Back in the early to mid 90s, there was a series of films about the coming wonders and nightmares about the internet, but in hindsight they had all the finesse of George W. Bush’s description of the World Wide Web as a series of tubes, and were almost as prescient too. Watching Transcendence, one is taken back to a more innocent time when the internet was an unknown unknown, and thus capable of anything and everything because the audience didn’t know the difference. But it’s been 20 years since flicks like The Net and Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity, and the internet has become ingrained in almost every facet of our world. In 2014, even the most luddite of audience members isn’t going to buy the film’s magical portrayal of technology. And by “magic,” I mean literal magic. (more…)
It’s been a very improbable ride for Tony Stark.
I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves here. Think back five years to right before Iron Man hit theaters. Or better yet, think back six years, to when you first heard there would be an Iron Man movie, and that Robert Downey Jr. would be starring in it. How high were your hopes, honestly? Even if you thought it would be good, how many people thought it would be as good as it turned out to be? And even if you did think Iron Man would be badass, who among you really thought that Tony Stark – not Peter Parker, not Wolverine, not The Punisher – would be the coolest dude in all of Marvel-based cinema? Who among you thought he would be the heart and soul of Marvel Studios? If you predicted all of that, you are a much more prescient cinephile than I, and you should probably go out and buy a lottery ticket or something.
But regardless of what I or anyone else thought, all of that happened, and then – perhaps just as improbably – The Avengers happened. Some of us never thought that day would come, but it did, and Tony Stark’s charisma put him at the center of that incredibly ambitious movie universe too. He’s the rock star of Marvel cinema. We couldn’t take that away from him now if we wanted to. And what’s more, he’s earned it.
Unfortunately, this status also means that he’s the most scrutinized of the Marvel heroes (so far; believe me when I tell you I will be looking very closely for flaws when Thor: The Dark World hits theaters this fall). Remember Iron Man 2? As over-the-top action flicks go it’s a damn fun time, full of action and cool effects and lots of that patented RDJ charm. But in spite of that, it fell flat. It seemed stale and redundant next to its predecessor, and it almost felt like an absolute snore compared to the bombastic cleverness of The Avengers. So, with all that in mind, we come (at last) to Iron Man 3.
It’s the first Tony Stark solo adventure in three years, and there have been whispers that it will be the last. It’s also the first major Marvel Studios adventure since Joss Whedon set a new standard of superhero awesome. In other words, there’s a lot riding on this movie. It’s a new chapter for Marvel Studios, a chance for a new writer and director (Shane Black) to make waves in one of the most successful action movie families in recent memory, and a chance for Robert Downey Jr. to prove that his Tony Stark shtick hasn’t gotten stale in spite of Iron Man 2. So, let’s talk about this damn movie.
Tony Stark (Downey) hasn’t been sleeping well ever since he flew through a wormhole into another dimension and almost died at the end of The Avengers. He still doesn’t fully understand what the hell happened to him, how he went from battling terrorists and vengeance-seekers to trans-dimensional aliens and gods, or how he somehow got roped into fighting alongside a pair of secret agents, a man from the past, a thunderous blonde deity and a huge green rage monster. As a man who’s spent his life focusing on science and mechanics, where everything has a logical place, this really gets to him. He doesn’t feel right anymore, and things are getting worse.
But as anxiety begins to wrack Tony’s brain, the world begins to need him more. A new terroristic threat is looming in the form of Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a mysterious criminal mastermind responsible for a series of almost untraceable bomb attacks and a set of freaky video messages. As things inevitably get personal and a showdown between Iron Man and Mandarin looms, Tony must fight to both save the world and protect his girlfriend and business partner, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has concerns of her own as she deals with the intriguing but enigmatic scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who claims to have a new biological agent that could change the way humans heal. Add to this the re-appearance of an old flame of Tony’s in Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) and the transformation of Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) into the president’s favorite armored soldier Iron Patriot, and Tony’s set to face a set of challenges unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.
And yes, that’s as much plot as I’m going to give you, though you’ve probably figured a good deal more out just from watching the trailers and reading the news. I’m keeping it vague not because I’m trying to avoid spoilers (again, you probably already know a good deal more than what I’ve told you), but because this film – like most of the best superhero films – isn’t about what happens, but how it happens. Let’s face it, there’s a formula to these things. We’ve all seen Iron Man movies (and Spider-Man movies, and X-Men movies and Batman movies) before. We know where certain things in this movie are going before the movie even starts. Therefore the difference is made in the personality of the story, and it’s here that Iron Man 3 is an unquestionable triumph.
It starts with the dialogue, and right away it’s clear that Black and co-writer Drew Pearce know exactly where Downey’s strike zone is. Even in its most desperate and dark moments (and yeah, you know from the trailers that there are several), Iron Man 3 is packed with characteristic Tony Stark wit, and it’s all the more noteworthy because it’s wit that works no matter how dark the moment is. This is a film largely about taking Tony Stark out of his comfort zone, and yet he still keeps his sense of humor, his sharp tongue and a twinkle in his eye. This could come off as cheap audience-pleasing trickery, but Black and Downey somehow make this an essential part of Tony’s personality, just as Joss Whedon did. His unceasing smart-assery in the face of the absolute horror of the battle he’s fighting is both a sign of courage and a sign of outright panic, and it makes him both endearing and endlessly fascinating.
Black also serves the film well by making certain that this adventure takes us places no other Marvel movie has taken us before. We see Tony Stark down in the dirt, battered and scared and lost, we see him thinking on his feet without any armor to guard him, we see him digging deep into his most primal instincts. We step further away from the polish and showmanship of Iron Man than we ever have before, and in so doing we get to see a part of Stark that’s more vital than the armor ever was. Black hones in on Stark’s inherent identity as mechanic, as fixer, as tinkerer. It’s a thread that runs through all of the Iron Man films (The Avengers included), but Black and Pearce nail it better than anyone has before, and the result is not only an incredibly inventive action movie, but the best Tony Stark character study we could have hoped for.
As a result, Downey gets to take the character to depths of expression previously unseen. He gets to probe further into Tony’s inherent pain, his inner turmoil and the lengths to which he’ll go to preserve his outer cool, his sense of family, revenge and protectiveness, and his own struggles with identity. There’s much more to Tony Stark than quipping and well-manicured facial hair, and here we see that shine through in ways the other films never managed. That’s thanks in large part to Black and Pearce’s inventiveness, but we owe most of it to Downey’s genius. Don’t let the huge salaries and blockbuster cred fool you. He’s one of the greatest actors of his generation, and we’re lucky that he loves this part so much.
This film is also a chance for Paltrow to dig deeper into Pepper Potts, a character that – until now – was mostly noteworthy for her patience with the exasperating genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. She finds new fire in the character this time around. But the real scene-stealer is Kingsley, who does some wonderful and unexpected things with Mandarin (which I will not spoil here). He nails the mystery and the bombast of the character. And the voice. Much like Tom Hardy’s Bane, it’s an accent so unsettling, so unplaceable, that it knocks something loose in your brain. It doesn’t just make you fascinated with the character. It makes you crave more of him.
As I said before, the real success of this film isn’t what it does, but how it does it. Obviously I won’t spoil any of that for you now, but after the often stale Iron Man 2, this film is the biggest breath of fresh air we could hope for. The entire creative team seems to have a rock solid understanding of how a good Iron Man movie should work, but an even greater understanding of how to take everyone completely by surprise. This is an unpredictable, witty, earnest and utterly indulgent superhero film that delivers all the action movie goods (Iron Man army and all) along with a massive dose of heart and exuberance. It gets almost everything right, and it reminds us all why Tony Stark is the reigning King of Marvel Cinema.
If the trailers, TV ads, posters, armor designs, toy details, and interviews for Iron Man 3 have told us anything… it’s A) IM3 is gonna rock! and B) Disney/Marvel sure know how to market a movie. I don’t think there’s a fan-boy on the planet that doesn’t know Iron Man 3′s launch date… it’s May 3rd. Marketing assault aside, this film is clearly aiming to include everything fans of the books have wanted to see, from Mandarin to every armor design. Speaking of the latter…
It’s become public knowledge (via Disney/Marvels over saturated marketing), that the Hall of Armor has expanded, exponentially. Tony Stark has been hard at work building dozens of armors. There are suits designed for construction, stealth, hulk busting, space travel… under water basket weaving. I may have made that last one up. Point is, there’s a lot of suits. 42 to be precise, and there isn’t one bad suit in the bunch.
To get a closer look at Tony’s armada, check out these gorgeous motion graphic “Armor Reveals” by designer Kaism Lim. There’s also some images from the video as to examine as well.
Damn cool, wouldn’t you say? You can read more about Kaism Lim’s work on this page.
Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based off of his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Stephanie Szostak, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3.
I can’t wait until Iron Man 3 comes out, just so I don’t have to write about it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I think IM3 is going to be one of the best super movies ever. I’m just tired of this media madhouse by Marvel. Practically every day there’s some new footage or comments made from cast and creatives. Saying there’s too much RDJ borderlines on madness, I know. There can never be enough RDJ! Regardless, fans and general public are beyond well informed at this point. It’s getting a little much.
My bitching aside, here’s the 5th TV spot for Iron Man 3. It features a few seconds more of Ben Kingsley as an al-quaeda style Mandarin. Gandhi what happened to you!?
Was… was that Titanium man butt raping Iron Man at the end of the clip?
Here’s the official synopsis for the sequel:
Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3″ pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Iron Man 3 stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley.
Gwyneth Paltrow won’t be the only pretty thang in Iron Man 3.
Marvel has unveiled a new photo from Iron Man 3 featuring actress Rebecca Hall. Her character is responsible for the “Extremis” nanotechnology that is part of the film’s main focus.
I don’t want to sound like a objectifying pig here, but weeeee those legs!
Here’s the synopsis on IM3.
Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Iron Man 3 opens in 3D and 2D theaters on May 3, 2013. Directed by Shane Black, the action adventure stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley.
Since we here at Nerd Bastards know that you’re all getting antsy for Iron Man 3 to finally hit the big screen, we shall attempt to alleviate some of the pain by bringing to you a bit of chit-chat from several of the personalities involved. If you need your daily Iron Man 3 fix, here it is, featuring the holy words of Robert Downey Jr., Shane Black, Kevin Feige and Rebecca Hall. Enjoy.
Robert Downey Jr. talking about director Black’s particular style and bringing it to Iron Man 3:
It’s a hallmark of the Shane Black [scripts] since the beginning of his career and it’s been really fun to bring that to Tony Stark’s world.
About one of his favorite action sequences in the new flick:
We’ve just been talking about one sequence – the top-secret name is the Boot/Glove Sequence, I can tell you that, just between you and me – it’s where Tony only has one gauntlet and one boot and he has to escape multiple captors. It’s really fun, dude. We’re taking everything from his first gauntlet test in the first movie up through the most extreme stuff we thought up for Iron Man 2 and The Avengers and pulling on all of it and making this one big, extended challenge of physics.
And about Rhodey’s place in the new film:
Rhodey is much more in the dead center of things. He’s much more dynamic. We’ve made this decision that while Tony is a technical guy, he’s not really a trained guy. There’s a lot of fun to be had with Don because he’s really good with hardware and he’s a martial artist, so it’s been really fun exploiting this possibility of Tony having moments like the one in Avengers, like the one with Cap where he decides, “Oh screw it, he probably knows what he’s doing.” So there’s a lot of that and a lot more fun and a lot more depth to Rhodey this time around.
Now we move on to the director himself and hear a bit of what he has to say about the character of Dr. Maya Hansen and the actress – Rebecca Hall – that was chosen to portray her:
It’s one thing we loved about the comic book, which was that it’s someone Tony meets in one capacity at one point in his life, and he proves to be touched by that encounter. We needed a snappy and exciting actor to play the part, and not make it this ‘female scientist who takes off her glasses and suddenly she’s beautiful!’ There’s a certain element about her being the female Robert Downey Jr. in a way.
And now a little bit of Kevin Feige talking on the same subject:
Maya is a scientist who makes a pretty astounding discovery that leads her to places – and some are healthier than others. It’s not dissimilar to what Tony’s been through, and it’s a great parallel.
And finally, the actress herself, Rebecca Hall talks about taking on the role:
I’ve never had a huge desire to be a massive Hollywood actor. Yet this is the third installment of a series I’ve really enjoyed, I really like Downey as an actor, and it looked like it would be fun. And it was. It was a very smart set, Iron Man. There’s a whole game of wits going on all the time between Downey and Shane.
It’s almost time for the talking to stop and the actual watching to begin. Look for Iron Man 3 in theaters come May 3rd of this summer.
The flag of Comic-Book-Movie-Market-Domination (CBMMD) that Marvel has planted over the last few years (Right through the heart of everything DC except Batman) has put then in a position where they can pretty much do as they please and nobody’s going to say a word. Unless that involves re-shoots, then moviegoer fan boys and girls tend to trot out a litany of complaints for Shane Black and the Iron Man 3 production. Thankfully, it’s usually all for the better.
Last night in Hollywood the studio filmed a small series of re-shoots for Iron Man 3 at the TLC Chinese Theater, with plans on
This is the point where you stop if you have any intention of complaining about spoilers, do not click the jump, do not collect $200.
If you don’t give a frack . . . carry on.
The Iron Man 3 marketing blitz is full swing.
Marvel has released a second teaser for the teaser trailer that’s scheduled to be released early tomorrow at 12:01 am. Preview # 2 offers the first brief footage of Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle & Stephanie Szostak. Blink, and you may miss em’.
Watch the new Iron Man 3 teaser below, and watch the first one here.
I’m as excited for IM3 as much as the next guy, but these teasers are so damn pointless. Frustrating is a word.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and scheduled for theatrical release on May 3rd, 2013.
Shane Black and producers of Ironman III wasted little time when first choice Jessica Chastain couldn’t resolve scheduling conflicts to accept the role of Maya Hansen, creator of the Extremis Enhancile.
Extremis Enhancile is, in short, a super-soldier solution, a bio-electronics package fitted into a few billion graphic nanotubes and suspended in a carrier fluid.
Variety is reporting that Rebecca Hall is now the front runner to replace Chastain in the female lead in the first post-Avengers movie, Iron Man III. Hall is best known for her leading role in Ben Affleck’s The Town. After the huge success of The Avengers, theater goers are certain to turn out in droves for this next chapter in the Marvel saga, and although she’s a known commodity in Hollywood, this could certainly be Hall’s break out role.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3 will begin production in North Carolina this month leading toward a May 3, 2013 release date.