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

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The little clip shows exactly why Jar-Jar (and to some extent, the entire Phantom Menace film) is so unliked by so many. And it's hilarious. Skip straight to the 1:00 markWhy Jar-Jar is the most hated character in Star Wars

GateWorld - Cooper: SG-1 will go on On the heels of the long-running series' landmark 200th episode, the Sci-Fi Channel has chosen not to renew Stargate SG-1 for an 11th season.Stargate SG-1: Over and Out?

Dove I'm probably way behind the times on pointing this out, but I just found this link and needed to post it. It's a one-minute movie showing the [tag]transformation[/tag] of a modelThe disfiguration of beauty

United Press International - NewsTrack - Some telecommuters work in the nude For your sanity, I will stay silent on which category I am in...Working in the buff

...it helps to have good friends to let you know. Earlier today I was sitting at my work computer doing a seemingly endless series of mind-numbingly boring, repetitive tasks. I wasWhen you're being an idiot...

The Wachowski brothers have a firm grasp of visuals and a healthy respect for graphic novels. They also know how to write a script that challenges the viewer's perceptions ofReview: V for Vendetta

Slice of SciFi News Briefs - Slice of SciFi Watch the pilot episode of The Sarah Conner Chronicles online! Today only! Fox will post the pilot episode of “Terminator: The Sarah ConnorTerminator TV show online - limited time

Dr. Horrible's Sing-along blog I made a quick mention of this once before after seeing the trailer. I just saw the first act (which was so popular it brought down theDr Horrible's Sing-along blog

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)

... and then nothing but disappointment. That pretty much describes this podcast. Really there is some interesting stuff discussed somewhere in there, but to get to it, you have toGrand opening...

Given my erratic posting schedule lately no one would probably notice the hole, but I'm going where the internet doesn't reach for a few days so there won't be anyThe Sounds of Silence

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

Official Google Reader Blog: There's a feed for that?! I've never actually used Craig's List, but the article linked above points out that you can use feeds from that site andJob Search via RSS

The movie lived up to the hype. And that's saying quite a bit. Jamie Foxx did an unbelievably good Ray Charles. By the end there were literally a couple of scenesReview: Ray

Easily the funniest of these kinds of things I've run across... see more crazy cat pics There needs to be a Hitman Monkey comic book. A depressed monkey running around whacking people...Hitman Monkey

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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