Last Thursday night I had a bee in my bonnet; I wanted to take my family to the midnight showing of Iron Man 2. It’s not that I am a huge super hero fan (I’m not, though I still adore George Clooney as Batman!), I just thought it would be one of those fun, silly, spur-of-the-moment, kind of things. Nick was in favor of this ridiculous plan for a school night immediately (once again….the apple….the tree), Chuck was reluctant, but agreeable, Amanda (the voice of reason) didn’t think it was such a grand plan, but was willing to go for the sake of everyone else. She was hesitant (I hope she shows this type of restraint when she goes away to college……), maintaining that she had gymnastics practice until 9pm Thursday night and a busy day on Friday; school, 8th grade Play Practice, and then gymnastics again. She thought maybe she should get a good night’s sleep. OMG! Let me tell you that when I was a teenager (or clearly as a grown up for that matter), I would have never turned down an offer to stay up all night and play. Hey, who’s the adult around here anyway? When Chuck questioned us further about the upcoming events on Friday, he did point out that the midnight movie might not be a great choice. Really now, what is wrong with these people? When it comes to responsibility versus fun, is there ever really a question? Apparently, there is.
So now it’s Saturday night at the 30 theater mega-plex; youngsters, teeny boppers, gals, guys, singles, couples, retirees, all swarming the place, looking for a little entertainment. Nick was, of course, out for the night, as he is a teenager. We won’t have Amanda for much longer, so we make sure to enjoy her company while she is still available (and by available I mean stuck at home with us). My mom and I had the honor of attending my cousin Terri’s graduation ceremony (she earned a BSN. Way to go Nurse Terri!), and made it just in time to meet Chuck and Amanda at the movies. I am like an old immigrant woman, and I bring my own snacks and beverages to the show (it’s criminal what it costs for a family to go to the movies on a Saturday night), but since I wasn’t coming from home, I instructed Amanda in the art of being a cheapskate. In a sling bag she stuffed five bottles of water and a few chocolate bars. That way, we only needed to visit the concession stand for popcorn…….which is expensive enough.
My favorite part of the whole movie going experience is the Coming Attractions. I love to have something to look forward to. Robin Hood looks pretty good, though I’m not normally a huge fan of Action Pictures. This one had a Braveheart kind of a feel to it, and Braveheart was awesome (love, love, love Mel Gibson! Lethal Weapon, The Man With Two Faces, What Women Want…… He’s great.). Adam Sandler’s latest offering, Grownups, with Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and that Rob Schneider (who owes his entire career to Adam Sandler, and I’m not sure we should thank Mr. Sandler for that), looks charming too. However, I must question, in what universe does Adam Sandler ever end up with Salma Hayek?
Anyway, the movie gets underway with Iron Man dancing on stage at the Stark Expo, cheerleaders and an American flag in the background ala James Brown…..Living In America (I feel good)…..in Rocky IV. All very fine. What I like about Iron Man is the spectacle of it all. Tony Stark isn’t a billionaire recluse like Bruce Wayne, or a nerdy fella in love with Lois Lane like Clark Kent. Tony Stark is cocky and arrogant and full of bravado. He’s not hiding from anyone, far from it. He’s out there, just daring anyone to mess with Iron Man and America. He’s a bona fide, if not self aggrandizing, American Hero. Robert Downey, Jr. is suave and charming, as his alter ego Tony Stark (or Sherlock Holmes, take your pick; same character, different century. Either way, Robert Downey, Jr. plays them fantastically well.).
Iron Man 2 was great. The plot was your typical; good-guy hero wrestles personal demons, and despite his inner struggle, saves the world. I would have expected nothing less. I’m a sucker for exactly what Jon Favreau did; cast big time favorite actors in his movie just because he can;
• Mickey Rourke is a comeback success story (not at all unlike Robert Downey, Jr. and look at him now!) and was perfect as the angry Russian Physicist with a vengeful grievance, though I think the wardrobe department from The Wrestler would like their dirty, disgusting, t-shirt back.
• Sam Rockwell is one of my quirky all time fav’s. I loved him as Chuck Barris (of Gong Show fame) in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by the great George Clooney. I also thought he was super cute in Charlie’s Angels.
• I like Scarlett Johansson well enough. To me she will always be Mrs. Ryan “Darling Smarty Pants” Reynolds, until the day that they probably get divorced (only because Hollywood marriages rarely last).
• Garry Shandling has been one of my very favorite comedians forever. We saw him once in concert years ago and he was a nervous wreck, which made me like him even more.
• Terrence Howard must have thought he had more important things to do than star in Iron Man 2. Really, why exactly does one bypass a part in a summer blockbuster? One man’s trash is another mans treasure, so I imagine we’ll see Don Cheadle in Iron Man 3.
• Gwyneth Paltrow was Pepper in the first movie, and she was equally lovely this go around.
• Every time I see Samuel L. Jackson I think, “He’s one bad ass, mother f***er!” I’m not exactly sure how important he was to the plot of this movie (though I’m sure Nick Fury and the Avenger Initiative was introduced to set the stage for Iron Man 3, or a vehicle of his very own), but he’s awesome just the same.
• I have loved Jon Favreau forever (and not just because he’s tight with Vince Vaughn). He’s clearly a great director…need I remind you of Elf? My favorite Jon Favreau moment is when he portrays Monica’s boyfriend on Friends (remember his character’s passion for fake wrestling? Maybe that’s why he was all over casting Mickey Rourke…). He was great fun as the devoted Happy!
As the More is More Mom® I would highly recommend Iron Man 2…….More action! More fun! More Robert Downey Jr.!