Recently, I was going through my e-mail, and came across an exchange with one of my off-line pals...we'll call him "Dave", mostly because - that's his name.
He and I were looking forward to the upcoming Iron Man movie - he was an Iron Man fanboy from back in the day...however, he - and I - both agreed that, given Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark, the movie would bomb miserably.
Now, yes, I'm eating plenty of crow (kind of tasty - like chicken, only spicier), and I still don't think that Downey was the best choice for the role of Tony Stark....but dammit, Iron Man is probably one of the best movies this year. If not the best.
It's much better than Cloverfield, which received considerable pre-release hype, but scratch the self-conscious cleverness of the filmmakers, and it's merely another cliche monster movie. (Sorry, guys, but shaky cam is so Blair Witch...and that is not a compliment.
However, the great thing about Iron Man...is that it's a comic book movie that knows it's a comic book movie. All of the action pieces, the obligatory building the armor sequence - everything builds to a great climax. (I won't go into the two things that happen at the end, including the now infamous "hidden" scene, but suffice it to say, this is a really exciting, engrossing film).
What's also notable is that...what other piece of entertainment features a weapons manufacturer who, realizing the error of his ways, decides to utilize his skills for something which could improve the world? Who also then realizes that he has a family (of sorts), and moves forward from being a vapid, self-obsessed playboy? And who confuses Stan Lee with Hugh Hefner?
I loved this movie. I loved Terence Howard as Rhodey, and the "next time, baby" quote. I loved Gwyneth Paltrow (when did she become so damn sexy?). The only thing I didn't like...was Robert Downey, Jr., but that's OK. There's enough other stuff to make this film worth seeing.
And finally, a parting gift - one of those viral video thingies you always read about: