Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Life Made of Iron

Iron Man (plot)
My experience to date with comic to movie adaptations has been lack luster at best and a steaming pile at worst. The three X-men films were on the tail end of a bell curve that started near zero (Y-axis). The Spider-man films were barely palatable and would have gone unseen save relatives who don't know what to get me for Christmas. Batman Begins and Hellboy have been the two exceptions to the rule as of late. So going into Iron Man I was a bit, lets say, concerned.

The villain was going to be an evil Iron Man which didn't really sit well. Heavy use of CGI in films tends to be a coin flip these days and can make or break the suspension of disbelief (see episode 1-3). It did have a fantastic cast of accomplished actors though and a comic character I have always liked. So it was off to the movies Sunday to put all this guessing and speculation to bed.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is a fantastic match, he owns the character in all forms. Jeff Bridges as a villain works well, even if I wanted him to refer to himself as the dude. The special effects were fantastically believable and did not show up as a substitute to the story, but as a side dish. The stories pacing is well balanced and builds to an end that left me wanting the sequel next week. Unfortunately that won't happen till 2010, but at least all of the actors and Jon Favreau have signed up to go at it in round two.

Made of Honor (plot)
I normally play rodeo clown to the romantic comedy, wrangling and maneuvering my way around it until the last second when I duck into the hot pink barrel and escape with my limbs intact. The crowd roars and a month later when the next one comes out we start again. My main tool in this dance of diversion and deflection is RottenTomatoes.com. It is a rare romantic comedy that has the endurance to make it through the critical gauntlet unscathed. Made of Honor is not that rare film.

The wife has apparently gotten wise to my ways though. She refused to check the RT score knowing that it might toss a wrench in her plans for our date night. So it was off to the theater to see a film I knew would be bad and she hoped would make the cut. Near ten minutes in, it was apparent to both of us that this film was going to suck. The writing was atrocious and the story elements seemed like the screen play of an aspiring high school student. The acting wasn't as bad as the writing, but that is not a glowing review in and of itself.

The 40 something women next to us must have had their taste blunted by some sort of distilled spirit, because they kept laughing aloud at scenes that were not funny and repeating lines to the point of annoyance. Thankfully my awful sense of public appropriateness came through as I took to mocking our neighbors with faked laugh out loud moments and line repetitions of my own.

This American Life
If you are a fan of the radio show you will love the television program. The second season on Showtime just began this Sunday and is just as amazing as the last. Ira Glass, the host, is a fantastic narrator, story teller and interviewer who looks a bit like Alan Ruck. If you have never heard the radio show it is a series of stories about real life people that follow a different theme each episode. The television show is the same simple concept with amazing cinematography added. If this is not on your roster of shows to watch, add it and get the HD version if at all possible. Oh their is a TAL podcast that is essentially the radio show on your own time, so get that too!

1 comment:

Crystal said...

I am waiting for Maid of Honor to come on DVD so that I can snatch it up right away. Maybe I will even get it on Blue Ray and that would be the reason for us to get a Blue Ray player.

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