Saturday, May 8, 2010

I am Iron Man...

And just like that, the summer movie season begins!

In 2008, we were given the gift of Iron Man.  Jon Farveau, once a Swinger, stepped into the director's chair to begin a journey into the Marvel Universe that at that time, gave us a feeling for what we now know to be true...

The AVENGERS will soon be assembling.

Put me on a two year timeline that leads to the AVENGERS and travels through THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA, and I will take it any day!  With the potential for IRON MAN 3, NICK FURY, and another INCREDIBLE HULK project as well, and I start to get weak in the knees.

Let me preface this by saying that I recognize and understand that there as far as great films through time go, it is hard to tell that if in 100 years, this combination of cross-overs will be viewed as master works of art.  It is a hell of a ride, though.

But...and the Reel Rhino does have a big butt...the superhero renaissance has picked up where very few superhero movie films through time have left off, then we are headed for something great! 

Superman I and II, Spiderman II, X-Men II, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight...these are viewed by many to be placeholders through time of successful entires into the superhero genre.  Iron Man is carrying into the Ought 10's very strong!

Iron Man is considered widely as a successful entry into this genre, but it can be also be viewed as a genre-buster.  Mothers, grandfathers, teeny-boppers, school teachers, postal workers...they all came to see Iron Man, and they all left happy.  It used to be a geek world when it came to flicks like this.  Don't get me wrong...the geeks are still happy.  I am a geek at heart, and I am overjoyed.  But Iron Man and the direction of the the Avengers Initiative is taking comic book movies to new heights.  The fan base is expanding and Iron Man 2 fits the bill to keep that train a runnin'.

Iron Man 2 was released in North America at 12:01am last night.  I was lucky enough to have had Tracie and Jackson tucked away in bed, and I opted to brave a sleep deprived Friday to catch the up all night show.  IT WAS WORTH IT! 

I was fortunate enough to have made it to the 1999 version of Woodstock.  Not since those beer-drowned fields were boucing to the likes of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, have I felt electric in the air like this.  It was a great night of popcorn and beach balls.  When the time came, people were glued to their seat and respected the silence of the drama, but filled the air with applause when the time was right.  There's something to be said for the group mentality at fun movie.  A great crowd can make an okay movie good, and a movie this fun an absolute blast!  The last time I felt this way about a theater experience was during 1996's Independence Day Bill Pullman speech.  I am discounting, of course, the theater-wide screams that shrilled the air when Edward showed up the first time in Eclipse, but let's pretend I didn't admit that.

Iron Man 2 is a solid 4 out of 5 horns from The Reel Rhino.  It is not is not the Godfather....but it is a DAMN GOOD TIME!
This is the role written for Robert Downey Jr.  It's hard to believe that Iron Man was first seen in Takes of Suspense in 1963 and Downey Jr. wasn't born until 1965.  I think maybe Nostradamus perhaps tipped off Stan Lee, becuase 2008 brought us the film personification Tony Stark.  An ego-driven genius with a heart of gold, Tony Stark is complex.  Granted we have not begun to dive into the depths of darkness in this character's rich history, but I like where we have gone so far.

Don Cheadle steps in nicely to Terrance Howard's shoes.  It wasn't really explained well why the casting shift was warranted, but I'll take a Don Cheadle performance any day and it was nice to see Iron Man and War Machine rocking the baddies back to back in that green garden battle site that brought one of the biggest WOWS of the night. 

Scartlett Johansson is fantastic (and of course HOT) as Black Widow.  Mickey Rourke is the perfect villian...Whiplash played to perfection.  Sam Rockwell plays Tony Stark's rival, Justin Hammer to a T.  And Garry Shandling gives a very slimey turn as a swarthy smart-ass Senator with a penchant for picking on Stark.  With reappearances by Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, our director-hero Happy Hogan, and the always lovely Pepper Potts...this movie dances straight into delightful.

I take great pride in saying that in 2007 I had a chance to see the unveiling of the Iron Man hoopla.  I was an arms reach away from Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Farvreau at the infamous San Diego Comic-Con.  There was a four hour line for the Iron Man panel, so I opted out of that experience, but I did leave with this...

Comic-Con will be the source of another post, but let me tell is a dream opportunity to attend.  It isn't very much a comic convention anymore as much as a media convention, showcasing everything in pop culture.

On another note, the Iron Man pre-show gave us a great new trailer for the A-Team as well as the first trailer that actually got me pumped for The Last Airbender.  JJ Abrams has some super secret squirrel project due in Summer 2011.  He is directing and Steven Speilberg is producing.  The trailer for SUPER 8 was a little light, but all of Abrams projects are usually under tight wraps.  I for one, have a good feeling about it.  After Star Trek 2009, I think I'd follow JJ anywhere.

Well that about wraps it up.  As I said, 4 out of 5 strong-like-bull horns for IRON MAN 2 from the Reel Rhino.  I saw this digitally projected, but the IMAX was long sold out.  I will try and catch it again at the IMAX sometime today or early this coming week.

Till next time...



  1. The IMAX rocked. I laugh every time at Favs directing these movies. He does a great job but who would have thought back in the mid 90's that the dude who played Monica's boyfriend who was a Bill Gates type but had dreams of becoming the Ultimate Fighting Champion would one day make 2 of the best comic book movies in generations. So I got a big kick out of him beating up the security guard toward the end of the movie and ending the fight on the line, "I did it!" Yes you did, sir. Funny...

  2. Friends episode I mentioned above.