Tag Archives: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 | Review | Film

You know that Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, you know that Gwyneth Paltrow is Pepper Potts, you even know that Ben Kingsley is The Mandarin – but who is The Mandarin? Only Iron Man 3 (much like Smarties) has the answer.

Shoot to thrill

Since exploding onto the scene in 2008, Iron Man has been one of the most unlikely superhero film success stories. Far from the mainstream heights of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, audiences went into the film not knowing what to expect, only to be (literally) blown away by the results.

Downey Jr.’s Stark is the epitome of charisma, and yet by his third official outing – set after the events of The Avengers (or Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, if you must) – he is as broken a hero as he was at the story’s beginning, if not more so.

Sweet revenge

The story is something more complex than a simple case of revenge, and despite the audience’s familiarity with the characters manages to avoid obvious pitfalls or just going in bigger and throwing in a bunch of characters. Semi-sentient Iron Man suits on the other hand…

Looking at the trailers, you’d be fooled into thinking that the team had played their hand too early, with action and excitement at every turn, but in fact the film’s most startling reveal is in the end also the most obvious – and one we won’t spoil here.

Tony Stark doesn't get comfy, he gets even...

Acting pedigree

The cast is consistently strong this time around, as (on the whole) are their characters. Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin surpasses all expectations and Guy Pierce as the slick Aldrich Killian is smug enough to make you feel slightly sick at times.

Downey Jr. steals the show as usual, but not at the expense of the supporting cast – though former Director Jon Favreau’s character Happy is conspicuous by his absence for most of the film – particularly Don Cheadle as the ‘re-branded’ Iron Patriot, who is gifted with a number of decent one-liners.

In fact the comedy output of the film as a whole surpasses both of the previous two films put together, but not in a way which seems corny or forced.

Even the consistently spectacular Paul Bettany as voice-in-his-iron-head Jarvis (who sadly is under-used) cracks out a zinger which really raises the film’s game.

A visual spectacle

For any big-action blockbuster you expect, well, action, but the set pieces here are more inventive than in the disappointing Iron Man 2.

The mix up of personnel, which puts co-writer Shane Black in the director’s chair, works well, and fellow writer Drew Pearce adds a hint of dry British sensibility which shows through most strongly in the comedic exchanges.

Special effects are on par with the films’ contemporaries, and 3D is used sparingly and for effect, something still not a given for many big-budget flicks.

Box office Kryptonite?

With the already over-hyped Man of Steel only around the corner, Iron Man 3 always had its work cut out to stay on top and the team have really put everything into this and not left the story hanging on for a 4.

Trilogies are hard to do at the best of times. Though Iron Man 2 had its disappointments, it was still a good film and had some truly unforgettable characters such as Sam Rockwell’s sublime Justin Hammer.

Iron Man 3 though ticks all the boxes and then forces you to rip up the piece of paper and make a new list as it surpasses the standard of ‘Excellent superhero film’ to reach the dizzying status of ‘Excellent film in any genre’.

Those looking for a period drama could be disappointed, but for its audience and for newcomers alike this film has something fun to offer.

Plus, a worryingly high number of Iron Man suits, which can’t hurt.

Rating: 5/5

For a more measured response to the film, check out Andy Hemphill‘s Iron Man 3 review on his blog.

James Michael Parry

Advertisements

13 for 2013: Our most anticipated films, music, gaming, technology and cyberculture | Entertainment | This Is Entertainment

The fun and games of 2012 is behind us, so it’s time to stop doing Gangnam Style, put down your ‘New’ iPad and think about all the exciting things which will clamour for both your attention and your wallet this year. Here are 13 things we are really looking forward to:

  1. Ingress (Available Now)

Screenshot_2013-01-03-07-50-32It might seem strange to start with something which you probably haven’t heard of, but its mysterious nature is what makes it interesting. Currently search giant Google is beta testing an augmented reality app, which calls for users to investigate the world around them using their phone as a scanner.

Using the software from the Google glasses demo released last year, the team have come up with a narrative based around CERN’s Higgs Boson experiment. To request an invite for the beta go to the Ingress website (but expect to wait a few weeks). Expect more on the site in the coming months as we delve deeper into the mystery.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. DmC: Devil May Cry (11 January)

dmcWhile the obvious candidate for the crown of ‘anticipated game of the year’ is Grand Theft Auto V, we decided to avoid tackling Rockstar’s media-teasing monstrosity and talk about some of the smaller hitters, beginning with DmC, a reboot of Devil May Cry.

Danté is back, now with a harcore-fan-outraging new look, and a more user-friendly play and combat style. Developers Ninja Theory haven’t held back in taking the series’ ingredients and throwing them in a blender to make a more dynamic and edgy game, not that it’s tricky to make a demon hunter who is half angel and half devil look edgy. What we’ve seen so far looks impressive, though the team have an uphill struggle to convincingly gain ground in the third person slash-’em-up arena.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law (21 January)

Wolf's LawAfter a stunning debut album from the Welsh three-piece, they are due to strike back this year with their second album. The band perform amazingly well live, and their songs have that element of originality mixed with a few familiar pop tricks which make them compulsive listening.

Lead vocalist Ritzy’s voice is immediately striking and the synergy in the group is second to none. First single ‘The Ladder is Ours’ picks up where the first album left off and drives the band’s music forward. Expect some well received live performances on the back of this CD later in the year.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. Bad Religion – True North (22 January)

True NorthHardcore punk rockers Bad Religion continue to churn out albums at an alarmingly consistent rate and this latest effort is looking to be no exception. First single, ‘Fuck You’, has all the uncompromising energy and attitude you could expect from a punk band who have been making music for over 30 years.

Title track ‘True North’ reveals more, and gives a sense of the overall tone of the album itself, somewhere between the blisteringly quick songs of early days with albums like Incomplete and the philosophy of The Process of Belief.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. Windows Surface Pro (28 January TBC)

Windows Surface ProWe’ve already waxed lyrical about Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, and what more could you want? Windows 8 in a handy portable package of course. The RT version of the Windows Surface tablet has been out for a few months and has sold “modestly”, but many IT enthusiasts are holding off for the full ‘Pro’ version, which runs standard windows programs as well as Windows‘ own tailor-made apps.

With boosted specs and plenty of positive reviews of the RT version already circulating, this could be the technology purchase of the year (well it’s less likely to be replaced in a few months like a new iPad might in any case).

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. New(ish) gaming IPs: Remember Me (May 2013) and South Park: The Stick of Truth (March 2013)

Remember MeDespite the Xbox 360 nearing the end of its life (see point 11), there are still new IPs coming to the console which look promising. South Park: The Stick of Truth, though not entirely new since it is based on the South Park cartoon series, is the first which cartoon creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been directly involved with throughout (reportedly because they were sick and tired of bad South Park games). The game riffs on the classic staples of turn-based RPGs and is sure to have plenty of the sort of laughs and cultural references the TV show is known for.

Remember Me is Capcom’s take on manipulating reality by changing people’s memory in the near future. The game features a protagonist called Nilin, a ‘memory hunter’ who has lost her own memory and is on a quest to get back what she’s lost, while forcing people to kill themselves through memory manipulation along the way. The game is being handled by newcomers Dontnod Entertainment, but reception to the game so far has been promising, so hopefully this won’t be a case of all shine and no substance like fellow near-future jaunt Syndicate was last year.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. Star Trek into Darkness (17 May)

Star Trek into DarknessZachary Quinto and Chris Pine reprise their roles as Spock and Kirk as we go Star Trekking once again, this time with the help of Sherlock Holmes, well, Benedict Cumberbatch. Star Fleet is under direct attack this time around, and Cumberbatch, who plays an unknown character who may or may not be linked to classic Trek film The Wrath of Khan‘s Khan.

The first teaser trailer shows all the destruction and drama you have come to expect from J.J. Abrams’ reboot, and with the acting talent in the mix it would be difficult to not make this the cinematic spectacle of the year. At least unless a bunch of superheroes turn up…oh…

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. Man Of Steel (14 June)

Man Of SteelZack Snyder directs the latest in a long line of Superman films, but this time, for the first time ever, Superman himself is British. Jersey-born Henry Cavill, who you may have seen in The Tudors TV series or 2007’s Stardust, dons the red boots in a familiar tale, retold.

Not much to get excited about you might think? But with Christopher Nolan on Producer duty, the studio must be keen for some of his success with The Dark Knight Trilogy to rub off on Man Of Steel.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. Comic book films return (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (4 Oct USA), Kick-Ass 2 (19 July), Thor: The Dark World (Nov 8), Iron Man 3 (26 April), The Wolverine (26 July))

Christopher Mintz-Plasse in Kick-Ass 2Superman isn’t the only superhero doing the rounds this year of course, there are a bunch of sequels on the way to astound and delight us all. Of these the most exciting is Kick-Ass 2, which sees Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and Red Mist all return, with original actors Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Morentz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, for another round of crude and comic caped action.

This time Red Mist is seeking revenge, as teased at the close of the first film and Jim Carrey also makes an appearance as Colonel Stars and Stripes. With so many dark and ‘mature’ style superhero flicks flying around it’s good to have something like this as an antidote.

(No Kick-Ass 2 trailer just yet I’m afraid, but Iron Man is shaping up nicely too).

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. Reading Festival 2013 (23-25 August)

Reading Festival 2012With organisers Festival Republic kicking off the hype train early this year, we already know that Eminem will be one of this year’s Reading Festival headliners. Also in the mix are Alt-J, Deftones and Sub Focus.

The event always pulls in some of the greatest acts in the world for the year and the atmosphere is difficult to beat for a full weekend festival. Plus following the re-jig and re-brand last year things will be running even more smoothly, leaving more time for drinking and moshing than ever before.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. The next Xbox (Q4 TBC)

The next Xbox?The Xbox 360 has now been on shop shelves for seven years, with hardware older than that, and in some places it’s beginning to creak at the seams. The lack of big game release dates after May this year leans heavily towards a hardware reveal at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, after a decidedly by-the-numbers affair last year.

The gaming community are beginning to cry out and despite manufacturer Microsoft’s claims in 2010 that the console was only half way through it’s life cycle, the clock is ticking. The time makes sense for the company too, since they won’t want to risk falling behind rival Sony‘s next release, which is still unannounced.

At present no concrete news has come out about the next Xbox console, despite rumours being rife, but whatever happens it is likely to slot effortlessly into its parent company’s efforts with Windows 8. The question is, will they strike while the iron is hot?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (13 December)

The Desolation of SmaugAfter the success which Peter Jackson had with the first instalment of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, we have our fingers firmly crossed he can keep up the momentum for a further two films. The subtitle for this year’s film, The Desolation of Smaug, would suggest this is the chapter in which Smaug is vanquished, but what does that leave for film three?

The multi Oscar-winning director is doing it for the love at this point, so it’s hard to see him making a misstep at this stage, but the real draw for this next film is the returning cast, all of whom shone in part one. How can you say no to more Gandalf?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. The digital entertainment tipping point (TBC?)

The final point in our list is more speculation (speculation you say? On a blog? Outrageous!) around the subject of digital distribution. It might not be something to look forward to if you are keen on polishing the boxes on your CD shelf, but the digital revolution is happening right now. In music in particular the market is struggling to cope, as consumers begin to buy songs online through the likes of iTunes more and more.

The BBC recently reported that in 2012 CD sales fell by 11.2% overall, with sales of physical copies down 20% to 69.4million, compared to a rise or 14.8% for digital, bringing its total up to 30.5million. Surely the day we see digital in the majority isn’t far away?

In gaming and films too things are changing, as more people stream or watch films online, sometimes through games consoles, and various on demand services such as Netflix providing access to thousands of films without the bother of popping down to Blockbuster. Games on demand on Xbox remains uncompetitively priced, but avenues such as Valve’s Steam platform are proving more popular than ever before.

The interconnected nature of technology is making viewing entertainment easier every year and this year could be the time when we start to see the digital future really come into its own.

A Digital FutureJames Michael Parry