Posts Tagged ‘iron man’

Iron Man Takes Off

May 4, 2008

After seeing the movie Friday evening I knew it’d do well over the weekend, Iron Manbut I didn’t guess it’d do this well. Projections at BoxOfficeMojo have the 3 1/2 day take for Iron Man to be a little over $104 million. Not too shabby for the first film financed by Marvel (as opposed to a movie like Spiderman that was done by Sony).

I thought the movie was excellent and the casting perfect. Robert Downey Jr. was Tony Stark and when reading any Iron Man comics I’ll be hearing his voice for the character. Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes and Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts both had roles much meatier than I expected creating an ensemble feel even though the movie clearly revolved around Robert Downey Jr. and rested on his shoulders.

The plot was also a departure just enough from the comic books that it was updated but still familiar. Weaving in current events like the war in Afghanistan and corporate malfeasance, Iron Man ironically is the first successful movie about the current political climate. Jeff Bridge’s Obadiah Stane could of been ripped directly from the board of Haliburton. Who’d think the head of a corporation would make a decent villain in a comic book movie? It definitely works though with some great twists.

But really the brilliance of this movie is it’s focus on Tony Stark the man and not Tony Stark as Iron Man who doesn’t even show up until close to 50 minutes into the movie. Instead the movie reflects on who Tony Stark is, really the arrogant, jack ass, playboy that you want to hang out with and his transformation after captivity.

There’s just enough extras for the comic geeks to tease for those in the know as to what a sequel might bring. To me the top comic movies (in no particular order) are Batman Begins, Spiderman, and Superman II. Iron Man ranks right up there with these comic classics, and with the announcement of the sequels release in May 2010, I ‘m already in line clutching my ticket.

Oh yeah, stay through the credits…..

Iron Man getting great reviews!

May 2, 2008

Of course I have my ticket already purchased and counting down the hours until I get to see what Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. have in store, but the early reviews are very positive.

Entertainment Weekly’s take can be found here, http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20196644,00.html

CNN can be found here, http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/01/review.ironman/index.html

And currently at Rotten Tomatoes it is the best reviewed movie so far of 2008 and best reviewed comic movie of all time, http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/iron_man/

My review will be up this weekend, and I’m doing my best in not getting my hopes and expectations too high.

Civil War and the Death of Freedom lead to a Secret Invasion

April 4, 2008

With the release this week of Marvel comic’s Secret Invasion it’s appropriate to look at last year’s overtlyCaptain America's bloody uniform political crossover event Civil War. As described on Marvel’s own website.

“Sparked by the deaths of hundreds of innocents at the hands of the New Warriors, the Super Human Registration Act changed the makeup of America’s super human community.

Torn between perceived freedom and believed safety, the heroes split and Civil War erupted. The ensuing conflict and tenuous resolution still reverberates throughout Marvel’s heroes.”

SPOILERS: The basic story goes while filming their television show the super hero group the New Warriors over estimate their ability to take on a group of villains. In an act of desperation the villain Nitro sets off an explosion devastating to town of Stamford, Connecticut, killing hundreds. A call to end this recklessness is sent out and the “Super Human Registration Act” is quickly rushed through Congress forcing all people with extra ordinary abilities (even if they’re born with them) to register with the federal government, reveal their secret identities, become trained, and in the end a Government sanctioned super human army.

Iron Man took the lead on the side of the Government looking to the Act as a way to prevent another accident like Stamford. Even extending amnesty to murderous villains if they’d join the pro-registration side. Captain America (the embodiment of American ideals) looked at the act as a crushing blow to civil liberties and lead the side of underground resistance. In a great juxtaposition of Iron Man’s “ends justify the means” embracing of murdering villains when the Punisher kills two villains on the anti-registration side, Captain America pummels him, expelling him from the group. A battle between heroes leading to twists, betrayals, and deaths, began over the very definition of freedom.

In the end during a climactic battle between the two sides destroying the town surrounding them, Captain America realizes their battle is leading to another Stamford and orders the anti-registration side to stand down gives up his mantle as Captain America, and in doing so turns himself over to Iron Man and the authorities.

In the final twist Marvel signals the end of liberty as we know it when they have Captain America, brought to trial as his identity of Steve Rogers, gunned down on the steps of the courthouse as he is escorted in cuffs to trial. Writer Mark Millar described Civil War as:

“…a story where a guy wrapped in the American flag is in chains as the people swap freedom for security…”

The Political Undertone: The easiest direct parallel to real life events is the Stamford incident and it’s post reaction directly reflecting 9/11 (which did occur in the Marvel universe) and the legislation rushed through soon after. The “Super Human Registration Act” has it’s real world sister’s in “The Patriot Act” and “Real ID“. Both pieces of legislation were rushed through in a post tragedy hysteria with little regard to their long term abuses and curbing of civil liberties.

When asked about these political similarities, Millar responded:

“The political allegory is only for those that are politically aware. Kids are going to read it and just see a big superhero fight.”

A comic book version of Guantanamo and embedded reporters were even explored. To hold the superheroes (and villains) that the pro-registration forces capture a special prison is built called “42″. Much like Guantanamo it’s goal is to break down and isolate the prisoners. In the offshoot “Civil War: Frontlines” the war is shown from the perspective of reporters covering the events around them. The series’ writer Paul Jenkins told the New York Times:

“Civil War: Front Line” will explore the ramifications of the events in the main series and more. “I have absolute carte blanche to take on the political landscape as it exists in America and all around the world.”

With liberty dead (literally) the 50 State Initiative was put in place to create sanctioned superhero teams in every single U.S. state. And that brings us to this summer’s event and it’s own political spin. Secret Invasion tells the tale of sleeper cells of aliens who have infiltrated the world and plan to attack when activated. This week sees the release of the first issue and in future posts I’ll be talking about the eerie similarity between these alien sleeper cells and the fear of the unknown cells that lay in wait to attack here in the U.S.

Join us this weekend for the first installment….