How Good Is The Movie Iron Man?
Let me tell you.
I’m not a pirate, but it’s not too hard to ferret out sources on the Internet.
It took me less than an hour to find a streaming Flash video of the movie:
Notice the Chinese subtitles. The audio was English.
What was missing was the opening titles and credits, a few scenes where the bootleg cam was covered by a hand, and the closing credits. Otherwise, the movie seemed to be all there.
Don’t get too excited over that. Click on these two images to see what it looked like full-screen:
Now let me tell you how good it is.
I’m going to pay to see it in a real movie theater tomorrow.
People who know me or have followed my old blog are shocked as hell to read that. I rarely go to a movie theater. I just can’t tolerate the psychopathic audiences any longer. (Plus, there’s also the real threat of getting shot or caught in a mini-riot — both of which happened during a screening of The Matrix several years ago!)
So to get me into a theater, the movie has to be damned special.
And Iron Man is!
The script is terrific. I was paying careful attention to where the story was going and at one point I expected, let me say (so as not to spoil anything), X to happen. But X didn’t happen. They did Y instead and not only was it better than what I had anticipated, it surprised me.
The other thing that makes me want to see it on a big screen in perfect clarity is Robert Downey, Jr. Even blurry and lo-res and sometimes pixelated, I could tell that this guy deserves an Academy Award nomination. He is just absolutely brilliant. (In a just world, he’d get that nomination — and the Oscar itself!)
I was very disappointed when he starred in the atrocious American bastardization of The Singing Detective. He looked like a frikkin teenager and he just couldn’t carry the role.
Here, he is fully adult. And the delivery of his lines is pitch-perfect. I’m sure all of you have seen the various trailers and clips. He’s that way throughout. It’s something I need to see for every nuance he brings to the role.
One other thing I want to see clearly: The computer interface technology imagined. It looks incredible. I can imagine Steve Jobs seeing it and calling his R&D guys together to watch it, then ordering them to find a way to do it. (At one point, Downey moves an image from one monitor to another and then to a table that makes it both holographic and virtual! It makes Microsoft Surface so very sad in comparison!)
Since I didn’t get any of the credits, I’ve had to turn to the IMDB for them. Script is credited to Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway. (None of whom I’ve heard of, but that’s the way the studios want it — screw the writers!) There might be others who contributed. But anyway, you guys, take a bow. Great, great work!
Direction is by Jon Favreau. I had to look up his credits. This guy’s done a lot. A future project that I want to see is called True Believer: The Father of Super Heroes, apparently a documentary about Stan Lee which has a list of on-screen participants that’s stunning! His work on Iron Man will put him on the Hot List for sure.
I think Iron Man is the first serious treatment of a comic book superhero. There will be those who will argue for Batman Begins, but that movie lacked psychological depth. (It’s also one I did not go to a theater to see. I waited for cable TV.) Tony Stark is more of a human being than Bruce Wayne was (and I still think the Michael Keaton portrayal of Wayne was the best one).
If I’m allowed one slight carp, it’s against the practice of rock music soundtracks. This began with Saturday Night Fever and it’s been a plague upon those of us who love to buy movie and TV soundtracks. It’s also stifled the entire field of soundtrack musicians. It is possible to do a kick-ass score with an orchestra — and I wish they’d done that here. But this didn’t annoy me to the point it usually does — I was so caught up in the story and acting that it faded into the background. But I can tell you this will not be a soundtrack on my to-buy list. (And, in fact, I think they’ll sell few copies of it too. Saturday Night Fever got away with rock because it had songs.)
Anyway, if you’ve been out there wanting to see Iron Man — don’t bother with tragic Internet cammed versions! You’ll be cheating yourself!
Do what I’m going to do: Pay for it and have the entire fantastic experience!
I’ll be doing another post after I’ve seen it in the theater. Let’s see if my anticipation is matched by the reality. I think it will be.
It’s that good. (Sorry, Nikki!)
Update: Now go read Iron Man: The Legal Viewing