Yay!!!! It’s time for Iron Man 2. Can they repeat their success with even more moving parts? Let’s see!
The Basics: After outing himself as Iron Man, Tony Stark now has to deal with the added pressure & publicity, the US Government, and a new development with the arc reactor in his chest, and naturally a new round of villains.
What I Liked: The original cast return with extras and are still having a blast. Of course, Downey Jr is a hoot whenever he’s onscreen and excels at playing the arrogant ass that is also vulnerable and likeable. And while I liked Paltrow in the 1st movie I thought she was the weakest part of the original. But here she is hysterical, even stealing a couple of moments from Downey, not an easy feat. Cheadle does just fine as the replacement Rhodey and has great chemistry with his co-stars. Our villains are on fine form too; Sam Rockwell as the cheesy Justin Hammer & Mickey Rourke as the brooding Whiplash. And even Jon Favreau gets a piece of the action. The first & third acts move along nicely and the movie never takes itself too seriously.
What I Didn’t Like: The second act, which was the best part of the original, is actually a little slow in places, even when RDJ is onscreen (which seems impossible). Scarlett Johanson is stiff and cold and that works for her character sometimes but also feels one dimensional. There was also one scene in particular that I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be serious but came off as funny.
Bottom Line: There’s action, comedy, drama, and a bit of romance; the perfect blend for a summer flick. (Did I mention how cute RDJ looks?)
A few days ago I reported that Robert Downey Jr had dropped out of the scifi-western Cowboys & Aliens due to a scheduling conflict with the Sherlock Holmes sequel. His replacement has been announced and it is…. (drum roll)… Daniel Craig. I’m a fan of Daniel Craig’s. I had never been a huge fan of the James Bond series but Craig & director Martin Campbell won me over when they rebooted with Casino Royale &, in my opinion, Quantum of Solace was even better. But I’m not sure how this will work with Cowboys & Aliens. Craig always seems very stern & broody, which has worked for him but it seems that this project might require a sense of humor that is more in line with Downey’s persona. I’m certainly willing to give Craig the benefit of the doubt and see what he turns out. Also, I’m willing to trust Jon Favreau who has proved himself a capable director. Cowboys & Aliens is due to be released in 2011.
Some shocking and not so shocking news from the roster of upcoming films.
Spiderman 4 is not happening. Director Sam Raimi has left the project and the franchise and as a result, so has Tobey Maguire et al. Sony and Columbia plan to reboot the series, sending Peter Parker back to high school. There’s a nice article about these developments over at Cinematical.com.
I have to say I’m relieved. I really enjoyed the first two movies and Maguire was a perfect Parker. But it was obvious in Spiderman 3 that the franchise was falling prey to the Hollywood machine. The script was all over the place and performances seemed phoned in.
Now the comment boards are abuzz with fan based ideas on who should be the next Spidey. Among the contenders are Zac Efron(I think he can act but he might be too pretty), Jim Sturgess (he’s got the look), Anton Yelchin (a personal fav but don’t steal him away from Star Trek!), Daniel Radcliffe (hmmm…I don’t know, not sure he wants another franchise or to go back to high school), Robert Pattinson (just stop it now), Jake Gyllenhaal (who almost replaced Maguire before but I think hes’ too old now), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (LUV him…maybe), and Josh Hutcherson (whom you’ve seen in kid roles like Bridge to Terabithia, he might be ripe for a high school role).
The Avengers universe is taking shape & Hollywood just can’t resist mining the depths of classic TV.
Old News: In case you don’t know, The Avengers is Marvel Comics answer to DC Comics’ Justice League. Among the Avengers is Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Thor. And, unless you haven’t been to the theater in five years, you may have noticed that some of these characters have been the subject of some pretty successful movies. Marvel has been using these individual movies to shape not just individual franchises but an inclusive Avenger franchise.
New & Old News: Struggling to get on its feet is an on again/off again Robin Hood production called Nottingham that has the potential to be awesome if it can get its act together. It currently has Ridley Scott attached to direct and his old pal Russell Crowe to star. There was a rumor circulating for a while that Crowe would actually play both Robin Hood and the Sherriff of Nottingham but the movie is apparently moving in a more traditional direction now with Crowe only playing the hero. Read more
File these under “I Hope They Know What They’re Doing.”
Old & New News: There is no shortage of rumors surrounding the casting of Iron Man 2. We’ve already discussed the replacement of Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle here. Added to the mix is Tim Robbins as Stark’s dad, obviously in flashbacks. That could work. I like that they keep casting “serious” actors in a superhero movie.
This rom-com about an aging tennis pro and an up & coming tennis star trying to prove that love doesn’t mean anything has become one of my favorites.
What I Liked: There are several things this movie has going for it, at least for me, right off the bat. 1. Paul Bettany as “Peter, Peter Colt” - yum & charasmatic as well. 2. British accents (see 1.). 3. London/Brighton scenery. So I’m pretty happy from the start. Read more
Here are some recent (& not so recent) tidbits on casting upcoming projects. Enjoy.
New News – Iron Man 2: So reports are out that Terrence Howard is not returning to Iron Man 2 but will be replaced by Don Cheadle. My first temper-tantrum like reaction is, “NOOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOO….. wait…Don…Don Cheadle…….that….that could be…..cool.” While Robert Downey Jr’s performance & Jon Favreau’s direction & commitment to invisible CGI were the top reasons for Iron Man’s success, Downey was also backed up by a solid supporting cast. I enjoyed Howard as Stark’s friend & military liaison James Rhodes, especially seeing a high ranking colonel with his strange little girl voice. But let’s face it, Don Cheadle is an amazing actor & can easily fill & maybe even improve the role. While I will miss what Howard would have done as War Machine, I very much look forward to seeing what Cheadle will do.
In a side note, while on tour promoting Tropic Thunder, RDJ reported that when the first pictures of him in black-face came out, Cheadle called him & asked, “Are you playing the black me?”