Welcome to a new feature on Zembla, called Box Office Poison, in which I discuss movies and movie-related things in an untimely fashion. Look, I don't go see movies on "opening weekend", or "in theaters at all", so excuse me if some of these observations are "dated" or deal with films you "don't even remember anymore". I'll blog at my own pace!
On the plus side, no spoilers! Unless you haven't seen Iron Man, in which case, stop reading now! And maybe don't read the next post, either.
Box Office Poison: Iron Man
The movie has been out for weeks, everyone in America has seen it multiple times, and they've already announced the release dates for two more sequels, so I am not going to write any conventional review. Instead, here's some disconnected observations about the film:
The only thing more amazing than the suit is the cable package
One underrated aspect to Tony Stark's wealth and fancy Southern California mansion is that his cable system offers a variety of magical, cable channels devoted solely to exposition. Normally, Stark wouldn't watch entertainment news while tinkering with his robotic suit, but E! Exposition Television is a different story. So, it totally makes sense that he'd be inspired to attend his company's charity event.
On that subject, Leslie Bibb ostensibly plays a reporter from Vanity Fair, but I suspect she freelances for one of the exposition networks. Why else would she go to Tony Stark's charity event carrying a collection of gruesome photos from Afghanistan?
Amir Malekpour's Take
"Tony Stark is a billionaire and an engineering genius - but he can't get a lock with a deadbolt for his office?"
We had the privilege of seeing the movie with an Iron Man superfan, living up to stereotype with his ponytail and black trench coat. He made the movie so much more enjoyable because of his over-the-top enthusiasm,
At the end of the movie, Trenchcoat Man had his moment. RDJ stood at the podium, fielding a question about his connection with Iron Man. As he paused to decide what to say, Trench Coat Man yelled, "Say it!", and RDJ said, "I am Iron Man!" As Black Sabbath kicked in on the soundtrack, Trench Coat Man shouted, "Yeah!", then raised his arms in victory, and walks out of the theater, banging his head.
When reached for comment on the sidewalk outside, Trench Coat Man said, "They got it right.! They fucking got it right!"
You'd think Stark Industries wouldn't need the cash
The product placement is some of the most over-the-top in movie history. A portion of the climactic fight scene is in place for no other reason than to demonstrate how well an Audi can brake, accelerate, and escape from mega-robots. RDJ demands "an American cheeseburger" upon his return to the US, and the chauffeur takes his billionaire ass to...Burger King, so he can spend the next scene eating the worst burger in America front of a throng of reporters. They have Burger Kings in Afghanistan, dammit!
I'm not sure it beats the brazenness of Ron Howard's The Paper, where one of Michael Keaton's character traits is his addiction to Coca-Cola. Not caffeine in general, but specifically Coke. When Keaton ponders tough ethical and journalistic questions, he stands in front of the Coke machine. He finally decides to stop the presses (and urban racism) with the help of his newfound over-caffeinated moral compass.
Obadiah Stane hates uTorrent
There's an implicit anti-piracy message in the film. Bridges taunts Iron Man after stealing his design, saying, "Just because you have an idea, that doesn't mean it belongs to you!" Of course, Bridges does not survive the film. The message? Don't download Iron Man!