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Iron Man (2008)
My son arrives home with the freshly released "Iron Man" DVD in hand. "Mom, you've gotta watch this" and I roll my eyes expecting the typical garbage. Not having seen the DVD cover, I have no idea whose in the film.
It took me 10 minutes to recognize Jeff Bridges. The trademark gorgeous head of hair was shaved but that was to his utmost advantage. Bridges got inside the skin of this character and he really scared me.
I've always loved Robert Downey, Jr. He chews up the screen. Up until now, my favorite Downey movie was "Home for the Holidays" where he completely stole every scene. Downey is just so... likable and believable in everything he does. This film is no exception. And it is not devoid of humor. The scenes where he is testing out his product will bring a grin to your face.
I wasn't a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow until "Sliding Doors." In Iron Man, she not only plays the role smartly, she looks good for a change. Paltrow's added a few pounds (but in the right places). No longer the gangly teenager, Paltrow is now a beautiful woman. The directors wisely chose not to interject too much romance in the film either so as not to interfere with the quickening pace of the story.
The traffic/city scene literally brought a comic book to life. I was completely blown away. Great job!
If you want a few hours of sheer entertainment, including a plot that builds and builds and builds, this is the film for you.
Kate & Leopold (2001)
New Yorker discovers portal in time to 1876. His great grandfather accidentally follows him back to 2001. Havoc and love with the grandson's downstair's neighbor ensues.
Okay, okay. It's a chick flick. And it's not the greatest time travel movie of all time. But then again it does NOT have as many goofs as Back to the Future or Milennium, for example.
What is it? Charming. Hugh Jackman portrays Leopold. Sketching the ceremony of the erection of a New York bridge, he turns to see someone acting strangely. Overcome with curiosity, he pursues Stuart Besser (Liev Schreiber at his quirky best), inadvertently into the year 2001. Stuart's sudden disappearance from his apartment brings his downstairs neighbor, Kate McKay (Meg Ryan), into Leopold's life and helps him adjust to this jolt into the future.
Hugh Jackman is brilliant and commanding. Meg Ryan, at 39, who has just wasted "the best years of her life" to Stuart, her ex-boyfriend, has given up on love. Her acting brother, Charlie (Breckin Myer) arrives to visit and adds another dash of comedic flavor to the mix.
Without giving away any part of the story, I will leave you with some of the most poignant moments that I found very appealing.
There is an huge container of pens in front of Leopold, but he has no idea what they are. He finds a feather among a container of craft items, makes some ink in a glass, and sits down to compose a letter. He lightly blows air on the completely letter, slowly blinks his eyes and re-reads the letter.
Although I am dismayed at Meg Ryan's choice to alter her lips and cheeks cosmetically, I applaud her decision to forgo an abundance of makeup. As Kate, she looks tired and overworked, true to the character of a marketing executive who works long hours and has no personal life. Kate's reaction to a line in French, when it's full meaning was interpreted to her, and the expression on her face at a surprise meal, was adorable. And that's the reason audiences respond to Meg Ryan so well. She has an inner beauty and glow that needs no cosmetic enhancements.
Liev Schreiber exhaustingly tries to explain his theory of the space/time continuum to a young lady. His facial expressions and gestures as Stuart are absolutely hysterical but the young lady finally "gets" what he's saying. Just thinking about this witty big of dialog makes me smile. I can see a little bit of Charlie Chaplin incorporated into Schreiber's physical portrayal so I wonder if Schreiber was an admiring fan of Chaplin's? A sweet homage.
Guys if you're looking for science fiction, go to the search box at IMDb.com and look for something else. If you want to curl up with your girl, put the popcorn in the microwave and put the DVD or videotape of Kate & Leopold in the machine! Enjoy.
Based on Keith Moon?
The father of the Who's alcoholic drummer, Keith Moon, was named Arthur. I found so many similarities between Dudley Moore and Keith Moon in this movie. Liza Minelli, who usually OVERACTS, did quite a good job in this one, and was able to turn cheek on Dudley Moore in every turn. Yes, I agree, Sir John stole absolutely every scene. It was a very "different" movie, enabling the viewer to have a glimpse into another life. We often try to catch a rerun of this movie on satellite. God rest Dudley Moore; this was such an enjoyable movie. Much satire and thumbs down to the rich and snobby/affluent. The close friendship between Moore and Sir John is rather endearing.