Marvel Movie Marathon: Iron Man

Marvel Movie Marathon: Iron Man: omg I had somehow managed to forget the sheer level of asshole Tony was in the first part of Iron Man.

Back in 2006 or whatever when Marvel said they were floating an Iron Man movie, I, an X-Men fan who never cared much about the Avengers, was like “why would anybody make a movie about a 2nd tier character like Iron Man that nobody cares about anyway.” Ted, who is much more of an Avengers fan, objected strenuously to “2nd tier” and argued in favor of an Iron Man movie, but I was completely meh on the matter.

Then, of course, they cast RDJ, and I was like “…okay, I mean, RDJ basically *is* Tony Stark, and he’s a great actor anyway, so if they have a decent script it doesn’t matter whether I think Iron Man is 2nd tier or not, this will work. IF they have a decent script.”

And then of course they had a decent script and it was, in fact, a pretty brilliant movie.

It’s 10 years later, and Iron Man is still a pretty brilliant movie.

Oh, the CGI seams are showing more than they used to. Whether that’s their fault, per se, or if it’s the quality of our TV screen*, they’re definitely showing more. There were places I saw them that I’d never noticed them before. But still: it’s a damn good movie. The story is slick, RDJ is, I mean, come on, he’s RDJ, Jeff Bridges is…

…you want to know the embarrassing truth? I was completely floored the first time I saw the movie and Stane shows up in the desert to double-cross Faran Tahir’s character. I was immediately embarrassed because OF COURSE Stane was the bad guy, but even him locking Tony out of the company hadn’t actually tipped me off, I just saw it as…I mean, yeah, there was rivalry there, like, power plays within the company, but I just DID NOT SEE him being the ACTUAL BAD GUY coming. Which is mortifying. And very funny. :) And, I don’t know, it’s because it was Jeff Bridges! He was The Dude! He didn’t play BAD GUYS! (He does now, and maybe he even did then, but my experience with his movies was he was a good guy, and I just Did Not See It Coming! EVEN THOUGH HE WAS BALD! :))

I always feel a little conflicted about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts, although I like a lot of what she does in this. She’s just so rigid, which she’s supposed to be, but often that kind of rigidity makes me feel like the person in the role can’t act. I think Paltrow *can* act, but the role doesn’t showcase it well. OTOH, this is one of those kind of unsung hero roles on every level, including the fact that at least three separate times Potts either literally, in-the-moment, saves the day, or has arranged for the day to be saved ahead of time.

Those appalling 4″ heels, though. God.

Anyway, I think the story beats are as effective as ever (especially, always, heartbreakingly, the Yinsen storyline), and the “I am Iron Man” bit at the end where every other reporter except Christine Everheart leaps to their feet and she’s just sitting there like “yeah, no shit, you arrogant self-centered little man,” kills me every time. *laughs*

I’m looking forward to watching IM2 next, as we’ll probably skip the only-tangentally-related Incredible Hulk…

*A thing I’ve noticed is that HDTVs, even comparatively low quality ones like ours, do CGI absolutely no favors. It’ll be interesting to see the newest Marvel movies on this TV, because stuff filmed for HDTV, like Star Trek: Discovery, seem to be doing pretty well, but it’s felt to me like movies are still filming for the big screen and its softer focus without also taking HD into consideration.

9 Comments


  1. RE your asterisk: There are supposed to be settings in new TVs that need to be turned off to make movies look good. I don’t know what they are b/c we don’t have that, but watching shows on my buddy’s TV was an awful experience. HUGE SCREEN, but beautiful movies looked like cheap video.

    And yeah, that first Iron Man was really well put together.


    1. …really, who could possibly be arsed to go changing the settings every time they wanted to watch a big budget blockbuster on their HDTV at home? (I don’t think our TV is new enough to have those kinds of settings either, but wow, I’d say the movie industry needs to step up, not leave it on the consumer.)


      1. HDTVs need better defaults so that these settings don’t have to be adjusted manually. Honestly it’s not just movies; HDTV makes MOST things look like crap until you adjust the settings.

        I spent a good couple hours fiddling with my HDTV settings back when I got it, and left them that way. I at least got rid of the “cheap-looking video” problem, mostly with color adjustment. Most HDTVs just have the color values wrong by default. Or maybe non-HDTVs and film projectors do and we have to adjust to match.

        Wish I could remember exactly what settings I fiddled with; but for me it was necessary, I just couldn’t watch it until I found working settings.


  2. Iron man was my guy. I had no idea about Captain America (other than the burger chain in Ireland). But I knew Hulk and Iron Man and Thor in about that order. I knew of the other 2. And of Fury. But nothing about Cap at all.


    1. Cap was my man, in so far as any of the Avengers were. I hated Thor, largely because I didn’t like his speech patterns and because of the stupid font they use(d) for him, which I once commented on to…the guy who’d started them using it, as it turned out…*dies*…


  3. I don’t know why you thought of Iron Man as 2nd tier (whatever exactly that means). He had his own comic and was not merely part of a team the way Goliath and the Wasp and the Scarlet Witch et al were (or the each of the X-men, for that matter).


    1. Because, as I said, I paid no attention to the Avengers at all.


  4. I thought of Iron Man as ‘Marvel Batman’ when I thought of him at all.

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