I didn’t feel the need to rush out my review of this film because A) I was still in my last week of nursing school and should’ve been studying and B) this movie was going to do gangbusters and people were going to see it regardless of whether or not I wrote a review saying “see it” or “don’t see it” haha.
My history with the Iron Man movies is rocky at best. I loved Iron Man the first time I saw it in theaters but it didn’t hold up as well as I thought it would on repeat viewings. Iron Man 2 was more of the same, didn’t really like it as much as I thought I would from the previews. I’d give the first a 7/10 and the second a 6/10. I had much higher hopes for Iron Man 3 simply because they enlisted Shane Black to write and direct it. I absolutely adored his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which if you haven’t seen, fuck is wrong with you? lol go see it now!) and Black has written some of the most adored action films of the 80’s and 90’s.
If I had to choose, I would say that Iron Man 3 is the best of the series, but it is certainly not without its flaws. Now I don’t mean to sound like a goon but the action in this film is INSANEEEEEE. Shane Black finally makes an Iron Man movie with a kick ass final action set piece. The two separate mansion sequences have a number of innovative moments - something I highly cherish in action movies. I love it when I see something I’ve never seen before in a movie.
There has been a lot of controversy over the liberties Black takes with Iron Man canon, but I have to say that I didn’t find that to be a problem whatsoever. I thought it was great that a blockbuster film could truly surprise me and the reimagining of comic book lore was refreshing. I love the fact that Black was able to surprise filmgoers worldwide and that a superhero movie finally took some risks that other filmmakers wouldn’t dare make because they’re scared of fanboy reactions. I’ve always been a firm believer in “change whatever you feel you need to in order to make a better movie”. What’s the point of sticking to the source material if it makes for a poorer movie? Cut or change what’s unnecessary or outdated and make the best movie you can. If a change to a beloved property leads to a better story then I’m all for that.
My biggest problem with the film is that most of the side characters are pointless with weak character motivations. Happy, Pepper Potts, Rhodes, whatever the hell Rebecca Hall’s character’s name was, the main villain’s number two option, etc. are all basically useless in this movie. They don’t drive the story forward or have interesting backstories that detail their motivations.
Once again Don Cheadle is terrible in the role of War Machine/Iron Patriot and barely factors in the movie at all. I hate to bring up my Iron Man 2 criticisms in my Iron Man 3 review but Cheadle has just never suited (no pun intended) the role. 5 years later and I still wish they kept Terrence Howard as Colonel Rhodes because he had a ton of chemistry despite the similarly limited amount of screentime that Cheadle had. Howard made the role work and brought out the best in the Stark/Rhodes relationship. Just that one scene where Terrence Howard’s Rhodes finds Tony Stark in the desert in the first Iron Man movie and that look he gives him is more powerful emotionally than anything Don Cheadle has done in two films.
I was so excited that Rebecca Hall, one of my favorite actresses, was cast in Iron Man 3, but she’s absolutely worthless in this movie. She basically does nothing in this film. She’s in it for about 10-15 minutes and does nothing to progress the plot or develop the themes. And for those who say she does factor into the whole ethical science theme, then it was poorly implemented/explored to say the least.
The number one goon for the villain was just so bad. Just look at Jai Courtney’s character in Jack Reacher if you want to see a number two who has precious little screentime but gives a great performance by squeezing out every moment that he has. James Dale Badge is just flat out uninteresting and you might as well have had a completely CGI stand in put in place because that would’ve been just as convincing.
The rest of my problems of the movie lie in the very last 5-10 minutes and I’ll get into that in the SPOILERS section below the “read more” break.
Iron Man 3 is a damn fun time at the theater. With superhero films getting “darker” and “grittier” (two words I’ve heard a million times to describe movies these days) it’s nice that we can get one that has its serious moments, but still remembers that we love reading comics about superheroes because they’re so much fun. I’m not going to say “see it” because with already 1.1 billion dollars in the bank the odds are you’ve probably already seen it. However, if you haven’t seen it yet, it is definitely worth checking out in theaters.
A couple of things I want to discuss that get into spoilers, so SPOILERS for Iron Man 3 after the “read more” break!Read more
IRON MAN 3 TEASER TRAILER!!! LET’S GO!!!
150 MOVIES IN 2012 (24/150)
► Two Lovers
Muy deprimente. No os la recomiendo si estáis pasando una mala época amorosa, pero a la vez deberíais verla porque está muy bien. Bien escrita y mejor interpretada, el personaje de Joaquin Phoenix ha pasado a la lista de personajes que me dan más pena del cine. Está magnífico y Gwyneth Paltrow también, aunque su personaje no nos acabe de gustar. Y el final, perfecto pero desolador.
One of my favorite romance movies of all-time! Joaquin Phoenix is absolutely phenomenal and I’m still saddened that Vinessa Shaw hasn’t gotten more movie roles off her performance in this. Unfortunately, they recently took this off Netflix watch instantly. I bought it for like 2 bucks at Amoeba (what a steal!), so be on the lookout at your local used DVD stores!
I heard of Contagion a very long time ago, I think maybe 2 years ago? The amount of Academy Award winners and nominees in this movie is absolutely ridiculous. Winners: Steven Soderbergh, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet; nominees: Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, John Hawkes, Eliott Gould. Plus Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston. So we know the talent was immense, but how was the movie?
What’s odd about this film is that I usually bash films that introduce a multitude of characters and create short arcs for them, but for some reason it works in Contagion. I don’t know if it’s the cold, calculating manner that the stories are handled with or the nice little subtle nuances, but a lot of this movie works for me. I suppose having a great director and a top flight cast doesn’t hurt. There are so many characters here that the fact that there’s so many great names attached almost feels like a deliberate attempt to cash in on our feelings for those actors in general to skip out on character development, yet at the same time I don’t feel like the film was disingenuous.
I’ve heard people make comparisons to Soderbergh’s film Traffic, and I think the comparisons are apt. Whereas that film had a wide scope on the world of drugs, Contagion does it with an infectious disease. I love the realism of this movie. There are certain moments that could have been played up for dramatic effect that are instead just done in a matter-of-factly way because that’s how it would happen in real life. When someone dies, they often don’t get to say this huge speech or convey a life lesson, they just die. The coldness of this film helps separate it from other films of this ilk.
The execution of this film is definitely what separates it from the rest. There are so many small little real life touches that make each character feel real. I never thought that anything that happened in this film was preposterous or stupid. Each character has their own personality and deals with this epidemic in their own way. Sure, there are subplots that don’t feel as satisfying as others, but what works generally outweighs what doesn’t.
Contagion works as a sprawling thriller that takes a serious look at how the world would cope with a widespread contagious disease. There is so much that is covered in such a short amount of time, but the film does so much well. It hits on many themes and explores the shortcomings of society. Do not go into Contagion for a “movie” movie. By that I mean I don’t go in expecting shocking plot twists or many movie-isms. Contagion is a well executed movie about how we would realistically deal with an epidemic and everything that comes with that.
Edit: Special shout out to Jude Law as the crazy blogger. I can’t stop quoting his line from the trailer with his accent in this film “On die wun dare wuz tew peeple, end den for, end den seexteen. In three munths it’s a BEELYUN! That’s-ware-wee’re-hetted!” LOL!
Steven Soderbergh you brilliant bastard! This cast is ridiculously stacked too with Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, and Kate Winslet. The imagery from the trailer alone is haunting, let alone the idea of some contagious virus spreading all over the world. I’ve always had a fascination with post-apocalyptic movies where everything in the world goes to shit, so I’m definitely there opening night personally. 2011 in film keeps looking better and better.
So I finally got a little downtime and I decided to watch The Royal Tenembaums (thanks to Jason for letting me borrow it). I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I haven’t seen much of Wes Anderson’s work, the only other films I’ve seen of his are Rushmore and Fantastic Mr. Fox and I loved both of those movies too. The movie definitely feels like Wes Anderson with the quirky style and the always great musical choices. The characters felt unique without feeling too “indie”. Oftentimes the quirkiness of characters like these fall into being one dimensional and static with only a few characteristics to define them. I thought each character was very nuanced and had both likable and unlikable bits to them which made them feel more real. I did think that the resolution of the film was a bit too clean and brief to have the necessary emotional impact, but I still left the film feeling very satisfied with the trajectories of each character arc. I really enjoyed this movie and I would highly recommend it to anyone who was interested in seeing it.