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Archive for April 2013

Iron Man 3

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The summer is nearly upon us. No really it is, I know I know the weather has been ridiculous but it actually is coming!! And what does that mean? Well that my friends mean blockbusters. We got Man of Steel, The Wolverine. And the return of one of the team that tore up the box office last year, Mr. Tony Stark or more importantly his altar ego, Iron Man. The first film was on Film4 Monday gone and I watched it again. It got me thinking Iron Man is best served when battling interior demons and internal forces as opposed to Mickey Rourke with electricity coming from his arms!

The first Iron Man film is a well told, well paced story, tracing the origins of Iron Man and establishing Tony Stark as a man so unbelievably cool it borders on the ridiculous. He has a team of people around him that are his friends, but he treats them like they owe him a favour in exchange for allowing them be a part of his world. Pepper Potts is his trustworthy secretary / maid / possible love interest. Unbeknownst to Tony, she is more valuable to him than his money, his suits and his cars. She saves his life twice in the first film.

Stark is a genius, but he knows it. And he is not long telling anyone that will listen. He sells weapons of war to people that use them for nefarious purposes. Bats not an eyelid until he is kidnapped and shown what the weapons do. He fashions a crude Iron Man suit in a cave to escape capture and comes back to America. He has a purpose now and looks to undo all his bad work. He sets out to stop the weapons division of Stark Industries much to the chagrin of Obadiah Stane who was a friend of Tony’s father, Howard.

Unbeknownst to Tony, Obadiah continues the sale of weapons to terrorists and Tony sets about putting a stop to it. He kills Obadiah and revels in his new found power and success, adding to his already massive ego.. As the first film ends that ego comes into play again as Tony is facing the world’s press and Agent Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D. has given Tony a solid alibi to turn any suspicion away from the press suspecting him of being “The Iron Man.” Tony can’t resist, telling the press and bringing the first chapter to a close by declaring, “Well no. I… am Iron Man.”

With the secret no longer being a secret we enter a changed world. The world knows that Stark is Iron Man, Potts is slowly coming around to his charms and there is an outside villain looking to take a hold of his technology. This villain just happens to be Ivan Vanko, the son of Anton Vanko, who was a partner of Stark’s father. The sins of the father wha? Stark Sr. had Vanko Sr. banished to Russia for attempting to commit treason against the US. Ivan is out for revenge and Tony is in his sights. Also aiding Vanko is rival weapons contractor Justin Hammer.

He uses Vanko to get to Tony and attacks him at the Monaco 500. Tony is also dying, and he has to fight off Vanko and Hammer. The outside villains took away the heart of the first film and for me it wasn’t an enjoyable film, the story felt supplementary to the action, of which there was plenty. Tony kicks sufficient arse and is approached by Nick Fury. We all know what happens next!

In Iron Man 3 we see a different Tony after the “events in New York.” Any mention of said events puts Tony into a state of panic and induces a panic attack. He is not himself, he can’t sleep and finally realises he needs Potts and James Rhodes who is now The Iron Patriot. For the first time in forever Tony realises that these people can help him get back to where he should be, not the other way around. This Tony is wounded and broken. He winds up in a small town in America and strikes up a curious friendship with a quiet nerdy kid who helps to repair the untested Mark 42 suit.

Tony battling demons and himself is always more entertaining than Mickey Rourke with electricity in his arms. That being said, the villain in this piece The Mandarin is a maniac. To be honest, he’s a complete shit bag. The casting in this film is inspired. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect to play Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow adds another level of humanity to Potts and is really Tony’s suit of armour. She even suits up herself!! Don Cheadle is great as Rhodes and Guy Pearce sports a terrible wig, bad teeth and an air of cuntishness. He hates Tony and envies him his money, talent, brains and ultimately his Pepper Potts.

Most praise must be reserved for Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. As I said, a complete shit bag. The relationship between Tony and those around him is the central theme for this third instalment, the nerdy kid, Rhodes, Guy Pearce and ultimately Potts. The action is top notch, one scene in particular features a live action Barrel Of Monkeys game with the result being a life or death situation. I love a weak hero, it makes him identifiable and likeable. Stark is all these things in this film but ultimately he is Iron Man!

 

4.5 / 5

Written by thepanch

April 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Film Reviews

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Just One More Thing

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Jamie’s Good News

I entered a competition on TV3 for the Book Club last month. I reviewed David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Yes, I can see your mind working there, that film that was out a while ago where Tom Hanks put on funny wigs and noses, thus making him different people in different times yet somehow the same story strand. I know, you’re confused as hell. Try reading the book. Here’s the review that won me a Blackberry Playbook:

“Cloud Atlas. What? Sprawling. Mental. One story. Two Stories. Many Stories. I don’t get it. He went back. She went forward? Ah here. This is too much like hard work. Oh wait. Hold on. So he was? Jaysis. Mental. He did. She didn’t. I don’t know. Cloud Atlas. Good Jesus.”

That was how I felt while reading the book, a series of short bursts of story followed by disappointment then ultimately confusion. Some of the literary types praise it as “challenging” and that books aren’t meant to be “easy, it was written that way, to be challenging.” You can take your smugness and jump off a cliff, a high one. Books are supposed to challenge you yes, but not to the point where the narrative gets wrapped up and ultimately lost in a shambolic, rambling and ultimately messy story.

And to be fair, you are only supposed to be really challenged by books when you are in school. Maths books, Irish books.

Speaking of schools, this book reeked of could have done better. It had a distinct feel of a writer failing to tie up all the loose ends and just ended a particular story by starting a new one. Oh and the film was atrocious, you know just in case you were wondering. Cloud Atlas? Shit sandwich.

Bye Bye Birdie

Good Oul Bertie. The stuttering bum, the lovable rogue from the old lovable Dubalin. Ah Jaysis, will ya have a short? I will…. I didn’t see ya comin’, yil have a babby power…. Jaysis, we’ll go up The Mero in a bit. Lovable Oul Bertie. As I’m sure you are most astutely aware dear reader, Bertie is neither lovable nor innocent. After presiding over the decimation of the country he left his storied position in The Dail, yet still continued to pocket his pension. Now, think about that. But surely he’s entitled to a pension.

Hold that thought. Only seven out of 116 ministers gave up their pensions when the news about Bertie broke, this was despite the introduction of a system to allow them to do so. Also at this time none of the Fianna Fail ministers chose to give up their pensions despite being the ones presiding over the crash. Now, I don’t blame them entirely, they didn’t crash the money ship, but they were driving it. Let’s talk figures.

On this pension, Good Oul Bertie pockets a tasty €12,500 a month. A month!! I know, right! That’s roughly around €3,000 a week for doing nothing, literally nothing. Well unless you count traipsing around the country giving lectures nothing. Now, why all this anger you say? Well as many of you may or may not know, Good Oul Bertie has been appointed chairman of the IFF (International Forestry Fund). What so ever can this mean, James?

Well dear reader, gather around and I’ll tell you a tale.
Good Oul Bertie was directly involved in giving away lorry loads of our oil and gas during his time in power and now he is chairman of the very organization that the now government are looking to flog our forests and woodlands to. This is an abomination, an absolutely abhorrent way of pulling in more dirty money. There is no other way to describe it, and with a man in power who has no scruples pocketing €3,000 a week for the honour of being a retired Taoiseach, wave bye bye to all your favourite walkways.

Remember those happy memories of bringing your children or indeed being brought for a walk in one of these lovely areas? Well you better hope you took photos because the government will soon have them flogged off to the highest bidder, who will probably be Good Oul Bertie. The snake.

I am putting all politicians on notice for when you decide to campaign for re-election. Well when you all recover from your readily funded rips to the USA for Paddy’s Day so they could all laugh at the poor Paddies. Best to avoid me. Cross the street if you see me and do not even comprehend darkening my door. You are all snakes, cowardly weak snakes. And I know you won’t lose one iota of sleep over this, but this country is on it’s knees and you are going to preside over it being pushed over the edge. For what died the sons of Roisin……..

For anyone interested, there is a Walk In The Woods planned for the 28th of April. It takes place in Avondale House and Forest Park, Rathdrum. It is a walk around the woods and will feature poetry and works from prominent artists, singers and performers. Starts at 1pm. Bring a picnic!!!!

Written by thepanch

April 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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