Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's Next On My Marvel List? (Movies) Iron Man and the Hulks

Tony Stark is a billionaire, having earned his father’s legacy: weapon building for the US army. But during one of his trips to the troops he gets abducted to build one of his own missiles for the terrorists. However, during his abduction his heart gets injured and almost loses his life, so he builds a small version of an energy device they developed back in the US, that will keep his heart bumping. He also comes to the conclusion that using the materials he was given for the missiles, he can build himself an armor that will be powered by the energy tube he perfected. He gets away and back to the US where he decides to shut down Stark Industries, after seeing what war his weapons were fighting. His right man, Obadiah goes mad over loosing power in the Industry, while Tony creates the perfect armor: Iron Man. They fight, he wins, Nick Fury shows up.
Thoughts? I really love this movie even though I always skip the first half hour. I just don’t care for it. I understand completely that he needed to get low to rise up. I also get that there is a need to tell the audience who he is, you can’t just start a movie with him already being Iron Man. But that doesn’t mean that I have to watch that unbereable first half hour. I like Tony because he is fun, he is an alcoholic and a playboy. He is the most unlikely person to become a hero, and yet he does: he had a great father and he was thought properly to cherish life – almost dying opened his eyes finally.
Robert Downey is a wonderful actor, he truly nailed Tony, even if to be honest I didn’t fancy the idea of him portraying the great hero at first. I liked to be proven wrong, in case of movies. Definitely worth checking out, it is the first episode of The Avengers series (read my review here!).

Tony has admitted being Iron Man and is now even more famous. He is head of a science depo where various projects are presented to the public. Among them Justin Hammer and his robots, a loser who is committed to defeating Tony; therefore he hires a genius scientist who is set on killing Tony Ivan Vanko: he believes Tony’s dad stole his plans for the energy tube from his dad. But that is not all the trouble, Tony is being infected with a toxic substance that the energy batteries release into his budy. So Nick Fury gives him a hint that the formula for the energy source he has been looking for might already have been invented by someone else: his dad. But before this he loses all of his friends, Lt. Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes gets one of his suits and gets and upgrade to the War Machine. In the last fight they destroy the robots that Vanko created for Justin Hammer and also destroy Vanko.
Thoughts? I loved it because Downey finalled chanelled into the Tony I love in the comics. The funny one liners, the alcoholism that is brought on by a bit of depression. It is wonderful, in the first movie we get to know Tony, how everything he knew got crushed because of that dreadful experience – how he almost died. The director played close attention to make sure that this perfectly layed ground work gets built on. There is a feeling that he is trying to get rid of everyone on purpose – he knows his time is running out once again, there is a hurry to find a solution. Also War Machine was a really good addition. You can see that everyone in the making of this movie cares about their viewers, about the fans, about the comic! Every line, every scenary is perfectly thought through. And, above everything else WONDERFUL Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow! Big-big hurray! In the comics the Black Widow appeared for the first time in Iron Man, so it was a wonderful idea to bring her in, seeing that Iron Man was the first episode that, as I said above, presented us with the Avengers initiative. It is a good movie, personally I’d rather watch this one, instead of the first, and I am looking forward to the third, but if you do decide to get into it, make sure to check both of them out!

Scientist Bruce Banner gets exposed to gamma radiation during an experiment. However, when he was young, his father experimented on him and it is thanks to that that he survived. But there is a side-effect to it: whenever his heart pumps up, his adrenaline spikes and he gets angry, he turns into an undefeatable green monster. There is only one thing that can calm him: Betty Ross. She is (in this version) his ex-girlfriend, who still obviously cares for him, even though their relationship didn’t work out. Turns out Bruce’s father is still around, although he was assumed to be dead, and is quite proud of the experiment he created, even if Bruce hates him for it. His dad too is a sort of freak that feeds on electricity, Bruce defeats him and runs away, worried he will harm Betty if he stays around.
Thoughts? OK, first off I hate reptiles, as you might have gathered from my Elektra review (click here to read it!), and Bruce’s dad uses them in the title montage, so I hated that. I basically haven’t seen the beginning, I had to have my eyes closed. However I do have this vivid picture in my mind where the younger version of his dad is holding a lizard in his hand and a needle in the other – needles being my second phobia - so the movie starts off great for me! Second, I really don’t know what critics and the viewers disliked in this movie, I can only guess that is was Bruce’s dad. He was played by Nick Nolte and gotta tell you, my biggest problem with him is that I can’t decide if he is mad or just a really good actor. He has played the same – mad-like – character for a good couple of years now. Anyway, getting back. Hmm… WHAT A SHOCK, but I genuinely love this movie too. I never cared much for the Hulk, however the love between Bruce and Betty totally got to me. I find Bana and Jennifer Connelly to be a perfect casting choice. There is this beautiful scene where the Hulk is running fiercely towards Betty but he slows down and just the bare touch of her hand, her caress calms him down. It is truly one of my favorite movie moments of all time. It makes the whole movie worth every second of it!

Weirdly, even though this movie isn’t a direct sequel, it didn’t use the formula of the new Amazing Spider-Man, where they restarted from the very beginning. No, here they automatically assumed that everyone who cared, already saw the Eric Bana version, or they simply know who the Hulk is. And that is highly appreciated! They brought us a really good story because of it.
Bruce is gone. After his last transformation, he put Betty in the hospital and has run away to never hurt her again. Also Betty’s dad sends him away, which is stupid, because he spends the whole movie trying to find him. You see in this version Bruce was already a scientist for the army, so General Ross sincerely believed that the Hulk was US property and he wanted to get it back. During his search he came across a soldier, Emil Blonsky, who wanted a taste of what hulk is about. However Bruce has found someone on the net who might have a solution for his sickness so he goes back to New York where he accidentally runs into Betty. The Hulk is forced out of him once again, but this time he escapes with Betty – he needs to find this scientiest before the army arrests him. Although the antidote might work, Bruce is forced to change because Blonsky has gone rogue and he is the only one who can defeat him. In the end General Ross realizes that too many people have died because of his obsession and that the Hulk is not a weapon – it’s a disease. Bruce runs away once again and that is where the Avengers pick up the story.
Thoughts? Initially I was afraid that Ed Norton won’t be the kind of nerd I am looking for, but he proved me wrong, and I was relieved. However one thing bothered me more then anything which is Tim Roth. Don’t get me wrong, he is a really good actor, but Tim Roth is Tim Roth. There is a scene where him and William Hurt are walking and - Tim Roth doesn’t walk like a normal person, he walks like Tim Roth: his leg is bended a bit, his shoulder is brought down, he actually looks like he is limping while leaning over something. He is supposed to be this wonderful soldier, top of the line, best of the best... and you can't stand up straight? And I swear, if that scene alone were cut, the movie would’ve had one less fault. Second problem was a bit of an error I believe, plot wise. As I mentioned before, General Ross finds Bruce by the side of Betty’s hospital bed and in a rage sends him away – so he does leave, feeling guilty. But then Ross goes mad over trying to find Bruce. Why did he just arrest him in the hospital? I didn’t get that. He knew he was going to find him there, where else would he be? It would’ve been easy, I am pretty sure the hospital belonged to the army too. So that was a bit off. Also there are good villains and stupid ones, General Ross was clearly a stupid one and that is why I hated Tony Stark’s cameo in the end of the movie. Tony approaches Ross with the idea of the Avenger initiative, which is a terrible idea! Why Ross? What ever did he do in this movie to deserve to be cosulted on something so important? So he can go all crazy again, trying to find Bruce for the 1000th time?
Apart from all that, again, my main concern was Bruce and Betty’s relationship, and boy have the actors delivered! Honestly Ed Norton and Liv Tyler where a beautiful combo. I was moved, sincerely touched by the amount of love these two shared. It was mesmerising. Bravo! As far as their scenes go, I just might rewatch this movie a thousand more times!
I want to say check it out, but I believe that in some remote corner of the screenplay writer’s head, he did intend for this to be a sequel, so even if you don’t watch them one after to other, be sure to watch the first version too!

"All proceds will go to keeping the same actor to play the Hulk." 
- by Doug Walker as Chester A. Bum (click here to see his review of The Avengers!)

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