better one hasn't even come out yet.

Wow. Nice blocking in the big fight. Glad to see Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Clone Wars) getting some work. They are dodging the whole devastation-everywhere-but-no-one-gets-hurt thing a little wildly. That worked better on "The Powerpuff Girls".

Wait. That's it? Huh. Reminds me a lot of the first one. Is Jon Favreau suffering from premature climaxing? Must've been that scene with Scarlett.

Stinger! Oh. Uh. I have a bad feeling about this. Ooh! Kenneth Branagh directs!

The Boy and The Old Man liked this one.

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