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finslippy: Give me your worst parenting stories [Found through ParentHacks] Holy cow, this is the funniest and saddest thing I have read or seen in the last year. It's a good thingBad parenting confessions

I know you didn't notice, but I did. This site was down for about 20 hours due to a glitch that showed I had overspent my bandwidth allocation. I hadn't,We're back, and better than ever in "We're back, and better than ever!"

That is some seriously well-integrated CGI. I love it. The Stormtrooper's "Boo-ya" at the end kills me. To be a total geek, here, I gotta say that a beam meant to takeTuesday TubeWatch: Death Star Trek Wars

Well, I was on the live session tonight (read about my experience with last week's recorded session). For the most part, as I expected, the experiences were the same. ThereOprah's Online Training - live experience review

I'll be jotting down my initial thoughts of the shows I watch that premiere this week. Tonight, I intended to watch the NBC shows Chuck, Heroes, and Journeyman. I missed Chuck,Initial thoughts - Premiere week pt 1

Literary characters - some obscure, some well known - abound in these graphic novels. The main players (Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, andThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 and 2

Okay, that's a bit extreme, but sometimes it felt like Comcast stole my vacation, at least. This is also the story of my absence from this blog over the lastThe year Comcast stole Christmas

SimpleTags - A WordPress Plugin for Technorati Tags Found a [tag]plug-in[/tag] for [tag]WordPress[/tag] that makes it dead easy to create [tag]Technorati tags[/tag]. Easy enough that I may actually do it! AndAdding Technorati Tags to posts

There was a time when I was really into The Planet of the Apes series. I watched all the movies and the TV show, multiple times. I still enjoy theReview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Two "robots" found on YouTube today... One: paint this dark grey and it would be the coolest homemade AT-ST (All Terrian-Scout Transport) Halloween costume on the block. Just add a WookieYouTube robots

SCI FI Wire | The News Service of the SCI FI Channel SCI FI Channel's award-winning series Battlestar Galactica will move to a new timeslot starting Jan. 21, 2007: Sundays atBattlestar Galactica moves to Sundays

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!

Earlier this week, Gather Little by Little ran an article about Omaha Steaks, and how expensive it was in comparison to the grocery store. His calculations had the meat comingDoes steak cost less delivered in bulk?

Those of you who have read my last post know that there were some issues surrounding my trip to see Inception last weekend. If you haven't read my last post,Avoiding the Inception doghouse

There are a lot of challenges that instructional designers and trainers face in developing and delivering courses in a corporate environment. For instance, usually there is barely time to getChallenge students?! Are you crazy?!

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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