Some of my favourite movies include Highlander, Aliens, The Killing Fields, The Green Mile, pretty much all the Marvel movies, Wanted, Shawshank, The Notebook (although I seemed to get something irritating my eye towards the end for some reason). Then there's The Hangover films, Batman, some Adam Sandler, Bourne and so many more.
But action films, I love 'em. I die hard, harder and hardest with glee. Through in a dose of fantasy/science fiction, and I'm in my element.
I used to read the Marvel comics when I was young, following the X-Men and the Avengers through all their perilous adventures. I wanted to be an X-Man. Still do, to be honest. Probably a male version of Storm. As such, when the Marvel comics started coming to the big screen, I was a very happy bunny. From the effects to the one-liners to the colours, everything is so much larger than life, and something that has to be seen at the cinema to get the full effect. I even enjoy looking out for the Stan Lee cameos, much in the same way Stephen King did in his films (does he still do that?).
So. Iron Man 3 was a film I had to see, and I had to see it at the cinema. I didn't necessarily have to see it in 3D, as I find it dulls the colours, but hey, why not?
As my wife isn't really into these films, I usually find a cinema buddy. In this case it was a friend from work. Her husband works away and it'd be a while until she saw it, if she, in fact, did. And as it was Orange Wednesday, when cinemas across the country give 2-for-1 tickets for those who are on the Orange mobile phone network (or know someone who is), the place was packed. The queue was out of the doors at the Parkway Cinema in Cleethorpes, but my lemon and lime Slush kept me going until we were let in.
I think my friend and I were as excited as each other. I regress into my childhood at times like this, becoming a 12 year old once more ready to leave this world and enter one of pure imagination.
The Parkway Cinema is great, as far as I'm concerned. The town (or towns seeing as Grimsby and Cleethorpes are stitched together) needed a decent multiplex. Now, don't get me wrong - the old 'pictures' on Freeman Street was great. I remember going from being a child. I think I watched an early Jodie Foster film, Candleshoe, and something else on a Saturday morning, when children could watch a couple of films, or a film and a cartoon, for 10p. And there was the time I queued from 8:00 in the morning to be one of the first in to see Tim Burton's Batman, with Michael Keaton. And the enormous queues for the first Harry Potter film!
It hadn't really changed in all those years. The main screen was big enough, but screen 2 had the knees of the person behind you in your back. We needed something more. Something bigger.
And lo, there was Parkway. I believe it's owned by the same people who own the Louth cinema, where they still stop the film half way through and bring out ice creams and drinks. At the Cleethorpes one, there's 7 screens, plus the Haywood Suite, though I have no idea what that is. There's a bar and the food and drinks don't necessarily require a second mortgage (though such things from such places are notoriously expensive). Oh, and the staff have a sense of humour and know how to smile.
Anywho. Films. Iron Man.
My friend and I found our seats. This was going to be a busy one. Once the curtains had opened and the usual advertisements had droned by, we were presented with a trio of trailers. Gone are the days when they'd just chuck a couple of trailers on, regardless of which film you're seeing. Now, they're tailored to the type of movie. Hence, with Iron Man, we had the new Star Trek film, The Wolverine and Man of Steel. After each one, we looked at each other with a smile and a simultaneous thought of 'O, yes!'
Personally, I'm looking forward to Benedict Cumberbatch as the bad guy in Star Trek: Into Darkness. As a massive fan of his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the amazing BBC drama, he's going to OWN the part, I believe.
And Man of Steel. If the trailer is anything to go by, it's potentially a new, deeper take on the Superman story.
ANYWHO! IRON MAN!
I'd seen some poor reviews of this film on IMDB. Quite a few, actually. A reviewer on the radio said that she'd enjoyed it, but it had lost the heart - oh and a twist three quarters of the way along was already something we'd know. With respect to that point, I don't try to figure things out as I go along. I like the reveals and the twists. So many people knew Bruce Willis was dead in the wonderful 6th Sense. I didn't. I didn't want to. The same with Nicole Kidman's The Others. I don't want to find out before the fact. I don't want to work out who did it. I want the surprise. So...
I like how the Avengers films are linked. The Hulk, Thor and Iron Man all had Nick Fury visitations tying them all together for the Assemble movie. They have a timeline too. Even though this falls in line - and refers to events in the Avengers Assemble - it's the first one where Samuel L. Jackson doesn't don his eye-patch. One wonders why this is, especially given other incidents in this film.
Well, to those reviewers on IMDB, poo to you. I loved it. It was exciting, hilarious in places, and a real blast (in so many ways). Robert Downey Jr., whether as Holmes or Stark, plays his characters with wit, sparkle and ego. In this third outing, he doesn't disappoint.
The effects were excellent (as they should be with so many people working on them - a massive list in the credits) and you could feel the sound in your boots. Or trainers in my case. Even Joss Whedon makes a cameo at one point and Stan Lee can be seen during the pageant... erm... scene.
The whole room laughed at all the right places, especially during Stark's interactions with the boy. I thought the inclusion of the Iron Patriot missed the mark a little, personally, though Don Cheadle is always great onscreen. Guy Pearce has come such a long way since his Neighbours day and was good as the fire breathing head of AIM and it was nice to see Gwyneth Paltrow kicking some butt.
My favourite, though was Ben Kingsley. He's a wonderful actor anyway, but this is one of my favourite roles. Brilliant.
The climax of the film, for me, was spot on. Plenty of action and excitement with a touching end.
I'm not a critic. I'm a film fan. I like to turn off my mind and enjoy the ride, whether that ride takes me into darkness, hilarity, outer space or a heartfelt story full of depth and emotion. As such, I loved this.
For me, Iron Man 3 rocked.