Iron Man (2008)

Sam Favate

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As fate would have it, the next film the kids and I watched yesterday was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It's hard not to think about the film in the context of the news, but my kids' reactions are pure, since they know nothing about the news.

They loved it. This was the fourth time they've seen this one, and none of it gets old for them. They howled with laughter many times and were also on the edges of their seats several times. One of the kids said this one and Infinity War are tied for his favorite Marvel movie. My kids have plenty of Guardians toys, and plush versions of Rocket, Groot and Cosmo adorn their room. Every few days, they're wearing a Guardians t-shirt. We went across the country back in the spring to visit Disneyland's Guardians ride and they got to meet Groot.

My reaction hasn't changed since I first saw it. I think it's terrific. We watched the blu-ray with James Gunn's intro (a nice thing they also did with Scott Derrickson on Doctor Strange), and he said this was a very personal film for him and that Marvel gave him "absolute freedom" to make the film he wanted. There's a great scene late in the film where Rocket and Yondu are yelling at each other, and Yondu says he knows who Rocket is, and why he pretends to be so tough and how he's empty inside, and it's because Yondu is the same way. I suspect there's more than a bit of Gunn in there.

I think great writing first gives you characters to care about and puts them in situations that tell a story and let them grow. The characters in Guardians do that very well. In many ways, these are the most well-developed characters in the MCU, with the most pathos, which is why they're so beloved. It doesn't hurt either that the script is one of the funniest out of 20 movies. The humor plays a huge part in endearing the characters to us, and it works.

I think everything about the movie works. The visuals - particularly of Ego's planet - are among some of the most beautiful I've ever seen in a film. (Inspiration was taken from the artwork of Al Williamson, one of my favorites.) Much has been made of the movie's soundtrack, and it's one of the best things about the movie. All too often, popular music in films can seem trite; so much of it has been used before and it sounds so familiar. Gunn changed that by using songs that we haven't heard in movies a lot, and unearthing tracks that might have been a hit for 5 minutes 40 years ago, but which haven't gotten a lot of airplay in years. And he follows the rule that I heard best explained by David Chase of Sopranos fame: As long as the song connects to something that's going on emotionally in your scene, it will work. Put all that together, and you have a thrilling soundtrack to take you through the film.

This is some of the best work Michael Rooker has ever done, and that's saying something. The guy's had an outstanding career for 30 years.

To touch on the news for a second, I will just say it will be a great injustice for movie fans if this is Gunn's last Guardians movie.
 

TravisR

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Much has been made of the movie's soundtrack, and it's one of the best things about the movie. All too often, popular music in films can seem trite; so much of it has been used before and it sounds so familiar. Gunn changed that by using songs that we haven't heard in movies a lot, and unearthing tracks that might have been a hit for 5 minutes 40 years ago, but which haven't gotten a lot of airplay in years.
I haven't seen the movie since the day it came out but did Sweet's "Fox On The Run" actually get used in the movie or was it only in the trailer?


This is some of the best work Michael Rooker has ever done, and that's saying something. The guy's had an outstanding career for 30 years.
That dude is great and I'm so happy that James Gunn was a fan & was able to get him some long overdue notice during the back half of his career.
 

Sean Bryan

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As fate would have it, the next film the kids and I watched yesterday was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It's hard not to think about the film in the context of the news, but my kids' reactions are pure, since they know nothing about the news.

They loved it. This was the fourth time they've seen this one, and none of it gets old for them. They howled with laughter many times and were also on the edges of their seats several times. One of the kids said this one and Infinity War are tied for his favorite Marvel movie. My kids have plenty of Guardians toys, and plush versions of Rocket, Groot and Cosmo adorn their room. Every few days, they're wearing a Guardians t-shirt. We went across the country back in the spring to visit Disneyland's Guardians ride and they got to meet Groot.

My reaction hasn't changed since I first saw it. I think it's terrific. We watched the blu-ray with James Gunn's intro (a nice thing they also did with Scott Derrickson on Doctor Strange), and he said this was a very personal film for him and that Marvel gave him "absolute freedom" to make the film he wanted. There's a great scene late in the film where Rocket and Yondu are yelling at each other, and Yondu says he knows who Rocket is, and why he pretends to be so tough and how he's empty inside, and it's because Yondu is the same way. I suspect there's more than a bit of Gunn in there.

I think great writing first gives you characters to care about and puts them in situations that tell a story and let them grow. The characters in Guardians do that very well. In many ways, these are the most well-developed characters in the MCU, with the most pathos, which is why they're so beloved. It doesn't hurt either that the script is one of the funniest out of 20 movies. The humor plays a huge part in endearing the characters to us, and it works.

I think everything about the movie works. The visuals - particularly of Ego's planet - are among some of the most beautiful I've ever seen in a film. (Inspiration was taken from the artwork of Al Williamson, one of my favorites.) Much has been made of the movie's soundtrack, and it's one of the best things about the movie. All too often, popular music in films can seem trite; so much of it has been used before and it sounds so familiar. Gunn changed that by using songs that we haven't heard in movies a lot, and unearthing tracks that might have been a hit for 5 minutes 40 years ago, but which haven't gotten a lot of airplay in years. And he follows the rule that I heard best explained by David Chase of Sopranos fame: As long as the song connects to something that's going on emotionally in your scene, it will work. Put all that together, and you have a thrilling soundtrack to take you through the film.

This is some of the best work Michael Rooker has ever done, and that's saying something. The guy's had an outstanding career for 30 years.

To touch on the news for a second, I will just say it will be a great injustice for movie fans if this is Gunn's last Guardians movie.
Couldn’t agree more. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is fantastic. Definitely one of my favorites in the MCU.
 

Sam Favate

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I haven't seen the movie since the day it came out but did Sweet's "Fox On The Run" actually get used in the movie or was it only in the trailer?


No, it's only in the trailer (well, one of the trailers). Too bad, because that's one my kids sing their lungs out to! BTW, Sweet is a very underrated band. "Teenage Rampage" is one of my favorites.
 
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Sam Favate

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We're moving right along with our MCU rewatch. We will finish this week with the last two films before Infinity War, which will have to wait until mid-August (we are only doing blu-rays).

The other day we watched Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spider-Man was the character that got the biggest laughs from the kids in Civil War, so they were eager to see (this) Spider-Man in his own movie. This is the second or third time they saw this film, having first seen it in the theater last summer. They love it.

What's not to love? Tom Holland is great in the role (that Marvel casting is spot on, as always), and he really makes it his own. I loved the first two Sam Raimi movies with Tobey Maguire, but where Maguire played Spider-Man as an essentially depressed, sad character, and Andrew Garfield played him as a bit of an angry punk with a skateboard, Holland plays him as a sweet kid in awe of his powers and who, above all, is having fun doing what he does. That fun is infectious.

Spider-Man is also very much a kid. There's no serious love interest here, as there was with Mary Jane in the Maguire movies and Gwen in the Garfield movies. Holland's Peter Parker is very much a kid with puppy dog eyes for the pretty girl in school. Meanwhile, he and his best friend build Star Wars legos and do other things that normal 15-year olds do.

By featuring Iron Man to great effect, this Spider-Man movie is like of the cinematic equivalent of the Marvel Team-Up comic book, which featured Spidey and a different guest star every issue (rumor for Spider-Man 2:
Nick Fury
). Robert Downey Jr. also ties this movie to the larger MCU, as does the opening sequence that takes place after the Battle of New York in the first Avengers film. Indeed, all the technology that allows the villains to do their thing in this movie comes from the aliens in Avengers. The movie famously got the time wrong by setting the main film eight years after Avengers, but if you're paying attention, most of it takes place in the months immediately following Civil War.

The movie has great appearances by Michael Keaton, who helped invent the modern movie superhero (nearly - wow - 30 years ago) who is both menacing and very human as the Vulture, and Jon Favreau, one of the architects of the MCU, as Happy Hogan, in what is probably his biggest role since the first Iron Man.

I love the scenes of Spider-Man hanging around Queens, stopping bicycle thieves and accidentally beating on someone who left their keys in their car. It shows the scale of the character, compared to the world-ending battles of the Avengers. It's that scale that the movie gets right throughout, and what makes it fresh, even though this is the sixth Spider-Man movie in 15 years. Also, use of the great Queens-born band The Ramones is genius. The burst of their song at the end, cutting off Aunt May's expletive, is one of the funniest moments in a movie full of laughs.

One complaint: Many of the night scenes are too dark and edited so quickly that it's impossible to really see what's going on. I have a brand-new bulb in my projector, so it's not me. I remember it being that way in the theater too.
 

Josh Steinberg

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While I liked some elements of the Maguire and Garfield films, on the whole, they left me cold. Spider-Man was never my all-time favorite character in the first place, but one of the things I most appreciated about him was that he was a kid that got caught up in something much bigger than himself, and that his best stories blended that youthful nativity with a genuine desire to help people.

It was so disappointing to me that the Maguire telling spends only half of the first movie with him as a high school student, and that the Garfield version only spends one movie in high school. I greatly appreciated that the MCU take with Holland is showing him as a kid and content to have him as a youngster for more than one film.

We have no shortage of adult superheroes in the MCU, and there's no shortage of Spider-Man films where he's already an adult. I'm glad that the MCU is committed to keeping him as a kid for a while longer. I think that's an integral part of the character and part of what makes him special and unique. As a result, I'm already enjoying Holland's portrayal more than the other two actors and sets of films. Still not my favorite character, but I like how the MCU is using him so much more than anything else that's been done prior.
 
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Sam Favate

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Spider-Man and the Ramones are the two best things to ever come out of Queens. Hell, they're two of the best things to come out of anywhere.
It helped that my kids had just discovered the Ramones in the months prior to Homecoming's release. So, when Blitzkrieg Bop was featured in the film, they went "Yeeeeaah!" One of them now proudly wears his Ramones t-shirt every chance he gets.
 

Sam Favate

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Since appreciation of music is subjective, I didn't want to make a declaration that the Ramones are better than Simon And Garfunkel but I'll say it now- The Ramones are the best.
I've heard it said that the greatest music either influenced the Ramones or was influenced by the Ramones.

Also, I agree that Simon & Garfunkel are of Queens. I have long thought that there should have been a period-specific Spider-Man movie, set in the 1960s, with music playing at the Coffee Bean (wasn't that the name of the gang's hangout in the Stan Lee era?) and S&G would have fit in perfectly.
 

TravisR

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Also, I agree that Simon & Garfunkel are of Queens. I have long thought that there should have been a period-specific Spider-Man movie, set in the 1960s, with music playing at the Coffee Bean (wasn't that the name of the gang's hangout in the Stan Lee era?) and S&G would have fit in perfectly.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was called the Coffee Bean.


I've heard it said that the greatest music either influenced the Ramones or was influenced by the Ramones.
I'm sure I'm misquoting Steven Van Zandt but I believe the idea is that The Beatles and the Ramones are both so highly influential that every garage rock band that came after them was influenced by them to some degree.
 

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