May 2, 2008 Iron Man
Studio: Paramount Pictures Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and brief suggestive content.
In the superhero universe most good guys are born with their powers or acquire them through a twist of fate.
But in "Iron Man," Tony Stark's strength comes from his genius and modern technology.
Marvel Comics' journey to create an independent movie studio is complete with the release of its first film." Starring Robert Downey, Junior as the billionaire industrialist Stark, the film starts off with a bang. Visiting Afghanistan to show off his latest military hardware, Stark's convoy is attacked and he is taken hostage. Asked to build a high-tech missile for his captors, Stark instead constructs a suit of armor which will change his destiny forever.
After escaping and returning home, Stark begins fine-tuning his creation. He intends to use the suit as a tool to destroy the weapons which have fallen into the wrong hands.
After he perfects his suit, Stark's first mission takes him back to Afghanistan. He handles the terrorists who had been killing innocents but the U.S. military doesn't like surprises and a sky-high confrontation ensues.
Escaping from two fighter jets, Stark heads back home to plot his next move.
"Iron Man" is flat out one of the best movies, not just superhero movies, that I've seen in a while. Downey, Junior is perfect as Stark. A Howard Hughes-type playboy figure, his journey to crusader with a conscience is logical and realistic.
Stark is no invulnerable Superman. In fact, he has to use technology just to stay alive. But it makes the character more accessible and gives him a vulnerability which many heroes lack.
Jeff Bridges plays Stark's mentor and business partner Obadiah Stane. On the surface, his concern is for both Tony and Stark Industries. But some of Stane's methods are eventually called into question. Terrence Howard plays Jim Rhodes, a military liaison between the Pentagon and Stark's company. He's also Tony's best friend. And Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts is Tony's personal assistant and the one constant in his life.
Director Jon Favreau has crafted a wonderful, compelling movie with a story that matches its incredible special effects. If the rest of the summer movies are as good as this one this will be a great season.
On my rating scale, "Iron Man" earns a Home Run.
And be sure to stay until after the credits roll. There is a great surprise, extra scene that comic book and superhero fans will love.
COPS Tonight at 8:00 PM Stupid Behavior No. 5
After a man crashes into a sign and takes off on foot, he collapses complaining of heart trouble; officers find meth and possible stolen items in a suspect's pocket; a couple argues over a damaged wall