Friday, 30 April, 2010
Despite making his first appearance in 1963, Iron Man hasn’t enjoyed quite the same profile of other superheroes. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Spider-Man instantly come to mind, but Iron Man?
Created by comic book writer Stan Lee (Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk), he is the doppelganger of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), an ordinary man who has no special powers, aside from great talent as an engineer.
Iron Man is comparable to Batman, crime fighting alter ego of Bruce Wayne. Like Wayne, Stark is a billionaire, heads a large company, and is a playboy to boot. Unlike Wayne, Stark’s superhero-like abilities come from a powered iron suit he has designed and built.
Iron Man 2, the movie adaptation of the comic book series, picks up the story shortly after events of 2008′s Iron Man. Stark, having publicly revealed his identity, is now resisting pressure from the US military to share the technology of his suit.
Meanwhile in Russia, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), who also goes by the name “Whiplash”, is quietly developing his own variation of the iron suit, along with plans to usurp Iron Man, who he thinks has become arrogant and over confident.
Venko makes himself known in spectacular fashion while Stark is competing in a car race in Monaco. Donning his iron suit however, Stark manages to overcome Venko, who is promptly imprisoned. It is later revealed that he has died in custody.
In-fact Venko’s death was faked by Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), whose company competes with Stark’s, and Hammer soon succeeds in persuading Venko to work with him. And how could he not be won over by the lure of unlimited resources with which to develop his suit idea?
Before long Venko has created a platoon of drones based on his iron man like suit, and together with Hammer, is preparing for a final confrontation with Iron Man…
If you’re looking for high speed stunts, explosions, and battles between good guys who are hopelessly out-numbered by villains obsessed with world domination, and their invincible side-kick robots, then “Iron Man 2” is for you. Otherwise the formula is more than a little flat.
The film also suffers from what seems to be an over abundance of improvisation, particularly in regards to many of the actors’ lines (hey, did I really say that?). And then there is the overly convoluted plot, there’s a number of disparate threads to grab hold, and make sense, of.
An example of this is the puzzling – though not entirely unwelcome – inclusion of Scarlett Johansson as some sort of secret “triple” (to use Stark’s words) agent, whose only real role however seems to be to distract him.
While I won’t spoil the ending too much for you, it’s more than apparent that this isn’t the last of the Iron Man films… hopefully though the next installment in the series will be a little more engaging.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, movies, reviews, Robert-Downey-Jr, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett-Johansson
Monday, 19 April, 2010
Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell are said to have been cast in a film, “Lunatic at Large”, that Stanley Kubrick originally planned to produce almost 50 years ago.
Production Weekly broke the news on Twitter last night, reporting that the project is based on an original story by Kubrick and pulp writer Jim Thompson. The film-maker was set to shoot the movie in the early 1960s, but withdrew after being offered the chance to direct Roman epic Spartacus by its star, Kirk Douglas. Thompson and Kubrick’s work was completed in the late 50s, and the film is set in 1956 New York. It centres on an ex-carnival worker with serious anger-management issues and a nervous, attractive barfly he picks up.
film, movies, Scarlett-Johansson, Stanley Kubrick
Friday, 27 November, 2009
Move over Scarlett Johansson. Carla Bruni, as in wife of the French President, is now inspiring Woody Allen’s film making.
She is a quintessential Minor Woody Allen Character: sexy, wealthy, European in that luxury-hotel sense that he adores, liberated in a pre-feminist sort of way, with creative aspirations that are preposterous but which powerful, besotted men might well indulge in the hope of getting inside her exquisitely tailored culottes.
Carla Bruni, film, inspiration, Muse, Scarlett-Johansson, Woody-Allen
Monday, 30 March, 2009
Lost in Translation makes it onto the list of Five great films where nothing much happens… but are they any less enthralling?
Talking of Lost in Translation, I stumbled upon a IMBd discussion about a “mystery man” who was seen in Charlotte’s (Scarlett Johansson) hotel room at one point (when she was supposed to be alone).
Clearly a goof, but it’s piqued my curiosity now.
films, Lost in Translation, movies, plots, Scarlett-Johansson, storylines
Thursday, 1 January, 2009
What a premise director Woody Allen dangles before us here. The prospect of a ménage à trois featuring Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall, and then Scarlett with Penélope Cruz. A ploy to get the punters in perhaps? Well, no, not quite.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is an attempt to define love, and what we want from it. And what a quest that is. By curtain fall we discover (or rediscover) that what works for one person (or possibly even a couple…) doesn’t fly for the next person.
Perhaps a plan would help? Is love (and marriage) a duty, an obligation? Or should we go with the flow and see if we can (ever) find something that suits?
And sometimes all we may ever come to know is what we don’t want.
movies, Penelope Cruz, Rebecca Hall, reviews, Scarlett-Johansson, Woody-Allen
Wednesday, 14 May, 2008
celebrities, Scarlett-Johansson, trends
Friday, 18 April, 2008
Scarlett Johansson To Wrap Mighty Lungs Around Tom Waits
That’s how it sounds too… I’ve been listening to a couple of tracks from her upcoming album Anywhere I Lay My Head, I’m especially liking her rendition of Tom Waits’ Falling Down…
Mighty lungs indeed :)
albums, covers, Scarlett-Johansson, Tom Waits
Monday, 25 February, 2008
A powerful, modern woman
Scarlett Johansson discusses ambition, success, and her role in The Other Boleyn Girl, where she plays Mary Boleyn, one of King Henry VIII’s mistresses.
It’s 450 years since Anne Boleyn’s head fell from the chopping block but ambitious women are still regarded with suspicion by Hollywood’s chroniclers, the popular press. Johansson is not the kind of person to bow to those expectations. “Ambition is healthy,” she says firmly. “All people who are successful are ambitious. And you have to be ambitious to be successful. You have to be hopeful, have to see the possibility. And you have to set goals for yourself. I think that’s important.”
ambition, Mary Boleyn, movies, Scarlett-Johansson, success, The Other Boleyn Girl
Wednesday, 16 May, 2007
Click image to visit Amazon
page for Scoop.
Scoop is the latest Woody Allen production and combines elements of his earlier work including Manhatten Murder Mystery, and the more recent Match Point, plus of course Scarlett Johansson. The result is a quirky, yet fun, murder whodunit set in London and the neighbouring home counties.
Allen plays a touring magician, (often surprised when a trick seems to work!) who meets Scarlett when she takes part in his show. Together they have to solve a murder working only with scant clues supplied by a recently deceased journalist who has managed to return from the after life. Anyone who has enjoyed Allen’s neurotic banter in past films will not be disappointed!
movies, reviews, Scarlett-Johansson, Scoop, Woody-Allen
Thursday, 30 November, 2006
First an aside, I wonder if The Prestige was the team behind 2005’s Batman Begins deciding to apply their collective acting and producing talents to a completely different story? We have Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and director Christopher Nolan, all from Batman, present here.
The Prestige essentially tracks the unhealthy obsession (is any obsession healthy though?) friends turned rivals, Alfred Borden (Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), have with each other’s magic acts, and the ends one will go to so as to out do the other.
Caught up in this rivalry is Scarlett Johansson as stage assistant, Olivia, who becomes romantically involved with both men during the course of proceedings.
And though I knew David Bowie was also in the movie I didn’t spot him as Tesla, an American inventor “competing” with Thomas Edison.
Christian Bale, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, reviews, Scarlett-Johansson