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September 11, 2007

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cinephile

Hey Mark!
Well, thanks for scooping me-- I was going to blog about this trailer, too, when I saw it online yesterday. (: Maybe I'll wait and do a big IM series around the time of the film's opening or something. Anyway, I agree with everything you said, and agree that the Sabbath tune was sort of silly, but I didn't mind it too much, and if it brings non-fans into the theater (like the Prince songs did for Batman way back when), that's cool. The whole cast looks great, too- -loved the clips of Bridges, Paltrow and Howard, and hope we get more of them in future trailers as the date gets closer. One thing-- while Favreau originally floated the Mandarin as the villain, it's since been revealed that it's Obadiah Stane, the Denny O'Neill-created business tycoon who ravaged Stark's life in the early '80s (issues 162-200). That's both promising (and Bridges-as-Stane is fabulous casting) and disconcerting, as that's a long, fairly epic storyline, and I wonder how much they'll get in to the finished film. Still, it's a sign these guys know their Iron lore, and hopefull they'll pull it off.

Mark Engblom

"Well, thanks for scooping me-- I was going to blog about this trailer, too, when I saw it online yesterday."

Rest assured many more people before me (and after me) wrote about the trailer, so by all means....post away! I'd be interested to read your long-form thoughts on it.

Thanks for the info on Obadiah Stane. I remember hearing about that somewhere, but hadn't heard the Mandarin was out. Now that I think about it, keeping the villain a bit closer to Tony's "sphere" of influence (the international business/military world) seems to be a wise choice for the first movie. A more fantastical villain like the Mandarin (even if they dumped the supervillain costume and its trappings) may not have played as well in an "origin" story.

Yes, Favreau definitely knows his stuff. Better yet, he respects it and doesn't seem to think he needs to "improve" it.

cinephile

Oh, I was just teasing about the "scoop," and really meant it more as a compliment about your speed and diligence in posting (and you said everything I would've said, anyway-- you're always so on-point). I think I will write about my IM fascination one of these days. That O'Neil run in particular fascinates me; I have issues with it, but the skill and ambition on display is often breathtaking (it'd be great if they released a TPB, although its lengthiness-- spread out over three years-- probably prevents it). To me, that period between 1978 and 1989 (the two Micheline-Layton runs bookending the O'Neil/McDonnell/Bright run) will always be the best of Iron Man, and I'm pleased to see that it seems to be the inspiration for the filmmakers, too.

Brian Disco Snell

Mark, great minds think alike, as I just posted about the trailer today, albeit a tiny tidbit.

One thing I like (from what we've seen so far) is Favreau and co. haven't felt compelled to shoehorn everything cool into the comic into one movie. See, for example, Daredevil, which tried to shoehorn in DD's origin AND the Kingpin AND Bullseye AND Elektra. This not only befuddled the non-comic movie-goers, but gave the characters no room to breath.

And I still like the song, dammit....

Mark Engblom

Good point on the shoehorning. I suppose it's tempting when you've only got one shot at trying to convey the essense of the character to the general public with no assurance of a sequel (especially for second-tier superheroes like Iron-Man). It that case, it can almost be a curse to be a fan of the character since you "already know too much" and want to be sure to cover all of the major "touchstones" of the character's history.

If there is a sequel, my guess is that they'll address Tony's alcoholism...for which I'm sure Downey has some powerful stuff to bring to the table for that performance. As glib as his characters can come across, the nervous, intense "flip-side" of those characters can be amazing to watch emerge (such as his fantastic performance as Paul Avery in "Zodiac"). I'm hoping he can instill some of that into Tony Stark...making him a much more complex and nuanced protagonist than you might normally expect to see in a big-budget superhero flick.

Bahlactus

I will co-sign on this adventure wholesale when it drops next may. The trailer is exciting and sets the right flavor for the film. I agree that Downey is a solid cast for Stark. Looking forward to seeing Howard flex as Rhodes as well. Did anyone else recognize Jeff Bridges? He looked absolutely evil genius! I'm a big fan of Bridges and trust the film will be better with his presence as well. Favreau appears to be showing a lot of respect to the character and I hope that rings true next May. Bahlactus has spoken.

felgekarp

There have been some Marvel movies that have been a hit and some that have been a miss, this one definitely looks like a hit.

Siskoid

Well since I blog BEFORE checking other blogs, I managed to post on the same subject. It's like posting Christmas covers around Christmas, everybody does it! :)

As for the Iron Man music, it often happens that the trailer uses different music from the film, so actual tunes may vary, and I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't hear this song 1) at all or 2) only during the credits.

Mark Engblom

Bahlactus-

Was that bald guy with the beard Bridges? Wow...he's either heavily made-up or he's gotten alot older since the last time I saw him. Probably a combination of both.

felgekarp-

Yeah, I feel like I'm going out on a limb a little bit by saying it'll probably do well (or at least present Iron-Man well)...so hopefully that hunch will bear out when the movie is released.

Siskoid-

Hey, in my opinion, you can never get too many posts about Christmas covers. Even if some of the same ones show up, it seems everyone has a little different take on 'em. The only time I lose interest is when covers are just posted with no thoughts from the blogger. Just kind of a "hey, look at this. A Christmas cover." Yeah....so? Whattaya think about it? So, as long as people are offering some kind of personal take or opinion on something, duplicate away!

As for the music, I didn't mind Sabbath's "Iron Man" riff when the prototype armor was in action...but the "I Am Iron Man" sound bit at the end was over the top. Sure, the younger demographic isn't going to get the reference...but even so, it just felt kinda campy...and counter to what it looked like they were trying NOT to do in the first part of the trailer.

Siskoid

Cue a bunch of people wondering if that will be Iron Man's modulated voice.

cinephile

Siskoid--
Just read your blog post-- you know, I've watched that trailer a few times now, and I somehow boneheadedly missed the link between stark wth the glass of scotch in his hand and his alcoholism; I just thought it was a funny joke (toasting "to peace" following that long pro-weapon speech), but of course you're right-- it's a lovely, subtle bit of foreshadowing, and it was cool of you to catch it.

Mark--
Yep, Bridges was the bald man with the goatee. He's one of my favorite actors, and I think he's going to rock the part. Actually, whenever he or Downey pop up in a movie, it's a sign of imminent cinematic pleasure for me, so having them together should be a hoot.

cinephile

Oh, and--
While I agree that Marvel has treated Iron Man poorly (going back to Teen Tony, really), am I the only one in comicdom that was equally grossed out by Captain America in the Civil War miniseries? Yes, Tony was creepy, but Cap was Travis Bickle: a vigilante so sure of his righteousness that he didn't really care who he killed or hurt. Interesting that so many people (including Millar in that book) want to celebrate him as some libertarian hero.

Mark Engblom

"Cap was Travis Bickle: a vigilante so sure of his righteousness that he didn't really care who he killed or hurt. Interesting that so many people (including Millar in that book) want to celebrate him as some libertarian hero."

Great point, Cinephile...and one I don't see brought up much. I do think the creators intended for us to think Cap was also crossing a line...but it wasn't emphasized very effectively or early enough for it to come across as something equal in arrogance and danger to Tony's side of the argument.

"Cue a bunch of people wondering if that will be Iron Man's modulated voice."

LOL! Now that you bring that up, I wonder what Stark's voice will sound like? Most likely recognizeable enough for you to still believe it's Downey in the suit (which, outside of a few close-ups with the face mask raised) probably won't be the case most of the time (whether it's a stuntman or a CGI double).

I wonder if they'll go for any shots of Downey's eyes through the eye slits? They've used that kind of thing to great effect in the comic books (just seeing Tony's "angry eyes") and unlike the completely opaque eye areas on the Spider-Man mask, they'll be able to introduce at least a little emoting on Downey's part when he's fully masked.

Tom the Bomb

1. Agreed on Robert Downey, Jr. Charisma, looks good in facial hair, has experience with substance abuse, and his acting chops will add a little heft to the character. As for how much they'll use him when the armor's on, I think the voice will be recognizable enough, especially in inflection. They will also likely go the Spider-Man route of having the hero remove his mask/helmet multiple times so the actor can get more face time. Of more concern to me is how they will use Jeff Bridges. His bald-with-a-beard look is so sinister, I'm afraid they're going to make him bat$#!% insane like Nick Nolte in Hulk.

2. My understanding of the Mandarin's role in the movie world is a little more complex than what I've been reading here. At one point Favreau was saying that while Stane is the main villain in the first movie, the Mandarin is operating behind the scenes. Basically, there will be a few hints to his influence in this film, not enough to distract anybody from Stane this time, but if they do get to the Mandarin in a later film, you'll be able to go back and see his influence in the first film. Kind of how they handled the villains in Casino Royale -- somebody else was behind everything, but you got enough story to be satisfied.

I still don't know how you translate "magic alien rings" to the movie-going audience, though.

3. The gray armor looks great in the preview. Crude but fun.

4 and 5. The translation of the armor and its flight to film are spot-on and very convincing. What I especially like about the flight portion is that it allows you to get a good look at what Iron Man looks like and how he moves. I hope they keep that, instead of the jerky, it's-moving-too-fast-to-see-what's-actually-happening camera work of something like Transformers.

6. Don't let the song bother you. They have to get the name into as many people's heads as possible to make this work. It may be a trailer-only gag. Personally, I'm hoping for an iconic score, something that stands out from the various Danny Elfman hero themes. Maybe more along the lines of a march, something slightly militaristic, with percussion and horns.

The trailer does its job -- it makes me want to see Iron Man right now!

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