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Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United

Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United

It seems like it happens quite often when a straight to home video release catches me unaware until it is actually released as is the case with this movie which is a pseudo-sequel to Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United from last year. It has the same kinda cell shaded CGI animation style and the same voice actors for Iron Man and Hulk, though it doesn’t quite feel as young skewed as the previous attempt, it’s not too deep either. And similar to Iron Man and Hulk, I didn’t really connect with this movie aside from a couple fights and a couple laughs, it was too simple, too silly, and didn’t really feel connected with anything. Even my daughter Jena didn’t give this one a whole lot of interest. It’s interesting that while Marvel is dominating the box office, and has quite a few TV shows out there, but its home video animated movies are severely lacking.
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Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United

Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United 2013

It’s the start of December, nearing the end of 2013 and this is the last superhero movie release of the year. It’s also the first straight-to-video release from Marvel using CGI animation rather than the mix of traditional and CG that they’ve used for their past releases. It ends up looking much better than many of the cheap and/or old CGI cartoons of past home video releases and TV shows, but it’s still quite obviously far from the level of a theatrical release and the cheapness of the animation does show. It also felt like it’s aimed at a younger audience with a lot of humor that tends to focus more on slapstick and childish attitudes. Even the voice work has an air of cheapness that doesn’t quite capture the essence of either of the characters. There are some fun moments in the movie enough that I don’t regret watching it, but it really felt a lot more mediocre than I was expecting in more ways than one.
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Superhero Shorts: Iron Man in 60 Seconds

Superhero Shorts: 8-Bit Cinema: Iron Man in 60 Seconds

Welcome to another edition of Superhero Shorts, where each time I feature a different short film based around superheroes and have a brief chat with the creators. This time I’m talking with Norwood Cheek and David Dutton who have pared down the first Iron Man movie into a brief 60 seconds. Not only that, but they have also turned it into an 8-bit style animation. As usual, you can watch it below, or you can watch it on Cinefix’s YouTube Channel. You can also view some of David’s other works at Dutton Films.
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Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 2013

This is the latest in the juggernaut that is Marvel Studios releases, and especially movies with Robert Downey Jr. in a metal suit. The early reviews were mostly blown away by the new sequel and as I had to wait an extra week for it to come out here in the States, I was starting to chomp at the bit to watch the movie. Of course, once it hit theaters around my neck of the woods, there started to be a few more rumblings of failure and a lot more opinion that this actually wasn’t the best of the trilogy. There were plot holes, and weak moments and ill-fated twists, and when I got the chance to watch the movie… I wasn’t quite sure what I really thought about it. It had it’s action moments, and Robert Downey Jr. doing what he does best as he has done in the past three movies including the Avengers, but there were also those plot holes and other things tugging away at the sides of my brain. I decided I couldn’t quite give the movie justice until I gave it a few days thought and watched the movie for a second time. 2D every time all the time for me FYI. I had an article previously where I talked about the Curse of Three, and while the impact has dwindled a bit with the release of The Dark Knight Rises, it hasn’t completely gone away and I still think there are weak elements in this movie that can definitely hinder the watching experience for some and completely ruin it for others. And fair warning, there may be spoilers in this review, I will try to be non-specific where I can, but I’m not going to dance around them if I need to call them out.
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My initial thoughts about Iron Man 3

My Initial Thoughts about Iron Man 3

Here there be spoilers! I watched this movie the other day, but for various reasons I don’t feel like it’s quite time for me to write a review for it just yet. It’s left me with some questions, and I’m just not entirely sure how I feel about the movie, I think it requires another viewing before I can really get to the heart of the movie for myself. But I wanted to get some of my initial thoughts out there now while everyone else is talking about it. And again, I won’t be treading lightly on the spoilers, so steer clear if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

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The Invincible Iron Man

The Invincible Iron Man 2007

Over a year before Iron Man hit theaters welcoming our Marvel Studios overlords they released another origin movie for ol’ Shellhead direct to DVD. There are honestly very few similarities to the two movies, and this is only the third animated Marvel movie after the Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2 and honestly it shows. After seeing what Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau did with the character in the years that followed, it feels so weird to go back to the totally selfish, uncaring playboy shown here. The other characters also feel much more shallow than they have become with Rhodey being the only character to come off as good or better than he’s seen in the movies so far, though he disappears halfway through the movie. It’s interesting to see a different take on the origin story, and they do even introduce the Mandarin, though I highly doubt there will be any connecting thread between this Mandarin and the one in Iron Man 3, but there are so many better versions of Iron Man to watch out there.
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Iron Man Rise of Technovore

Iron Man Rise of Technovore

This is a home video animation produced by a collaboration between Sony Pictures Entertainment and anime studio Madhouse. It’s a follow up to the 12 episode Iron Man anime series, though it’s a stand alone story that I was able to follow without having seen any of the previous episodes. There were four different Marvel properties that were turned into anime series, though I think Iron Man seems like it would be the easiest transition from Western Animation to Japanese Animation considering anime has a prevalence of mecha similar to Iron Man and some of his enemies. It ended up being an interesting mix of the two mediums with the obvious Japanese style combined with some of the more American personalities. I loved it for the most part, although I thought some of the philosophizing was a little slow and overly cerebral.

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The Avengers

The Avengers 2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen and read a dozen reviews of The Avengers already. This is one of them. I probably won’t say anything you haven’t already heard before but at least I’ve watched over 40 superhero movies already this year so while I may not be an expert, I may see things at a slightly different angle having seen so many similar movies. But let me just cut to the point here, it was awesome. It was better than any of the Marvel lead ups and while it may not have taken the top spot for my favorite superhero movie of all time, it’s definitely made it into the top 10. But first let me do a quick rundown in case you haven’t actually seen the Avengers yet and would rather pick one or two out of the five lead-in movies to watch first to prepare. If you want more information about the Tesseract, the big blue macguffin that everyone is after then watch Captain America to see what it’s capable of. If you want to learn more about the main villain of the movie, watch Thor to learn why he’s doing what he’s doing, and you also get a hint of the aliens in the universe even if it’s not the exact same ones. If you want to see more from S.H.I.E.L.D., watch Iron Man 2 to see how they began preparing for the Avengers Initiative and a hint of what Black Widow is capable of.

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Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 2010

I think it’s kind of funny that right after putting up a poll and a blog discussing spoilers I watch a movie that was not spoiled to me in any way shape or form. Here is everything I knew about Iron Man 2 before watching it: Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as Rhodie and he gets to pilot his War Machine suit. Black Widow makes an extended appearance in this movie. Whiplash is the main villain played by Mickey Rourke. And that’s it. I had an inkling about the role of Tony’s father, I had no idea Nick Fury played such a big role, and also had no idea about the subplot about him being slowly killed by the use of his arc reactor core. So everything going into this movie was a big surprise and I must say a delight. I can’t say right now if the sequel is better or worse than the original, but it’s absolutely on par with it.

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Iron Man

Iron Man 2008

After watching the two Hulk movies that left something to be desired, I was ready to move on to an Avenger that had it all: Great characters, great plot, great action, great everything. I’m talking about Iron Man, the first movie released as part of the Avengers Initiative and arguably the best of the bunch. Disappointingly once again, Jena was disinterested in this movie and I hope it doesn’t extend to when we watch the Avengers in theaters because I’d prefer to not have that experience and everyone else’s around us ruined by an unruly five year old. I’ve heard mixed things about Iron Man 2 so I’m not sure what to expect next, but for now at least, I had a great time with this movie.

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