Jealous of Iron Man’s full metal jacket?

11 05 2008

This weekend, in addition to seeing string-metal band Apocalyptica, I gave in to the hype and went to see “Iron Man.” You could say it was a pretty metallic weekend. Movie Review Found HereIt was a good romp. The plot had more holes than the bullet-ridden surfaces surely resulting from all the gun blasts, but it was overall pretty good without being too bloody. It does seem to have two sides, however. At times, it’s like a serious analysis drama about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at other times, it’s like a goofy guitar-riff-ridden jaunt through comic book schlock. Overall, it’s well-produced and slick. The end-credit animations are so gorgeous, I might rent this film again just to watch them. I’m happy to report that the conspicuously futuristic computers (which, thanks to the Great Laws of Movies, must always have an alert that pops up with big letters saying “SECURITY BREACHED” in order to meet compliance standards) are from both Dell and Apple. Multiplatform FTW. Where things occasionally go wrong is when things catch fire. Some of the special effects are the modern equivalent of the guy in the Giant Foam Rubber Alien Suit having his zipper showing.

Oh, and about the storyline. Yes, there is one, and thanks to the comic-book origins of this flick, it’s a good one. Too bad the plot jumps around a bit. The filmmakers pretty much finessed their way through the exposition of this one. I’m beginning to wonder how much worse it would be if the filmmakers were writing the story themselves. They do just a good enough job setting things up in the beginning that you can nod your head and go, “OK, I get what they’re trying to do.” I didn’t really follow the plot, but rather just went along with the flow. If you keep that mindset and don’t expect a lot of coherency or consistency, you will be touched and entertained and probably fall under this wonderful film’s spell.

What’s my scale for this film? Four security breach alerts out of five.


Popular culture fun

28 04 2008

Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer ParksWhile I wait for some of my more uh, interesting projects to upload, seeing as the popularity of video uploads is driving up conversion times across the board, I thought I would briefly review a book I’ve been reading. It’s called “Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American Dream in Postwar Consumer Culture.” It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with such strange things. This book was sort of a birthday present to myself (just turned 25 on Friday, which was Day 1 of an excellent three-day weekend) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was purchased in a lovely bookstore in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands neighborhood. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, and I had spent Saturday getting through much of this book, I picked up some “tiki room” styled art and a cheesy PEZ sign at the Inman Park festival before dashing out to escape the rain. I have to think that my purchase inspiration was this book… here’s what I learned. First: I’d never heard of Pinboys before, but apparently setting bowling pins was a highly undesirable job back before the automated pinsetter was invented. Thanks to that, we could bowl and live happily ever after. Second, I guess I’d never given much thought to trailer parks or stereotypes, having long seen so-called “Snowbirds” flocking to the Phoenix area each winter like some sort of annual ritual, traveling as they do in their intermittent caravans of fifth-wheels. (Quartzsite is an example of the RV hobby’s popularity in the state.) All in all, for someone like me, this was heavenly. I really loved the diner pictures, too. I’m kind of an enthusiast. Passing by the Majestic diner in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands neighborhood on Friday afternoon took me back in time.