Tag Archive: robert downey jnr


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a crime action comedy that was released back in 2005 to critical acclaim with some critics calling it one of the best movies of that year. The film tells the story of a murder mystery that brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor. It takes place at Christmas time and is packed full of great action, fantastic characters and brilliant dialogue and it has quickly become one of my favourite films of all time, here is why:

Shane Black. Black is the writer of films such as Lethal Weapon and The Last Action Hero which are both very popular films but there is a difference between those and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which comes a whole seven years after Black’s last film credit. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is both written and directed by Shane Black and I am a huge fan of this style of film making. When a writer is able to direct his project as well it means that there is arguably more passion involved in the directing and the writer can make the movie exactly as they envision it. Black’s love of his characters and script come through really well in the directing and help to make the film seem more personal.

As well as being Shane Black’s comeback Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was also the film that gave Robert Downey Jnr his (second) big break. Downey plays Harry Lockhart who is the character at the centre of the movie’s plot. Harry Lockhart is the thief who fell into the world of acting and the character is a perfect fit for Robert Downey Jnr. He smacks of wit and charm and is very similar to the version of Tony Stark that audiences would soon come to recognise the actor for. A lot of the films humour comes from Downey Jnr as we are treated to his narration and some fantastically witty lines; when asked by an actress what Lockhart does for a living his quick reply is “I’m retired, I invented dice when I was a kid” and when Perry reveals a gun from down his trousers after shooting their captor from his crotch Lockhart remarks “Wow! I was glad you had a gun in there. For a second, I actually thought you could do that, like it was some big gay thing” – just two lines that make Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a really great film. Shane Black and Robert Downey Jnr make for a dream combination which is to be let loose again on Iron Man 3.

The first gay action hero. Val Kilmer’s private investigator character of ‘Gay’ Perry is usually seen as the first gay lead in an action film and this is obviously a great thing. His sexuality doesn’t change any angle of the story but it is something that is interesting to add and sets up a few jokes rather nicely. Another huge reason for me loving this film though is Michelle Monaghan as Harmony Faith Lane, an aspiring actress and childhood friend of Harry Lockhart. Monaghan is one of my favourite actresses because as well as being painfully beautiful she also has the acting ability to go with it and she is allowed to run wild in this film as a kind of innocent looking but feisty girl who manages to cut of the end of Harry’s finger just by slamming it in a door – over the top ridiculous but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang gets away with it completely.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has it all; it has the great characters, fantastic dialogue, a brilliant cast that fit their parts perfectly and the action and comedy blend into one another seamlessly.  Some films become more boring and less exciting the more times you watch them but that can’t be said for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; every time I have watched it I have noticed things that I hadn’t before, I noticed more witty remarks, something different in the directing. This movie definitely has the rewatchability factor.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is soooooo good! Watch it… watch it now!

Michelle Monaghan is one of my favourite actresses of recent years. She is obviously a very beautiful woman but she also has the acting abilities to match, yet not many people would know who you meant if you mentioned her name. I consider her to be a much underrated and outrageously underused actress.

Michelle, as so many film stars do, began her career with a few small roles on television, most notable in Young Americans and Law and Order. She had small roles in the films Perfume and Unfaithful but her big break came in 2002 when she starred in the hit television series Boston Public.

Boston Public set up Michelle Monaghan’s return to the big screen. She starred in It Runs in the Family (2003), Winter Solstice (2004) and had a small part in spy thriller The Bourne Supremacy (2004). Although she filmed scenes for Constantine and Syriana, they did not make the final cut unfortunately. In 2005 Monaghan appeared in North Country and Mr & Mrs Smith.

2005 also brought us Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which is one of my favourite films. Not only does it feature one of my favourite actors in Robert Downey Jnr. it also features Michelle Monaghan. Here, Monaghan plays an aspiring actress caught up in a murder investigation and she brings the character to life with a sort of alluring innocence and cute humour. This performance gained Monaghan recognition as she was nominated for both a Saturn Award and Satellite Award for her performance.

After appearing in Mission Impossible III, Monaghan made another film that I really enjoy and consider to be one of the best written pieces of drama I have had the pleasure of viewing; the film I am talking about is Gone Baby Gone. Monaghan plays the female protagonist, Angie Gennaro opposite Casey Affleck as the two private detectives investigate the case of a missing child. Monaghan received plenty of acclaim for her performance.

She returned to comedy in The Heartbreak Kid opposite Ben Stiller before making Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey. Her role in the drama Trucker won her an SDFCS Award for Best Actress and she then went on to star in Eagle Eye and had a part in Due Date, reuniting her with Robert Downey Jnr.

It seems like Michelle Monaghan has a taste for action films as she starred in Source Code, which I thought was a clever, very interesting film and again, she put in a fantastic performance. And before having a miniscule cameo in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Monaghan made Machine Gun Preacher with Gerard Butler.

Looking over Michelle Monaghan’s career and at her upcoming projects it becomes clear that she is a very talented actress with a wide range of skills; be it comedy, drama, action or thriller you can guarantee that she will deliver a great performance. In my mind it is saddening that not enough people know about this woman. Monaghan has great acting ability and a couple of her films are among my favourites. I hope she can carry on at such a high standard and I recommend anyone to watch some of her films. It is impossible not to fall in love with this woman.

Casting is a vital part of the film; if you get the wrong actor to play a character it can go horribly wrong and the whole movie could fail because of it. Never is this more true than in the world of comic book movies. Millions of fans all over the world are already in love with the characters before they are brought to the big screen and if you cast someone that the fans are not happy about they will not hold back, you shall know about it! But when casting goes right, it brings out some of the best performances and best characters in the world. Here are my top eight perfectly cast comic book movie characters.

8. Chris Evans as The Human Torch

Known to many comic book fans now as Captain America, Evans made his first appearance in comic book movies in the awful Fantastic Four films. Despite both films being criticised heavily by almost everyone, fans and critics alike, nobody could criticise Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. He outperformed the rest of the cast by a country mile and bought a much needed charm and sense of humour to the role.

7. Ed Norton as Bruce Banner

When it was announced that Ed Norton would not return for The Avengers as Bruce Banner fans were outraged and with good reason. Norton’s performance as the troubled scientist who turns into the Incredible Hulk was brilliant. Norton had a lot of hard work to do because of the negative fan reaction to Ang Lee’s 2003 interpretation of the character but the casting of Norton and his incredible performance won the hearts of many Hulk fans.

6. J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson

The original Spider-man trilogy, directed by Sam Raimi, may not have been the most perfectly cast Spider-man film in the world but J.K Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson was a masterpiece. He looked identical to the comic book portrayal of the character and fans loved his performance. A highlight of the, soon to be rebooted, Spider-man franchise.

5. Christopher Reeve as Superman

Does this really need explaining? The man IS Superman. There has never been a better Superman before or since on neither the big screen or small screen. Reeve was an excellent casting as the Man of Steel and is still celebrated among comic book fans.

4. Heath Ledger as The Joker

Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his appearance as the Joker and rightfully so. Ledger managed to bring this psychotic vision of The Dark Knight’s arch nemesis to the screen and make him genuinely scary. It was a sad loss when he passed away but he will always be remembered as the Joker and one of comic book movie’s finest castings.

3. Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl

Many people don’t think of Kick-Ass when they think of comic book adaptations but this is where the origins of the story lie. Chloe Moretz is great as the ‘hero’ Hit Girl. She is a small girl who packs a powerful performance and is the star of Kick Ass without a doubt. She has a huge career ahead of her built on this performance.

2. Patrick Stewart as Professor X

Straight off, Patrick Stewart looks the part, down to a tee. But his performance further proves why he was the perfect choice to play the mentor to the X-men, Professor X. His calm and cool demeanour brought a lot of character to the role and then in the second instalment, X2 (one of the best comic book movies ever made) he was able to show off the emotional side to his character even more. And as well as that, his chemistry with Ian McKellen’s Magneto was a joy to behold. A fine casting decision.

And finally…

1. Robert Downey Jnr. as Tony Stark

Perfection!

The perfect casting of a comic book character if ever there was one. Downey Jnr doesn’t just play the character, he actually is Tony Stark. He has the look sorted; he has the charm, the wit, the charisma and you believe his intelligence. Iron Man was the beginning of the whole Marvel Universe which comes together this summer with The Avengers so a lot was riding on this first film and Robert Downey Jnr drew the plaudits right from the offset. Tony Stark came to life in the Iron Man films and made Downey Jnr a household name again; his performance was a joy to behold and I sincerely hope he is Tony Stark for a long time to come.

Honourable mentions

Ian McKellen – Magneto

Kelsey Grammer – Beast

Ron Perlman – Hellboy

Jackie Earl Haley – Rorschach

Anthony Hopkins – Odin

Which one of these three comic book films will rule the box office?

Superhero films have been increasing in popularity since they first hit the big screen and this year comic book fans have even more to be excited about. 2012 promises to be an unforgettable year for fans of the comic book genre as three of the years most anticipated films feature some of the most popular superheroes of all time: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. But with all these heroes fighting for top spot at the box office which one will reign supreme?

The Dark Knight Rises

UK Release: 20th July 2012.

The Stars: Christopher Nolan (director), Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman.

The Hype: It’s the sequel to The Dark Knight, need I say more? This is the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s, so far, brilliant Batman franchise. Christian Bale has done a good job as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego but the buzz about this film is the villain: Bane. And with Ra’s al Ghul returning to the franchise, along with his daughter, the mere thought of this film has the Batman fanboys and the Nolanites frothing at the mouth.

The Drawbacks: After the huge success of The Dark Knight it’s going to be hard to follow that and with high expectations come huge disappointment. The casting of Anne Hathaway didn’t go down very well with fans so it’s risky as to whether that will work. Bane’s voice has been the cause of much controversy surrounding the film but that will soon be forgotten surely.

My Opinion: I’ve never been a huge fan of Batman and I didn’t enjoy The Dark Knight as much as everybody else seemed to either, although Heath Ledger was fantastic, there is no doubting that. I’m a fan of Tom Hardy (not so keen on Anne Hathaway) so he gets my interest in this film anyway. I really enjoyed Batman Begins and it has been claimed that this final piece will focus more on Bruce Wayne than Batman, more in the style of Batman Begins than The Dark Knight so this bodes well for me, I think. Whatever happens, I’ll be seeing this on the opening day anyway.

The Avengers

UK Release: 27th April 2012

The Stars: Joss Whedon (director), Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddlestone

The Hype: Just look back at the cast. It’s great to see so many top quality actors sharing the screen together. Not just the actors, but the characters; it is every comic book fan’s dream to see the big three (Captain America, Iron Man and Thor) on screen together. Bringing the characters together through solo films leading to this moment have been some of the greatest events in comic book movie history. Joss Whedon is known for writing brilliant characters and dialogue so this should all point towards success.

The Drawbacks: Since he has had two films, Iron Man is most known to audiences and has been leading the promotion of The Avengers which hasn’t gone down well with the whole of the fan community. There is also the danger that too many characters means not enough development and lack of story but hopefully this will not be the case.

My Opinion: Out of the three, this is the one that I am most excited for. I cannot wait to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye all share the limelight. I’ve loved watching all the solo movies waiting for The Avengers and with the release of the second trailer which was incredible it just does not get any more exciting. This has the potential to be the greatest comic book movie ever made. It’s going to be amazing.

The Amazing Spider-Man

UK Release: 4th July 2012

The Stars: Marc Webb (director), Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen

The Hype: Spider-Man is one of the most iconic heroes of all time and Marvel’s most popular and highest selling character. This is an interesting retelling of Peter Parker’s backstory and features initial love interest Gwen Stacy rather than the more universally known Mary Jane. The Lizard is Spider-Man’s enemy in this film in a move to excite fans as he was strongly suggested for a Spider-Man 4 that never came to be.

The Drawbacks: We’ve just had a Spider-Man trilogy in the last ten years. This could be a factor that puts a lot of mainstream cinema goers off the film; do they really need to see another origins story for Spider-Man, a character that, let’s be honest, doesn’t really have that much of an interesting origin anyway.

My Opinion: I’m really looking forward to seeing Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man as I think he is a brilliant young actor. From the trailer the new Spider-Man seems a lot more like the comic book character with his wise-cracking attitude which I cannot wait to see. Although, I do think that this will gross a lot worse than the other two big comic book films coming out this year.

Who Will Win?

Batman. Hands down, which is a shame. The Dark Knight grossed over a billion dollars and so there is already a HUGE market in place for The Dark Knight Rises. No matter how hard it tries to topple it’s competition I think The Avengers will fall short, whilst The Amazing Spider-Man will be the third film that doesn’t really stand a chance against the two big boys.

NEW Avengers Trailer!

There isn’t really anything more to say after… WOW!

The trailer starts with a lot of images we’ve seen before, from promotional campaigns and from the end of the Captain America movie but soon we see the heroes being brought in and put together as the Avengers Initiative begins.

Great fight scenes by the looks of it, including one between Iron Man and Thor, perhaps one of them under Loki’s control or is Thor having second thoughts about aligning himself against his brother? The Hulk looks absolutely incredible and the special effects are going to leave audiences with a lot to be in awe of.

And the end reveals another big villain of the film other than Loki. A giant mechanical flying monster which we can only assume to be Fin Fang Foom, an Iron Man villain from the comics.

Only one thing is certain about this film. It will be amazing.

Avengers Assemble!

UK Cinema Release: 27th April 2012

“I still believe in heroes” states Colonel Nick Fury about halfway through this trailer, and he isn’t the only one with millions of comic book readers around the globe waiting for this film to hit cinema screens. This may only be a minute long, just a little teaser for fans, but there is already plenty to get excited about.

We get our first REAL look at the whole team in their costumes. Up to this point there has been lots of negativity surrounding aspects of Captain America’s outfit in particular, however in this trailer those problems seem to be settled as he looks great, as do the rest of the team. The only problem really, I think, is Hulk, who looks slightly more like the older version than Ed Norton’s version in The Incredible Hulk which I think could be a step backwards, although I wouldn’t say that to his face.

The action scenes look as though they will be executed excellently. There are images of America being attacked and The Avengers running from explosions, Thor landing on what we assume is the quinjet, and also summoning lightening which will please fan’s everywhere! We see Hulk smashing enemy ships with ease whilst also flying through the air which looks incredible as the Hulk himself and we are treated to a clip of a fight scene featuring Iron Man during flight which hopefully will be as good as it looks.

But for comic book readers the action is not the thing they are looking forward to seeing most; it is the interaction between the team. We see what we can assume, correctly or not, is one of the first meetings between Cap and Iron Man and there does seem to be a little hostility in the air, maybe they’re deciding who should be leader? We also see Thor helping Cap up off the ground showing great teamwork among our heroes. And finally we get to see some of that famous Tony Stark wit during his exchange with Loki. “We have a Hulk”: a simple line sure to bring smiles to the faces of comic book fans and movie fans everywhere.

Brace yourself, because this will be one of the best movies of the summer! Guaranteed!

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