REVIEW: Iron Man (PG-13)

I will now give you my un-biased opinion of the movie IRON MAN:

THIS. MOVIE. ROCKS.

You know how sometimes you’ll go to a movie and it will be good… or even great… but there are always one or two little things that you’d change, or take out, or put in, or enhance? Perhaps you’d change the ending. Or maybe the whole thing is just that slightest bit implausible, even though you know all along that it’s supposed to be happening in an alternate universe, or an alternate ‘now.’ I’ve seen IRON MAN twice in the past week and I can confidently say that I wouldn’t change a single damn thing.

As superhero movies go, IRON MAN easily makes the Top 5 of all time on my list….. What? Oh, alright then, without further adieu I give you:

KATE’S LIST OF THE TOP 5 SUPERHERO MOVIES OF ALL TIME (so far)

  1. Superman
  2. Batman Begins
  3. Batman
  4. Iron Man
  5. Spiderman
  6. The X-Men (hon. mention)
  7. The Incredibles (hon. mention)

Yes, I know, you’re looking at me funny for giving the original BATMAN movie (starring Michael Keaton and directed by Tim Burton) any credence at all. You’re also wondering about my sanity for including an honorable mention for THE INCREDIBLES. Right? Well then, make your own list and leave it in the comments. I’m willing to defend my list in an open and frank discussion… are you? 🙂

Like all of the best superhero movies, IRON MAN contains actual plot, human emotion, humor, a touch of sci-fi, great (but in no way overwhelming) special effects, good guys, bad guys, current issues, and top-notch acting. Give IRON MAN the treatment it deserves and see it on the big screen. You will not be disappointed.

KATIE RATING: 10 of 10

ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 92% Fresh!

LINKAGE…

IMDB PAGE

OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE

MOVIE TRAILERS

T.G.I.T.!

Spray, originally uploaded by Mac Girl.

Thank God It’s Thursday, that is.

I have Thursdays off now and I’m really enjoying it. I’m finding that I like tooling around doing my thing during the day when everyone else is at work. The neighborhood is quiet, the touristy places around town are quiet, the parks are quiet, and the stores are quiet. It’s all good.

After purchasing a new metal-tined rake (and then discovering upon my return home that I already replaced my broken metal rake last season) I headed back over to Aman Park to take an “after” photo of the bush with the bright buds pictured HERE. Then I topped off my day by going to see the sneak-peek of IRON MAN with The Man and three of our geekiest friends. You know who you are.

The movie was wonderful and it instantly became one of my favorite super hero movies.

I was a bit weirded out when I first heard last year that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing the lead role as Tony Stark / Iron Man but I should have known better. He’s an excellent actor working with an excellent script and a good director and the result is well worth the $8.50 to see on the big screen (unlike, say, the last X-MEN movie).

If super hero movies are your thing then definitely make the effort to see this in the theater.

/day

~Katie

Atonement (R)

How can I write this without blushing? No, not about the sex – anyone who has seen the trailer knows about that – no, I’m blushing about the cinematography this time.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it was better than the sex… and the sex wasn’t bad! I have admired cinematography in movies plenty of times in the past. But rarely I have ever been so impressed that I’ve come straight home to the computer to find out WHO was behind the camera, WHAT he has done before this work, and HOW SOON I can get my hands on projects of his that I haven’t seen before. In this case the answers are: Seamus McGarvey; Enigma, Wit, The Hours, and High Fidelity; oh, and not soon enough!

Hey, Seamus, betcha didn’t know that you’re my new movie hero.

What? Oh, right, the movie… The movie was great in a sort of A River Runs Through It kind of way — wonderful to watch unfold, riveting, captivating, devastating in some ways, beautiful to look at and underpinned by a strong, compelling story.

The director, Joe Wright of Pride & Prejudice fame did some stunning work here. I mentioned above that the movie “unfolds” but that word doesn’t do it justice. He employs some great fresh tricks of time to tell certain parts of the story, and he uses them very effectively. (You know that the director has successfully commanded your attention when you find yourself muttering “Oh my God… OH MY GOD… go! Go! For God sakes GO!!” in the middle of the theater even though you consider talking out loud during a movie the highest level of sacrilege punishable by life-long theatrical exile. I’m just saying.) No one around me seemed to notice. I think they were all muttering too.

I need to and will own this movie, if only to be able to go back and revisit the library scene (no, no for the cinematography!!!) and the amazing continuous shot scene of James McAvoy and two of his comrades walking through the chaos on the beach at Dunkirk early in WWII. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that scene. Ever.

Happy surprises: Brenda Blethyn in a small role as the housekeeper, and later in the film a brief and devastating performance by Vanessa Redgrave.

Do this movie justice and see it in the theater. It deserves a big screen and a decent bag of hot popcorn.

KATIE RATING: 9 of 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 82% Fresh!

LINKAGE…
IMDB PAGE
OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE
MOVIE TRAILER

Stranger Than Fiction (PG-13)

I’m actually surprised to be writing a very positive review of this movie. You see, with the possible exception of Zoolander I don’t like any Will Ferrell movie that I’ve ever seen. Ever. And even Zoolander is a stretch because I enjoyed watching it once but it’s not a favorite, or even one that I’d really recommend. (I’m not a huge Ben Stiller fan either, but that’s for another time…)

So why did I see Stranger Than Fiction if I have such a crappy track record with Will Ferrell movies? Two very big reasons: Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. They’re worth it too, as is Will Ferrell (for once) and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The story revolves around an IRS agent who begins to hear a female voice narrating his life. He takes it all in stride until one day when the voice mentions his “imminent death.” Obviously this worries him and he spends the rest of the movie trying to work out what is happening to him with the help of Gyllenhaal and Hoffman.

The movie could have easily gone too sci-fi, but instead it was handled well and actually seemed plausible. Emma Thompson does her usual best as a tortured writer, and Hoffman is the perfect schlumpy lit professor that we all knew in college. (If you’re out there Prof. V., I’m sorry. I adore you, but you are schlumpy. Please know that I mean that in the nicest way!)

KATIE RATING: 8 of 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 76%

IMDB PAGE
OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE
MOVIE TRAILER (Quicktime)

The Station Agent (R)

I don’t usually post reviews on the DVDs that I see each week, but I liked The Station Agent so much that I had to spread the word. It’s sort of an anti-movie. There’s no flashy action, no sex, no brutality or tasteless comedy (low-brow OR high-brow thankyouverymuch). It’s just a quiet, captivating, often amusing and always charming picture about three very disconnected people who end up connecting with each other. Just friendship. Just that.

KATIE RATING: 9 of 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 95%

IMDB PAGE
OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE
MOVIE TRAILER (Quicktime)

Employee Of The Month (PG-13)

I’ve a lot to do before I hit the sack tonight, so this will be brief.

Employee Of The Month is a more or less charming little comedy that faithfully follows a classic formula – hero is loser, girl enters picture (Ha, a pun!), girl falls for villain, loser hero changes, wins girl, and is victorious over villain.

That wasn’t a spoiler, it was a classic plot formula that just happens to apply to this movie.

I gotta say though, predictable as it was I thoroughly enjoyed almost every minute of it. Dane Cook was surprisingly good in the lead role, and Dax Shepard was seriously freaky and wonderful as Vince, the villain (and he looks a little like Zack Braff, but in an odd, sort of albino way).

All-in-all I recommend it as a DVD rental if you like this type of movie.

KATIE RATING: 6 out of 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 22%

IMDB PAGE
OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE
MOVIE TRAILER (Quicktime)

FEARLESS (PG-13)

Duane bribed me into seeing Jet Li’s “Fearless” this evening, and I’m happy to report that this is one of those great instances where I thoroughly enjoyed a “guy movie.” It’s got all of the basic ingredients of a great flick – good characters, good story, good lessons, good pacing, great cinematography, and above all… PLOT. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that it didn’t end on a completely tragic note, as so many of the recent martial arts movies have – Bulletproof Monk and Kung Fu Hustle not withstanding.

Jet Li is in his early 40’s now, and he must be feeling his age physically because he has stated that this will be his last martial arts movie. That, combined with the the fact that it’s just a darn good flick means that it’s well worth the money to see it on the big screen. While I wouldn’t classify this as a “date movie,” it’s definitely something that both guys and gals will enjoy.

And yes, Duane, there is crying in Kung Fu! 🙂

KATIE RATING: 8 of 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 71%

IMDB PAGE
OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE
MOVIE TRAILER (Quicktime)