Category Archives: gwyneth paltrow

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 ~ I’ve been waiting for this for a while now, and it finally opened, a bit late for the previews to have become annoying, and of course even more annoyingly, a week after it opened in the UK and Australia. I really have to wonder why the movie companies insist on staggered releases across the world when the internet exists. Don’t they know the flick has already been spoiled for American audiences?

Iron Man 2 picks up almost immediately as the first film ends, but not in the way one might think. From there it becomes a rollercoaster ride of subplots as if it doesn’t know what its real storyline is.

Of seeming highest priority of possible plots is Mickey Roarke’s Ivan Vanko who wants revenge on Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark for supposedly stealing his father’s design. There’s Tony’s new heart poisoning him just as he’s drinking himself to death and risking his life. There’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts (still the dumbest comic book name ever) trying to run Stark’s company and of course her non-romance with him that doesn’t exist in the comics. And the government, in the face of the strangely cast Garry Shandling, wants the Iron Man ‘weapon.’ Those are just the big ones.

Any one of these could have been the main story, and served it well on its own, but for some reason the script couldn’t make up its mind. Underneath the surface of this Iron Man is bubbling an Avengers prequel, and for those aware of what Avengers is, it is a major undercurrent of this film, perhaps moreso than anything to actually do with Iron Man.

Rumors from overseas seem to be right on this front, that this is more an Avengers movie than an Iron Man movie. Easter eggs abound everywhere, from Captain America’s shield to Thor’s hammer, to the outright appearances out of nowhere of Samuel L. Jackson’s ultra-cool Nick Fury to Scarlet Johansson’s ultra-hot Black Widow (although it’s notable her superheroine name is never mentioned). It makes you wonder why Marvel would risk the Iron Man sequel for a movie that’s not even written yet.

And there are still yet more subplots. They tried to squeeze Tony Stark’s problem with alcoholism in there. Don Cheadle, a great actor, but a poor substitute for Terrence Howard, puts on the War Machine armor. Sam Rockwell does an impressive Robert Downey Jr. impersonation, that I’m not sure is in homage or mocking his Stark, as a decisively younger Justin Hammer.

The big guns of this script are largely disappointments. Downey is simply over the top, as if he doesn’t care anymore. Paltrow struggles as if she doesn’t know what to do with herself on screen. Mickey Roarke is damn good and owns the film when he is onscreen, he’s just not there nearly enough. His character, a merging of two Iron Man foes from the comics, Whiplash and the Crimson Dynamo, had enough depth to carry the whole film – but the script would not let it happen.

I did enjoy the film, but that was as a hardcore comics fan. I think it might be too jumpy and frenetic for mainstream audiences, who will also be giving all those Avengers references blank stares. And speaking of Avengers – stay through the end of the credits, or you will regret it. Iron Man 2 is fun and action-packed, but it’s nowhere as good as the original.

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A Perfect Murder

“IS IT TIME FOR THE GOOD GUYS TO WIN YET?”

A Video Review of A Perfect Murder

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Michael Douglas plays the same guy in every movie he’s in, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s doesn’t suffer for it – he’s a good actor, just at playing Michael Douglas. A clever man beset by circumstances. If you were to tell me that the leads in Fatal Attraction, The Game, Disclosure and even the “Streets of San Francisco” TV series were all the same character I’d have no trouble believing you. Michael Douglas is, well, damn good as Michael Douglas.

Gwyneth Paltrow (View from the Top, Duets, Emma) and Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings, the butchered TV remake of Vanishing Point) at least have range in their parts in A Perfect Murder. Director Andrew Davis’ film is well done, slickly filmed and deliciously acted in a style Hitchcock would be jealous of. The problem with the flick, adapted by Patrick Smith Kelly from the Frederick Knott play, is that nobody can be trusted. There is no one here, not husband, not wife, not other man, no one to root for. You want them all to die. Everyone here is despicable and you can’t wait for their come-uppence.

Whenever I see a suspense or action thriller with my wife her better sensibilities make her bury her face in my shoulder and cry, “Is it time for the good guys to win yet?” I’m glad we didn’t see this one together. I’d have to answer, “Sorry, honey, no good guys this time.”

View from the Top

ACTING FOR EXTORTION

A Film Review of View from the Top

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

This film is rated T. What does T stand for? T is for Terrible. And Transparent. And Tedious. And Totally predictable. Do I really need to say more?

View from the Top stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Myers, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen, Christina Applegate, Rob Lowe and Kelly Preston. Besides this movie what do they all have in common? Gambling debts? Alimony payments? Child support? Nope. I expect blackmail. Someone who wanted this piece of dreck, this waste of celluloid, made had something on each of them and was blackmailing them into being in it. It is the only answer. Either that or they all have bad judgment in reading scripts if they read it at all.

And then what is up with the music? Between the hodgepodge of 1960s, 70s, 80s and current music and the bizarre sense of fashion it’s nearly impossible to peg a time frame when this piece of crap film is taking place.

Finally why is Gwyneth Paltrow trying to destroy her career? Someone needs to organize an intervention, and quick.

And yes, I know the trailer is in Spanish. It’s just a tiny bit funnier that way…

Shallow Hal

THESE GUYS COULD BE GOOD…

A Video Review of “Shallow Hal”

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

The Farrelly brothers, Bobby and Peter, are responsible for such films as Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene, Say It Isn’t So, There’s Something About Mary and this classic Shallow Hal. Believe it or not I think they are fabulously talented filmmakers – I just think they might be a little embarrassed about it. Maybe they come up with great ideas and are unsure so slip in some toilet humor so it works. Or maybe they’re just lazy.

Howard Stern suffers from the same malady. He is one of America’s most talented and professional broadcasters. Yes, that’s what I said. The paradox is why should he bother working at it when it’s easier to fart and make dick jokes? Exactly. That’s the problem with the Farrelly brothers as well. Toilet humor is easy.

There’s a touching story at the heart of Shallow Hal just like most of their films. It’s just so entrenched in disgusting vile putrid content it’s hard to find. A subconscious suggestion makes Hal (played by the ever amazing Jack Black) see women as they are inside rather than superficially outside. He eventually falls for Gwyneth Paltrow, an overweight girl he would have never previously even considered talking to. Like I said, it’s a touching story, but it seems like after they got the plot the brothers sat down and made a list of every fat joke they could think of and injected them into the script.

Maybe eventually they’ll get the confidence to come out of the water closet and make a real film and surprise us – but not this time.