Movie Review: Iron Man

I really didn’t want to see “Iron Man” after seeing the trailers in the movie theater, the TV, and the Internet.  My husband, though, was very much into this movie and made me watch all of trailers to try to get me excited too.  I can happily report, despite what was shown in the trailers, “Iron Man” is a very enjoyable action movie and I recommend it as a good movie to see this summer.  I don’t know much about “Iron Man”‘s comic book heritage so I can’t comment on how faithful this presentation is to the comic (I’d say that this is part of American “Gundam” Lore).  The movie, itself, was very modern with the enemies being a multi-national network of terrorists and a “greatest generation” warmonger who is stuck in the WWII/cold-war past.  Our hero goes from self-centered ass to self-centered ass with a sense a purpose.  In many ways, I felt this movie was very “gen-X.”    Robert Downey Jr. is enjoyable as the womanizing genius engineer Mr. Stark.  Gwyneth Paltrow is a very cute Pepper Potts (I don’t know how she manages to function in the heel they put her in — kudos to Gwynneth for having excellent balance and leg strength).  And then there’s the bad guy Obediah played by a cackling Jeff Bridges.   His bald head and over-the-top facial hair were a hoot.  Terrence Howard, who plays Jim Rhodes, plays a pretty small role as Tony’s only friend other than Pepper Potts.  It sounds like in the sequel, already planned to release summer 2010, he will play a greater role.

Onto the special effects … they were great.  I was completely convinced that this world existed.  Everything looked really smooth and the integration of live action and animation was seamless.

As for the story, the pacing was kept fast by the comedic aspects.  I like the way the Stark character remains very confident and true to his character despite his finding his calling in life.  He is still a loner, he is still an awesome engineer/tinkerer, and still awkward in his personal relationships as he realizes how much he depends on Pepper Potts and longs for a true friend in Jim Rhodes.  This movie felt to me like it was introducing the characters and the world of “Iron Man” and setting the stage for the sequel.  This movie also reminded me of the joy of engineering and tinkering in the garage, so go see it, if you need some inspiration or just to feel good. 

As for the taking kids to this movie:  There were some families with kids around 8-ish inthe theater when we saw it.  The kid in our aisle was disturbed by the chest implant in the Tony Stark character and her parents had to remind her that it wasn’t real.  My feeling is that this movie isn’t appropriate for children under 10 or maybe older, depending on how mentally mature the child is.

GTA IV is Out with the Usual Contraversy

GTA IV is out today.  Uh, yay…  My husband will be probably purchasing this game, but I won’t be, nor will I play it.  GTA is simply not the kind of game I like to play.  Hmm… what a simple thing to say, “GTA is simply not the kind of game I like to play,” so consequently, I will not buy it.  So why can’t the rest of the people that don’t like GTA take that kind of attitude and leave those that want to play it alone?  As for the kids — MA and AO mean that the game is not intended for children, so parents should be responsible and not purchase this game for their children and vendors should be equally sensible and not sell the game to children just as they wouldn’t sell alcohol and tabacco to children.  How hard is this to understand?  Anyway, the more these folks hype the violence and sex within GTA, the more curious teens become.  Parents could also use the game as a teaching moment and play the game with their teen.  Or maybe they will be surprised to find out that their kid doesn’t like the game because it’s difficult to play and they can’t get through the dialog in the cut-scenes — GTA is story driven after all. 

As for me, I played GTA III once and I watched my husband play.  Causing mayhem is fun for about an hour and then I got bored.  My husband for some reason didn’t.  Then my husband discovered the prositutes and that aspect of the game totally turned me off.  My view of the world isn’t that cynical.  My husband thought is was funny but after interacting with the prostitute a few times, got bored and moved on without lasting mental damage or the impression that the mayhem and criminal behaviour he could do in the game were in anyway acceptable in the real world.  GTA is escapism for adults, just as WOW and shooters like Call of Duty are.

Anyhow, here’s an article on the GTA IV contraversy.  If there are folks out there that are brave enough to admit to buying and playing GTA IV, please leave a comment on how it is.