Iron Man 2

Posted on April 29, 2010. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

What’s this? Me going to the cinema on the day of a film’s release?! Must be something special….

When I go back and read my original review of Iron Man I am shocked by how ambivalent I was towards it.  Seeing it for the second time prompted a whole post about second impressions, and a few more watches down the line I am a die hard Iron Man fanatic.

Today is my sister’s birthday, and having finally succeeded in converting her to the Iron Man church, what better way to celebrate than seeing a movie we’ve both been eagerly anticipating.

On with the review.

While it took me a while to warm up to the first Iron Man, the same cannot be said of this film. I absolutely loved it. And by the sounds of the people in the cinema around me, so did everyone else.

The plot is fast-paced and engaging.  It might not have many twists in the tail but it isn’t predictable either.   The script is also just as sharp and snappy as the first film, with all the RDJ signatures that make the character so popular.  There are genuine laugh-out-loud moments (just ask the guy sitting behind me) and a whole host of fantastically quotable lines that will no doubt be appearing on this blog in the future.

The whole character of Tony Stark is so wrapped up in Robert Downey Jr’s personality that it’s very hard to picture him any other way.  But who would want to when he does it so well?  The sequel also brings on board the unstoppable Mickey Rourke and a fantastic performance from Sam Rockwell.  Both actors are perfect in their roles; I’m really hoping to see more of Rockwell in future films.  Gwyneth Paltrow continues to shine as Pepper Potts, a role that really seems to suit her, and she provides a great foil for RDJ.  If I had to pick one person out as being less interesting it would be Scarlett Johansson, but I think that is more because she is surrounded by huge competition on all sides and playing a less interesting character.  It’s nice to have Samuel L Jackson back too, after his one liner in the first movie stinger.

Speaking of trivia, there are a couple of nice nods to comic book geekdom to make those of us sad clever enough to spot them.  In the first film we had S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury, but the hints are more subtle here.  Look out for an iconic piece of equipment belonging to an all-American hero, and don’t forget to wait until after the credits before you leave your seat.

Other thoughts: the soundtrack (provided in no small part by legends AC/DC) is epic.  Both the use of pop music (absolutely loved the Another One Bites the Dust/It Takes 2 mash up) and the original score by John Debney are brilliant.

The special effects are also great.  I really want a computer where I can pick things up and move them around with my hands.  I mean, that’s just cool.  Some of the handheld camera work in the opening scenes is a little shaky, but that’s what you get with that style of filming and it works most of the time, although it’s a little distracting in the court scene.

I also don’t understand why they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey.  Howard was great in the first films and seemed to have a great rapport with RDJ.  Not that Cheadle doesn’t, but it seems a strange thing to do.  I wondered if there would be any reference to the change of face in the script and got my answer in Rhodey’s opening line:

“I’m here, it’s me, get used to it.”

Iron Man 2 is an awesome film.  Like Spiderman before it I can see the films running for a good while yet (hooray!)  Even while the movie was still running I was thinking “I really want to see that bit again.”  It ranges from explosive action (and I mean explosive) to big laughs and even manages to have some really sweet moments.  What more could you ask for on a Thursday afternoon?

Go out and see it now.  And take me. ‘Cos I need to see it again.

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How to survive the British Summer

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: News, Ramblings, Trailers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Summer’s coming, and that means one thing…loads of movie releases to keep the kids (and everyone else) happy during the inevitably rainy summer holidays.  The Summer Blockbuster line up has already begun with Wolverine, but there are a few more to keep an eye out for if, like mSpocke, you need something to look forward to during exam season.

The first, and most obvious, is the new Star Trek movie, opening next week (8th May).  I’m not a trekkie, but that’s more because I just never saw it than a conscious decision to avoid.  I have been made to watch one star trek film, and it was good, despite the fact I needed most of what was going on explained to me by a trekkie friend.  I’m intrigued by the new offering, if only to gawp at the ridiculousness of Zac “Sylar” Quinto’s eyebrows, and it does look promising. Surprisingly little has been said about Chris Pine, our new Kirk, with most promo focussing mainly on Quinto and Simon Pegg.  As a relative unknown, that makes sense, and it will be interesting to see what the hard core fan reaction is.  From the little I’ve seen in the trailers, and in my hugely inferior knowledge, I think something’s missing. But I’m more than likely to be wrong.

Following Star Trek, we have Angels and Demons, the sequel to The DaVinci Code. I’m semi-ashamed to admit that I loved the books, but I accept that the writing is terrible, and this is coming from someone who, as a rule, doesn’t read.  However, I was really disappointed with The DaVinci Code movie after some plot tweaking took all the sympathy out of Paul Bettany’s Silas.

Angels and Demons is a carbon copy of DaVinci, you can even match up character types between the books, but having said that, the twists and conspiracy theory that makes Dan Brown so infamous did make it very compelling and I have no doubt the film will be the same.  Perhaps the fact that I haven’t read the book in 3 years will mean I can enjoy the prequel more, since I’ll be in less of a position to play spot the difference with the adaptation, and the addition of Ewan McGregor to the cast should be a good thing, altough I’m sure boys will be mourning the loss of Audrey Tautou.

If drama isn’t what you’re after, then on the 10th July Bruno hits the screens, the latest of Sacha Baron Cohen’s creations.  I have no doubt that this will be a huge success, but I wont be seeing it.  I think I’m in the 10% of the world that thought Borat was awful and so I’m not holding my breath for Bruno, but maybe it’ll be better than I expect.  I know that lots of you out there can’t wait for it.  Maybe I’ll catch the DVD.

A friend also pointed out Moon to me.  Starring Sam Rockwell and coming out on 3rd Sept.  Not strictly a blockbuster but as soon as I saw the trailer I was hooked.  It follows an astronaut about to end a three year stint alone aboard a space station when everything goes a bit 2001.  Check it out ‘cos I reckon it’s going to be the turning point in Rockwell’s career.

Finally, I’ll quickly mention Up, a film I’ve been telling a few friends about and have been looking forward to for a while.  It doesn’t quite count as a Summer blockbuster, as it’s not coming out until the 16th October, but I wanted to give it a mention.  It’s the latest from Pixar Animation Studios, and once again they’ve chosen to pick a challenging medium and place a storyline in it.  They’ve done fur (Monster’s Inc), water (Nemo) and fast track racing (Cars) but now they’re taking us into the air, with one of the weirdest story premises I’ve ever heard.  Wanted to see it instantly.  Here’s the trailer:

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