VIDEO: Iron Man (2008)

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Ah, Tony Stark. How Ursa loves you, even if you’re sometimes kind of a jerk. So much so that she’s going to try and explain why. (Then again, she enjoyed Iron Man 2, so what does that tell you?)

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Tag: Marvel Cinematic Universe

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  • Why have people over the past 13 years equate arrogance and vanity with charisma??

    • Because people like self-confidence way more than shyness and in literature and movies a personality like that opens various different possibilities of development.

      • Jill Bearup

        ^This. Also why only over the last 13 years? Admiration for individuals with self-confidence (even when that is expressed as arrogance) is not exactly uncommon throughout history. 

        Power corrupts, but it may get you girls, or something like that.

        Because we tend to believe in other people’s opinions of themselves. They aren’t our sole marker of whether or not we like them, obviously, but we do take their apparent self-love or hate into account.Also, arrogance is not necessarily a prerequisite for charisma. And arrogance alone does not equate to charisma, which requires something more: it requires focused attention. Because it is very flattering to have the focused attention of someone who thinks that they’re the bee’s knees, or cat’s pyjamas, or whatever. Because if they love themselves that much, and they are paying attention to you…then clearly they also think that *you* are the bee’s knees, or the cat’s pyjamas, or whatever.

        • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

          I wonder though…Tony is charming with his quips and all, but Kanye West kind of pulls the same schtick with less than favorable results.  Kanye has talent in his profession, but it’s because his self importance is so overwhelming it turns people off.  So I think a lot of it has to with both the writing of Tony Stark and the delivery by Robert Downey Jr that makes it work.  I’d even venture to say he’s a better Tony Stark than Sherlock Holmes, but that’s a different debate.

          I totally agree with you, that without Pepper Potts to be his foil, his character would not work at all as well.  Wolverine works his best with Jubilee, Nightcrawler, or even Professor X in the comics because he has a grounded sense to realize what was happening, and adjust accordingly.  Superman needs Lois Lane, Batman needs Alfred, all the classic characters have someone that can tell them when they are being idiots.  Even Wonder Woman needs Steve Trevor in her life to keep her in check.  Sofie could list another 20 points to justify that position I’m sure, but it’s a dynamic that has to exist otherwise the character has no counterpoint to justify anything they do.

          Overall good video, I very much enjoyed it.  I’ve already proven I’m a Marvel fan, but love super hero movies so much like you do.  I’m sure you already have a million ideas, but here’s a challenge for the Agony Booth: a Top 10 list of the best super heroes to need a movie that haven’t had one (Wonder Woman being #1 might be cliche, but I hope there would be challengers).  Also, some of the cameos in X-Men movies might be contentious, but I don’t see why Psylocke wouldn’t be up for an option since no one even recognized her for the most part. 

          Agony Booth Roundtable, would be a good new section on the site for those that wish to talk about top ten lists, I know I would watch something like that.  And having it introduce us to the personalities of the site would be good without it being tied to any one production or movie, but more of a general discussion.  I hope it would be considered.

          • Cristiona

            There’s another key difference between Stark and Kanye: Stark’s in on the joke.  Stark knows that he’s a bit of a prick and that he’s an egotistical jerk, and knows that without people like Pepper he’d be lost while Kanye seems completely unaware.

            It’s the lack of self-awareness that’s the key difference between them.  For instance, I couldn’t see Tony Stark pulling that stunt Kanye did at the Grammy’s.  I could see him interrupting the show with stunts and making an ass of himself, but I don’t see him hijacking someone’s award so he could yell out an editorial about who should have won.

          • Sofie Liv

             You can also pretty much tell every-time Tony or Sherlock or what-ever crashes a party, it will be because they have a genuine point they need to get across and tell people. Maybe in a crude self-fish way, but they will have a point, and they will be right more often than not. If it turns out they are not right such an action would become a personal defeat for them the movie or episode would have to deal with, them going. “How could I be wrong about this?” thing.
            That they are smart people, knows they are smarter people and gennerally are in the right acting like smart-asses.. because they are just smarter, helps a lot in this aspect as well.

          • Jill Bearup

            Definitely. The point where the midden really hits the windmill in Iron Man 2 is when Tony is really drunk and disorderly at his own birthday party, and he ends up WAY over the line of ‘acceptable behaviour’. And though we know why (he’s dying, and he’s freaking out) it’s a definite departure for him. Normally he’s quite astute at social calibration, for all that he seems not to care about other people’s opinions. He’s being a jerk and he may or may not know it but right then he doesn’t CARE. Also he’s mean to Pepper. Which is shorthand for ‘this is about to blow up in your face.’

          • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

            And Pepper, bless her, puts up with it because she knows he’s better than that, and there is a reason for his behaviour.  Tony Stark is a character that has honestly gotten better over time and with his cartoon incarnations become a staple (For DC I view Green Arrow in the same light; yeah he can be smug and too smart for his own good, but in cartoons he really developed a personality). 

            Being a Marvel fan like you are, how do you feel Pepper was handled in both Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes?  I liked the teenage Pepper and the growth and maturity she showed in IM: AA, while also appreciating the more mature Pepper willing to deal with Tony and knowing he will never be totally “hers” in A: EMH.  Two different takes on Pepper, but never losing sight of the fact that they are meant for each other.

          • Sofie Liv

            One point.. and you’ll probably hate me for this, I have against the show.. naming Tony Stark the leaders of the Avengers.
            I mean.. I get he is paying for all the shit they have but, from a studio perspective it’s quite clear that he was only named leader so he could be the front figure because he is the most popular hero of the team currenlty.
            But from a story perspective, Tony Stark as the leader of the team? .. no.. no does not work. I know it was sort of fixed by the very very end, where he handed the position to Cap America, but the very end is a bit to late, should have been that way from the beginning, the Cap is a leader, Tony Stark.. absolutely not.

            And Pepper was good when-ever she appeared, but it was very small fractions that she did, and we never got the sense what kind of relationship she had to Tony, we never spend enough time with her to ever really know.

          • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

            He was never leader, he was the man that founded the team.  He never wanted to be leader always wanted someone else to take up the role, as was explained in A: EMH.  Tony suggests the idea, has the funds to make it work, gets Nick Fury to agree it’s a good idea…the cartoon was so brilliant but it’s exactly how the interaction would have been.  Avengers were meant to be led by Captain America, not because he’s the ideal of America (I’m Canadian I take offense to any statement that we are a state of the USA), but he always does the things that we, as people, wish we could do.  Black Panther is a better Avengers leader than Tony Stark!

            Tony is no leader, but he is a good arbiter and financier, and also a friend you want to have.  Also he really cares about people and that seems to come to the forefront when he’s forced to suffer the consequences of his companies weapon building priorities.

          • Sofie Liv

             He was the leader! took leader decisions, was the spokes person for the Avengers, there’s even a whole arch where Tony goes. “Guys, I don’t want to be a leader.. bye.” and every-body else goes. “Oh no! Tony has gone, what do we do? whom is going to tell us what to do???” and it of cause resolves in Tony out-right saying. “You know what cap, you should be the leader, go for it buddie.” which was nice, but that was how the show progressed, Tony was the spokes person and leader in the beginning, none of the other people, the show states that quite clearly.

          • Misinformed

            The real leader was Ant Man, but he was so small we didn’t see him doing the leading.

          • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

            That validates the argument that Tony wanted the Avengers, wanted Nick Fury on his side but did want to “lead” the team. 

            The classic example of that was during the Gamma World story arc where Cap negated the idea of Panther going in first and saying to Tony “Leaders lead” and the rebuttal “Thanks Cap”.  It was clearly established that Tony never wanted to lead the team, just make sure they had a way to deal with the threats of the Breakout of four supervillain prisons.

            Tony Stark is NOT a leader, he’s a benefactor, and should never be viewed as anything more.  He relies on people more than he really ever realizes, and trusts the people he puts in positions to lead to do that, while he finances their leadership.  That’s actually a pretty smart move though, since he makes decisions that affect so many people and wants someone that cares, rather than he, since he is pretty selfish.  So he cares, but not the personal degree that Captain America or Hawkeye does.

        • Sofie Liv

          I’ll also go on a limp here and say there’s actually some-thing really refreshing and endearing about people whom don’t give a crap.

          I mean, people so comfortable in their own skin and personality that they don’t feel the need to try fitting into other peoples exspectations.

          Screw society exspectations, I just want to mind my own buisness doing my own stuff 😛

          Sherlock really gets to be so refreshing and endearing that way, that he does not care what people think of him, so he gets to rest in himself and be himself, just doing what he want to do, just because he wants to do it. And in the same way, tony does a lot of stuff, just because he wants to do it, and it looks like fun, it makes people go. “wauw, I wish I dared being so up-front and like that!”

          There’s a difference between appearing arrogant for the sake of trying to improve your own self image and raise yourself above the others.. in those cases you will fail and look like an idiot by the end.
          Or being arrogant by merely stating stuff you believe is facts.. and when a smart person does that, so it actually is facts not just stuff made up, that becomes very endearing.

  • Sofie Liv

    You know honestly, I do think Pepper deserves her own episode.. sorry to go on about her but.

    She is seriously my most favourite female lead in any super hero movie ever.. and I am serious.
    I mean just.. she’s perfect in my book, she has a character, whom is not a perfect person or a super soldier, but she stands up for herself. You totally get why Tony needs her.. simple and purely, Tony needs her, and I totally get why in all movies. She is his mother! Tony, never having had the parents whom would raise him probably, he got Pepper instead in his adult life, and he lashes unto her like a kid would to his mother, seaking her attention and yeah.. approval. They did not need to become a couple to have that relationship going, but it’s all fine with me, and I am very much into why Tony wants Pepper to stick around for him.

    Also another thing I think makes Tony so loveable, he is a little kid in many aspects, an exstremely intelligent kid, but a kid none-theless, whom always had all these big fancy toys around him to do what-ever he wanted with, as I said before, his parents never seemed to raise him probably. Tony never ever grew up, he is still a kid. And that also goes for The Avengers movie, just see how he reacted to Bruce.

    “OMG! sciense dude whom turns into a huge green thing when he gets angry, wanna share my toys?” It’s such a kid reaction of excitement that’s it’s just so plainly lovable.

    Also not to forget, the kids perspective Tony still has to a lot of things, can become refreshing and be some-thing different than what all the more “Removed.” adults around him thinks. Stuff like thinking Bruce is awesome and that you shouldn’t just do what Nick furry says just because Furry tries to be an authority figure, what kid ever wanted to listen to some school principle walking in claiming to know own the place?

    • Thomas Stockel

       I like Pepper a great deal, too, and I think Paltrow plays her wonderfully.  Should they have made them a couple?  I think that may have been one of the few things I liked about the second movie.  In the first we see Stark grow up quite a bit and in the second that evolution grows where he begins to really appreciate Pepper more and realizes instead of faceless one night stands he should be settling down with someone he can love and respect, and who can respect him.  Or at least someone who inspires him to become someone worthy of respect.

  • Thomas Stockel

    Good analysis.  Interesting how you were able to find nice things to say about Iron Man II, which I really did not like.  I guess the bad overshadowed the good for me where that film was concerned.

    • Jill Bearup

      What didn’t you like about it particularly? (I admit, I mostly watched it for Tony, Pepper and Black Widow. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the villains.)

      • Sofie Liv

        I to agree that movie was a complete and utter mess, worst of all, it seemed to be wasting it’s own potential. Tony slowly dying, knowing he is dying and freaking out about it, forcing him into a situation where he needs to grow so he wont die all alone and hated, but yet on the same time have deep trouble ever appearing vulnerable to any-one and there-fore pushes people away is interesting stuff, it’s really him having to admit some-thing about himself, that is not infaliable and should lean on others in a more quiet way. But it never went that far, it never went beyond some uncomfortable scenes and then Tony going. “Oh hey look! I found my own miracle cure! sweet, now for the bad-guy we didn’t really spend that much time on…” there never seemed to be any cohesent structure to the movie.

        And well.. the biggest flaw here, seems to me, that the movie ends up much more being a teaser trailer for the avengers instead of its own movie, which was a mistake. The reason why the build up to the Avengers works is all of the other movies is that it never ever steals the movies themselves, it’s merely small hints and nodges swimming around in the back-ground never really interefering with the story.
        You could actually take Coulson out of Iron Man 1, and no one would have been the wiser, he is just there without doing things that couldn’t have been done by any name-less security guard.. which in this case is a good thing. Hawk-eye in Thor appearing as a hit man.. you could easily have made that into a nameless riffler if you wanted, which is good, means he didn’t take over the movie. Howard (bless the character.) could have been every techno guy you wanted to put in there really, but well, they just decided to make him Howard in Cap America, which was so sweet, still, a secondary character, never is the movie about him and never does he steal the movie.

        In here though, Nick Furry and Tash just appears, out of now-where, dominates the movie for half an hour for no reason, and then leaves witout a trace without giving any real impact.
        Who the heck were they? if you had seen the teaser trailer in the credits of Iron Man, yeah Nick furry introduced himself there, fine then you know, but if you didn’t.. he never actually introduces himself, he is just suddenly there! and then he’s gone! .. not.. very good story telling.
        And of cause we know whom they are know after having seen the Avengers, but the Avengers hadn’t come out yet at that time, so in the context of this movie alone, their presence is unwanted and makes very little sense. “But they will important later! really they will!” .. yeah, fine.. but what about the here and now? I am sort of trying to watch an Iron Man movie here 🙁

        • Jill Bearup

          Oh yeah. 🙂 It’s definitely not a good movie. I enjoyed it immensely though, mostly because I kind of zoned out any time Tony, Pepper, Rhodes or Natasha were off screen. 

          I have a very short attention span sometimes. Plus those 4 formed the emotional arc of the film, and all this guy-with-whips, Justin Hammer nonsense just seemed to have been bolted on because, well, it’s an action movie, there have to be explosions and that, right? Quick, link it to Tony’s Dad somehow! Erm…yeah, call it good, we’re done.

          • Sofie Liv

             I enjoyed it to.. I really liked the “Tony is slowly dying.” sub-plot.. but that also means it annoyed me very highly when they came with such a quick half-assed resolution to it.

            “Oh hey wait! i’ll make my own miracle cure, duh!” .. I mean dude, at least have that quiet moment where he finally opens up, dares to appear vulnerable to Pepper, there-by placing trust in her unlike what he has ever done before. having them just sit for a while holding hands.. Then say. “Wait a minute! I got it!” as that entire highly personal arch had a resolution.

            I would really have liked that little moment, would have done wonders for me.. also it would be adorable and make my heart melt.

      • Thomas Stockel

         Sofie brings up some excellent points.  For me I felt the bad guys were handled terribly.  In the comics Justin Hammer is a much more menacing figure.  Drawn to look like Peter Cushing, he is a diabolical industrial mastermind who employs a small army of costumed minions like Whiplash, Blizzard, Boomerang, Constrictor, Force, The Unicorn, etc.  Spymaster was the most dangerous, the one that ultimately steals Stark’s technology which would later lead to The Armor Wars, which was a storyline about Stark doing anything and everything to neutralize any of his tech being employed by others.  And okay, I know that would have been a very difficult movie to do but the point is Hammer is a much more interesting baddie in the comics than the utter wuss Sam Rockwell was forced to play.

        Seriously, he is a joke.

        And then Mickey Rourke is transformed from his awesome Whiplash persona into just an Iron Man knockoff.  Who gets taken out in ninety seconds by War Machine and Iron Man.

        And the main threat turns out to be robots.  One of the reasons I despised The Clone Wars and Revenge of The Sith is they consisted of scenes where guys in faceless armor shot up droids.  And what did Iron Man II give me?  Two guys in faceless armor shooting up droids.

        My favorite scene in the movie was Monaco, where Rourke and Iron Man first fought.  First of all, it took place in the daytime and second, it felt like a brutal fight.  If they had given me more action scenes like that then I would have been happier.  Give Vanko better protection, sure.  But don’t make him look like a cross between Iron Man and Iron Monger!  And have Vanko leading a collection of Hammer’s hi-tech goons, overwhelming Stark with numbers.  Have this be a distraction while Spymaster is attempting to steal Stark’s secrets, have him fight The Black Widow.  And then have War Machine come in to help Stark out.  I would have found that a much more interesting fight than the crap we got.