Musings On Marvel: Day Seven (Iron Man 3)

Director: Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Lethal Weapon 2)

Budget: $200million

Box Office: $1.215billion

  • Even in 1999 that hairstyle wasn’t good. Do film-makers not remember the 90’s? They should do, they were there. Ok, most of them were on cocaine at the time but still.
  • This song was released in January 1999 and annoyed people immensely by February 1999. So by December 31st I imagine just hearing it would be enough to make people want to go self harm.
  • Hey, it’s the guy from the cave in the first movie. Well played Mr. Director.
  • “The old days, never thought they’d come back to bite me”. Really? Wasn’t that the entire point of the second movie?
  • Tony Stark needs rockets even to dress himself, but wasn’t the thing in the Avengers movie that assembled itself in mid air as he was falling from a building  good enough?
  • Obvious CGI is obvious. Seriously hollywood, either actually knock Robert Downey Jr. with a piece of metal that makes him flip, or do the CGI well enough that we don’t notice.
  • “Some people call me a terrorist”, some call him the gangster of love.
  • “I consider myself a teacher”, wow, and I thought my teachers were strict.
  • Were these videos released on their own for promotion? They so should have.
  • That thing he mentioned about America attacking a defenceless tribe? That really happened. In response the American government set up a treaty which gave the Indians free reign of the land to the south of the Arkansas River and promised them cash and more land in the future. Less than two years later the American government ripped up this treaty and ignored it. Seriously, America, what the holy f*ck?
  • Soldiers wouldn’t really have their family with them in such a volatile area, to stop things like this happening.
  • Hey, it’s Iron Captain America.
  • “How did you get out of the wormhole?” He fell, dumbass.
  • See, this I like. The continuation of the character, he would be haunted by what happened in Avengers. Shame they didn’t take it further, this would have been a great way to introduce the characters alcoholism, which is really not been dealt with in the movies, ok, they’ve shown him drinking, but they haven’t shown him struggling with the addiction. I suppose it’s because the world doesn’t want flawed heroes, they want “flawed” heroes, which means they’re rich, sexy and smart, but they occasionally fall over.
  • No way would the photo he took be clear enough to recognise that number plate.
  • Discount Hitman gives something to Discount Ethan Hawke.
  • Shane Black sets a lot of movies at Christmas and nearly all of them are violent. He must be harbouring violent tendencies towards the season for some reason. Did he catch daddy kissing santa claus?
  • “This is just good old fashioned revenge”. Is Tony Stark basically cutting a wrestling promo here?
  • So Tony Stark, international weapons manufacturer and superhero, his entire security consists of “a front door”.
  • Iron Man eats gluten free waffles. On its own there’s nothing wrong with that, but considering he drank chlorophyll in the second movie to help cure him makes me assume he’s just doing it as a fad diet.
  • Where are the rest of the Avengers? I mean, Tony Starks house is being attacked and Nick Fury is just sitting about eating cheese by the block.
  • Wilhelm!
  • Wow, the guy at the start who was wronged turned out to be the bad guy, what a massive surprise.
  • A kid gives Tony Stark anxiety attacks, they have the same effect on me.
  • Let’s say Tony Stark is ridonkulously, like, David Beckham famous in this universe. Would putting on a baseball cap mean that nobody recognises him?
  • This woman is an idiot, unless she kills absolutely everybody, she’s going to leave witnesses so the top secret weapon will no longer be top secret.
  • So the heat thingy can melt handcuffs but doesn’t damage clothes? Clearly they get their clothes from the same place as The Hulk.
  • Wait, did Tony hand a weapon to a child? And yet I’m not trusted with a crossbow.
  • This is kid is annoying, manipulative and strange. Basically, he’s a very well written child character.
  • “we can’t allow terrorists to dictate what we do”, yeah, imagine having an open dialogue with people where you talk and work your way through to a sensible compromise, the horror!
  • “last time I went missing you came looking for me” No, you’re thinking of Terrence Howard, this is Don Cheadle.
  • Tattoo of Tony Stark’s face on his arm, because that’s not creepy. Actually that’s an odd subplot that they’ve never really gone into, the cult of celebrity and how it would get in the way of them doing their job. Basically, the superheroes would need a PR team.
  • Two female characters talking about science. Holy crapy a Marvel film beats the Bechdel test.
  • Literally all he did was enter the building. That’s not exactly “saving the day”, it makes no difference.
  • Explosive Christmas tree decoration. Why does Shane Black hate Christmas? Did he want a white Christmas when he was a kid and all he got was a black one?
  • See, a lot of people hate this twist but I like it. It would be quite hard to do this character and have it not be ever so mildly racist. Plus let’s face it, NOBODY saw this coming, but it makes sense. The idea is logical, and fits into the themes of modern vilains.
  • Did that guy need to put his hand on Tony Starks chest just then? Seemed a little lovey.
  • Wait, so they’re surprised the drug addict, to whom they’re giving drugs, isn’t behving responsibly?
  • Ben Kingsley did this well, but you know who would have done a lot better? Either Peter Cook or Dudley Moore
  • 1200cc. That’s about 1.2 litres, there’s no way there was that much in that tiny syringe.
  • “you’re ziptied to a bed”, we’ve all been there.
  • He breathes fire, does he ever do this again?
  • “honestly, I hate working here, they are so weird”. That is almost exactly what I’d be like if I was a henchman.
  • This football match actually happened in May. And yet they expect us to take this movie seriously. Honestly, what’s next? Pretending something that happened on a Thursday actually happened on a Wednesday?
  • No way would a real Englishman drink Budweiser.
  • Oh, so the evil looking guy from Hot Shots: Part Deux is actually organising it. What a surprise.
  • Wouldn’t Air Force One have bulletproof windows?
  • The president has been kidnapped, and yet still no Captain America.
  • They just descended 8,000 feet in about three seconds, surely that’s not possible?
  • “chunky monkey, let’s get her”. Great, so not only did she nearly die, she also got called fat.
  • “they’ve got him strung up over the oil tankers, they’re going to light him up”, so the plan is; tie him up, light him up, inhale, exhale?
  • I’ve figured out why these blogs get progressively worse the longer they go on. The movies are way too f*cking long so by the final third I’ve kind of stopped paying attention.
  • Wait, did Gwyneth Paltrow just save the day? F*ck this movie.
  • Tony Stark throws his chestplate into the river, I assume he no longer gives a damn about being environmentally friendly.
  • Wait, this music isn’t AC/DC
  • Post credits scene with Incredible Hulk seems like a poor excuse for having constant narration throughout it.
  • Banner fell asleep during that story. Understandable, I nearly did too.
  • Wait, since when was he a trained therapist? And shouldn’t S.H.I.E.L.D have someone who’s entire job it is to be a post-traumatic stress councillor for heroes etc? Someone like Idris Elba, his calm soothing voice will make you think everything’s okay.

Musings On Marvel: Day 3 (Iron Man 2)

Director: Jon Favreau (Chef, The Jungle Book)

Budget: $200 million

Box Office: $623.9 million

  • Ok let’s see what exciting new property Marvel use for their third movie. Wait, a sequel? Lazy.
  • Surely you’d have realised that if you read the title of this article?
  • Shut up.
  • This press conference is different from how it was in the first film.
  • Wait, the news cuts away to reaction shots during a live press conference? Bit of a stupid move.
  • Mickey Rourke (not Tim Robbins as I first thought when I first saw this film), looks older than his dad.
  • Yeah, it’s impressive that Iron Man is jumping from a plane to launch himself into the conference, but you know what’s better? The queen parachuting with James Bond.
  • To quote Deadpool: “Woo! Superhero landing! You know that’s really hard on your knees. Totally impractical, they all do it.”
  • “Nobody can go toe to toe with me on my best day”. On average days, I can be bested by a sloth, but on my best days…..
  • “It’s not about us, it’s about legacy”. Oh crap, that’s not another really obscure superhero that’s going to appear is it?
  • Oh, it’s not?
  • Shame.
  • Shame!
  • Tony Stark arguing with the government. Makes the superhero registration act a bit difficult to figure out.
  • Seriously? The weapons expert is called “Hammer”? Subtle.
  • Anthony? His name is Anthony?
  • Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerd.
  • Hey Rhodes, you look different.
  • A lot of people taking photos. They’re probably surprised a black guys got a speaking role too.
  • Apparently Al Pacino was going to play the role of Justin Hammer. As much as I like Rockwell, f*cking Pacino!
  • The news network misspelt “Capitol” in title of their video. Yay journalism
  • And now we have the most annoying thing about this film: Tony Stark drinking a chlorophyll based drink to counteract heavy-metal poisoning. That wouldn’t work. At all. I know some of these films are lacking scientific accuracy but that’s normally because they contain future technology. This is just pure bullshit. It would be like saying that cling film can stop HIV or dipping your cock into boiling water stops genital warts.
  • I’m fairly certain he can’t just walk into a Formula 1 circuit and decide to drive in a race on the day. If that is possible, Donald Trump would have done it by now, and he’d had died in a flaming wreck of hot justice.
  • Note to self: a film about two cops who go under cover as strippers: Hot Justice.
  • Random fact: Tony Stark was meant to be driving a car that was yellow and red in this scene, you know, the Iron Man colours. Robert Downey Jr. changed it.
  • “Hey, there’s a crazy guy chopping up cars in the middle of this race, think we should stop?” Do you see the chequered flag? No, then the race is still going. Continue!
  • So he just stood there whilst Tony was suiting up? That’s polite of him. See, he ay be a Russian bastard, but he’s got manners.
  • Random fact: everytime the word “Russian” was said in this film it was muted in the Chinese version.
  • This film was much better in cinema. Mainly because I got cake during it.
  • “There will be blood in the water, and the sharks will come”. Sharks have the weirdest sexual fetishes.
  • “i was at a hearing where he insisted those suits can’t be made by anyone else, yet here we are”. Not all suits are the same. That’s like saying “I was told that nobody else had this machine gun, and yet there’s a guy with a pistol”
  • Do you not think it would have been a good idea for them to tell this EXTREMELY DANGEROUS person what the plan was instead of surprising him and putting a hood over his head?
  • “His continual erratic behaviour”. Yeah, like getting attacked, what a bastard, how dare he.
  • That’s actually a picture of Mickey Rourke getting arrested.
  • And thus begins a long tradition in Marvel films of “friends fighting friends in an action scene that has no narrative purpose and is all but forgotten about later and is just an excuse for a poorly designed action scene”. See also: the Thor/Captain America/Iron Man threeway in Avengers, Hulk going grrr in Age In Ultron. So the idea of Civil War being “OMG, these guys are going to fight” is like “and? Big f*cking whoop, they’ve already done that”.
  • “I’m going to have to ask you to exit the donut”. I get told that like every day.
  • Samuel L Jackson there expertly playing the role of Samuel L Jackson.
  • “why are drones better?” You call yourself a weapons manufacturer? You f*cking idiot, drones are cheaper as you don’t need to pay people to be in them so there’s a lower staff turnover as less of them die. It also means you can go to warzones without risking troops. And it’s harder to deliver a plane full of people in place than send drones over so the enemy has less time to prepare. For a weapons manufacturer, he knows next to nothing about his own industry.
  • “then you can solve the riddle of your heart”. That sounds like a line from an 80’s power ballad.
  • Turn around, bright eyes.
  • Every now and then I fall apart.
  • And you need you more tonight.
  • And I need you more than ever.
  • And if you only hold me tight.
  • We’ll be holding on forever.
  • I’ll stop now.
  • “this is my Eiffel Tower” so something that most people will hate and won’t appreciate until decades later?
  • “what is, and will always be my greatest creation is you”. Awwww so nice, shame you put it on a video that he may never see. This is like telling somebody you love them by putting a note in a random book in a library.
  • How on earth did that not cut through the wires holding the thing up as well? It cut through almost everything else but not the wire. That shouldn’t create a new element, it should create an electrical fire that blows the building up.
  • This song was in a GTA game. Always reminds me of walking around shooting people and stealing cars. Not because of GTA though, just because it’s what I listen to whilst doing it on weekends.
  • “that’s a hell of a lot better than cheerleaders”, yeah but not as sexy. Unless you’re into robots of course.
  • Again with the superhero three point landing.
  • An entire glass ceiling gets shot down and lands on people, yet nobody dies. Bullshit.
  • “I’m locked on, I have target lock” “on what” “on you”. You know you could have just said “the targets locked on you”, would have saved time.
  • “tell me everything you know: go” Knuckle indentations coincide with the amount of days in every month, bananas are an excellent source of potassium, rainbows are pretty. Oh, you mean about this specific situation?
  • Movie teases kid getting shot. But kid doesn’t get shot.
  • A spin kick? That’s needlessly showy and is worse than a normal kick. Do screenwriters not read Artemis Fowl before doing stuff like this?
  • Is it just me who doesn’t think Gwyneth Paltrow can act? She’s probably the most well known actress in this film and gives the least convincing performance. For evidence of this watch her “you’re really dying” and see if you find it believable.
  • Tony and Rhodes are lucky those suits decided to stand there for dramatic effect for a few seconds before doing anything.
  • These drones have the worst attack plan: walk slowly towards them.
  • So the first film ended with Iron Man vs someone who made his own Iron Man-like suit. And the second film ends with Iron Man battling someone who made his own Iron Man-like suit. See, this is why people like Loki so much, because he’s different.
  • Whip it. Whip it good.
  • So he set up not only a really obvious red light telling them they’re going to explode, but also a like 30 second timer? This is what is known as “bond villainy”, as in; works in film but is really really stupid.
  • Avengers reference. Subtle.
  • Post credits scene sets up Thor. Random note: this was actually directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The many sides of Richard Linklater

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1990

With Everybody Wants Some, Linklater’s latest film just out in America this week we thought now is a good enough time as any to take a look at the versatile work of one of the greatest directors from this modern era. An auteur who should be uttered in the same breath as Wes Anderson, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Paul Thomas Anderson, but isn’t…admittedly it would be a long breath. Having gotten his start in the late 80s/90s, over the last almost three decades and almost twenty films, Linklater has touched upon almost every genre, outside straight horror and action, and I’m here to celebrate just a few of his best and most varied works.

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Reeeeeally can’t wait till this makes it to our side of the pond!

Dazed and Confused (1993): Stoner comedy

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After his bizarre montage of a film Slacker brought Linklater into the conversation, this is the film that made him. A much more straight forward stoner comedy that follows an eclectic group of high schoolers on the first night of Summer in the mid-70s, as they drive around drinking and smoking pot, just looking for a good place to smoke pot and drink. Now on the surface this is a par for the course teen comedy, but as Linklater is now known for, his writing brings startling insight and a nuance to its fun characters and setting, alone elevating it to a complex character piece. But it’s the quieter moments in between the partying, when the haze clears and the characters look off into the distance and can’t help but worry about what comes next, that if these really will be the best years of their life, that really stay with you.

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well alright, alright, alright, the origins

Those moments don’t last long, and are usually answered with a shrug, but that the film admits that the party will end, so you better enjoy it, puts it high above almost any other stoner film. Oh and it also launched the careers of Ben Affleck, Mathew Mcconaughey, as well as a butt tone of other recognisable faces, so it’s got that going for it too.

 

A Scanner Darkly (2006): Animated Sci-Fi thriller

A_Scanner_Darkly_PosterRichard Linklater and animated dystopian science-fiction; not a combination even the stoners from Dazed and Confused would think of, let alone guess it would be one of the highlights of the genre; but this list is titled thus for a reason. Adapted from Phillip K Dicks novel, it depicts a group of drug addicts, formed of Robert Downy Jr, Woody Harrelson, and led db6by undercover cop Keanu Reeves in a totalitarian America, where the only thing they have more of than drugs is cameras: Big Brother is always watching. Linklater sticks very close to the text, adapting the films dark themes of drug abuse just as effectively as its constant bursts of dark and surreal humour. But what really makes this film something else, is that its rotoscoped (animation done over live-action footage), a style that not only makes it timeless, but adds a toxic physicality to the labyrinth of confusion and paranoia the story revels in; capturing imagery from the material like no live-action film ever could.

Me and Orson Welles (2008): Period drama comedy

me_and_orson_welles03A 30’s set period dramedy, a love letter to the stage (which clearly inspires Linklater’s writing, though ironically he didn’t write this), and a personal favourite of mine: I find this film is unfairly overlooked as a Zac Effron vehicle (who fits the period like an old glove), as at the time he was in the heights of his High School Musical fame. But in actuality it’s a genuine showcase of his talents, as it is a delightfully charming and fascinating film that looks at the friendship between a young man with theatre dreams and a pre-Citizen Cane Orson Welles, as he and his famous Mercury troop put on their career making performance of Shakespear’s Julius Caesar.

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I’m quite disappointed he never played Welles again

Filled to the brim with recognizable faces, buckets of wit, and a stage full of heart and break; it’s Christian McKay’s portrayal of the man himself that makes this film tick. As uncanny as he is entertaining, this is the definitive portrayal of Orson Welles; painted with depth and care, he is equally the brash genius and timid artist; and his friendship with Effron dives surprisingly deep into the methodology of acting, and are need to transform and disconnect from ourselves.

Boyhood (2014): Coming of age drama

tumblr_ni27i0mrUS1rce5tlo1_1280Filmed over twelve years, from May 2002 to October 2013 (almost my own exact adolescence), using the same cast, Boyhood follows a boy and his broken family through his life, on their journeys to adulthood and everything else.

I’m not sure I can call it Linklater’s best film, but it’s definitely his magnum-opus (so far), and defines his sensitive and nuanced style.
Though in saying that, the first time I saw it in the cinema, I only liked it fine. It was fine. It wasn’t until I saw it again at home, on the small screen with my family, that I realized how special it was; and I recommend everyone else to watch it in much the same way. As though the film is huge in scope, it’s tiny in scale, making a more intimate, personal viewing much more effective.

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It’s a gimmick, but a damn powerful one.

Because this film gets it, it gets growing up, getting older, changing. And not just for a kid, but for everyone and anyone, from the boy, to his sister, to their parents. Everyone is always changing; for better, for worse, and in ways they can’t quite understand, and Linklater captures it beautifully not by focusing on the mile stones of life (school, sex, ext) but the moments in-between, the smaller things that haphazardly drift from your memory but build who you become.

This film isn’t for everyone, its long, and its talky (like most of his films), and there arn’t many clear goals or messages to take from it. But it’s a film that truly sculpted time, the time over which it was filmed and its run length, and is a near three hour shot of condensed life.School_of_Rock_Poster

Though these are more or less my favorites of Linklater’s (Before Sunset would round the list off nicely), but just to emphasise further how versatile his work has been, here’s a full list of all of his films. And yes, he really did direct School of Rock.

Everybody Wants Some!! – Teen Comedy

Boyhood – Coming of age Drama

Before Midnight – Romantic Drama

Bernie – Dark Comedy mystery

Me and Orson Welles – Period Drama

A Scanner Darkly – Sci-fi Thriller

Fast Food Nation – Comedy Drama

Bad News Bears – Children’s Comedy

Before Sunset – Romantic Drama

School of Rock – Family Comedy

Tape – Drama

Waking Life – Surreal Drama…thing

The Newton Boys – Crime Drama

SubUrbia – Coming of age Drama

Before Sunrise – Romantic Drama

Dazed and Confused – Stoner Comedy

Slacker – Comedy

5 Of The Best Comic Book Adaptation Castings

For those of you who don’t live on twitter or facebook, and as such, don’t exist to me, International Woman’s Day on Tuesday. I felt I should commemorate this by doing a blog about it, maybe the best films directed by women? Maybe the best actress’s, or maybe the best female roles in films. The possibilities are endless. Then I realised, that’s condescending as f*ck so went with this instead: Enjoy!

1. Robin Lord Taylor – The Penguin (Gotham)

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I thought I’d start with the one that will annoy the most people. Not with picking someone that isn’t good, because he is VERY good in this, but because what it means for the rest of the blog. You see, I decided to limit myself in this blog to one per franchise. So this is the Batman one. Think about that, that means I’m not including Heath Ledger, I’m not including Jack Nicholson, Adam West, Anne Hathaway (which considering how much I love Hathaway, really says something), Michael Keaton, Mark Hamill, Robert Swenson.

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That alone should say how good I find his performance. But I’ll try to explain it better: before I watched the series I HATED the character of The Penguin. It seemed to cartooney, too silly to work, so something could never work in a modern gritty show. Yet with him, it works. He’s without a doubt the best part of the show, and makes it worth watching just for him.

2. Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man (erm, Iron Man)

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Let’s get something straight, a lot of you don’t like the Iron Man character. You may think you do, but you don’t. You like Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Let’s face it, when Marvel made this film it was risky, more than it would seem to be now. Captain America would have been a much safer bet as he’s more recognisable. But Iron Man was better as a character to introduce the audience to the universe. Luckily it paid off as now we have Guardians Of The Galaxy etc, on the downside, we also have Avengers: Age Of Ultron. So it’s not all good.

3. JK Simmons – J.Jonah Jameson (Sam Raimi Spider-Man)

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I’m not doing this blog in any particular order really, just the order I feel like, because I’m a rebel who don’t play by society’s rules, man! If I was doing them in order of how absolutely PERFECT the casting is, this would be top. Numero uno. Number one. Top Gun. Jaws. The Godfather.

It’s often said that certain actors are born to play certain roles, and this is the one that he was absolutely BORN to play. He’s not playing the character here, he is the character. He embodies absolutely everything about it. God knows who they replaced him with when they rebooted the series, probably some blonde sweepy haired blue eyed prick from Dawson’s Creek or something.

4. Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool

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I was tempted to go with James “Smugface” McAvoy for the X-Men section. He gave Xavier a certain vulnerability that Patrick Stewart was never really given the chance to. Then I thought, maybe Fassbender as Magneto? I mean, he OWNED that role. Or maybe Hugh Jackman for defying all odds and being amazing at Wolverine (odd to think now, but a lot comic book fans HATED the idea of him as Wolverine when it was announced. But then again they also hated it when Ledger was announced as The Joker and Ben Afleck was announced as Batman, so really this just proves they don’t have a f*cking clue). But then I thought; f*ck it, it has to be Reynolds. It really does. Not just for what he did in the film, but because of how he’s embraced the character out of the film as well.

5. Christopher Reeve – Superman

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Do you even need to ask why? I mean, LOOK AT HIM!

 

So yeah, that’s it for today. Subscribe, follow, comment, stalk us and send us cake. You know, the usual 🙂

Why we love…Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

ironman33Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favourite films (I know, another one!). It’s also, technically, a Christmas film (like EVERY Shane Black film), so by that logic it must also be my favourite Christmas film….Okay no its not, as it’s not a film I associate strongly with Christmas, like Home Alone or Die Hard. But it is an underrated classic, it is Christmassy enough, and it’s a film I can ramble on about its awesomeness for a post. So here I go.

Kiss-Kiss-Bang-Bang-Movie-Direct-DownloadNow the film itself is a pulpy Neo-noir mystery, which follows a petty crook played by a pre Iron Man Robert Downy Jr, and a badass gay Private-eye played by post Batman and relevance Val Kilmer, who are forced to work together to solve a classic and very compelling murder mystery in LA.

Now based on that description the film could really be anything, from hard edged thriller, to straight to DVD action flick. But like most Shane Black pictures it’s one of my favourite genres, outrageously dark comedy, with some of that best pitch black humor this side of In Bruges (which would actually make a dapmnbk5i5mn fine double feature) and it is also gleefully Meta. It turns the classic hard boiled narration into a rambling fourth wall demolishing spiel delivered by whom else but Downy, who spends much of the film deconstructing film narrative and murder mystery tropes, in an enjoyably if sometimes too smugly, nit-picky and self-referential way.

kiss-kiss-bang-bang-movie-quoteBut the heart of the film, what really makes it tick, is the razor sharp, character driven, machine gun dialogue. In a world, of Tarantino and Brother’s Coen, this is one of the sharpest scripts in cinema. There is not a minute that goes by, where a clever bit of word play or a visual gag or a marriage of both isn’t being pulled off. And it’s not just a series of funny but generic one-liners that could be said by anyone in anything, the comedy is pulled from its characters, from their plight and problems, and walks of life. To laugh with them and at them, is to get to know them.

tumblr_ma0nd0s3bx1ractwko1_r1_500And there are characters beyond Downy and Kilmer…well character. With most of the cast ranging from two note Hench-men and campy as hell villains, the only other big character is Michelle Monaghan (one of the most drop dead gorgeous women ever). The fem fatale of the film, who really isn’t in anyway, but is actually the ditsy heart of the flick, adding the much needed warmth and tonal levity to this dark and funny tale of murder and sexual abuse….yup. Whose dynamite chemistry with Downy not only helps ground both characters and gets the plot moving, but will make you wish she’d pop up in a Marvel film just so you can see them bounce off each other again.

Now this may be hard to hear, but as great as Downtumblr_mw8h9tn6bN1r60h6bo1_250y and Monaghan are…this is Kilmer’s film. He is pitch perfect as the aforementioned badass gay Private-eye, known as, what else, Gay Perry. Now this is a 2005 film, so the handling of his gay character isn’t perfect, my biggest issue being how other characters overreact a bit too much to his gayness (though in funny ways). But his kisskissbangbang3-copycharacter itself is one of the best in fiction; because despite the name, it doesn’t define him. He’s a tough, foul mouthed, no nonsense talking, gun toting, sassily witted, motherfucking pimp, who also happens to be gay. And it’s not just shoved to the side either; it’s just one part of a whole character, who steals scenes like Robert Downy Jr steals hearts.

Oh and the films like set at Christmas and stuff, and there’s like fairy lights everywhere and Christmas parties and tings. It’s a Shane Black film. He even made Iron Man  a Christmas film!

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Shane Black’s apology for Iron Man 3

 

Picture1But It’s movies like this along with other Downy classics like, Wonder Boys, A Scanner Darkly, Zodiac, and the very good A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, that still have me convinced that Robert Downy Jr did his best work pre Iron Man (not to knock it), when he was exiled from Hollywood (you know because of drugs), and was trying to crawl his way back in. And I wish he would go back to doing smaller more interesting films, than just the Marvel flicks; hell just films more interesting than The Judge. But I doubt he ever will, with everything Marvel still happening, the piles of money just his goatee is worth, and his recent comments about his hatred towards indie films. So I won’t hold my breath.

 

Why I love Zodiac

This isn’t a review; it is a spiel about our love of films and what not. So expect spoilers, biased opinions and general rants.

zodiac
Easily the best poster, and of course its the one you can’t get.

I’m not sure where my love of mysteries started, probably from a childhood (and teenhood, and adulthood) of watching Scooby Doo, nothing major, but a place to start. Now, from LA Confidential, to Memories of Murder, it’s hard to think of a mystery film I haven’t seen, (but please don’t try, I hate having to face my lies) but Zodiac is one of, if not, the best.

Scooby_Doo zodiax

Right out the gate I’ve gotta say, it’s my favorite Fincher film, followed closely by The Social Network and Gone Girl (yes you read that right, neither Se7en nor Fight Club do I consider his best). And Zodiac is a near three hour, investigative murder mystery journalism film, where they never catch the killer. And damn it’s riveting. It’s that last bit, about the Zodiac never being caught, being one reason to why I love and find this film so re-watchable (I watch it almost Bi-monthly). As unlike almost every other serial killer flick, when you know who did it, you can never not know, no matter how enjoyable of a film it is, the first watch is usually the best. That’s part of what makes Zodiac special, though it hazards a guess at who the Zodiac was, and follows it through with compelling, even satisfying evidence, you never know 100%, so with every watch your still looking, thinking, trying to see if there was anything you missed that could lead you to the Zodiac.

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I really don’t have any deep problems with any of Fincher’s films, I just thought this made a good image….Expect maybe Se7en!

It also features one of my favorite scenes in cinema, it happens in the last fifteen minutes of the film (I love it when the best part of the film is near the end, it’s something to look forward to during it), and it doesn’t feature a gun fight, it doesn’t move me to tears, it’s not shot in partially amazing fashion; it’s just two guys (Gyllenhaal’s cartoonist and Ruffalo’s detective respectively), sitting in a café, as Gyllenhaal lays out the entire case, the entire film in front of us. Every complex facet of evidence, every casual event, all the major characters, it’s all led to this, and it’s explained in a perfectly written scene, with an enthrallingly intense turn from Gyllenhaal, till it climaxes with this films closes thing to a big reveal. And god it’s satisfying.

cafe
Never has the choice over salt or pepper been so intense.

This scene also sums up why it’s my favorite serial killer film, and the tagline summaries it perfectly too. “There’s more than one way to lose your life to a killer”. It’s a film about obsession, and how it can eat you alive. Unlike films where you’re worried about the characters  dying, there’s rarely a moment where you think someone’s going to be killed (outside the victims obviously),  but as it unfolds and the characters (mainly Gyllenhaal) fall deeper and deeper and deeper, even when its all said and done, you can’t help but wonder. Can they live again?

Jake

Now I know it’s not cool to care about Academy Awards, and I get it, overall they’re pretty cheap with whom and what they consider worthy (no love for Jake Gyllenhaal unless he’s macking on a cowboy it seems). But at the same time, they do tend to choose pretty good films, and Zodiac easily should have been a major awards contender in 2008, for directing, writing, acting (Robert Downy Jr especially), cinematography (the usual Fincher staples), and the reason it wasn’t I completely put on the studio. They released it at the wrong time, and advertised it the wrong way. Selling it as a fun, messed-up, thrills per-minute serial killer film (Se7en cough, cough) and releasing it in spring; instead of in Oscar season (October-December) and as the investigative drama it is (All The President’s Men meets Citizen X), what the makers always intended it to be. But though I blame them for this, I can see why they did it. Coming off the big hit of the very enjoyable thriller Panic Room, and Fincher’s last serial killer film being a massive hit, I see why the studio treated it like they did. They wanted another Se7en, even though Fincher gave them something much more.

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It’s films like Zodiac that made me pretty happy when I heard Fincher’s series with HBO had fallen through, because despite how much I like House of Cards, and have heard that Utopia is a great show, I didn’t want Fincher’s spending all his time on a TV series when he could be making more films like this, or Gone Girl, or The Social Network. TV’s amazing right now (check out last weeks post on Breaking Bad, wink, wink), with a lot of hugely talented people creating epic feats of fiction, so we need to make sure Film stays great, and Fincher’s pretty good at that.
(Yes I’m aware he’s still producing the TV Show Shakedown and Video Synchronicity (both which sound really good), but who the hell knows at this point, and at least he’s not directing the entire series.)