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I absolutely LOVE this story. On Monday night, a fan at a Phillies game ran onto the field during the game. Not an unheard of event. This is the first timePhiladelphia: City of Brotherly Tasering

I had the opportunity to watch 2 TED talks tonight. Both of them were about the power of technology and its relationship to... well, relationships. The intertwining of connection and isolationTwo TED talks: Turkle and Whitacre - Internet Connections and Isolation

Thor. So... Thor. Let me tell you... my back was so Thor after I spent all that time sitting in the theater. Thank you! Tip your waiters! Okay, seriously. I saw Thor tonight. AndReview: Thor

Today I left my house. No, really, it's true. There wasn't a computer monitor anywhere near me for hours. Well, okay, except for when we stopped at Best Buy, but other thanGeek field maneuvers (without the proper tech)

As may be appropriate for a movie with few spoken lines, this review should be pretty short. Amazing technical achievement. The visuals here are phenomenal. There were times that I forgotReview: Wall-E

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox) This is the same eye tracking idea I talked about in a previous post. The focus this time, though, is reading patterns. ScanEye-movement tracking & Web Content

Apple - Trailers - The Dark Knight I can't believe no one told me this trailer was out. Okay, visually it's an extremely boring trailer. Pretty much, it's the bat-symbol with aTrailer: The Dark Knight

Lots of news and some rumors hitting the net lately... here are the best of the bunch for Sci-Fi and comics lovers: The next Stargate SG-1 film titled Stargate: Continuum nowMovie news roundup - Sci-Fi and comics lovers, rejoice!

Okay, that may be overstating it slightly, but comic book properties are getting a lot more attention in the last few years. The encouraging thing is that they are usuallyGraphic novels are all the rage - Tuesday TubeWatch

Stop, right now. Don't read anything else. Just click the play button below. Okay, I'll forgive you if hit the Expand button first. Seriously. Do it. Now. Did you watch it?Tron: Legacy - new trailer

Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins « Lorelle on WordPress This is a great annotated list of plug-ins for WordPress users trying to add video or audio of anyMultimedia Plugins for WordPress

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

We've got a firm street date for the new Babylon 5 movie! In fact, you can start ordering now!! As a reminder, here's the early description from JMS, as I reportedBabylon 5: The Lost Tales pre-ordering

To get us through the winter repeats, some shows are giving us webisodes. That includes Battlestar Galactica and Heroes. In both cases, the short series are meant to provide a lead-inWebisodes and commercials

SCI FI Wire | The News Service of the SCI FI Channel As previously reported, Fox and Universal Studios have backed out of their deal to finance Halo. While not ideal,HALO movie - on pause

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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