Fun with Franchises: The Marvel Universe – Iron Man 2 (2010), Part I — “He Shouldn’t Have to Be Doing Any Large Scale Smithy Work”

We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is Iron Man 2.

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 2.

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Mmkay. Hulk is done, and we’re back to a franchise that I can be at least sort of on board with. At least the character is mostly a saving grace. Oh, but he has issues in this one and isn’t fun dickish. Just regular dickish. Right? Anyway, Iron Man 2, ladies and gentlemen.

They’re all technically part of the same franchise. Which is the fucked up part. Which is why I’m not buying that all of Marvel has made more money than any other legitimate franchise.

Marvel Logo - Iron Man


Why did I think that there were more movies between the first and second movies? Were they really that surprised by the first film’s success that they immediately greenlit the sequel and got started on developing other stuff that would take longer to finish?

I think it was more, they were planning on doing all of this, but the immediate success of the first film necessitated this sequel come out sooner. It was more like — everyone bought into the whole thing with Iron Man. And Hulk was already in the can, so the most they could do there was sprinkle Iron Man and SHIELD references in parts that could still be edited. And then, as they developed everything else, they used this as more bait to further get everyone on the hook so that way they’d watch whatever bullshit they threw out.

Iron Man is the Wolverine of this franchise. It almost becomes sleight of hand. You’re watching Tony Stark, and they’re moving all this other bullshit behind the curtain. And now, look at what we’re all stuck with.

Though, actually, now that I’ve had time to think about it — also yes.

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We begin by repeating the end of the last movie. Going back to the old Hollywood adage, “Hey, if it worked once, just do it again until they hate it.”


I think that’s Heigl doing the voiceover. I just assume voiceovers are done by Kristen Stewart, unless otherwise specified.

Cage does a lot of voiceovers, too. In the same tone as Kristen Stewart.

I think that tone is called “Ambien.”

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Ah, Bali.


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It’s great how movies still portray Russia as a permanently frozen wasteland. Winter is coming.

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Wow, Russia has Iron Man on cable already? That’s pretty good. I figured they’d just be getting Titanic over there.


Nice TV, bro. Isn’t he supposed to be a technological genius? I guess he likes watching shitty news on an 11” screen. Also, this is LIVE?

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They kinda took this route with Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Just saying.

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I see Hobo in there.

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Is he jerking off into the stairwell? Cause if so, that’s totally typecasting for Mickey Rourke.

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Old people cough a lot. Stop that, old people.

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Mickey Rourke.

Probably not the best choice of a villain.

Though I feel like we all loved it at the time.


The last time I saw Mickey Rourke cry was when his dog died.

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I mean, the idea of Mickey Rourke as a nuclear physicist…

And that guy’s son.

I bet they’re only like six years apart in age.

What’s he playing here? 30?

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Why are we starting with the villain?

Remember what we all loved about the first Iron Man?

Yeah… not the villain. We didn’t even fucking have a villain until over an hour into the movie.


But that’s cause they didn’t have to follow most rules and stuff. Now we know who the hero is, so instead of building him up for the first hour, we have to skip right to the threat. See why sequels suck?

But that’s the thing about Tony Stark. He is his own threat.

How much better would it be if, for the first 30-plus minutes, Tony Star was his own worst enemy, and then out of nowhere, fucking Mickey Rourke shows up on the racetrack and starts whipping the shit out of him with electric whips and almost kills him? You’re telling me THAT wouldn’t feel like a threat? And then you get the backstory of, “Oh, our fathers did this,” and so forth, and then Tony realizes all the shit about his dad that he didn’t know, and he has to overcome his own shit to deal with this guy.

There is a better way to tell this exact same story.

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You can probably give him some vodka, too.

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He just Yoda’ed Mickey Rourke so bad. You can’t just call someone over like that in your own home and fucking DIE. Why is he not in a hospital?

It’s Russia. This IS the hospital.

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Still, I like that approach to death. Do we pour one out? HOW BOUT INTO MY MOUTH YEAHHH

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So yeah. That happened.


Mickey Rourke, never make that sound aga—no, you did it twice why

Remember when this movie was about Tony Stark?

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Why is this not happening later?

In fact, why is this happening at all?

The strange thing about it is – this is happening as he says he’s Iron Man. Which… somehow this is being broadcast live in Russia at that exact moment. Unlikely. So this is something that was happening of its own accord. The man’s father dies, and he’s got a blood vendetta against Tony Stark. This would have happened regardless. I’m guessing. It’s not a retaliation against Iron Man, is what I’m saying. The way the Joker was clearly a retaliation of Batman showing up. This is just a guy who hates Tony Stark and, oh, look at that, he manages to create electric whips or whatever he does. Now, I’m sure the form of the retribution took hold directly because of Iron Man (which I’m still fuzzy about, since he just found out he was Iron Man like, ten minutes ago while his father was dying). Was this in the cards regardless?


Probably. And they both miniaturize the arc reactor, which is not the sort of breakthrough one just MAKES. If this guy is good enough to do it, he should have done it a long time ago, because the ease with which he does it now makes you wonder why he’s been sitting around waiting for his father to die.

Also, dad’s dead, now let’s make a weapon to kill Tony Stark. Maybe, I don’t know… wait a minute? This is so cartoonish.

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That blueprint is supposed to show how to make it? Cause it’s just a few geometric shapes. It’s less of a design blueprint and more of a patent application. There’s no depth to it, no 3D, nothing more than a few shapes.

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Just in case you weren’t sure.

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The idea being their fathers both worked on this thing, yet Howard Stark got all the credit.


Isn’t he supposed to be poor? How is he getting palladium for the arc reactor? You don’t just have palladium and an 11” TV. There is NOBODY who has both of those things.

I don’t know… it is Russia.

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Driver’s license photo.

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Now… once again… he has this stuff before Iron Man happens. So this is not really an act of escalation. This was going to happen at some point anyway, suit or no suit. Therefore, probably not the best angle to take for a SEQUEL. Unless it’s like, the fourth one. Because by that point, no one gives a fuck and it’s probably shitty anyway.


I do like the goggles. More people should weld like that.

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Oh man, closeups of sparks. Just what I want to be seeing right now.

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Look how obsessed he is. This is only driving my point home.


He’s going all John Nash with the pictures and push pins and all that. Did he buy an English copy of Forbes and one from Rolling Stone? Also, the one on the right is from after he became Iron Man, so are we to assume that somewhere in this montage of creating his own arc reactor, he went out and bought a newspaper so he could cut it out and put it up on the bulletin board and look at it? I never understood stuff like this. It’s all intentional, cause you know they have to make all these clippings specially for the film.

For those keeping score — palladium, 11” TV, and magazines.

Magazines in other languages. Nothing there is actually in Russian.


But for whatever reason, the people making the clippings never stop to think, “Gee, do you really suppose he’d pause his whole welding orgy to go out to the only newsstand in Moscow that sells English editions, buy a copy of a newspaper and bring it back to cut out for his weirdo bulletin board when he could just read it on the internet, which he has?” Cause, I mean, he’d PROBABLY do that, right?

I want a weirdo bulletin board.

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Nothing sexier than welding on screen.


And then, for whatever reason, they show him reforging the goddamn Shards of Narsil even though he doesn’t have body armor like the first Iron Man suit did and shouldn’t have to be doing any large-scale smithy work.


Also, He Shouldn’t Have to Be Doing Any Large-Scale Smithy Work

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Bread and butter.

Great going, Marvel. I’m joking about Russia being backwards, and you’re actually portraying it like it’s still the Soviet Union. All he’s eating is bread and butter. Seriously? Now borderline homeless people eat McDonalds.


I still need to find that episode of All That! with Amanda Bynes as a staff member at McDonalds in Red Square. It was like 1996, but they were still joking about how the Happy Meal toys were bars of soap, needles and thread. On a CHILDREN’S SHOW. But I can’t find the evidence, so maybe I dreamed it.

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Villain with a cockatoo.

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Nice how they’re writing articles about the thing keeping him alive and divulging technology. You’d think the government would want that shit a secret.


Now we have him with lots more newspaper clips, which makes me question his approach to making an evil weapon. Why does the bulletin board factor into this? I don’t think comic book people understand the way things work.

I’m actually interested in the no fog glass.

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He has glasses. He’s not playing 30.

Why would you have reading glasses for welding?

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Sure, give the bird vodka. I wonder if he’ll slur now.

Polly want a chaser?


Maybe if you didn’t feed your exotic bird liquor from a silver cup you would have had the money to cure your father.

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No Stark at all so far.

This franchise, specifically this sequel, is targeted toward younger children. So if you brought a five year old to this movie, they’re gonna go, “Where the hell is Tony Stark, mom?”


Every time a newspaper clipping appears on the screen, my opinion of this movie falls. Just cut to the TV on in the background with banner headlines or something. That would accomplish the task of showing Stark’s awesomeness against this asshole drinking in the dark without making zero sense.

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His dad’s dead. He’s got the blue shit.

Telling you, man. That’s what happens.

I think they just send you the blue shit when your parents die.

Maybe the blue shit is palladium.


I’m confused. Why did he have to pump that antifreeze stuff or whatever that slurry was into the arc reactor? Why do the lights go off as he does it? The lights didn’t go off when Tony turned his on. Only when he started using the suit.

I’d give this movie five stars if he was actually making the Mr. Freeze suit and went around making ice puns for the rest of the movie.

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Five minutes of nonsense.

This could all have happened later.

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Once again, we have a bad guy who has something similar to the hero’s power. Tim Roth, Mickey Rourke. At least they started the movie with it this time, instead of turning Tim Roth into a mini Godzilla.

His looks like a fucking headlight, though. There’s no way this carries enough power to really power whatever he’s making for that long.

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Why is this not the first shot of the movie?

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Also, notice the AC/DC motif going on.

Like when Matrix and Matrix Reloaded ended with Rage Against the Machine.

Kind of funny. The Matrix using Rage Against the Machine and Iron Man using AC/DC.

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Why is he being dropped in when he could just fly there?

Good tune, though.

Because now he gets to tally ho out of an airplane.

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That’s a nice touch. Hit by the firework. Amounts to nothing, but sure.

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Remember when that went through his driveway six months ago?


I’m pretty sure that something of that weight hitting the stage at that speed would leave a crater.

Yeah, but if he landed in a crater, he’d either have to be on one knee and naked, or someone would have to be standing outside the crater measuring his power level.

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Okay, slight rant time.

He’s at the Stark Expo. Which is fine. But, for some reason, what I thought (or remembered) this as being, was him flying down to show up at something like the MTV Movie Awards and presenting as Iron Man.

And now that I think about it – that would have been the better choice for this movie.

Because I feel, the better angle to have taken with this sequel is – now that the world knows he’s a superhero, he instantly becomes a celebrity. All the political shit with superheroes is still present, but since this is Tony Stark, that doesn’t matter to him. Even so, anyone who is publicly a superhero in the world today is automatically going to become a celebrity.

Within six months of him saying he’s Iron Man, that’s what happens. Everyone wants to interview him, everyone has his toys and posters, cheerleaders are dressing like him, there’s probably a porn parody that exists. That’s the world we live in. And of course the thing he’s gonna do is be presenting at the MTV Movie Awards. That’s the exact kind of stunt you’d expect them to pull. And it would have been a good rumination on the idea of superhero as celebrity, which would have been the first time anyone’s really done that.


One time, at the MTV Video Music Awards…

This conversation is over.

The idea being that now Tony told his secret identity to people, and already being a public figure, now he’s everywhere. Now everyone wants to know all about him. And he’s in the public eye, and also accruing political enemies.

There’s such an open road here for what celebrity can do to a superhero (because you know the media and the public can turn on him in a second. Vanko shows up, kills a few people, says it’s Stark’s fault. “Oh my god, all he wants is Stark. It’s Stark’s fault. Fuck Stark. We’ll give him Stark and this’ll end.” You know they would), and play that off of the usual superhero sequel stuff.

And here they take a simple revenge route and water it down and add too much CGI.

That’s Marvel, folks.


A sequel that’s trying to build on what was done in the first film should take whatever has changed (you know, based on this thing called an ‘arc’) and make that the starting focal point. They’ve almost sorta kinda done that by making the “change” the simple fact that there is now a suit out there that everyone wants. So the Hammer thing works in that regard. They covet what he’s got, they try to get their hands on it, it doesn’t work out, he has to mop up that issue. The revenge being the overarching plot is weak, though. And the blood toxicity.

Plus, the villain never amounts to anything, and Tony’s self-destructiveness never amounts to anything. (Why? Because SHIELD has a magical cure. And he creates a NEW FUCKING ELEMENT OUT OF NOWHERE.) So we’re left with a weak story that could have been told much better with some not major changes.

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Also, why are there so many cheering people at an Expo? Has anyone considered that? Even if the public is crazy about him and wants to show up for it, why would they come out in this many numbers? Does Apple’s expo thing have this many people? And if so – WHY?!!!


I never understand people going out to stuff like this. “ZOMG TIM COOK IS UNVEILING THE APPLE WATCH!” Great. I’ll be at home watching movies and not buying that. Enjoy standing in a crowded room watching something I could watch on Youtube minutes later. Actually, something that I could watch on Meerkat LIVE with booze.

Though, to be fair, this is actually what Scientology gatherings are like.

Scientology and Apple are surprisingly similar. Cults that people give a lot of money over to that really don’t give a fuck about them.

Colin’ll like this analogy.

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Now I’m thinking about Tony going too much down the celebrity rabbit hole and – Rocky III, essentially. Losing the Eye of the Tiger.

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This is a wet dream for most of America. Weapons and cheerleaders.

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They allowed solo cups at an expo.

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They should have Flushing’d this movie down the toilet.


I’m just glad it’s not Hulk. This is worse than Iron Man, but so much better than that. Set blessings to ‘counted.’

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(But actually, though. A weapon of mass destruction being cheered while the people in all the countries that hate us watch angrily.)

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Note: I didn’t realize this when I watched the movie the first time, so my notes later on will contradict this, but isn’t it hilarious that Stark had his expo RIGHT next to Hammer Industries?

I mean, sure, this is where it was held the first time, but that’s fucking funny.

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I’m the asshole at home watching this thing come off him and complaining about how they still haven’t made a microwave that’ll heat up lasagna evenly.

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Look at that crease! How does your metal suit not wrinkle your silk suit? Also, notice that his arc reactor is not visible, and it should be connected to the suit to power it. He always had it connected in some way before, but there’s fabric between it and the suit, and I see no wires. At this point, they’re like, “Eh. He has a reactor, just accept it.” Like having a can of gasoline in the trunk of your car somehow powers the engine.

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You know he slept with all of them. Hm? Stark or Downey? Yes.

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It’s funny how he’s both celebrating and mocking his own image at the same time.

We’re six minutes into this movie and it’s already a huge misfire.

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Sure, just repeat the pose.

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That face. “Mm. Ass.”

Over-excited Asian guy, guy flipping him the finger, creepy old dude, and chick with no respect who put her drink on the stage.

“Oh, it’s good to be back.”

Yeah, see if you’ll be saying that in two hours.

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“Did you miss me?”

“I missed you too.”

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“Blow something up!”

“Blow something up? I already did that.”


I really appreciate that they put random shoutouts in this. You never hear hecklers or people yelling shit out like morons in movies. 

I’m DYING to put one of those in something. The one I’ve always had in my head is, some guy in a wheelchair is giving a speech, and everyone’s completely quiet, and says, “I stand before you today…” and some heckler in the audience just shouts, “YOU’RE CRIPPLED!” If I heard that shit, I’d die laughing.

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“I’m not saying that the world is enjoying it’s longest period of uninterrupted peace in years because of me.”

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“I’m not saying that from the ashes of captivity never has a greater phoenix metaphor been personified in human history.”

That line was a bit much.

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“I’m not saying that Uncle Sam could kick on a lawn chair, sitting on a lawn chair, sipping ice tea, because I haven’t met anyone who’s man enough to go toe to toe with me on my best day.”

See? Escalation. This is exactly the kind of shit we should be seeing first.

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“Please – it’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not even about us. It’s about legacy. It’s about what we choose to leave behind for future generations.”


“Please. It’s not about me.” This guy is good. Fuck every other Marvel superhero character. They boring.

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“And that’s why, for the next year, and for the first time since 1974, the best and brightest men and women of nations and corporations the world over will pool their resources, share their collective vision to leave behind a brighter future.”


I want to see the interim here of him going to Chechnya or wherever and fucking people up before people decided world peace was the right answer. Like the Clone Wars of the Iron Man franchise.

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And now, here’s my dead dad to exposit some shit.

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Dad is played by John Slattery.


John Slattery. And he’s actually kinda like Roger Sterling here, which is cool. I like him as an actor.

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I don’t really care what dad says, because it’s meaningless.

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I guess it’s clues about the element thing, but that’s horse shit anyway, so I care even less.

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And this could be a great shot, if you gave a shit about the father thing. But you don’t.

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I guess we need an obstacle for this movie. Because clearly it’s not gonna be the villain.


I wonder if that number is affected by booze. Is it like, the arc reactor stuff AND booze?

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Olivia Munn. How nice.


Olivia Munn??? I forgot about her in this. We like Olivia Munn. She fine and she can act. It’s too bad people didn’t appreciate that talent as much til she played Sloan.

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And now, a POV porno featuring Jon Favreau.

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“I remember you.”

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I hate that women think that hotness gives them the right to say shit like “call me” to a billionaire they don’t really know. But it kinda does.

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Did they shoot this with Google Glass?

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Not really sure what the point of this is. Favreau just trying shit out, I guess.

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Larry King.

Just parade Stan as old people.

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“Look what we’ve got here, the new model.”

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“Hey look – product placement.”


Even with the model pun… jesus.


Ugh. Why do people like convertibles? They’re ugly. Which reminds me, a new Audi R8 just dropped (I’m writing this during the Geneva Motor Show) and Tony won’t be driving it cause Honda has product placement now, as far as I know. It has for a bit, anyway. He’ll probably still be in an Acura NSX.

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Wait, that’s Kate Mara.

Kate Mara and Olivia Munn are both in this movie? Really?


WAIT, ZOE WAS IN THIS? I’m just noticing women from my favorite shows left and right. Kate Mara’s another I haven’t seen in too many places.

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“What are you up to, later?”

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“Serving subpoenas.”

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“He doesn’t like to be handed things.”

“I have a peeve.”

He’s gotta appear before the senate.

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“Can I see a badge?”

“He likes the badge.”

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“You still like it?”

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I enjoy characters with that little shame. I would love it if he still tried to fuck her. Oh, wait. He’s still with Gwyneth, right? So he’s got fine women throwing themselves at him and he doesn’t go for it, which is why this is fantasy.

He’s not with Gwyneth yet. He just doesn’t go for it because he now has shit to do.

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So does she have to take the train home, or…?

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“How far are we from D.C.?”

“D.C.? 250 miles.”

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And one cut.


Really? I didn’t think it was fucking Des Moines, if that’s what you were worried about.

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He’s flirting at a congressional hearing. But it’s with a redhead, so I’m less impressed.

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“Mr. Stark, please!”

“Yes, dear?”

Where are all the black people?

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“Can I have your attention?”


Do you think you deserve his attention?

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“Do you or do you not possess a specialized weapon?”

That looks like Laurence Fishburne as Gandhi back there.

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“I do not.”

“You do not.”

“I do not. Well, it depends on how you define the word weapon.”

Or, you can just say no and leave it at that.

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“The Iron Man weapon.”

“My device does not fit that description.”


Congress sucks. We can all agree on that.

I thought it was a suit. Now it’s a device?

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“How would you describe it?”

“I would describe it by defining it as what it is, senator.”


“It’s a high tech prosthesis.”

With weapons on it.

“It’s a weapon, Mr. Stark.”

Technically a pen is a weapon. Ain’t you guys seen The Bourne Identity. A weapon is a weapon if only you know how to use it. Give a knife to a polar bear and it won’t know what the fuck to do with it.

“Please, if your priority was actually the well-being of-”

“My priority is to get the Iron Man weapon turned over to the people of the United States of America.”

“Well, you can forget it.”

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“I am Iron Man.”

He says that in every movie.

“The suit and I are one. To turn over the Iron Man suit would be to turn over myself, which is tantamount to indentured servitude or prostitution, depending on what state you’re in.”

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“Look, I’m no expert–”

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“In prostitution? Of course not, you’re a senator. Come on!”


He knows all about prostitutes. Some of his best friends are prostitutes.

He has a great relationship with the prostitutes.

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Why does she shake him off? This is exactly what senate hearings need.

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“I’m no expert in weapons. We have somebody here who is an expert in weapons. I would like to call Justin Hammer. Our current primary weapons contractor.”


How is Justin Hammer the number one weapons contractor for the US military? He’s not Lockheed or Boeing and Stark still probably outsells him even without weapons on the table. I’m unclear on how he can possibly be a competitor as such a limp dick.

I think the word “current” is the key. Stark was primary up until six months ago. So now his main competitor takes over. And Hammer talks a good game, so it makes sense why they’d go for him. Plus, it’s comic books. Law of characters.

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“Let the record reflect that I observed Mr. Hammer entering the chamber, and I am wondering if and when any actual expert will be in attendance.”

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Sam Rockwell, ladies and gentleman.


Does he not remind you of Dan?

I’d say his perception of himself and how he is seen by other people is definitely Dan-like.


The unaware nebbish?

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“Absolutely. I’m no expert. I defer to you, Anthony. You’re the wonder boy.”

He was in Wonder Boys.


He calls him Anthony, and having known Italians, I can say on their behalf, “Fuck you.”

In general? No. The way he says it, yes.

Also, you have a great relationship with the Italians.

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Ah, he’s bringing up his dad. I guess we are gonna have daddy issues in this one.

I guess I should state now that I saw this movie at midnight when it came out, and otherwise have not seen it since and remember next to nothing about it. So this is going to be interesting, as far as my reaction to it.

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Great how they’re letting him wander around and do his monologue.

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I have no idea why Gary Shandling is in this movie. I have no problem with it whatsoever. But I still have no idea.

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Tony’s created a sword. And insists it’s a shield.

He created a suit. Pretty sure by definition a suit is more of a shield than a sword.

Unless we’re talking The Tuxedo, that shitty Jackie Chan, Jennifer Love Hewitt movie. That was a weapon, right? I have no idea, I never saw it.


Jackie Chan should have stopped making movies in 2000. He’s like the Asian Eddie Murphy.

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“I’d love to be comforted, Anthony. I’d love to leave my door unlocked when I leave the house. But this ain’t Canada.”

Why not? I love that Canadians do that.


This is NOT Canada. He says that with pride, as though a dismal crime rate was something to brag about.

And universal healthcare.

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“We live in a world…”

That has walls? And those walls are defended by men with guns?

Oh, he says he won’t be able to see all the threats before they happen.


Aw, Judi.

Like the villain in this movie.

Which is foreshadowing because he’s bankrolling that villain.


Not yet.

Not direct foreshadowing, just… movie foreshadowing.

But it’s also really vague. And given how this movie plays, you could very easily make that mistake.

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“God bless Iron Man, God bless America.”



“Watch me turn this shit around.”

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Now they’re calling Rhodey.

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Hey kids, it’s Don Cheadle and not Terrence Howard. Partly owing to them not paying him enough, partly to his awful, monotone performance, and partly because Terrence Howard is supposedly not a very nice person to work with.

It’s just like Katie Holmes turning into Maggie Gyllenhaal and no one saying anything.

Although Rhodey doesn’t get Maggie’d in this one.

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“Hey, buddy.”

I will say – kudos to them for dealing with it head-on and also believable enough to be an in-joke and in-story.

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“I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Look, it’s me, I’m here, deal with it. Let’s move on.”


I love how they make it about the switch from Howard to Cheadle. “It’s me, get over it.” Good work.

I hope he knows how to liaise.

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And that’s it.

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It’s really sad that when I move back to the US, C-Span is probably the only channel on an actual television that I would still watch. Everything else sucks or is online. If you have the stomach to watch C-Span for more than 5 minutes while something is going on, you’re almost guaranteed to see something ridiculous happen live.

This is why I don’t have cable. My father asks me all the time, “What do you do without cable?” And I’m like, “The only thing I ever watched on cable was TCM and football.” That’s it. And awards shows during Oscar season. Why the fuck would I pay for cable if I’m not gonna watch shit most of the time? Plus, I think I’m lazy as shit now and am not as productive as I can be. What is that gonna be like if I had TV?

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Is that Bob Gunton cameraman in the middle? And Scott Bakula cameraman on the left?

Also, great face on John Cho senator.

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He’s having him read specific selections from his report. Which is like that moment in the trial movie where they focus on one part of the testimony designed to make the opposite case as the evidence clearly suggests.


This is what’s wrong with these tribunals. They get to look at the evidence, select exactly what they want to hear in front of the public and then use that testimony to get away with what they want. There’s a reason why criminal prosecutors aren’t also allowed to sentence criminals.

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He’s a dick. Basically.

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The skinny on this is… he’s a threat. But he did go on to say the benefits far outweigh the liabilities.

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“I’m not a joiner, but I’ll consider Secretary of Defense, if you ask nice. If they can amend the hours a little bit.”

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I’m that guy. “Is that water for me? I’m gonna have some of that.” Anything to give you an excuse to not speak for a few seconds during an awkward encounter.

Is this how you liaise?

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And now they’re gonna show images.

Which are classified and they’re doing for no reason.

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Strange how no one from the government says anything about this.

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They’re making copies of his suit.

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And he’s stealing the pictures.

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I hope he’s hacking them, too.


It’d be so great to be able to hack shit wirelessly and in real time. Rick Roll Times Square and stuff.

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There we go.

“Time for a little transparency. Let’s see what’s really going on.”

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He’s in full view hacking the federal government. Which I’m sure isn’t illegal at all.

What does that say, if he can do that? About him and about them?

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It’s North Korea.

… and we already know how this is going to turn out.

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Hah. North Korea making something other than threats is a novel idea.

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Senator Beckman looks like he doesn’t know where he is.



Iran? Iran is the other one? I don’t really get that, other than them being a member of the “Axis of Evil”…they don’t seem like the type to do conventional weaponry.

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“No grave, immediate threat here.”

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“Is that Justin Hammer? How did Hammer get there?”

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Look at that black guy. You’ve got to admit. Stark’s got style.

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Is THAT how you liaise?

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That pilot just got FUCKED UP!

Also one of the more realistic things in any movie — someone not knowing how to work the A/V equipment setup.

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This guy is such a schmuck. He’s not a real threat to anyone, he’s just fun to root against. And totally Dan.

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“Yeah, I’d say most countries – five to ten years away. Hammer Industries – twenty.”

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“I’d like to point out that that test pilot survived.”


So you got that going for you. Which is nice.

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“I think we’re done is the point that he’s making.”

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“The point is – you’re welcome. Because, I’m your nuclear deterrent.”

I’m your nuclear deterrent. What a great line. I hope he wrote that line.

“It’s working. We’re safe. America is secure. You want my property? You can’t have it. But I did you a big favor.”

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“I’ve successfully privatized world peace.”

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“I’ve tried to play ball with these assclowns.”

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“Fuck you, Mr. Stark. Fuck you, buddy.”

Jesus, look at Squints back there.


A senator just said “fuck you.” No.

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What’s the point when there’s no mic to drop?

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Why wasn’t this the first time we saw him?

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“My bond is with the people. And I will serve this great nation at the pleasure of myself. If there’s one thing I’ve proven, it’s that you can count on me to pleasure myself.”


Nobody does live translation on TV like that, not for a congressional hearing in another country. Also, the senator said “fuck you” on live, internationally broadcast TV?

I don’t think it’s live. Isn’t it breaking news, here’s what happened a few moments ago in Washington?

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You live in a shitty apartment. Where did you get all that equipment?


I assume crackheads.

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Aren’t those the same tattoos that Viggo got on his chest in Eastern Promises? Remember that movie? The Russian mob is messed up. 

Think about that — a nuclear physicist went to prison and got tatted up with the Russian mob.

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And how are you not setting this building on fire?

Or at least fucking up the power grid.

This looks like Soviet Russia. Power supplies you.

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How are you gonna get those past customs?

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I like how they never get into what these whip things are or why they can cut through stuff. They’re just like, hey electric whips! Eat your heart out, Alex Haley!

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No need to wreck up your own place. Also, couldn’t a sniper just take him out? He’s all fleshy with no covering.

Like actually though. Remember the last movie, when Stark shoots like 12 different guys while they’re standing there with the hostages? Why not use that targeting thing to shoot him in the face and the knees and the chest at the same time. He can’t block all of them like that. OR, shoot your missile thing at the ground, which he can’t protect himself from. This guy is wide the fuck open.

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Really? Where the fuck else would we be?

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So we’re at Mark IV now?

Also, kudos for the Roman numerals.

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The UK stock market is a Poké Ball.

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Jarvis thinks it’s refreshing to see him in a video with his clothing on.


Jarvis, sadly, is a better secondary character than most of what Marvel has to offer.

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Robot butler making smoothies.

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This thing gets more character development than Gwyneth Paltrow.

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He’s gotta drink that shit to counteract the poison. Or whatever.


He has to drink kale juice, or whatever, to heal himself. Which is dumb. Cause kale is dumb. I swear, they invented that stuff after I left the country, and now everyone has a boner for it.

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That thing rose 5% in like, two days. Pretty sure you’re dead in a month.

Also, what’s poisoning him? Did they say?

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Ah, there we go. The continued use of the suit is killing him.

Sure. Whatever you need to do to make it through the sequel. Though you already explained that the thing in his heart was keeping him alive. So, you’re retconning some kind of toxicity shit that makes no sense.

Plus, the suit use is only making the condition worse. So whatever it is, he has it. From somewhere. I guess because he’s using a toxic element to power the thing? Best guess.


Using the suit means running the reactor for more juice, which means he spends the fuel bits faster, and that’s somehow getting into his blood.

It’s the “somehow” that I have a problem with.

That’s like the Rob Lowe moment in Thank You for Smoking. “Oh, it’s just one line of dialogue. ‘Thank god we invented… the thing.”

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And the memory chip thing is fried. Again.

I don’t care about any of this.


I’m also confused as to how the cores are contaminating his blood when there’s actually no contact with his internal organs. It has a socket and it’s supposed to be powering the magnet keeping him cool and also powering stuff he’s attached to, but the electricity isn’t going through his body. How’s the stuff getting into his blood?

The Plot.

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Oh, there we go. No known elements can counteract the poison.

So they basically set up an obstacle and the thing that overcomes it is him discovering a new element.



You know, I don’t hate how Jarvis is getting the exposition out of the way. It’s clumsy, but at least it isn’t being drawn out for like 10 minutes and 3 scenes. They’re up front about it and get it out of the way.

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Wow, but it is also REALLY over the top exposition. Like, he knows this stuff. Thanks for the recap while he looks at his veiny chest in the mirror. Doesn’t Pepper see that? Maybe they aren’t dating right now. I’m not 100 percent sure about what went on in this movie.

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“Unfortunately, the device that’s keeping you alive is also killing you.”


That kinda looks like the Tokyo metro map.

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“Did you just donate our entire modern art collection to—”

“The Boy Scouts of America.”


The Boy Scouts of America. Hah. Yeah, doesn’t really make any sense. I’m thinking more like the beginning of Last Crusade. Or now, I guess it’s like Pinewood Derbies and shit.

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That’s a great game he has going there. That’s brilliant.


Holy shit, can I have that? His trash can is fucking holographic QUIDDITCH with a bell. You have to wonder if he’s vain enough to have programmed it to correct trajectory in the air and be more forgiving with his accuracy. I’m gonna say…yes.

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She put in over ten years curating that.

So naturally he just tossed it away, because why the fuck not?

Makes no sense, this being here.


It is HIS money. But it’s thanks to her. They did do a great job of putting them together out of necessity for one another. Without him, the company loses its genius and its cash. But without her, it loses focus and therefore cash. And like Batman, Iron Man is usually only good with cash. They do the poor-in-Asia thing for a little while at the beginning, yes, but after that it’s pretty much all cash except for the one time that both of them find themselves poor and without any help and have to pull through somehow like the rest of America. God, but comic books are shallow.

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WHOA WHOA WHOA stop the presses. That car in the background is – and I’m confirming – a Ghia Cadillac, of which I think 2 were made. And the only customer car belonged to Rita Hayworth and BELONGS IN A MUSEUM which is where I’m assuming they borrowed this from. But yeah, early 50s Cadillac styled by Ghia, so probably on the top ten list of classiest American cars ever. What a fucking choice. They had better ideas after ditching the Saleen and the Cobra.

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“The Expo is a gigantic waste of time.”

This movie is a gigantic waste of time.

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“I need you to wear a surgical mask, until you’re feeling better.”


She’s nagging, he’s evasive. Same old, same old. It is a good dynamic for a romantic thing.

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This is art. He says.

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And they argue, but hers is more plot related and he’s just not paying attention.

This isn’t fun.


Someone wrote this dialogue that we’re not listening to.

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He tells her she needs to run the company.

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“I am trying to do it!”

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“You’re not listening to me. I’m trying to make you CEO.”


HAH! A LADY CEO! That’s better than the holo Quidditch.

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Would the board of directors even approve that?

How are the board of directors feeling about now, after they voted to lock him out and then he killed one of them?

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“Have you been drinking?”

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“I hereby, irrevocably, appoint you CEO of Stark Industries, effective immediately.”

Didn’t you know that shit’s official?

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“Yeah, done deal.”

See? When you’re rich and white, it’s just that easy.

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Premature ejaculation.


Champagne is good and I’m surprised that his dumbass ashy robot had it ready for this supposedly spur of the moment appointment.

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I just bought a nice bottle of champagne and I think that’s something you should always just have on hand in case something happens. Like getting the right answer on Final Jeopardy.

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She just went from a personal assistant to CEO of a Fortune 500 company REAL quick.

For a redhead.

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Is he dealing drugs ACROSS THE STREET from where he lives?


They meet in the alley outside his apartment and try to look suspicious as poor people walk past them on the way to the snow farms or whatever. We get it, Russia. You’re poor and shifty.

The Snow Farm Leagues.

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What could he possibly be getting?


I love how they also took a leaf out of the Bourne book and put a random siren in the background cause there’s never not a siren in Russia.

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This is every evil asshole henchman from 1986-1995.

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Ah, fake IDs.

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C’est Le Grand Prix.


Oh boy, get ready for a Jeu Monegasque. Keep your eyes peeled for Benoit. Balls.

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The notary’s here.

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People who box…okay.

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They’re doing MMA. It’s trendy.

Favreau says it’s just dirty boxing. It’s been around forever.


I like that, when people call you out for pulling the “trendy” card. “It’s like, this new thing where you just have plain toast. It hasn’t really caught on yet.” Um, motherfucker, that was called “breakfast” during the Depression.

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C’est Scarlett Johansson.

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“I promise that this is the only time I will ask you to sign over your company.”

So, for all future reference, that chick in the Avengers – also a notary.

They should bring that back later on.

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“Lesson one, never take your eye off – ”

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You think Everlast is sponsoring the movie?

That’s okay.

I know What It’s Like.

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“What’s your name?”


“Rushman. Natalie Rushman.”

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“Front and center. Come into the church.”


“If it pleases the Court, which it does.” Remind me to say things that are equally as shitty as this.

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Fewer redheads in things.

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Dead eyes.


What’s with the bottle? Is that supposed to be baby imagery? Maybe it’s more like when you tell a woman at the bar to come over and talk and then take a big swig of your drink while you look her up and down. Which I’m sure is still a thing in some places.

That’s his chlorophyll drink. I think the joke is that he’s just staring at her and trying to make her uncomfortable. Or just staring at her because she’s Scarlett Johansson. It does come off as funny, I just don’t know why.

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“Can you giver he a lesson?”

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“Who is she?”

“She is from legal, and she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.”

“I need an assistant, boss.”


So they AREN’T dating. And of course Potts has the good reasons why the man she’s into can’t have Scarlett Johansson. Which are all legitimate, but still secondary to the fact that she’s a hotter redhead.

I want to have a potentially very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit.

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“She’s boxed before.”

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He demeans her.

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And now he’s googling her.


His random tables are fucking touch screens. Tell me again why he leaves the house?

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And apparently he runs his own Twitter account.


All the celebrity geniuses do. Musk is great on Twitter, as CEOs go.

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Interned at Hammer.


Some people do speak Latin. You can even listen to Finnish news in Latin. I kind of want to learn Latin just to be a[n even bigger] prick.

Which should come in handy here in Virginia.

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Modeling history.


I’ve modeled in Tokyo! I made an airplane AND a battleship.

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You think they shot these just for the movie?

I always think the same thing as I watch this.

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“Rule number one, never take your eye off your opponent.”

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That’s just gratuitous. It’s also very similar to this one move that turns up in like every Vietnamese martial arts movie. They don’t have martial arts that are as well-known as the ones from other Asian nations, but they do have that one move where they jump and get their legs around your neck to bring you down and it happens like 100 times in EVERY MOVIE. We’re all familiar with your little trick, Hanoi.

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“I slipped.”

A disc, maybe.

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“I need your impression.”

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“You have a quiet reserve. I don’t know, you have an old soul…”


I hate the ‘old soul’ comment. Let’s retire it.

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“You’re the boss.”


This made me very unhappy to watch. I’ve stated before on several noted occasions that I don’t like it when main characters lose their stuff. Like Frodo leaving Sting trapped in the web or Luke losing his lightsaber (and hand). Even though it’s not a huge problem here, I worry about how it’ll limit him in the future.

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“Will that be all Mr. Stark?”




To be fair, she did ask him.

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“I want one.”


You still own the company. Or can just hire her for more money from the comapny.

But anyway, that’s the END OF PART I.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II, and Le Grand Prix.

(See the rest of Fun with Franchises here.)

One response

  1. Andrew

    About the idea of Stark going to something like the MTV awards: that actually would be perfectly in-character for him. Even after the events in the first film, he still has a big enough ego to pull something like that.

    May 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm

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