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Papa_Mo Blog

Iron Man 2 Review

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I just saw 'Iron Man2' today and thought I'd post a little review of it given my previously enthusiastic review of the first film. Unfortunately, the sequel didn't live up to it's predecessor in terms of storytelling or just out-and-out fun. There were just too many plot threads being handled this time around and none of them felt particularly cohesive or fully developed. I would have loved to have learned more about Tony Stark's professional rivalry with fellow arms manufacturer Justin Hammer, played here just a tad too comedicaly by the otherwise fantastic Sam Rockwell. There are moments of sheer malevolence in his portrayal of Justin Hammer, particularly when things are not going his way towards the end of the film but for most of the time I was left thinking that this guy was little more than an irritation to Tony Stark rather than a force to be reckoned with.

Similarly, Mickey Rourke's 'Whiplash' feels a little underdeveloped and his motivation for wanting to go after Tony Stark seems a tad forced. There's a whole backstory involving both of their fathers which may make sense on paper but given how it's presented here, doesn't seem that interesting or worthy of a two hour sequel to one of the biggest films of 2008.

One of the key reasons I was looking forward to this film, however, was the introduction of 'War Machine,' another armoured hero played here by the reliable Don Cheadle. Cheadle plays the role of Col. James Rhodes, Tony Stark's best friend and military liaison who was previously played by Terence Howard. Rhodes has a long and complicated history with Stark in the comics which would take a whole trilogy on it's own to do it justice so I was expecting just a few key scenes involving him which, whilst nothing spectacular, give you a flavour of his relationship with Tony. The 'War Machine' suit looks every bit as perfect as I was hoping it would be and seeing it in action was one of the highlights of the film. I would have preferred to see Terence Howard back in the role as, for me, recasting Rhodey would be the equivalent of recasting Hugh Jackman in each of the X-Men sequels but, given that he is by no means the star of the film, the producers probably felt that no-one would either notice or care.

I've said before that Iron Man doesn't have a particularly strong or memorable rogues gallery which is evident by this lacklustre sequel. I think that's one of the reasons why they are focusing their attention on setting up the whole 'Avengers Initiative' plotline with not one but TWO major Easter eggs in this film. Whilst it's nice to see hints like this being dropped throughout the film, I got the feeling that this was nothing more than a two hour trailer for several other films that either haven't come out yet or won't be out for many, many years. By far the biggest villain in Iron man's history is the Mandarin who, whilst not explicitly shown in the last film, was certainly hinted at very strongly indeed. Remember the organisation that took Tony hostage in the first film was called 'The Ten Rings?' I was, therefore, sorely disappointed that there was zero mention of them again in this film and no ominous figure in the background manipulating events.

Basically I found 'Iron Man 2' to be a big disappointment given how much promise the first one showed. Everything that was fresh and exciting about the first film now feels tired and stale here. Even Robert Downey Jr.'s performance felt like I'd seen it all before and did nothing to lift the film above an average action movie. I hope that if they do make a third film in the series then they will take the character to new and exciting places and tell a great Iron Man story as opposed to treating it as a vehicle to promote other films and characters. Overall, 5 out of 10.

EA Gets Served!

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You may have heard about EA's recent 'Sin To Win' competition which drew widespread criticism and justifiably so. I have no idea who won this competition but this article from the runner-up is priceless. I just love his list of 'good causes' to which he has donated his prize money. Bravo, Sir!

Whilst writing this blog I couldn't help but link to this song which I had stuck in my head. Have a great week everybody!

Super Stardust HD Sale!

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I just read this article on Sony's PlayStation website about this amazing offer for one of the most highly rated PSN games; Super Stardust HD. From this Thursday (25th June) until Thursday 2nd July, Sony will be offering this title for the princely sum of 1.99 Euros to celebrate the game's second anniversary. I make that a saving of around 70% and as it's one title I've been meaning to get, naturally I'll be downoading it on Thursday :)

I'm not sure if this deal is available in other territories but if you live in Europe, for once, Happy Days! :)

What's My Age Again?

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There's been some great deals on videogames here in the UK recently but today I was denied a brand new copy of 'Dead Space' for the Xbox 360 which was on sale for 9 GBP :( You have to be over 18 years old to buy the game and I got asked for some sort of I.D. which I didn't have on me at the time so I had to leave the game. I was buying a Maths textbook for my teaching studies at the same time so maybe that was it but at the ripe old age of 30, you don't expect to get asked for I.D. much :)

Fighting demons in space just got a whole lot harder!

Anyway, here's a video! Enjoy!