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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

No Iron Man Is An Island…

But maybe it’s The Island.
Oy.
Iron Man is better than the Mark Steven Johnson comic book movies

52 Responses to “No Iron Man Is An Island…”

  1. Sean says:

    1) The dessert attack
    Repulsor custard!

  2. Erik Childress says:

    Precisely how much stock do you have in Speed Racer, Dave? Seriously?

  3. Kristopher Tapley says:

    Oddly, much as I actually had a blast watching the film, I find myself agreeing with much of these criticisms. Weird.
    As for “the inevitable” — whatever, that shit was awesome.

  4. doug r says:

    So you think all those women driving massive SUVs won’t “get” a really cool armored suit?
    I’ll have more to say after 11:26 pm on Thursday :)

  5. Rothchild says:

    “The black best friend?” You do realize he’s going to be the lead in later sequels.

  6. Rothchild says:

    Oh, and there’s pleeeenty for non-geek adults. You said only kids were going to see Transformers. You’re not always right.

  7. Brocktune says:

    It’s debatable whether comic book sourced films need to be close to the source material or should stand alone as their own work. That said, the original Iron Man comics came out during Vietnam and the Tony Stark character was imprisoned by Asian stereotypes that are much worse than the ones that I’ve seen in the trailer.
    While we’re on the topic, I should also point out that in the comics, Tony Stark has a serious substance abuse problem that would prove awkward, given Downey’s issues.

  8. brack says:

    Brocktune, Downey just played (well, it was filmed a while ago) an alcoholic in “Charlie Bartlett,” so that’s not an issue.
    Oh how I enjoy David’s non movie reviews. Though I only skimmed as to not be spoiled, but breaking down and critiquing the action sequences one at a time? Jeez Louise.

  9. Not just Charlie Bartlett, brack. …or Downey in Zodiac, or Downey in A Scanner Darkly, or, well, nevermind.

  10. What if one is not a geek but still found the movie entertaining?
    Funniest thing about the all-media last night:
    I grab my seat in the theatre, only to discover Jeffrey Wells has draped his jacket in the seat next to mine. He comes back with his free popcorn and soda, grabs his jacket and moves away from me… only to soon be replaced by this large, smelly woman, who tries to make me her best friend throughout the screening, commenting to me about everything happening on screen, including the appearance by Stan Winston at the Disney Music Hall party.
    I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was Stan Lee.

  11. Sevenmack says:

    Sometimes we go to movies in order to enjoy mindless entertainment. If a movie does that well, it may not be timeless, but it is worth watching.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, I think Downey’s past substance issues were considered to be an asset in casting him here (based on the assumption of no relapse), not the other way around.
    I really hadn’t thought of Iron Man or Downey as ‘middle-aged’. I mean, yes, he’s 43, but he’s not exactly making a movie about Cialis and backaches (is he?)

  13. LYT says:

    “And even when he claims to be turning the corner to The Good, his good actions remain selfish, thoughtless, and without account for anyone else.”
    I haven’t seen the movie, but that sounds pretty true to the character. I believe he’s even turned into something of a villain in current comics continuity.
    Whether it makes for an effective film hero is another story, but I am having trouble recalling any comic-book superhero movies that David liked. Batman Begins? I found the origin stuff tedious and excessive in that one. Hulk even more so.
    What I loved the most about the CG Ninja Turtles movie was that they just assumed everyone already knew the origin, and went right into the story.

  14. brack says:

    “Not just Charlie Bartlett, brack. …or Downey in Zodiac, or Downey in A Scanner Darkly, or, well, nevermind.”
    You’re absolutely right, I just simply went with his last release.

  15. brack says:

    TMNT looked great, and some decent action, but the story was so uninspired that I just couldn’t take any of it seriously even on the silly level. And trust me, I can like really silly stuff.

  16. THX5334 says:

    I am not a fan of Terry Howard. There are so many better black actors I would’ve cast.
    Chiwetel Ejifor for one.
    I find this review interesting as Dave as professed that Iron Man is his personally favorite comic book character…

  17. doug r says:

    Started watching TMNT on cable the other day. It’s just not the same without April

  18. christian says:

    That’s okay, Edward. After Jeff slammed Matt Z. for his decision to leave film criticism, I posted a pretty mild comment on HE about what to do if the host of the party repeatedly insults his guests, Jeff deleted the comment and now wants to screen my further posts. Others on HE can call Jeff a prick etc, but don’t dare question his cruel, infantile insights.

  19. PastePotPete says:

    Poland pans it… more confident in my $300mil number than before.

  20. OddDuck says:

    christian, join the club. Jeff Wells has turned into a major grade-A douchebag this year.
    Back on topic, it’s always hard when you realize you’re predisposed to dismiss a negative review of a movie you’re anticipating. Notwithstanding that caveat, I flat-out don’t buy this review.
    Back off topic – reviews are one area where I think Jeff frequently excels…

  21. Jeremy B says:

    “”The black best friend?” You do realize he’s going to be the lead in later sequels.”

    Tell that to Billy Dee Williams.

    (David’s comments match what appears to have happened to the ad campaign. Great teaser trailer of Act I, but *nothing* of note for the rest of it.)

  22. IOIOIOI says:

    Please Jeremy: Heat is a fucking geek hater. Anything geared — or proportedly or supposedly — towards geeks automatically brings out the knives. This is such polarizing bullshit Heat, that I would hope better from you.

  23. scooterzz says:

    i have to seriously question that dp is a ‘geek hater’….he’s a regular guest on g4’s ‘aots’ and seems to be liked when doing ‘the loop’…. those folk are too swift to embrace a ‘geek hater’….
    and, on that subject– it seemed the whole ‘aots’ crew was there last night….blair, kevin and olivia (w/her squeeze brian greenberg)…..

  24. IOIOIOI says:

    AOTS is a piece of shit. On behalf of Leo Laporte… I SPIT ON IT! Seriously; it’s not hip, it’s not cool, and Blair Butler can only carry it for so long. The point still stands: Heat is a geek-hater. This entire review reads like a man venting his hate towards geeks more than the film. It’s spewing vitriol at a group that Heat has slagged on more than one occassion.
    It’s okay if he’s a geek-hater. I just wish that he would cop to his hate getting in the way of this review, because it’s rather damn obvious that it did.

  25. scooterzz says:

    gawd, io…you really are such a tool…why not wait until you’ve actually seen a movie to comment on it and its detractors…i don’t agree much with dp on this one but i certainly see where he’s coming from….
    and, while ‘aots’ isn’t what it once was, kevin and olivia have made it there own and it’s far from ‘a piece of shit’….
    perhaps these just aren’t things you should be concerning yourself with….

  26. scooterzz says:

    ‘their’ own….sorry

  27. IOIOIOI says:

    Someone better call Drew. IT’S MCWEENEY TIME!
    “gawd, io…you really are such a tool…”
    Gawd? Really? I am a tool and you lead off with “gawd”?
    “why not wait until you’ve actually seen a movie to comment on it and its detractors…”
    Dude: I have been reading Poland almost every single freakin day for the last 7 years. Excuse a brother for knowing when HEAT brings out the HAMMER and TONGS to a review.
    “i don’t agree much with dp on this one but i certainly see where he’s coming from….”
    See where he’s coming from with what? This review? It’s written from a place of “This geeks just don’t know quality” snobbery, that Heat will try to turn on people next week. When a lot of people disagree with his Speed Racer review.
    “and, while ‘aots’ isn’t what it once was…”
    It was never much of anything. The only person on that show worth a damn is Blair Butler. The rest our bloody awful or suffer from tanorexia.
    “kevin and olivia have made it there own and it’s far from ‘a piece of shit’….”
    It’s crap compared to what it replaced. Hell. G4 and Comcast at least made Kevin Rose a millionaire by ditching him, but it’s still a horrible freakin show compared to what it replaced.
    “perhaps these just aren’t things you should be concerning yourself with….”
    You really should not play.

  28. David Poland says:

    I’m not a geek hater… just a bad movie hater.
    Of course, I don’t even have to hate something to be accused of it. The drama that comes from me saying a movie is “only” going to do $200 million is always a surprise to me. (Should get used to it, I guess.)
    I do think geeks, like the far right of the Republican Party, are overestimated as a box office force… in great part because they are such committed moviegoers. They don’t bail on movies just because of bad buzz. The movies that get on their radar big time, they show up for, whether it’s Batman & Robin, Iron Man or Snakes on a Plane.
    You speak, IO, as though I am in some huge minority on a lot of these movies. Cloverfield opened, as I said it would… and died quick, as I said it would. Fine with all three X-Men films… not fine with Daredevil, Elektra or Ghost Rider. Was it the massive $7 million gross that made me a hater on Running Scared? Did I run out on Shoot ‘Em Up because it only did $12 million?
    What other films am I supposed to hate this summer? Why don’t you let me know now so you can be on record… like I am for a decade.
    Heck, even if you just give me the 10 geek movies I hated just because they were geek and we can have the conversation.
    I don’t really care if you disagree with me. That is normal. There is rarely any “right” in movie opinions. I have my opinions and I have my observations and I do pretty well with them. (Or are we still arguing that Spider-Man 3 wasn’t easily the lamest of the series?) But this broad brush shit rankles.
    Are you going to argue that I hate women because I panned Atonement or that I hate blacks because I am not a Tyler Perry fan… or are we back to me being gay because I don’t automatically dismiss musicals?
    P.S. I quite like the ATOS folks, though I always feel like the old man in the room without the Chris Gore over-40 haircut and tatts styling. Kevin seems like a smart guy with some serious interests, Olivia is even funnier off-camera, and the show seems to have developed a style that draws a passionate and committed audience, so I thank them (and the staff) for the invites.

  29. IOIOIOI says:

    GLAMMA-RAMMA!
    “I’m not a geek hater… just a bad movie hater.”
    Ha. Ha. Hold on. Let me cough up a rice krispy treat. Ha. Go read your review again, then come back to me with what you are.
    “Of course, I don’t even have to hate something to be accused of it. The drama that comes from me saying a movie is ‘only’ going to do $200 million is always a surprise to me. (Should get used to it, I guess.)”
    It’s hating and baiting.
    “I do think geeks, like the far right of the Republican Party, are overestimated as a box office force… in great part because they are such committed moviegoers. They don’t bail on movies just because of bad buzz. The movies that get on their radar big time, they show up for, whether it’s Batman & Robin, Iron Man or Snakes on a Plane.”
    Nope. Wrong. Batman and Robin bombed massively. While Snakes On A Plane pretty much faltered because anyone worth their salt understood that the title would better than the freakin movie. You bring up Iron-Man in the same comparison as SOAP and B&R demonstrates how little you know about a demo that you rail against most of the time on this blog.
    “You speak, IO, as though I am in some huge minority on a lot of these movies. Cloverfield opened, as I said it would… and died quick, as I said it would. Fine with all three X-Men films… not fine with Daredevil, Elektra or Ghost Rider. Was it the massive $7 million gross that made me a hater on Running Scared? Did I run out on Shoot ‘Em Up because it only did $12 million?”
    How are Shoot’Em Up or Running Scared “geek” films? Reading too much CHUD? Hell. CHUD is not even a geek site. They are whatever the hell CHUD are, and those two movies play to a more urban/male audience than a geek audience. Again: KNOW THINE DEMOS BEFORE THINE SMITES ANYONE!
    “What other films am I supposed to hate this summer? Why don’t you let me know now so you can be on record… like I am for a decade.”
    Really? MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, DAVE! MATRIX REVOLUTIONS!
    “Heck, even if you just give me the 10 geek movies I hated just because they were geek and we can have the conversation.”
    Again, Heat, you have had a hard-on of hate towards Iron-Man for close to a month now. No offense, but you are really an open and shut book some times, and this being one those times. It’s no big deal. I just hate bullshit, and this review is biased bullshit through and through.
    “I don’t really care if you disagree with me. That is normal. There is rarely any “right” in movie opinions. I have my opinions and I have my observations and I do pretty well with them. (Or are we still arguing that Spider-Man 3 wasn’t easily the lamest of the series?) But this broad brush shit rankles.”
    I am not one of those fools who hates on TOM-CATTING PETEY! It also has nothing to do with being right or what not. The above review reads more like a man trying to support a vendetta towards a film then anything else.
    “Are you going to argue that I hate women because I panned Atonement or that I hate blacks because I am not a Tyler Perry fan… or are we back to me being gay because I don’t automatically dismiss musicals?”
    1) I could give a shit if you disliked Atonement. You at least reviewed the film HONESTLY. 2) The same goes with Perry’s films. When you review them. They never reading like the tripe that sits a top this page. 3) Whose hating musicals? I am not hating musicals. Again: who are you arguing with right now?
    “P.S. I quite like the ATOS folks, though I always feel like the old man in the room without the Chris Gore over-40 haircut and tatts styling. Kevin seems like a smart guy with some serious interests, Olivia is even funnier off-camera, and the show seems to have developed a style that draws a passionate and committed audience, so I thank them (and the staff) for the invites.”
    If you like them. You like them. I am only down with Blair Butler on that crew, and I still harbour a massive amount of anger towards the death of the Screen Savers.

  30. scooterzz says:

    well, that pretty much says it…..
    io — i’m not falling for your ‘line for line’ thing… i’m just not interested…
    i always get a kick, however, out of your big ‘throw downs’…. the culmanation of your threats usually mean that you type in caps……

  31. David Poland says:

    IO… the ONLY reason you think this was a biased review is that you expect to disagree.
    If you don’t want to believe the truth – that I was really looking forward to this film and hoping that it was better than the ads – I can’t convince you.
    As always, people who disagree with me – especially before they have seen the film – always seem to want to make excuses and explain why I am wrong and even ill-intended.
    I am not.
    No matter how much you enjoy this film, the script is HORRIBLE… in all but Downey’s improvs, the characters are CARDBOARD… and the ideas are HACKNEYED. But the suit is really, really cool.
    Kris Tapley was fair… he knows what I mean… and he loved the film anyway. Great.
    You want to play hide-n-go-seek with what a “geek film” is? Again… I open the door to YOU putting up something, as opposed to just trying to win an argument with me on terms that you make up as you go along. Please… really… work a little harder, IO. I know you’re not just a glib nut.

  32. David Poland says:

    It feels to me like everything in it is a calculated move, as if Favreau and gang decided to leave nothing to chance. Like I said, there

  33. IOIOIOI says:

    Heat: I know that I am typing with sinus congestion and barely being able to open my eyes, but read my damn post, sir. I have a problem with the attitude and biases overflowing in your review. Again; do not play with me because it’s not about winning an argument. It’s not about how I will like or dislike the movie. It’s about me calling a spade a spade and calling that review BULLSHIT on pure attitude of the review itself.

  34. doug r says:

    This’ll be great to join in once I’ve seen the picture once. Really, did Iron Man suck as much as Transformers?

  35. OddDuck says:

    “It’s about me calling a spade a spade and calling that review BULLSHIT on pure attitude of the review itself.”
    Makes me physically ill to admit this, but I think there’s a kernel of truth in what IOIOI said there.
    On the other hand, this “geek hater” business is ridiculous. Isn’t Poland the guy who wrote these weird three million word essays all about the philosophy and universe of the Matrix movies? That shit was pretty fucking geeky, and made me think Poland played a lot of D&D as a kid :)

  36. IOIOIOI says:

    Odd: stop being silly because I am not that bad. Heat also only spent that many words on Reloaded. While he has discussed Revolutions since the initial release. He has YET to review that freakin movie. 5 years freakin later and no review of the Matrix Revolutions from the guy who defended Reloaded like few others. Nevertheless; Heat is a geek-hater in certain aspects and they are in full display on this board.

  37. Goulet says:

    Didn’t Dave pan the first Spider-Man? And now he holds it up as the great film IRON MAN isn’t?

  38. jeffmcm says:

    “I know you’re not just a glib nut.”
    Can the rest of us get a little help on this one?

  39. I have nothing of importance to add, so I’m just going to agree with whoever it was who said they weren’t a fan of Terrence Howard.

  40. IOIOIOI says:

    Terrance Howard rules. How dare anyone mock the utter smoothness of that man.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    I agree that Terrence Howard is better for this movie than Chiwetel Ejiofor, who doesn’t have the same quality of inner slow burn, and who just seems too…British, I guess.

  42. THX5334 says:

    Oh, Jeff, your assesment of Ejifor is spoken like a true tech guy who never took an acting class or has had to perform in a scene, in front of an audience or camera & crew and had to be truthful in the moment. In other words, one who understands real acting…(apologies if I’m wrong)
    Chiwetel is a real actor who can disappear inside characters.
    Terry Howard used to take Acting classes from Kim Field (Tootie from Facts Of Life) alongside Donald Faison.
    (Nothing wrong with that, just sayin..)
    However, Donald Faison is 3x the actor Terry Howard is.
    My problem with Howard is the guy is almost worse than Jamie Foxx with the way he’s bought into his own press. This dude has completely gone Hollywood. For example, dissing women and their hygiene habits.
    And, his character in Hustle & Flow was not a character he created or built from the ground up, but rather it was just an impersonation of someone he knew…
    Trust me.
    He hasn’t shown much range since then.
    I’m not saying he’s horrible or can’t act. He’s competent. What I am saying is he hasn’t proven himself for how Hollywood he’s become.
    Chiwetel stays truthful in the moment, can bring tenderness and strength at the same time in his performances, and is someone you could buy having to wear the suit when Stark can’t.
    I just can’t see Terrence in the suit whipping ass. He just comes off too pretty boy whose too worried about messing up his locks…
    And any real American actor that has had real training will concede the most Brits often wipe the floor with American’s when it comes to Acting.
    Kami, I become more a fan of you every day.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    (Grumble,grind teeth, behave self)
    THX, I agree that in general most Brits are better-trained actors than Americans, and yes, I agree that Chiwetel is a very good actor, but if you’re not right for a part, you’re not right for a part. I’ve never seen C.E. give a performance with the same kind of inner intensity or slow burn as Terrence Howard. Even in a movie like Dirty Pretty Things, where it would have been called for, or Children of Men, I don’t feel anger and tension coming off of him the same way I do from Howard’s scenes in Hustle and Flow, or even Crash, a much inferior movie in which his scenes are pretty much the only watchable ones. If I was casting one of the two of them to be War Machine, I wouldn’t give it a second thought.
    As far as him ‘going Hollywood’, that’s news to me, but then I don’t watch a lot of Extra! or hang out in the same restaurants you do.

  44. jeffmcm says:

    To be fair, I’m not a huge authority on the comics or the Rhodes character – I’m just basing this on what I know and the tenor of Iron Man and recent superhero movies in general.

  45. THX5334 says:

    That’s a fair take, too Jeff.
    Just not mine.
    I didn’t mean to throw any disses that would cause any teeth grumbling…
    And I can’t stand E or Extra or any of that shit. I get my snark soley from Defamer, though it’s not the same without Lisanti.
    Nor is it Restaurants…I’ve put on the monkey suit and asked too many people in this town medium/medium rare? While in college, that I rarely want to go out to eat in this town anymore. Especially in LA where they love to apply the actor stereotype to everyone, and thusly treat you like a second class citizen. LA is the worst tipping city in the world…
    (In fact, it is my personal fantasy that if I ever was fortunate enough to gain success that would warrant an appearance on Dave or Conan, I would take that time to explain how to properly tip in this country and how %20 is the new %15, etc…but I digress)
    I just have friends that are Black Hollywood; and if you have any affiliation with that subsect of Hollywood, you know they are even more ruthless (and usually accurate) with the gossip and going-on’s in their own section of the game.
    And I trust my many sources in that crowd implicitly.
    I’m not saying the dude sucks, just not whom I’d cast for Iron Man’s best buddy.
    Howard is just…I don’t know. Not who’d I cast.
    You haven’t seen Chiwetel in Serenity? He’s one of the most memorable great villains in a long while.
    Perfect example of the badass that speaks softly as Joe Leydon was relating to Lex…
    With all due respect, I don’t know about those casting instincts, Jeff. But, we’ll have to save our playing “Who would you cast?” for another day (something I bet we’d have some fun with…)

  46. THX5334 says:

    And by the way JeffMcm,
    I think the agreement about Brits generally being better actors is the first time you’ve ever conceded a point to me.
    Hot Damn! How’s that for progress?!
    Ahhh….and all you suckers, who have given up on humanity…
    I throw this awesome example of human evolution forward and I say:
    Face!
    (Slaps JeffMcm a huge high five and hands him a shot of tequila and joint in celebration…)

  47. Martin S says:

    Eamonn Walker is not just the best “black” actor, he’s one of best in theater or film/tv.
    My only concern with Dave’s review is the Don Murphy influence. Murphy’s got every right to hate this film, but hopefully, that didn’t color Poland’s review.
    Jeff – the middle-age/Downey thing keeps popping up because he’s not Tobey, Hayden, Heath, Jake, Leo, etc…and don’t think people didn’t try to skew the part absurdly young. That was always my fear when Millar/Gough got brought on board during the New Line days – turn Iron Man into Iron Dude by using the Smallville mad-libs template.

  48. “Terrance Howard rules. How dare anyone mock the utter smoothness of that man.”
    I guess you could call it smoothness, because whenever I hear him speak I want to take a nap. He speaks in such a drone-like voice. I liked him well enough in Hustle & Flow and even thought he was one of the better aspects of The Brave One (his character’s absurdity notwithstanding) but… ugh. People see him as charasmatic. I see him as boooring. And it’s not like his resume is exactly overflowing with classics.
    And, yes THX, you’ll get a kick out this. I read once that he does (i’m digging this out of an old blog entry) “500 push-ups, 1,000 sit-ups and a three-mile run before taking his three kids to school.” Is that not one of the stupidest things you’ve ever read? What a tosspot.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    THX: Yeah, I saw Serenity, and he was great in it. But he still didn’t have that same quality of slow burn/inner rage/white hot intensity that I’m thinking of. He played the character as an understated, reasonable psycho, which is a very British thing to do. Thirty years ago the part could have been played by Anthony Hopkins (before he made it a cliche in Silence of the Lambs) or Ian Holm.
    Also, is it ‘conceding’ if we never disagreed on the subject?

  50. Nicol D says:

    Kamikaze,
    “People see him as charasmatic. I see him as boooring. And it’s not like his resume is exactly overflowing with classics. ”
    Complete agrement. Howard is by no means a bad actor but his greatness is vastly overstated. He’s far too understated and after I saw The Brave One I couldn’t believe people said he stood out in it.

  51. Tofu says:

    Glad we have IO here to tell us what passes in ‘geek’ state, and what doesn’t. Ugh.

  52. christian says:

    You know who woulda been a perfect Rhodes IF they had made IRON MAN in 1980?
    Ken Foree. I know IRON MAN, and Foree, sir, would have been a great IRON MAN.

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