skywaterblue: (Iron Man)
[personal profile] skywaterblue
I grabbed Mouse Guard, Mermaids and the Avatar the Last Airbender comic. I also got the Superman comic, and I bought the Saga trade because going to FCBD and not buying at the store is the supreme height of rudeness.

This weekend is a busy one for me. I saw Iron Man 3 on Friday. I have conflicted feelings about this one. It could have been great, but at best it was a pretty fun watch.

I felt like the entire film was reaching for this metaphor about empty suits that it never quite reached, although I loved the actual empty suits. (Particularly keen on the reveal after the big Air Force One 'barrel of monkeys' scene.) The film played very straight with its audience - every one of the reveals was callable (and I did) before they came out, but overall it reminded me strongly of my dissatisfaction with the latest of the Moffat seasons of 'Doctor Who' - the emotional narrative chopped into such fine pieces that it's easy for you as the viewer to fill the gap, but not quite enough to actually sustain the picture.

Case in point is probably the whole concept of Happy getting blown to smithereens outside Mann's. We then see Tony lurking at his bedside watching 'Downton Abbey' before he stomps outside to announce to the press that his address is blah-de-blah. It's enough to carry forward the emotional arc of this story - that Tony is dealing with PTSD after the events of the Avengers, that a weird terrorist has been blowing things up in the States for months (yet oddly, the Marvelverse citizens seem committed to go about life as normal even though the United States just shut Boston down over two college brohams with pressure cooker bombs) and that Tony has felt powerless to intervene because... why exactly? See what I mean?

The film is deeply invested in Tony's feelings and development as a human, all the while pretending it isn't - which is fine for Tony Stark but maybe not a great stance for the film itself to take.

It's evident to me that the film lost a good chunk of material in the start that would have helped support ANY of that. In any event, the weakass first act propels us into a great second act that sees Tony stranded in small town Tennessee doing footwork investigating with the help of a kid, and killing things with his brain and stuff he bought from Home Depot. The third act is then a great big rocket of twists and turns, some of which are hilarious (take that, Mandarin racewankers!) and some of which are very plodding. And the whole thing ends by having Tony decide to quit superheroics and go make babies with Pepper... or so we think.

As a final film, it would have been a nice wrap with a bow on it, if a little unearned by the actual plot. I think the weakest part of this is that we KNOW that Tony Stark Will Return (and the end credits helpfully remind us, in case anyone forgot) and so a great deal of this sketchy character development is now Joss Whedon's mess to clean up. You know, in his large ass team action film with six superheroes and space aliens.

That said, there's something really lovely about the idea that Tony gives Pepper his heart for Christmas. Even if it IS totally unearned by the story.

I am also seeing all the Cremaster films this weekend AND giving a panel talk on the Armory Show of 1913 at Chicago Axis show tomorrow at 10 am if you're into that.
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September 2014

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