They keep jamming more and more into these movies and making them harder and harder to summarize. Someday I’m going to give up on discussing the plot and just list all the things I thought about and discuss what the audience did, sort of a meta-review, but that day is not today. I’ll do my best to hit all the high points.
Back when I was reviewing Iron Man 2, I talked about sequels and their outrageous expensiveness. Well, this time around, having seen how popular the last Iron Man flick was, the studio raised the budget and, apparently, told the scriptwriters and the director to go wild with the effects, and gave them full permission to break anything they liked as long as it was dramatic.
So for this one, I did a little research. There were two things involved in this film that I really didn’t know anything about: the real-life Zodiac killings, and Jake Gyllenhaal. I’d heard of both, but really couldn’t pick either one out of a line-up, so to speak. I wasn’t even born when the killings began, and (like just about everyone else I know), my history class in school barely made it up to World War II, so my knowledge of anything after the Battle of Britain is a little shaky. I’m not sure we would have covered serial killers anyway.
You probably know the basics already: An impossibly powerful energy source, a Norse god or two, the original 1940’s superhero, a noted assassin, a narcissistic billionaire playboy inventor, and the world’s best archer. Okay, that last one ends up sounding a little lame summed up in so few words, but the effects of a well-placed exploding arrow should not be underestimated. Oh, and there’s an alien invasion. I almost forgot.
The other day as I was entering a friend’s house, someone was watching Sherlock Holmes. This is the Sherlock Holmes, mind you, the Jeremy Brett version that shall never be surpassed. It was a scene where he explains to Watson how he produces such startling effects with his deductions — namely, by describing the first link in his impeccably logical chain of reasoning, then the last link, and not mentioning any of the links in between.
Continue reading “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows”
You’ve seen the trailers (probably). You’ve read the comic books (maybe). Now Iron Man hits the big screen!
The thing about sequels (usually) is that they get more expensive and more outrageous. If you destroy ten cars in the first movie, you have to wreck thirty in the next, and if you make it to four or five, you’re destroying two-thirds of the annual output of Detroit. And the ways in which the cars are wrecked get exponentially weirder. A pile-up on the freeway isn’t enough anymore. A few sequels down the road (so to speak), filmmakers apparently feel required to throw them at airborne helicopters or have them melted down by an erupting volcano or something.