Tuesday, May 14, 2013

One More For The Scrap Metal Drive

First off, let's deal with some blog housekeeping.  After much internal discussion (with myself, of course), I've decided to now include a rating system whenever I review a movie.  I go back to the days when I was a kid devouring the movie pages of the New York Daily News.  I would race to see if a new film got anywhere from zero to four stars.  Well, starting today, I am going to include the same kind of "Len Rating" on these critiques.  It will be down at the bottom of the review.  

But, don't scroll down there just yet.  You're going to want to read what I have to say.  There's some good stuff in this piece.

Unlike in this movie.  And how's that for a smooth transition into my review of "Iron Man 3?"

These days, Hollywood is nothing but predictable.  They make an action movie.  It makes money.  Then they make a second.  It makes more money because the moviegoing zombies think they're seeing something new.  Then they make a third.  And this cycle continues until our society is a little dumber than it was fifty years ago.

Okay, that's not to say that the Iron Man franchise is killing America.  It's mindless entertainment geared at...hang on...the mindless.  There's nothing wrong with a good popcorn movie.  And that's what the first Iron Man film was.  Lots of explosions that are perfect when you're hearing lots of butter.  Even I enjoyed it, although I probably enjoyed a box of Raisinets instead.

Then they made a second film and I temporarily joined the parade of robots into the theater.  Well, "Iron Man 2" was devoid of anything remotely new or clever.  The first movie ever filmed without the benefit of a screenplay attached.

So, with that kind of track record, how does your truly wind up seeing "Iron Man 3?"  


I was having my car serviced at Miller Toyota in Culver City.  Conveniently next door is a multiplex.  A perfect place to wait for your automobile.  An ideal time waster.

And, under that particular criterion, "Iron Man 3" works like a charm.  It's a lot more fun than waiting around a Toyota waiting room.  Listening to some woman gossip on her cell phone in Spanish.  Or watching some guy bang on the vending machine because his bag of Doritos got stuck.  

So, with those comparisons, "Iron Man 3" is an ideal diversion.  It's certainly better than the second one of the franchise.  But, that's like saying you feel better when you have the flu.  Sure, maybe the headache has gone away, but you still have the vomiting and diarrhea.

To me, it's the same old story with the same old characters played by the same old actors.  Good news for those who care.  Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, and Gwyneth Paltrow are all back for more duty.  Of course, now there are the standard villains striving for world domination.  Ben Kingsley plays an Osama Bin Laden lookalike and Guy Pearce is a dastardly computer expert.  They both have their eyes on the White House and certainly put up more of a fight than Mitt Romney did.  Meanwhile, this film offers up a Vice President who actually has a brain in his head.  See!  I told you this movie didn't make any sense.

Downey morphs into Tony Stark who morphs into Iron Man periodically.  He doesn't simply get into his armor.  The costume actually flies over to him.  It's like a dry cleaner that delivers.  Of course, the armor fails periodically and it appears that Downey didn't keep all that paperwork about the warranty.  He has to rebuild it all from scratch just as the aforementioned terrorists are bearing down on the nation.  

Sound familiar?  It's the plot line of every action movie made since 1990.  

Meanwhile, you really can't fall asleep because there's a loud explosion that will wake you up at one-minute-and-forty-six-second intervals.  In between the latest building or oil rig to blow up, Downey pops off with one smart line after another.  The world may be coming to an end.  His loved ones might be dying around him.  But, regardless, Downey as Tony Stark frequently sounds just like Alan King on the Ed Sullivan Show.  In a movie like "Iron Man 3,"  there's no time for any serious acting.  You're too busy killing people and cracking wise.

Naturally, as with every action movie made since the year 2000, there is a uber-heavy reliance on computer graphics.  The ones in "Iron Man 3" are a bit less cheesy than in other movies.  But that doesn't stop them from trying some stunts that are absolutely stupid and incredibly hard to fathom.  One is when the entire flight crew, including pilots and flight attendants, are sucked out of a plane and sent plummeting to the ground from 30,000 feet.  The resolution to that problem is so mind-numbingly stupid that you now fear for the long term intelligence of our nation.  But, then again, look at who we have elected to the office of the President over the past 40 years.

Theaters are offering up "Iron Man 3" in a 3-D version, which is naturally another sleazy way for Hollywood to drive up ticket prices needlessly.  The 3-D effect still doesn't work and I was smart enough not to pay even more money to REALLY SEE "Iron Man 3."  I can't imagine how the device would have improved my enjoyment/lack of enjoyment even more.  Or less.

Okay, "Iron Man 3" won't kill you.  If your rear brakes need to be replaced, it's ideal.  My main gripe is that, other than sheer greed, there was no reason to make the money.  The story's been told over and over and over again.  There is nothing new to see.  But, of course, this never stops the cash-focused idiots in Hollywood.  If one makes money, let's make another twelve.

I can't wait to see if "The Great Gatsby" is a success.  Then we'll see "Gatsby 2" and maybe even "Gatsby 3."  Idiots will flock to see more chapters of a finite novel and author F. Scott Fitzgerald, after years in the grave, will start drinking all over again.


Dinner last night:  Roast beef sandwich.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zero interest in 3 since 2 had zero entertainment.

Downey is as trapped in this character as Tony Stark is stuck in his iron suit. Downey's comeback from addict and convict would make a great documentary.