Posts Tagged ‘Robert Downey Jr.’

Internet!! It’s Monday again. Why does that keep happening anyway? I feel like just once we could give Monday a week off and skip straight to Tuesday or Wednesday. Monday’s had a hard life, it’s the IRS of the week. Nobody likes it very much and we all sort of wish it just wouldn’t show up. So here’s to you Monday. Ya Jerk.

Moving on from my bitterness at a day, let’s talk about something I’ve been waiting to talk about for a while now. Something that ranked high on my list of most anticipated movies of the year. Something made of iron, blood, sweat, and the facial hair of Robert Downey Jr. I am of course talking about:

Iron Man 3

Iron Man was a great movie, one of the best of Marvel’s current class of comic book movies. Downey Jr. is undoubtedly perfect for the role and has proven that he can deliver like a UPS man on Jumba Juice. That said Iron Man 2 was good at best to mediocre at worst and seemed to get so lost in its own sugar rush that it forgot what it was doing. Can Iron Man 3 redeem the franchise? Can Iron Man go any higher then he already went in Avengers? Well prepare to hold my metaphorical hand and jump carelessly down to a daisy filled meadow, cause we’re about to find out!

"Hey umm... Robert. We're back here!"

“Hey umm… Robert. We’re back here!”

The Plot:

It seems that not all is well in the world of Tony Stark. He’s having trouble sleeping and spends all his time in his lab tinkering and tonkering with his suits, shut off from the outside world. His time in New York with the Avengers seems to have had an impact on Tony and on the world around him as Governments and Army’s try and figure out where everything fits in this brand new galaxy.

Into this confusion enters the Mandarin with his erstwhile cohort the Chiquita Banana…. Okay so I made that second part up. It just seems like a bad idea when choosing your terrorist name to go with a fruit, but hey what do I know, maybe they got a great advertising deal or something. Anyway, the Mandarin starts terrorizing Americans, setting off bombs in free countries, stealing his neighbors newspapers, and generally just not being a very friendly person.

The Mandarin sounds super evil right up until you think about it.

The Mandarin sounds super evil right up until you think about it.

Can Tony Stark (without most of his suits) survive this new attack? Can he get to the bottom of things before he loses everything he’s built over the last few years? What is Iron Man without his Iron? Only time (specifically the time of this movie) will tell.

The positives:

Let’s get this out of the way right now: this is a MUCH better movie then Iron Man 2. Much. There’s a strong narrative thread here and that helps pull the rest of the movie along very nicely. The story is well told and the twists and turns of it all (while a little controversial in the nerd world) will certainly surprise you and keep you interested and entertained.

A great cast led by the once again awesome Robert Downey Jr really keeps you invested in the movie. Downey once again proves that Tony Stark is his character and he hits all the ups and downs of the drama just as well as he hits the humor. Ben Kingsley also delivers a brilliant performance as the Mandarin and Don Cheadle does well with his role as War Machine (even if it’s a much smaller role then in Iron Man 2.)

It’s nice to see Iron Man have a little gravitas to it. I mean I really like the humor of this series and it’s definitely still there but this is certainly the most serious of the Iron Man movies and I think it’s better for it. Iron Man 2 tried to duplicate too much of the humor in Iron Man 1 and I just don’t think it played very well. A lot of people have complained that there’s not a lot of Iron Man in Iron Man 3 but it’s hard to build a great narrative around a suit of metal. Iron Man 3’s focus on Tony Stark makes it a more interesting movie and there are still some great action scenes focused around the armor.

The Negatrons:

I felt like a couple of pieces in the plot were sort of rushed through. I understand that you’ve got to keep things moving and all that but it seemed like we never really took time to explain things in a couple spots that I don’t really want to give away right now. A lot of the emotional stuff Tony is going through at the beginning of the film is never really fully fleshed out or resolved it’s just sort of dropped by the wayside by Tony deciding he’s gonna “get stuff done.” Which I’m fairly sure doesn’t work in most cases of psychological trauma.  To my knowledge Freud never told one of his patients to “go out and make thyself an christmas themed cherry bomb” though (in fairness) Freud probably sounded nothing like that.

I also wasn’t crazy about how the villain ended up being killed. I don’t want to spoil it but there was a really good way for him to die, with a really cool line, and then he turned out not to be dead, delivered a super stupid line of dialogue and was killed in a really dumb way. It’s like some exec came into the writing room and said “but I want this person to kill him so that we can sell more underpants!!”… no idea where the underapnts comment came from… Anyway I thought it was stupid.

Iron Man underwear... one of those things you never thought you'd type into google.

Iron Man underwear… one of those things you never thought you’d type into google.

In Conclusion:

It’s really hard to say whether Iron Man 3 is better than Iron Man 1. The two movies are very different in tone and theme but I can definitely say they are in the same neighborhood. Iron Man 3 tells a really great story, does interesting things with the main character and focuses on what made Iron Man such a great movie in the first place: Tony Stark. It’s got the occasional hiccup or two but on the whole it’s certainly a worthy entry in the Marvel movie franchise and a great showing for Robert Downey Jr.

I give it 4 Freudian cherry bombs, out of 5.

Well thanks for reading everyone!! Hope you have a great weekend and, hey, check back tomorrow for another brand new entry into the: “random stuff Micah has made videos about” saga!!

Dear fans of the Interweb,

Whatever you are doing right now, I want you to stop doing it and read this blog. Which… I guess if you’re reading these words you are, in fact, already reading this blog. So never mind.

Anyway though, this weekend officially kicked off the “Micah Actually Has Enough Time and Motivation to go to the Theater Again” portion of the year or (as the commoners call it) Summer. To inaugurate this time of year I dragged my poor fiance out to a movie theater at 10:45 on a Friday (she works all day Saturday) and made her sit in a crowded theater so I could watch Avengers. So let’s all take a minute and solemnly thank the peaceful rivers of Olympus for giving me a such a woman.

Okay well now that that’s done lets talk about Avengers. A movie that I was half incredibly excited about and half desperately afraid of because as cool an idea as this sounded we’ve seen super-hero combo movies done before and they have (to put it delicately) been putrid piles of terribleness mixed with salmon chowder. (Yes fantastic four AND the fantastic four sequel I am looking at you. With death. A death look of terror… and deathliness) But anyway, let’s move on from the dim shadows of my dim shadowy past and look forward to the bright meadow filled future of my sunny horizon… thing. These metaphors hurt my brain.

Micah Reviews Marvel Avengers:

So… as was hinted at in just about every Marvel movie in the past ever, the Avengers initiative is finally about to be put into place. For those of you who don’t know the Avengers are a group of Super-heroes who come together to save the earth from threats to large for any one of them to handle on their own (sort of like breakfast at my house growing up except we had less explosions and more Syrup being dripped onto the floor).

There are twenty other actors in this shot, but they’re all being hidden by Chris Hemsworth’s biceps.

At the start of the movie, Loki (the main villain from Thor) takes something from the SHIELD headquarters (SHIELD being the shady sort of quasi-government organization in charge of being inept so that the Super heroes can save them) and because of this something stolen, the world is in incredible danger as well as the galaxy, the solar system, and Bob and Betty’s Five and Dime. Thus one eyed awesome person Nic Fury begins gathering his super hero force together to punch various people and alien typed monsters.

This particular group of super heroes the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America (along with Hawkeye and Black Widow our token non-super heroes) must learn to work together as best they can and save the world we know from Loki and his merry band of aliens bent on destruction (ironically also a lot like breakfast at my house).

 

Yes. Iron Man is that awesome.


The positives:

The script for this movie is genuisly put together. Let me write that again in completely unnecessary capital letters just in case someone looked away from the screen: GENIUSLY. Neither you nor your bonnie mother can handle it. I feel like each of the characters in this movie were very well conceived and realized and each of the super-heroes has their moments in the sun and their times to shine. Sure Iron Man and Captain America might get a little bit more screen time then the other heroes but it’s not necessarily undeserved. The Hulk and Thor definitely get their share and Thor (while he doesn’t have a huge character ark) does get some of the best fight scenes so it balances out. Plus Downey Jr. does such a good job as Iron Man that you’re more than willing to sacrifice some time with the other heroes to get a better glimpse of him doing his thing.

The fight scenes are well choreographed and the movie’s primary writer (Joss Whedon) even manages to work in some clever “what if” scenarios as he puts certain members of the Avengers against each other for a brief time. Each of the fights feel big and epic and captures each characters individual fighting style very nicely. The Hulk and Thor I think deserve a special mention in this category as both tear up the screen each time there on it and their fight scenes tend to be the most epic.

The Negatrons:

Really hard to find anything to put here but if I was going to be picky (which I of course am) I’d say that the dialogue between Loki and the alien Overlord typed person just felt awkward. It might be because the rest of the movie was so well done or because whoever played the Alien decided that the best way to do his part would be to growl all his lines like some rogue alien Labrador. Once again though, that’s me being picky.

This is what the Hulk thinks of my nitpickyness… so I’m gonna stop here.

In Conclusion:

Avengers is a great great movie that you all should go out and see!! The script is great, the acting is top notch, and the fight scenes and visual affects are gorgeous to behold. It’s an extremely rare mix of different super-heroes and styles into one perfectly realized tiny soup bowl of amazingness. So step up little movie orphans and get some more!

I give it 5 Thor beatdowns out of 5!!

In addition to the Conclusion of the Conclusion: 

Let’s all put our hands together for Joss Whedon shall we? This is a guy who wrote a TON of TV shows ALL of which have one form of cult following or another (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, Firefly, and even Dr. Horribles Sing Along-Blog). And Whedon has finally gotten the major motion picture recognition he deserves. So here’s a glass raised to you Josh! May the wind be ever in your hair and the odds be ever in your evens… or something.

 

As promised here are my top ten movies from 2011… It occurred to me that I really should have done the top 11 of 2011 but that would have just been more work for all of us and really who wants to do more work huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

 10. Captain America

Captain Americas shield: looks awesome in posters... makes no sense as a weapon.

Everyone’s favorite shield slinging hero starts off the list at number ten. A movie that I figured would be dumb and stupid and star a guy wearing a ridiculous costume turned out to be fun and meaningful and star a guy wearing a ridiculous costume. Chris Evans and Tommy Lee Jones carried a cast of genuinely likeable characters through a cool setting in a movie that turned out to be a lot better then I thought it would be.

 

9. Rango

Rango also wins my award for best singing owls... granted it was a fairly narrow field.

A movie that I, much to my shame, never reviewed on this site but actually really really liked. A surprisingly hilarious movie that featured the vocal talents of Johnny Depp, the movie about a small iguana… chameleon?… Lizard thing was without a doubt the best animated movie I have seen in a long time (and yes ladies that includes your bejeweled, chocolate covered, copies of Tangled).

 

8. X-men First Class

James McAvoy one of two reasons this movie was great. Also one of two reasons Professor X is cool. The other reason? Patrick Stewart.

As I put this list together I realized that this was a really good year for comic book movies. Aside from The Green Lantern (reviewed here) the comic book movies from this year were all fairly impactful, well put together, well cast films, that left us wanting more. X-men: First Class didn’t have the best script ever but Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy were more than enough to cover for it. Not even the presence of Kevin Bacon or January Jones trying to claim the “I will put my face in this expression and never change it” award from Keanu Reeves could completely ruin X-men: First Class.

 

7. The Ides of March

I've seen horror movies with posters less unsettling.

Another movie I haven’t reviewed yet, Ides of March features Oscar worthy performances by Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and Evan Rachel Wood. It’s got a great (albeit slow-moving) script but the acting really pulls it through and brings it home. My only real complaint about this movie is it has virtually nothing to do with the actual ides of March, something I found slightly perplexing.

 6. Real Steel

Hugh Jackmen + Giant Robot = Epic win. Any other questions?

ANOTHER movie I haven’t reviewed yet Real Steel features robots that punch each other… and we’re done. Okay so seriously, Hugh Jackmen does a great job in a movie that was actually surprisingly heartfelt considering the whole robot punchy thing.

 5. Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr: Fighting crime as a man in a robot suit, and a man in tight Victorian pants. What more could you ask for?

Robert Downey Jr: Fighting crime as a man in a robot suit, and a man in tight Victorian pants. What more could you ask for?

            Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law work there magic once again in a really smart, really fun to watch, detective story. It certainly wasn’t a perfect movie but if you’re in the mood for a fun movie that will keep you entertained and make you think, you really can’t do much better then Sherlock Holmes 2. Though I must warn you this movie has some of the most violent tree dismemberment I have ever seen. If you’re a squirrel, be warned.

4. Unknown

Qui-Gon Jin is chasing you with a gun. Step. Back.

What you thought Liam Neeson wasn’t going to be on this list? Are you kidding? Unknown was another movie that really kept me thinking the whole way through it and had an awesome ending that caught me very off guard. If you like watching awesome actors punch people in the face in awesome ways while sipping awesome sauce, this movie is for you.

3. Thor

Thor: yes, he has a hammer.

And here we are at last! The top three!! And leading the top three is the best comic book movie of the summer: the ever loving, well-built, mass of muscle that is Thor. Directed by Kenneth Branaugh and starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, Thor was shockingly brilliant, and incredibly well put together from the ground up. The main character was likeable, the action pieces were great, and the story rang incredibly true. Massive props to Thor for taking a super hero I always thought was fairly lame and making him not only cool but also a genuinely likeable character. You win Thor, you win.

 2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Now THAT is a scary monkey.

Winning even more than that last movie won though, is the movie with a really long title that from here on out I’m only referring to as Planet of the Apes. James Franco did a great job portraying the main human character but honestly the guy who stole the show all the way was the always brilliant Andy Serkis (who played the main ape: Ceasar). Serkis somehow made me care about the survival of a monkey more than I cared about the survival of most of the actual humans in this movie.

And number 1….

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter: Making "P's" into lightning bolts for over a decade.

An epic conclusion that made me laugh, and almost cry (which is saying something). A movie that didn’t just tug on my heart strings but actually took out my entire heart and let it float majestically toward the heavens in the padded claws of a golden falcon. Sure you can say I was influenced by the fact that the other seven movies have been a part of my life for years, but why shouldn’t that be a factor exactly? In the end it was a wonderful send off to characters that I felt like I knew personally and as “The End” scrolled across the screen after the final shot of the movie I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends and family. And so, for it’s unparalleled use of  golden falcons, this years best film award goes to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Thank you all so much for reading this blog this year! Here’s hoping we’ll all be here for another one! God bless, Merry Christmas, and a happy new year

Recently the phenomenal new trailer for the next movie in the re-vamped Sherlock Holmes series came out. In response to this I’d like to go ahead and review the original movie and then take a bit to talk about the new trailer.

Micah: Retro-reviews: Sherlock Holmes.

The classic "Hands in pocket" look, as p'wned by Robert Downey Jr.

The plot: We’re introduced to Sherlock Holmes just as he comes along and demolishes some poor fool guarding a staircase. Holmes (played by Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) stop a murder and catch the nefarious Lord Blackwood. They do miss however his lesser known brothers Lord Brownwood and Lord Purple-daisy-in-a-field-of-cows. Blackwood is tried and executed but in an extremely cheeky British sort of way; he soon rises from the dead.

In other plot related things: Dr. Watson is about to get married, Sherlock’s old girlfriend is back in town, and every one still thought Britney Spears was moderately sane.

The movie carries on at a break neck pace as plots thicken, games are a footed, and elementaries are Watsoned… which sounds incredibly creepy now that I think about it.

The Positrons:

Some absolutely amazing acting going on in this movie! Most prominently between Downey Jr. and Law, who not only perfectly embody their respective characters, but also play off each other better than any acting duo I’ve seen in a very long time. Every interaction between them is so enjoyable to watch and Downey just absolutely nails his character and it’s a wonderful wonderful thing.

The rest of the cast really does hold together pretty well. Mark Strong plays his sinister villain very well (if a bit melodramatically) and Rachel McAdams (not someone I’m generally a huge fan of) turns in a pretty good performance as the teasing, annoying Whatever Her Name Was character

The writing (and mystery) are very well done. In addition to the dialogue being well laid out it’s appropriately hilarious, serious, and even insightful at times. The mystery itself is less of a “who done it” and more of a “how done it” and occasionally a “why done it” and slightly less often a “Dunkin Done-it” Wow… that may be the worst pun ever… moving on from that abject humiliation, the mystery holds together really well and keeps you guessing till the end (for the most part).

The negatives:

This is a hard movie to pick out a negative for really… James Moriarty makes a cameo appearance and anyone who has even the vaguest idea of the story can see it coming from roughly seven thousand miles away but I’m not sure that’s bad writing so much as just a byproduct of using this source material.

In Conclusion:

Brilliant acting performances by two of Hollywood’s brightest stars carry a well written carefully polished script that keeps audience members engaged throughout the film. It’s not a perfect movie… or maybe a better way of putting it would be that it’s not quite epic or deep enough to warrant a perfect 5 of 5 but it is a movie that does what it does superbly well!

I give it 4 Watsoned Elementaries out of 5!

And now let’s move on real quick and talk about the awesome new trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Check it out here).

Jude Law carries a hold out pistol. In his mustache.

Once again it looks like the movie will be taking a far more “why” approach rather then a “who” as the trailer tells us about two seconds in that our villain this time around is James Moriarty, one of the most iconic villains ever.

Another thing you may notice pretty early on is that tree huggers will not like this movie. Guy Ritchie seems to have developed a deep personal grudge against them and has started launching not only bullets at them, but cannonballs and speeding train cars. Robert Downey Jr. makes a cameo in drag, Jude Law still pulls off a mustache creepily well, and Sherlock hurls a woman from a speeding train. The movie looks like it’s going to continue to deliver the same sort of chaotic fun that the first movie delivered while also maintaining its character development of the partnership between Holmes and Watson. It’s probably a bit needless to say at this point but: I am excited  And not cause of the woman hurled from a train part… cause that’s… wrong… and not funny… at all.

Ba ha ha.