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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr. …  Tony Stark
Don Cheadle …  Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine
Scarlett Johansson …  Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff
Gwyneth Paltrow …  Pepper Potts
Sam Rockwell …  Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke …  Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson …  Nick Fury
Clark Gregg …  Agent Coulson
John Slattery …  Howard Stark
Jon Favreau …  Happy Hogan
Paul Bettany …  Jarvis (voice)
Kate Mara …  U.S. Marshal
Leslie Bibb …  Christine Everhart
Garry Shandling …  Senator Stern

Plot synopsis from IMDb: With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts, and James “Rhodey” Rhodes at his side, must forge new alliances – and confront powerful enemies.

2010 – Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios – PG-13 – 124 min

VS: 1.8 pointed ears
This is one of the exceptions to the Hollywood rule that sequels suck and are usually nowhere near as good as the original.  I think that Marvel keeping the rights to the Avengers franchise is probably one of the smarter moves to come out of Hollywood in quite some time.  Keeping Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury was another good idea as well.

Why not a full two ears? I think the whole drunken Iron Man scene was a tad bit overdone.  I’m not a hard-core Iron Man fan and I’ve only been following the Marvel mainstream Avengers since Spidey joined.  So I cannot comment whether the writers followed cannon or not.  I’ve never seen Tony Stark as a drunken idiot.  Yes I know Stark has a drinking problem but endangering the lives of guests in his home?

The shot at the end of the movie has got me salivating for next year’s “Thor”

Pvt Black Spartan: 1.9 pointed ears 
This movie picked up right were the last one left off.  I didn’t rely too much on the previous movie either.  Props to the writers and director for not putting too much “flashback” into the script.  Samuel L. Jackson has the character of Nick Fury locked.

PIT #2: 2 pointed ears
This movie was awesome.  War Machine rocked even though the role of Rhodey was recast.  I found no faults with this movie at all.

PIT #3: 2 pointed ears
Taking Daddy to see this on his birthday was a treat.  I like how the movie looks inside Tony’s head.  I mean I like how Tony has problems and then he fights to m things better.  I also liked the fact that there was no kissing in this movie (editor’s note: we did have to take a bathroom break so we may have missed that scene if there was one).

The drones rocked.

7.7 pointed ears out of 8.  This is a worthy successor to the first.  Marvel’s plan of a MEGA-franchise seems to be playing out very well.  IM2 has set a relatively high bar for next year’s Thor and Captain America.  My only worry at this point is that each succeeding director will attempt to “Top” Iron Man and leave the bar wa-a-y to high for 2012’s Avengers movie.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Marvel, Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vulcan Stev family movie review: Die Hard with a Vengence

Bruce Willis …  John McClane
Jeremy Irons …  Simon Gruber
Samuel L. Jackson …  Zeus Carver
Graham Greene …  Joe Lambert
Colleen Camp …  Connie Kowalski
Larry Bryggman …  Insp. Walter Cobb
Anthony Peck …  Ricky Walsh
Nicholas Wyman …  Mathias Targo
Sam Phillips …  Katya
Kevin Chamberlin …  Charles Weiss
Sharon Washington …  Officer Jane
Stephen Pearlman …  Dr. Fred Schiller
Michael Alexander Jackson …  Dexter
Aldis Hodge …  Raymond
Mischa Hausserman …  Mischa

1995 * 20th Century Fox * 131 mins
Rated R for language and violence

Synopsis from IMDb: John McClane is now almost a full-blown alcoholic and is suspended from the NYPD. But when a bomb goes off in the Bonwit Teller Department Store the police go insane trying to figure out what’s going on. Soon, a man named Simon calls and asks for McClane. Simon tells Inspector Walter Cobb that McClane is going to play a game called “Simon Says”. He says that McClane is going to do the tasks he assigns him. If not, he’ll blow off another bomb. With the help of a Harlem electrician, John McClane must race all over New York trying to figure out the frustrating puzzles that the crafty terrorist gives him. But when a bomb goes off in a subway station right by the Federal Reserve (the biggest gold storage in the world) things start to get heated up.

Vulcan Stev: 1.7 pointed ears
Probably my favorite of the four Die Hard films.  Yes, it still has gratuitous violence.  Yes it still drops the F*bomb, but it’s an engaging story.  The two big problems I have with this film are the once again strained relations between John and Holly and the fact that the dump trucks are woefully underpowered to be carrying the  stated amount of gold.  I understand the producers didn’t want to make a third film of John saving Holly and the only solution the director and writers can come up with is that John and Holly are having problems again.  Yup, there’s an original solution.  This couple has seen death up close and personal not once but twice.  This couple has been brought together by the events of the first two films.  Yet they’re shown as having problems which lead to their eventual divorce.  I guess John McClane has got to be a stubborn S.O.B. to throw away his marriage like that.

The Dump truck problem is glaring but it’s not necessarily a ‘what the…’ moment that completely drags you out of the film.  At least not in my case.

PIT #2: 1.9 pointed ears
The dump truck escape was one of the more ingenious escape routes I’ve seen in a motion picture.  The fact that the “terrorists” were willing to use kids as a dodge to their true objective but not really put the kids in harm’s way was also pretty cool.

PIT #3: 2 pointed ears
I liked this movie.  McClane isn’t such a loner in this movie.  It reminded me of the Lethal Weapon buddy movies.  I also liked the fact that John had to think in this movie.  Not everything was solved by shooting guns.

5.6 pointed ears out of 6
Aside from one scene, the blood and gore in this movie have been toned down from the predecessors.  The language is still a problem.  Kudos to the producers for the attempt at opening up the “dungeon” just a bit.  It might be a little telling about the prevalence of swearing in today’s society that my 11 year-old does not notice the swearing going on in the movie.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , | 2 Comments