Iron Man 3 (Now in theaters…)
You may have heard that there is a new Iron Man movie out in the theaters right now, I say this only because as of this morning it’s box office draw is at 970+ million dollars and if it continues on like it is there is a possibility that it could reach the 1.5 billion (with a ‘b’) dollars that Marvel Comics ‘The Avengers’ made. If you’re one of the couple of people that have yet to see this film, I will try to make this review of the move as spoiler free as I can. There are enough spoilers on the ‘net that you can read an entire synopsis of the movie without ever having seen it.
The movie deals with Tony (Ironman) Stark dealing with the aftermath of the events of the Avenger’s movie; he is going through some PTSD anxiety related issues. His relationships are suffering, his work is not up to its usual standards and he isn’t sleeping as well. Things take a turn for the worst when a new foe shows up on the horizon attacking America with Taliban like tactics. Unlike his first encounter with terrorists in the first Ironman movie and perhaps in response to the PTSD that he is going through Ironman doesn’t initially seem all that eager to go out and hunt this madman down. Things change when someone close to Ironman is hurt and after a slower start than we’re used to, the movie is off to the races with Stark reduced to having to do repairs and recharge his armor in the aftermath of the battle he undertakes against this new foe, the Mandarin. This becomes the thrust of the movie as we spend most of our time seeing Tony Stark working through his issues while trying to figure out where the Mandarin is going to strike next and what exactly he is up to.
A few things about the movie, while it draws from a couple of different storylines from Ironman comic books (very loosely I might add…), it stays consistent with what we’ve seen from this line of movies so far. The biggest changes come from changes that we made to characters from the comics; Guy Pearce and Sir Ben Kingsley suffer the most for these changes. I won’t get into the area of spoilers or spoil the surprise for the couple of people who have still yet to see this movie, but these two actors are not playing their comic counterparts. The strange thing about this movie, and I’m not sure why they did it other than to name drop comic character names into the film, is that they’ve taken the names of 3-4 D-list character names and used them in the movie. To give a comparison, this would be like someone making a James Bond film and Oddjob’s (A lackey from ‘Goldfinger’) cousin ‘Newjob’ showing up as a walk on villain…It’s a strange experience to see such minor characters given any sort of life when they could have just been another nameless character added to the heap of other nameless characters taken out by Ironman. The last thing about this movie, and it was something that really sort of bothered me, was that most films in a series (Think of the original Star Wars or Christopher Nolan’s Batman films…) leave you wanting to know what happened next, maybe not a sequel but at least a continuation of the story and I never really got the feeling when watching Ironman 3. If anything I was happy to see it end and I’d be even happier if all we saw were Robert Downey Jr. playing the role in Avengers 2 and 3 instead of another glut of Ironman inspired films.
3 stars out of 5…He was turned to steel, in a great magnetic field…
The Great Gatsby (Now in Theaters…)
I’m not a real big fan of remakes and I know that the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ has been made several times into a movie, but in my humble opinion it was the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version from the 70’s that brought the book to life for me. For my money, that was the version with actors who don’t look like their wearing their parents clothing and who (if inspired to do so…) could act their way out of wet paper sack. I’ve been spoiled by non 3-D related classics that film on location with real actors. 3-D film is supposed to enhance your experience and make things seem to jump out at you, it’s a great filming technique for something like ‘Avatar’, but for the ‘Great Gatsby’ it’s a waste of your time and money.
This isn’t a film that needs 3-D, what it really needed were actors who looked appropriate for the parts they were playing. When Redford played Gatsby back in 1974, he looked like he was old enough to have done all the things that Gatsby is supposed to have said and done. Leonardo Dicaprio looks like he isn’t old enough to vote, much less drink. Tobey Maquire is a lost cause in this film with most of the young cast member trailing right along beside him. The spectacle and glamour of this film is only underscored by the fact that the director doesn’t actually take much from the novel on which the movie is based until the second half of the film. I have a really good friend who gets fairly upset when this sort of thing happened in a series of recently finished fantasy movies based on a fairly old literary series and while I harbor no great love for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, one would assume that if you were going to adapt it you would at least put more of the material into the film you were adapting?
2 stars out of 5, save your money and time and watch the Robert Redford version of Netflix.
Keith Kilburn and his wife, Dawn, live in Leesburg with two cats and dog named Godzilla. He’s written for Herorealm.com before they were bought out by corporate interests and has written a novel that he’s working on publishing. It’s rumored that he’s seen more movies than Blockbuster rents in a year and knows more about comic books than Stan Lee himself!