Iron Man 3: A Discussion

I know not everyone agrees with me, but Iron Man 3 is my favorite of the Iron Man films and I won’t apologize for it. It’s a well-balanced, funny yet emotional film that shows no matter what demons you have inside you, you can still be an incredible hero.

I love Iron Man for his wit and for how genuine of a human being he is. His past is checkered and he doesn’t always say or do the right thing, but he tries his best to do what is right for those he loves and also for the world.

This movie starts out with one of the most Tony Stark trade marked quote ever. He says “A famous man once said, “We create our own demons.” Who said that? What does that even mean? Didn’t matter. I said it ’cause he said it. So now, he was famous and it was basically said by two well-known guys.” This feels so classically Tony Stark and I love how it ties in to what he says at the end as well. It shows his arrogance, but also his wit and it sets the tone for what the rest of the movie perfectly.

I love even the little moments like when Tony is arguing with James about Tony’s health and James says ‘I’m not trying to be a Dick-tator.’ switching his word slightly because a little girl is present. Something about the slight jabs and sarcastic humor makes Iron Man one of my favorite marvel heroes. He’s always fun to watch.

In this movie the villains were all of Tony’s making. The ex-lover, The guy he ignored at a party, and his own mental hurtles. It really felt like everyone was someone he needed to fight off himself. Who had a personal vendetta against him. Yes, a lot of it is posed as a villain plotting against the world, but the real motive was to get back at Tony and it made his eventual triumph at the end all the more exciting.

But, what I love most about this film is seeing one of the earths mightiest heroes deal with a demon that so many of us face everyday.. anxiety. The mind is the most powerful force on earth. When Stark has his first major panic attack he thinks he must have some heart or brain injury and his body is perfectly fine. It’s his mind that created the danger and as the movie goes on and he continues battling his mind as well as all of the other demons he created you see someone defeating their demons and coming out on top. That’s a message that so many of us need at some point or another.

Then how deeply it’s connected to Pepper and how much he wants to protect her. That kills me. Because there is only one person on this earth that he has and that’s her and he realized there’s more on the earth to be afraid of then he ever first realized. He’s not sure if he’s strong enough to keep her safe and nothing hits him harder then that.. so he tinkers. He makes things to feel better, but by doing so he looses time just enjoying being with her. Tony may be a jerk at times, but he’s real with Pepper. I think that’s the truest kind of love. The person you can be your truest self with. The person who’s flaws don’t sway you because you can see how hard the other tries in spite of everything. The person who lifts you up and who you lift up. That’s the kind of love you never let pass you by.

Then, Tony gets arrogant again and gives the world his address. That ends in absolute catastrophe as well as Pepper being captured. But, it made for one of the funniest and best relationships in the whole MCU… the relationship between Tony and a kid named Harley. Tony is rather mean to the adorable little kid, but the kid holds his own anyway. Honestly, I think they both irritate and love each other equally. Tony needed Harley and Harley, well, Harley found a father figure. It’s the sweetest thing to watch.

I know a lot of people don’t like this, but I love the mandarin being a fake. I know that it would’ve made for a completely different movie if he wasn’t, but he just played the part so well. Plus, the part where this gets revealed is probably the funniest part of the movie for me. For me, it balances the film out. It put a smile on my face and that’s worth a lot to me. I’m always up for some good comic relief and that’s what the actor behind the mandarin is for me.

As far as the battle scenes go, there was plenty of action. The power set was unique from all the other films and that made the fighting style and overall feel of the fight scenes their own. Then, we have the final battle where Tony calls in all his suits and it creates a busyness that keeps your eyes engaged and gives a sense of urgency to the overall scene.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Iron Man. I love a good flawed hero. Iron Man is truly human in every sense of the word. In this final solo film of his we get to see him at his very best in spite of everything that mentally wants to bring him down. Iron man is a true hero and I will always have love for his films.

Thanks so much to all of you for reading! I’m back once more and better then ever. Thanks to all of you for sticking with me. I have a lot planned to read, write, and discuss with you all in the future.

-Till next time!

Iron Man 2: A Discussion

In my first post about Iron Man I said that each film gets better then the the last. I can say for certain that that is true of Iron Man 2.

God, I love this film. Rewatching it was an incredible experience. Tony Stark has layers added to his personality with both external and internal battles weighing on him. I remember crying the first time I watched because the thing that had been keeping him alive was also killing him and seeing him like that killed me.. especially because he refused to tell Pepper and instead he wanted to go on vacation with her and tell her how he felt (even though she never let him do so). In the film he makes Pepper CEO and shows just how much he respects her and sees her as a capable woman who is totally irreplaceable in his life. Without her he has no one he trusts and that internal struggle raises the stakes of a already high stakes situation.

The other thing I loved about the film was that I actually really loved the villain.

Ivan Vanko is a man who’s father’s legacy has been destroyed and he wants revenge. He is not a good man by any means, but he has character and depth in a way that many villains lack. He even works with a bird that he obviously cares for. Little touches like that make a villain like able even if you don’t ever wish to root for them.

I swear I might just be a sucker for cute birds.

On another note having a secondary much less characterized villain added an interesting balance:

Justin Hammer is Tony’s rival in weapons tech. His greatest desire is to beat out his rival. His childish anger and way of beating out stark by doing business with Ivan added a lighter tone to the film. He wants things done his way, but Ivan well, Ivan does what he wants and he’s smart in the way that he deals with Justin, by letting him talk and leave and then continuing on in his own way anyway.

On a side note:

The first time I watched this I didn’t realize that Natasha Romanoff was Black Widow and on this rewatch after having seen all the other films I got so excited seeing her!

The first watch through I don’t think her character even truly registered in my mind. But, seeing her the second time and seeing her interaction with Tony was eye-opening. But, was more interesting to me was that even though Tony seemed like he was looking at her in a flirtatious/sexual way I really don’t think he was. First off, he was confused at her saying she was ‘from legal’ and he seemed to be thrown off by her in a way not unlike many people (especially those with anxiety) sense something is not quite right with someone they meet. He knew there was more to her then meets the eye and he was right and even Natasha’s interactions showed that she knew it too. Especially after her comments about his relationship with Pepper. The whole interaction felt so fascinating to me. Then finally, when she fights off the men at the end of the film all on her own as black widow I was in awe of her. Natasha is a multifaceted woman and I’m glad she’s a part of the marvel universe.

Then there is that drunk Iron Man Battle that gives birth to war machine. Honestly, seeing Tony in his Iron Man suit all drunk was hilarious. It was also super irresponsible and dangerous, but still really funny to watch.

It all makes it that much more awesome in the final battle when ‘Rhodey’ doesn’t have control of his own suit and the pair duke it out once more till black widow comes in with the save and gives him back the control.

I also appreciate how beautiful the final battle location was. The cherry blossoms, the waterfall, the bridge, and the beautiful greenery. It’s one of my favorite battle locations ever and the first I ever saw myself visiting on a much less chaotic day.

All in all, I adore this movie. It’s so well balanced and nuanced. There is so much detail and side story to pick up on. The characters are all amazingly fleshed out and it has that Tony Stark humor we all love. It’s a fabulous film that I highly recommend to anyone even remotely interested in the Marvel Universe.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Iron Man: A Discussion

Just as a pre-curser, I hadn’t seen this film in several years. But, I watched a Cinema wins video about the film and got reoriented with it. I was originally going to write this post with just that, but I decided to rewatch the film once more so I could talk about it more in depth. Let’s just say I was not disappointed by my decision.

Having seen the later films I got used to the idea of Stark having anxiety and PTSD. However, I forgot about what triggered that in him. Being tortured and held captive by terrorists is something that is a tragedy. Being mentally affected by it is more then normal. Much like being mentally affected by any sort of hard and painful event would. Him becoming a hero and working to fight for good as he continuously faces his mental struggles is so important for films to depict. You don’t have to ever be perfect or fully healed as a being to do great things and Iron Man is an example of it.

However, this first Iron Man film doesn’t depict so much of his symptoms quite yet, but the story it does tell is one of redemption and transformation in many ways as the man who lived his life like a playboy, doing whatever he pleased, going through some tough crap that in many ways teaches him to see what was ultimately most important in his life all along. Though this doesn’t change his overall personality and I enjoy that. Tony Stark is witty and sarcastic and very honest in the way he answers. He is super unique as an individual and the way Robert Downey Jr. Plays the role is to perfection.

Iron Man is one of the most complex personalities of the marvel heroes. He’s full of good intentions, but he has his vices. He’s fallible yet that doesn’t stop him from being great. Also, his love story with Pepper (which doesn’t go so far in this film) is one of my favorites, because she sees him for him and loves him anyway. But, she doesn’t just let him have his excuses she calls him out and she’s there for him through everything. Something about it makes it feel like the most true to life love stories of the different Marvel couples. I adore it.

I wanna take a bit of a moment to pay tribute to Ho Yinsen’s character. This man saw to the heart of who Tony Stark is and gave him the strength he needed to get through one of his most difficult moments.

Some of the things he said were my favorite quotes from the film:

Stark: “Why should I do anything? Either way, they’re gonna kill you and me, and if not, then I’ll likely be dead by the end of the week”

Yinsen: “Well then, this will be a very important week for you, won’t it?

As well as:

Stark: “Come on. We gotta go. Move with me. We got a plan. We need to stick to it.”

Yinsen: “This was always the plan, Stark.”

Stark: “Come on. You’re gonna go see your family. Get up.”

Yinsen: “My family’s dead. I’m going to see them now, Stark. It’s okay. It’s okay. I want this. I want this.”

Stark: “Thank you for saving me.”

Yinsen: “Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life.”

And finally:

Yinsen: “So you’re a man who has everything and nothing?”

Yinsen is a man of great wisdom. In a place of terror he lead Stark to his ultimate freedom and liberation. I only wish one day I had half of the man’s strength and understanding.

In the Cinema Wins video it is discussed that the amount of building montages that take up the film has been criticized for being excessive. However, I agree with what it said about it being a positive thing. The amount of detail and growing they show are important to the story and understanding Stark. He is a thinker, a designer, and a creative. Seeing everything come together and how deeply he thinks every feature through is super cool. Maybe I’m just a tech nerd, but seeing the inner working parts was fascinating for me.

The Villain: Obadiah Stane:

The words I have for this man are: What a creep. Honestly, this villain did a good job of making me uncomfortable. Even in the photo above I don’t like looking at him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have something to do with Stark’s father’s death (although takes to civil war I know he doesn’t) but man how the hell did he stay under the radar enough to continue being the face of the business part of Stark Industries. I really don’t like this man.

My favorite battle:

I loved both when iron man first escapes from Afghanistan and when he returns and helps out some people who are being oppressed you the terror group there. Maybe it’s just how much fire and grit appear in both instances or the redemption arcs they both give Iron Man. Either way those were my favorite badass moments from the film.

All in all:

Iron Man is the impeccable start to the marvel universe. Featuring possibly the most scarred and human of the marvel universe heroes, Iron Man shows there is strength in the things that make us flawed human beings. Is the movie perfect? Of course not. But, it is the beginning of one of the most beloved and fast growing franchises in the movie industry today. I greatly enjoyed this film and every Iron Man film just gets better. Iron Man sends some really great messages into the community and as his story unfolds you learn just how layered the man who is both Tony Stark and Iron Man is.

Thanks for reading! I did mention in my Marvel announcement post that I did have quite a few thoughts on all these films. I can’t wait to discuss the rest! Let me know your thoughts on Iron Man or any of the marvel films down in the comments below.

-Till next time!