Fun with Franchises: The Marvel Universe – Iron Man 3 (2013), Part I — “Randomly Disabled and Otherwise Kinda Gross”

We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is Iron Man 3.

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 3.

Iron Man 3 - Title Card

Marvel Logo - Iron Man

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A famous man once said, “We create our own demons.”

Wow, didn’t even do the studio logos.


You’re starting with a voiceover again. I don’t think you guys know how to not start with a voiceover anymore.

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“Who said that? What does it even mean? Doesn’t matter.”

This doesn’t feel like an Iron Man movie at all. This is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang featuring Tony Stark.

Also, when you get to the reveal of what this voiceover is, it makes it sound even shittier.

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“I said it cause he said it. So he was famous, and then basically getting said by two well-known guys—”

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Weird that they blow up in sequence and not all at once. It’s one of those things they did so viewers knew they were being detonated and it wasn’t just a big explosion they were caught up in. But sometimes those extra measures ruin it for you.

Also pretty crazy that all his suits were built with self-destruct capabilities, especially considering he wears them, and they take a lot of damage on the regular.

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“I don’t, uhh—I’m gonna start again.”

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“Let’s track this from the beginning.”

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And cue Eifffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba De).”


Eiffel 65? Wait…am I watching this movie? Did I accidentally get a parody or something? Are you shitting me?

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Ballsy opening, Marvel.

Gotta say, though, this can’t help but get a chuckle out of you. Nobody busts out the Eiffel 65 anymore.

I don’t know if they ever busted it out.

I’d also like to point out that I own the man’s entire album, not just this song. Why? For situations just like this.

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What a great year that was.


Oh, I get it. It’s 1999. Flashback. Couldn’t you have a different song? Why THIS song? What about all the other songs you could have gotten from that year? All Star is a little too much, but what about Wild Wild West? I know Mike would be pulling for Mambo No. 5 because fucking duh. Isn’t this supposed to be vintage Tony, the womanizer? How could you do better than Mambo No. 5?

You know what this feels like? One of the Downey ad-libs that they’d have added in after the fact to complete the joke. Only they didn’t put in the Downey part, so it just feels cheap.

But I’ll take cheap. I’ll take cheap over Mickey Rourke’s guttural cries.

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How could a Shane Black movie not take place around the holidays?

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If you looked fast enough that might actually appear to be Lou Bega.

He’s wearing sunglasses, indoors, at night.

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Look at that fucking haircut.

“Half hour til the ball drops.”


1999 Favreau! THE FACIAL HAIR! But this is still wrong. The wrong song and not enough women.

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“Tony Stark, great speech, man!”

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“I gave a speech.”

Oh, right. The conference in Bern. Where he was so loaded and still gave a lecture on integrated circuits.

“How was it?”

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So essentially the most important people in two of the three Iron Man movies first met Tony Stark at this exact party. Just so we’re keeping track.


I’m actually impressed they didn’t have Vanko here for some reason. The only thing they could have done that I would be clapping for right now is if it was Mambo No. 5 and Sam Rockwell was dancing in the background of a whole long shot with dialogue and they never addressed it. Why must we have all the good ideas?

“That’s my favorite kind, a winning combo.”

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“Where are we going?”

“To town on each other. Probably back in your office. I also wanna see your research.”

“Okay, I’ll show you my research but I’m not gonna show you my town.”


I’m imagining our scientist friend Maryann in this exact scenario. “Woo! TOWN!”

I…. no comment.

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And they even connected the dot. In case we didn’t remember.


They brought back Yensin. Right. Cause everyone knows everyone else somehow. Good thing it’s 1999. His hometown probably peaked in 1999.

I love that his name tag says, “You know who I am.”

That’s awesome.


That’s the jerk we wish we were dealing with for the rest of the movie.

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He wants to introduce him to Dr. Wu.

“Oh, this guy.”


Is he going to break both of Wu’s arms while screaming “whoooo?”

Is he the Mandarin?

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“You’re a heart doctor. She’s gonna need a cardiologist after I—”

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He’s making jokes about fucking her to random Chinese people! How is this not Mambo No. 5?!

In case you guys didn’t know, Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary and Jessica were Lou Bega’s horcruxes.

Also, Mambo No. 5 plays at some point during this movie. I’m sure of it.

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He’s certainly not a dentist.


That’s coincidentally what I say about a lot of people I pass on the street.

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That face.

That “Imma get some dick” face.

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“Perhaps another time?”

Get it?

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“It started in Bern, Switzerland. 1999.”

Just like the visuals told us.


No no no no no, you’re doing a voiceover for THIS? STOP IT PLEASE.

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“The old days.”

A bolo tie. Good choice, Happy.


Favreau has a bolo tie. A bolo tie, people. Try to catch me in a bolo tie. You won’t.

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“I never thought they’d come back to bite me. Why would they?”

Who let this asshole in here?


Guy Pearce because this franchise eats everything.

Love the blond extra who is one second away from saying, “Who the fuck is this guy?”

Also, there’s a nerdy chick holding books over there!

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Aldrich Killian.

His name is Killian. Clearly a villain.

He’s a big fan.

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“My work?”

“Who isn’t? He means me.”

Why did he stop being this much of a dick?

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He’s actually talking about her.

Which is insane, since she clearly isn’t world renowned for her research, and he could have picked literally any other time to tell her this, and not at 12:45 on New Year’s Eve.

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And he sneaks in.

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“What floor you going to, pal?”

“Oh, that is an appropriate question. The ground floor, actually.”

He’s putting together a think tank.

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Her face.


White women are bizarre to me.

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“One to throw away, and one to not call.”


He’s a dick, because it’s the past. People are always dicks in the past. Me? Total dick in the past.

Dick in the Past

Which is how you get the Bitches of Old

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“Advanced Idea Mechanics. AIM for short.”

“I see that, because it’s on your t-shirt.”

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“Ladies, follow the mullet.”


I don’t care what the circumstances are – I will never follow the mullet. And this isn’t Lou Bega and that’s upsetting.

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And just because I feel it’s necessary to point this out for the benefit of anyone who she didn’t tell herself — that name on the name tag there (Tarin Squillante) is a real person, and she was a production assistant on the movie. She’s on Facebook. Nobody really thinks of privacy these days. But anyway, she seems nice.

“I’m titillated by the notion of working with you. Let me ditch these clowns, I’ll see you up on the roof in five minutes.”


This guy is so far gone it’s actually depressing. You’re just asking for it at this point. I’m not Ayn Rand lover, but Stark is a boss and this guy is interrupting him on the way to some pussy. You don’t interrupt a boss on his way to pussy. I’m vaguely remembering that this is the thing that pushes him over the edge, isn’t it? This is why he hates Stark? And…sorry, pal, but you’re in the wrong here.

Not only is he in the wrong, but if I went up to someone and was like, “Hey, I know you got some women here, but let me pitch you an idea on the roof,” and he actually showed up on the roof and left the women, I would immediately not want to work with that person and distrust them.

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“I’m gonna get my beak wet real quick. You know what I’m talking about?”


I don’t. I thought that was slang for getting a cut of the money. But they’re drunk, so at that point I assume any slang term means pussy.

I think it’s been appropriated to mean get a drink too, amalgamated from wetting the whistle.

He might also be getting his dick wet.

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“You mean pussy?”

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“Tell me what’s it’s like!”

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“Come on. I thought that was just a theory.”

He said, as she shot out another ping pong ball.

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She’s doing some kind of genetic research.

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This is a man, based on the shape of the body, but I don’t see the dick. That’s a pretty important part of the cardiovascular system. What does Extremis do to your extremis?


Charizard used Flamethrower!

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“Essentially you’re hacking—”

“Into the genetic operation system.”


I hate this. When movie characters are getting all excited over science stuff and they’re the geniuses of the world, but somehow the dialogue walks it through a little Mayan so the layman in the theater can understand. It sounds so fake.

You want to say something crazy? Say something crazy and have a moron there who needs shit explained to him. Favreau could crack a joke and Stark corrects him with the explanation and some more jokes.

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“Can you not touch my plant? She doesn’t like it.”


Also, is that a weed plant?

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Facial expressions.


They kind of do my Favreau suggestion, but not quite. He’s not being used as the layman who needs shit explained.

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And there she goes, off to get fucked.

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That’s the only reasonable thing to do. Don’t touch your plants? Fuck you.

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He looks like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

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Uh huh.

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“You’re the most gifted woman I’ve ever met.”


“In Switzerland.”


The most gifted woman he’s met in Switzerland SO FAR. I’ve been to Switzerland. I’ll be going back.

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In Asia, you could just tell people she was Liv Tyler and they’d believe you 100 percent.

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The nod he gives here is bizarre. Like, “Yup, he’s gonna fuck her.”


Favreau’s nod! YES!

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I hate it when I get cockblocked by plant explosions.

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“This is what I’m talking about. The glitch.”


That was the glitch? The plant EXPLODED? She wasn’t angry at Favreau for having prompted the glitch. Also, that’s not a great glitch.

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“Have you checked the telomerase algorithm?”

Maybe the answer is in her underwear. We should check there.

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“The what?”

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This is a funny image.

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“Stay down.”

“We’re good.”

“Stay down.”

“You’re right on me. I made it.”

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“What was that?”

Favreau is really the best. What a great reaction.

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“It’s a glitch in my work.”

“It was the glitch. She was just talking about it.”

“It’s not Y2K.”

HA HA. Y2K. Those were fun times.

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“Hey! Happy New Year.”

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So we’re just gonna leave that chair on fire?

I guess we don’t need no water. Let the motherfucker… Bern.


Movies never worry about alarms going off or any of that shit.

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What a shitty way to bring in a new year. At a scientists conference.


I really hope they’re going to cut to Favreau right outside the door as Downey’s banging this woman. Like, reading a magazine or something.

As he plows down her Rebecca… Hall-way?

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How’d you get up on the roof?

There’s no way that elevator is taking you right to the roof. There’s some sort of staircase or ladder that you have to climb up. And not with your gimpy legs.

Also, did you really fall for that?

And are you really gonna hold this against him, given how fucking trashed he clearly was?

People should not be held responsible for drunk decisions.

And if I found out this movie was one, I could believe it.

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Really? You fucking moron.

The fact that you were hanging your nonexistent hat on this (and with that face, you should have one) really says a lot about where you’re at.

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“So, why am I telling you this?”

The best question I’ve heard so far.

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“Because I had just created demons.”


He had created demons. I assume he’s referring to sperm. Because pranking someone into waiting on the roof after they tried to cockblock you in the elevator on New Year’s Eve – TOTALLY acceptable. In fact, that’s the minimum required sentence for that offense in CB Court. You guys know CB Court, right? Most of you have been.

The only reason that’s the minimum sentence is because it’s New Years and most of the judges are drunk and feeling benevolent.

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“And I didn’t even know it.”

What medication is that?

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“Yeah, those were good times.”


I hate that there’s more voiceover. No more voiceover.

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“But I moved on.”

This was a weird shot choice.

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Yeah, I think we got that.


“Present Day.” Fuck yourselves. They’re probably going to show him doing the voiceover into a recorder or some shit anyway. 


“After a brief soiree in an Afghan cave, I said goodbye to the party scene. Forgot that night in Switzerland.”

Couple of things — that soiree is not the same as parties. Also, you forgot that night in Switzerland way before that cave incident.

Also, saying goodbye to the party scene is exactly why I barely care about anything that you’re doing rather than enjoying the shit out of it.

“These days I’m a changed man.”


He used the phrase “THESE DAYS” in the voiceover! You didn’t need the titles! Voiceovers and supertitles should be rationed, like during the war. Marvel should have to do some shady back-alley deals to get the ration cards to be able to have this many supertitles and voiceovers.

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“I’m different now. Well – you know who I am.”

Yes. You’re Iron Man. Which is not a clever way of saying it, because the card implied that you’re Tony Stark. So that’s a weird meta reference to be making. Especially considering who you’re actually talking to.

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“Sir, may I request just a few hours to calibrate—”


Why’d you ask? You know what the answer’s gonna be.

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He’s injected some shit into himself.

“I’ve also prepared a safety briefing for you to entirely ignore.”

“Which I will.”


Is he putting those Judi Dench tracking implants into his arm? What the hell is he doing? Why is this happening at night? Does he care enough to put a post-it note on the door calling this the R&D Department?

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“Hey dummy.”

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“Blood on my mat. Handle it.”


If I had a nickel, man…

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“Sir, may I remind you that you’ve been awake for nearly 72 hours?”

Does he need to be reminded? Sounds like you’re telling the audience.

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“Focus up, ladies.”


He really likes to film himself doing stuff. What are the odds that robot has filmed him and Gwyneth?

What are the odds that robot has fire-extinguished him and Gwyneth?

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“Start tight and then go wide.”

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Mark 42.

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“Jarvis, drop my needle.”

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I’m a little confused by the music, but it could be much worse. But then, it could also be Lou Bega. Or DMX singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


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Peanuts. Nice touch.

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Now’s the time for Jarvis to make a crack about how he anted a few more hours.

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Okay, that’s broken fingers. Broken fingers.

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That looks fun as shit. And that’s the beauty of Iron Man, is that they can think of all these awesome ways for him to put on the suit.


From here, it’s basically just going to be a mist that materializes around him and then assembles on an atomic level.

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“All right, I think we got this. Send ‘em all.”

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He hasn’t gotten it quite right. This feels more like Howard Stark from Captain America.

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“Probably a little fast. Slow it down. Slow it down just a–”

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So many things should cause him to die.

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Cockpiece joke.

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“Come on.”

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“I’m the best.”


The problem with this is that “I’m the best” is exactly what you’re supposed to say when shit is about to go wrong, but it’s also the sort of thing he says when things go right.

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Should that come off that easily?


How did that one piece knock off everything else? How are you taking a hammer hit from Thor if one little piece of your armor hitting you in the wrong place knocks everything else off? This looks like Legos.

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“As always, sir, a great pleasure, watching you work.”

And this ain’t even a sex tape.

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“I guess 72 hours is a long time between siestas.”


Why has he been up for 72 hours, again? I sort of glossed over that. My record is like 55 hours or something like that, and I was getting messed up at that point.

I just did like 45 last weekend. That was fun. I tried to take a nap in between. It didn’t work. So I just drank through it.

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“I didn’t think it could get any worse. Then I had to go and turn on the TV.”



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“That’s when he happened.”

I was about to call them out for having ten rings instead of nine, but then I realized nine rings is from a different, better franchise.

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“Some people call me a terrorist.”

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“I consider myself a teacher.”


I’m not even happy about Ben Kingsley right now. That’s how angry I am about the persistent voiceover syndrome.

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“Ready for another lesson?”


Holy shit, no. I like this Ben Kingsley right now. Still pissed about the voiceover, but I can be cajoled into watching this.

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“In 1864, in Sand Creek, Colorado, the U.S. military waited until the friendly Cheyenne Braves had gone hunting. And waited to slaughter the families left behind. And claim their land.”


I’m going to give this movie some credit just for mentioning Sand Creek. It’s been mentioned on this blog before, because it’s been depicted and used in like a shit ton of movies. Among them is The Last Samurai. Was that example necessary?

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Yesterday, a base in Kuwait was attacked.


Ali Al-Salaam? I’m pretty sure that’s made up. Or stolen from my kebab place.

“I — I did that.”


This man. This man’s delivery. Amazing.

It was a church. The wives and kids were there while the soldiers were out on maneuvers.


That’s also bringing me back to Rio Grande.

Why are all the best movie genres dead?

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“You know who I am. You don’t know where I am.”

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“And you’ll never see me coming.”


Who first edited videos like this, showing all the crazy chaos and destruction one second at a time?

I still want to do that movie about the ransom video guy who starts as a terrorist but gets into cinematography and falls in love with Hollywood. It’d be like Cinema Paradiso, but instead of an Italian kid, it’d be an Islamic extremist.

But actually. We can probably win awards if we made that short.

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“Geiko. 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

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American airwaves were hijacked.


People in broadcast news: stop talking like that.

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I’m confused. Is he supposed to be American? Oh. I’m reading his backstory. Half Chinese, half British. So he’s Marvel’s evil Kwai Chang Caine. Yeah, I watched Kung Fu. So what?

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They have a new resource to find the Mandarin.

“I know him as Colonel James Rhodes.”


Where are The Avengers? Captain America? This seems like a job for him, considering that he’s the soldier who protects America from evil.

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The Iron Patriot.


War Machine is back, looking like Captain America. No desert camo or something?

Finally, a weapon of mass destruction America can get behind and hero worship.

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“How is President Ellis responding? By taking the guy they call War Machine and giving him a paint job.”


President Ellis? Why is there a fake president now? There was a real president in previous Marvel movies. Shit, Roosevelt was on the wall when Steve Rogers got turned down at the enlisting office.

And why does Bill Maher know the moniker ‘War Machine?’ Wasn’t that just something that was said in the last movie between characters? And for that matter, you have to wonder why TV personalities agree to be in movies like this all the time. Seeing Wolf Blitzer in Skyfall reporting on the MI6 bombing was so weird to me.

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This should be foreshadowing. The picture that includes the VP is provided courtesy of Guy Pearce’s think tank.

And somehow they can’t control it.

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“It tested well with focus groups.”

“I am Iron Patriot! … It sucks.”


That’s so America. “Tested well with focus groups.”

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“So what’s really going on? With the Mandarin?”

This is bad dialogue. Half-joke to start the scene, then right into the exposition.

“It’s classified information, Tony. Okay, there have been nine bombings.”

You didn’t even pause between classified and okay.



“The public only knows about three.”

There are way more than nine, as we’ll see later. But go on.

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“But here’s the thing. Nobody can ID a device. There’s no bomb casings.”


They’re talking about him over chicken fingers. That’s what this franchise is reduced to.

First film: brutally attacked, held hostage, tortured, left to die by a father figure.

Second movie: Rogue threat appears, kills people, meets Stark in a prison cell.

Third movie: “So I guess there’s another asshole, huh? What’s his deal? We should probably talk about this. Hey, can I get some hot sauce over here?” Seriously, who chose this location? Are we supposed to not take any of this seriously?

Most people didn’t catch the differentiation between “film” and “movie” in that, but I did, and I appreciated it.

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“You know I can help. Just ask.”

But Rhodey’s concerned about him.


Are they trying to do the same thing from the last movie? He doesn’t look strung out or anything. You can’t just ask someone out of the blue when the last time they slept was in a movie when they don’t look tired. But of course, the audience is nodding because we were TOLD he hasn’t been sleeping even though there has been zero visible evidence to back that up. What happened to visual storytelling? Why is this franchise basically radio plus explosions?

“Look, I’m not trying to be a dick—”

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“Do you mind signing my drawing?”

“If Richard doesn’t mind.”


Did you see him here and spend a long time drawing that in hopes that he would sign it? Or did you randomly have a drawing of Iron Man with you at this bar/restaurant and happen to bump into Tony Stark? Either way, children — get it together.

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Your drawing is shit.

That’s actually way too good a drawing for a child his age. His parents helped him with that.


Is that a picture of him taking the nuke into the hole? I’ve criticized them for not sufficiently linking the movies (if you’re going to link them, LINK THEM, for shit’s sake) without overexplanation, so there’s that well done.

I want a picture of me taking the nuke into the hole.

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“I loved you in A Christmas Story.”


He just made fun of the kid for looking like Peter Billingsley. The connection being that Billingsley is friends with Favreau, was an executive producer on this franchise and was the scientist who Jeff Bridges yelled at in the first movie.

Only Favreau really had little to do with this movie outside of acting in it. So it’s all sorts of weird.

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“Listen, the Pentagon is scared.”

The kids are right there!

“After New York – aliens – come on. You need to look strong.”


Oh, that’s the deal? He’s unstable after New York? What happened to shawarma? 

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“Stopping the Mandarin is priority, but it’s not—”

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“It’s not superhero business. I get it.”

“No, it’s American business.”

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I hate it when I have acid flashbacks over chicken fingers.

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“How did you get out of the wormhole?”

My question exactly, kid.


Kids ask questions too closely. As a child, I asked questions from an appropriate distance. Just want that on the record.

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This wasn’t him reacting to the question, it’s him realizing there was a child that close to him.


What the hell is his problem? I’m now remembering this, that he has like…PTSD or something. What an awful direction for the character.

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A HA HA. Valet parking.


How are there not 1 zillion people and paparazzi here? And how does some insane person not see the suit outside and shoot him or something? 

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I like that he can walk into the suit. But I don’t like anxiety attacks.

What a fucking white guy superhero problem.

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Seriously, Southwest. You guys are really getting in that product placement. I’m still on the lookout for Farmers Insurance. 

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Man, he is so drunk.

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“Check the heart, check the – is it the brain?”

“No sign of cardiac anomaly or unusual brain activity.”

“I guess I was poisoned.”

“My diagnosis is that you’ve experienced a severe anxiety attack.”


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“Come on, man, this isn’t a good look, open up.”

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“Sorry, I gotta split.”

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Why are there motorcycles here? Is this a Pee-Wee Herman bar?

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We still have no idea where this place is.

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“Badge. Badge. Badge guys. I put a memo in the toilet, guys, come on.”


Favreau is great. So glad he’s still around.

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“So you’re suggesting I replace the entire janitorial staff with robots.”

“What I’m saying is, the human element of human resources is our biggest vulnerability. We should start phasing it out immediately.”


Gwyneth is not great. Not so glad she’s still around.

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“Happy, I am thrilled that you are now head of security. It is the perfect position for you.”

“Thank you.”

Who appointed him to this position if not her?

“However –”

“I do appreciate it.”

“Since you’ve taken the post –”

“You don’t have to thank me.”

“We’ve had a rise in staff complaints of 300%.”

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“Thank you.”

“That’s not a compliment.”

“What do you mean it’s not? Clearly somebody’s trying to hide something.”


People who are obsessive about their jobs in inconvenient ways are the key to comedy.

See, you say that, but… Paul Blart…


I was thinking more like, Ed Rooney. But Mike went for the elephant in the room.

And now for a witty segway…

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“Miss Potts, your 4 o’clock is here.”


Potts is a weird name.

“Did you clear this 4 o’clock with me?”

This is amusing, but of little substance.

Anyway, she’s gotta deal with her 4 o’clock, which is apparently “annoying.”

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“I used to work with him and he used to ask me out all the time, so it’s a little awkward.”

You know he’s like, right there, right?

Also, her 4 o’clock is “here” means he’s in the building in the waiting room, not sitting in your office. Meetings happen on her time, not other people’s.


Yeah, that is weird that he should be waiting in there.

Also, when did they work together? And why did he ask her out all the time? He seems like the kinda guy who is easily left on the roof alone.

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“I don’t like the sound of that.”

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Wear socks, people.

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Remember when you were supposed to cover your textbooks in middle school?

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She said, no stranger to adultery.


Guy Pearce is looking Guy Pearcier. Gwyneth wants some of that.

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“You look great. You look really great.”

No she doesn’t.

“You look great. I – I – what on earth have you been doing?”

You’ll find out.

“Nothing fancy.”

No, it’s really fancy.

“Five years in the hands of physical therapists.”


White people. What was his problem before? He was just randomly disabled and otherwise kinda gross?

Randomly Disabled and Otherwise Kinda Gross.

Actually an appropriate subtitle for this movie.

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“And please, call me Aldrich.”

Why did you look at Happy when you said that?

And what did she call you before that? Did she call you Killian? Because why would you correct her now? “No, no, let’s skip the friendly moniker we shared from knowing each other, now call me by a different name.”

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“You were supposed to be issued a security badge—”

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“Happy, it’s okay. We’re good.”

“You sure?”



“Stand down.”

“I’m gonna linger.”


That’s my line. I’m a lingerer.

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This is how you show up to big business.


Oh, this guy. James Badge Dale. I know him from the miniseries The Pacific. Sort of like Band of Brothers but with Japanese instead of Nazis. Not as good. Of course, we all remember him as the guy from The Departed who came to work looking like he was gonna invade Poland.

Or a lot of movies. He’s becoming one of those character actors who pops up everywhere. Here’s a quick list of things he was in. Trust me, you’ve seen him, even if you dont’ know it: The Conspirator, Shame, The Grey, Flight, World War Z, The Lone Ranger. You’re gonna be seeing more of him in the future, so it’s best to start being able to recognize him.

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“Hey, guy –”

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He doesn’t know how to read magazines. And he’s reading a copy of Forbes with Pepper on the cover because nobody we don’t know is ever on magazine covers in this franchise.

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“Merry Christmas.”

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His think tank finally came up with something.

Apparently what they were doing used to be considered immoral. And somehow they just sidestepped that little comment.

“We spent a few years dodging a label of ‘immoral research,’ but now we got something.”

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They call it Extremis.

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Nice shot.

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“Strangely mimetic, though, wouldn’t you say?”

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“That’s amazing.”

“Thanks, it’s mine.”


This guy’s sales pitch is so shitty. I hate these guys who sell stuff with obvious gimmicks and then point out the gimmicks. “Oh, sorry, that was the universe. I meant to give you a live feed to my brain. They’re pretty similar. Nyeah.”

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“This. You’re inside my head. It’s a live feed.”

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“Come on up, I’ll prove it to you.”

I can show you the world…

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He was in Prometheus.


Why is his head spinning around them? Why do holograms always have to spin in movies?

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“Pinch my arm.”


Not only can this not be done, but…it can’t be done.

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“This is what I wanted to show you.”

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Subtle, dude. Real subtle.

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“Extremis harnesses our bioelectrical potential. And it goes –”

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Essentially an empty slot.


Also, notice how he zooms in on this part of the brain like he’s on an iPad, and things stop spinning because he’s focused on this one part, and then when they pull back again and you can’t see what they’re looking at again – spinning. Cause shit can’t not spin. Holograms are like the new rims.

Also, he’s had Extremis. If this was a truly a live feed, wouldn’t that be filled with something? And wouldn’t she figure out immediately that his miraculous recovery might be the result of exactly what he’s talking about?

That would require logic.

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“What it tells us is that our mind – our entire DNA in fact – was destined to be upgraded.”

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“Is this forehead of security?”

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“Look, I got a real job. What do you want? I’m working. I got something going on here.”

“What, harassing interns?”

“Let me tell you something. You know what happened when I told people I was Iron Man’s bodyguard? They would laugh in my face. I had to leave while I still had a shred of dignity.”


He could just be Iron Man’s friend. And driver. I mean, he wasn’t ALWAYS with him, anyway. He didn’t go to Afghanistan with him, and for the second movie, he was basically just boxing and driving. So keep being the driver, buddy, and sparring partner. Can you really ask for a better job than that?

Plus, wasn’t he working for Pepper, last we saw him? So he left a job he wasn’t really doing, for a better job, within the same company.

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“Now I got a real job. I’m watching Pepper.”

Again, you had that job last movie.

“What’s going on? Fill me in.”

Really? That’s what he’s calling about? He’s got nothing better to do? Or is this just so we can get exposition?

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She’s meeting with this scientist.

“Rich guy. Handsome. I couldn’t make his face at first, right? You know I’m good with faces.”

“Oh, yeah, you’re the best.”

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“So I run his credentials, I make him. Aldrich Killian. We actually met the guy back – where were we, in ’99, the science conference?”


I love that expression. “I make him.”


“Killian, I don’t remember that guy.”

“Of course you don’t, he’s not a blonde with a big rack.”


You don’t remember that. He didn’t even say New Years ’99. It was a conference that you went to, and as the head of a techie company, you probably go to conferences every 10 days. And why the blonde comment? He was with a brunette. Why does this one conference have to be the nexus for all past activity? Meeting Killian, seeing Extremis, meeting Yensin…nothing in this universe is ever spread out.

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At first it was cool, they were talking business.


Christ, that’s one hell of a wine rack. That’s approaching a Hermann Goering level wine rack.

“But now it’s getting weird. He’s showing her his big brain.”

“His what?”


Happy wasn’t there for the explanation. Is he able to figure out it’s a brain from outside?

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“Big brain. And she likes it.”


Oh no. All of this is getting destroyed. I forgot.

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“Let me show you.”

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“Look at what? You watching them? Flip the screen, and then we can get started.”

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“Look, I’m not a tech genius like you, just get down here.”

“Flip the screen. And then I can see.”

“I can’t, I don’t know how to flip the screen!”

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“I don’t trust this guy. He’s got another guy with him, and he’s shifty.”


Farvreau just called someone shifty. Thank you for finally speaking our language.

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“You know, you should take more of an interest in what’s going on here. This woman’s the best thing that ever happened to you, and you’re just ignoring her.”


Notice how often this franchise (and franchises in general) have awkward, unnatural-sounding lines to exposit and signal plot themes? Cause take that line and imagine someone in a pitch meeting. “Okay, so for the first half of the movie, Tony’s got issues. Number one is Pepper – she’s the best thing that ever happened to him and now he’s just ignoring her.” And then that makes its way into the fucking script.

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“A giant brain?”

“Yeah, it’s a giant brain, a shifty character, I’m gonna follow this guy.”

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“I’m gonna run his plates, and if it get’s rough – so be it.”


He’s in the same room as this guy talking about how shifty he is on speaker. How the shit does that work?

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“I miss you, Happy.”

“I miss you too. But the way it used to be. Now you’re off with the super friends, and I don’t know what’s going on with you anymore. The world’s getting weird.”



I need a wine rack. I want to have dozens of bottles of badass wine in my place at all times. And other booze. 

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“I hate to cut you off – do you have your taser on you?”

All phone calls should take this exact turn.


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“I think there’s a gal in HR who’s trying to steal some printer ink, you should go there and zap her.”


Why did you just leave your phone in the wine fridge? You know how that’s going to work. You’re going to finish that bottle, want to text people, realize you don’t have your phone, decide to grab another bottle if you can’t text people and when you get to the wine fridge, there’s your phone with 47 texts waiting. And you grab the second bottle anyway, and that’s when the trouble REALLY starts.

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“Imagine if you could hack into the hard drive of any living organism and recode its DNA.”

“That would be incredible.”

Ly illegal. Probably. Or risky, is more like it. Very dangerous. A lot of nature issues you’re running into. Maybe not something to be throwing out at a 4 o’clock, you know what I’m saying?

“Unfortunately, to my ears, it also sounds highly weaponizable.”

Not a word. Nice one, CEO.


Weaponizable? Well, yeah, it would be. Isn’t it funny that she only seems to care about that, while a plurality of scientists consider manipulation of human genetic code to be ethically questionable in any instance. Like, even if this stuff wasn’t weaponizable and was only being used to alter embryos to correct for genetic defects, we’re already on shaky ground.

Plus, Tony is not –

“Tony. You know, I invited Tony to join AIM thirteen years ago.”

“He turned me down.”

But now, he thinks there’s a new “genius on the throne,” who doesn’t need to answer to Tony.

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Reaction shots.

“It’s gonna be a no, Aldrich.”

He asked you to help with his project, not do anal.

“As much as I’d like to help you.”

Would you? Like to help him?


Is she saying no because of Tony, or is she saying no because she doesn’t like the idea? Is she independently concerned about this technology being used for weapons? Because if so, why was her first reaction to say what Tony would think about it? You can make her a boss, or not.

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“Well I can’t say I’m not disappointed.”

You could try.

“But then, as my father used to say –”

Nobody’s father ever said anything good.

“Failure is the fog through which we glimpse triumph.”

Your father knew grammar.

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“That’s very deep. And I have no idea what it means.”

Really? It’s pretty fucking obvious what it means.

No cuts, no butts, no coconuts.


She’s an idiot. We have really no way of understanding why Tony is with her. I’m still hoping he’ll remember back to when Olivia Munn covered his expo and give her a call.

“He was kind of an idiot, my old man.”

Really? With a saying like that? And you’re just gonna belittle him?


Yeah, I don’t get that at all. Especially since he then quotes his dad later on. I’m really not sure why we’re supposed to have that many dad quotes if we don’t meet dad and don’t learn anything more about dad and only hear his son call him an idiot for the sake of flirting.

“I’m sure I’ll see you again, Pepper.”

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Are random cheek kisses cool? I feel like that’s one of those things that Hollywood does a lot that people don’t do. Most people would probably be majorly weirded out in that situation. Cause it always comes off as, “Hey bitch, what your ear lobe smell like?”

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And peace!



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Why are you wearing white?

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“I forgot my – other thing – so I’m just gonna go.”


Happy ain’t happy. You know that if he’s in another movie his ringtone will be the Pharrell song.

Correction: Tony’s ringtone for him would be that.

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There you go. Get that plate.

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She’s blinking a lot in this movie.


Maybe it’s a disease. Remember that episode of House where he kidnapped the soap opera actor because his line delivery indicated brain cancer or something?

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Stark 23.


Hm…an Audi. Is Audi doing just the Iron Man movies? How’s that work?

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Chicks dig that sort of stuff.


Was that a giant bunny with tits? What? You can’t not explain that. Oh, I guess it’s arms. But I would expect arms to the side.

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“I’m sorry I was late, I was – what the – what is that?”

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A HA HA! That’s exactly how you wait for your girlfriend.

Even better if you’re in a seductive pose.

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“What is that, like, Mark 15?”

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“Uhh… yeah.”


Is he supposed to be insecure about how many suits he’s made? I thought that was just him being a prolific genius.

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“You know, everybody needs a hobby.”

“And you have to wear your hobby in the living room?”

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“Just breaking it in, you know? It’s always a little pinchy in the gooey bag at first.”


It gets pinchy by the Tonsberg.

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“Hey, did you see your Christmas present?”

“Yes, I did, I don’t know how I could have missed that Christmas present. Is it gonna fit through the door?”

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Wait. Why is it in quotes? “Sincerely Mitch B.” 

Seriously kids, fucking get it together.

Shit, Tyrone…

“Well, it’s a good question. I got a team of guys coming tomorrow, they’re gonna blow out that wall.”


Okay? I might need to rethink my dislike of her (somewhat), if she’s just gonna roll with an entire wall being destroyed on a whim.

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“So uhh – tense? Good day?”


I don’t know what this scene is. I guess he’s just neurotic. Can he give him a massage without pinching her neck muscles and breaking her collarbone?

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“I don’t want to harp on this, but did you like the custom rabbit?”

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“Did I like it?”

“Nailed it, right?”

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“I appreciate the thought, very much.”

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“So why don’t you lift up that facemask, and you can give me a kiss?”

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“Huh – beep bomp beep bomp. Yup, no can do.”

That sounded official. I’d believe him.

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“You wanna just kiss it on the – the facial slit?”

Oh yeah, kiss it on the facial slit.


Yeah, suck that mouth slit, ho.

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“Why don’t I run down to the garage and see if I can’t find a crowbar to jimmy that thing open?”

“Crowbar, yeah.”


I don’t usually recommend introducing a crowbar into the bedroom scene. There are only so many things you can do with it, and none of them appeal to me. Unless it’s GTA and you’re using it to get your money back.

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“Oh, except there’s been a uhh – a radiation leak.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

Why are you still covering when she clearly knows?

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“At least let me get you like a – hazmat suit.”

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“You can – Geiger counter, something like that.”


Oh, he’s not even in it. That’s weird. Now it’s just an avatar or something. We still haven’t talked about the massive inconsistency of how the suits all have their own arc reactors now, making them ripe for the taking and not at all dependent on Tony. Remember how the arc reactors were closely guarded in the first movie, and Jeff Bridges had to get it to power the Iron Monger suit?

Then in the second movie – here comes the biggest question – he finds out that using the suit is poisoning his blood because his arc reactor has to work overtime, but the suit that Don Cheadle steals has its own arc reactor that isn’t in anyone’s chest. Why would Tony make another suit that had its own reactor and then leave himself to get blood poisoning by exerting the reactor also SOMEHOW attached to his bloodstream?

So besides the fact that the reactors were supposed to stay with him and be kept secret (he should have been even more careful, considering that Vanko was able to make a working model), he had suits that would have at least slowed his blood poisoning and chose not to use them. What?

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Wait, so what are you doing? Research? At least be tinkering. You can explain this away. “What are you doing down here?” “Looking into the guy that’s killing people.”

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“This is a new level of lame.”

Lame is the word?

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“You ate without me? Already? On date night?”

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“He was just–”

“You mean you?”

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“Well yeah, I mean we – we were just hosting you. While I finished up a little work.”

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“And yes I had a quick bite. I didn’t know if you were coming home, or you were having drinks with Aldrich Killian.”

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A HA HA the suit has the best reaction.

“Oh, shit, you busted!”


Why does the suit do comic relief? Is it programmed to do comic relief? I’ll take it.

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“Aldrich Killian? What are you, checking up on me?”

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“Happy was concerned.”

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“I’m going to bed.”

It’s a bit early for bed.

Also, that’s the truth. Why are you upset by the truth?

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‘Hey, I admit it. My fault.”

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“I’m a piping hot mess.”


Okay, THIS is why this movie is worse than the second one. They took Tony Stark’s dickishness and arrogance, and made him a nervous wreck. They effectively removed the only character elements that kept me interested in the movies and replaced them with insecurity and depression.

People who think this movie is so much better than the second film…did you forget that Tony is the only thing worth a damn in these films?

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“It’s been going on for a while. I haven’t said anything.”


George Lucas was watching this part going, “Now THERE’S a ‘beside yourself’ joke opportunity squandered!”

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“Nothing’s been the same since New York. You experience things. And then they’re over and you can’t explain ‘em? Gods, aliens, other dimensions. I’m just a man in a can.”


A man in a can with a plan and Al in Panama or something like that.

Also, what? You’re all fucked up because of aliens and stuff? Why do you care? I’ve never seen such a consistent downward character arc as I have with Tony Stark. He started perfect. And then got boring.

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“The only reason I cracked up is probably because you moved in.”

Really? Not all that other stuff you just listed?

“Which is great. I love you, I’m lucky. But honey – I can’t sleep.”

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“You go to bed, I come down here, I do what I know. I tinker.”

Which kind of makes the avengers Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

“Threat is imminent. And I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without. That’s you.”


One more time, we’re back to the pitch meeting. “So, Tony, he’s a wreck. He can’t sleep so he does what he knows, which is making more suits. There’s an imminent threat and he has to protect the one thing he can’t live without, which is Pepper.” Can someone get me some dialogue that sounds like what people might say and not what Hollywood types say in meetings?

You’re gonna regret that by the time we get to Tennessee.

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“And my suits, they’re–”


“But they’re part of me.”

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“A distraction.”


She’s calling part of him a distraction.

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“I’m gonna take a shower.”


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“And you’re gonna join me.”


I can’t even be happy about the shower line. And she’s a redhead.

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I liked her more when she called him Mr. Stark and he slept with random women.

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The only reason we’re seeing this is either because of a nightmare or a dream sequence.

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He seemed a lot cooler in the moment than he’s dealing with it now. I’m not quite sure I know why he’s the one who got affected in this way. You’d think some of the others might be having problems. What about Barton, who was brainwashed, or Natasha, who was nearly rape-killed by the Jolly Green Giant? I guess I don’t see the source of the trauma the way they’re laying it on. “Stuff I can’t explain,” doesn’t sound like PTSD, it sounds more like OCD.

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This is about to get weird.

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How’d that test with focus groups?

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“Power down!”

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And that works?

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Why does it fall apart so easily?

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“Must have called it in my sleep.”

And why did it attack Pepper, exactly?


Because it has our interests at heart?

And his subconscious’s, apparently.

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“That’s not supposed to happen.”

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“Just let me catch my breath. Don’t go.”

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“I’m gonna sleep downstairs. Tinker with that.”

He just said he was going to tinker with that.

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Is that a telescope in his bedroom?

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Is that the Chinese Theater?

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Dog tags.


I rub my dog tags sometimes on the train. And Japanese people are always like, why are those purple? Is Chuck E. Cheese your real name?

Chuck E. Cheese is his real name. He was in Public Enemy.


Why there isn’t a place called Chuck D. Cheese with an animatronic band doing Fight the Power?

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Random… guy.

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Grauman’s is never this empty.

In fact, there’s always at least one Iron Man there.

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“Can you regulate?”


I have no fucking clue what that means. I think this is supposed to sound like weird junkie language to people who occasionally eat pot brownies.

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“What do you think?”

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Did you really spend your entire day tailing this guy on a hunch?

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Checking out the sunglasses in the mirror. That’s a Casino Royale move. And, you know, a lot of other movies.

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“It’s a decent batch. Don’t say I never did nothing for you.”

“Thank you.”

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Reaction shots.

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Great how junkies can just meet right here and there are no cops to say anything about it.

Also, what time is this? Grauman’s is never this dark.

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What are these metal trinkets? I have no idea what the hell is going on, and I also SUPER don’t care. They actually look like Kaminoan saberdarts. I hate that I made that connection.

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“I’m sorry, buddy.”

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“How you doing, buddy? You out by yourself? A little date night? Watching your favorite chick flick, maybe?”


You got caught in the act. There are basically three options. Fight or flight or whip out your dick.

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“Yeah. A little movie called The Party’s Over, starring you and your little junkie girlfriend.”

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“Here’s the ticket.”

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“No kidding. That doesn’t belong to you.”

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We all know it’s the Extremis stuff because they blew their plot load like three minutes in. So the question is now, what are you doing with it and why do we care? The answer of course, is that those attacks Ben Kingsley was talking about are this Extremis stuff and we care because…I dunno, they’re bad?

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I don’t really know what we’re watching. This is a Lethal Weapon movie with Iron Man in it.

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“You motherfucker.”

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You’re basically just a human starfish that explodes at this point. Like, if Starmie could learn Explosion, that’s what you are.

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My office is like, right there, too.

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Favr-oh, Bubba no!

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Phone home.

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Why are you pointing, again?

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Iron Man 3 - 429

Iron Man 3 - 430

And no one across the street is getting video of this?

Seriously, this is Grauman’s. It would have to be 3 am for it to be that deserted.


His outfit just went Thriller.

Iron Man 3 - 431


Iron Man 3 - 432

And that’s also the END OF PART I.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part II and the end of a really nice house.

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

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