Saturday, 5/4, was Erin’s birthday. Twelve years ago on the same date, he had four stainless steel pins removed from his femur. The pins held the bone together so the breaks could heal. He was in study mode this past Saturday, so he and I went to the movies Sunday. Pretty full house, e’en tho a beauty day. New England is good for fine days but doesn’t often string them together like this past week. Anyway, the trailers:
Well jeez, everything explodes! I know there‘s no reason to get thoughtful, but why are we so excited about explosions and crashes? I don’t know from Fast and Furious, but I get the faked up dynamics of crash, vengeance, and super-powered nothingness. The franchise is up to six, and I have no doubt you could not tell the episodes apart. Oh this is the one where the car crashes and spewing guns represent justice. Justice, sir, is what I hand to you.
Marvel has Thor comin’ at us. The comic that I remember, Thor flickered between the mighty god and the limping mortal. The first Thor movie strained too much at the soap opera sentiment, Marvel’s gift to comix. Went nowhere near the limping mortal. The best parts of that movie were the interactions of god world with this one. It looks like this next one dishes up the next Armageddon, again.
Marvel also exudes The Wolverine this summer. I don’t find the character, or Jackman, interesting. Wolverine seems like the type who would engage you at a party with how his liposuction operation didn’t work out, I mean it’s all on his sleeve. Okay, he’s a hunk, maybe the human growth hormones he takes gives him a rash. Let’s just say his gravitas seems a bit phony.
A Hunger Games sequel seems prodded. I stand posted as having little knowledge of Hunger Games, but this seems like tripe. I care for none of these flicks, waiting on Star Trek. At least no animated blockbusters in the offing.
Oh yeah, the Lone Ranger. Of some interest to me, but it looks too explodo. Seems like nowadays, scale = explosion. Putting the explosion into a less explosive era just rocks too hard. I never saw Downey’s Sherlock Holmes but I glean from the trailers that they’re not a matter of grey matter but instead action hero. Which is an off note (and more) for me.
Ironman has one resounding resource: Robert Downey Jr. I cannot think of an actor with a more ready, flip delivery. I know nothing of acting but I think there is effort and craft in his flip delivery. He commands the rhythm, so that you don’t know what to expect, tho the set up is obvious. His effort and understanding carry the film.
I missed the 2nd I-man. There seems some effort at continuity. I know there’s reference to The Avengers. Comic continuity has always been a bete noire, like anyone could make sense of all the plotlines.
The plot of I-man 3 is simply a petrie dish in which things happen. Add zingers and and explosions and you’re done.
I only vaguely remember The Mandarin from the comics. Sort of a Fu Manchu arch-enemy type. Today’s worst nightmare. In 3, he is firstly served as an Osama Bin Laden cubed. He takes credit for mysterious bombings that don’t offer any evidence of bombs.
I started to flinch when the Mandarin appeared, because it gave off the odour of let’s get the Muslims. Moreso, bombings as entertainment shows an odd panache. I mean, after the heart-rending and hand-wringing of the past month. Ben Kingsley does a lively job with the character, tho. Ominous and crazy, with an interesting rhythm. We feel better, it seems, when that one crazy person is identified. That guy is our problem.
In a flashback, Tony meets with an attractive lady scientist and a wild-looking crackpot science type. Both are just bumps in the night for pre-enlightened Tony Stark. More later, of course.
Tony suffers post traumatic stress disorder, apparently from the Avengers movie. It’s good that the writers have heard of such a thing. Gywneth Paltrow is tiresome, I’m afraid. I think People named her the most important something. In the first I-man, she appeared so that it could be said that she appeared. I think she shall continue to look 25 for a few more years. Can’t last forever, and what are we going to do then? Not really to blame her for that, it’s just a cultural rule that a 40 year old Paltrow would be unacceptable. Same with Jennifer Aniston. Same too with Tom Cruise, as I think of it. Even tho it’s okay for men to age.
Tony Stark, finally ready for action, challenges the Mandarin to bring it on, going so far as to give his Malibu address. Attractive lady scientist comes to warn Tony about crackpot science type, now somehow a hunk. Then Mandarin’s choppers attack the Stark compound and everyone almost gets hurt.
I think I-man flies away. Pepper takes ALS to safety only… Perfidy! ASL and hunky crackpot are in cahoots.
Tony ends up in snowy Tennessee on a snowy Christmas Eve. His Ironman costume is broken. He meets a young boy who is fresh from some Frank Capra movie. There’s a cheesy back story there. Luckily, Stark snarks, and the malevolent attacks on our heartstrings are neatly averted. Some great lines between Stark and the kid. Downey gets next to the people when he acts. Even with the big apparent ego, he’s there with the other actor.
Thru out the movie, bits of I-man armour fly about, often to satisfying slapstick effect, but sometimes gimmicky distraction. Kinda wonder why that bit stuck.
There’s an I-man prototype that works for the government, with Tony’s friend Colonel Somebody inside.This must have shown up in I-2. A bad guy gets into that suit and attacks Airforce One. El Presidente is snatched, and a hole in the plane causes many to be pulled from it. Rather than freeze to death immediately, all 18 decide to plummet until I-man manages to collect them all and place them safely in the ocean. From there they wave to the hero. Nice!
I guess I should mench that ALS developed a something that allows regeneration. Prob: unstable: causes people to explode. Which is the answer to the bombings.
Anyway, it looks bad for the Prez, bad for Colonel Somebody, bad for the world. Tony finds the Mandarin’s compound and, well, it turns out that the Mandarin is a fake. He’s an actor. Kingsley plays him as a small time actor. Kingsley has fun with the role. This guy is supposed to be an innocent figurehead but in one scene, he kills a man. He has captured a businessman then, by invading everyone’s television, including the President’s, he kills the guy on tv.
The movie is pretty violent, in the careless way we like it. Bad people die and sad people die, everyone else can worry about justice.
So the guy behind the Mandarin is hunky crackpot. He shoots ASL when she evinces a moral streak, and so, well, gotta bring it to the mat. Colonel Somebody joins Stark fighting the bad guys with the most explosions possible. An army of Ironman suits aid the good guys. Pepper appears to be dead after a fall into an inferno.
The final battle, I-man vs whack job, is the usual unmeasured mess. They trade vast blows with no effect. Still, it looks like Stark will be toast until… Pepper Potts blasts fire thru her mouth. She’d been infected by the same thing as the whack job. Dunno why this particular attack worked. But it cooked him.
After that, a check in on everyone. Oh by the way, the vice president was somehow involved in the evil plot. The end suggests that Tony Stark may be quitting the superhero biz. We’ll see about that.
It’s fun to watch tho there is a lot of relevant stupid going on, in all these possible flicks. It’s not much different from the stupid in real world, like, okay, for instance, the actions and reactions, the explanations and panic, surrounding the Boston bombing. Magic fire will come out of our mouths and solve all problems. Count on it.