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When this movie came out I saw it in the theater and was blown away. I still remember the feeling of exhilaration I had during the launch sequence, and theReview: Apollo 13

J. Michael Straczynski - B5:TLT Pre-Production - Babylon5scripts.com Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, Disc 1 has now finished principle photography. B5:TLT is a series of Direct-to-DVD stories that focus on aNew Babylon 5 finishes principle photography

My parents came out for the weekend, which means (among other things) free babysitting. That, in turn, means movies! My wife and I saw two movies in a row tonight: GreenReview: Green Lantern / Super 8 Double Feature!

Pennsylvania Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Pennsylvania Now this is a useful site (assuming you live in PA, anyway). Not only can you find the lowest (and highest) gasPennsylvania Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Pennsylvania

Argh. Well, I finally upgraded WordPress to 2.3.3. I’d been putting it off because I was afraid it would break things. It ended up being worse than I thought. I’m still findingUpgrading broke half my stuff!

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Create a blog post on a subject I’ve never blogged about here before. Maybe this one is cheating. I don't know. It depends onPlastic People - 7 day challenge

Yesterday, I recounted the tale of the hooligans whose plans were dashed when I scared them off. They thought they escaped, but they were wrong. Let me be clear about this:Kids these days 2 (or How not to get away with stuff)

The New York Times reported last week that Abdul Qadeer Khan may have sold plans for a nuclear weapon: American and international investigators say that they have found the electronic blueprintsKhan set us up the bomb!

Torchwood Lights Up May - Slice of SciFi In a recent interview with SciFi Wire, writer-producer Russell T.Davies (Doctor Who) stated that filming for the 13-episodes of Torchwood, the Doctor WhoTorchwood - Doctor Who spinoff

This is a great idea. Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill stand-up routine is hilarious (though profanity laced). Matching the bits with Lego stop-motion animation turns out to be really funnyTuesday TubeWatch: Lego Izzard - Cake or Death?

Free Royalty Free Music Loops, Free Royalty Free Sound Effects A couple months ago we completed the first four podcasts our company has produced, for internal training purposes. I've mentioned previouslyFree Music & sound effects for podcasts

Nothing mind blowing today. This is pretty much going to be a stream of conciousness post. We'll see if it's even vaguely interesting by the time it's over. Just found Grooveshark.Utter randomness

(I'm pretty much stealing this post from Walt. I didn't ask him. Is that a breach of civility?) So the Today show is doing a series called "Is Civility Dead?" BelowDeath of Civility

Note: Link contains profanity - Mel Gibson clears up that mystery about whether he's an anti-Semite. By Timothy Noah Well, this is really disappointing on a few levels. Gibson made someMel Gibson: man vs. movie star

Two years ago we caught my then 2-year old daughter slathering herself (and the rug, and the covers, and the bed) with Desitin cream. My resulting distress was recorded inWhat is it with this kid?

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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