Monday, April 6, 2009


Just for fun, and to kill some space as I work out the bugs on this Bugspot...I mean, Blogspot page....

.....I saw IRON MAN again last night on DVD (for the first time since seeing it in the movies). As far as Marvel movies go, it's one of the best for sure. IRON MAN is kind of like the Tin Man. He's a cocky character who literally gets a heart (some nice symbolism not as obvious in the comics but inserted into the movie, as he spends the first act lollygagging around as a callous playboy industrialist, indifferent to the calamity the weaponry his company manufactures causes on the other side of the world).

Although I think I enjoyed IRON MAN slightly more the second time around, I basically stand by my original gut reaction, which is re-posted from my MySpace blog below.

Until I launched this blog, I've been posting the occasional review of whatever at my MySpace blog ( So I'll post the random thoughts here now as well.

In addition to my feelings on the IRON MAN flick, I've also included my thoughts on the INCREDIBLE HULK movie below for some contrast. Neither film is NETWORK or THE LAST DETAIL or something on that level, but they're fun superhero flicks. I think both were solid examples of how there is no shame in adapting a comic and being true to it, as Sam Raimi proved with his SPIDER-MAN films. No need to go all goth with the black costuming as they did in the early, dark ages of Marvel films.

Anyway, here's my couple of cents on that whole thing.

And I'll post on some more recent films I've caught tomorrow! ---- MICHAEL

Friday, May 02, 2008

Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


Hmmmm. Where do I begin?

First of all, the biggest unintended laugh for me was how Tony Stark craved Burger King. The marketing wizards at Burger King, you've got to hand it to them. They pick a superhero with a bad heart to promote their fast food. Subliminal message: Eat lots of Burger King and walk around with a bad heart! It's also a good thing they didn't attempt the upside-down kiss from SPIDER-MAN or else Iron Man would've rusted over.

Contrary to fanboy fears, I thought the casting was fine. I didn't mind Robert Downey, Jr. playing Tony Stark cocky, Terrence Howard was great as usual, and Gwyneth Paltrow lucked out - finally a movie she's starring in that'll actually make some money! It's about effin' time! (and thankfully, no Coldplay on the soundtrack. Whew!).

I have four quibbles with IRON MAN THE MOVIE.....

1) Too many scenes/lines were blown in the trailers, so there was a lot of scenes in which you could figure out what was coming.

2) The Jeff Bridges mentor gone bad is beyond cliche for this type of film. I would've been REALLY surprised if he had NOT turned into the third act menace.

3) The climax, in which Iron Man fights Iron Giant, was just a slight notch above the unfortunate ROBOCOP 2, which leads me to my final and most important quibble:

4) In this day of the sophisticated superhero flick (the Jason Bourne films, CASINO ROYALE) IRON MAN should've been a few notches smarter. There's no reason why it couldn't have been.

That said, IRON MAN is overall fun. The special effects are great. They really captured and "grounded in reality" the sense of a guy creating these armors and taking flight in them, so that was well executed.

ALSO: The post-credits tag scene opened up a can of questions: Is Samuel L. Jackson already signed to play Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.? If so, for what? A Nick Fury movie? Or Avengers? If Avengers, who else is in? Which lin up? Captain America? Vision? Thor? Hulk? That last scene had an entire row of teen-agers scrambling to figure this out and wet dreaming about Ant-Man and Wasp!!! (Yipes!).

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's been a Banner weekend! I saw HULK last night and I really loved it. Pure comic book fun.

I thought it was a great pulpy comic book B-movie and got my money's worth of HULK SMASH! So the million dollar question? How does it compare to IRON MAN?

Well, in my opinion, it did for HULK comics what the IRON MAN movie did for ol' Shellhead -- effectively bring it to life. Let's not forget that the Hulk concept was always better than the actual Hulk comics itself, which was never that complex a book.

Ed Norton was terrific -- intense! - and I loved the whole Jason Bourne/Fugitive element a la the '70s TV show....why the hell not? And the fact that they wasted little time (only the opening credits) to establish his origin was refreshing and a welcome change from the Act 1 origin set-up of most superhero flicks. They conveyed the set up very efficiently and we go right into the adventure. It was a good contemporary take on the Hulk's archaic Cold War comic book origin (kind of like the way IRON MAN contemporized the Vietnam back story to modern day Afghanistan). William Hurt, Liv Tyler and Tim Roth all did well in THE INCREDIBLE HULK, I thought. Great cast! And they're setting up The Leader for a sequel! Holy braniac, that'll be ridic! I even enjoyed Rio de Janero, playing itself, as the backdrop - a very exotic and visual surreal location with that cluster of houses in the hills. They should film more movies there, it's a sight to behold.

The HULK effects were spectacular, if a little on the video game-y side. But this was Hulk-over-heels better than the horrible 2003 Ang Lee version (a.k.a. SHREK 2.5) and it made up for that horror by a mile and a half with some visuals that recalled those great painted RAMPAGING HULK painted covers. There was a nice KING KONG element to those moonlit scenes between Hulk and Betty. I can't believe the Abomination destroyed Harlem! And after that great recent renaissance it was enjoying, too! Oh, well.....

HULK did pretty well opening weekend, making $54 million or so and coming in at 1...I think it'll have longer legs then the terrible Ang Lee HULK, which opened bigger but then dropped 60% the following weekend.

There's an IRON MAN cameo at the end with Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark...which I'm not ruining for anybody who has a freakin' TV set. Why they gave that away on the commercials seems a little desperate! Don't bother sitting through the credits, there's no coda scene at the end.

This AVENGERS movie promises to be the most expensive movie ever made if they have to enlist Robert Downey, Jr. and Ed Norton, among others (Samuel L. Jackson?), to reprise their characters.

In the meantime, THE INCREDIBLE HULK was just a great night out at the movies and worth every cent of my $11.50. HULK SMASH!!!!!

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