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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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For the first time ever, this blog is involved in a contest. This isn't like a "who's got the best blog" kind of thing, but one that gives you theWill you win?

AAA has nothing on these guys

Interviews & Features - NBC's Heroes: The Show's Secrets Unmasked! | TVGuide.com The show finally premieres tonight at 9pm! I just ran across this TVGuide.com article with some interesting news. ForHeroes: Last minute notes!

Recently a North Carolina man named Tommy Jordan posted a video on Facebook in response to a letter his teenage daughter, Hannah, had written on Facebook. The video was intendedTommy Jordan: Parenting and Instant Fame in the Internet Age

For me, YouTube is like walking into a hospital with no immune system. I go in with one thing and come out with a hundred others. Lucky for you, IMore Banjo - with Steve Martin & Earl Scruggs

I think it's official: I'm addicted to Kathy Sierra's blog. Yesterday she made a great (if a tad long) summary of some pretty basic points she made earlier in the yearInstructional Design reminders

My second guest shot on the Midnight Movie Club was posted this week, reviewing the film "Return To Me" (with a stellar cast led by David Duchovny and Minnie DriverReturn to MidMo and other short subjects

I'm looking to start a new blogging project online. Hopefully it'll come together soon. I'm just in the planning stages now, but one of the things I'm considering is whatThe Atahualpa Whallop

Three is one better than two, right? Well, it may sound glamorous, but they're giving me a headache. See, it just doesn't add up. And things need to add up. I'm tryingHanging out with triplets can be a headache

...there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying... Glory to God - Merry Christmas to everyone! (I've sung Handel's Messiah a few times,And suddenly...

Quick, think of all those movies from the '60s. The fun ones. The ones with energy that just kept going. Fast dialogue. Bold colors. Doris Day. Frankie and Annette.Review: Down with Love

So on Sunday there was this huge block of mostly new commercials, periodically interrupted by some guys running back and forth on a field and knocking each other over forCommercial goodness

One of the things that surprised me most about Dr. Horrible was the quality of the music. I knew Joss Whedon had written a musical episode of Buffy The VampireHorrible music is really pretty good

[update: I've since started using the Anarchy plugin, which also makes standard hyperlinks playable, and though I'm on the fence about which technology I like better for audio (I gotMaking MP3s playable on a website, the easy way

Back in 2004 we were awaiting the birth of our first daughter. I was also beginning to teach myself how to write music around then. And I did a lot"This Child" isn't who you think

Review: Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. has been touted as the perfect choice to play Tony Stark. When I first saw the trailer I was doubtful about that choice. I always pictured Stark as taller, and with a deeper voice. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I’m over that. He did a great job, and I really can’t think of any better choice. Excellent casting.

I’ve heard a lot of people saying this was the best superhero movie ever. Before I saw the movie, I doubted that would be true, though I figured it would make a good shot at the title. Turns out I was right on that one. This took a heck of a shot, but it doesn’t, in my opinion, take down the reigning king, Spiderman. Here’s why: I left both of the first two Spiderman films elated and breathless; Iron Man had me happy and pumped. Great reactions to both franchises, but it’s a matter of degrees — Spidey gave me the extra effort.

To be fair, going in to it I prefer Spidey over Iron Man. I’ve always been intrigued by Iron Man, but never captivated. So I guess I’m not impartial. I do think it’s possible to make an argument that the Spidey films are objectively superior, primarily on the strength of the story coming through on a more personal, rather than global level. But let’s get back to concentrating on the current movie for itself.

First of all, the eye-candy level is impressive. Lots and lots of nice shots. The suit looks and works great. But that’s not the focus of the movie. As with all the best special effects movies, the effects are there merely to support the story. It’s a very good story, too. The uncaring head of the world’s leading weapons manufacturer comes face-to-face with the reality of his own inventions and realizes that he has to undo the damage he has done. It’s a big task, on a global level. The movie keeps it manageable and the bad guys are terrorists, not governments, which ensures we’re rooting for the hero without damaging the movie’s marketability.

There are a lot of nods in there for comic fans, too, which is nice. Supporting character Rhodey gets to telegraph his eventual role as Iron Man’s partner, War Machine. S.H.I.E.L.D gets a huge nod (though I won’t comment on the rumored presence or absence of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury). There is a definite setup for an Avengers flick, and an obvious potential for a whole series of Iron Man movies.

My vote for best moment in the entire movie – the moment that made me actually loudly exclaim “Oh, Yeah!!” before the rest of the audience reacted, was actually a moment that was partially played for subtle comic effect, as well as dramatic. The way he took out the terrorists holding hostages in the town was just too cool, and I didn’t see it coming. Absolutely perfect.

But now I have to come back to something that didn’t work as well for me. And the problem I have is that I don’t know who to pin it on. This could be the way the character is in the comics (I really haven’t read much Iron Man), or it could be the way he is written for the movie, or it could be the director’s choices, or it could be on Downey Jr.’s shoulders: aside from early on, about midway through the cave sequence in the beginning, I don’t ever get much in the way of emotion or conflict – there were opportunities for that to come through, I think, but it didn’t – unless you count innuendo. Very little in the way of vulnerability. I do recognize that that was a conscious choice, I just think it could have been loosened up a bit – at least for a scene or two. It kept me from being as emotionally invested in the character as I could have been.

Maybe that’s always been present in the character. That could explain why I never got fully caught up in the series. I just don’t relate to him as well as to some other superhero characters (specifically, Spiderman, Superman, and Batman come to mind).

Anyway… despite the flaws I’ve seen, I still think this is easily in the top five best superhero/comic movies ever. It should prove to be a strong franchise, and is probably positioned better than any other comic book movie to spawn spin-offs and cross-overs. In the comics, Tony’s worked with just about everybody in the Marvel Universe at one time or another. I anticipate at least one sequel, probably more, and an Avengers spin-off, and I eagerly look forward to them.

And DO NOT LEAVE until after the credits. You’ll be glad you stayed.

So… 4 stars.

(1 down, 12 to go.)

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