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Massawyrm Celebrates An Anniversary With IRON MAN!!

Hola all. Massawyrm here. Next Wednesday marks a very special anniversary for me. You see, May 7th is the 7th anniversary of my very first review here at AICN. And it’s given me one of those rare nostalgic feelings in which I feel like it’s both been a lifetime since I wrote that first review and like it was only a few weeks ago. In those seven years I’ve gotten married, lost friends, found new ones, embarked on projects, journeys and adventures, and just last Thursday bought my first house. But most importantly those seven years took me from being the guy who talked way too fucking much working at a video store in South Austin all the way to seeing my words quoted in USAToday, on video boxes and on a 10 foot tall lobby standee for There Will Be Blood. When I first wrote that review I had no idea I’d be beginning what would ultimately become my career – at least for the time being. I was just writing in to thank Harry for throwing a really cool event and to talk about a movie that I really, truly enjoyed. It was a first film by an actor turned director – a follow up to an incredibly popular underground hit that made its way headlong into the mainstream. And while the film I reviewed would ultimately become somewhat obscure, the talent we saw in that initial outing was unmistakable. The movie I reviewed was titled Made and that first time director was a man named Jon Favreau. With Made, you could really see Favreau feeling himself out – taking his very adult comedy and character work into his own hands for the first time. Since then, Favreau has turned out three more films, each one continuing his quest to find his voice as a director. Elf showed us that he could handle a budget and that he could take something tired and weak like Will Ferrell’s manchild routine and make it really, really funny. But it was also a very different Favreau - a family friendly, toned down comedian going as far away from his hipster indie roots as he could get. Zathura was another trip into family fare, this time showing us that he had a handle on how to integrate special effects not only into a story, but into a film without feeling to fakey. And now he comes to us with Iron Man, the whole reason you suffered through this protracted introduction. A lot has happened to Favreau in these 7 years. He’s moved out of the acting spotlight and grown with each film as a director. Iron Man is the sum of everything that’s happened in that time. Merging the adult situational comedy and drama with the awe and wonder of his family films, Favreau has found a road that lead him directly towards the Spielberg/Donner/Lucas level of filmmaking. Earlier this week Moriarty argued that Iron Man is not a kids film. I couldn’t disagree more. You see, the kids films I grew up with – movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark Ghostbusters, The Goonies and Superman 2 - these movies had torture, charred bodies, people getting pushed into plane propellers, people cut in half by lightsabers, monsters, corpses and jokes about sex. And they’re heralded as some of the greatest family films or kids movies of all time. And Iron Man is definitely playing on that level. Sure, nowadays we’re a bit more puritan about what we let our kids ingest in this country – unless of course you count television, Youtube and music – but really, Iron Man is, at its heart, the perfect melding of adult and family oriented filmmaking. It’s a mature film about a complicated hero set in a world of adventure and forced to make very tough decisions. And like those other films I mentioned, it manages to play with universal ARCHETYPES while keeping them from falling into the trap of being STEREOTYPES. There’s a lot of shit in this movie that should be hokey. There are lines of dialog, ideas and even images that on the page might make your asshole pucker up tight as a drum. But they are all executed at a level that instead makes them iconic, dramatic, and most importantly, heroic. This film is without a doubt one of the best, most perfectly realized superhero movies to date. It is the model by which other superhero franchises should be framed. It is lean, mean and takes you through a whole gamut of emotions. When Tony Stark reaches the point at which he decides to become a Superhero, it isn’t some accidental foiling of a robber or some greater good/will to power bullshit. It is one hell of a “Let’s go get those mother fuckers” moment that galvanizes him into Iron Man. But most of all, Iron Man doesn’t take its sweet ass time to let you know what kind of movie it is. It opens up and explodes onto the screen. It comes out swinging, dropping your jaw with a cinematic haymaker then puts its foot on your throat as it asks you if you’re ready to start fighting. Then and only then does Iron Man take a moment to tell you why you’re about to get your ass kicked. The first two minutes of Iron Man are probably the best two opening minutes of a film in recent memory. Everything - and I mean everything - about this movie works. Remember how good we thought Downey Jr. would be as Tony Stark? Yeah. Turns out he was that good of a choice. Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff bridges. All of them are 100% solid. Even if you’re not a fan of any of these folks, you’re gonna like them here. And the special effects are as incredible as you could hope for them to be. You will believe a man can fly. And then you will watch that man get tossed around like a rag doll and beat to shit by all manner of firearms and artillery. But to answer the question I’ve been asked by about fifty friends today: Does it KICK ASS? You bet your fucking balls it does. It is a movie so wickedly cool that it cries out for a Neil Cumpston review. You know, the kind with a “It will tongue bathe your taint while it Alabama Hot Pocket’s your mother” kind of metaphor. It is the kind of movie that we here at AICN live to watch, to pass around and ultimately to talk about for years. If this is the best Superhero movie of the summer, there’s still a chance that the others can be pretty god damned kick ass. If it is somehow the worst, then God help us all, because we’ve died and gone to heaven. Favreau’s come a long way and is now playing on par with the very best. As much as I want to see him realize a whole world of different filmmaking dreams, I would be content watching him make Superhero movies for the rest of his life. He gets them on a genetic level, and every second of this movie illustrates that. Iron Man comes with the highest of recommendations. If you read this site (which you clearly do), there are few excuses that will permit you from not seeing it this weekend. And all of those include the loss of limbs or heartbeats. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
Okay, so the one thing I wanna know is how the fuck did Foggy Nelson end up having to drive Tony Stark around?

Readers Talkback
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  • May 1, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST

    “It will tongue bathe your taint while it Alabama Hot Pocket’s y

    by just pillow talk

    Should have started your review off like that Mass...<p>Not sure anything more needs to be said.

  • May 1, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Stick around until after the end credits, folks.

    by Knuckleduster

    You won't be disappointed.

  • May 1, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST space

    by just pillow talk

    now how the fuck did a survey thing pop up here?

  • May 1, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    solid review as always

    by palewook

  • May 1, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Seeing it in 5 hours

    by biffy88

    And can't bloody wait. Plus new Lost as well, what a great end to the week!

  • May 1, 2008, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to the ass kicking

    by michyfergi5

    Massawyrm, you are a poet with your reviews. I'm very much looking forward to this movie, as I'm sure most everyone else is as well. I just have one question... what is an Alabama Hot Pocket, and why would someone do that to my mom?

  • between special effects and visual effects?

  • May 1, 2008, 8:06 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Well, just explaining it couldn't possibly do it justice. Perhaps you should google it. Try the image search...

  • May 1, 2008, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Foggy Nelson and Happy Hogan are brothers

    by messi

    it's the next secret spoiler from next year's big Marvel Event - Civil Secret Supporting Final Character Hour Crisis Wars of M.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Not as Good as Batman Begins

    by messi

    because not as serious or 'deep' I guess, but still a damn well made movie, probably next to Spidey 2.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Why must we always stick around after the credits?

    by Rickey Henderson

    It's an annoying gimmick that's been used to death in superhero movies. Some of us aren't big fans of portly chest bumping 13 year olds screaming out in the theater: "wait until after the credits! there's more!!!!"<br> <br> That little rant aside, Rickey's officially jazzed for this movie. It does look like tons of fun. This "Iron Mensch" fellow seems like a capital superhero.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Rickey Henderson. So you don't want to see Nick Fury?

    by messi

    Cos that's what is after the credits.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Sure, Rickey will stick around for it, messi...

    by Rickey Henderson

    but why not just include him during the actual film? Does Rickey really need to sit through the credits and find out who did the grips or who the "Best Boy" was in order to see Nick Fury? No, Rickey does not.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Foggy Nelson

    by Abominable Snowcone

    is Daredevil's buddy. Foggy has done time driving Matt Murdock (Daredevil), who is blind. Maybe Favreau wanted to do a little crossing-over in the Marvel universe. If Stark needs a driver at all, why not consider a "driver" character from that universe? Works for me. And thank your lucky stars that Affleck's Matt Murdock didn't get a cameo nod instead.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:17 a.m. CST

    What I really want to know is

    by Abominable Snowcone

    does "Iron Man" give a boner, even if your boner is a clitoris, and does it "rock" like chocolate covered pussyjuice?

  • May 1, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Foggy's driving because Daredevil tanked...

    by tonagan

    He needed a new job.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST


    by Knuckleduster

    The bit with Fury has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. It's a little extra something special for the fans. Hey, here's an idea. If you don't wanna sit through the credits, then don't.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST

    speaking of boners

    by doodah

    does bruce banners weenie stay soft when he hulks up?

  • May 1, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Ah yes, thank you Massawyrm...

    by michyfergi5

    ... I have seen the light, and my Mom sure is in for a surprise.... I'm not sure she'll ever be the same after that. Kudos.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:29 a.m. CST


    by Rickey Henderson

    Rickey was just kidding around--it's a minor pet peeve but not a huge deal.<br> <br> On an unrelated note, what's the deal with people discussing movies that aren't even mentioned in the thread? There's too much confusion here! (Rickey can't get no relief). Here's how it should break down:<br> <br> The Iron Man threads are for Iron Man discussions<br> <br> The Indy threads are for Indy discussions<br> <br> The Batman threads are for Batman discussions<br> <br> The Transformers threads are for all the other fuckwits to mercilessly berate each other on.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:37 a.m. CST

    If I wasn't sold before

    by strosmer

    I am now. Excellent spoiler-free review Massawyrm. I've actually been sold on this movie ever since I heard RDJ was playing Stark. I was going to wait to see it Saturday, but your review has caused me to buy a ticket for the 8pm showing tonight. I believe we are off to the start of a beautiful summer at the movies - one of the most eventful and entertaining in a long time.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:59 a.m. CST

    You can one-up yourself there

    by Latauro

    Mass, you were quoted on a There Will Be Blood standee... on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I've been meaning to email you about it for about five months now. And nice work on the Iron Man review, as always.

  • May 1, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Hey Guys If you want to see the WHOLE Iron Man movie early..

    by Underoos Hero

    Go read Capones review. It's full of non spoiler warnings.

  • May 1, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST


    by ViktorBC

    Yeah this movie ricks on soooo many levels!!! I saw a sneak preview last night in Baltimore. I stayed until after the credits and did NOT see Mr. Fury. However, there are SHEILD references throughout. We know that Downey will be reprising this role in the Incredible Hulk for a cameo. Also, I undrstand that Capt. America will be referenced as well. Obviously this is a setup for an Avengers movie. Yahoo!

  • May 1, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST


    by ViktorBC

    Actually the movie ROCKS not RICKS. Yeesh.

  • May 1, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Spielberg/Donner/Lucas level of filmmaking

    by kwisatzhaderach

    "Favreau has found a road that lead him directly towards the Spielberg/Donner/Lucas level of filmmaking". OK, so I can go into the cinema tomorrow and expect Iron Man to be as good as Star Wars, Superman or Raiders of the Lost Ark?

  • May 1, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Scenes after the Credits...

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    As much as I'm reaching here, I'm wondering if so many movies now insert scenes after the credis so the audience will actually watch the credits and take witness to all the hundreds of people that actually put a good movie together--not just a couple of actors and a director.

  • May 1, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST

    One more thing...

    by ViktorBC

    Is it too much to ask for to have at least ONE, just ONE, climatic Super Hero/Villian battle in the day?? From what it looks like, the next HULK movie will have a night time battle at the end as well. What's with this cliche'? Just once I would like to not have to squint at what's going on!

  • May 1, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Alabama Hot Pocket

    by Herb West

    Damn you, Massawyrm for telling us to google that. Damn you all to Hell! :-)

  • May 1, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Massa, putting "Opens January the 25th"

    by Boba Fat

    in your "There Will Be Blood" review does not count as being quoted on the standee.

  • May 1, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Please, no Neil Cumpston review.

    by BGDAWES

    Reading his reviews do not amuse, rather they just lower the IQ of anyone that reads them. <br> <br> Looking forward to seeing this though, however I'm afraid I read to many glowing reviews for it already so now it's bound to disappoint. Hope I'm proved wrong.

  • May 1, 2008, 10:22 a.m. CST

    "Make your asshole pucker"

    by Thrillho77

    Any review with that phrase gets a thumbs up for me. And you though Harry smelled bad...on the outside!!!

  • May 1, 2008, 10:23 a.m. CST


    by Thrillho77

    I can't believe I was the first one to utter the immortal "smelled bad on the outside" joke!!!

  • May 1, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Massa, thanks for the term "Alabama Hot Pocket"...

    by DrEdwardMorbius I know what to call what I did last weekend! And by the way, "you should see this guys taint, its insane!"...extra credit for thos kids out there who can state what movie/t.v. show that line is from...

  • May 1, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    My only question:

    by Dwide Shrewd

    Will it give my sister a Dirty Sanchez while giving my wife a Cleveland Steamer and my Mom a Donkey Punch?

  • May 1, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Iron man gave me an "Iron Man"

    by Thrillho77

    It gave me a geek boner, even if it was a clit - and it WAS a clit, because Iron Man actually GAVE me a clit and then made it erect.

  • May 1, 2008, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Iron Man is a cryptofascist metaphor for nuclear war!

    by Julius Dithers

    Ha ha! I made a Downeyism. Now Gwyneth Paltrow should give me a rusty trombone.

  • May 1, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    kids movie

    by oisin5199

    Sorry, Mass. But there's a huge difference between this film and those 80s films you mentioned. Indiana Jones, Goonies, Star Wars, etc. Those are kids films, where kids are characters or the characters have little to no depth for kids to understand. Also, there's a huge difference in tone. Even with the propeller stuff that was done in a Saturday morning serial kind of way that you don't take seriously. These movies took place in an incredibly heightened fantasy world, even if it was just an imagined version of Nazis. Iron Man, on the other hand, has very realistic American soldiers having their jeep bombed and getting shot. Families being separated for rape and execution, the kind of thing that is happening in the world today. Tony Stark has adult decisions to make. That's the stuff that makes it an adult film. Of course the fighting costumed guys at the end is typical video game violence that doesn't really bother kids. It's the Afghanistan stuff that's harrowing. Although one of the reasons I love the scene where Iron Man shows up and fights the warlords. It takes a very real situation (not exaggerated) and inserts a costumed superhero. Sort of a wish fulfillment to see a superhero take care of actual terrorists.

  • May 1, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    No, Massawyrm,

    by Archive

  • May 1, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    No, Massawyrm,

    by Archive

  • May 1, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    No, Massawyrm,

    by Archive

    limb loss does not qualify as an excuse. L've just gotten out of surgery myself - I live in Sherman Oaks - and my big goal for recuperation was to be able to make the sneak peaks in LA tonight. I won't be braving the crowd at the Dome, but the Arclight Sherman Oaks is 2 blocks from my home, and I'm finding a buddy and taking that handicapped seat in the middle row. Come on. This is why we love movies.

  • May 1, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    More adult than 80's fare but i get what he means

    by messi

    if anything it's like a Spielberg 80's film just more adult, the warlords bit was a fantasy bit, a real horrible situation and a superhero comes in and saves the day.

  • May 1, 2008, 3:52 p.m. CST

    You no hungry for Iron Man...

    by Evil Lincoln hungry for Alabama Hot Pocket!!!

  • May 1, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    Rickey Henderson

    by tk 421

    Dude, your shit is genius. I grew up in NY when "you" were playing for the Yankees and remember listening to "your" interviews. Every post cracks me up.

  • May 1, 2008, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Jeff Bridges was awesome.

    by hallmitchell

    Best Marvel Villain besides Dr Ock. Will not accept criticsm of his performance.

  • May 1, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    sweet jeebus, Massa!

    by Grendy

    I about 'sploded when I saw yer new Cartuna-pic. Damn boy, that shite's funnier then your mom on a donkey-dick. I must say, 'donkey-dick' is a great turn of phrase, don't you think? A: Congrats on the house, I know that's been a process. B: Those lameoids who think you're up Favreau's ass can go screw. I've met you, I know what an opinionated asshole you are, and think that you're probably spot-on. C: I first started stealing comics from my odlre brother when I was a wee 6-year old girl. Avengers and X-Men for me. I have been jazzed about this for ages. I think Downey will do great. He's no slouch ya know. D: Cartuna is awesome!

  • May 1, 2008, 8:52 p.m. CST


    by Frijole

    Y'see.. Visual effects ARE special effects. Simply put... all visual effects are special effects, but not all special effects are visual effects. Dig?

  • May 1, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    I just saw Ironman tonight and it was awesome!

    by abovo

  • May 2, 2008, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Sweet. Your 7th anniversary, AICN's 50th Iron Man review.

    by thebearovingian

    Congratulations all around!

  • May 2, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    the whole reason you suffered through this protracted introducti

    by Andre the Frog

    Actually, being a regular AICN reader, I knew enough to skip the bullshit and go straight to the good part.

  • May 3, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm does it again

    by screenweekender

    he must have a bug in my car or something... every time I leave the cinema recently I chat with my wife on the way home. then I log in to read reviews, and read massawyrm's transcript of our conversation. Thanks, wyrm- keep it up