Showing posts with label Iron Man. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iron Man. Show all posts

Friday, June 7, 2019

PODCAST: "Avengers - Age of Ultron" (2015) - ACC no. 11 w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  05/24/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Third?  Fourth?
Decade:  2010's

Jamie slogs through a movie she does not care for and about which Ryan is ambivalent. It's the second outing for Earth's Mightiest Heroes as we come face to face with an AI that's kind of a self-replicating Mean Girl. Join us as we puzzle through Avengers: Age of Ultron, the one you haven't seen in a while and that you only sorta remember.

The "Avengers Chronological Countdown" Playlist

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Way TL;DR - Tracking Superheroes from Source-of-Shame to $2 Billion Dollars in 2 Weeks

The kids today will never *quite* appreciate what Marvel pulled off, starting with Iron Man and continuing on with this week's mega-release of Avengers: Endgame.  But, more than that, they'll never really understand what it was like to go from an era where you'd stay home on a Friday night to see a TV movie of the week starring David Hasslehoff as Nick Fury.  Truly, any crumb of a glimpse of a live-action version of the comics you enjoyed was like a signal beamed from weirdo space and invading the lowest-common-denominator normalcy of broadcast TV.  Any cinematic appearance of anything even superhero adjacent was a reason to trek to the movies (a habit I am just now breaking, pretty unsuccessfully).

These days every basic jerk out there tries to claim nerd status for just *liking* something other than sports and *admitting* they have something they enjoy (heads up!  you cannot be a wine-nerd.  You can be a vintner, wine enthusiast, sommelier or lush.  Pick one.  But a "wine nerd" is not a thing.).   But in an era before Bryan Singer turned the X-Men into a box office smash, and the internet gave us hidey-holes into which we all disappeared and Watchmen made the 100 Greatest Novels Since 1923 list...   comics were for children.  Or for nerds, losers, the mentally slow, the emotionally damaged, perverts and delinquents.

Movies might come out based on graphic novels or comics, and sometimes that source was acknowledged - but I grew up in the 1980's, and my comics habit made the adults around me visibly nervous.*  Parents, teachers, etc... knew to be disapproving and angry about musical selections (thanks, Tipper!), but comics?  What were we even doing?

Thursday, May 2, 2019

PODCAST: "Avengers: Endgame" (2019) - Avengers Kinda Chronological Countdown w/ Jamie & Ryan

Watched:  04/25 & 26/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane/ South Lamar
Viewing:  First/ Second
Decade:  2010's

Jamie and Ryan went to see "Avengers: Endgame" twice in two days. We talk the epic conclusion to the first ten or so years of Marvel Studios, what worked for us, what challenged us, and how it fits in with the world of comics from which it sprang. Don't listen in if you're avoiding spoilers - because we've got plenty.

Portals - Alan Silvestri, "Avengers: Endgame" OST 

Monday, January 7, 2019

PODCAST! Marvel Watch! "Iron Man 3" w/ Jamie and Ryan

watched:  01/02/2019
Format:  Amazon streaming
Viewing:  5th?
Decade: 2010's

We hit the post "Avengers" doldrums with Iron Man 3, a box office smash that just sorta, kinda works. Jamie and Ryan take a look the final Iron Man stand-alone movie and talk about how it fits in, how it didn't do what they wanted it to do, and seasonal superheroics.

Avengers Chronological Countdown

Saturday, November 17, 2018

PODCAST! AVENGERS COUNTDOWN - "AVENGERS" (2012) - Jamie and Ryan take on the great big superhero mashup

Watched:  11/02/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown.  6th or 7th.
Decade:  2010's

Jamie and Ryan return and we finally get to the big team-up movie! Which... people seem to like. We take a look at how it stacks up as part of the bigger Marvel picture, what we like, what we don't (brace yerselves), and try to sort out what Loki was actually up to in this movie.

Avengers Chronological Countdown Playlist

Sunday, August 12, 2018

MARVELWATCH PODCAST! Avengers Countdown 03 - "Iron Man 2" w/ Jamie & Ryan!

Watched: 08/010/2018
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: third or fourth
Decade: 2010's

Jamie and Ryan cover "Iron Man 2", where the pieces of the Marvel U move forward, plants are placed that will pay off movies down the line, Black Widow first appears, and Tony sits in a giant donut. We also say "interesting" entirely too much. Join us as we realize we discuss how "Iron Man 2" works better now as part of the Marvel puzzle than it did when we saw it as just a sequel Marvel rushed into theaters.

For the Avengers Chronological Countdown Playlist:

Monday, July 23, 2018

PODCAST: Iron Man (2008) - Avengers Chronological Countdown! w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  07/21/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  At least the fifth
Decade:  00's

Jamie and Ryan begin a re-watch of all the Marvel movies in order of release! (We call it Chronological Countdown, but we're not doing in some willy-nilly Marvel timeframe). Join us as we consider Iron Man (2008), what it meant then and now in the Marvel Cinematic U and how it looks in 2018 in general.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Marvel Watch: Avengers | Infinity War (2018)

Watched:  04/28/2018
Format:  Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Warning - this write-up will have spoilers.  Do not read this post until you've seen Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Marvel Watch: Iron Man III (2013)

In some ways, all I want to write about here is how much I like Gwyneth Paltrow in movies and how at odds that is with what little I know about her from what we all get to hear about her real life.  Pepper Potts I want to hang with.  But Paltrow?  It's hard to say.

When I went to see Iron Man III (2013), I was laboring under the misconception it was about Pepper Potts as much as it would be about Tony Stark, but, alas, that was not to be.  It was just a few moments that they chose to use in the trailers.

While I really like all three Iron Man movies, gigantic flaws and plotholes and all (and Iron Man 2 has plotholes you could navigate in a steamliner), there's just no comparing what goes down in this movie - scale-wise - with, really, any of the Captain America movies or even Thor.  Or Guardians of the Galaxy.  It's a personal story for Tony, and that focus gives it a certain sense of a 90's actioner to it except in two or three big-scale sequences (like saving everyone who fell out of an airplane).  The consequences of the story seem entirely tied to Tony, and that makes the movie all the more personal while also really making it seem consequence-free in a lot of ways that, say, The Winter Soldier felt like it mattered to everyone on Earth.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Marvel Re-Watch: Captain America - Civil War (2016)

With a Monday afternoon off for Memorial Day, Jamie and I weighed whether we'd be seeing X-Men: Apocalypse versus anything else.  Jamie, a solid fan of Cap and luke-warm on X-folk, pushed for Cap as she wanted to see it again on the big screen, and as I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the last go-round, I was more than happy to agree.  We'll catch X-Men soon enough, and I have a post brewing as to 'why' when we're kinda not huge X-nerds in 2016.

There isn't much to say that I didn't already say, except that on a second viewing, when I wasn't just trying to keep up with the rocket-propelled trajectory of the movie, a lot of things that felt like bullet-point plot points as they went along suddenly felt much more organic.  Cap's arguments for non-compliance not only held up better on a second-viewing, but the death of Peggy, which I took as mostly an emotional beat in the first viewing, I now could see how that scene was really about Sharon quoting Peggy and giving Steve the resolve he needed in his moment of crisis.  The best person from the point in his life where he found his true self was speaking to him via her niece.

And, speaking of that niece, there's a lot more goo-goo eye stuff going on between Sharon and Steve - and, in fact, her very cooperation with Steve suddenly doesn't seem so much like a "doing a pal a solid" as her clearly breaking protocols for this guy.  They just don't actually say anything before that first kiss, and so it is a bit less jarring once you catch the interplay a bit better.

But the race to save Bucky feels far more grounded on a second viewing as well.  Steve's intentions felt more clear, and his insistence on saving Bucky somehow feels less like "well, because he's the good guy" and because of that shared history, even as he seems to know Bucky may actually be guilty and may actually kill him this time.

Anyway, I highly recommend catching the movie again.  I watch all the Marvel movies more than once not just because - hey, sometimes I pick up things I missed before - but it's fun stuff to see again, especially in the theater.  It's really amazing how well Marvel has managed these movies, film after film, finding just the right talent for each role and directors to fit the film.

More on what I'm getting out of these movies in a future post.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Marvel Watch: Captain America - Civil War (2016)

Let''s be honest - if you're trying to look at Marvel movies as individual installments - you're utterly missing the point.  I suspect you're the sort of person who, while selecting a computer, asks the sales associate what gauge typewriter ribbon this contraption will require.  The strength of the Marvel U is the serial nature and continuity, something more traditional critics seem to balk at, continually expect to flounder, but then engage with once they get down to brass tacks in their discussion of the semi-annual Marvel release.  Captain America: Civil War (2016) is the culmination of the past decade's worth of Marvel studios box office success, tight narrative management, and editorial vision of a shared universe reflecting the best aspects of more than 50 years of Marvel comics.

I should point out right here that I still have not seen Batman v. Superman, so I'll do my best not to make any comparisons between this film and one I haven't seen.  It's not fair to either.

My relationship with the original Civil War comics from Marvel is not a great one.  I loved the art in the main series, but I didn't entirely buy either Cap or Tony suddenly coming to their respective positions, and due to events in recent Captain America comics - Steve had unmasked on camera and said his name directly into a microphone as a sign of strength while confronting terrorists (it was just post 9/11) - I didn't really think it made sense for him to be the standard bearer in the comics for being anti-government management.  After all, Steve has been roughly a government op for SHIELD since his return in the 64' era and getting his own title.

At the series' conclusion, it felt like they took dozens and dozens of comics, from the mini-series to the associated mini-series, to the in-continuity issue tie-in's, to tell a story which only really needed about 5-7 issues to tell.  And, at the conclusion of that series, I dropped Marvel as a line, except for, I think, Black Panther - which I only stuck with for a while longer, and then Cap.  They were headed into doing the same thing over again with another storyline (that Skrull dealy-o), and I just raised my hands and said "I can't afford this, and you need to do this better".

Thus, I was a bit skeptical when Marvel selected Civil War as the basis for its next storyline for Cap following Winter Soldier.  If I was cheered a bit, it was that I felt Winter Soldier was an entirely new story using pieces of the comics (which I'd enjoyed terrifically), maintaining the central conflicts and many of the characters while telling an entirely different story.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Here's something we haven't talked about yet - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Here's that new Avengers 2 Trailer

Looks pretty snazzy, and like Superman/ Batman better not bring a knife to this gunfight when the JLA forms here shortly.

Of the various Marvel movies, Avengers still isn't my favorite.  Doesn't have to be, because that's a lot of movies and I've liked all of them to some extent or other.  Even both versions of The Hulk (don't judge me).  So I'm not going to act like a goon and pretend for two seconds like I'm not pretty jazzed about this trailer and the ones that preceded it.

You may recall that I wasn't (and am not) much of an Avengers reader when it comes to the comics, so I don't have too many preconceived notions regarding Earth's Mightiest Heroes.  In fact, I'm still confused about what happened to Monica Rambeau - Captain Marvel as she was in the first Avengers comic I ever read (she had a rad power set).*

Anyway, this looks like a pretty crazy summer blockbuster.  It's interesting to watch the Marvel U gel and become something long known by comic fans but unknown in almost any other media.  And these Avengers movies that pull the whole thing together are a pretty great idea.

So, what have y'all been thinking when it comes to Avengers 2 and the Marvel Cinematic U?

*I may have a comic with her in it that's sitting on my coffee table that I just haven't read yet.  Is she in Mighty Avengers?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Finally saw Iron Man 3

In Robert Downey Jr.'s fourth turn as Ol' Shell Head, we see what Marvel is going to need to wrestle with as its franchises become as familiar as James Bond or Santa Claus.  What now?  What's next?  What superhero trope are we going to check out from the library and use for this movie?

Well, this was the "strip him of everything he has" story/ "what is the hero without his powers?" angle.  And it works better than you'd think.  Sure, you get limited armor action, but writer/ director Shane Black makes sure to resolve any deficits you might be feeling with a big, explosive conclusion that should make you forget that for 90% of the movie, Tony Stark is not in the suit.

Like the first Iron Man film, this one reflects back the headlines of the modern era, with a mix of politics, elusive terrorists, media management, and a few other bits that I don't want to get into for spoilery reasons.  The gang is back together, from Paltrow as Pepper Potts, to Don Cheadle as Rhodey.  Tony might not be doing so well in the wake of the Avengers' first team-up as he wrestles with PTSD, meanwhile continuing to explore the limits of the man-machine combination he's become and continues to explore as he seeks to build a better suit of armor.

I'm not telling you kids anything you don't already know.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Iron Man 3 is coming, too

jeez, this poster is rad

I'm pretty jazzed for Iron Man 3, but won't see it until next weekend.  Y'all try not to spoil it for me.

Looks like Rhodey and Pepper are getting a lot more screen time.

I heart Pepper.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Signal Rewatch: It turns out "Avengers" is a pretty good movie

I didn't hate Avengers the first time I saw it, but I also wasn't a huge fan of the movie.  I liked it well enough, but something about it didn't click with me as much as I was hoping for.  Look, straight up, I'm a Captain America fan, and I kind of though the movie gave Cap short shrift.  I think I had expectations vis-a-vis Cap's assumed leadership role in Avengers, and that just didn't happen, exactly.

But as a fun roller coaster ride?  Yeah, it's pretty phenomenal.

I still don't quite get how people even followed the movie who hadn't paid to see the other Avengers movies in the lead up to this one, especially if you missed Thor (and, really, why would you miss Thor?  My MOM liked that movie).

On a second viewing, a bit more calibrated for what one could expect from Avengers, I didn't just watch it to enjoy a few choice scenes, I really quite liked the whole package much, much better - even if the ending is kind of ridiculous.  And, man, yeah, no wonder they can't keep Avengers toys on the shelf.

Watching the big, exciting fight scene at the end, I'm now in total awe of the package Joss Whedon put together.  I mean, it's about as perfect a super-hero-y playscape, threat, etc.. as you're going to find, and then the camera work and FX just really carry you through that whole terrific, chaotic cityscape.

I know I'm telling you guys something you already know, but by that point the last time I saw the movie, I was sort of ready for the conclusion, and everything between me and our villain stowed safely away felt a bit like a semi-welcome delay before we could all file out.  Not sulking about Cap's second-tier status kind of set my mind at ease, as did enjoying a lot of what Mark Ruffalo was up to in every shot where he appeared as either Banner or Hulk.  And, yeah, as much as a Planet Hulk movie sounds boss as hell, I'd like a Ruffalo-as-Hulk movie first.

Anyway, that's this evening's geek-out.

I'm pretty jazzed about Iron Man 3, and the in-production Cap and Thor flicks.  And word is that fricking Rocket Raccoon is coming to the big screen in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  Rocket Raccoon is getting a movie before The Flash, Shazam, Wonder Woman, Aquaman...

Go to hell, DC.

Now, if I can get a Black Panther movie, I might relax a little.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Avengers Assemble! Iron Man 2

You know, it seems it was unhip to say you liked Gwyneth Paltrow, and I found her marrying anyone in Coldplay annoying, but I like her a lot in both Iron Man movies.  The 00's will be remembered as the era in which Marvel made superhero movies legitimate, something even the success of Tim Burton's Batman film couldn't do (see: the sequels).

Unfortunately, despite a huge budget, some great set pieces, a decent set-up and good ideas...  Iron Man 2 is just a mess.  It feels like 3 movies' worth of stuff piled in, and only some of it jives.  Only not really, because the basics of the plot all DO tie together, they just feel slapped together, and it feels a bit like RDjr needed to, and I hate to say it, tone it down a little bit.  I like the Senate panel scene, too, but...  its a wee bit silly and ventures into that area that makes me uncomfortable when they talk about Batman being smarter and better than everybody else.  "So, you're arguing that he's just a guy, just...  smarter, more athletic, deadlier, handsomer and more technically savvy... oh, and RICHER than everyone else.  And this relatable how?".

I mean, I know the scene is there to show Tony spiraling but... anyway.

Its not as pristine and entertaining as the first movie, nor is the weight of Stark's legacy writ large as a challenge.  That's been resolved to as astronomic degree (if its been a while - in this movie, Iron Man has ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on his own).  And the fight between Rhody and Tony at the half-way point is sort or rubbish.

But its better than most of what we got in the 90's for superhero fare, so, whatever.

Oh, right.  ScarJo.  Well, she certainly adds production value.  And her character is certainly lucky nobody back sup ten feet and pulls out a gun.  Anyway...

On to Thor.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Avengers Assemble: Iron Man (2008)

In the run up to this summer's Avengers movie, Jamie and I are going to be watching the individual superhero movies that will take us right up to the big team-up picture.  Its a lot of flicks.  The Alamo will be running a marathon, but I just can't see myself sitting through what has to be roughly 12 hours of Marvel action of movies I've seen already multiple times.

  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor 
  • Captain America
That doesn't mean I don't actually quite like most of the movies, but...  I dunno.  The Planet of the Apes marathon was just truly something Ahab-like that I felt I had to do once in my life.  Now, if they screened all the Superman movies...  now we're talking.

Iron Man (2008) still holds up remarkably well, even if this was the first time I wondered why the 10 Rings terrorist association wanted Tony Stark to build the missile rather than kill him as Obadbiah Stane had requested to garner goodwill and maybe get those Jericho missiles off a truck.

Looking at Iron Man and comparing it to DC's attempt to launch a hydra-headed franchise like Avengers with Green Lantern, its a reminder that WB and DCE are really, really bad at all this, and there's no reason to think that they won't really mess up the upcoming Superman film, Man of Steel.  DC's answer to a cocksure hero like Tony Stark didn't work with the Ryan Reynold's "I'm a loveable goof" take on Hal Jordan, a terrible costume and pretty much no motivation for our hero or the audience to embrace.

Iron Man was actually such a trick and gave such a clear arc to Tony Stark as a character that trying to repeat the narrative success in the sequel didn't really take.  I recall not being exactly bored during Iron Man 2, but also knowing that they were going to learn a lot about what was missing for when they wrote the third installment.

May I also add:  I really like Gwyneth Paltrow in this movie.  I can genuinely say I never thought I'd give a damn about Pepper Potts, but I like her understated performance.  She isn't given that much to do in this boy's own adventure, but she manages to do a lot with what's on the page and feel like a bit more than the girlfriend-in-trouble that Kirsten Dunst got stuck playing over three Spidey movies.  Her scenes with Robert Downey Jr.'s force of nature Tony Stark feel terribly natural in the work-wife sort of vibe, and the dialog just works (see: the scene where she has to swap out Tony's batteries).  It goes a long way.

And, of course, Jeff Bridges as a super-villain?  This movie is just terribly well cast all the way down the line, including Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, everyone's favorite G-Man.

Its a fun movie, even if it boils down to mad-scientist antics and two dudes slugging it out on a rooftop and goofing on a bit of BS for the conclusion to their spat (I am sure one can read all sorts of symbolism into the Arc Generator killing Stane, but I doubt 1 in 20 filmgoers found themselves weeping at all the lovely irony).  

On to The Incredible Hulk and Liv Tyler.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Movie Watching: Iron Man 2

So, a week or so back the reviews began to hit the internet for Iron Man 2, the sequel to the 2008 surprise hit for Marvel Studios. The reviews were mixed. In fact, somehow the fact that reviewers were not joining forces to give us early warnings about what level of awesomeness to which we should calibrate ourselves became a story unto itself. It seemed that not everyone felt Robert Downey Jr. and Co. had lived up to the expectations.

On Sunday, I caught the sequel, and I am suspecting that at this point, many of you guys may have also seen Iron Man 2.

I simply don't get why people are so down on the movie. I'm not saying that Iron Man 2 is as good as its predecessor, or that its even a great movie. But as for an exciting summer popcorn action flick sequel? For me, it got the job done.

Some awesome @#$% is about to commence.

The movie picked up immediately after the events of the first film, addressed questions that most superhero movies (and comics) dodge regarding the US government's interest in superheroics and super-hardware, and how the appearance of Iron Man would spell "arms race".

It is true that there were a lot of plot threads in the movie, and possibly one or two too many characters. There was also some fairly extraneous, ridiculous stuff that made the movie feel "dumbed down", such as the use of the robot voice of Jarvis to act as an insta-exposition device. The party scene feels a bit forced. Maybe the resolution of Stark's illness is a bit pat.

But with so many sequels that fall completely flat (from what I hear: The Matrix Sequels), or take the characters in directions at odds with the course of the previous film or films (like, say... Highlander 2), Iron Man 2 continues the thread of the same over-the-top Tony Stark we met at the beginning of the first film, and infuses him with a new direction for himself, his company and for what he sees as a future he may be bringing to the world.

Sure, I would have thought Stark would have been held in contempt of congress, or some such charge, but its a fun scene, and more or less wins you over to the unlikely opinion that Stark should be the sole-proprietor of the Iron Man technology (which is, at its heart, a far more driving question in the film than "how sick is Stark?" or "will the villains' scheme work?"). But even that scene is fairly plot heavy, drawing in characters, establishing Hammer's role in the film, and establishing the conflict.

Pretty much exactly what it looked like when I met Jamie...

There's certainly also plenty of connecting the dots between where Iron Man concluded and where Stark will need to be for either an Avengers installment or a sequel. If you're looking at the movie as a foretaste of the Avengers franchise (and I am), its fun to see pieces falling in place. Far more so than were Marvel Studios to try to find an excuse in the Avegers movie to bring all of these characters together with no previous tie-ins. Its an experiment, but one that could pay off like no other franchise before.

One could say there was not enough in the way of Iron Man duking it out with badguys. Maybe I'm old, but there were plenty of other distractions, plot wise, to keep me interested.

spoiler: And, no, nobody believed Stark would die of metal poisoning, and so I didn't mind that it acted more as a catalyst for finding how to super-charge his armor and set up Stark Industries for a new era, all while completing dad's dream. If I can get that plot point in short hand, that's fine by me. end spoiler.

At any rate, its an imperfect film with some great set pieces and a wide variety of characters. And, yes, its a movie featuring both Gwyneth Paltrow and ScarJo, so there's plenty to distract you.

Yeah, I vaguely remember some robot-guy was in the movie, too.

The action scenes and flying scenes we do get are pretty darn good. Guys in armor and with crazy technology beat the living holy hell out of each other (and everyone's kind of okay), robots fly through the air and go "pew pew pew!" at Iron Man, lots of fireballs, and there's even some superspy karate stuff.

Honestly, I have seen Iron Man a fair share of times at this point. While it holds up just fine, I think after Ghost Rider, Daredevil, two fairly embarrassing Fantastic Four movies, Spidey 3, and likely several others I'm forgetting... we were all sort of surprised how much we liked Iron Man.

What you won't get is the satisfaction of the superhero origin story, which is usually the most interesting part about most super-heroes (except for "Matter Eater Lad", who has a boring origin, and is interesting because he eats any kind of matter). We can look to how Nolan must have realized he had spent his Bat-fuel on an origin story, and decided to trade a standard superhero storyline for a sort of intense crime thriller. And maybe that's what some of these sequels are going to have to learn how to do.

It wasn't expecting Dark Knight. I was expecting a superhero movie sequel that was better than FF2, and felt that we got that. So, you know, great.

But, take all this with a grain of salt. I'm also the guy who liked both Hulk movies and Superman Returns.

Yeah. Kind of puts things in perspective.