Tag Archive: directing

After a lacklustre (lacklustre, disappointing but not bad!) Iron Man 2 there wouldn’t normally be much hype around another sequel but since a little film called The Avengers came out excitement for Iron Man 3 spiked again. Today it has hit an all time high! Nick Fury in The Avengers said that he “still believed in heroes” and now with the first official trailer from Iron Man 3 having been released we have The Mandarin teaching us “lesson number one: heroes, there are no such thing”. Iron Man 3 looks set to be the biggest Iron Man film to date with huge set pieces and massive blockbuster moments, but it also is set to become the most personal and give an insight into how much Tony Stark has changed since we first met him back in 2008.

The official synopsis for Iron Man 3 is thus: “Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Here’s the trailer:

There are a lot of things to pick up on from the trailer, to question and to get excited about. There’s the first look at The Mandarin, there’s the return of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Pepper Potts in great danger, the Iron Patriot armour, the new look golden Iron Man armour, Happy Hogan defeated on the floor, Stark’s clifftop home being destroyed, Tony Stark bruised and battered, Stark and Potts both seemingly attacked by Iron Man armour. It’s action packed!

The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, is Iron Man’s greatest foe from the comic books. It will be a real pleasure for fans to see Iron Man taking on someone that is more than just a man in a machine (Iron Monger and Whiplash in the previous two instalments both had armour). The Mandarin has different qualities, he is the most powerful enemy that Iron Man will ever come up against and his appearance was previously hinted at in Iron Man with the Ten Rings terrorist group that Stark helped put an end to originally.

Anyone who knows anything about Iron Man and Tony Stark (a role made his own by the fantastic Robert Downey Jr) is that he does love to massage his ego so it should come as no surprise that the latest Iron Man suit comes with a splash more of gold than his recent suits. Everyone loves Tony Stark for his quick wit and his cool remarks and this is something that is set to come to precedence with Shane Black writing and directing (the man who previously gave Robert Downey Jr a second chance at fame in the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Black’s incredible dialogue and character arcs will see Tony Stark thrive as a character and will no doubt be a hit with audiences all over the globe.

As for the suits attacking Tony and Pepper in the trailer there are different theories on this one. Perhaps The Mandarin has somehow got control over the suits? However, the theory I am most drawn to at the minute is that which brings the Extremis technology into the story (Extremis is the comic book storyline this film has been inspired by). The Extremis technology allows Stark to control his suits with his mind, this is why we see him being able to bring his Iron Man glove towards him earlier on in the trailer. Anyway, with this Extremis technology it could be programmed so that whenever Tony sensed any danger or fear that the suit would spring into action and protect him and Pepper. Again, this is only a theory and nothing will be proven until we see the end product.

Even though the Iron Man films are known to be big blockbusters I don’t think I can remember any particularly large set pieces from either of the first two films (the break out in Iron Man just after building the first suit and the race track fight with Whiplash in Iron Man 2 being the ones that immediately come to mind) but Iron Man 3 looks set to change all that. With Stark’s home being blown to pieces and the President’s aeroplane coming under attack there are sure to be plenty of edge of your seat moments and this will show that Iron Man is the best Avenger.

Obviously, cameos from other Marvel characters have not been hinted at yet and the one you are most likely to see will be Mark Ruffalo (probably as Bruce Banner, not the Hulk) but I don’t think we’ll know that until the film is released. Iron Man 3 hits cinemas on April 26th 2013.

The countdown to Phase 2 starts now.



The Coen brothers have been hugely successful in the world of film making. Joel and Ethan Coen have produced hit after hit including Fargo, The Big Lebowski and True Grit (to name but a few). Released in 1991, Barton Fink is a genre defying movie that has since garnered a huge amount of critical praise and still causes discussions to this very day.

Barton Fink is a writer who has made it big on Broadway, because of his success Hollywood now has that ‘Barton Fink feeling’ and he has been hired by a huge movie company to write a motion picture about a wrestler. Unfortunately, Barton Fink has writer’s block and it is not until he enlists the help of able assistant Audrey and his neighbour at the hotel, Charlie, that he manages to find some real-life inspiration from a very sinister source.

In the title role, John Turturro is absolutely fantastic and was unfortunate to miss out on an Oscar nomination in my opinion. His portrayal of the socially conscious and kind of awkward writer is a very good one and really peaks interest in the character of Barton Fink. John Goodman as Charlie Meadows, Barton Fink’s neighbour and new ‘friend’, also pulls off a good performance and puts across a warm feeling of that ‘ordinary man’ that  Fink describes. Although, out of all the performances in the film it is Steve Buscemi’s very small part as Chet that I really enjoyed; unfortunately Chet doesn’t feature that much (it would probably distract from the point of the film if he did), but Buscemi makes him a character that will never be forgotten in reference to this film with his comedic turn.

Visually and in terms of its direction, Barton Fink is an absolute masterpiece. The shots, symbolism, transitions and the use of mise-en-scene are encapsulated almost to perfection within the screen and the world of Barton Fink, it’s an absolute delight to look at. However, I feel that the story lacks a little bit of something special, a certain spark seems to have gone missing and the Coen brothers couldn’t find it, in my opinion. The first half of the film, I felt, drags an awful lot and it seems like it’s getting pretty boring in some places. But the pace picks up in the second half of the film and a lot of the deeper meanings of Barton Fink come through here; the action picks up, relationships are tried and characters change. If you can put aside the fact that it seems like halfway through the film the Coen brothers decided to change their story completely then you will enjoy the film.

I get the impression that Barton Fink is a film that needs to be watched on more than one occasion to truly enjoy this work of art, but unfortunately this is the first time I have watched it and, whilst I now know what to look out for in repeated viewings, I was getting bored watching it.I do plan on watching it again and maybe I will change my opinion of the first half of the film as it is this that I feel lets Barton Fink down.

An enjoyable film but not one of the Coen brothers’ best in my opinion.

My Rating: 6/10