Three words say why you need to see Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr.
His naturally naughty but nice persona fits the character of Tony Stark like one of Iron Man’s gadgety gloves. Downey has a blast doing the haughty, brilliant and rich but irresponsible scientist, businessman and womanizer. He plays Tony Stark/Iron Man totally straight yet adds a subtle twinkle of the eye that keeps the character comic and comic book.
Stark is the world’s No. 1 weapons manufacturer. Terrorists capture him in Afghanistan. They want him to make them a super weapon, but instead he creates Iron Man.
Usually when four writers do a screenplay, it spells disaster. Downey and a superb supporting cast save their average action movie script. Anchoring the comedy and connecting Iron Man to reality is a pheromone-inducing performance from Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark’s personal assistant Pepper Potts. Their scenes have some serious sizzle. The always excellent Jeff Bridges plays Tony Stark’s business partner and family friend.
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Turning a two-dimensional, five-minute comic book read into a coherent two-hour movie is a tough task. That’s why, outside of a few standouts like Batman, Batman Begins, the original Superman and the second Spider-man, comic book character movies suck.
Add Iron Man to the outstanding list. In fact, move it toward the top. From the blast of metal music in the opening sequence to the ending that leaves no doubt that there will be a sequel, Iron Man rocks.
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars.
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, some violence. Opens today at the Carmike 12 and at Fairchild Cinemas.
Made of Honor
TV’s Gray’s Anatomy and the critically acclaimed hit and box-office blockbuster Enchanted revived Patrick Dempsey’s going-nowhere career. High praise for Michelle Monaghan’s performances in Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and Gone Baby Gone has her career taking off.
They’re both charismatic, talented actors with bright futures — until now. Made of Honor is so bad that it will likely give Dempsey a life sentence on the small screen and will push Monaghan back to supporting roles.
Dempsey and Monaghan play best friends. Just when he “discovers” she’s the one, she gets engaged. Yes, you’ve seen this movie before. Every stitch of dialogue, every dilemma, every character and the two required false endings needed for this formula are found in Made of Honor.
It is so slow and so painfully predictable that you’ll swear about two-thirds of the way through that you have fallen asleep and have awakened to the sequel: Remade of Honor.
But instead of a comedy, it’s a horror movie.
Mr. Movie rating: 1/2 star.
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. Opens today at the Columbia Mall 8 and at Fairchild Cinemas.
The Secret of Roan Inish
John Sayles is one of the best writer/directors of all time.
Unless you’re a film fanatic, most have never heard of Sayles. His résumé includes exceptional films like Matewan, Passion Fish, The Brother from Another Planet and Eight Men Out.
Sayles still doesn’t ring a bell? Catch The Secret of Roan Inish and introduce yourself to an American movie secret. Some say it’s his best film, and that’s hard to argue against.
A 10-year-old Irish girl tries to solve the mystery of the deserted island, Roan Inish. Legend says her family has Selkie blood in its veins. Selkies are half-human, half-seal.
Sayles’ movies are filled with layered characters, believable, everyday problems and unusual solutions. Roan Inish shows off his textured, patient storytelling style. He slowly unfolds the mystery of the girl’s family and its connection to the island.
At the same time, Sayles keeps enough to himself that you have to come to your own conclusions — conclusions you’ll be debating for days, maybe years, to come.
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars.
Rated PG for mature themes. It plays tonight only at the Battelle Auditorium at 8 p.m.