Monday, March 12, 2007

Action: Iron Man Underway

Intended 2008 blockbuster Iron Man supposedly begins filming today. He has never been one of my favorite characters but then, neither was Spider-Man and those movies have proven themselves the gold standard of superhero films. I'm crossing my fingers.

Still, Marvel's recent trending towards the shotgun approach to movie-making (i.e. just point and shoot, the bullets will hit something) makes me wary. So, too does the casting of Gwyneth Paltrow as "Pepper Potts." I have nothing against Gwynnie ...nor nothing for her come to think of it. She's one of those actors that I am completely middle ground on. I can go either way with each new appearance. But didn't the casting directors see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? That's as close as the Oscar winner has gotten to a comic book film and she was dreadful in it.

Different genres challenge actors in different ways and not everyone slides easily into each. Even the great Meryl Streep claims a genre she doesn't understand how to act in (ftr: the pscyhological thriller which she tried only once: Still of the Night, 1982).


The heightened boldly colored performances that superhero films thrive on, performances rooted in reality but with a touch of the fanciful, have brought out wonderful things in actors as diverse as Tobey Maguire, Christian Bale, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer (the latter's take on Catwoman remains the absolute pinnacle of this brand of performance). But there are plenty of actors (Halle Berry, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner among them) who just don't have the right chops or imagination for it, even though they're good in other things. So, I worry... If she flops though, Robert Downey Jr (as Tony Stark / Iron Man), Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges (the other members of this films pricey cast) will hopefully be overcompensating to cover for her.

9 comments:

JA said...

To be honest, I'd blame Gwynnie's seriously stunted performance in SCATWOT (how's that for an acronym?) on not knowing exactly what to do with a) the total green-screen-osity going down, and b) having a shit-ass (yes, "shit-ass") character to deal with. I mean, Angie Jolie had some fun schtick to work with, so it's not really fair comparing the two - Angie got an eye-patch and leather! Gywnnie got a hair wave and tweed.

I grossed myself out with all the name-shortening I just did in that paragraph, btw.

Jose said...

Ignore my Gwyn bias for a while, but I think she was rather good in Sky Captain.
Her character reminded me of the Lois Lane of the 40s Superman cartoons.
She WAS supposed to be merely damsel in distress with some comedic relief here and there, so it's not really her fault that she had to be ditzy and annoying all the time, the character was like that.
I can't wait to see her in Iron Man.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Liza Minelli!!!!!

Anonymous said...

A prediction: Downey wins Best Supporting Actor next year for "Zodiac" and then "Iron Man" comes out two weeks later, thus continuing the tradition of following up a Best Supporting win with abyssmal crap.

NATHANIEL R said...

isn't that best actress ;)

NATHANIEL R said...

not downey but the follow up i mean

Kamikaze Camel said...

Gwyneth is actually my favourite member of the cast. I like Jeff Daniels fine, but I never really jumped on the Terrance Howard bandwagon (although he was good in Hustle & Flow) and Downey Jr? I dunno. Not a fave.

Gwyneth though is someone who I just like.

And, I sorta liked Sky Captain and sorta liked Gwyneth in it. To each their own.

Beau said...

I personally loved Sky Captain, and her in it. Granted, it's not her best work by a long shot ('Royal Tenenbaums' takes the cake for me), but it was certainly a stretch for her to take, and she took that archetype, manipulated it and manifested, and I enjoyed watching the transformation.

Paul C. said...

I'm willing to give IRON MAN the benefit of the doubt, in large part because Jon Favreau is directing. MADE wasn't the best debut, but ELF and ZATHURA are both solid entertainments. He'll never be Altman or anything, but he can do fun studio pics better than most directors nowadays. Should do better with IRON MAN than the director of TAXI did with FANTASTIC 4, anyway.

And whoever thought Downey would be top-lining a blockbuster? I love the guy, but given his history, this was unexpected. But in a really GOOD way.