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Watch! An Extensive… errr… Extended Look at Iron Man 3!

You gotta love the Superbowl! Not because of the sports mind you, but because they get all the best adverts. We did The Fast & The Furious 6 earlier, so it’s worth a look at the extended peak at the upcoming Iron Man 3, which I am actually getting quite excited about. Reteaming Robert Downey Jr and Shane Black is reason enough, but an adaptation of Warren Ellis’ Extremis and a fantastic cast are just icing on the cake. Anyway, take a look below.

 

Man vs. Superman: Chronicle’s Climax & The Scale of Superhuman Violence…

I had the chance to watch Chronicle again over the weekend, and I still found it a boldly fascinating (albeit flawed) film. The construction of the movie as a collection of “found footage” still strains more suspension of disbelief than any of the antics involving the lead three characters, but it remains a thoughtful deconstruction and exploration of the superhero tropes and genre that audiences have begun to take for granted. In particular, the movie’s climax – though filmed on a shoestring – still does a better job evoking a sense of scale than Joss Whedon’s admitted stylish last half-hour of The Avengers.

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Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers – Prime (Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Avengers Prime feels more like an epilogue than a new chapter. It’s a very clear attempt by writer Brian Michael Bendis to draw a line under the past five years of Marvel continuity, the direction of the Avengers franchise from Avengers: Disassembled through to Siege. It’s an attempt to sum up everything that had happened thematically, and to all his characters to move forward, hopefully stronger for the experience – a genuine attempt at character development inside the relatively static genre of superhero comics. While it feels, at times, a little bit too simplistic, it does feel like Bendis is tying up all his loose ends and ready to push forward on to new ground.

From the wreckage...

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A Stinger in the Tale: What’s the Point in a Teaser the Audience Don’t Get?

The Avengers was released on Friday in the UK and Ireland. It’s well worth a look, and it’s quite impressive how well director Joss Whedon managed to fuse these separate mythologies into one almost-cohesive film, even if it is a bit of a muddled mess at times. However, make sure that you remain in your seats as the credits role, as there’s a special surprise waiting for fans – just like at the end of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger before it. It is a pretty big deal for comic book fans such as myself, those of us with a passing knowledge of the Marvel Comics canon. Still, I can’t help but wonder what more regular and casual movie-goers might make of it.

Running the (infinity) gauntlet...

Note: The teaser is obviously spoiled below. Also, I saw an early cut of the film, and there was no second stinger attached, as rumours have suggested might have been added late in the day. Based on those rumours, and the actors involved in the shoot, it’s more likely that scene was more accessible, but I still wonder what regular fans will make of the sequence that appears at the end of the first set of credits.

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Non-Review Review: The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble)

The Avengers has a lot of geeky charm to it – the sort of giddy “this is so cool!” spectacle that appeals to the popcorn-munching child in each of us. That’s more than enough help it coast through a somewhat muddled first act, through a stronger second act and into a truly awesome finale. I think that the carefully choreographed large-scale action sequence that caps the film off might be worth a ticket alone. While there seem to be some very fundamental problem juggling a cast this large in a movie that technically a sequel to at least four films, Joss Whedon knows his audience well enough to ensure that most of the individual moments are satisfying, even if the overall film feels a tad uneven.

Three of a kind...

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The Top 30 Under-Reported News Stories of 2012…

Today is a very special day. We’re officially a third of the way through 2012. It’s been a pretty solid year for movies, and it’s been an interesting year for movie news. However, some news stories haven’t had quite the traction that I would have expected, and might have passed readers by. So, to celebrate getting through the first third of 2012, here’s the 30 most underreported movie-related news stories of 2012.

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Non-Review Review: US Marshals

Robert Downey Jr. apparently once described the film as “possibly the worst action movie of all time.” That’s quite a statement. Too be honest, it’s just a little bit sensationalist from the actor, but it still doesn’t mean that U.S. Marshals is a good film, even on its own merits. When it stands in the shadow of the movie it was intended to follow, the superb Harrison Ford adaptation of The Fugitive, it seems even weaker.

They had some neck making this film...

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Non-Review Review: Sherlock Holmes

Well. I enjoyed that probably far more than I should have. If you ever wondered what Bad Boys would look like set in turn-of-the-last-century London and featuring a better director, then look no further. Although it would seem to be your typical old-fashioned action yarn in the mode of The Mummy or Shanghai Noon, the movie really works best as a time-displaced buddy cop film – or even just as a regular bromance. The movie is light, quick and entertaining. What more could you expect?

There's going to be bloody 'ell to pay...

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Iron Man: Extremis (Review/Retrospective)

John Pillinger says the Iron Man suit is a military application. I told him he was wrong. I’m trying to decide if I was lying. I’ve never sold any element of the Iron Man to the military. It’s used for extraordinary rescue and response situations. Iron Man saves lives. Iron Man used to represent the future.

– Tony Stark considers his legacy

What’s the Iron Man for, Tony?

– Sal cuts straight to the heart of the matter

The more Iron Man stories I read – and the more movies I see as well – it appears that Tony Stark as a lost individual isn’t a metaphor, it’s more of a metaphysical observation. He’s typically well written and carefully considered (of course, there are glaring exceptions), but he rarely seems to find himself involved in any particularly strong narratives. His appeal is centred entirely on the character’s charm, charisma and pride of place as one of fiction’s most famous and prestigious futurists. I don’t mean this as a slight on Extremis by any means – in fact, Warren Ellis’ revised mission statement for the true man of tomorrow may be the best Iron Man story I’ve read.

What is Tony Stark made of?

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Non-Review Review: Iron Man 2

Legacy. It’s all about legacy. What we leave for our children and what we inherit from our parents. Sometimes it’s bitterness and hatred, sometimes it’s more than we think. Iron Man as a concept is inherently linked to the Cold War and American foreign policy, so it’s a fitting theme for the sequel to tackle. Fathers and sons dominate the film, as does the simple and haunting fact that the now is shaped by the then. Some of us get to change the world, some of us simply leave big smoking craters behind us. Even the bad guy, a Russian, consciously evokes conflicts fading from memory that shaped our modern world.

Sometimes you just need to slow down and take a break...

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