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Archive for May, 2010

Iron Man 2

The sequel to 2008’s massive hit, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 picks up six months after the end of its predecessor: Tony Stark’s second identity, Iron Man, has created a long period of peace in the world, and while there are those out there, such as Stark Industries’ wannabe rival Justin Hammer, attempting to create weaponized Iron Man imitations, none have been successful, as Tony (played with great charisma once again by Robert Downey Jr.) almost gleefully points out early in the film.  Unfortunately for him, there’s  a man named Ivan Vanko out there, who has a very particular ax to grind against Tony.

While Iron Man 2 mysteriously lacks the spark of spontaneity and fun that made the first film such a blast, it is still a solid movie and a fun superhero film.  The plot and subplots come in fits and starts throughout, but the skill of both the returning actors (Downey Jr. and Gwenyth Paltrow) and the new ones (Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and Scarlett Johansson) make the movie well worth watching.  The film sports a number of well-done action sequences thanks to the wizards at Industrial Light and Magic, but fans of such sequences may be disappointed by the film’s middle section, which is much slower and boasts a more cerebral kind of action.

All in all, Iron Man 2 is a solid and fun sequel to Iron Man.  While it does not have the same fun energy as its predecessor, it is still a good film and very much worth seeing.

4/5

Robin Hood

Directed by Ridley Scott of Gladiator fame, Robin Hood is a radical reimagining of the Robin Hood legend.  After a lengthy time away during the Crusades, Robin Hood (Russel Crowe) returns to England with his companions to find a land overrun with poverty, overtaxed by the government to pay for the expenses of King Richard’s wars.  While attempting to do right by a dying knight he comes across on his journey home, Robin gets drawn into a much bigger scheme, involving an impending invasion by France.

Robin Hood is not a bad movie, but it has the misfortune of not being very interesting, either.  At nearly two and a half hours long, it drags and plods along between action sequences, offering the audience uninteresting political intrigue and an almost contrived subplot about Robin’s father issues.  The acting is by no means shoddy (I particularly enjoyed Cate Blanchett’s performance as Marion), but the villains of the piece – Mark Strong appears as Godfrey and Oscar Isaac as Prince John – are paper-thin, over-the-top, and clearly designated as the “bad guys.”

Perhaps the biggest problem with Robin Hood is that the movie one expects it to be – a swashbuckling tale of Robin’s exploits in Nottingham, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor – is merely teased at.  The movie Scott presents to the audience is bleak and boring, almost completely devoid of the life and soul that has made the legend of Robin Hood endure to the modern day.

While by no means a terrible film, Robin Hood is a mediocre work that has little to offer outside of some interesting action sequences and solid performances by Crowe and Blanchett.

3/5

(Aside: This film purports to be historically accurate, but contradicts that claim in the opening minutes by stating that 1199 was the turn of the 12th century.)

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Greetings, world.   My pseudonym is Skye, my real name is K., and I shall be your host for the duration of your stay.

Please stay tuned for movie reviews, life ramblings, and other (hopefully interesting) tidbits.

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