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 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)


Iron Man 3 (2013) dir. Shane Black (5.5/10)


Iron Man as a concept is "dead". I have no interest in this film. I know it's taboo to be critical of something one has never seen. But just from the previews alone I see Iron Man is now a "Transformer".

In fact it's worse than that, he's got this super duper magical alien type memory shaping material that just forms out of mid air. It's not the Iron Man from the comics.

Also having hundreds of Iron Men, makes thee Iron Man run of the mill and non special as far as a super hero goes. Obviously all you need is a remote control robot. Basically Iron Drones. Can you imagine if there were a hundred Batman's running around the city doing pretty much the same thing?

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 7:43 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Iron Man as a concept is "dead". I have no interest in this film. I know it's taboo to be critical of something one has never seen.

I don't know if it's taboo, but you do run the risk of being, as you are here, almost entirely wrong. For most of the movie Stark isn't in the suit, and while I don't want to spoil anything, a lot of the stuff you're talking about is set up basically to bring things back to basics. It does go overboard, and as I mentioned some of the execution is half-assed, but the impression you've picked up from the trailers is, mostly, not representative of what's in the film.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Iron Man as a concept is "dead". I have no interest in this film. I know it's taboo to be critical of something one has never seen.

I don't know if it's taboo, but you do run the risk of being, as you are here, almost entirely wrong. For most of the movie Stark isn't in the suit, and while I don't want to spoil anything, a lot of the stuff you're talking about is set up basically to bring things back to basics. It does go overboard, and as I mentioned some of the execution is half-assed, but the impression you've picked up from the trailers is, mostly, not representative of what's in the film.


I do know what happens in the film. So I was being as general as I can in my description. If nothing else the film was an excuse to merchandise many multiple Iron Man variants. I have nothing against merchandising, but its obviously that was the real reason here. The big wrap up was a lame excuse to justify the over commercialization of the product. If the next film keeps to the basics it might be the Iron Man film I want to see.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   Dyfrynt   (Member)

Iron Man 1 was great. Iron Man 2 was more a commercial for The Avengers than it was about Iron Man. Iron Man 3 jumps the shark (Jumps the Stark?). He is now magically able to jump in and out of his Iron Man suits easier than Tony Stark can change clothes.

Even worse, Iron Man's suit can now come to him on command in pieces! Here comes a hand, Blam onto his right arm. Here comes a leg. Now a breast plate, oh and here comes a helmet. WTF. How are all these individual pieces of metal levitating and flying to Stark each on their own.

I had a much bigger issue with this unbelievable fantasy engineering than I did with the 101 Iron Man suits.

What DID work for me in this movie is that Iron Man is fairly irrelevant to the story. This film should have been called Tony Stark; admittedly not as catchy. Robert Downey Jr. spends most of the movie as Stark, and he is great as Stark! I enjoyed almost all the scenes with RDJ as Stark, almost none of them when he is Iron Man.

Without giving anything away, the surprise twist near the end of the film is outrageous to me, as it would be to any long time Iron Man fan.

Oh yeah, and wait for the obligatory short scene after the credits. About the most funny moment in the entire film!

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

He is now magically able to jump in and out of his Iron Man suits easier than Tony Stark can change clothes.

What bugged me more, in 2 and 3 both, is other people getting in the suit. You'd think such suits would have to be very precisely fitted and calibrated to the user's body so as not to tear and break bodies. I guess I can imagine that Stark could have created a suit with one or two other specific users within its parameters, but I don't buy that there's so much room in there that just anybody can pop in.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

He is now magically able to jump in and out of his Iron Man suits easier than Tony Stark can change clothes.

What bugged me more, in 2 and 3 both, is other people getting in the suit. You'd think such suits would have to be very precisely fitted and calibrated to the user's body so as not to tear and break bodies. I guess I can imagine that Stark could have created a suit with one or two other specific users within its parameters, but I don't buy that there's so much room in there that just anybody can pop in.


This goes to my original argument, Iron Man is not "special" anymore. He's not one of a kind.

Spoiler:

I also heard he no longer needs his power core, and chucked it into the sea.

Every hero needs an Achilles’ heel.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Some good criticisms here. I agree with them to a degree. Though the multiple suits was just so entertaining I didn't really bother to critique how little sense it makes.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

Spoiler:

I also heard he no longer needs his power core, and chucked it into the sea.

Every hero needs an Achilles’ heel.


This was dealt with in IRON MAN 2:

The palladium core in the arc reactor that keeps Stark alive and powers the armor was slowly poisoning him and he hadn't found a substitute until he sees a hidden message in the diorama of the 1974 Stark Expo and it proves to be a diagram of the structure of a new element. This allows him to power the suit for finale.

IRON MAN 3 however has Tony using that element to power the suits themselves and is not directly linked to his arc reactor.

This is why Tony has to use electricity to recharge the Mark 41.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

RARE FULLY WRITTEN OUT REVIEW-TYPE THING!

Cosmopolis 8/10 ****
Cronenberg comes back as screenwriter matching his unique dialog with both a Don Delillo novel and characters who have meshed with the far reaches of reality very much like in Videodrome and Naked Lunch. The uber rich billionaire played by the Twilight dude is in nihilist despair mode over losing his complete fortune from misunderstanding the quirks of the yuan. He is already beyond the scope of most humans in his insulated language and daily needs, which mostly consist of cruising around in his limo speaking to finance flunkies and having gross sex with jaded females while refusing to emotionally connect with his convenience wife married for more money. The flunkies speak the separatist language of advanced predatory capitalism that outstripped time and normal human functionality so long ago only a tiny few meaning almost nobody can comprehend the inner workings of this private world of the super rich. It plays like a 1980s postmodern Arthur Kroker hyperrealism text come to life, certain to enrage people who despise such mutated language and keep few people following the movie past the first twenty minutes. The Twilight dude is pretty much a slave to his world and while the 99 percent stage mini riots outside his limo he gets his prostate examined by a dr to be told it's assymetrical. Meanwhile someone wants to assassinate him but he is so nihilist he kills his own security expert and goes looking for the killer. When he finds him it's a fat slob who is the walking epitome of those 'lone wolf' conspiracy theorist weirdos (who not coincidentally has a lot of knowledge just overblown with anger) and is suffocating with hate and envy. The movie becomes a stupid dialog between the uber wealth that doesn't see a motive for living and the 99 percent who confuse their hate for the rich with their own self loathing and self sabotage. Good points are lobbed at each as the slob tells Twilight his unbalanced prostate is a key to understanding why he lost his money as the yuan snuck up and attacked the need for symmetry and order. They both just try to fill empty bags of human waste with word games and justification. Twilight is smart enough to be self aware and the performance somehow makes him more sympathetic than he was a few scenes before. Funny material but not really an accessible film. It's a real Cronenberg movie though, maybe first since Existenz.

 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 6:54 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The Grasshopper (1969) 3-10

Bisset's character was a self centered, never quite happy, free spirited antagonist. She never found fulfillment in her relationships or life in general. She's a bit anti social and anti conformists and pulls on peoples nerves for no real reason other than to be a smart ass. Her selfish nature leads her to breaking many of men's hearts. Some whom truly loved her and treated her well. Never caring to work out her issues she was willing to move on at the first signs of boredom.

I suppose this could have been a good film, a character study of sorts of an insecure and failed personality. However her character was inconsistent. Sometimes showing inner strength, courage and standards, while other times lacking any self control while flaunting her assets.

But the story really turns down right ridiculous when at one point she refuses to prostitute herself so her husband can get the job he really desires. Which showed strength in character and self respect. Yet later in the film ends up prostituting herself out anyway for much, much less.

After burning all her bridges and getting ripped off by her boyfriend she decides on making the ultimate statement to the world in the clouds above. She gets a not so bright air mechanic high and gets him to write "Fuck It" in the sky. That's pretty much how I felt at the end of this film.

The production was poorly edited especially during the opening credits. One could see most of the plot twists coming from a mile away. The acting was substandard and comical at times. It almost felt like an exploitation film as it touched on every social taboo of the time. But in a frivolous manner.

The elements existed for a great film, but we end up with personalities and situations that lack any complexity or substance whatsoever.

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Flying home from my holiday:

Oz The Great And Powerful. Watchable but the title is a case of false advertising. Lovely to look at but short on engaging characters (with the exception of the wonderful China Doll). 5/10. British Airways should be ashamed of themselves for showing a print that seems to have been designed for broadcast television (the end credits were speeded up, which is unacceptable).

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Pros: Gemma Arterton is, as they say in America, hot af*. Cons: EVERYTHING ELSE. 2/10.

A Good Day To Die Hard. The shortest film in the series disproves the theory that less is more; unforgivably stupid and callous, it junks just about everything that made the first two films good. And unlike Mary Elizabeth Winstead, this new relative is unworthy of being a McClane. Loses more points for the scene where the bad guy bites it, which copies the first Die Hard and rips off The Last Boy Scout. 1/10.

*An abbreviation - "a" is "as," so you can probably guess what "f" is.

 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 1:52 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

NEVER LET ME GO -- -10/10

Negative 10

This movie was so HORRIBLE I am almost tempted to buy the book which is widely praised and see what went wrong or perhaps everything went right and people are just idiots.

So the film is about Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them which is they are in fact clones created for their organs and that after THREE donations most of it not all die. The film shows us how this group of three try to extend their fates by proving they are in LOVE.

My biggest problem with this film is that we are presented with characters that clearly wish to live, have souls [a theme of the film], and want more time but none of them have a "spirit" to FIGHT, REBEL, or ACT for what they want! I was willing to buy the fact that they were willing to go along with being killed but all they wanted were a few more years but once they are told NO they simple accept it... and in such a way that almost ruins the entire idea of watching film.

Why watch a "struggle" if it is hardly that or watch characters that essentially go through nothing and demand zero, why care, why connect, why invest?

I don't think a film has ever ANGERED me at such a poor display of the human spirit and even now as I write this I am wondering if maybe THAT was the point... that these clones weren't human and because of what they lack weren't HUMAN BEINGS as centuries of our human progression has been made on rebellions and adversity and these kids... give up.

 
 Posted:   May 16, 2013 - 6:30 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

LET ME IN -- 0/10

what an awful film! like DRIVE everything but the story is there. my biggest beef with this film is that nothing of interest happens and the two leads don't make me care about anything. it wasn't a horror film, it wasn't a scary film, it wasn't an ANYTHING film. it had moments that were good and of angst that worked but none of these moments made me feel that the kids in it needed to be ripped to shreds LOL. in the end it was almost like watching a film between a violent husband and the wife that learns to love him because our main character is essentially nothing more then a daytime guarding and we see the vampire in this film have no use for her current protector who is rather selfless and blinded by his love.

one thing is awesome and that is the film score! MY GOODNESS was it amazing and far better then this film deserved.

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2013 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Prince Valiant (1954) - 7/10

A solid film with an interesting performance by Robert Wagner in the main role, though his hair was a bit silly. James Mason was delightful in his role as Sir Brack and Janet Leigh a true beauty. The plot was a bit silly at times but there were some great fight scenes, especially the final sword fighting sequence and the big castle fight. The picture and sound quality of the DVD were astounding for their age. A few minor changes in color at times but largely looked wonderful. Now I wish I hadn't put off watching this one for so long.

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2013 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011) dir. Lasse Hallström -- Generally inoffensive but really a wasted opportunity. Ebert's review is spot-on: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/salmon-fishing-in-the-yemen-2012

Safe Haven (2013) dir. Lasse Hallström -- Exactly what you expect from a Nicholas Sparks movie. There's one predictable element that doesn't work in much the same way it didn't work in Dream House.

Timeline (2003) dir. Richard Donner -- I expected to hate this after all the poor reviews, but really I didn't. It wasn't awful or risible so much as dull. Which is, in some ways, worse. Also, the travel effect is inexcusable after StarGate set the bar for that kind of thing almost a decade earlier.

Texas Chainsaw (2013) dir. John Luessenhop -- Some people seem confused by the timeline here. I guess I'm more forgiving since I'm used to the rolling timeline that's commonplace in comics. (Or maybe some people are either (a) too stupid to be watching movies or (b) too literal-minded to be watching genre movies. But that's not very generous of me.) Anyway. Alexandra Daddario's abs star in this movie that thankfully dispenses with its slashing fairly quickly and aspires to something a little more. Without much success, I should say, but it tries. Still and all, pretty tedious stuff.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) dir. J.J. Abrams -- I liked this just fine. It was definitely popcorn cinema; its limited aspirations to deeper and darker places were just window dressing, and the antagonist had some truly clunky lines. But as far as popcorn cinema goes, it was definitely more worth my money than, say Iron Man 3 was, for what that's worth. A well-made action adventure, and the stupidity wasn't as overwhelming as I feared. There were some missteps: the magic blood was completely unnecessary and there wasn't anything in this movie that couldn't have been worked around without it, and while the radiation inversion worked thematically even though it was not very well executed, the "KHAAAAANNN!!!" shout was genuinely laughable and should have been left out for sure. Anyway. An enjoyable couple hours, a good score by Giacchino. Will I watch it again? Maybe once, before I see the next Trek film, so it's not exactly a keeper, but as summer spectacle it was fine. If you're looking for more than summer spectacle in a Trek film, you may or may not find what you're looking for here.

People Like Us (2012) dir. Alex Kurtzman -- I was curious to see what Kurtzman and Orci could do away from the big dumb blockbuster mode, and honestly I was pleasantly surprised. This is one of those movies that could have ended at the beginning with a simple conversation, but unlike most films of that nature I could understand why that conversation went unhad and what was driving the characters. Chris Pine was much better here than he is in genre junk (much like Gerard Butler is capable of delivering a surprisingly good dramatic turn when given the chance), and it was nice to see Elizabeth Banks in something other than a supporting role. Not a great movie but a solid little drama.

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2013 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Mastage I largely agree with you on Star Trek Into Darkness. My full review, with spoilers conveniently marked, is at the link below for those interested.
I give Into Darkness a solid 8/10. Like you said, good popcorn drama and largely engaging with a few flaws.
http://marvelmvs.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/star-trek-into-darkness/

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2013 - 5:31 PM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

Star Trek Into Darkness

8/10 ****
Brilliant and subversive and full of Orci/Kurtzman's interesting wisdoms on choices for living. Digging into the trek ethos can mean more than just surface mapping, but understanding where Roddenberry was coming from and what was the ultimate positive conveyance in the long run
Nailed it.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2013 - 6:33 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Deadfall (2012) -- 9/10

A superior thriller. Excellent cast: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek, Treat Williams, Kata Mara. Various characters -- some criminal, some law, but many connected by family -- become involved in disparate events throughout a relentelessly snow-drenched French-Canadian border wilderness, ultimately all convening at a bloody nightmare Thanksgiving dinner.

Awesome performance by Eric Bana, who makes for a chilling villain...who isn't quite a villain, or at least doesn't think he is, and his acts are often either angelic or devilish. He alternates between likeable and unlikeable with exquisite grace and turns in a very disturbing performance that is wisely tempered and never over-the-top.

Deadfall is also an interesting study of kin, psychologically damaged relationships, and strained and conflicting loyalties. Marco Beltrami's score is fantastic and evocative here but sadly mixed down horribly in the soundtrack. Nevetheless it manages to give the proceedings a grim, haunting quality in a voice that is distinctly Beltrami -- dark and soulful.

The film was originally titled Blackbird, which makes more sense than Deadfall, which makes no sense and has no ties to the film, just a generic word that could title any straight-to-DVD 80's thriller. At one time the film was also called Kin, which is my favorite of possible titles, because it's the heart of the story.

Watch this film!



The Fast and the Furious (2001) -- 3/10

Might be one of the worst-written films in history. Assumes all audience members are idiots, evidenced by wretched dialogue from a MST3K film and a plot that is a near-direct xerox of Point Break.

Say what you will about a film like Saw IV, but that horror thriller had more intellect and thought put into its narrative and storytelling than The Fast and the Furious could ever begin to imagine.

Having said that, bt's score was thrilling and the car chase sequences were impressive. There is something magnetic about the two leads, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, that I somewhat enjoyed myself watching them even though whatever they were doing and however they were acting was laughable at any given moment. Plus, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez...lovely-lookers.

Very interested in the F&F sequels, however, and have them lined up to watch next.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2013 - 6:37 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

The Fast and the Furious (2001) -- 3/10

The second is even worse, and the third is pretty forgettable (but will tie in to the later ones), but starting with number four they transition into bigger heist movies with bigger ensemble casts. None yet has quite managed to be good, but the last couple have at least been increasingly amusing.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2013 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

The Fast and the Furious (2001) -- 3/10

Might be one of the worst-written films in history. Assumes all audience members are idiots, evidenced by wretched dialogue from a MST3K film and a plot that is a near-direct xerox of Point Break. Say what you will about a film like Saw IV, but that horror thriller had more intellect and thought put into its narrative and storytelling than The Fast and the Furious could ever begin to imagine. Having said that, bt's score was thrilling and the car chase sequences were impressive. There is something magnetic about the two leads, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, that I somewhat enjoyed myself watching them even though whatever they were doing and however they were acting was laughable at any given moment. Plus, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez...lovely-lookers.


Huh. I was always under the impression you were a huge fan of this franchise. I guess not. Haha! I finally saw this one last year, and while it was nothing special, I did think it was fun and was surprised to find it was nowhere near as bad as the sequels, which I actually saw some of first.

 
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