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

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Every once in a while people post interesting stuff on Facebook, instead of just the inane time-sucking games and narcissism that usually goes on there. Speaking of narcissism, here's a pictureFound on Facebook - episode 2

Just saw this and had to share it. I hear it's been around for a while, but it's really cool that we can track where on a computer screen the"Gaze Tracking"

At a recent Rangers game, a couple was caught on film denying a game ball to a crying toddler, and they have been put through the social media ringer over"Stolen" baseballs

TheForce.Net - Latest News - Number One Star Wars Fan In The UK I really like Star Wars a lot. I've spent way too much money and time on it overStar Wars fanatacism

Argh. I mentioned before that my site theme settings suddenly changed. Today I tried to fix it by upgrading to the latest version of WordPress. I was pretty sure thatSite maintenance

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

This is the kind of stuff that keeps sucking me back into the world of Star Wars gaming. I LOVE this stuff. I have no idea how the actual game experienceStar Wars: The Old Republic - cinematics

The coolest thing about The Illusionist is that every trick he does is something that can be performed practically. The movie does use a little CGI because of production constraintsReview: The Illusionist

Okay, I get distracted for a little while and suddenly there's new stuff in the Star Wars universe. I can feel the geek in me slipping away... But at least IStar Wars trailers

I can't remember precisely the last time somebody took a needle and jammed it into my gums multiple times. I can't remember the date, but I vividly remember the experience.My experience with the "c" word

Apparently, I'm prejudiced. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I persisted in believing an unfounded assumption rather than taking a few minutes to find out the truth. Because of that stupidity,I'm a prejudiced idiot

Yep. This is exactly how Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back would have gone if I was in it. Autographs are $2. I gotta cover my costs. Hearing the words "That's howFINALLY, I get to wield a real lightsaber!

I'm trying out a new theme. There are definitely pieces of it I really like, but it's a radical change from what I'm used to. The biggest thing that mightYour opinion: new theme?

I'm late for leaving on a trip, so this will be quick. The Dark Knight Rises is a completely worthy capstone to the Nolan/Bale Batman trilogy. It turns the trilogy intoReview: The Dark Knight Rises (no spoilers)

SciFi opens a new Stargate : Slice of SciFi As I mentioned in my last post, Stargate: Atlantis has been cancelled and will be wrapped up in a 2-hour movie. INew series - Stargate: Voyager... uh, I mean Universe

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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