BG Roundtable Special: I Am Iron Man

by Liana

Well the fever has broken and the BG is in love. Do you think the Iron Man movie will marry us? Are there laws against that kind of thing? Maybe we could just lock it in our basement or something. But no, because then the world would not get to enjoy the amazing, astonishing, incredible, spectacular….you know, these adjectives just don’t seem quite right. The Iron Man movie ROCKED.

Steve - What a fantastic way to kick off the 2008 summer movie season! From the whiz bang opening to the crowd pleasing daydream of an epilogue, this film felt like it was made by a big group of people that cared. Even better, the principal players had the artistry, charm and comedic timing to convert that caring into a two hour story that made me grin, laugh and slap my wife on the leg twice.

Patrick - I loved it.

Cindy - I don't want to oversell it and spoil anyone's enjoyment of it. So I won't say that I came.

Jon Quixote - I loved it too. It met my lofty expectations.

Brandon - Iron Man was a great comic book film, possibly the best Marvel has done thus far. The casting was just perfect!

Steve - Robert Downey, Jr. gets Tony Stark. At the start of the film, Downey portrays Stark as a man teetering on the fine line that separates rogue and asshole. By the end, he manages to portray a hero without sacrificing the bad boy charm - not an easy feat.

Doug - Robert Downey Jr. OWNS this role. He's good in every single aspect...funny when it's needed, plays the jetsetting rock star playboy to a "T", emotes well in the serious scenes, and is even a believable badass at action time.

What about the rest of the casting? Your FNE was shocked how much she liked Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. She was won over early, with the “take the trash out" line.

Cindy - Yeah, she was really good in the role. I couldn't decide who was hotter, her Pepper or RDJ's Tony. I was very conflicted.

Doug - Jeff Bridges plays Obadiah Stane the way Kevin Spacey should have played Lex Luthor.

Whoa. This is getting too lovey dovey. Anyone have any complaints that aren't about Superman Returns?

Vocal Minority - I can't actually think of a superhero adaptation I've been to where I've not gone away--at least in part--thinking about the bits that didn't work. Iron Man broke that run. If you press me about it now I might be able to summon a few niggles, and in a few months who knows.

Doug - The biggest problem specific to this movie is that the big ending battle didn't really offer anything original.

Quixote - I didn't really like how Stane transforms into an idiot crazy into the last act. I mean, let's say he kills Iron Man and escapes SHIELD. What's next for this billionaire on the run? I understand the need for a big slugfest at the end. In fact, I demand one. But Stane was so smart and calculating throughout, it was a shame to see him all of a sudden flick a switch and become rampaging psycho villain in a 60's comic. "First I'll kill you Stark and then... I'll rob a jewelry store!"

Doug - The biggest problem common to this movie and all "origin" movies is that the time spent introducing and developing characters and establishing relationships is time I found myself saying "Let's get back to the action already!" But that time is necessary and done well here.

Dan - I don't think Iron Man dragged or suffered at all from going through the origin story. It was incredibly well done and even though I was very familiar with it, it was a lot of fun, exciting and even felt new. The same definitely can't be said of other super-hero flicks like Spider-Man or X-Men when it's the backstory everyone knows for an entire movie (Spider-Man) or team building for three-quarters of the movie (X-Men).

Was anyone else slightly annoyed that even though we saw Tony have to practice working his suit a whole lot, Obadiah Stane just hopped into his suit and worked it like a pro on his first go?

Chris – Yes. I also thought the reveal of him being Iron Man seemed to be too soon. I thought it would have been better in the middle of the next film.

Doug - The last four words before the credits ROCKED.

It was a total rock star moment. They set it up perfectly, with Tony expressing his own disbelief with the bodyguard story and Robert Downey Jr.'s slow, nuanced realization that he could be a superhero and immediately running with it. Sorry Chris, but you’re wrong. That was a Great Movie Moment. So it is edited, so it is true.

Okay people, time to wrap this up. Your Friendly Neighborhood Editor wants to eat her soup while it’s still hot.

Quixote – Man, did the movie ever look goood. So clean and crisp and clear and bright and shiny.

Steve - Much like Sam Raimi did for the first two Spider-Man movies, Jon Favreau elevates an already above average script by injecting unexpected and welcome humor. The “relationship” between Stark and his robotic arm assistant is a hilarious running cinematic gag, “cinematic” in the truest sense of the word because the laughs completely relied upon angles and timing.

Cindy -I enjoyed Tony's relationship with his little robot arm helpers. That and the fact that he gave Jarvis such an interactive personality really shows how isolated he was from actual people.

Doug - Jarvis is very cool and a great touch for us fanboys. And there's a plane with a stripper pole.

VM - A plane with a stripper pole! What more could you ask for?

Steve - Unlike lowbrow dreck like X-Men 3, Fantastic Four and Transformers, this is a film that deserves to make the hundreds of millions that greet tent pole movies. From this extremely pleased audience member’s point of view, this project was a labor of love for the writers, director and actors. They should be thrilled with what they created.


1 comment:

Brandon said...

Seems like the buzz around the work place today was very positive. Jenn said only one person didn't like the movie at her work. My students liked it too, but they don't count. They are not yet full human beings.