Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2, plus What Has Been Going On With Me

Hey dudes. How have you been?

I saw Iron Man 2 opening day, and of course I will tell you what I think, and I will be brief, and I will not divulge any spoilers, because I do not want to mess about with inviso-text.

The movie is a very good time. Not, perhaps, as good as the first movie, in part because instead of a left-field success this is now a planned summer tentpole superhero blockbuster, and so more time is spent on superhero movie business (more villains, evil plot, etc.). The filmmakers, like in the first movie, are still more interested in the Tony Stark side of things than the Iron Man side of things. This is good, because for the purposes of this movie I am also more interested in Tony Stark and the implications of the Iron Man technology than actual superhero stuff, but the demands of an action movie require action sequences, and while there's not too many of them, they can feel a bit perfunctory (like the last movie, the big climactic battle is the least interesting part of the whole thing, as though every one involved would have rather been doing something else with the end of the movie).

What else...Robert Downey Jr. is winning as always. Sam Rockwell is awesome as an ambitious-but-hapless businessman who doesn't just want to usurp Stark's technology, but also his flair and public persona. Mickey Rourke is sufficiently menacing. Samuel L. Jackson has obliged to not chew as much scenery as he is capable of doing.

A disappointment: The movie brings up a potentially interesting moral/ethical dilemma - you are inclined to side with Stark that the military can't be trusted with his designs, and yet a guy who's cool with using his deadly repulsor ray technology whilst drunk to entertain party guests in not really the guy you want with that kind of firepower either. But the movie doesn't really engage with it beyond "Yep, our hero was right all along." I know not every superhero movie's built to be as ambiguous as The Dark Knight, but this one kind of set me up for something it didn't deliver.

Also: I do not for one second believe that this Avengers movie is ever going to actually happen. NOT IN ONE MILLION YEARS.

Anyway. Very very good show. Better than X-Men 2, not as good as Iron Man.

I went to see it with my brother, and not my wife (who really enjoyed the first one) because she's on bed rest until she has the baby. The due date was supposed to be May 30 or so, but now they're hoping she'll make it another week or two. No cause for immediate alarm - her blood pressure's just a bit high, and it goes down when she's laying down on her side. So she's stuck home from work reading (All-Star Superman got the thumbs up) and watching TV, which is, of course, my personal idea of heaven, but it is not a belief in the afterlife she shares.

And, as a result of getting the apartment all set up for the baby (and we are, now) and Alison basically out of commission, I have been quite busy, and not posting as much as I would like.

And I would like! I've got an ode to Bronze Age Spider-Man I'm tinkering with (I think I can say there's more than nostalgia at work here, because I was not alive for much of the Bronze Age) for here, and a piece about "following" superhero comics - in the same way one can "follow" Major League Baseball or whatever by reading the paper and watching SportsCenter without ever having to actually watch a single game - for MGK's. This is going to be dependent on when my status flips from "I do not have a baby in my home" to "My home contains one (1) baby," and it's hard to say exactly when that will be. So: Not now, but ... soon?

I will keep you informed.

EDIT/UPDATE: Baby ETA - Wednesday, May 19. Plans are in the works to induce labor that Tuesday. So you have until then to buy cigars. Get on it.


Josh said...

My biggest complaint about Ironman 2 is its total lack of a clear villain. The movie splits its time trying to decide who can be trusted less; the U.S. government, Hammer, or some Russian guy who loves birds for some reason. My more minor complaints are that the movie wastes about 30 of the first 45 minutes, there is not a logical or clear plot arc to follow, and some of their character portrayals didn't translate so well to the screen.

These things are however forgiven because of exkerplosions, shiny stuff, Mjolnir, etc...

Second (and more important):
WHAT!? NO BABY YET!? Why does your kid hate Ironman 2 so much that it had to boycott the release? What kind of geek-litist kid have you spawned?

Justin said...

If it didn't open in Cannes, this baby has got NO TIME FOR IT.

I hear your complaint, although I thought that confusion could've worked in the movie's favor. Because NOBODY can be trusted - not the greedy, bullying government, not the unscrupulously ambitious Hammer, not the Russian guy who seems like he might have a legitimate complaint but turns out to be just a criminal after all, and not even the egomaniac inventor. ALL ARE BAD NEWS. You could've done a Dark Knight and explored that a bit. But then the movie just sorta decides, "Eh, Tony's the good guy, he's all right," and that's that.

Actually, Rhodey's the only one not acting out of self-interest, isn't he?

Josh said...

You're right, Rhodey is the only one not acting out of self interest. But there is a whole other topic the movie could have dealt with. The military excuse of "I was just following orders." And then again, who's to say Rhodey didn't want a suit of armor for himself all along. Maybe he was acting out of self interest. Food for thought.

Also, how does the baby feel about Sundance or Tromafest?

Justin said...

He's awfully dismissive of Sundance. "Too Hollywood," he says, like the celebrities have ruined it. I suggested to him that the presence of "movie stars" may actually have a positive effect on the festival; their endorsements, their very presence there, lending some of their spotlight to independent cinema. And can you claim Cannes as any less touched by Hollywood, considering the president of the jury at this year's festival is none other than Tim Burton?

Then he called me bourgeois and flipped me off, and I revoked his Xbox privileges. Oh, and he just rolled his eyes at Tromafest.

cease ill said...

I enjoyed it(and wrote it up)! More later... I'll have to sign up for Netflix for a Cannes fix...I really came over just to see how you guys were doing! I remembered it was about baby time.

Justin said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by again. Yep, it looks very much like baby time is here.

If I don't post anything on the blog in the next couple of days, it'll be because we are actually havin' that baby.

Stay tuned (or not).