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Blu-ray Review: Iron Man 3
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Iron Man 3
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital l DVD/Digital l Digital
DIRECTOR: Shane Black
WRITER: Shane Black, Drew Pearce
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany
Marvel Studios
RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2013

Now that The Avengers has come and gone, effectively ending Phase One of the Marve Cinematic Universe, it’s time to kick off Phase Two, which will include sequels to Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, and newcomer Guardians of the Galaxy. But what better way to start off the second phase than with the franchise that began the first: Iron Man.

Iron Man 3 sees Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as the eccentric billionaire with a heart of gold-ish (at least plated) and high tech armor for everything else, Tony Stark. Not returning this time around, however, is director Jon Favreau, who helmed the first two installments. Favreau appears in the movie as Stark’s former bodyguard and new head of security Happy Hogan and remains an executive producer, but it’s Shane Black taking a seat in the director’s chair this time around, which made perfect sense given that he’d previously worked with Downey Jr. on the excellent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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‘Iron Man 3’: What Should Have Happened…
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Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3 has already grossed over $700 million worldwide, and while a box office success, it isn’t unanimously beloved by critics or audiences like Marvel’s last homerun, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the popular aggregate movie review website, Iron man 3 currently sits at 78% (67% among top critics). On Metacritic, a more analytical aggregate site, Black’s film currently scores 62 out of 100. To put things in perspective, two of 2012’s most divisive blockbuster films amongst fanboys, The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus, are locked in at 84% and 74% respectively. Iron Man 2, the black sheep of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is at 73%.

In my review, I took issue with misplaced character motivations and the way co-writers Shane Black and Drew Pearce approached Iron Man’s greatest foe, the Mandarin. Well, even after a 1,300-word review, I’m still not finished talking about Iron Man 3. The only way to get over my disappointment with the third (and hopefully final) Iron Man film was to write about how great it could have been if it wasn’t, well, the movie it turned out to be.

So, in an effort to channel the passion and insanity of Patton Oswalt’s epic Star Wars/Avengers rant on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, here are some thoughts on what should have happened in Iron Man 3.

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Watch This: Iron Man 3/Justin Timberlake Mash-Up ‘Suits That Fly’
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Some of my favorite parody music videos come from Wesley Freitas. You may remember his parody of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” “Batman Maybe,” starring Batman and The Dark Knight Rises gang. He followed up “Batman Maybe” with “Lo Pan Style,” a parody of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” with Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China.

Now, Freitas has released a parody of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” called “Suits That Fly,” starring Freitas as billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark. Check it out here below!

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Check It Out: The Unused ‘Iron Man 3’ Opening Credits Sequence
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Over the weekend, Iron Man 3 grossed over $175 million at the box office. I guess it’s safe to say that the latest installment in the franchise that launched Marvel Studios as one of the dominant forces in the entertainment industry is a bonafide blockbuster – Our own FamousMonster shares his opinions on the movie here – and we shall see more adventures of Tony Stark and his armored alter ego on the screen in the years to come. Hopefully, star Robert Downey Jr. will be there most of the way.

That’s just groovy. After the overhyped wet noodle that was Iron Man 2 – a heavily compromised production that also served as an abject lesson for how Marvel prioritizes its future cinematic projects from there on – it was great to see an Iron Man sequel that not only held its own with the spectacular 2008 original, but even managed its own sizable share of epic action sequences to rival the finale of last year’s The Avengers. Fanboys cried foul over how certain characters were handled, but on the whole I thought director Shane Black was the perfect person to resurrect ol’ Shellhead as a force to be reckoned with among modern movie heroes. I will say no more because right now you should drop what you are doing and go see Iron Man 3.

*Recently an unknown source posted screen grabs from an beautiful animated opening credits sequence that was created but ultimately discarded from the final cut of Iron Man 3 in favor of opening with narration from Downey. You can view a complete gallery of those grabs here below.

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Movie Review: Iron Man 3
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Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black
Screenwriter(s): Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall
Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG-13 | 129 Minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2013

Directed and co-written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Iron Man 3 is both an end – the definitive conclusion to the Iron Man trilogy – and a beginning; the first entry in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1999. A disheveled, bespectacled scientist by the name of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) approaches Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at a technology summit in Bern, Switzerland. Killian invites Stark to join his think tank, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), but the billionaire playboy (not yet a philanthropist) is too busy puttin’ the moves on fellow scientist and all-around hottie Dr. Maya Hansen, played by Rebecca Hall.

Fast-forward 13 years where Aldrich Killian has become a charismatic titan of industry. His new human enhancement program, Extremis, turns crippled test subjects into super soldiers – most of the time. Sometimes candidates become human H-bombs and explode, vaporizing everyone around them into shadows and dust. That’s OK though because Killian has aligned himself with the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), leader of the international terrorist organization The Ten Rings, who needs soldiers (and bombs) for his movement.

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