Fun with Franchises: The Marvel Universe – Iron Man (2008), Part I — “Going Into a War Zone Good and Tight”

We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is Iron Man.

Fun with Franchises is a series born out of my friend Colin and I realizing how much fun it was for the two of us to watch the same movie separately and then share our reactions. We started by watching all of the James Bond movies, for the purposes of ranking them for the blog. I brought him in because he was much more of a Bond expert than I was at the time, and I felt his perspective would liven things up. He would be the color commentator to my play-by-play man.

We soon discovered that, by watching the movies separately and then putting everything we said together in the same place, hilarity ensued. We each brought in our own observations, not knowing what the other would say, and then reacted to what the other said. And we loved every minute of it.

We had so much fun, we figured we had to do it again. So we graduated from a single franchise, to all franchises. If you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Season 1 included the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Twilight (which neither of us had seen before we watched them for the articles) and Pirates of the Caribbean. All of those articles can be read on the Fun with Franchises page.

Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them. (Well… Twilight…) We’re watching movies we enjoy and are simply having some fun with them.

Right now, we’re doing the Marvel Universe, and today is the first part of Iron Man.

Iron Man - Title Card

Marvel Logo - Iron Man

Colin and I both saw this movie at midnight when it came out. It was a college tradition, that we all go to the midnight movie on May Day. Freshman year it was Spider-Man 3, sophomore year it was this. Junior year… actually, we didn’t do junior year, because that May Day was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which leaked two weeks earlier and we’d all seen it (and how shitty it was). So we didn’t do that. And then senior year was Iron Man 2.

So there’s your story. I didn’t say it was a good story.


So we’re starting a new franchise again. Marvelous. And hey, this one’s Paramount too. I’m really interested to see what I think about this franchise by the time we’re through with it. This is going to be one of only three franchises (Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight and this) that I haven’t seen in its entirety before doing articles. I’ll tell you right out, I’m sick of superhero movies and would love to see this unfortunately long-lived fad start to fizzle out. That’s not likely.

I’m interested to see what I think about this one too, since, while I saw all the movies before doing these articles, I didn’t particularly care for most of them. So I’m curious to see where I end up on all of them when we’re done. Which gives me an idea…


As we begin, I’m going to say that Iron Man is probably the best film out of the bunch. I don’t even want to say probably, even though I’ve yet to see others. I’m not really concerned about Thor 2 stealing the crown from this great movie. I thoroughly enjoy this first movie, and my issues with the Iron Man character down the road stem primarily from Marvel’s recognition that he holds everything together and gives them a universe people want to watch. But this is Final Thoughts material, so let’s just get started.

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I went into this so skeptical. Remember the second and third Spider-Man movies? I was not on board with Marvel then any more than I am now.

Technically not Marvel, but it’s not like the output has gotten much better.

Pretty beautiful opening shot, though.


No prairie dog hills.

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A desert. Oh, no. Is it going to be Hound Dog and hot rods?

It’s kind of a good, then bad. Because it’s like, beautiful view…

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…Of Afghanistan.


A hah. Humvees. Modern superhero movies basically have to exist in some relation to the Middle East or the War on Terror, just as Westerns were all sort of situated around the Civil War in some way for a while there. Either the War on Terror is an aspect of the action, or it’s conspicuously absent from the plot because our (America’s) technological superiority and combat superiority has made it irrelevant. This is clearly the former.


Ooh… Back in Black.

Ugh… Back in Black.

Those are the simultaneous thoughts I had when seeing this movie for the first time.

Because using any AC/DC song in a movie is always a terrible choice and a great choice.

They’re all completely contrived as song choices, and yet… awesome, every time.


What a great intro, with the song. I don’t care how in your face it is. In fact, I like how in your face it is.

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Look at this asshole with the goats.


Look at this asshole with his goat. See ya, goat asshole!

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This is almost Bay level military glorification.


“Security Forces.” Yeah. Let’s go with that.

Can I get my security to do that in LA?

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Not as bad when you think of it as his song choice. But still… AC/DC… still not as cool as something you wouldn’t think to pick. (For example: the Guardians of the Galaxy opening theme song.)

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Hey guys, clean your fucking windshield. This is the army, not my car.

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Also a perfect character introduction.

For anyone. But especially for Tony Stark.


Now THERE’S an opening shot.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.


Don’t stare at the man and his booze. That’s not a stare of jealousy, that’s a stare of confusion. There’s nothing confusing about going into a warzone good and tight.

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That face.


Puns aside, this character’s introduction is a glass of booze. You don’t win any more than that, folks. I’m so sold on this already.

It’s like they tricked us into it. I’m willing to be duped, but at least this one delivered.

The problem is he doesn’t drink after this. So it’s not as fun.

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Let’s start by saying — Robert Downey Jr. was beyond perfect casting here. And the reason he was cast is because Favreau took a chance on him. Not that he wasn’t great, it’s just that his reputation wasn’t entirely there when he was cast. He had become a laughing stock around 2002, 2003, and then started getting parts again and rebuilding that reputation. With movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac. And this movie just cemented him forever. My only concern with that is that he doesn’t fall off the face of the earth like Depp did.


I hope Favreau is swimming in money because of that chance. That’s like betting $100 on a trifecta and nailing it. I would like to see him get around to doing fewer franchise things. 

I hope Favreau is swimming in money regardless. The man makes great choices. (Cowboys and Aliens aside, but I understand why he did it and what he was hoping to do. It just didn’t work.) I love his movies (Chef was in my top 20 last year. It was incredible), and he’s always great to see popping up as an actor in things.

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“I feel like you’re driving me to a court-martial.”

He drives himself to court-martials.

In significantly better cars than this.

“This is crazy. What did I do? I feel like you’re gonna pull over and snuff me.”

Also how court-martials end.

I’d have liked if he added, “This is a hit, isn’t it?”

“What, you’re not allowed to talk? Hey, Forrest.”

Tony Stark, I got you some ice cream.

“We can talk, sir.”


He called him “Forrest.” Probably because he’s stiff and tree-like.

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“Oh. I see, so it’s personal.”

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“No, you intimidate them.”

Why would anyone openly drinking booze and playing AC/DC intimidate anyone? That’s about as relatable as it gets.

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“Good god, you’re a woman. I, honestly, I couldn’t have called that. I mean, I’d apologize, but isn’t that what we’re going for, here? I thought of you as a soldier first.”


I love this character. More Robert Downey Jr. in things.

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Good job, Forrest.

“I’m an airman.”

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“But you actually, you have excellent bone structure there. I’m kinda, having a hard time not looking at you now. Is that weird?”

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That face.

That face is the “I just made that up off the top of my head just to ad-lib the scene, and I’m legitimately breaking character because of how ridiculous that was”… face.

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“Come on, it’s okay. Laugh.”

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“Sir, I have a question.”

“Yes, please.”

“Is it true you went twelve for twelve with last year’s Maxim cover models?”

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Gotta take the glasses off for this. Respect.

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“That is an excellent question. Yes and no. March and I had a scheduling conflict, but fortunately the Christmas cover was twins.”


He’s fucking Maxim cover models. They really struck gold with this character and threw him away, didn’t they?

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“Anything else?”

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“You’re kidding me with the hand up, right?”

“Is it cool if I take a picture with you?”

“Yes, it’s very cool.”

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“I don’t want to see this on your Myspace page.”

Myspace? DATED.

Also, pretty sure no one would ever see it on your Myspace page.

You could have put all celebrity sex tapes and naked photos on Myspace and no one would ever see them.


Myspace. That’s not dating yourself at all. You know Justin Timberlake owns a bunch of it now? NO idea what he’s going to do with it.

Maybe he’ll realize what a shitty investment it was and cry himself a river.

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“Please, no gang signs.”

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“No, throw it up, I’m kidding.”


No gang signs. Japanese people are in love with the peace sign, and the girls find a new way to do it every year. Last year it was both hands up with your index fingers poking your cheeks. A year before that, it was one hand over the eye, as though you were eating out a chick with your iris.

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“Yeah, peace. I love peace. Be out of a job with peace.”

What I like about this scene: two and a half minutes into the movie, and we already know exactly who this guy is.


And we like who that guy is. This is key. Wait til we get to other heroes.

That is true. I’d actually like some of the Marvel characters better if they were actually sandwiches instead of their characters.

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Most accurate part of the movie: white people unable to figure out how digital cameras work.

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Hostile places shouldn’t be allowed nice scenery.

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That’s the “shit just got real” face.

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Chick is down!


I always thought those were supposed to not do that.

I wonder if she saw Venice.

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Nice shot.


I was gonna say that was insensitive, but then I realized you meant the camera. Which, yes.

No, I meant both.

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“Wait, wait, wait, give me a gun!”

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Or, I guess, more appropriately, “PARKER GET DOWN!”

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My momma said these were my magic bullets.


I like the lens flares through the holes in the side of the Humvee. Still, it’s pretty impressive that whatever exploded put those holes in it. I’m not really sure about Humvee armor, but it’s pretty decent.

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Would the military actually ever let this happen? I feel like they wouldn’t.

But on the other hand, given the movie, I guess this is one of those… it was going to happen no matter how secure things were.

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“Man, do you see this shit?”

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Weird, though, how you never see anybody. Kinda suspect that all these weapons are firing, and there’s not a single enemy in sight. Ever.


Everyone’s getting killed. This went very dark very quickly. Which…probably for the best, right?

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Isn’t Rhodey in one of those vehicles? What happened to him?

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Yeah, sure, go outside. That’s a good idea.

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That’s a lot of dead army guys.

I hope they can get blue shit out here.

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This must be extremely traumatic for the roughly 12 percent (I believe) of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who have returned with PTSD. Not sure this scene is super popular with them.








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Instagram that shit.



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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.


That is exactly the face I make as that happens, by the way. “Oh, uh…shit?”

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On a scale of 1 to Alanis Morissette…


How comedic was that zoom? Was that supposed to be comedic? Cause it sure felt comedic.

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Reaction shot.

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100% instant death.


Way to turn so your chest is facing the explosion. I’m pretty sure that in situations like this, your best bet is to try to catch as much of the blast as you can with the most durable parts of your body, like the vital organs.

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Now who looks like Tom Hanks, Mr. I Can’t Hear After Explosions?

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Thanks, CGI, for making all the blood flow out at exactly the same time, just like it does in real life.

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Not quite good enough, eh? Couldn’t he have designed a better bulletproof vest? They have these carbon fiber bodysuits now that are AMAZING. Basically, it’s made up of these CF panels with a tiny bit of air in between the layers, and that absorbs the shock of a bullet. You can be shot and this armor just shrugs it off by spreading the force around in these air pockets. That’s wild to me.

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That’s my waking up hungover pose. 

The blood thing has happened before, so that’s not entirely inaccurate.

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And that’s the end of the movie!

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This is what it’s like to be a turnip.

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Ah, Tuesday.

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Realizing it’s Tuesday.

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I’ve woken up like this a couple times before.


It’s messed up that I’m watching this, with the sack coming off his head and everything. I’m writing this during what are likely the final hours of the hostage crisis involving the Japanese freelance journalist, Kenji Goto, and the Islamic State. Note: things didn’t go well for him.

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I would love to see a movie about the guy who does the camera work in these situations. Like, the guy who films all the statements. He’d start as a radical, and then he’d start getting really into the camera work and watch Western films and fall in love with the cinematography of it all and feel conflicted about everything as he tried to make better-looking ransom videos and stuff. That would be a great movie.

That would be a great movie.

The problem is, someone who did it would automatically go for the shitty comedy version of it. (You guys remember The Dictator?)

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Christmas card.

Throw up the peace sign.

Iron Man - Title Card

And then BAM. Title card.

Which is nice. I always appreciate a well-placed title card. Most movies don’t know how to do this. There are pretty much only three ways to do this correctly. One, don’t use one at all. Some movies save it til the end or never show it. Two, put it right at the beginning over black, before anything is shown on the film. And three, after you’ve essentially given the audience everything they need to know to get into the film. Like this one. Or like Martin Scorsese movies. In my Hugo articles, I talked about how the movie lays out everything you need to know before putting its title card. The Departed too. Even if it is twenty minutes into the movie. Or Goodfellas.

There are ways to put a title card into your movie correctly. If it’s happening over credits and aerial shots of a city and traffic and shit, you’re doing it wrong.


I mean, that’s what most Mary Kate and Ashley movies did. So there’s that. 

Yes, that’s WHY the West was fun! Otherwise the west could have sucked my dick.

And fuck that shit, by the way. Any movie with shots of traffic as the opening credits, and some douchebag song – you’re lazy, and I hate you.

You can always tell how bad a comedy is going to be by the soundtrack choices. If they play more than one pop song that was a hit within the past calendar year within the first five minutes, you can turn that movie off.

And here’s a tip — they all do it.

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Meanwhile… News, on the March!

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Right, though?

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The son of Howard Stark.

Also, exposition, much?

I mean, sure, News on the March is the same thing, but… dick in the ass.

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And here’s bald Jeff Bridges. Because why not?


Is that not the award right there? 

The award’s more opaque. I think it’s one of those cheap plastic things they stick inside the fake flower arrangement on the table to emulate the award. Like how the AVN Awards just put giant dicks and vags on each table setting.

Did you guys know Burt Reynolds was the one who suggested that trend? And then it became a thing.

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Why are we seeing this? Even if we’re thinking in context, he’s getting an award for… whatever… why is this a video package? Don’t people know this shit? What are we getting out of it?


Is that him with Bill Gates? Are these actual pictures of him photoshopped into stuff? And let’s think about this for a second. Tony was like 5 here. So this would have been a play date. Think about how this could have worked, because there are two options: 1. Bill Gates, in his early 20s, calls up Howard Stark to see if he can play with his 5 year old son, or; 2. Howard Stark calls Bill Gates and hopefully pays him to babysit.

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I did like that pun, though. Engine block. Also, “BACKYARD ROCKETS.” I want that. Finally, can we talk about how William Shatner has codesigned a motorcycle?

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Apparently he came loud at MIT.


You would think that these magazine covers would look more period appropriate for the 80s. It looked like the 70s when he was 4, so him turning 21 would have to be the mid 90s at the absolute latest, right? Yeah, he was born in 1970, so these magazines were supposed to have been from 1991. People always have trouble making stuff look right.

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Why do all superheroes’ parents die in mysterious circumstances? It’s always tragic. Why can’t mom and dad just be chilling in Duluth, cutting coupons and being called once a week?

Why can’t one of them, in the middle of a battle, be like, “Fuck…” and pull our their cell phone and talk to their parents?


Cause then they get Aunt May’ed in the hospital or something. But I mean, you what what I say. Orphans should never be given powers. Has someone written about that? How many goddamn orphans there are in literature film and stuff?

Yeah, that’s right, I went black Annie. (Aka Orphan Black.)

Also, he dies in a car crash in Long Island.

Nobody wants to die on Long Island.

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Wow, Jeff Bridges has a Christian Slater smile going on.

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Also, his name is Obadiah Stane. Can we talk about that?


I don’t like names that end in -iah. And other weird Bible names like Ezekiel or whatever. None of my names are biblical.

Also, Stane. As in Shit.

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Not to mention… why the fuck was there a cover shoot for him taking over the company?


If it’s THAT big a company, I sort of get it. Like, if it was a huge company — and we know it is — and Bridges already had his cover of Newsweek, then Forbes makes sense cause he’s the new mega-CEO. They’ll do this. Have you read Forbes? It’s something like this every single month, and not even with companies as big as Stark Industries is in this universe.

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But actually, though. Why did they do cover shoots for these magazines? I feel like neither one of these people would actually have agreed to have these photos taken.


Anyway, this doesn’t look like 1991 or 1992. That’s not what magazine covers looked like in the early 90s. Where’s all the bright orange goop and watercolors? Actually, to be honest…in the early 90s, the only magazines I was familiar with were Nickelodeon Magazine and The New Yorker.

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That’s what it looks like when you lose the Oscar.

Leo knows what I’m talking about.

(Those fucking weapons developers are a bunch of homos.)

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Wow, so subtle that Jeff Bridges is evil. Am I right? Would never see that shit coming?


Jeff Bridges behind him in the shadows. Right.

Also, if he’s now taken over the company, and is the face of the company, and Stane was just some schmuck who took over for a while until he Charles Foster came back… why is he still on all of these magazine photos?


You’re gonna tell me that if Bruce Wayne comes back to his company, they’re still gonna put Morgan Freeman on all the covers of the business magazines? Fuck no. (I should have said Rutger Hauer, but how many people even remember that he was the Jeff Bridges of that movie?) This is awful exposition. Subtle, but awful. Because when you take this shit apart, it’s ridiculously obvious.


That’s a good point. It’s normal to have covers, but not two of them. Unless it’s like, Google or something.

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And then Tony created some shit. We don’t know what it is, but we’re told it was some brilliant shit. So we believe him. Because voiceover guys never lie.


People compare Elon Musk to Tony Stark, and he’s probably the closest we’ve got. Plus, get a load of the description here: “Able to intercept a fast moving aircraft.” So you know, like a MISSILE?

I bet Stane probably has a Musk.

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So what’s that pose about? Thriller? Heisman? Soulja Boy?

Iron Man that hoe.


Hah, it’s Rolling Stone. I hope they checked their facts on this story, because we wouldn’t want to find out after the issue dropped that he actually didn’t want to save the world. Remember when they had a better reputation?

I do not understand your magazine references.

I constantly forget that magazines even exist.

Also, look at all those shitty stock photographs behind it. How terrible is this video package? I wouldn’t even accept the award if this were the package. I’d demand nothing or better.

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Kinda. There’s a new book out about how corporate America created the Christian right during the 1930s by enlisting ministers to advocate for capitalism, culminating in the addition of “In God We Trust” to all of our money and “under God” in the pledge of allegiance. And how business leaders equated themselves with Jesus, which isn’t at all wrong-headed or offensive. So yeah, Christ.

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I’m not sure why Stark is pictured in front of these F-16s. He didn’t design those, General Dynamics did. And, the symbol behind the podium is randomly a Lockheed F-22, it looks like. So I guess we’re just throwing random military stuff out there and just saying his name.

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And here I thought the audiences turned this movie into the “Let’s suck Robert Downey Jr.’s dick” fest. The movie’s doing it too.

Of course, this was the movie that made it trendy to love him again, which is a shame, since those of us who were on that bandwagon from years before this felt slighted by it. It’s not that it’s necessarily the hipster thing of, “I was on that before it became cool,” it’s, “Motherfucker, I was telling you about how awesome he was for years and now you’re all pretending like it was your idea.” Nuh uh.

Which, I want to get that out there now… he’s great, he was awesome in this movie, but the bandwagon has jumped the shark. Now he gets credit for doing nothing and capitalizing on shit he already did.

He was doing amazing work all throughout his career, and this movie turned him into Johnny Depp. Where he’s essentially stopped trying and coasts by on his one blockbuster persona. Which is fine, good for him.

But what pisses me off about it are the people who jump up on the bandwagon and pretend like this is the bandwagon.

Because I was talking about Downey for five years before this movie came out. He was great in Wonder Boys, and then came back after his arrests and stuff to do The Signing Detective, which is a nice little underrated movie. And then he had Game 6 in there, where he’s really good and no one saw it. And then Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Good Night and Good Luck, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, A Scanner Darkly, Zodiac… it’s not like it was just this. So it annoys me when people jump on the bandwagon and know nothing about all the great small work the man did.

And the problem is, since this movie… nothing. He did Sherlock Holmes, which was good, but wasn’t necessarily great work on his part. (Hopefully I can say something about The Judge before this goes up.)

So, I’ll let you all know now… I will not let these articles go overboard on the Downey praise. It’ll be there, because he’s amazing, but I won’t let us turn into all the people I hate hearing in public.

Though I think he does have a chance at the redemption Depp threw away. I think he is committed to going back to real performances and making great movies again. I think he’s doing a Liam Neeson, and riding his action hero days as long as he can.


See, and I didn’t REALLY know him well except for a few places. I knew him as the dickish studio executive in Bowfinger and as the CBS staffer in Good Night, and Good Luck. Two very different movies. But then I saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in college, and then Chaplin and stuff. He’s done really good work.

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Hey, kids, it’s Terrence Howard.

Why? Because we needed a black guy.

But he’s good at presenting stuff.


Oh, Terrence. I don’t like you as much as Don. It would have been better if Don had been in this and not the two shittier movies.

He’s liaison to Stark Industries from the military. Which not only makes no sense but also makes you go, “So why the fuck did they choose you to present?” Pretty sure if the military has ties to a weapons company, you really don’t want that liaison presenting an award to the dude. Kind of like if a top general presented an award to Haliburton. Probably not the best idea.

“I’ve had the unique privilege of serving with a real patriot.”


I hate people tossing around the word “patriot.”

AAHHHH! Get it?!

Of course you get it, because it’s not fucking subtle.

Also, he’s a “friend” and a “mentor.”

Sure he is. Tony Stark has a great relationship with the blacks.

Also, he only won “this year’s” Apogee award. If he did all this revolutionary stuff, who the fuck won the other Apogee awards?

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Why are you all looking around for him now? Didn’t you notice he wasn’t there before?

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Holding his dick in his hand.

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Jeff Bridges disapproves.

Also, is that a bald cap? How’d he get his hair back so long for Tron? Well, I guess it is like two years after that it came out. But still.


I want Jeff Bridges’ head shake as a GIF. I know that’s out there. That’s a great head shake.

Bridges Head Shake

(Have we mentioned that I learned how to make these now? That’ll certainly make things interesting in the future.)

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So he just comes to take the award. Because why not?

Also, look at Rhodey’s face.

That’s that Radio face.

(By the way, Cuba Gooding Jr. not Terrence Howard. I know you almost got your black guys mixed up for a second.)


You know, I often mix up Snow Dogs with Crash.

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Look at Nazi John Goodman back there.

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Does no one question that he’s accepting the award? Especially after all those magazine covers?


It’s got to be a great pleasure to accept awards on someone’s behalf when they clearly don’t give a FUCK. I would throw in so much random shit as though they had asked me to do it. “And I want to thank, on Mike’s behalf, the lemurs that play such a vital role in his creative process.”

Yeah, if you’re accepting an award for me, chances are it’s posthumous.

“Well, I’m not Tony Stark.”

Someone in the audience should just loudly yell, “WHAT?!!!”

“But, if I were Tony, I would tell you how honored I feel, and what a joy it is to receive this very prestigious award. Tony, you know – the best thing about Tony is also the worst thing. He’s always working.”

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Here comes dumbass Ashy Larry…

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Work. I’m not a casino guy (I know Mike’ll have some words about casinos and free drinks) but I can appreciate those who are.

I’m not a gambling person either, but oh my god Vegas is amazing if you’re only there to get trashed and kill time. Look — go there with, say $100 to spend in the casinos. Then sit down at the penny slot machines. You put in, say, five bucks, and play a penny per spin. As long as you’re gambling, the booze is free. So you can drink all goddamn day for essentially $20. Sure, tip the waitress, to keep her coming back. But man, it’s so cheap to get shitfaced in Vegas. And then you go grab dinner and go out drinking at night. It’s incredible. Why waste money at the tables when you can drink and try to bang chicks?


I actually get trashed and kill time in the comfort of my own home.

I wish I had the freedom to do both. I have to get trashed and try to be productive. Otherwise stuff like this doesn’t get done. And we wouldn’t want that.

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Nice little headbutt.

Favreau’s looking trim, by the way. I just saw him last year in Chef. He gained it all back.


Jon Favreau’s gotten a haircut since PCU, huh?

It took me like eight years to realize he was in The Replacements. Cause he had the shaved head and was beating the shit out of people, and I just could never have it click that it was him.

We all have that. That one part where you go, “That was him?” because you just never realized it.

Which is funny, since the one I heard the most during college was Gary Oldman in Hannibal, since he went uncredited and his face was all obscured throughout the entire movie. Yet somehow I always knew that was him.

But we all have that role. Where it never clicked that it was the same actor.

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Hey, baby.


I have doubts about casino bitches. Where do they come from? Are they there WITH someone? Cause that’d be pretty poor behavior on their part, messing around with Tony. Or, they’re there alone, in which case they’re messing with Tony instead of playing, and they probably came here all dolled up just to meet rich men. Which is also not great.

I Have Doubts About Casino Bitches

I hope they’re hired just to be there. Otherwise they’re essentially money-grubbing whores. Which is very unappealing. I mean, sure, if they’re actually gonna bang you, okay. But then money is involved, and prostitution is legal, but also frowned upon when it’s money won and not money earned. Not like, by the law. I’m talking personal. If I’m buying a hooker, I’m buying a hooker. You know what I mean? I want to know that I bought that hooker. Not that the hooker saw I made some money and then wanted to bang me for a piece of it. Sure, some of the winnings can go to buying all the supplies to bury the hooker when I’m done.

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“You are unbelievable.”



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“They told me if I presented you with an award you’d be deeply honored.”

“Of course I’d be deeply honored. And it’s you! That’s great. So when do we do it?”

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“There it is, that was easy.”


This is my approach to pretty much everything from homework to taxes.

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“Will you look at that, that’s something else.”

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“I don’t have any of those floating around.”


She’s holding that thing like…yeah, I’m done. That’s too easy.

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This is how Contagion started.


I thought Contagion started when Gwyneth gave a bat a rim job or something. No? I might be paraphrasing.

Are we not seeing the same thing right now?

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“You too.”

“I don’t blow on a man’s dice.”

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“That’s what happens.”

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“Worse things have happened, I think we’re gonna be fine. Total me up, will ya?”

I’ve been to this exact casino and these tables… it looks nothing like that.


Snake eyes don’t mean shit to him. I’m not a gambler, but doesn’t the money provide the thrill? The idea that you realllllly don’t want to lose what you’ve got and that winning more could make a difference, that’s what seems to make gambling an exciting activity. If you’re that rich, it’s pretty pointless, huh?

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“This is where I exit.”

Really? Nothing happened. You took him from the table and left him.


Now they’re friends, cause Terrence Howard can’t stay mad. They have that playful buddy relationship where they mess with each other but each one knows the other well enough that he can’t get too mad cause he should have been expecting that. And in this case, it’s only ever Stark messing with Rhodes.

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“Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”


That must suck, to be the guy who plays Caesar in that hotel and casino. You’re supposed to look like you have all the power, but you have none. You take photos with tourists.

Did you hear about the guy who is making a hundred grand a year impersonating Galifianakis in The Hangover in Vegas?


That upsets me. I’ve decided I really don’t love Vegas. The most enjoyable thing I’ve ever seen happen in Vegas was Haley Joel Osment getting stabbed.

Oh, trust me, Vegas is the best with the right people. Vegas is the kind of place where it will only either enhance or diminish how you go there. So, if you’re all depressed and wanting to go on a bender, it will only make everything even more sad. But if you’re there with friends to drink and spend a little money, it’s fun as shit. Trust me. If we did Vegas for an extended weekend, it would be great. The key is not treating Vegas as the thing. You need to be doing something… but also have it be in Vegas. That’s the mistake people make. It’s not, “Vegas, baby!” it’s, “Let’s get together and get really fucked up this weekend.” “Okay, let’s do it in Vegas.”

Also, you can take out the “in Vegas” part of the Haley Joel Osment sentence.

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He’s got a lot of guards that suspiciously aren’t there after he becomes Iron Man.

I guess you don’t need them when you’ve got the suit.


It bums me out that he has a Rolls Royce to be chauffeured in. I don’t know what I’d prefer him in, but this feels wrong. They’re too uptight and old money. Put it this way – if you have a Rolls and you aren’t British, you didn’t earn that money yourself. Even though he’s technically the heir to the fortune, you know he earned it.

One of my goals in life is to be so important (or infamous) where my driver can park wherever he wants, for as long as he wants, and not be chased off the property.

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“Mr. Stark!”

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“She’s cute.”

“She’s all right?”


This is what makes this character so likable. He’s a masculine douchebag with bro relationships. That’s also why it makes sense that he ends up with the good girl who can tame him or whatever. But I still would have liked him to have one of those things like Batman and Catwoman, where they’re rivals and love interests and work together sometimes. Benefrenemies, I guess. Imagine the type of chick that could be a benefrenemy for this character.

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She wants to get a quote from him.

“Okay, go.”

“You’ve been called the Da Vinci of our time. What do you say to that?”

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“Absolutely ridiculous. I don’t paint.”

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“And what do you say to your other nickname, the Merchant of Death?”


Merchant of Death is a GREAT name. Most people would kill for a name like that. I mean, they’d have to.

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“That’s not bad.”

“Let me guess…”

Oh, I’m tuned out. You know how we’re always compiling bad movie dialogue and saying how awful it is when films do it? (See: “What about you?”, the ‘soldiers talking about what they’re gonna do when they get home’ scene, and…) This exchange is also on there. The “sizing somebody up” scene. So many good movies are guilty of it, too. Even Casino Royale. It’s gotten to the point of ridiculousness when a movie uses it, because it’s so contrived at this point, it makes you wonder if the movie is even trying.


This is so obviously stuck in as a character moment to build him up even more as the shallow but brilliant guy who doesn’t give a shit about the greater good. It’s like the 36 hours up to his capture are perfectly spent demonstrating his vapid character. It’s obvious, but efficient.

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“It’s an imperfect world, but it’s the only one we’ve got. I guarantee you the day weapons are no longer needed to keep the peace, I’ll start making bricks and beams for baby hospitals.”

“You rehearse that much?”

“Every night in front of the mirror before bed time.”

“I spew bullshit for a living,” is a nice response to anyone.


That was like one of those old-fashioned noir deliveries, where it’s so obviously not natural but still so compelling and badass you don’t care. But they brush it under the carpet with him rehearsing it in front of the mirror.

“I can see that.”

“I’d like to show you first hand.”

Him practicing the speech in the mirror?

“All I want is a serious answer.”

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“Okay, here’s serious. My old man had a philosophy: peace means having a bigger stick than the other guy.”

“That’s a great line, coming from the guy selling the sticks.”

Death sticks?

“My father helped defeat the Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project. A lot of people, including your professors at Brown, would call that being a hero.”

What did Brown do for her?

“And a lot of people would also call that war profiteering.”

I prefer rackets to war profits in terms of my -eering.

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“Tell me, do you plan to report on the millions we’ve saved by advancing medical technology or kept from starvation with our Intellicrops?”


Intellicrops. Hah. Corporations are such bullshit. Just be glad Apple doesn’t have anything to do with food.

Love how he leans in for this.

“All those breakthroughs, military funding, honey.”


That’s pretty fair. I’m a lefty, but I’ll stick up for that position – the military is probably our best bet for alternative energy R&D, advances in computer science, transportation and all that. It’s almost like its own country in terms of budget, and it deals in realities, like climate change.

Iron Man - 147

Wow. She’s sexually aroused.

“You ever lose an hour of sleep your whole life?”

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“I’d be prepared to lose a few with you.”


This is why we love this character. Shameless.

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Game. Set. Match.


The moment she knows. Every guy loves that moment, because it’s so rare that sex happens THIS way.

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Editing. The other key to comedy.


And successful. I love this character.

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The Bond score is not subtle here.

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The laugh is pretty great.


Booze and sex. Already, this movie has been able to do more than just violence. Marvel needs more booze and more sex. In fact, replace “Marvel” with [noun] and it still probably works..

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Wow… she is, scarily skinny.


See, I’ve been in Japan…

I don’t want something that small making rape noises.

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Nice that they turned his butler into a supercomputer. That makes sense, and gets rid of the cliché butler aspect.

Plus, it’s Paul Bettany, which I’m okay with.


I think we’d prefer Eric Blore, if we had our druthers.

My druthers most often go unrequited.

Apparently Bettany recorded all his lines in two hours, and had no idea what movie he was even working on. He just did it as a favor to Favreau.


That’s kind of a jarring wakeup. You’d think Jarvis could play the NBC tone or some shit instead of making her think there was a random British man hiding somewhere in the room.

James Earl Jones. “This is CNN.”

Or… pretty much any James Earl Jones line.

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I remember seeing this and wanting those windows. There are windows that do that, by the way. I talked about this when we did Skyfall – there are now car windows that have variable tint. I remember the 2006 Ferrari Superamerica (holy shit do I want that car) was one of the first, with a folding glass targa top that could be adjusted to a single percentage anywhere between totally clear and completely opaque. I want these windows.

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Nice place, I guess? Is that the reaction they’re looking for? California baffles me.

It’s Malibu Point. The point is that the house doesn’t exist in real life. This is what the spot really looks like. So it’s character development (and good character development at that) in the sense that — only someone like Tony Stark would have the audacity to build a house there.

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I don’t think you’re taking the hint.

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I would love it if Tony the Tiger came out of another room and tell her she was Grrrrrrreat.

She’s gonna get Gwyneth instead.

Not so grrreat.

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Really not taking the hint.


Doesn’t Jarvis know to tell her to get the fuck out?

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“That’s JARVIS, he runs the house.”


Ah, it’s Gwyneth. The nice girl who messed up my dreams of benefrenemies.

Iron Man - 165

“I’ve got your clothes here, they’ve been dry-cleaned and pressed, and there’s a car waiting for you outside that will take you anywhere you’d like to go.”


How do you get things cleaned and pressed that fast? Is that a thing? Remember in North By Northwest how he had his suit taken care of by the hotel in like 20 minutes? How the hell did that work?

All night cleaners.

If Tony Stark needs you to iron shit, you iron it.

It’s like The Godfather, only he’s rich instead of having people killed for him.

Because how badass is that? Having an undertaker on call.

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“You must be the famous Pepper Potts.”

Famous? Why famous? Don’t just throw words like that around lightly. I want context.

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“After all these years, Tony still has you picking up the dry-cleaning.”


That was a shitty thing to say.

“I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires. Including occasionally taking out the trash.”

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“Will that be all?”



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This always struck me as a bit out of character. He was able to build his own engine on his own at age 4 or whatever, and he’s still having his computer give him a hologram readout of what’s going on inside the car. I grew up working on cars with my father, and such a big part of the experience is getting to know the engine and perfecting the trial and error process that comes with making it run smoothly. Like, I’m not sure a musical genius would be okay with a computer program that told him how long to hold certain notes for maximum effect.

He’s working on a ’32 Ford Flathead V8, which is one of the great all-time engines, and also a relatively simple one. He’s a mechanical genius to whom the complexity of this engine would pose no challenge – his asking Jarvis to blow up the cylinder isn’t unlike enlisting Siri to help you with a four piece jigsaw puzzle. He should be working on it out of love and enjoyment, not using the computer program to find every last imperfection instantly.

I know it seems like nitpicking, but they went out of their way to make this a character moment of him and the car, and they totally blew it by removing any joy and virtuosity from the scene and replacing it with something flashier and without substance. That might say something about the larger franchise as well.

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“Please don’t turn down my music.”

But your music sucked.


I don’t understand white people music. Someone explain white people music.

“You are supposed to be halfway around the world right now.”

“How’d she take it?”

Wouldn’t that be a question you have the answer to?

“Like a champ.”

I bet she did.

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“Why you trying to hustle me out of here?”

“Your flight was scheduled to leave an hour and a half ago.”

Pretty sure you can’t get halfway around the world in an hour and a half.

Hell, I can’t even make it halfway to Chicago in an hour and a half.

“That’s funny, with it being my plane and all, I thought that it would just wait for me to get there.”

Also weird that he had a flight scheduled at like 7:30 in the morning. On a private plane. Why couldn’t they just pick up his drunk body and put him on it? I’m sure Happy’s done that before on multiple occasions.


It does kind of defeat the purpose of having your own plane if it departs before you arrive. I want my own plane, and I want it to be like his. With the women and the sake. Also, did you guys know that commercial air travel is actually 17 percent slower now than it was in the early 1980s because airliners are no faster than they were and the increase in private jet traffic has clogged the pattern and made it more difficult to schedule a landing?

Am I the only one who’s infuriated by the fact that air travel is still expensive as all hell and no faster or more comfortable than it was for our grandparents, who flew on 707s?

Yes. Air travel is uncomfortable as shit. Slower, I can deal with. But make the seats more comfortable, for christ’s sake.


I’m always pissed at how slow it is. I fly between Tokyo and New England two or three times a year, which means being awake and uncomfortable for 24 hours 4 or 6 times each year. Ours is the first generation in a long time who didn’t grow up with a new form of faster, more convenient transportation than our parents did.

Think about it. Baby boomers and Gen Xers came of age or grew up as jets were proliferating and travel became cheaper. The wartime generation and boomers came of age and grew up while cars became ubiquitous and finally a given for middle class families. And what have we had? Planes have gotten slower, gas and cars have gotten more expensive…the pinnacle of our generation’s transportation revolution was the fucking Razor Scooter.

Not entirely true — we’re gonna see Jeff Bridges on the pinnacle of our generation’s transportation revolution in a little bit.

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“Larry called. He’s got another buyer for the Jackson Pollack in the wings. Do you want it, yes or no?”


Dumbass art dealer Larry.

“Is it a good representation of his spring period?”

“No, the Spring was actually the neighborhood in East Hampton where he lived and worked, not spring like the season.”


“I think it’s a fair example. I think it’s incredibly overpriced.”

That’s how you work for someone. Just have an answer, even if it’s bullshit.

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“I need it.”


“Buy it, store it.”


Buy shit that you don’t need so other people can’t have it. I’m such a spiteful person, so I can appreciate this. Spite makes right.

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“The MIT commencement speech—”

“Is in June. Please, don’t harangue me about this.”

Nice use of the word harangue.


MIT commencement. He’s being painted as that guy who’s in demand all over the place and can’t be convinced to do anything or be anywhere. Some people have no regard for other people’s rules or expectations. I think I view this attitude more critically than I did before I moved to Japan. The Japanese don’t like Tony Stark and his cavalier approach to RSVP’ing to things.

This is me entirely. I’m all for this. I don’t wanna do shit unless I wanna do it. Don’t make me say I’m coming to your event two months from now. I’ll decide that shit day of.

Also, A Cavalier Approach to RSVPs.


If Gwyneth Paltrow were a desert, she’d be lemon harangue pie.

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“What are you trying to get rid of me for? You have plans?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

So, what? Because she has plans, that excuses her from being at work? What kind of job is this?


I actually assume this is what work is like in America. I hear people taking days off randomly and splitting early for happy hour with coworkers or whatever.

I wish work was like that.

I guess yeah, if boss is on a plane, then you can sneak away from work for a while. But, this boss can still contact you wherever. But on the other hand, her job seems to be whenever he needs stuff and also keeping him on track. So if he disappears for a while, he actually makes things easy.

Though I have no idea how people do that shit. Just take off and leave early. Leaving early only works if you have one of those jobs where you just need to get shit done before a certain day, or if the boss is drinking with you. It’s almost always women, too. Women leave early for happy hour. Men meet up at the bar after work because drinking is fun.

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“I don’t like it when you have plans.”

I don’t like it when people have lives.

“I’m allowed to have plans on my birthday.”

“It’s your birthday?”


“I knew that. Already?”


Don’t you love it when someone drops that it’s their birthday and you didn’t ask?

It’s Gwyneth. Are you really surprised?


I hate that his refrigerator is full of water and sparkling water. How are you gonna have Perrier and it’s not even Lime? Actually — get ready for just how white I am for knowing this — that’s Citron Lemon-Lime Perrier, which debuted in 2007, which is why I assume that was a super cheap product placement. Yeah. I know. The whiteness.

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“Yeah, isn’t that strange? It’s the same day as last year.”

“Well, get yourself something nice from me.”

“I already did.”


“Oh, it was very nice.”


“Very tasteful. Thank you, Mr. Stark.”

“You’re welcome, Miss Potts.”

Iron Man - 182

They’re gonna fuck.


Oh, this is the part where they sort of flirt. He “got” her something. I can’t even imagine someone handling all my cash and everything and how freeing and awesome that would be. That’s what I need. Someone who works for me who just manages everything while I sit around drinking with my cars.

It’s gotta be someone who won’t embezzle from you, though. That is key.

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Not booze. I disapprove. But I’ll allow the tiny cup.

Iron Man - 184



“Hold my faggy cup.”

Iron Man - 185


Also, driving between the rock boobies.

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Which… I feel like we could maybe call out, but also the rings do represent comic book stuff. So it might be reference over functionality. But we’ll see what Colin has to say about the car first.


I remember how pissed I was when he ended up driving an Audi R8 in this movie, cause that’s when it was brand new and everyone was making the comparisons between it and the Porsche 911. It was totally the flavor of the month, with everyone saying how much better than the 911 it was, and then you have this cool character, and he’s driving this. We see the same thing with him later, driving the Acura NSX in The Avengers. It’s always going to be whatever company is trying to make a big splash with a vehicle that isn’t quite established or has something to prove with product placement dollars. So, never a Porsche, basically. Porsche’s established, Audi and Acura needed help.

I’m waiting for his next appearance in the franchise, when they’ll probably put him in a Hyundai Genesis or something and I walk out of the theater to demand my money back. Now I kinda get the R8, though. It’s futuristic and classy, so it fits. Makes more of a statement than a lot of other cars. You know what? Let’s think about who would drive what.

Stark is the R8 and the NSX, but I could also see him in Lamborghini Aventador or one of their one-offs, especially a roadster. Bruce Banner would have a dumpy van. Low-key, soft ride. Thor would drive a Ford SVT Raptor. There’s no question about that. Steve Rogers has his motorcycles, which makes sense. But if he had a car, it would probably be Corvette Stingray or a Mustang Shelby GT500. Oh, wait. Scarlett drives the Stingray, right? So he’s the Mustang Shelby GT500, with red, white and blue trim. Let us be clear: There is no Mopar in Marvel.

Natasha Romanova has her Vette Stingray, which…yeah. But she could also go European with something sleek, like an Aston Martin V12 Vantage or a McLaren 570S. Hawkeye…does he need a vehicle? He has no character. A black Escalade or something like that? Whatever, really. I haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet. I’m gonna say…an old Ford Galaxie?

I like when cars come up and I can sit back and not say anything and know that Colin has it covered.

Too bad random Oscar categories from the 40s don’t come up more often in movies.

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Have some fun, Terrence Howard. Christ.

Iron Man - 190

“You’re good. I thought I lost you back there.”

“You did, sir. I had to cut across Mulholland.”


There is no way even cutting across Mulholland was enough to keep that Rolls with that Audi. Maybe Mike can explain what that means LA-wise, but unless cutting across Mulholland halves the distance Favreau traveled, I don’t buy it. Not sure what this accomplished other than to establish that life is a game to him.

I don’t know where this office is supposed to be. He’s coming from Malibu. So I assume this place is somewhere in the Valley. If so, then yes, Happy kind of took a shortcut. Because otherwise, I’m not really sure where they went or what the purpose of this was. They never really explain where this facility is whatsoever.

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“What’s wrong with you? Three hours.”

“I got caught doing a piece for Vanity Fair.”


I want to get caught “doing a piece for Vanity Fair.” He got caught doing a piece FROM Vanity Fair.

Little of column A, little of column B.

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“For three hours, you got me standing here.”

Were you really standing there for three hours? Man, what a tool.


Have you been standing there for three hours? Your tax dollars at work, America. Paying for Terrence Howard to stand on some steps.

Is this how you liaise?

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“Waiting on you now.”

LOVE that line. In life. I love being that asshole. “Why are you late?” As you walk inside before them and are like, “Yeah, well now you’re late.”

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That plane looks like a model.


That’s not a real plane. I just want to point out how many things get thrown out in these movies that make other stuff totally mundane and questionable. He has his own dope plane that he probably designed, but he still drives a stock $100,000 Audi. S.H.I.E.L.D has a flying aircraft carrier with a cloaking device, but they still drive around in Chevy Suburbans, or whatever. It’s like, how would you have a lightsaber and not have an electric toothbrush?

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Of course he’s gonna bang the stewardess. That’s what they’re there for.

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“What ya reading? Platypus.”


“Come on, Sour Patch.”

He called him Platypus and Sour Patch.


Racist. But it’s okay. His best friend is black.

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What is she doing back there? Is that really your job? To put shit down on the couch? Because you probably should have done that in the three hours you were waiting on him.


Nah, I get that. You spend that time lounging and leave the work until now so your boss can see you doing your job.

I feel like that’s not what her job really entails.

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“Good morning, Mr. Stark.”

She’s the one that gives the blowjobs.

Iron Man - 200


Look at his family crest on the wall. Right next to the couch where he defiles women.

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Rhodey complains about shit. We don’t care. And we see exactly why they recast him with Cheadle.

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He says when he needs his diaper changed, he’ll get him a bottle.

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“Hey, heat up the sake, will ya? Thanks for reminding me.”

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“We’re not drinking. We’re working now. You are constitutionally incapable of being responsible.”

“It would be irresponsible to not drink. I’m just talking about a nightcap.”


Didn’t she just say good morning? I love a morning nightcap.

“How ’bout a little pick-me-up?”

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“Hot sake?”

Wait, what? You were just TOLD to heat up the bottle. What the fuck are you asking him if he wants it for?


Sockee. Cause the Japanese language is so hard to pronounce.

Iron Man - 206

“No, please, I’m not drinking! I don’t want any.”


This is what I’m talking about. How are you not going to drink? There’s no way I’ll even pass up drinking with a coworker during the day. And on a flight? Come on.

Can we get rich and just fly places on private planes and drink?

I don’t even need the planes.

But it’ll help.

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“See that’s what I’m talking about…”


Not only is that good editing, but he’s got the bottle in his hand.

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This is why you have stewardesses.


The new, more specific version of “This is why we have people.” Seriously think about that. That’s on their resumes. “I’m Tony Stark’s private stewardess.” How are the benefits, I wonder?

Benefrenemies with Benefits.

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This is the single best character Marvel has because they’re willing to let him be baller. Rap video, booze, flight attendant midriff and a fucking POLE in the middle of this plane? Come on. You know he had to design that, too, or at least tell someone to put it in there. Just like Chris Walken going to the blimp company and being like, “Hey, so…can you make it so the steps out of the blimp turn into a chute that people fall out of?”

Christopher Walken’s Nefarious Blimp

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What kind of job posting do you have for that?

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Also, that rap video is by Ghostface Killah, who wrote and recorded the song for this movie. It’s called Slept on Tony.

I hope it’s set to the chorus of “Moving’ Like Bernie.”

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Oh yeah, almost forgot he almost died ten minutes ago.

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As they walk out of the plane, you’re looking at the front of the plane and it’s pretty clearly a 737 with some CGI, which is less exciting.

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Who is that, Chong, back there?

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“Is it better to be feared or respected?”

I feel like they shot this first. It just looks like something they shot on day two.


This scene sets you up for why he’s here, which could have easily been done verbally. Why did we need this 20 second scene of him walking off the plane and meeting generals who are “looking forward to your weapons presentation?” Because we just segue into the weapons presentation.

“And I say, is it too much to ask for both?”

This sounds like a credit card commercial.

“With that in mind, I humbly present the crown jewel of Stark Industries Freedom line.”

Of course it’s the Freedom line. Of course it is.


I love that this is a line of weapons called the “Freedom Line.” The truth missile will set you free.

“It’s the first missile system to incorporate our proprietary repulsor technology.”

Yes, those.


I don’t know what they are, you don’t know what they are, who gives a fuck? CASH.

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Oh my god. Look at these soldiers. Ed O’Neill on the left. Fat Tom Savini in the back. John Turturro far back. John Belushi mid right. And Red Buttons in the center.

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“They say the best weapon is the one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once.”

I’m sure Japan loved that line.


Japan got two, actually. Which was a bummer.

“That’s how Dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.”


Nice speech. That’s how America does it. Woot. Flag waving and all that.

I like that his dad preferred shooting people once.

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“Find an excuse to let one of these off the chain and I personally guarantee you the bad guys won’t even want to come out of their caves.”

Ooh… so… lotta things wrong with that one. Mainly around the word “find.” But definitely not limited to.

Man… that’s… pretty offensive all around there.

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“For your consideration – the Jericho.”


Hand waving for things is the sign of a badass.

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Rockets are cool.

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So they just bombed a hill for no reason.


This is just a missile that turns into a cluster bomb, right? I don’t know what’s special about it, but it is pretty awesome when it explodes. Also, does it not remind you of all the Death Eaters firing at the Protego Maxima over Hogwarts? Yes, I’m aware of how nerdy that was.

As long as they’re not firing any NISSAN Maximas!




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That explosion was taller than the mountains were.

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“We’ll be throwing one of these in with every purchase of $500 million or more.”

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“To peace.”


Weapons, booze.

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Well that’s fucking unsettling. Sit up in bed or something, you weirdo.


Jeff Bridges in bed! This is a very minor version of the feeling we got seeing Judi Dench running a bath.

Except this time, I didn’t go, “YEAH!!!!!” I went, “What the fuck?” This is so goddamn weird. Because he can SEE him! You don’t do that when they can see you. Don’t be Facetiming me and sitting in bed, playing with your balls below the phone.


This is what it’s like to have brothers, though. I know Mike only has a sister, but I’m plenty used to my brothers walking around showing brain. It’s nasty, but brothers do these things.

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“Obie, what are you doing up?”

Plotting to kill you.

Or probably jacking it. From the looks of it. Seriously, why would you Skype anyone from that position unless it’s someone you’re planning on having some sort of sex with?

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“Why aren’t you wearing those pajamas I got you?”


Why ISN’T he wearing those pajamas? If someone bought me pajamas, I’d wear the shit out of them.

Can that be the subtitle? All of that?

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“I’m sorry, this is the Funvee. The Humdrumvee is back there.”


That antagonism was rather sudden. Kicking your friend and colleague out of your ride after you got drunk and sorta reconciled on the flight? That’s how this plot continues.

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“Nice job.”

With what? He literally had to show up, give a two minute speech and show a weapons system that already worked. Really all he did was show up.

That’s like the story of how James Cameron pitched Aliens.

The first Alien movie wasn’t a huge hit at all. It did fine, but no one was rushing to make a sequel. And he’s coming in to tell them this is what he wants to do as a follow up to The Terminator. And they’re taking the meeting because he’s got heat, even though they’re not crazy at the idea.

So Cameron walks into the room with all the studio heads and whatever. No pitch document, no outline. Nothing in his hand. And he just walks up to a board with a marker and writes one thing on the board: the word ‘Alien.’ And nothing else.

And then he dramatically puts an ‘s’ on the end of it.

Which is a badass story in and of itself.

But then, he turns the s into a $.

The movie was greenlit that day for $18 million.

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“See you back at the base.”

No, you won’t.


It looked like they were killing everyone in the convoy, including the other Humvees, so why was Terrence Howard not involved in that at all?

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Wait, so how’d he get a refill?

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Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

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Fever dream about terrorist surgery.

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We’ve all been there.


You guys remember cumming for the first time?

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One way to deal with shrapnel. Put more metal in there.

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This is how you lose a kidney on the black market.

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Too bad college didn’t have mobile IVs. I’d have drank much harder than I did.

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Camera tricks are fun.


Just like Neo waking up and pulling out his arm plug. This is the “where am I and what’s happened to me” moment.

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Where was that tube going to?

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Nice job, asshole. They just had that cave floor cleaned last week.

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I love Shaun Toub. Most people only remember him from this and MAYBE Crash, but he was awesome in Charlie Wilson’s War as the Egyptian deputy minister who backchannels with Tom Hanks during the belly dance and as the store clerk in Bad Boys. Don’t we love Bad Boys?

Is that mirror being held up by barbed wire?

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And it’s not even hooked up to his nuts, either.

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Yeah, sure, just rip off the bandages. I’m sure that’s safe.

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Definitely wasn’t a choice for the Hulk for a reason.

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So are there not any adverse affects to having metal in an open wound in your chest like that?

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Ah, mush.

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Well you seem calm.


Why is it that he only asks the obvious question after the cut to later?

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He removed all the shrapnel, but a lot is still there, and slowly headed… basically, it’s gonna kill him. Like Renard. So they put in a magnet to keep it from going any further.


I got that this is a magnet to keep the shrapnel out of his heart, but can’t they get rid of it later, once he’s back in the States? Why does he still have it in him? And why does it get closer to his heart without the magnet? Is that like muscle peristalsis? That was also one of my questions about The World is Not Enough, cause Robert Carlyle’s character has a bullet in his brain that’s apparently still moving through the brain and killing off his senses. And I was like, why would the bullet keep moving super slowly?

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That’s not that much shrapnel.


A little shrapnel goes a long way. Remember Skyfall?

I meant it in the sense of — compared to the amount that flew into him. If that’s all he could remove, he is FUCKED.

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Living in caves, but they’ve got surveillance.

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“We met once, you know. At a technical conference in Bern.”

“I don’t remember.”

“You wouldn’t. If I had been that drunk, I wouldn’t have been able to stand, much less give a lecture on integrated circuits.”


He was drunk, giving lectures. Why is his life so great?

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“Do as I do.”

What if he started sucking their dicks?

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Are they really prepared to kill him? Maybe he should call their bluff.

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“Those are my guns, how did they get my guns?”

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“Who’s ready to get FUCKED?”

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I love how he talks and doesn’t even care that Stark has no idea what he’s saying.


I love the way this guy talks and then nods as if to say, “Do whatever you want with that. Interpret, I guess.”

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“He says ‘Welcome, Tony Stark. The most famous mass murderer in the history of America.’”

Really? That’s all he said. Sounded like he said a lot more than that.


He really just goes along like Stark can understand. And that’s ridiculous. Some people say, “Hey, it’s ridiculous that Americans expect people to know English!” Not really. It’s the second most spoken language in the world. And in fact, there are more non-native speakers than native, which is what makes it still a more likely international language than Mandarin.

Mandarin has more than one meaning in this franchise.

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Anyway, he wants him to build a missile. The Jericho missile. Which he somehow knows about. Which doesn’t throw up any red flags at all after the guns thing.


How do you build a missile like that in a cave? That shit requires all kinds of ridiculous tech, including software.

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“I refuse.”


By the way, nice that Yensin is all suited up in a cave. Respect.

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Editing is the key to torture.

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Hah. Comic book torture. Remember the opening of Die Another Day when he was tortured in the cold water? Why is it that torture scenes in comic book and action movies always feels inconsequential compared with the scenes in a movie like Syriana?

I thought you said Suspiria there for a second.

Which also works.

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“Yeah… you keep torturing now. You keep torturing him real slow like.”

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Isn’t this getting his battery and wires wet?

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Did he just come up with the idea right there? Because that’s pretty cool if that’s what it is.


Nah, see, I’m pretty sure what happens is that the shrapnel was radioactive and it made him a mutant who’s good at developing fighting suits.

Right, though? You’re all scoffing, but that’s seriously what comic books are like. Did I mention I don’t like comic books?

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Is that the light bulb going off?

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He looks like Leonidas.

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This is what I look like on Tuesdays.

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The sun is so overrated.

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Sure, just take him around your base like that.

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I love that he’s just carrying the battery around with him.

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You put your name plastered on all your weapons like that?

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It’s also great how this is supposed to be revelatory. Like, “Oh no, I make millions of weapons for a living and I can’t believe the enemy has some!” Really?

He also tells him they have everything he needs to make the Jericho missile.

Which – how do they know that? What if they don’t? They don’t fucking know. What if he says they need some random part? What then? How do they get it? They are the shifty-ass A-rabs.


That’s a good point. They just say they have everything, but there’s no way they can know that. Do they have the plans? Do they know all the parts? I’m not even sure I could kidnap someone and force them to make me a Lego X-Wing unless I bought them the right kit first. And then I’m making it. But am I going to throw them in a room with a bucket full of Legos and tell them they have everything they need?

What if Frankenstein went this way?

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HA HA! He tells him to make a list of materials. Like a back to school list.


Seriously, do they think that high-tech missiles are made of some sort of weapons-grade Legos? Like he can take apart a LOT of grenades and RPGs and somehow make a missile?

He starts immediately, and when he’s done, they’ll set him free.

(Fucking really, you’re gonna buy that?)

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Oh man, he shakes on it. That’s a gentleman’s agreement.

(Somehow both also involve Jew hating.)


Downey’s a lot more Lost Weekend than Gentleman’s Agreement.

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“No I won’t.”

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“No he won’t.”

No English, and you can’t figure out the word no?


Maybe he’s saying ‘no problem!’

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Is there anything more unnatural than a smiling terrorist? I love how this guy operates. “I demand things! You will do this.” *FANTASTIC SMILE*

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Creepy dude who clearly means more than the film is letting on.

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“What you just saw – that is your legacy, Stark. Your life’s work, in the hands of those murderers. Is that how you want to go out?”

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“Is this the last act of defiance of the great Tony Stark?”

I don’t care if it’s the first act of Henry V.

He says it doesn’t matter, since they’re gonna kill him anyway, and either way, he’ll probably be dead in a week.

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“Well, then, this is a very important week, then, isn’t it?”


Good thing he had such a great pep talk from such a brilliant cave companion. Most of us get crappy cave companions, like Zubat. What if this was also randomly the Pokemon universe? What kind of Pokemon do you think terrorists would use? I feel like it has to be a ground type, like Golem. Really any ground type that learns Self-Destruct or Explosion.

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Just ordering shit. Great. Take over the cave.


Just once, I want to order takeout to a cave. 

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Big fan of beards in movies. Not trim beards. The Sergio Leone beards.

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This comes out of nowhere. Passage of time, I guess?


Desert/cave establishing shot? Mmkay.

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“How many languages do you speak?”

“A lot. But apparently not enough for this place.”

Pretty sure you don’t have to interact with that many people in this place.

Also, what’s “a lot”?

They call themselves the Ten Rings.


Why do they speak that many languages? Why don’t I speak that many languages? Then again, being an English native speaker still trumps being a native speaker of like any 10 other languages at the same time.

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Look at all these 1980s devices.

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“We might be more productive if you include me in the planning process.”

“Yuh huh.”

They have a fireplace. That’s nice.

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“We don’t need this.”

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Big fan of people discarding seemingly integral parts to things.

If only they’d do that with Hawkeye…

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I’m not interested in the techy stuff.

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It is pretty cool that he sets up the metallurgy and stuff in the cave. Looking like a smithy at Medieval Times.

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“Careful, we only have one shot at this.”

“I have steady hands. Why do you think you’re still alive?”


I wonder if you’re already jittery, if you can’t have caffeine or cocaine or something to increase how jittery you are until it’s so fine that it’s physically imperceivable and just makes a high-frequency sound.

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What’s that little birdhouse thing?

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You know what they say… he who smelt it… dealt it.

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“What do I call you?”

“My name is Yensin.”

Like Yensid?


Now? Now you ask his name? What a dick you are.

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You can make anything in a montage. I wonder what they’re eating during all this. You think the terrorists have decent food? They probably have like, Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, but you have to make it with camel milk. I’m not eating camel mac ‘n cheese.

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This doesn’t look like it belongs to a Jericho missile. Are they not remotely suspicious?

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“That doesn’t look like a Jericho missile.”

2 points for Yensin.

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It’s a mini arc reactor. He’s got a big one powering his factory. It’s gonna keep the shrapnel from entering his heart.

“But what could it power?”

“If my math is right, and it always is, 3 gigajoules per second.”

So we’re about to see some serious shit, huh?

“That could run your heart for 50 lifetimes.”


“Run” his heart? I thought this thing wasn’t running his heart. Isn’t it just powering the magnet that keeps him alive by keeping the shrapnel out? It’s not like more power is better in that case.

Ever be so smart you perfected technology in a cave? (With a bunch of scraps?)

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“Or something really big for fifteen minutes.”

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And here’s the something big.

The Iron Giant.

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Gotta respect a guy who’s so smart he can draw precise blueprints on 16 different pieces of paper and have them match up exactly.

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So, for one, how long did that whole thing take? And two, again, aren’t they gonna notice that he hasn’t even started building a missile yet?

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So they had the board but had to make the washers to play with? Or did they make that too in their time here?

Did you have to trade 16 cigarettes for it?

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Okay. Just playing games.


Dumbass Ashy Yensin.

“You still haven’t told me where you’re from.”

Oh, I see. The exposition.

He’s got a family, will see them when he’s out. Stark won’t say anything. A “man who has everything, and nothing.”


Family is everything? As a single man in his 20s, I’m gonna go ahead and ask you to qualify that statement.

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“Okay, that’s good enough.”



This movie really thinks terrorists are idiots. Especially later, with the Jeff Bridges bit as he makes fun of people “in this part of the world.”

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Imagine Wes Anderson making this movie.

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Seriously, though.

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So only now do they realize that looks nothing like the missile?

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I mean seriously, what kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you guys running here?


Why would you not have someone in there to watch more closely? They really are retarded.

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Mama said they was my my magic shoes.

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“The bow and arrow once was the pinnacle of weapons technology.”


Faran Tahir was the original captain above Kirk’s father in Star Trek, and he was the president in Elysium, but a lot of his other roles are typecast stuff. He was on 24 (which has probably employed every working brown actor available and willing to be a bad guy), he was in Charlie Wilson’s War, which also searched for this type. I think he’s a good actor, but you have to wonder if he and others in that demographic will get regular work that isn’t totally race-specific.

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And then he talks about Genghis Kahn now. Because why not? Evil’s gotta monologue.


This guy has a good monologue. He must have been practicing. “The Mongols were hard motherfuckers…no, that’s not it. I need something more ‘evil TED Talk.’”

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“But today, whoever holds the latest Stark weapons rules these lands.”


I don’t get how one Jericho missile is going to make a difference in his fortunes. Like, will that stop an airstrike? You have one, so you better use it to knock out ALL your enemies. I don’t get this guy’s endgame.

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And nobody notices that?

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He looks like he’s perpetually smelling shit.

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And then they start talking in another language, because…


I don’t have the subtitles. I think I remember what they’re saying. Either way, I’ve decided I like it without subtitles. I’ve made that mistake and watched stuff without subtitles, and I’ve found that you can follow along easily enough. It’s enjoyable and more effective to watch without the subtitles sometimes. I encourage it.

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And that’s exactly what it’s like when everyone else knows a language and you don’t.


Or when everyone knows some American stuff I don’t. 

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“What does he want?”

What the fuck do you think he wants, Sherlock?

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Fucking Mola Ram here.

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Basically, “What the fuck are you building?” “The Jericho.”

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“What do you want, a delivery date?”

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That’s a lot of guys that seem concerned that he’s walking.


People get paid to care about this stuff. That’s your job, you care about little stuff cause you’d rather not wait til it’s something serious.

I’d get so many people almost killed.

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“I need him.”

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“You have til tomorrow to assemble my missile.”


You have until tomorrow? To assemble a MISSILE? They really have a problem with reality.

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Man’s work.



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Well that probably fucked up some of those wires.


Stylish mouth holes, huh? The shape of the eyes and the mouth contour and all that remind me of the helmet Crowe wears for the first Rome fight in Gladiator. Styled to look badass.

Anyway, that’s the END OF PART I.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II, and Mark 1.

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

One response

  1. BlueFox94

    Nice start!

    The thing that sucks about explaining why MCU and all other world building franchise ventures are pretty bad is that we’re starting with the best film of all of them.

    Still, even the first Iron Man gives off some initial hints at the downward slope we’re about to encounter.

    April 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm

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