Movie news during the holiday season…pardon me for a second HOLY CRAP CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY AND I AM WOEFULLY, WOEFULLY UNPREPARED…is really slow. Everyone is winding down, studios are counting piles of money bigger than your house, and nobody really says or does crap. That means we get little notes like these two tiny things:
1.) Jon Favreau is not directing Iron Man 3 . This sounds more shocking than it is and more terrifying than it should be. Iron Man 2 was good. Iron Man was great. That is the general consensus, and unlike anti-government extremists who grab their guns at the mere sound of the ending suffix “sensus,” I have to agree. Part of the reason the first film worked was surprise, that’s for sure. The rest of it was the chemistry between all involved. They played fast-and-loose with the script and came out winners because Robert Downey Jr was the man and Favreau was flexible enough to make it work. The second film was an exercise in overconfidence. It was TOO scriptless, TOO disjointed. It could have used a bit more actual, logistical work. It was still fun, but it proved that you can’t just wing it every time and hit a home run. Cowboys and Aliens will tell us who the real Favreau is as a director. If it has the same problems as the second Iron Man, then I’m fine with him leaving that franchise. He’s got another huge project lined up, called Magic Kingdom, which will involve all sorts of Disney characters. Speculation has it Marvel didn’t want to pay Favreau big bucks, Favreau didn’t want a fight, and the rest is history. I think it could be fine. Provided they get the right guy in place for the third film, all is well. I actually hope this means they get someone a little more hands-on and we finally see the Iron Man movie I was promised in the first film: He fights Mandarin in a real, full-blown fight while the drinking issues are addressed. Could be great. Anyhoo, best wishes Johnny F. You’ll be just fine.
2.) I liked True Grit. I can’t give you a full review because the movie doesn’t open for like a week still, but I am permitted to dangle first impressions. I think audiences will be surprised how much fun the movie is, how much of a pure crowd-pleaser it is, and how well paced it is. I also think they’re in for a surprise as to the genre. This is a Western. Not one of those new-fangled hybrids that impose modern mentality on Western framework. No, this is a WESTERN. It could have been shot 50 years ago. I know some smart-ass is saying “It was shot 50 years ago, back when they made the original.” Well that’s the point. The point is you can still make damn good Westerns today and they still work. One more thing about the original: John Wayne was the Denzel Washington of his era. He had talent to be sure but most of that was just charisma. He had no range, he played every part the same, and even if you like him you have to admit both of those things. Jeff Bridges is twice the actor Wayne was, and you’re going to freak over how great his character is. The only reason he wasn’t nominated for the Golden Globe (and the only reason the young girl wasn’t nominated either) is because The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is the dumbest collection of whores and sycophants not holding elected office. Look for my full review soon, but just know that you have something awesome to look forward to.
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