The Cool Nerd’s Guide to Iron Man

by Michael Neal May 1, 2008 2:32 pm
The Cool Nerd’s Guide to <i>Iron Man</i>

In most ways a comic book movie is like any other movie: If you have a good story with good acting and good direction, then the film will be good. But let's say your story is about Superman crusading for nuclear disarmament (in the '80s no less), or you've cast Ben Affleck in the lead, or, God forbid, Brett Ratner sits at the helm of it with his giant diamond encrusted megaphone...not good.

The essential part of making a good movie that is based on a comic book is, simply put, to get it right. Getting it right means you nail the hero, the costume and the story so well even Jeff Albertson can't complain. For the studio that means a movie supported by both the mainstream cool kids and comic book schlubs like me -- the multitude of multiple ticket-buying nerds who feed the hype machine and then clamor for more.

So I thought since there are so many new comic book movies on the horizon, and I have such a unique perspective being part nerd and part mainstream cool kid, I would bridge this demographic gap by judging new comic book movies according to my four touchstones of authenticity. Consider me the Obama-figure of unimportant difference, straddling the divide like the Colossus of Rhodes.

TAGS: iron man

Avengers Assemble!: A Guide to Marvel Studio's Easter Eggs

by Ethan Alter July 19, 2011 1:14 pm
Avengers Assemble!: A Guide to Marvel Studio's Easter Eggs

This week Marvel Studios is releasing Captain America: The First Avenger, a period superhero adventure starring one of their most recognizable characters. But it's also a prelude to the company's next feature, which will be a kind of comic-book movie that hasn't been attempted on the big-screen before: a team-up adventure that unites some of Marvel's biggest heroes -- including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, taking over from Ed Norton and Eric Bana) -- to combat a global threat. The title, of course, is The Avengers, the same name of the Marvel supergroup that's been battling bad guys in the four-color pages of the company's comics since 1963. Geek icon (and part-time comics scribe) Joss Whedon is writing and directing the film, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson as the group's leader, Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as the leather-jumpsuit clad spy, the Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as the ace archer, Hawkeye. Naturally, a project as ambitious as The Avengers didn't come together overnight. Marvel has been laying the groundwork for this film since the first Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, slipping in visual and verbal references to Avengers-lore in all their standalone superhero features. Here's a film-by-film guide to some of the Easter Eggs that have pointed the way to The Avengers

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