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.

Why we love Session 9 (and why you should see it)

Well as my colleague continues to beat on with his more relatable posts about films and TV shows normal people actually watch. I’ll cover our indie quota (aka I might have a pretentious taste in movies) and talk about the, should be better known stuff.

session_nine_xlg

Now with that said, welcome to our belated horror special, to celebrate this month of horror we call October. On today’s menu the 2001 psychological horror, Session 9, and why I love it, and you should see it. I didn’t really need to repeat that, as the title already says it.

simpososn
They look pretty guilt ridden. This wasn’t just a pointless image to pad out he words….promise…

Like with mysteries, I’ve always had a fascination with psychological horror. Starting from when I was a young teenager and got into the Silent Hill games (listen out for the coming static), and it mutated from there. But really, psychological is my favorite brand of horror, topping everything from the creature feature to slasher flicks. As I believe the scariest things always come from ourselves, and that’s what the genre reflects. Because what really keeps you up at night? The thoughts of a zombie munching its way through your abdomen, or the guilt over the bad things you’ve done?

Sequence 02To put it in movies, Session 9 is The Shining with a dash of Repulsion, but not as visually out there as either. Set over a week (and yes it even has the obligatory names of the week title cards) it follows a group of five asbestos removers as they work at a condemned Insane Asylum. Which is filmed at the real condemned Danvers State Asylum, where the majority of the film takes place. The work is hard, the personalities clash, and the weight of the place is suffocating. As in a much slower burn (yet much shorter film) than The Shining, our characters begin to crack and question what they’re doing there.

Danvers_State_Hospital
Danvers State Asylum, classic.

Though still fairly obscure, what’s helped build Session 9’s cult film status (a status any fucking film can lay claim to now a days), is it retrospectively has a great cast. Helmed by Brad Anderson, who would go onto direct The Machinist (aka, HOLY SHIT Christian Bale is an insane method actor). And led by a pre-cheesy one liner spewing, shade darning David Caruso of CSI: Miami fame (or infamy depending on who you ask….infamy definitely infamy), and the genuinely amazing and underrated Peter Mullan.
They and their lesser known co-stars do a perfect job filling out their somewhat stock characters into a likeable bunch. From Mullan and Caruso’s hard-boiled boss and cool right hand dynamic, to the annoying young one, the fun sleazy one, and the smart one whose a bit too obsessed with the Asylum. No one you haven’t seen before, but no one you will forget.

cast
How is there no cast photo! This was the closest I could get. And it’s still missing the sleazy one!

The reason Session 9 wasn’t a hit is a simple one. It just doesn’t have much mass appeal (or at the time, even much niche appeal). It lacks the bloodiness for gore hounds, or the jump-a-minute scares for tweens. It even lacks the out-there bizarreness of other psycho -horrors like Jacob’s ladder, or the prestige of budding atmospheric driven horrors like The Others (released the same year). But what it lacks in prestige it makes up for in fledgling filmic style. The camera is always moving, and moving with a purpose, to show and to tell, and the editing is the same, carefully cutting with meaning to foreshadow the coming tragedy.

session-9-suit
Okay, it does have it’s speckles of bizarreness.

Walking the line between true film and a bit home movie-ey, it creates a vividly oppressive atmosphere, without losing its sense of realism. You can feel the dust in the air, the sprinkles of asbestos  , the crackle of old tape recordings, and the cold dark as it lurks round every corner. Though never hide-behind-your-hands scary, it’s a creepy film that rots in your stomach and leaves you infected. Even as the plot gets more ambiguous and the characters get crazier, it never loses the feeling of being just five guys doing this shitty job, just to scrape by and gets some cash. Unlike a lot of modern horror films, it never lacks or loses its human centre (cough cough Until Dawn, cough cough, I know it’s a game).

wheel chair

Even if it wasn’t seen by many people, it has left a long and well warn impression on those who did. Going on to inspire imagery in Silent Hill 3, specifically the hospital level, and though far from a ‘classic’ is now a well-regarded for its atmosphere, story, and themes amongst horror aficionados. And is a personal favorite of mine in the horror genre, if I hadn’t mentioned. It also features one of my most beloved ending lines in cinema, quoted in the picture below, but without the context of the film holds little weight. So SEE IT, if you want to know what it means, and afflict this haunting picture onto yourself.

wounded

It also left us with this; either a funny but completely out of place bit of over the top hilarity, or Brad Anderson can join the ranks of other great directors, like Tommy Wiseau, of unintentionally being funny when trying too hard. But I think it’s probably the former.

If you like Session 9, I also recommend.

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