“Iron Man” vs. journalists

So, I saw “Iron Man” on Saturday afternoon. The B-level Marvel character made for a fun little movie, mostly due to Robert Downey Jr.’s droll acting.

Three little problems for me:

1) The allegedly tough-as-nails woman journalist from Vanity Fair asks Downey’s character a few skeptical questions, then becomes so charmed she beds him. Then — apparently regaining her skepticism after her one-night stand — she’s back covering his press conference at the end.

Yeeeeeah, that’s how it works. What’s a journalistic bimbo, a jimbo? She’s a jimbo. One without any ethics or common sense or, apparently, a boss. C’mon, that sort of thing only happens when you work in TV and you cover the mayor of L.A.

The next two slay me:

2) In a series of realistic-looking magazine covers about Downey’s character, one for Forbes (I think) has the cover line “Tony Stark Takes Reigns at 21.” Uh, no, he took the reins, as in riding a horse. Sheesh.

3) Later a news crawl on a TV has the redundant phrase “$84 million dollar.” That’s like saying “84 million dollar-dollar.”

Pretty amazing that an army of hundreds, or maybe thousands, labored over this movie, whose budget was a reported $180 million, but when it comes to spelling, they guess.

This is more egregious than in “A Scanner Darkly” when the lead character’s ID spells his city of residence “Anahiem.”

Other than those baffling errors, “Iron Man” isn’t bad. Not great, but not bad. Most importantly on that scorching Saturday, the air conditioning at the AMC 30 gets a rave review.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Charles Bentley

    First let me say that you, David, have a future as an editor (no offense intended, really). Having not seen the film yet, I will say you made some nice catches on the flubs (problems 2 and 3), especially since such references usually have about 3 seconds of film time. Of course, it could also be that the film is so poorly paced that it seems a lot longer!

    Second, I must take umbrage with your relegation of Iron Man to a B-level character! Hey, we’re talking about an original member of the Avengers. And while he and DC’s Bat guy are both wealthy businessmen, Tony Stark was the original playboy super hero, someone who you’d expect to have plenty of eye candy handy. Mister Wayne didn’t become a chick magnet until Hollywood decided it would allow some strong female roles that didn’t require secret identities or masks.

    It also plays well that the Invincible Iron Man had a frail side, suffering from an injury that (originally) occurred during the Vietnam War. Strength and weakness, the vulnerability so important in a true hero.

    So please, we’re not talking Hawkeye or ROM Space Knight here. This is ol’ Shell Head, Iron Man himself, an A-level character in every way!

    [Why, Charles, I didn’t know you cared. Your argument is persuasive, but I’d counter that while Iron Man was an interesting concept for all the reasons you state, he never quite caught on until recently. Just like the X-Men never clicked until the 1970s. Iron Man, like Sub-Mariner and Daredevil, was no Spidey, FF, Thor or Hulk in the ’60s popularity sweepstakes. And remember, the lowly Ant Man was a founding member of the Avengers too! — DA]

  • Dee

    About #3, the news crawl? Have you read any lately? Some of them must have been written by people without spellcheck or proofreaders.;)

    [Y’know, I wondered if that news crawl mistake might be all too realistic… DA]

  • Chris Moran

    “Tony Stark Takes Reigns at 21.”

    That really hurts.

  • Pat, FFF

    “‘Iron Man’ isn’t bad. Not great, but not bad.” What is wrong with you? You’re talking more like the Dreadful Competition than a TTB KOF! In the meantime, Make Mine Marvel.

    [Well it ain’t “Casablanca” or “The Bicycle Thief.” Or even “Spider-Man 2.” Btw, you’re an FFF (Fearless Front Facer) in your dreams, pal. — PMM DA
    P.S. If you want to know what we’re talking about with these acronyms, read about the Ranks of Marveldom here: http://mailittoteamup.blogspot.com/2008/02/ranks-of-marveldom.html

  • judi

    Interesting about the use of the incorrect homonym for “rein” in the movie. I had a similar incident with an editor for Stud Muffins, the book I co-authored (another shameless plug).

    I wrote, “…she had free rein in the kitchen to develop new recipes.” When the editor sent me the galley for a final proof, I noticed she had changed my rein to reign. It took two conversations and three grammar site references before she changed it back.

    Is this an archaic phrase? Would the fine horse people in Norco be better editors than those in NYC? And would “Free Rein Night” at an Ontario Reign hockey game just confuse the bejeebers out of everyone?

    [“Free rein” is one of those phrases in common usage even though fewer people understand what it means. A younger colleague once wrote “for all intensive purposes” and you see stuff like that all the time anymore. Oh, and congratulations for being persistent enough to get the phrase right in your book. — DA]

  • http://ironman2news.com/ Darrin Eveler

    I loved the first movie. I am excited for Ironman 2! This movie is going to be awesome! I can’t wait!