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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #528 (Vol. 11, No. 19). This edition is for the week of May 3--9, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Iron Man 2"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Iron Man 2"  by Mike Smith
Album of the Month: Hole- Nobody's Daughter  by Terence Nuzum
My Friend Erma: The Erma Broombeck Interview, Part 2  by ED Tucker
Great Adventures in Listening to Jpop present: Molice Catalystrock  by Jason Fetters
The Top 30 Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Actresses, #2  by Lisa Scherer
Tampa Comic Con for May 2010  by John Miller
Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Paramount Pictures     
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Mickey Rourke
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 4 mins

Sometimes a sequel is just a sequel. Films like “Jaws the Revenge,” “Rocky V” and any number of films featuring Jason or Freddy only serve one purpose: advance the story (and make money…sorry, two purposes). And sometimes a sequel is so much more. “The Godfather Part II.” “The Empire Strikes Back.” The list is very short. But this week you can add the title “Iron Man 2.”

Moscow. While the rest of the city…heck the world…watch a news conference that features millionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark (Downey) announcing to the gathered media that he indeed IS Iron Man. In his dreary apartment Ivan Vanko (Rourke) can only mourn on this day. His father has died and Vanko blames Stark for his death. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Stark is dealing with a pushy U.S. Senator (Gary Shandling) who maintains that the Iron Man outfit is not only a weapon but one that should be turned over to our government. An attempt to force Stark to give up his costume ends badly for those involved, with Stark literally having the last laugh. But while triumphant for the moment, Stark discovers that the Palladium that makes up his “heart” is slowly killing him. He must find a cure soon or else…..hey, what ever happened to that Russian guy?

Faster and louder than the first film, “Iron Man 2” is a fanboy’s dream come true. And much of the credit for that sentence belongs to Downey, who has gone from being a punchline to any number of jokes to one of the best, hardest working actors of his generation. Tony Stark is good at being a super hero for one main reason…everyone knows he is one. While Batman and Superman must be cautious so their secret identities are not revealed, the whole world knows who Iron Man is. This single fact alone makes Iron Man the perfect hero. He doesn’t have to worry about falling in love and having that person’s life put in jeopardy because of who he is. He’s Iron Man!

The rest of the cast contribute to the story as well, with three new faces on board. Don Cheadle stands in admirably for the first film’s Terrence Howard as Stark’s air force pal James Rhodes. Scarlett Johansson is perfect as Starks latest assistant while Rourke continues to burn brightly on his Hollywood comeback tour. Kudos also to Sam Rockwell, who plays a rival weapons manufacturer whose jealousy of Tony knows no boundary. Director Favreau leaves no stone unturned as he brings the audience into the middle of the on screen action and the use of AC/DC music, both old and new, are perfect companions to his vision.

As I said earlier, sometimes a sequel is so much more. In fact, I’ll close here with a sequel of my own…the same words I used to close my review of the first film two years ago: “ I urge comic fans to stick around to the very end to see what the future holds.” I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty special. On a scale of zero to four I give “Iron Man 2”


This week's movie review of "Iron Man 2" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.