Fun with Franchises: Our Favorite Images from The Marvel Universe – Iron Man 2
One of the recurring features that we do in Fun with Franchises (a feature within a feature) is, after we finish watching a film, we go through and pick out our favorite images from that film. These images could be anything from really famous images from the film or franchise, really beautifully composed shots, shots that are funny to us because of the facial expressions being made in them or because of what we said about them in the article in which they appeared, or simply because they have boobs in them.
How we do this is, in the same way we watch the films, Colin and I separately pick out about ten to fifteen shots that we really liked. (This typically ends up being him picking out around 30 and me having around 70.) Then we compare lists, and whichever ones we both chose automatically make our final list. Everything else we talk through. We have it down to a science by now. Within four total emails, we’re left with a final list of ten images we liked the best, along with ten honorable mentions, which were also as good, but just missed out on making the list proper. (And then more we just work in. Just cause.)
It’s not very complicated (like most things we do here at B+ Movie Blog), and is just a way for us to point out shots that we really liked in the films, especially since we tend to pick stuff that’s not always on the beaten path. (We also don’t officially rank the list of shots. We just put them in chronological order. Simply picking them is hard enough. We don’t want to make our lives any harder. Plus, we’re lazy.)
That said — here are our favorite images from Iron Man 2:
1. Dad shots
The first one probably should be the shot, but the second one actually does end up becoming the shot, thematically. Basically, he’s got daddy issues and is destroying himself. Plus, Dad is about to talk to him through time and 16mm, which is pretty cool.
There’s always nice imagery to a father-son relationship, as long as they have problems and you shoot them together in an interesting way. They didn’t do enough of this, but what little there was stands out as some of the more inventive imagery in this movie.
2. Drunk in a Car in a Basement in California
Is this not all of our dreams? To have a nice ass convertible in your basement that you can sit in and watch movies projected in front of you? I’d never leave the house if I had this.
This is Tony Stark, drunk in a car in a basement in California. Do we not all want to have our own drive-in movie theaters? Indoors? This is fucking awesome.
3. This face
This is why I’m the best at getting screenshots. Otherwise no one would even know this image exists. Look at this face. He’s drunk and about to destroy a watermelon with his chest beam. This is the face you make.
That face, in the middle of shooting with his chest, is awesome. This is what shows that Downey was having fun on the set. You know they were trying to control the product, but Downey’s too good to not have some fun with it.
4. This shot
This is my favorite shot in the movie. Look at how nice this looks.
There aren’t too many moments in this movie that you’re impressed with the shot alone. I liked this for the color and for the face. He’s roasting, and that’s all you see.
This scene would have been awful if not for the outtakes. That 60s hue to it, the fact that actual film stock was used to capture this, plus — the 60s in general, where this shit was accepted. This is great.
This should be self-explanatory. John Slattery is taking a booze break during home movie for his son. That’s great. Especially since they edited it and this got left in.
6. This shot
Originally we were gonna pick either the one where Black Widow leaves the guy hanging after her trail of destruction, or the shot of this room when she finds it, with the two guys hanging there, but there’s something hilarious to me about him sitting there, on the phone, having a casual conversation with two corpses swinging next to him. The blood on his hands is a great touch, too.
AH HA HA. Dead people conspicuously in-frame is another key to comedy.
7. This shot
I like shots like this because you know they had to actually think about putting the camera here. Wide shots are good, but wide shots like this mean someone put thought into it and decided to do this. Which is nice.
This one I chose because you get to see the action from the perspective of these guys who are watching, but they also took the time to film it from other angles so they’d have the monitors in-shot as well. That shows their preparation in the setup, which I appreciate.
8. He’s got his eye on you.
It’s not so much the joke and the gesture, it’s that it’s such a simple shot of Samuel L. Jackson with some nice foliage in the background. We do love our simple shots.
Because the coloring is more interesting to me than anything else that happens in this sequence.
There aren’t too many good color moments in Marvel, despite how brightly everything seems to be lit all the time. This was a rare pleasure, to have the whole screen go red all of a sudden. Find excuses for the whole screen to go red or blue and we will shower you with praise.
10. This face.
Because he’s looking at us. That’s what makes this.
Garry makes great faces. Look at that smile.
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- This face
“What, Tony and I aren’t competing.”
And then bam. The first shot is really smart. That’s editing. Making it seem like he’s deliberately pointing at him. And the reaction is just an added bonus.
Sam Rockwell was such a good pick for this movie, but they totally wasted him. There could have been so many awesome scenes between them. And so much more dancing. So much more.
- Upside down
I like it because it’s upside down. That’s really about it.
There’s something sorta unconventional for you, I guess. At this point, I’ll take almost anything out of the ordinary, because it feels like the phoned in most of this movie’s cinematography. Monaco upside-down? Sure.
It’s a nice shot. The panorama of the city and all the destruction around him. And they’re calmly sitting there, having some cocktails over lunch.
There’s a disregard for glass, but mostly I enjoy the framing and how they’re sitting in ruins.
- Wide shots
Cutting out wide makes action exponentially more interesting.
Wide shots of action are in short supply. I’d have appreciated one even wider than this, but they didn’t go wider. Put a camera like 500 ft away and focus it on the action. You can see the fire, and you can probably see Rourke walking in front of it. Fire serves as a great focal point for wide shots of action.
It’s the fact that it’s a wide shot that’s extended. This is what makes comedy. He walks out of the room, stops, and decides, “Fuck these strawberries,” and goes to throw them out, and then they spill everywhere. And it’s funny. And it seems unscripted, which, in a movie like this, makes it all the better.
This never struck me until I watched this movie for the article. He really just bumbles over to the trash can and spills strawberries all over the floor. Downey’s still having fun with this. This doesn’t happen with the other characters. Everyone else in this universe is either scripted as shit or really needs to be.
There’s something great about a billionaire telling his employee to commit vehicular manslaughter live on camera in front of millions of people. And his CEO is in the car!
Don’t we love Favreau? And Downey’s telling him to commit vehicular manslaughter in front of a massive crowd of people.
- This shot
Colin can explain in detail why we picked this shot. It’s just hilarious to me that it looks like War Machine is smiling.
This was a great image because it’s one of those Wes Anderson shots of something from above. The way he’s gripping it with both hands looks so methodical. Sometimes camera placement makes all the difference. Correction: camera placement always makes all the difference.
This is one of those great comics images. That’s something that, as a writer, you want to put in there because it would be a great image. It’s hokey, but I do like it because someone was like, “We gotta do that,” and they managed to get it done. Like the shawarma scene. That’s funny. I find superheroes comically in normal locations more interesting than superheroes fighting other superheroes.
This is kinda cheap, but he’s silhouetted in a donut, eating a donut. We’ll give it to you. People remember this moment.
- Sam Rockwell dancing
Because there’s not enough of it in every movie.
This. Fucking this. Always let Sam Rockwell dance. It’s not the shot at all, it’s the moment. But what a moment.
- This image
Superhero domestic violence.
This was all Mike. Didn’t even occur to me, but look at that. Hah.
I didn’t even really notice it until we did the articles. It’s okay because you know he’s not doing it. But it’s hilarious to picture it as, “Goddamnit, Pepper, how could you let my Expo explode?!!” And shit’s blowing up in the background.
I mean… this is Queens. This is not an uncommon thing to see on a rooftop.
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Tomorrow we give our final thoughts on the film.
(See the rest of Fun with Franchises here.)