Tuesday, May 21

Iron Man 3

The Film Fatales get snarky with Tony Stark.

Iron Man 3. PG-13. 130 minutes. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley. Directed by Shane Black.

When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. [imdb]

Nicole: You know what happens with movie franchises: They either sink or swim after that first amazing effort. And, since Iron Man 2 was at times uneven and a pale comparison to Iron Man 1, I was thinking this might be Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) swan song. I’m really, really glad to say I was wrong.

elizabeth: Are you getting kickbacks from Mr. Downey? I just don’t get the appeal. Iron Man gets squeezed by a Mandarin? Oh, I’m scared.

Nicole: Humph, I only wish. From your lips to God's ears, Cassidy. Look, it's not enough to say Iron Man 3 was a great movie – it had a lot to live up to after the success of last summer’s The Avengers, which brought together Marvel’s team of superheroes (Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye and, of course, Iron Man) under the incredible direction of ultimate fanboy Joss Whedon. The camaraderie that Tony Stark (Iron Man) enjoyed with the Avengers is, admittedly, hard to match – but Downey Jr. is always able to pull off a terrific performance of equal parts kick-ass action, hilarious one liners and hubris-laden bravado. (Maybe I’m not qualified to write this review, since I admit to being biased on all things RDJ: I would seriously watch him read the phone book.)

elizabeth: I think RDJ (as you call him; what is this your new pet name?) is quite the talented actor, but when talent succumbs to films like this, I start to mourn the actor’s ability to do anything else. He will always be labeled Iron Man and that will hinder his ability to get more serious roles. I am acting like I am a Hollywood insider. Let’s take a meeting.

Nicole: Oh, pah-lease. You woefully underestimate his talents. He's a chameleon. He could easily switch from highbrow drama to tongue-in-cheek action seamlessly. I have no worries about the direction of his career; I'm just so very glad he has one. (Bobby, make the check out to CASH.) Iron Man 3 takes place post-Avengers saving NYC (and, by default, the world) from alien takeover. And, it’s clear Stark is still dealing with those events. Suffering from PTSD, represented by severe panic attacks and insomnia, we’re reminded that Stark is human after all and that Iron Man is just a suit he wears. What’s more, Stark comes to this realization himself in a very meaningful and life changing way. But, that’s all I’ll say. You take the journey with him…and ask no questions. Just enjoy the ride.

elizabeth: So Iron Man never heard of valium? Meditation, a vegan diet, cheap wine and free rentals from the library? So does he open a bakery with the most beautiful woman in the world?

Nicole: Based on that last sentence, I think you could use a valium. Like Stark, the people around him are growing and changing, too. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), no longer Stark’s bodyguard, has moved up in the ranks of Stark Enterprises to head of security. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), now comfortable in her role as the CEO of Stark Enterprises wields not only power in the boardroom, but in her relationship with Stark as well. Don Cheadle, is – unfortunately – forgettable as Iron Patriot/Col. James Rhodes. Guy Pearce, as pathetic crackpot inventor turned evil genius Aldrich Killian, is just this side of smarmy. And, Sir Ben Kingsley as “The Mandarin” is…without revealing too much…inspired.

elizabeth: You really like this crap, don’t you? Do you see what I am saying here – Gandhi is now a terrorist. Geeez.

Nicole: Yes, yes I do like this crap. I admit it! My name is Nicole...and I'm a Fangirl. Franchise devotees will no doubt enjoy Stan Lee’s cameo (blink and you’ll miss it, just the way he likes ‘em) and an end-of-credits scene that is well worth sticking around for. So, go see Iron Man 3 and don’t worry a hair on your head that it won’t live up to your expectations.

elizabeth: Beam me up, Scotty! Wrong franchise? Foiled again!

The Film Fatales give IRON MAN 3

Thursday, May 2

To the Wonder

The Film Fatales wonder about To the Wonder. Is it Magnifique or pure merde?

IN THEATERS & ON DEMAND. 2012. 112 minutes.  Starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdamsand Javier Bardem. Directed by and written by Terrence Malick
Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane. (imdb)

 elizabeth: The beginning of this movie is just breathtaking with Paris as the backdrop. You felt transported to the city of lights and I was completely charmed by what was shown and not said in the first few minutes of the movie. It was moody and mysterious and the passion between Ben and Olga’s characters almost jumped off the screen and landed into an unmade bed. But then very quickly, the scenery changed and I was confused by why anyone would leave Paris for the flatlands of America. And the only thing that intrigued me was Affleck’s strong jaw line. But can that sustain a movie? Methinks not.

Nicole:  No, no it cannot. Then again, I sat through Australia for Hugh Jackman’s shirtless scenes, so I’m no one to judge.

elizabeth:  I must confess that I must have nodded off during the movie because I read the review above and do not recall half of it. I found myself not really caring about the characters because I don’t think they knew what they were doing there. They felt stiff and plastic and even all that dancing could not loosen them up.  I don’t think you should have to read a review of the movie after you see it so you can understand it. I am not that thick. (Nicole, please insert barb right about here.)
Nicole: Well, you’re kind of handing this to me, aren’t you? Other film critics have the same complaint as you, Cassidy – if that’s any consolation. In retrospect, I’m glad you were kind to warn me off this film and saved me the extra $7.99 on my digital cable bill. That being said, I am the one who suggested we check it out, so I must admit to just the tiniest bit of schadenfreude at the moment.

elizabeth:  I really tried to follow and embrace  this movie. I even read the subtitles without moving my lips. I wanted to feel smug that I get the French’s point of view, but I enjoyed watching my cat clean himself over Javier Bardem’s portrayal of a priest. And to know me is to know that given the choice to choose between Javier and Colin Firth – well, I would take both.
Nicole:That’s really saying something, considering how you feel about Javier Bardem (which is pretty much illegal in 22 states).  Isn’t it interesting how great actors somehow end up in bad films? Is it because they want to work with a certain filmmaker or cast? Or is it because they want the paycheck?

elizabeth: This is really pathetic but I don’t remember how the movie ended.  I would write more but my cat needs help. He can’t reach his back. Fade to black.

The Film Fatales give this movie the boot.