Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Iron Man 3, created by MARVEL Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Seven months after the battle of New York against Loki and his alien army Tony Stark is suffering from PTSD and major anxiety/panic attacks.  Due to this restlessness he is struggling with insomnia and this is causing issues with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts.

As the world begins to settle from the attack in New York a string of bombings caused by a new terrorist named The Mandarin start to occur.  The attacks are incredibly baffling to law enforcement and other intelligence agencies due to a near total lack of forensic evidence.  Happy Hogan, Stark’s loyal security chief, is injured in one of the attacks.  Due to this, Stark issues a bold threat… his address on international television and a challenge to The Mandarin himself.  Come and get me.

When his home is attacked, he and Pepper are nearly killed, the Iron Man suit saving her life.  Tony manages to escape in one of his prototype suits to hunt down The Mandarin himself.  Little does he know that a scientist from his past is about to resurface…and along with him a myriad of other problems…

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by MARVEL Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee

-Length: 131 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sexual innuendos and nudity, moderate violence and gore, terrorism, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol and drugs, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downing Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is referenced throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I think the whole crew did a great job with this movie.

Downing depicted his PTSD and anxiety attacks like a pro.  They are real and visceral and occur at times when it seems illogical or plain bad timing.  Which is exactly what happens in real life when you suffer from these things.  Attacks like that and having your PTSD triggered is really damaging to your life and the relationships you are in.

Mandarin, the terrorist, being a façade is a great little twist too.  When I first saw the movie I hadn’t even though of that as a possibility but it does really make you think about the depth of that “face” you see on the news.  If that is really the person behind what is going on in the world.  And what gives a terrorist true power…the person in charge or the people who follow them

The ending is quite poetic as well.  With him giving up the suits and his ARC Reactor. And finding Tiny…because Tiny is the best.  It doesn’t change that Tony is Iron Man.  It just means that he ready for balance in his life.  Which is what we get to see in later movies with Iron Man in them.

Lots of conflicts and a lot to unpack about Tony’s life and journey along with the morality of what goes on with the Extremis treatment (and how it goes down in the comics is a whole other issue to unpack).  Overall I like this movie a lot of everything that wen into all of that.

Post Credits Scene:

Its great how they formatted the whole film with Tony himself telling the story.  It’s a nice little touch that he was actually telling it all to poor Bruce Banner who was asleep….poor guy.  He’s not that kind of doctor.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

The Avengers, created by MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

After Tony Stark becomes Iron Man and Thor crash lands on Earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. decides it is time to pull the Tesseract out of storage (and finding as well as defrosting Captain America).  In doing so they have allowed the item to reach is full potential.  As Dr. Erik Selvig performs experiments on the Tesseract, Phil Coulson notices that is emitting an unusual form of energy.  It is only when a wormhole opens and Loki appears, attacking and destroying the facility, that Director Nick Fury realized how deep they are into the problems with the item.  Both Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) and Dr. Selvig are amongst those compromised by Loki as he leaves the facility.

In response S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury calls in the “Avengers Initiative”, a new group comprised of the best superheros the galaxy has to offer.  Agent Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, goes to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner (Hulk).  Coulson attempts to get Tony Stark to join up. And Fury approaches Steve Rogers to take up his Captain America mantle once more.

In the midst of everything, Loki attacks an event in order to get the iridium that he needs to stabilize the Tesseract’s power.  When he attempts to gain control of the crowd Captain America and Iron Man intervene.  As they, along with Black Widow take Loki in hand, their jet is attacked by Thor. He takes Loki to talk him down from his insane plan of interplanetary conquest.

It is in these moments that they are found by Iron Man and Captain America who do not seem at this point to know they need to work together in order to deal with the problems that are being caused by Loki and the Tesseract…and those that are behind everything.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 143 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild alcohol use and mentions of drugs, mild intense and frightening scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downing Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I remember seeing this film in theatres and how much fun that I had.

My best friend and I were able to attend The Avengers Initiative at an AMC theatre.  If you are interested in hearing about that experience you can read about it in the article: The Avengers Initiative: AMC Theatres Exclusive Release of MARVEL’s The Avengers

Because of that I do think this film holds a special place in my heart.  While not perfect by any means, every time I watch it I remember that day with her.  So, I may be a bit biased about how good this film is. 

The characters coming together is the most intriguing part of this film.  They are all so different and are so used to doing things on their own that it is incredible to see them stop being so stubborn and work together to fight the bad guys. 

And Loki is a great villain because all he really wants is power.  But that means he can be easily manipulated.  MARVEL’s cinematic universe really starts to hit their stride here.  It is a fairly common theme in the upcoming joint movies that those who desire power can be manipulated by others to doing what is helpful to them…and not the one who was seeing the power.

The introduction of two of my all-time favorite superheroes in existence also happens in this film. Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye).  While I am very disappointed that they modified Hawkeye so he wasn’t hard of hearing, I do love Jeremy Renner’s portrayal of Clint Barton. However, it has been announced that in the upcoming television show “Hawkeye” we will have a Clint Barton who is deaf or at least hard of hearing.  And we will have other characters introduced that are diverse in the comics (such as Echo who is being portrayed accurately with an actress who is Native American and deaf!)

Overall, this is one of my most watched Avengers movies.  And a lot of it is because of the nostalgia of watching it.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Iron Man 2, created by MARVEL Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Six months after Iron Man was introduced to the world things start to go awry.  It should be an exciting time for Stark Industries with the announcement of their year-long Stark Expo: a scientific and inventions expo that is taking place throughout the world.  But that is tainted by a congressional summons that calls the viability of the Iron Man suit into question.

On top of that Tony Stark’s health is failing as the arc reactor that was and is keeping him alive is slowly poisoning him.  As he falls deeper into his depression as attempt after attempt to find a substitute fails he begins to become more and more reckless while trying to put legacy in place such as placing Pepper Potts in charge of Stark Industries as CEO.

When one of his most reckless decisions to date, driving in a race in Monaco, also pulls a new villain out of the wood work Tony must face up to the fact that his life and the Iron Man program, along with the fate of the world, is once again in his hands…

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Revenge

-Creator: MARVEL Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee

-Length: 124 minutes

-Rating:

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downing Jr., Gweneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Jon Favreau, Samuel l. Jackson

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is referenced throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Its been a while since I have seen this film despite Iron Man being one of my favorite superheroes.  There are just too many things to watch that Marvel and specifically MARVEL Cinematic Universe has created and with more and more shows and films on the horizon I’m not sure when I will get the chance to really watch these early films again.

But that being said one of the things that I think is so effective in the Iron Man world is that his villains are really just smart and pissed off people…right on Tony’s level.  They aren’t supervillains who have specific powers, or magic, or anything but their intelligence and the fact that they want revenge.  It really makes for an interesting human dynamic that Stan Lee often seemed to push into his stories (even those where other factors are at play).

This film is really interesting to watch this many years later. There is such a level of grief and depression that permeates the whole film that I didn’t really understand when the film came out 11 years ago.  Its in a lot of the little things that Stark does throughout the movie.  Some are big like appointing Pepper as CEO or racing in Monaco… others are small. Subtle. Like making sure that Rhodey has access to the suit. Or drinking too much… its just there throughout everything he does.

The introduction of Black Widow is nice too.  I enjoy the fact that the characters that eventually become essentials to the overarching Avengers timeline are introduced slowly throughout the films.  Natasha (Natalie in the film) adds a level to the film that just helps to enhance the whole feel of the film.  The subtle jealousy of Pepper, how she TKOs Happy in the boxing ring…just nice little additions to the film.

Like I said.  I love these films.  The CGI and other graphics and animations hold up even a decade later.  I love the dynamics of the characters and how fully fleshed out they feel.  And the writing feels well thought out and complete.  Not cheesy like other superhero films.

Great second film for the MARVEL Cinematic Universe.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Iron Man, created by Marvel Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Stark Industries has passed hands from Howard Stark to playboy Tony Stark.  On a trip to Afghanistan with Lieutenant Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes to demonstrate the new “Jericho” missile that his defense contracting company has built Stark’s convoy is ambushed by one of his own company’s missiles.  He is captured after being injured and with the help of a doctor who is also in the hands of the terrorists is saved from his eminent death- shrapnel from the attack is still slowly making its way to his heart.

With the aide of the doctor Tony manages to escape and get back home shocking everyone by attempting to shut down the military contracts that Stark Industries currently holds.  He upgrades the piece of technology that is keeping him alive.  A take on a piece of energy producing equipment that Stark Industries had developed and pushed to the side.  As he takes on the issues with his company Tony becomes more and more aware of all of the dangers his weapons have caused.  And how the people around him may have been helping for their own benefit.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Reluctant Hero

-Creator: Marvel Cinematic Studios, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 126 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore both real-world and science fiction, mild profanity, mild alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downing Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shawn Toub, Gweneth Paltrow, Faran Tahir, Paul Bettany, Clark Gregg, Jon Favreau, Samuel L. Jackson

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is generally mentioned throughout the whole book

Review (contains spoilers):

Iron Man is by far one of my favorite comic book super heroes and it was so amazing to see this come to life on the big screen.  I’ve always loved stories of the rich, naïve, jerk finding out that his money or company or whatever is doing something horrible and he decides to use that fortune to do something good for the world around him.

I love the superheroes who choose to be them…not necessarily those who have the mantle thrust upon them like the mutants or the fact that they are alien…

This movie and Robert Downing Jr. perfectly sum up exactly how Iron Man is in the comics I’ve read.  He is cocky, swagers…is just overall a great character who changes and grows throughout the movie.  I love that in this film the bad guy is more of just a betrayer and not necessarily someone who seeks out to be a super villain.  He falls into it.

It is a great introduction film into the Marvel Cinematic universe.  There is just enough intrigue between Pepper and Tony, the background for his character is set up.  The story line is wrapped up in one film which was great incase it flopped.

Overall, a very solid film with great graphics, cinematography and writing.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.