Well dorkdom, this is the week you've all been waiting for. Big Red returns with some gusto, and even though all of Europe has seen it already, America gets its first look at Tony Stark and company this week.
No need to waste time beating around the bush. Let's just get to it.
Iron Man 2|
There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said (the second rate European reviews are already in) about one of the most anticipated movies in recent memory. Tony Stark returns in grandiose fashion with Iron Man 2; a movie that appears to be as much about enhancing and furthering the story of the big, clunky superhero as it is about paying homage to the rest of the secondary, comic book universe with Nick Fury, War Machine, Black Widow and an alt-version of Crimson Dynamo all making appearances. That a plethora of legit big names (Sammy Jackson, Scarlett Johannson, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow) wanted on board for this production means only one thing: it's going to be a frakking blockbuster. Plain and simple, Iron Man 2 will challenge Dark Knight's $158 million opening weekend starting this Wednesday night.
Movie franchises like Iron Man, along with the revitalized Batman, and the first couple X-Men and Spider-Man installments prove one thing: two is good, three is pushing it. So let's enjoy this while we have it. Plus, we get to see a quasi-cocaine-less Robert Downey cracking snarky jokes and doing some inner-soul searching inside the big red machine that is Iron Man, and who doesn't love that?
Comic book movies have fairly specific timelines or arcs. The first one, if done well (or I guess even poorly), is an in-depth look at the origin of the character(s). It gets back to basics and tells the story of an intrinsically flawed person given supreme power. It establishes the hero. The second movie is the soul-searching, hero looks inward, how do I deal with all this power and all of these expectations type flick. The third one is the, “Well, we're out of ideas but man there is just too much damn money to be made here. Let's just do this thing,” movie. Iron Man 2 looks like it's following the same arc, and by all accounts, looks very good.
Here is my plea to the Iron Man team (I'm looking at you Jon Favreau): stop here. Let Tony Stark join the Avengers in a couple of summers and then let the franchise be. The issue with comic book movie longevity isn't that there aren't more stories to tell--comic book stores are literally chocked full of them. The problem is there are no more stories to tell on the big screen. Short of the hero dying (would never happen in a million years), we are just getting some weird mash up of the first two installments, and it's always worse.
So go out this weekend, cheer for Tony Stark flying around in his suit, fighting crime and leave the theater hoping that's the last time you'll see an Iron Man movie.
I think, because we like to go bigger and badder ass than our European counterparts, once American critics chime in with their reviews, the Tomatometer ticks up from its current 75%. The Rotten Watch for Iron Man 2 is 81%.
I would say there are three types of people who will go see Babies in theaters.
Group A: The expecting couple who want to share something together. They want to get a glimpse of impending parenthood. They want to feel good about the choice they've made in their lives (or want to at least feel better about the big surprise they just received). They'll walk into theaters feeling good and ready to embrace cute baby action.
Group B: The older parents who want to get back to simpler times. Their kids have grown up and moved out. These parents have spent the last twenty or so years trying, with limited results, to mold their children into fine, upstanding citizens. Unfortunately, those same kids ended up being ungrateful brats who don't have jobs and just complain about the world. These parents just want to remember why having a baby was so worth it at the time.
Group C: The first date where the guy thinks it will get him laid when the girl sees little awesome babies crawling all around the screen and will instantly associate said cuteness with their date's fatherly nature. Sex begins 45 minutes after credits.
It's fairly easy to put a Rotten Watch on Babies because even, if for some reason, critics didn't like it, they'd be hard pressed to give it a bad review. If they did, they'd look like heartless, disimpassioned jerks. Who, except possibly Dick Cheney, doesn't love babies?! I'm going with an unprecedented Rotten Watch of 90%.
Recapping last week: Last week
, theater goers were welcomed to a total nightmare playing out on the big screen and also the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street
. Furry Vengeance
, (Prediction 26%, Actual 2%) might go down as the worst movie of the year. Nothing makes me happier. What I find most interesting is out of 47 critical reviews, exactly one guy gave it a thumbs up. That guy would be one Mr. Chris Hewitt of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. He liked it. This begs the question: Should Hewitt even be allowed to enter movie theaters anymore? Furry Vengeance
was so universally despised, it boggles my mind to think that anyone could ever suggest people go see it. Elm Street
didn't fair too much better (Prediction 30%, Actual 15%), but at least more than one idiot liked it.
Next Week Robin Hood fights for the King and Queen Latifah finds Mr. Wright. It's going to be a Rotten Week.