the c & b diaspora

My New Roommate

Posted on: October 28, 2008

He’s about six feet tall, very handsome, and made from a titanium alloy (on the outside).

Fold my washing.
Fold my washing.

One of the first perks of my job at HMV, I managed to score a large cardboard display piece of everyone’s favourite hero; Iron Man. Given that the DVD/Blu-Ray was released yesterday (got your copy yet?), we had a couple of these in our stockroom. It would have been destined for a crumpled future in a recycle bin, had I not felt sympathetic toward it, and taken it home with me. I got a couple of funny looks on the bus.

Obviously, being a man, and wearing pants, this magnificent addition to our living environment required no consultation from my other half (who will be the subject of another post soon to come!) and I had a few discussions with my workmates as to what hilarious pranks I should pull with this large object. Highlights included: putting it in the bed, cutting off the head and standing behind it, and so on.

So the movie, even though you should have seen it already, is totally awesome. Its probably better than The Dark Knight, as a superhero film. Wait- before you start shouting things at me like:


Think for a second. Ledger’s performance as The Joker is fantastic and very memorable, and his untimely passing only heightened the world’s reception of his role. If he were still among us, despite his performance being as good as it is, there would not be such immense hype/raving about it.

In our attempts to take in every aspect of The Joker, audiences worldwide have overlooked the other things that make The Dark Knight more than just a ‘superhero’ film. I’ve read many articles comparing it to Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) (something I really should watch again) and it totally works as a crime piece, even with all the oddly dressed characters running rampant in the streets of Gotham. And Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent; he totally owns it. I’m going to avoid talking about Christian Bale’s Bat-lisp.

Iron Man and The Dark Knight are both superhero films, but they are almost polar opposites. Cast aside the obvious distinctions, such as which parent company they are spawned from (Marvel or DC) and the super-powers (or lack of) of both leading characters. Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are essentially the same man. Both are extremely rich, and both lost their parents at an early age. Living lives of empty decadence as very eligible bachelors, and through some way or another, fight crime via means of an alter ego.

The visual and thematic elements of the films essentially mirror the persona of its respective character. Nolan’s incarnation of Gotham City is bleak and depressing, a far cry from the representation of most cities in films of this genre; citizens are terrified, and the forces of authority are in the pockets of criminals. Tony Stark’s world is one of decadence, the weather always seems to be perfect, and beautiful women and parties are abundant.

Marvel and Paramount took a bit of a gamble hiring Jon Favreau as director and casting Downey Jr. in the lead role. But it totally paid off. Even with the few changes made to the Iron Man’s origin, (to something more contemporary, albeit slightly overused) it still remains true to its form. The film comes out swinging, and apart from a slight drag towards the end of the second act, goes for the full twelve rounds.

I’m fully aware of the film’s advertising connections, but despite that, every time I hear Tony Stark say “I want an American cheeseburger”, I want one too. I’m almost salivating by the time he sits down at the press conference, Burger King in hand. Downey Jr. was perfect for this role.

Right before the credits roll, and you hear that song (and boy, is it awesome) there is another press conference. Halfway through his speech explaining what happened to the public, Stark changes his mind and proudly states “I am Iron Man”. It’s not just the citizens of that universe that is receiving that information; its Downey Jr. announcing to us, that he is Iron Man.

Get it now, on DVD and Blu-Ray. (Get the special edition please.)

New blog title: ‘chris’ really really late reviews inspired by cardboard cutouts’.


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