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Jon Favreau and Quint chat IRON MAN 2, COWBOYS AND ALIENS, Marvel Studios, THE AVENGERS and much more!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my phoner with Jon Favreau regarding his latest flick IRON CHEF 2, about a superhero with a spatula… No wait, I meant IRON MIKE 2 where the boxing champ dons a suit of armor and bites off the ears of the bad guys… What? Hold on a second, guys. What? I’m in the middle of my introdu… Oh… OH! Sorry about that, I talked to him about IRON MAN 2, that’s right. Jon Favreau is right up there with Bruce Campbell as being the guy I’ve interviewed the most in my time here at AICN. I love talking to the guy, usually agree with his outlook (although we have a bit of a disagreement on 3-D in the below interview) and generally feel that he’s a genuine movie lover and good guy that just fell into a geek’s dream… Oh, and has proven himself to be a talented director. That, too. You’ll see the interview is fairly conversational and we start off by talking quite a bit about COWBOYS AND ALIENS and JOHN CARTER OF MARS, which he was attached to for a while before Paramount lost the rights. To me the most interesting things we talk about involve the importance of the fun Marvel in-jokes in the first film, things that were just throw-away references or gags that suddenly have become important pieces in the cannon of Marvel Studios. Keep an ear out for some Amazing Sound-O-Text, but most of all have fun! Enjoy the Favs!



Quint: How are you doing, man?

Jon Favreau: It’s going very good.

Quint: Is this your big press day in LA?

Jon Favreau: It’s four days of press and it’s the big premiere day, which is odd because it’s not coming out in the States for another week and a half. But here we are. We’ve got the band back together again. Everybody is doing their little Round Robbins and we are getting it going.

Quint: Nice. Well, I’ll have you know that, ironically, I was called to the set of JOHN CARTER OF MARS tomorrow, but that would have had me miss the Austin Fan Screening and I had them move the visit so I could see the movie.

Jon Favreau: Oh? Good for you. Good man! (laughs)

Quint: Now you know where my priorities are.

Jon Favreau: Very good. It’s going to be very exciting. There’s a lot of cross over, so I’ve been hearing good things about that. You have the same technical people who have worked on that working on this, so I’m hearing good stuff. I think that franchise is in good hands. I can’t wait to see it. I’m glad I didn’t have to solve all of those problems! Let those guys beat their heads against the wall on that one. That’s quite an undertaking.

Quint: I was going to say ,though, if you have mutual friends or colleagues working on it, I’m sure you had the temptation to say “Oh, make sure the skies of Barsoom are…”

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Jon Favreau: Yeah, no… You know, I spoke to Andrew [Stanton] and actually visited him when he was prepping it at Pixar at the very beginning and gave him my blessing and well wishes and passed the torch as others had passed it to me in the hundred years of the endeavor to get this movie to hit the screen, so I’m glad it’s happening finally. It deserves to be and we all know it’s in great hands, so I’m excited to see it and you know then I‘m working on COWBOYS AND ALIENS, so I’ve got my own version of a period alien piece that I’m working on, so I get to really explore something with a little bit more humor and a little bit more up my alley and I’ve always wanted to do a western, since I wrote THE MARSHALL OF REVOLATION right after SWINGERS and I’m getting to work with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

Quint: Yeah, I was going to say “They don’t have Indiana Jones!”

Jon Favreau: (laughs) I’m very excited. He is the real deal, man. I can’t believe… I’m finally at the point where I can actually have a real conversation with him without fumbling over my words like Chris Farley doing an interview on THE CHRIS FARLEY SHOW because that was most of my conversations. “Remember that scene… that scene when you shot Greedo? That was cool.”

Quint: “Remember in BLADE RUNNER when… when you jumped on the roofs of the cars…”

Jon Favreau: “Before there was the narration?”

Quint: (laughs) That’s awesome. I can’t wait. We don’t get westerns a lot. The iconography of the western is something that you can play around with a lot.

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Jon Favreau: Sure, and then I’ve got Spielberg, which brings all of his cinematic advice into my ear, it’s just… It is a dream come true. It’s wonderful. And now I also have the chops from working four years on the IRON MAN franchise, so I get the technology and now we are exploring 3-D and what that would be like. I was very adamant about not converting IRON MAN 2. It wasn’t designed to be 3-D. I think maybe someday when the technology catches up for conversion, when I’m a little bit more convinced that it can be done effectively... and I think a lot of that is going to come. I get a sense that that’s going to come when we see STAR WARS EPISODE 4 converted. I have a feeling they are going to do that right or if Cameron does one of his old films [and] converts… I think it’s going to take somebody who has tremendous resources and technical savvy to be able to bring all of that to bare to really establish a standard baseline for conversion, if 3-D in fact sticks around. And I think that whether it sticks around or not is going to be dependant on the quality of the 3-D movies that come. Thankfully AVATAR kicked the door down and showed us what could be done.

Quint: Yeah, but you even hear Cameron talking now about the knee jerk from the studios is in the wrong direction.

Jon Favreau: Yeah, but I think that will all come out in the wash. I definitely am looking into 3-D, but if I do it, I’ll do it stereo. I’ll shoot stereo. I won’t do it the other way and then it becomes a matter of embracing digital as well. “Is that the right thing to do for a western? With EXT. DAY?” There’s a lot of things to come to terms with.

Quint: Well see, that fits a little bit more. The stuff that has me worried is like when Ridley Scott says he wants to do the ALIEN prequels in 3-D. 3D works with bright material, which is why the cartoon stuff is such a natural thing.

Jon Favreau: But digital is very different. Digital photography, which is what it demands, is better in the darkness, but you do lose a full stop just in all of the polarization and all of that stuff, so it does tend to darken things, you’re right. But I think it also creates a tremendous mood, so ALIEN really lends itself, because I’m looking at ALIEN and ALIENS again and again as we figure out the way we are going to approach COWBOYS AND ALIENS and that’s one of the benchmark alien films that we would want to reference, at least cinematically, for part of the movie and as we dissect that you see what a craftsman Ridley was, and Cameron for that matter in the second one, when it comes to mood and environment. So much of it is the mood and the tension. I think 3-D can really be quite helpful in that regard. 3-D, when executed well makes for a very dream like experience. That’s why AVATAR was so well suited for it.

Quint: Yeah, well we should probably talk a little bit about IRON MAN or else…

Jon Favreau: Let’s do that. (laughs) So, you will be at the show, that’s great. I want to hear what you think. I’m in that vacuum between being done, being happy with it as a filmmaker, but not having had any feedback and having the bar of the first movie… It’s a high bar that casts a shadow. Nobody expected anything from the first one.

Quint: I re-read a couple of the interview that we did surrounding the first movie and you said that “Oh man, the sequel should be so much easier because we don’t have to do the origin story…”

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Jon Favreau: Which is true! It was easier, I think. I had Robert [Downey Jr.] from the jump, so that was good and then I was able to get Mickey [Rourke], which that was my big challenge this time around, making that all happen and getting everybody comfortable with that decision. We had the core relationship between Tony and Pepper and we were able to add Scarlett [Johansson] in to throw things sideways a little bit, so that helped make it not too repetitive and then you know I also… Fortunately we hadn’t had that much action in the first film, so we were able to double the amount of digital shots and really up the ante on the action and the scope of the whole thing. So, thankfully we left ourselves some place to go. The first one was very small and intimate. This one is a little more blown open, yet I don’t feel like we crossed that line where we went too far and it becomes just a wall of chaos. And then I also had Genndy [Tartakovsky] helping me out this time, which was tremendous.

Quint: Which was the most exciting thing from the last time we had talked, where it was like “Whoa, what a great idea!”

Jon Favreau: You’ll see it now. When you see the movie, you will definitely see his influence because his sense of humor fit in very well with us and to have the action have a little bit of a tongue and cheek quality to it, without breaking the reality, was great. I just did a commentary and identified some of the moments that he was really instrumental in with some of my favorite stuff from the film. I used his trick from SAMURAI JACK, if you are killing robots, you can eviscerate them and have blood spray the frame if it’s oil and we had a lot of fun with that.

Quint: Awesome! You are looking now at the challenge of having an extremely successful and an extremely well liked movie to follow up. You are also, from what I understand, peppering a lot more of the future of MARVEL into this one, where with the last film it feels like you had a couple of hints with the Ten Rings flag and the big post-credits…

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Jon Favreau: Yeah, we had fun with it, we definitely did.

Quint: But was is more pressure though?

Jon Favreau: No, I was never asked to do anything. Everything was something that was an idea that came to us, like “What would be cool?” not “What do I need to do?” It’s not that precise, it’s more foreshadowing as opposed to actually setting up things that are going to literally pay off one to one. It’s more something that we will… It’s more about playing with expectations as fans and giving clues and throwing things in the margins and in the background. If you didn’t read the books, you wouldn’t even notice most of it, but for the people who really love to examine it and the people who found the shield in the background, you know what I mean?

Quint: Yeah.

Jon Favreau: In that first time around… That was something that I had barely noticed. It was something that was like a little inside joke between ILM and us that turned into a reality that we then had to reckon with. We had to reconcile it in the future. Same thing with saying “I am Iron Man” at the end or even the Nick Fury after the credits was something that was like “Hey, let’s do this. This would be cool.” Well, now that’s our reality and the whole sequel has more to do with those little added things that we threw in just for the hell of it to get a rise out of the audience and the fans. That’s now the reality that we are dealing with and so Nick Fury has a very prominent role, not just in this film, but the entire franchise of the Marvel universe and “I am Iron Man” ended up being just dealing with… Those four words became the biggest factor in how we broke the story on the second film.

Quint: That’s interesting and it’s forcing you to embrace Tony Stark more than you would Iron Man because you are not just marrying him with the machine, but also forcing him be such a public persona. When you have somebody like Robert in the role…

Jon Favreau: Well, you want to see him deal with shit, you know? That’s the bottom line. You want to see him deal with situations and circumstances and obstacles, so everything becomes a… Whether it’s throwing Mickey Rourke in his path or playing with the relationship between he and Pepper, that MOONLIGHTING thing and how that changes, and then you throw in Sam Rockwell, who I love, as somebody who is trying to be Tony Stark… I gave myself a lot of wonderful tools to work with here with this tremendous ensemble and what was really cool was that everybody that we added was of the same pedigree as the people that we had the first time around and so I really had tremendous resources to draw from here.

Quint: Yeah and picking the villain, or in this case villains, is such a crucial part to any comic book film.

Jon Favreau: Yeah and especially a sequel. Think of the good sequels. It could be done well. X-MEN 2, SPIDER-MAN 2, BATMAN 2, WRATH OF KHAN, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, you know. We looked at all of those films and said “Why do these ones work?” But we needed a big villain this time around, we really did, and somebody that you didn’t have to spend a lot of screen time with to really understand. We couldn’t just hire somebody off a TV show who was ten years younger than Robert and say “There he is, look out!” You cut to Mickey Rourke, with all of those prison tattoos and his gold teeth, and you see him building an arc reactor and you know something’s going to happen. That degree of danger allows us to have fun tonally with Robert on the other side, much like the way that having him ambushed and in a hostage video with the beginning of the first one gave us a little bit of freedom to play tonally with the level of humor without undermining the stakes of the film and not making it feel like a comic book. We wanted that Marvel feel and Marvel is about emotional reality. It’s about danger and it’s about having a sense of humor and flawed heroes and naturalistic banter and the soap opera that unfolds because these are real people tat have to deal with these circumstances that are crazy, but they have to deal with it in a real way. Marvel really cornered the market when I was reading it growing up of having a human touch, having these characters have peccadilloes and flaws. With DC, Superman was carved from granite… Tony was a screw up. Peter Parker was a nerd who lived in my neighborhood. That’s another thing, we are playing against the backdrop of New York. It ain’t Gotham City. We tried to set it in as much in reality as we can and that’s difficult because you have to… The politics change, the backdrops changes from film to film. It’s a lot different, the world’s a lot different than IRON MAN 1 and we wanted to reflect that.

[A rep. mentions there is only time for one last question.]

Quint: I guess the question has to be on your future. What’s it looking like? Have you figured anything out past COWBOYS AND ALIENS?

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Jon Favreau: They have asked me to exec produce AVENGERS and I look forward to staying involved.

Quint: Are you going to be very hands on or is that going to be going on around the time of…

Jon Favreau: I think Marvel… one of the great aspects of working with Marvel was that they really gave me a tremendous amount of freedom as a director. There were definitely restrictive parameters in working with a new studio and it emulated in many ways working on an independent film rather than a studio film, but by the same token Kevin (Feige) and the studio were always extremely supportive of my vision and I ended up getting everything that I needed, whether it was cast or everything that I had wanted to creatively tell the story. I think that in the tradition of that, they are hiring excellent directors. Everybody that they have hired or are considering to hire, they are making very strong choices and I would be as involved as little or as much as the director would want. I’m a resource, but I definitely have a vested interest in this universe baring out, because these are… It’s a continuation of what we created with the first two films and I’d love to see that become something that’s built upon in a way that’s not just successful, but something that honors what the fans have come to expect and what the promise of Marvel Studios always was. So I guess it’s a long way of saying the directors, whoever is directing these films are the boss and I am somebody who will be of service to them as much or as little as they would like.

Quint: All right, cool. Well thanks so much, dude. I very much look forward to seeing the movie!

Thanks as always for the good interview, Favs! Hope you guys dug it and dig the flick. I’ve seen it once now (notice how he dodged any mention of him being at the Austin screening the next day) and just bought my Double-Feature tickets for Thursday night (Iron Man and then the midnight of Iron Man 2). I’m sure I’ll see a few of you geeks there! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
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  • May 5, 2010, 5:30 a.m. CST

    F...

    by Cagliostro

    un

  • May 5, 2010, 5:31 a.m. CST

    Avengers

    by jackalcack

    The key is the director. I don't want this film to fail but there aren't many that could pull it off. Leterrier I'm NOT looking at you

  • May 5, 2010, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Iron man 3....

    by Cagliostro

    Next time let's have a villain that isn't just in a re-fabbed Iron man Armor. It's getting a little old watching Iron Man fight himself, especially with a side kick that's also wearing the same fucking suit. I couldn't tell who was who at the end of IM2.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Leterrier.

    by 11dayempire

    Why the hate-on? The Incredible Hulk was a good action film with a solid central performance from Norton, very well put-together. Clash of the Titans, fair enough they buggered up the 3D, but that was hardly Leterrier's fault.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:52 a.m. CST

    One more thing about Iron Man...

    by Cagliostro

    Gene Colan is in failing health and can't afford to retire. Help is much appreciated: http://thecliffordmethod.blogspot.com/

  • May 5, 2010, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 was a failure

    by Wonderboys

    I've seen it already, since I'm in Europe, and Im sorry to say, as much as I love Favs, and the first one, IM2 has a very very lame script, and somewhat suffers the "Third movie curse" ahead of its time... Sorry Favs, better luck (and script) with the third!

  • May 5, 2010, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 was dreadful.

    by The Dark Shite

    Action scenes aside, it was like watching a school play with amateur 14 yr olds all ad-libbing over the top of each other. Pure garbage.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Mostly lukewarm reviews in Australia...

    by quantize

    even the positive ones say it's a bit light on action and uneven...as if anyone doubted Harry's opinion means diddly squat. I'm not in a hurry to see IM2

  • May 5, 2010, 6:40 a.m. CST

    it's really that bad?

    by Righteous Brother

    It can't be, they got so much right with the first one.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Harry loved it, that should be proof enough

    by Wonderboys

    Harry is poison for the movies, man

  • May 5, 2010, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 is great

    by HanSelo

    As equally good as the first film. Strong story, but maybe could have done with an additional action scene in the first half to break up the exposition. Maybe they can fix for an extended DVD. :-)

  • May 5, 2010, 6:55 a.m. CST

    The Next Batman film

    by dcsmith

    I've written a screenplay for it and am looking for feedback. http://tinyurl.com/378ew9n

  • May 5, 2010, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Iron man 1 was better

    by Candy ass monkey suit

    Iron man 1 was much better than IM2. Sw this in the u.k last week and it wasn't as good as the first one. It'snot bad at all but is no X2,spidey 2,emipre strikes back etc..nowher near. Th reviews in europe have been mixed to say the least.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Nope. It sucks.

    by The Dark Shite

    Downey carries it & Rourke was Rourke, with an accent, which is cool enough. <p> The rest was just a total fucking mess.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:56 a.m. CST

    When's the last time a movie got opinions that were this mixed?

    by Bruce of all Trades

    Not just professional reviews, opinions from any average Joe. Some have been saying it's great, others say it's terrible. Some people say it's pretty good while some call it a disappointment. I guess it's still better than straight up sucking.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:59 a.m. CST

    "Through" is not the same as "threw"

    by V'Shael

    "those little added things that we through in just for the hell of it" Come on, Quint. Spellcheckers are free, for fucks sake.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:01 a.m. CST

    It's ok but not great

    by Dr Sidney Schaefer

    Saw it in Sydney last Thursday. Movie is amusing and entertaining in parts, but there are many flaws. Luckily the film has enough energy that you can choose to overlook the "what tha?" moments and go along for the ride. Not as good as the first one though, but definitely no Spiderman 3.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:02 a.m. CST

    IM2 is cool

    by David Cloverfield

    It's not going to light the genre on fire, but it's a great time in the movies. Don't let people convince you otherwise.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:02 a.m. CST

    it was a mess

    by thelorddread

    all in all it was ok...but it is getting old seeing two iron man suits fight a bunch of other iron man drones mixed in with a little mickey rourke. scarlett rocked tho!

  • May 5, 2010, 7:03 a.m. CST

    It does have a Spider-man 3 dance routine moment

    by David Cloverfield

    But here, it strangely works.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:04 a.m. CST

    V'Shael

    by Wonderboys

    Man, you should already know that grammar its not this site strong suit... English its not my firt language and sometimes even Im embarrrased for the things I read on this site, specially Harry's...

  • May 5, 2010, 7:05 a.m. CST

    I saw it (IM2) last week, and I thought

    by V'Shael

    it was practically a continuation of the first movie. If you have to judge them separately, the first one might just edge out the second. But honestly, throw them together and they'd play like one movie, much better than kill bill 1 & 2 did anyway.<br /><br />There was only one dumb moment which pulled me out of the story, and it was done for the sake of "coolness", but aside from that, I was very satisfied with the movie.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Need to see this for myself

    by EastcoastAvenger

    It's good. It's bad. It's great! I'm wondering if this is going to be like the Transformers movies where everything looks bad-ass but you can't help but groan because the script is missing the mark.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:13 a.m. CST

    This interview is so money

    by JoeD

    and you don't even know it.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Keep in mind, some Dark Knight fans want it to fail...

    by Chewtoy

    ...for some odd reason. Even with the first Iron Man, there were people who acted like the two movies (The Dark Knight being the other one) were part of opposing political campaigns, and the talkbacks were filled with an inordinate amount of people saying one or the other "sucked" as a result. I can't say I'm surprised that there is venom being loosed upon the sequel (which may beat The Dark Knight's opening weekend record if the stars align). <br><br>That said, while the reviews are solidly on the "good" side, there is no doubt that they aren't as glowing as they were for the original, so I'm adjusting my expectations accordingly. It's exceptionally rare that Internet extremes of "it sucks" vs. "it's perfection" are anywhere near accurate anyway.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:21 a.m. CST

    I loved the first Iron Man and loved The Dark Knight

    by Wonderboys

    Im as much a Marvel fan as Im a DC fan, and that doesnt has nothing to do with the fact that Iron Man 2 its not as good as we'd love it to be, period. Its not bad, its just that its not good.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Wonderboys: I don't believe that all criticism of it...

    by Chewtoy

    ...is due to some kind of grudge between two fan bases. It's obvious from critical reaction that plenty of people found it not nearly as good as the first. I merely point out for the people who ask "can it really be that bad?" that such warped fan wars exist in this case, and so reviews saying it "sucks", is "dreadful", is "really really lame" and all are to be expected in an AICN talkback.

  • May 5, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 is surprising...in a good way

    by ilander66

    saw it last weekend here in the UK and really couldnt fault it. the pacing reminds me more of some 80's film in that you have a lot of build up and characterisation and then a big set piece then more story and another set piece. In the past probably more to do with limitations of effects where as here the set pieces are HUGE and really well done you can see what happening and the geography of each scene really works. I think this will be a grower and people will really come to love it as a great film. Last year we had Transformers 2 so we should count our blessings.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Batman Fans relax... this is no competition.

    by awesomebri

    They purposely wanted to go the opposite direction TDK went and they got it. A stupid movie with a terribly constructed story with the bad guys doing the exact same thing as the first movie, copying the suit. I love John Favero but he had too much fun with it, giving himself more jokes and a fight scene. I hated Tony Stark in it, I felt that he was irresponsible and should have had the tech taken off him.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:05 a.m. CST

    The order to watch your Marvel films is...

    by ilander66

    Going by events across the films made so far and the things they set up for future films eventually the correct chronological order to watch them in is: Captain America Iron Man Iron Man 2 The Incredible Hulk Thor The Avengers lets not talk about the fantastic 4 or spiderman etc.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Chewtoy, point taken

    by Wonderboys

    You're right, only wanted to clear that my opinion its not biased by that in anyway. Also, awesombri make some good points, in some ways IM2 is the complet opposite of TDK, where Nolan went way far of the first film, the problem with IM2 its that sticks too much to the same formula of the first one, only this time it seems to have lost some of its charms.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Nerds do love the hyperbole, don't they?

    by rev_skarekroe

    I haven't seen the film, but judging by the reactions here so far, it will probably wind up being "slightly above average."

  • May 5, 2010, 8:21 a.m. CST

    dcsmith

    by Wonderboys

    The beginning of your script is not half bad, seriously, I was hooked and really could visualize it with the actors... the Alfred/Bats stunt is kind of cheap, but it works... Ill continue reading once im offwork.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Remember when the Iron Man movie

    by JoeD

    fought the Batman movie? Me neither. These franchises are not mutually exclusive. They can both be good in different ways and appeal to different audiences while containing some significant overlap. Subtlety died when the internet rolled around.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:28 a.m. CST

    IRON MAN 2 = MEDIOCRE

    by SonOfChiba

    Sorry, wish it wasn't but it is. Slow, talky scenes that go nowhere (Theraux seems to think he's the new Tarantino) - it's a let down. And all this "set up" for The Avengers - there's nothing of the sort, unless you count a handful of small references, none of which advance anything. And no, Paltrow does NOT get smacked in the face.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    referring to him as dude = unprofessional

    by Waka_Flocka

    he's not your mate

  • May 5, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Bitch bitch bitch....

    by jason2304

    Fucking bitchy fanboys complain about everything. Looking forward to "Iron Man 2" on Friday. Im sure ill love it. Just like I loved IM1.Its a damn movie! Sit back and enjoy the fucking thing.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Saw IM2 and it is GREAT!

    by lukasman

    How bitter do you people have to be to not have had fun with that movie? IT was really funny and the action was great! I dont get you guys...

  • May 5, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Seems talkback hyperbole is in full effect. Sacs

    by Shpadoinkle

    This film was every bit as good as the first one, although feels less fresh (which is obvious it being a sequel and all). Not a case of too many characters spoiling the broth at all, if anything i'd say there's so much going on (a la Spider-man 2) that you'd need to watch it a couple more times just to appreciate everything. Love that *ahem* 'prop up' moment. You would have to be pretty spoiled to remain cynical in the face of all this cinematic magic. Spoiled or bathed in your own lies. Good day.

  • May 5, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Good work Favreau

    by Shpadoinkle

    Someone needed to say it.

  • May 5, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    A few people have said IM2's 'as good as the first' no one has yet stuck their neck out and said it's better.<p> ...because sadly it's not. The first film had an edge to it (the stuff in Afghanistan where you really felt a sense of danger) and also a depth of maturity brought by Downey Jr that showed up the likes of Tobey Maguire.<p> IM2 is a little bit more kiddie friendly and offers a little less food for your brain. It's a film that simmers along and imho only went into a full boil once during the Grand Prix sequence.<p> It IS worth watching tho, I think those calling it dreadful are somewhat exaggerating. Just don't go into it expecting to get what 'Harry got'... with that insane level of hyperbole you'll be sorely disappointed.

  • May 5, 2010, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Jon, I heard you came down with a bad case of Shyamalanitis

    by Bruce of all Trades

    You have that looked at, yet?

  • May 5, 2010, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Quint used the word 'iconography'?

    by Quint_Says_Iconography_Too_Much

    Stunned!

  • May 5, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    My humble opinion...

    by Duke_Whittington

    I can’t remember seeing a film that has divided the masses. The reviews have been so contradictory of each other that you have to wonder whether everyone has seen the same film. And if you look at some of the criticisms made about characters appearing and disappearing from nowhere make you wonder whether the reviewers have seen the easter eggs at the end of each film. Saw it at the weekend, with lowered expectations following some of the reviews I was seeing, but am relieved to say I loved it. Oddly it didn’t feel like a sequel as such as a progression of the first story, much like Quantum of Solace – to me at least – felt like the third act of Casino Royale, IM2 felt like acts 2 and 3 of the first story, dealing with the consequences of actions and events in the first film. We got a glimpse of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, with the promise of bigger and better things. Mickey Rourke was seldom used but greatly utilised by Sam Rockwell who blew me away playing at the same time Tony’s number one fan and nemesis. His weapons sales pitch to Rhodes had me in stitches (in particularly the Ex-Wife). Perhaps I’m easily pleased… Aside from a few pacing issues near the start the film had the right balance of action, comedy and drama and ended with what felt like closure of the first chapter, with a hint of bigger things to come. Nuff said.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST

    One thing I seriously didn't like about IM 2

    by Bruce of all Trades

    What does it do for the character of Tony Stark? When the movie begins, he's the same cocky prick he was in the beginning of the first one and all the maturity and thoughtfulness he acquired along the way seems gone. Then we learn he's dying because of the palladium in his chest. By the end he's able to cure himself of his illness and save the day. But... how much does he change as a character. As far as I was able to tell, he's still the same. I get that Stark is supposed to be overly cocky, that's part of his charm. But there's a difference between being charmingly confident and just being an immature dick. <p><p>Character growth is something franchises that center around one or more characters desperately need. It keeps the characters interesting and fresh and thus the movies follow suit. I never really got that with Tony Stark. Bruce Wayne and Peter Paker grew as characters in The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 2. Maybe I'm wrong and need to give the movie a second viewing. But for now I'm considering it a flaw. And a big one at that.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Avoiding spoilers and looking forward. --Hmmm...

    by JDanielP

    As someone who counts both THE DARK KNIGHT and IRON MAN as his favorite superhero flicks, I'm very excited about this weekend. And thanks for the reminder of Tartakovsky working on IRON MAN 2, as his influence should prove a visually fun addition. <P>As to Joss Whedon and his future of directing the AVENGERS, I hope that Favearu's experience will aid Joss in finding his way. --My wife is a HUGE fan of Joss Whedon, by the way. --Personally, I have plenty of faith in Joss, as to writing a good story/script. My concerns are visual, which is an extremely important part of directing. (A James Cameron or Steven Spielberg he may never be. But then, who is?) <P>Before I've even seen (and judged) IRON MAN 2, I commend Favreau for utilizing the visual talent of Tartakovsky. Superheroes should be considered, as a genre of itself, a visual medium. And that goes for BOTH comic books and movies (as both are a sequential art). Writers utilize the vision of artists, just as artists utilize the words of writers. And from my perspective, THAT is what Joss Whedon will need to understand. Artists can prove incredibly valuable to him. <P>All this... artistic visualization ...won't mean a thing if the story does not support the action. But great artistry with character action and emotion that supports an interesting story... would be complete bliss in an AVENGERS movie. <P>If THAT happens, this DC Comics fan will be saying, "Make mine Marvel."

  • May 5, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    ........

    by theDannerDaliel

    I think Jon put himself inn the film way too much. Guess he migth be thinking he could be inn the avengers also. Holding Tonys pants in the background or some shit. I liked Ironman2. Good day at the cinema for me.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Bruce of all trades

    by Duke_Whittington

    I thought the character arc was there – this film was about connecting with his father, ultimately the key to his salvation. His ego remains intact, but after he goes through his brush with mortality (a la Spiderman 2) and his moment of clarity he’s back in the room and comes out fighting…Perfectly setting him up for his role in the Avengers. Unlike most of the comic films we’ve seen before this film has to deal with the main story and juggle it with the seeds it’s sowing for other films to come. I thought it did it pretty well.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Cobra Kai

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Couldn't have said it better. IM2 is a slightly-dumbed down sequel. Only three major action scenes, with the Monaco race being my favorite. Not since Spidey 2 have we seen such an interesting and original-looking superhero fight. Think about it. Batman doesn't really have superhero fights. The most recent Superman didn't have ANY fucking fights. But whiplash versus Tony in his portable Mark V was a genuinely exciting, fun few seconds for me. <p> But then yeah MINOR SPOILERS the movie becomes more of Iron Man versus other-guys-with-arc-reactors-and-suits-trying to be Iron Man. Enough with that already. Give him a dinosaur to fight. An alien. Anything but another demented genius or CEO in a copycat suit

  • May 5, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    I thought "Phoner" = phone sex boner

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Amirite?

  • May 5, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Wonderboys

    by dcsmith

    Thanks for taking the time to check out the script. Yes, I confess my entrance for Alfred is a stretch, but, conceptually I wanted to give Michael Caine something fun to do instead of just standing next to Christian Bale & saying sage advice. Hope you enjoy the rest.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:43 a.m. CST

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  • May 5, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Duke

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Yes, I caught a lot of parallels between IM2 and the second and third installments of other super-sequels. You know the formula, the first movie is the origin story. The second is all about coping with the dual-identity. In Spidey 2 Peter wanted to give up and he lost his power. In Superman 2 the man of steel DID give up his power. In Spidey 3 Peter is overcome by the "darkness" of his power. In Supes III the hero is corrupted with psuedo-kryptonite-tar and must confront himself. Rocky III follows this path as well.<p> Which is kinda what Tony does here. There's allusions to a growing alcohol problem, references to "daddy issues," plenty of instances where tony is called upon to answer for how he is using his power. And then, of course, he must "fight himself" on the inside and OUT, vis-a-vis his failing palladium core and his so-called friend Rhodey in the war machine get up.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:46 a.m. CST

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  • May 5, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Watching it tonight

    by pendergast

    Should be a blast, honestly, we've been spoilt with the qualtity of superhero films. If it is half the movie the first one was I'll be happy

  • May 5, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

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    by awesomebri

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  • May 5, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

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    by Duke_Whittington

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  • May 5, 2010, 11 a.m. CST

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  • May 5, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Fine timepiece brother?

    by Duke_Whittington

    Gooooood byeeeee.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Abom does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Abom, yes I think Rourke cuts an iconic figure in his home-made outfit taking out the Formula 1 cars. It's IM2's equivalent of the Nightcrawler attack on the White House in XMEN 2.<p> Just wish we'd had a bit more from him later in the film... I felt he was underused.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Cobra

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Correct you are!<p> And for those wanna know what we're talking about, the clip is here, and is arguably part of the film's best action sequence<p> http://tinyurl.com/27xz6hu

  • May 5, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    ihaveabridgeiwannasellyou.com

    by Abominable Snowcone

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  • May 5, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Ebert is dead

    by Abominable Snowcone

    right about IM2. His review is up, and he agrees with me<p> http://tinyurl.com/2f8pt5s

  • May 5, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST

    was anyone elses least favorite part of IM1

    by whiskeytango

    whenever Terrance Howard was on scene? He was dreadful in that movie.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:03 p.m. CST

    That shit about Genndy...

    by Traumnovelle

    ...was kinda mindblowing. I LOVE Genndy Tartakovsky and I'm so geeked out that Jon Favreau turned to him for help on Iron Man 2. The fact that Genndy is not directing Dark Crystal 2 anymore stings all the worse now.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:11 p.m. CST

    whiskeytango

    by Abominable Snowcone

    "He is my friend, and great men-tohr..."<p> "Next time you ride with me, um-kay?"

  • May 5, 2010, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Come on, huggybear

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Come on, sourpatch. What's wrong, platypus?

  • May 5, 2010, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Movie Makers => Race Track fight sequence...

    by Toruk_Makto

    **spoilers** This was my favorite part in the whole flick. Particularly from the point they slide his 'suit case' to him and the moment he rips out Ivan's power supply. Can anyone out there elaborate on why they think this scene works so well so that we can get more scenes like this from our comic book movies?

  • May 5, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Why my friend, Roger Ebert is dead wrong about IRON MAN 2

    by Bruce of all Trades

  • May 5, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Abom

    by whiskeytango

    "Just let me know when you need your diapey changed and I'll get you a bottle" ... WHAT?!

  • May 5, 2010, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Toruk does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Toruk, I think partly because Mickey Rourke really gives it 100% in that scene and it's a battle between men rather than CGI synthespians.<p> But also because of the setting. We've seen so many superhero fights take place in faceless military bases that it's great to have one in a recognizable public place. The 007 Bond franchise has always benefitted from shooting in exotic cities around the world, and the Monaco scene takes a leaf from that book.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    "it's a battle between men"

    by Toruk_Makto

    I agree with this, this was definitely a key element to that scene. The battle with the drones left me pretty flat because taking down walking toasters isn't particularly rewarding.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    "it's a battle between men"

    by ominus

    thats why 60s and 70s and 80s action movies will never be forgotten.<br /><p>what we got now? super hero comic action movies with cgi beating each other.fuck this kiddie shit.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Favreau: "Marvel is about emotional reality."

    by smudgewhat

    Exactly. That is what makes the superhero movies so much fun. The circumstances, the powers, all that 'fantastic' stuff is grounded by an emotional reality. This is only possible with really strong actors too, which is why I like the invasion of great actors into the superhero movies genre. The Xmen movies had incredible casts too.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    whiskey

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Actually, I kinda liked that line. A good retort to Tony (RDJs)'s verbal jabs.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Toruk

    by Abominable Snowcone

    The reason that scene works so well is because--like the Spidey vs Doc Oc scenes--it's a REAL SUPERHERO fight between dudes in costumes that doesn't tread too closely to Tranformer territory. What the other guy said above about "taking out walking toasters" is correct. We've seen robot shit in movies too often. We need to see more unusual stuff that we once could only see in a comic book, like Spidey and Doc tumbling across the roof of a speeding train, or sandman on a bank truck. Stuff like the "Iron drones" goes all the way back to Robot Jox and even Aliens. We've seen that shit 100 times. It's better to have real men in superhero attire doing their superhero shit. That's why the race track fight rules, even if it is short-lived.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Just a reminder

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Here's the pimp-ass scene under discussion<p> http://tinyurl.com/26lbmms

  • May 5, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Iron Ma 2 is excellent..

    by CeejayNightwing

    It won't be for everyone because it's not an A-typical kind of Superhero follow up film. The first film had the easy job of just establishing the character for a worldwide audience as well as begin the whole 'Marvel Universe/Avengers' thing on screen with a little help from The Incredible Hulk film too. This second movie has the much harder job of presenting a hero who has no secret identity and literally goes from being in the spotlight to uber-fame. It has to deal with how he handles this as well as how he handles mortality and the legacy he'll leave should he meet an untimely passing. All this and also continuing the momentum of the Avengers build up with minor showcases to two more additional superheroes. The movie gives a mosaic treatment to two classic stories from the comic, both the Armour Wars and the Demon in a Bottle story, re-interpreting them for a two hour movie that serves as a genuine continuing chapter of a bigger tale. The critics don't review this film with the awareness of the part it plays in the grander scheme of things, they just wanted the same format of the last film. Same goes for many who frown on the ratio of exposition to action. Different films have different purposes, this one serves its purpose very much the way Quantum of Solace does for the Bond franchise; it gives the Character time to reflect, re-assess and transfigure into something better, more focused, more professional. If they didn't change Terrence Howard for Don Cheadle, it would be even better!

  • May 5, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    I still don't get

    by Abominable Snowcone

    how Rhodey has no learning curve at all with the armor. He just puts it on and goes. Hell, Tony designed the suit and still needed to master it in the first movie. I can only assume IM2 was NOT the first time Rhodey demoed the Mark II.

  • May 5, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Iron Man 3

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Every single citizen in California and New York will have a copycat armored suit and will challenge tony with glowing circles, triangles, and squares on their chests. That's what it's coming to.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Can I just say this?

    by Triple_J_72

    FUCK 3-D!!! <p> I feel better.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 is a blast

    by zapano

    great performances, funny and loose, and sharp action

  • May 5, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but my one complaint

    by Dingbatty

    with distilling Armor Wars is that we won't get to see Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, Beetle, etc. on the big screen. And I'm not advocating for too many villains. Seeing them briefly in montage is enough.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    @Triple_J_72

    by Dingbatty

    Amen.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Holy shit the music in that scene is very epic !!

    by ominus

    i want the ost NOW.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:48 p.m. CST

    althougth there is a continuity error

    by ominus

    in the first frames Rourke's mouth is filled with blood but in the last frame there is no blood.

  • May 5, 2010, 5:50 p.m. CST

    IRON MAN 2 IS AWESOME!!! FUCK THE HATERS!!!

    by ludmir88

    QUINT, NO QUESTION ABOUT DE UNFINISHED IRON MAN VIVA LAS VEGAS?? WHAT THE FUCK

  • May 5, 2010, 6 p.m. CST

    the joke about "the ex-wife" was hilarious

    by ludmir88

    WM: STEP ASIDE TONY I WILL USE THE EX-WIFE. (he says something like that, and the audience already knew what the ex-wife can do) -THE EX-WIFE IS FIRED TOWARDS WHIPLASH AND.....¿? the last battle with rourke could have been longer but was cool, it wasn't a bore at all. LOVE IT.

  • May 5, 2010, 6 p.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 was disappointing...

    by Stegman84

    You know how Iron Man 1 was great pretty much all the way through, until you got to the big 'final confrontation' with the Iron Monger, and how that whole big finale just didn't quite work as well as everything that had come before it, but instead felt just a little bit hollow and anti-climactic? Well that's how Iron Man 2 feels compared to Iron Man 1. The whole film feels hollow and just not as much fun as the film that had come before. It feels stagnant, rather than a film and series that is moving forward. The elements are there, but most aren't given room to breathe, or aren't taken to the limits of their potential, and as a result, the whole film just misses the mark. It's not a bad film, there's still fun to be had here, and Downey jr is still a lot of fun to watch do his thing, but it certainly isn't the film it could, or should, have been. And it's certainly not one of the great superhero sequels, as I'm sure we all hoped it would be. By all means see it, but don't expect greatness.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:41 p.m. CST

    @Abominable

    by Phategod2

    the easy explanation is Rhody is a fighter Pilot so his flying experience as well as his experience with Tony's tech more then prepped him for handling Mark II armor.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:48 p.m. CST

    yeah just like Will Smith learned how to fly the alien

    by ominus

    spaceship because he was a fighter pilot and watched their maneuvers during their dog fights....

  • May 5, 2010, 7:11 p.m. CST

    So IM2 is the new Ang Lee Hulk?

    by ominus

    because from what i am reading from various sources,thats what is the impression i am getting.Its a more serious and thoughtful movie than you average comic flick with not a big amount of action.thus the average comic fan who thinks K-A is a masterpiece got disappointed because his cool IM superhero whom fantasizes,does not break enough things in the movie.right.<br />

  • May 5, 2010, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Iconography

    by Dawhiteguy

    Ive seen that word in so many different articles, on this site, in the last week.

  • May 5, 2010, 9:08 p.m. CST

    No, it's not the new Ang Lee Hulk...

    by Stegman84

    It's the new Louis Leterrier Hulk, lacking in direction, depth, and overall filmic cohesion, despite having a good cast, and a budget that didn't pull any punches.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:43 p.m. CST

    7/10

    by otto maddox

    Great start; solid set pieces at the end; saggy middle; not enough Iron Man (maybe 15% of total screen time?)

  • May 5, 2010, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 & Jon Favreau's ability FUCKING SUCK!

    by scriptgirl_nipples

  • May 6, 2010, 12:01 a.m. CST

    The Louis Leterrier Hulk...

    by CeejayNightwing

    and Iron Man 2 did not lack direction, they went in exactly the direction they aspired to go. That may not suit everyone but both films were excellent and this 2nd Iron man adventure works perfectly as the third building block in the films that will eventually assemble into delivering the Avengers movie. I don't know what it is about Americans and action films that need to have things blowing up all the time at regular intervals but here in Europe we don't have that affliction, thank God! I can't believe we have critics and people here complaining about Iron Man fighting villains in copycat armour and mech-suits like his! Does anyone ever read these comics or even peak at the source material? Bring something to the movie for Christ sake other than your own unwarranted expectations. This is what happens in Iron Man comics, accept it or move on to the next superhero film and complain about the protagonist fighting villains who funny enough.. ALSO have powers or a bad guys who funny enough.. ALSO have costumes just like the heroes they are combating, Doh!

  • May 6, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Two things...

    by Stegman84

    One, I'm not American, smart guy. And nor do I need things blowing up every five minutes. My complaints, against both Iron Man 2 and Leterrier's Hulk, is a lack of plot, a lack of depth, a lack of complexity, and a lack of payoff. These films have all the depth of a petrie dish, and could, and in fact should, have been so much more. <p>Two, if you consider Iron Man 2 and Leterrier's Hulk excellent then perhaps it isn't that our expectations were too high, but maybe it's that yours are too damn low. They are okay films, they are watchable, but they are far, far, far from greatness.

  • May 6, 2010, 1:29 a.m. CST

    IM2 was a rush job...not Favs fault

    by Rupee88

    He actually said publicly at the time that they weren't allocating enough time for production. But they had to cash in and they will. He probably did the best job he could, but that doesn't mean it equals a good film.

  • May 6, 2010, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Saw Iron Man tonight

    by prbis

    I guess its been like 10 years since I last commented. Thanks guys for not dumping my profile. Why do I feel the need to talk about this movie? Well I kept comparing it to Iron Man as I watched it and finally I decided that it is an inferior film to the first movie while not being a bad film. Favreau does a great job of pulling all the different threads that make up this film together so it doesnt get weighed down by the plot as some reviewers may want you to think.The cast is top notch and as expected RDJ is the life of this film. For me the stuff that didnt work would be the birthday fight.I dont think that there was a cause for it in that manner and so it felt forced. We know why it was done so as to introduce another player to the game but a far better device would have been to work the blood toxicity angle which would have been more natural. There is no chemistry between RDJ and Cheadle,while the latter spends all of his screentime being angry.Its rediculous that everyone has a password for Tony's workshop. There were many chances for this film to get deeper and darker but the makers opted to keep it light throughout. You never really feel Stark is in mortal danger even as certain indicators said he was, and the resolution was way too easy. Jarvis is there but not like last time. He was more of a voice unlike the character he was in the first film.All in all a good film with some missed opportunities. Oh, and yes, Scarlett was hot and a bad ass and had a really nice role.

  • May 6, 2010, 8:01 a.m. CST

    im surprissed Favreau didnt just put

    by TheManWhoCan

    John Hannah and Brendan Frazer in the car with Pepper Potts and Favreau's character and have a bunch of midget mummys jump around the car while Fat Driver character repeatidly rams whiplash into the fence.failing to kill him (how?)and they all shout at each other.<br> Its that bad!!!!

  • May 6, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST

    im surprissed Favreau didnt just put

    by TheManWhoCan

    John Hannah and Brendan Frazer in the car with Pepper Potts and Favreau's character and have a bunch of midget mummys jump around the car while Fat Driver character repeatidly rams whiplash into the fence.failing to kill him (how?)and they all shout at each other.<br> Its that bad!!!!

  • May 6, 2010, 8:07 a.m. CST

    iron man 3 poster is

    by TheManWhoCan

    the same as IM 2 except warmachine is replaced by Favreau trying to look bad ass.

  • May 6, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    IRON MAN 2 WAS TERRIBLE

    by DeweyOxburger

    Saw it again last night - wow. Boogaloo Shrimp has the corniest lines and we don't even see a cardboa-...wait, check that, I saw 'Breakin' 2', not Iron Man...

  • May 6, 2010, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 is good,

    by Doc_Savage

    not great, but a solid good. There is quite a huge hammock of plot before the finale - maybe 25 minutes with one story scene after another with no action, but all in all I liked the movie. Not as good as the first, but RDJr is great as Stark and the rest of the cast is good. So, not great like the first, but still a good movie. Next up, Thor... I do agree - too much Fav

  • June 14, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST

    NIPPLES ON IRON MAN!

    by orcus

    Nah, Orcus is just playing ya