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Iron Man (taken from ironmanmovie.marvel.com)It seems that the bar for movies based on comic books just keeps getting set higher and higher. Sure there are the occasional rotten eggs. Daredevil, Electra, Fantastic Four, X-Men 3, and Spiderman 3 spring to mind. Hrrrmmm…maybe the quality of comic book movies isn’t increasing as rapidly as I thought. That makes Iron Man even more impressive. Some mild spoilers may follow.

Iron Man was, quite simply, FUN. It hit just the right mix of humor and action, and the conflict between Iron Man and the big bad was intensely personal. It was less “save the world” (although there was a certain element of that), and more “you did NOT just do that to me.” Despite focusing quite a bit on the development and testing of various suits, I never felt that the movie lagged.

The special effects were terrific, mostly because you couldn’t tell what was computer-generated and what wasn’t. Granted, Iron Man flying at 30,000 feet with two fighter planes probably wasn’t a stunt double in a suit, but for just a second, you thought it might be. The acting was good across the board, with Robert Downey Jr. really standing out. He put all my doubts about his casting in this movie to rest. Gwenneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and the rest of the supporting cast were solid, if not spectacular.

The movie-watching experience for me was the best I’ve had in a long time. We saw it a week after it opened, and the theater was nearly full. I don’t remember the last movie I saw where scenes caused the entire audience to break into spontaneous applause. We did during Iron Man.

There are lots of references that are sure to get the comic book geeks excited (no, no, definitely not me. certainly not), but they don’t bog down the movie for the average consumer who just wants to be entertained. If you’re one of those said comic book geeks, you’ll probably want to stay for the scene after the credits. Or, you know, look it up on YouTube in a couple of weeks where it is sure to appear (copyrights be damned!).

Iron Man is the best comic book movie since Batman Begins, and might even pass it for the sheer entertainment factor. If you want to blow $10, there are worse ways you could spend it.

6 Responses to “I am (reviewing) Iron Man”

  • Meb
    05/14/2008
    1:50 PM
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    Tim & I saw Iron Man on opening day since he is one of those aforementioned comic book geeks. 🙂 We both really enjoyed it a lot. For me it was all about how cute RDJ looked. For him it was all about everything else plus the scene after the credits. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the movie! 🙂

  • nod
    05/16/2008
    8:32 PM
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    Iron Man rocks. Tim, Matthew, and I went to see it on opening weekend and enjoyed it a lot. It was generally cohesive and plausible from a plotline point of view.

    Elektra wasn’t too bad, especially in the beginning. There was some actual character development going on, some internal conflict that needed to be resolved, good dramatic tension. The second half of the movie cheese-bombed. ‘Nuff said.

    Now if you want a really BAD super-hero movie, it has to be Catwoman with Halle Berry. It was not even believable within the confines of its own world. Bad cinematography, cheesy dialog, predictable plot line, topped off with a paper-thin Egyptian mythology-cum-feminist pseudo-cult. It wasn’t even fun to watch.

    The new Hulk movie looks a little disappointing too. Avengers anyone?

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    1) I’m going to see Iron Man the first chance I get.
    2) Are you not pumped about Dark Knight?
    3) You are the biggest geek.

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    @nod: I am holding out hope for The Incredible Hulk. I have my doubts about the CGI that I’ve seen in the trailers, but I think Ed Norton is a great actor, as is Liv Tyler. I think there’s a chance it could be good.

    @Murray: I am cautiously optimistic about The Dark Knight. I refuse to get excited about any comic book movie ever since Spider Man 3 was such a colossal disappointment. And while I am a big geek, I’d be willing to bet I don’t even come close to “the biggest”.

  • Laura
    05/21/2008
    9:22 PM
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    I liked it so much that I went to see it opening weekend, and then saw it with someone else the following weekend. I must concur with Meb that Robert Downey Jr. was H. O. T,
    And it was slightly amusing to hear the comic book geeks scream at the end.

  • Ken
    05/26/2008
    3:43 PM
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    I still haven’t seen Iron Man yet. I just can’t get Vicky interested in seeing Iron Man or Speed Racer.

    We went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I fully expected to hate seeing Shia LaBouf in his role, but his casting as a “greaser”, the Harley-Davidson, and the nod to “American Graffiti” had me grinning from ear to ear.

    Alot of people complain about the plot in IJ&KOTCS, but come on… what was the plot in Raiders of the Lost Ark? It’s enough to keep the action moving, keep Indy jumping from scene to scene, the romance with Marion, the reunion with Ox, the memories of Marcus and Dad. By the end of the film, I wondered if Mutt would put on the hat, only to see it stolen out of his hands by Indy.

    It was a worthy successor and entry in the Indiana Jones canon, and has me looking forward to Indiana Jones 5.

    As we were leaving, I overheard “Uhhh, it wasn’t as good as Iron Man. Iron Man was better!” I wanted to whip around and say something, saying it’s like comparing Star Wars to 2001, Apples to Oranges. Iron Man might up the bar on Spiderman, but Indiana Jones stands alone as a pop culture icon.

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