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*** Official IRON MAN Review Thread


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#1 of 22 Shawn.F

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Posted April 29 2008 - 10:48 PM

Caught this last night in Boston. In a word repeated several times: fun, fun, fun. Downey was a perfect choice as Stark.

#2 of 22 John Swarce

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Posted April 30 2008 - 11:32 AM

My son came home from high school yesterday (freshman) and he was jumping out of his shoes, as his teacher had given him a free pass for 2 to a sneak peak of Iron Man that night in RI.

Local radio station was handing out mini Iron Man posters, buttons and bumper stickers. Theater was packed, and surprisingly, a good crowd as the film started rolling.

In a word, the movie is terrific! Lot of humor, great action sequences, some romance (but not too mushy). RDJ is the perfect Tony Stark. A bit of an ass, but likable, moreso as the movie goes on.

The Iron Man suit is spot on, ILM nailed the look. The flying sequences were my favorite part, although there is a short part with terrorists after he gets the new suit that had a lot of the audience laughing (a targeting bit that made me think of RoboCop).

Movie ran a little over 2 hours and there wasn't much fat. A few "huh?" moments, but it is a superhero movie, so I could let it slide.

Marvel should have a winner with this, as I suppose the word of mouth will be very good. I expect a sequel announcement this summer!

Can't wait for the Blu-ray!

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#3 of 22 David Rubenstein

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Posted May 01 2008 - 12:17 AM

I was at the LA premiere last night and I'll echo what everyone else has said about the film - one of the best superhero movies ever made.

The casting was perfect (especially Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard) and I thought they got the tone of the charatcter down perfectly.

The stars were all out and everyone was having a great time (It was wild to walk down the red carpet - we walked directly behind Gwyneth Paltrow who stayed at the after party longer than most of her co-stars).

Jeff Bridges also seemed to really be enjoying himself. He had his brother Beau and a few other family members off in a corner.

Great movie and a fantastic premiere party.
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#4 of 22 Ruslan

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Posted May 01 2008 - 08:20 AM

Just saw this here in the UK. Enjoyed it thoroughly and hope Downey's promise of multiple sequels holds true! Excellent effects, performances and a fun script!

Very annoyed to read that I should have stuck around til the credits finished! Ah well, will have to go and see it again!

A solid **** out of 5! Well done, Favs!

#5 of 22 Patrick Sun

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Posted May 01 2008 - 03:12 PM

As the initial installment of the Iron Man film franchise, "Iron Man" is pretty solid, but I wasn't wowed by it, and felt it to be a little too simple in the plot department. I enjoyed watching Tony Stark's technological ingenuity come alive on the screen, and Robert Downey, Jr. is well-casted as Stark, in fact, all the footage with him developing the Iron Man suit is fun and nifty. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts was awkward for me, she just seemed off her acting game in many scenes. Jeff Bridges and Terrance Howard were solid in under-written roles.

Directorially, I thought Jon Favreau's direction to be mildly boring and staid in long stretches at a time, but the 2nd unit direction with the action scenes to be more entertaining and lively, though I was hoping for a little more imagination in the action sequences. Favreau's main problem is that he settles for giving the viewer "coverage"/wide shots, and as the film rolls on, it's visually uninteresting, and I wished he'd use some more background music to prop up some of the scenes. Also, the cinematography is average and serviceable, but doesn't quite hit the right overall tone throughout the film.

It may seem I wasn't thrilled by the film, and on some levels, that's true, but it won't disappoint the masses, and I think most viewers will enjoy it. I will look forward to the next installment, but I hope Favreau won't be directing it.

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

P.S. Oh yeah, stay for the extra scene at the very end of the credits, that was pretty neat.
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#6 of 22 Chuck Mayer

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Posted May 01 2008 - 06:22 PM

I liked it a lot. I didn't love it, but loved enough about it to be enthusiastic for the film. I've been interested ever since they cast Downey, Jr. And he delivered a fine performance, encompassing all of the elements that make Tony Stark one of the more interesting and realized of comic book characters. I'm an old comic nerd, and saw him as a decent character until a few years back. When written to his potential (as he rarely is), he's pretty fascinating. As realized by RDJ, he's quite fun, quite cocky, but makes it totally work. The supporting cast did their jobs well, especially Howard.

I agree with Patrick on some of the direction, but not the cinematography. I was happy to learn it was by Matthew Libatique, a real up and comer. I thought there were some very nice shots in it. I do appreciate the way Favreau worked in lots of nods to the comics without being overt, but obvious enough for those nerds who are well-versed (the "Howard looking at the Mark 2" scene probably wouldn't have worked on paper, but it made me smile in the theater). There is plenty there for the next film or two.

I thought the effects were very well done, as the suit looked as ridiculously complicated and cool as possible. The first Mark 3 scene was pretty great, as was the first "suiting up" sequence, and the first flying sequence. I'm sure they'll have a new suit or two in the sequel(s) (as expected), but I hope they don't muck very much with the brilliant design they already have.

I did manage to stay and observe the last scene, solely there for comic nerds. It was a fun scene, and worth the wait. It really, really, really made me itch for a
Captain America
movie. I won't hold my breath.

Eagerly awaiting a second film,
Chuck
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#7 of 22 Jim_K

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Posted May 02 2008 - 11:09 AM

Just watched this a few hours ago. Great stuff! I was in a nerd-like nirvana. Casting Downey was pure inspiration. I'd put this one just shy (but not by much) of Spidey 2, X2, Batman Begins and Superman: The Movie.

Hopefully this does well enough at the BO to lock in a sequel. Posted Image
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#8 of 22 Chuck Mayer

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Posted May 02 2008 - 11:25 AM

I think it was to the film's credit that while it took the material seriously, it still was a comic movie. Even better, it didn't feel like a comic book movie. No zaniness...just some technology that wouldn't be out of place in any typical summer blockbuster. Because of that, I think it's much more approachable than most superhero films (which I love, but I am part of the target audience).

Most importantly, it was REALLY fun. It wasn't trying to be a drama. I appreciated that. I don't mind that from Batman, but I don't want that from every superhero film. I'm happy to have Favreau back, though I agree is action direction was hit and miss. He got plenty enough right to make me satisfied though.
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#9 of 22 Cory S.

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Posted May 03 2008 - 01:04 AM

A solid three stars. Better than the first X-Men (only because of money) and the first Spider-Man. But, it's not close to Batman Begins, X2, Spider-Man 2 or Hulk.

A very solid start to the franchise. Stan Winston and ILM together was magic (as usual), even if the action sequences, I think, didn't match Bay's Transformers in terms of spectacle and awe-inspiring moments.

Stark's journey/arc could've been on par or even better than Wayne's journey in Begins. I think Nolan handled his material much better than Favereau did with Iron Man. But, he had all the elements in place.

But, it was a fun ride. I look forward to the Blu-Ray.
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#10 of 22 Larry Sutliff

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Posted May 03 2008 - 03:40 AM

I saw it yesterday, and thought it was really good. Downey is such a likable actor that he stole every scene, and made you care for his plight. The film has one or two setpieces that are among the best I've seen in a comic film, particularly when
Iron Man kicks the crap out of the terrorist thugs
.

The film's last action setpiece was a bit tired, but the final scene, and the overall uplifting atmosphere of the film made it a real treat. A great way to start the summer movie season. ***1/2 out of ****

#11 of 22 Diallo B

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Posted May 03 2008 - 08:26 AM

as far as i am concerned iron man was one of the more mature comic adaptations. it didn't resort to a "dumbed down after school cartoon in the 1980's" plot in order to be a comic book movie. it was a real movie with characters that people truly related to.

it even included real concerns for real people and companies. how many comic book movies even start talking about the stock market and include jim cramer. (besides batman begins, and i will get there)

the action scenes were pretty seamless and believable. there was not a point in time where i felt like something looked fake.

and as i eluded to in another thread downy as stark was pure casting genius. i hope now that marvel can keep its production in house they continue to cast believable actors in roles. (i.e. angela bassett should have been storm. not soft ass halle berry.)

this was a great movie. but i still think that batman begins is a better movie. in batman we got to know bruce wayne inside out. honestly, for as much as we did learn about stark it didn't hold the same emotional weight.

but with that said, it is a must see movie for any comic fan, action fan or someone that just wants to see a good movie.

by the way, i thought that this movie was more enjoyable than any x-men or spidey movie. i enjoyed those movies but they were, ehhhhh....a little cheesy.. when i left the theater. perhaps it is the mecha/robotech/voltron/macross fan in me.
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#12 of 22 Ray H

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Posted May 03 2008 - 03:51 PM

I saw this earlier, and while I found it highly entertaining and it probably ranks among my top five comic book movies, I can't say I adore it.

The film never really seemed to get into high gear for me as it's all essentially one big origin story. And I have no problem with that. I guess as an audience member, I've come to expect a superhero movie with the same old structure. You know, first act: guy becomes superhero, second act: villain introduced and shit goes down, third act: the resolution. So it was strange seeing a movie where the superhero wasn't even introduced to the world at large until the film's finale. For this reason, it kinda felt like an huge budget, two-part TV show pilot or something. It leaves you wanting more, but there won't be a new episode next week, but rather two years from now.

Of the Marvel movies, I'd say it's the best first installment. It's got a better story and it was better executed than any of the others, which often felt clunky. A tip of the hat goes to Favreau for pulling off a great foundation for the series, sans any of that clunkiness.

The cast was pretty excellent across the board, and it's nice to see Robert Downey Jr. making something of a comeback. Not that he was ever really gone, but it's funny to see him finally hitting it big over 20 years after his first starring role.
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#13 of 22 Raasean Asaad

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Posted May 03 2008 - 06:03 PM

I really liked this film, even the asides to us fans weren't all hokey. I am an Iron Man fan and I liked a lot of little things like the racing with "Happy" Hogan and not overplaying the "Pepper" Potts romance. Even the inclusion of the '60s TV show theme at the awards banquet.

This was very well done
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#14 of 22 ShaneP

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Posted May 03 2008 - 06:39 PM

I thought it was a great superhero movie. On par in a lot of ways with Batman Begins. Good character development, special effects, and plot all made it a cool movie. Robert Downey Jr as the particularly flawed and warped Tony Stark is dead on. The movie kept me interested even in the slow parts, which isn't easy. Definitely buying this one when it comes out.
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#15 of 22 Jim Ogilvie

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Posted May 03 2008 - 07:05 PM

I thought it was good, but surprisingly weak in some areas. Not weak enough for me to dislike the film.

Perhaps I am the only one, but I found Bridges in his role to be very distracting for me. Seeing him bald and seeing how his character played out - I just didn't like that casting, and I like Bridges a lot. He's absolutely one of my fave actors.

I didn't like Paltrow as much as I would have liked.

The 'threat' towards the end of the movie didn't seem like much of a threat to me. They just didn't set it up in such a way that I felt like anyone was in immediate danger from it, and therefore it was hard to worry about what would happen if the threat prevailed. That should have been stretched out a bit, have something we care about threatened immediately and have the hero prevent it. I know its formulaic but I think that would have paid off better.

I thought the final words spoken in the movie were awesome. Reminded me of a certain song - how cool.

RDJ casting was inspired. He played Stark well, and made it believable enough.

#16 of 22 Patrick H.

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Posted May 03 2008 - 07:23 PM

Plain-and-simple kickass superhero story with great casting, great effects, and great wit! I thought Favreau's direction was just fine...he kept it moving, yet orderly, with a good eye on the performances. (During the final showdown I actually thought to myself, "If this guy had directed 'Transformers' I might've enjoyed it!") And while the action was fairly minimal compared to some mashups of late, it's delivered at just the right moments and with such emotional punch that it's hugely satisfying.

Still, it's absolutely true that Downey, Jr. sets this apart. His take on Tony Stark really brings something new to the genre, and he was equally entertaining in or out of the suit. I also really liked Paltrow, which is atypical for me, but she was very sweet as Pepper and I really bought her understated relationship with Stark. (Apparently the rest of my audience felt the same...her little present for him got a collective "Awww" from the crowd.) Indeed, she and Downey, Jr. had better romantic chemistry onscreen than a LOT of other recent entries in this genre.

I also gotta say I loved seeing
the Dude
smashing stuff in a giant robot suit.

Oh, anybody else catch Hilary Swank's little cameo near the beginning?

#17 of 22 Robert Crawford

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Posted May 03 2008 - 11:51 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Iron Man". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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#18 of 22 Phil Florian

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Posted May 04 2008 - 04:09 AM

This was a top tier action movie and one of the better superhero movies. This was one of the rare ones where what happened out of costume/armor was as good or even better than the stuff in the suit. What made this such a fun movie to watch beyond just RDJ's performance (which was amazing) was that though steeped in some heavier concepts (regret, revenge, responsibility..hey! R's!) it played it lightly without getting dour. Though I love the Batman movie, it was nice to have the main character not depressed and bitter. Downey's Stark was light on his feet and quick with a quip the entire movie, even when he began to realize his true calling. A nice switch from the obsessive Bruce Wayne or emo Peter Parker or the grim X-Men. As much as I love other movies, it was nice to see a superhero movie with some uplifting heroics.

I always have loved Favreau as a director. He made the one funny Ferrel-as-idiot-with-arrested-development movie and did a better remake of Jumanji. He captures some of the joy of adventure in his movies that many seem to lack and he does it with a light touch. It was a breath of fresh air in the now-crowded superhero genre.

I hope that Marvel makes a killing with this. Will be seeing this one again and maybe again (which is saying a lot this month since there is a basket full of promising genre pics to choose from in May).

#19 of 22 Kachi Khatri

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Posted May 04 2008 - 05:25 AM

Finally got see it last night....so here is my take...

After seeing Iron Man I was surprised how well the movie was and I happened to like it very much. Robert Downey Jr. fits comfortably into the role of Tony Stark with his charisma and his intro as a superhero is among the best I've seen. The movie does an amazing job of not alienating the audience unfamiliar with the comic background. Tony Stark's background story and characters are introduced reasonably well. His witty and sarcastic behavior embodies the Tony Stark from the comic books along with his irresponsible, rash, and womanizing behavior is all captured well in the movie. That is why I feel Robert Downey Jr. propels this film so well and no other actor alive today can contest his performance as Tony Stark.

The film's pacing for most of the part does move along and in no way I felt bored a moment. Even though the story may seem slight in depth when compared to Batman's but it still effective in this context. The action scenes were outstanding and though some may feel not enough I think seamlessly blended with the story. The visual effects were well done and was pretty much void of any campiness or overtly done scenes. His armor suit experimentation scenes and transformation are well worth the price of admission alone.

As for the supporting cast, Jeff Bridges was great as a bad guy even though the motive behind wasn’t compelling but understandable as a plot device to further the story for future sequels. Terrance Howard seemed pretty much at ease in his role but I expected more of him in the whole scheme of it which I believe he’s being set up for something later. Gwyneth Paltrow was good for most of the part except she seemed to lose some spark near the last hour of the movie.

The score of the film had a different feel for the film and I did not enjoy it from that perspective, it was as though something lacking in punch. Also the dialogue and script was fine with some funny lines but nothing memorable stood out.

Overall, a very well balanced film that is full of exuberance and it is Robert Downey’s iron cast portrayal that soars this movie in a similar vein as it did for Christopher Reeve in Superman and Christian Bale for Batman Begins.

#20 of 22 Greg_S_H

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Posted May 05 2008 - 10:06 AM

The best scene--and this is not some startling insight, I know--was when Iron Man saved the villagers. The suit looked so great there. I won't say I left thinking we saw too little Iron Man, but I would have liked to have seen more just the same.

Like Patrick, I don't like Paltrow, but I liked her a lot here.

The little nods to Marvel Comics--the requisite appearance of Stan Lee, the agency's ultimate name, and Rhodes getting a glimpse of his destiny--were really nice. The hidden tag scene got some big applause from the few people who stuck around because it was the biggest nod, though now Jan's big claim to fame has been stolen, dammit.

I'd say it's pretty high up there in terms of comic movies. To compare it to some mentioned here (or in one of the other Iron Man threads, can't be sure): on par with the Spideys, better than Batman Begins, which I liked but didn't love, and far above Superman Returns, which I despised.




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