We rented Iron Man last night, which was made for a pretty satisfying evening of family movie entertainment. For those of you out of touch with popular culture, Robert Downey Junior plays Tony Stark, a Howard Hughes type billionaire inventor who ends up inventing a badass flying/fighting suit so he can combat evil, etc. The CG effects were not too distracting (I’m looking at you, Transformers), and it was wonderfully tech-geeky. The designers of this film did a great job of creating a slick style around all of Tony Stark’s inventions and surroundings. His computer-controlled house and lab were impressive, not to mention the mechanics of the suit itself. Did anyone else think that the power device in his chest looked a lot like an old viewmaster slide, though? The cast was good. Once again Gwenyth Paltrow was stuck with a woefully underwritten part, which at least was better than that cringeworthy character she was saddled with in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Jeff Bridges as the villain Obidiah looked great with a shaved head. Terrence Howard also good. He reminded me of a young Forrest Whittaker. Robert Downey was fantastic, very watchable. There could not have been too much of him.
Luckily there was much more of him. The special features were about 4 hours worth and very well done. My 8 year old usually whines with boredom during the talk-talk-talk, but the producers edited the interview footage together with interesting action. [Aside-I was reminded today of the Lord of the Rings special features, which should have won an oscar in its own right – I thought they were more interesting than the movies themselves.]
So, pretty good, I hope for a sequel.