Iron Man 3
Just got back, it was AWESOME. Better than the second one, equal to the first.. What a roller-coaster of a script, and I'm glad I avoided the spoilers to completely enjoy several "didn't see THAT coming" moments. Kingsley was awesome, that's all I'm going to say.
There were a number of places where the movie diverges from the comic, but what they did was re-mix those elements in a new way and I have to say, it works pretty well, if you stand the movies on their own, apart from the comics. Though the comic line that came out after the last movie is going to create a huge divergence from comic cannon.
I have been a fan of the comic since about the second year it existed. Maybe because of that, I don't have much butthurt over how the canon plot lines and villains have been remixed and scrambled a little for the movies. BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN DOING THAT IN THE COMIC SINCE THE '60s. Every three or so years, Marvel re-tells Iron Man's origin story with little updates and changes here and there, because the comic book audience grows up and new kids get into it. Same with the origin of the MANDARIN, AIM, Stane, the Armor Wars, Stark's heart, etc. as well as the romantic situation with Pepper, which hadn't really gone anywhere until the past decade (In the comics, Pepper marries Happy Hogan). All of them have had re-writes and updates over the decades.
And even though we're talking comics and not a series of novels like LOTR, there's still more background and history to Iron Man and Stark than you can comfortably wedge into one or even three movies. So as a film maker, you don't try. You cherry-pick or curate the best examples of plot line and character and meld them into something that works as a film or set of films.
I love this new one, and I was entertained by the creative changes they put the Mandarin thru, as well as Kingsley's interpretation. AIM has always been weakly written and a third-rate Stark foil, but I like that how they tie this all together worked very similarly to the back-story of Mr. Incredible vs. Syndrome. I liked how a few key shots tell you everything you need to know about how the massive government conspiracy formed. I liked the call-back to the first movie with Yinsen, because it gives an uninformed audience a look at pre-Iron Man Tony and what an ass he used to be, versus his current state of being.
I find that every comic book movie can't seem to help themselves regarding doubling-up or tripling-up on villains, burning thru the whole bench in one or two movies and not giving the characters enough screen time to really establish themselves. Iron Man suffers from this as well, but handled it better than some other films have.
What I like is that the films have tried to stay true to their inter-relationship as a series, showing an uneven progression in the character. IM3's plot moves like a squirrel chased by cheetahs, but it delivers many surprises and payoffs to the viewer.
I agree with you on all points, though I've never read the comics so I'm judging the films with no other knowledge of the Iron Man universe.
I enjoyed IM3 a lot, much more than the second film. I like what they're doing with these films, making everything bleed over so the events of The Avengers aren't just a thing that happen that doesn't matter at all. And I really liked Tony Stark being slightly more vulnerable and slightly less egomaniac in this film.
I guess what follows could be considered spoilery.
That said, I don't think they used that development in his character to the full extent they could have. It was really interesting to see how The Avengers screwed with his mind, and it would have tied the story together for me much better to see that weakness come through in a moment that mattered, where you felt like the stakes were high and rested upon him being able to deal with himself. But it didn't really.
Also, Ben Kingsley is awesome.
-Probably the most entertaining of all three Iron Mans. It didn't have the slow moments scattered through the first one, or the slow moments consistent throughout the second one.
-Great take on the villains, they made it much more interesting than it probably could have been. Though, in all three films, the main plot has been a competing technology in direct competition with Stark Industries; Iron Man 3 at least had layers to its villainy.
-I really liked the relationship between Tony and that kid from Tennessee. I enjoyed that they gave every implication that the kid wanted to be a sidekick, but Tony wanted nothing to do with that. Also, the casual line about their fathers abandoning them easily got the biggest audible laugh out of me.
-The action scenes really upped the ante (though, not if you count The Avengers). I really liked the final action sequence, that was a lot of fun. It was a tad difficult to gauge how powerful the bad guys' superpower was, but I guess the Iron Man cannons did the trick? The airplane sequence was awesome.
-James Badge Dale played one of the smarmiest gum-chewing pricks I've seen in a long time. I mean that as a compliment. It makes up for him being a wet blanket in The Pacific.
-I'm going to be the third person here in this thread to say that Ben Kingsly is awesome in this.
-Lots of good comedy in this film, a missing ingredient through most of Iron Man 2.
-This was 140 minutes? It felt like less than two hours. It flew by (no pun intended).
-Make sure to stay after the credits for probably the funniest scene in the whole movie. Finally, a post-credits scene that is 100% worth waiting for.
SIDE NOTE: Can we all just agree that the greatest thing ever created in 3D is the IMAX countdown graphics before the movie? NO ONE WILL EVER TOP THAT.
-Kind of a half -assed reason for the villain to harbor such deep resentment against Stark for so many years, but I suppose if you're going to be a bitter person, you might as well be full force bitter.
-I've said it before, and I'll say it again... can Hollywood stop trying to make Guy Pearce happen? He wasn't bad in his role in this movie, but he was just incredibly generic as usual. I can think of a dozen other B-list actors that could have brought more to the role, or at the very least, done as good a job as Pearce did. In 10 years, if people are still talking about Iron Man 3, they're going to ask "Who was the other guy in that movie again?" Just saying, the ranking of evil corporate tools in the Iron Man series goes 1. Sam Rockwell, 2. Jeff Bridges, and ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 3. Guy Pearce.
-Whoa, that was a rushed and awful epilogue sequence. Like, really rushed and really awful. I don't like how Tony's condition, which has been a driving force for most of the series' most personal moments, can be written off in ten seconds with some voice over.
Final Thoughts: If anything, Iron Man 3 serves a great purpose to the cause of marketing campaigns no longer destroying films before we even see them. The marketing actually contributed drastically to the impact of how I watched this film, in a positive way. I won't say anything specific for people who haven't seen it yet, but I liked the direction they took with the characters, probably because I haven't read the comics and it didn't offend me. The comics are the comics, and the films need to do what they can just to benefit the two hours that they are on the screen, that's it. Make whatever "compromise" and "twist" they need to to make the film version of the story successful, and then take those changes at the film's face value, and just hope the movie doesn't end up like The Green Lantern.
I really liked Iron Man 3, but a couple of days after seeing it, I'm not thinking of it much more than a really entertaining popcorn flick. In fact, none of the Iron Man movies have ever really evoked a strong emotional reaction in me. I probably felt more emotions during Captain America (not that that was oozing with emotion either). But Iron Man is probably the most fun of the Marvel franchises, and it's likely because it's hard not to love Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of the character. To be 100% honest, I look more forward to his performance than I do the action scenes when I go to Iron Man movies at this point. Can't say that for Chris Hemsworth and Thor.
I can't help but feel like this wasn't so much closure for the Iron Man "trilogy" (most likely because of the speedy wrap-up crap), as it was just another Iron Man adventure. And other than his anxiety attacks, I agree that there hasn't been an incredible amount of development in the character since the first movie (unless being less selfish was his main development, which isn't exactly a great arc for three movies either). I guess I'm saying, instead of creating a dynamic image of a character that goes full circle and has a clear beginning, middle, and end; they've basically just presented us with a fun character, and given him a few bad guys to fight over a few movies. I didn't leave Iron Man 3 feeling like I've learned any more or any less about Tony Stark or his alter ego. But it was a hell of an entertaining journey to wherever they wanted us to go, that we've taken over these films.
So yeah, Iron Man 3 was indeed an Iron Man movie. And Iron Man did plenty of Iron Man things. Iron Man is cool. I like Iron Man. (twiddles thumbs) (whistles) Yep... Iron Man... (coughs). Go see it if you like having fun.
8 out of 10
I think there are many layers to this script. As far as Stark's character development, the conversations with the kid are really Tony talking to himself as a kid and acknowledging/ coming to grips with his own daddy issues, a process that started in the second movie when he sees the old films his dad secretly recorded for him.
Tony is emotionally stunted, thus the playboy lifestyle, the inability to form deep attachments except for a few key people that get close to him, and Tony tends to work out all his inner demons by expressing his emotions thru hardware tinkering.
When I'm bummed out, I noodle at my synthesizer for a couple hours playing the blues and I feel better. Tony goes in his basement and works out new armor designs. This is quite in keeping with the comics for a long time, BTW. Any tech Tony works on, invariably the armor is the channel for expressing it.
You see demonstrated in the movie that the armor is a psychological crutch for him as well.
Thus (SPOILERS) in Tennessee, Tony is physically dragging his damaged" baggage" behind him. In the middle of and in the end of the third film, destruction of the armor, the "clean slate protocol" is Tony clearing things out internally as well as externally. He's throwing away the dozens of designs he was using as a distraction, he's divorcing his ego from the support of the armor and the Iron Man identity, reclaiming himself as just Tony.
He's showing Pepper where his new priorities lie; that he's opening up and risking his emotional self outside the shell of the other persona. His heart surgery is something he'd put off because of this identity crisis and being a little busy saving the world for a while. Taking that step further separates him from his suits and puts him on a path to a better-integrated self. He calls himself "the mechanic", and he is taking himself apart and re-building a new self. The whole movie starts and ends with him admitting that the problems and villains he fights are mostly things he inadvertently created himself, by being who he was. And now he's a different man, working to create something new and better.
I loved it!!! Iron Man 3 was so cool. Iron Man is kind of not defeat-able so like how the only suit he had access to was a prototype and that most of the movie the only thing he had to fight with was his mind.
This movie had some super awesome action and I loved how he ended up in a small town in middle america. It gave the film a unique feel compared to the other films. I loved the kid in Tennessee and enjoyed his relationship with Tony. I'm glad the bully got deleted out of the film. It just slowed down the pacing of the film.
Must see on the Blu-ray. There is a short on the disc about Agent Carter (the girl who dated Captain America ) that is really cool.
I'm going to be the fourth person here in this thread to say that Ben Kingsly is awesome in this.
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[Stephen Smith] "Agent Carter"
They're already talking about a TV series for her. It's a great idea. I'm not sure if Agents of SHIELD can right the ship, but I think a story told on a smaller scale would help give Agent Carter a better shot.
Of course, I'd like to see most of the Marvel movies on a smaller scale. Except for Iron Man. :-) Although I could still do with them being 20 minutes shorter....
That's cool. I would love to see more stuff for her, especially after watching that short.
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The Agent Carter one-shot is also already out there on youtube, BTW.
I'm peeved there is no directors' commentary track or deleted scenes collection on the DVD copy I bought this week. Bu this is what they do now: spread the special bonus features across multiple instances of the disks, based on where you buy them and for how much. Bastids.
I tried to find it on YouTube to post in my post, but the top searches I got where just parts of the film and not the whole thing. I'm sure Marvel makes them take it down.
Honestly, I'm surprised that you aren't a Blu-ray guy Mark. Plus I was surprised that I got any special features on a Red Box Blu-ray rental, that has become very rare.
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(shrugs) I'm not always an early-adopter; I live on a tight budget so I settle for DVD and lower-tier cable, and my TV viewing overall has completely transformed thanks to a DVR that can record something like 6 DS at a time. I'm more concerned about aspect ratios than the ultra high def picture,since my TV isn't that large to appreciate much difference in rez.
Things I agree with:
Ben Kingsley - oh you know.
Guy Pierce - ho hum.
Inner emotion, out shell - good call on that Mark.
Tennessee kid helping Tony heal from his own abandonment issues - yeah probably.
Better than Part 2 - definitely (although I did love the suitcase suit on the racetrack sequence in Pt 2).
The attack on the Malibu cliff house was awesome.
Things I didn't like:
The new self-assembling suit parts each with their own rockets allowing them to fly cross-country - a bit hokey. Does this exist in the comics?
The fake Mandarin decoy villain - he didn't seem to have a motive other than to punish the USA. We already have those in real life.
The actual plot to steal Iron Man suits and kill the President - also kind of broad in my opinion. In a post-Avengers world I would think that all future super villain plots would be world threatening, but this was simply another plot against the US government.
Oh well, overall it was fun.
The self-assembling suit parts was a thing in some of the comics, but in the comics, it was never quite as long-range as this - it was reminiscent of the later scenes in The Iron Giant. In the comics, the briefcase can fly in later versions, carrying the suit components in it. In the movie, making all the component so able to independently fly and self-assemble, means Tony's trading of other suit features and abilities to fit all that technology in.
In the comics, Tony voluntarily takes a dose of the Extremis formula, and it not only re-builds his heart, but it also drastically increases his ability to interface with the suit and with outside technologies, making him a sort of biological super-hacker on top of being able to run the suit with uncanny efficiency. Really this makes Stark too omnipotent for the good of story-telling, and in the comics, he eventually has this last copy of Extremis removed from his body, and destroyed. Beyond that, he does a tremendous "re-set", where he actually has his own mind and memory erased, and "backed up" from a previous recording, so nobody can get the secrets of Extremis or his armor from him. He actually goes back to that very first mark 1 armor and has to re-invent his armor tech as he re-learns to be himself.
In this film, Mandarin is a made-up fake villain, created by Guy Pearce's character, who at one point actually calls *himself* the "real" Mandarin. I was totally expecting the Mandarin to be a real villain, and the scene with "Trevor" to be him just trying to be wily. I think they also took this direction in the script to help mock our perception of real terrorists like Bin Laden, to diffuse the mystique and scariness and destroy the image of danger by mocking him thru Trevor.
In the comics, Mandarin is a major Stark villain; a back-country peasant bandit in China, who one day wanders into a long-forbidden valley. The valley contains the long-buried remains of an alien starship, and in exploring the wreck, this bandit finds the ten rings of powerful alien technologies beyond our own. With the power of the rings at his command, he assumes for himself the title of Mandarin and works to slowly create his own kingdom, with eventual plans for world domination. The Chinese government alternately fights and tolerates him or negotiates an unsteady truce with him, limiting him to his small kingdom, kind of like Dr. Doom running Latveria... depends on how the comic editors feel about communist China at the time of publishing each story....
... and that is WAYYY more than you wanted to know about the Iron Man books for some time, I bet :-)