Iron Man (2008)

Okay, so this is the movie that kicked off the whole Avengers Initiative thing that ultimately led to The Avengers being made and probably becoming one of the Top Five highest grossing movies ever (pure speculation at this point).  If this movie had ended up being a box office bomb, well, it would have bankrupted the newly made Marvel Studios, Robert Downey, Jr. would probably have had a relapse and the entire world would be a different place now.  Probably.  But it didn’t, so yay!

I’m a DC Comics fan, so most of the characters in Marvel’s comic universe I have only a smattering of knowledge about, though I do tend to pick up little tidbits of info here and there.  Iron Man probably wasn’t what Marvel would consider a first-tier marketable character, but they didn’t have 100% control over their most recognisable movie characters – Spider-Man and Wolverine/X-Men – so the film for Iron Man became the launch pad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It was directed by Jon Favreau in an apparently less than 100%-scripted environment, which leads to some scenes of dialogue which feel much more natural because of Downey’s nature of neverstoptalkingwhenotherpeoplearetalking.

Downey was probably no one’s first choice for Tony Stark/Iron Man, but the actor took that ball and fucking repulsor rayed it to the moon.  The rest of the cast is 95% perfect as well, but only because I find it hard to buy Terrence Howard in anything.  This film also marks the first fun appearance of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) of S.H.I.E.L.D. and boy I hate typing acronyms like that.  Iron Man also pretty much laid out the formula for all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, with Coulson appearances, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) appearances, post-credit scenes and numerous nods to the future films in the Universe.  Like Pixar, only more fanboy serverish.

Anyways, solid fucking movie.  Great launchpad for the Avengers franchise, and I wish DC would be able to replicate the same formula for a future Justice League movie, but oh well.

4.5 / 5

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The Ledge (2011)

For awhile I was going through a sort of religious crisis.  A lot of people sit around and ruminate on the existence of God or the other various deities that exist throughout our world.  For me, it was deciding whether or not I was Agnostic or an Atheist.  Agnosticism seemed like the lazy man’s version of atheism, so for awhile I was on board with that, but then I read some actual definitions and discovered that I am an atheist.  Please don’t pray for me.

Anyways, The Ledge is a lot like Phone Booth in that we don’t really know what put this person into the situation they’re in, but let’s see how it plays out.  There’s no Kiefer Sutherland in The Ledge, but we get “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam instead.  I’m alright with that, as I dig “SoA” and Hunnam is a decent enough actor in my books.  The weird thing about his performance in this movie is that there are many extended periods where he’s smiling and genuinely seems happy, and I haven’t seen that from Hunnam since “Undeclared”.  It was slightly off-putting.

Anyways, apparently this movie is only sitting at 12% on Rottentomatoes, and the only explanation I can find for that is that the discussion of religion – and a lot of the dismissal of it – turned people off.  I think it’s a well-written, acted and executed film, but clearly not for everyone.

3.5 / 5