Filled Under: fantasy

Ironman two

scarlett-johansson-sexy

Scarlett Johnansson

This movie has been heavily marketed due to the box-office success of the prequel and the popularity of superhero movies in general.

Superhero movies adaptation of comics books are nothing new starting with superman a few decades ago. But recently there is a large supply of them (X-men, Batman, Spiderman, Hellboy,  Hulk,…), as Hollywood found a good cash cow.

The recipe is simple, as the comics book is already popular there is a high likelihood the movie will sell too.

And it is fashionable, especially when casting the right star. If it works let’s make a series, if not good try. So what about Ironman 2?

Overall it is a pretty good movie. Not excellent but quite good. The star power is there with 5 excellent actors Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow,  Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Mickey Rourke under the direction of John Favreau.

Robert Downey Jr. plays the eccentric playboy inventor Tony Stark who is also superhero Ironman. Robert’s charm and humor are the driving factors to the success of the movie, as well as the special effects. Overall acting is quite good with Mickey Rourke the villain who is also aware of how to produce powerful condensed energy.

The most memorable scene takes place in Monte Carlo during a formula one car race. Great location for beautiful images and the fight between Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) and Ironman while the fast cars are racing is impressive.

Other great special effect moments are when Ironman fights with his friend Lt. Colonel James Rhode (Don Cheadle) where both are wearing an ironman suit. This is a powerful altercation where too nearly invincible forces collide.

The most stunning special effects are during the final battle when the two friends must unite to battle legions of combat robots nearly as strong as themselves.

Director John Favreau did a great job to offer a very entertaining movie. This is not the greatest superhero movie. Maybe the villain is not scary enough and too easy to defeat? Maybe the special effects are not extraordinary enough? After seeing a movie like Avatar, the public is getting more and more demanding for great visual effects.

There will be a sequel so keep posted. Anyway a movie not to be missed by fans of this genre.

The Spirit

Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes

The Spirit is a Frank Miller adaptation of a DC Comics series started in the 40s.

It stars the beautiful Eva Mendes, and the not less beautiful Scarlett Johansson, alongside Samuel L. Jackson.

Frank Miller is a very unusual director and his movies are highly unique. Miller is a writer artist and film director, who originally wrote comic books, and that shows in his movies.

He directed the truly brilliant Sin City, where real footages were merged with a comic books overlay in a way never seen before.

He also produced 300, a movie  of splendid computer generated images mixed with real shots. “The Spirit” follows in the same vein, with the comic books fantasy look overwhelming each scene.

Unfortunately, The Spirit is a much weaker creation than the two other movies. My feeling is that one significant difference stems from the leading actor. In Sin City, Mickey Rourke was amazing as the villain turned hero, genuine, powerful and unstoppable. Mickey truly melted into the comic books images.

In 300, Gerard Butler similarly was the perfect actor for the role of an antique Spartan King who personified glory in War. A true hero and brilliant general defending his country at all cost.

But in The Spirit, Gabriel Macht was too weak an actor for the role. Certainly a fine actor, he nevertheless does not have the personality to represent a convincing masked vigilante fighting crime when the City sleeps, as the Spirit likes to do.

The story follows the general line of DC comics books, with one superhero fighting an equally powerful villain criminal. Here the villain is the person of the “Octopus” (Samuel L. Jackson), whose quest for immortality imperils the entire city. The Spirit is the hero with similarities to Batman, helping the police but staying in the shadows and always keeping his mask.

The Octopus is assisted by his accomplice Silken Floss (Scarlet Johansson) and a herd of easily disposable genetically engineered clones. The Spirit is helped by femme fatale Sand Saref (Eva Mendes) who was his sweet heart from his previous life.

The Spirit does not remember who he is and the truth will be revealed by his arch-nemesis the Octopus, but let us keep the suspense intact.

The message of the movie: Frank Miller makes really beautiful movies.