Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Iron Man”

Robert Downey Jr. as "Iron Man" (Marvel Studios/Paramount, 2008)

Robert Downey Jr. as “Iron Man” (Marvel Studios/Paramount, 2008)

“Iron Man” (Marvel Studios/Paramount, 2008) is the perfect superhero movie. When brilliant billionaire/playboy/philanthropist/weapons manufacturer Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) gets critically injured and captured during a terrorist attack, he has a major change of heart–literally. Near death, his co-prisoner, a brilliant scientist named Yinsen (played by Shaun Toub), implants an electromagnet device in his chest to keep the shrapnel in his body from entering his heart. Tony then builds an “arc reactor” to power the magnet along with a metal suit, creating the perfect shield and weapon for him to escape his captors. The event changes Tony’s mind about staying in the weapons business and pushes him to perfect the metal suit and to become an advocate and protector of the peace, much to the chagrin of Obadiah Stane (played by Jeff Bridges), his number two in command and a dude with some jealousy issues. The film also stars Gwyneth Paltrow as Tony’s long-suffering assistant Pepper Potts, Terrence Howard as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Paul Bettany as the voice of Tony’s computer JARVIS, and director Jon Favreau as Tony’s limo driver Happy Hogan. The film now has two sequels–2010’s “Iron Man 2” (which is a lot of fun but not quite as perfect in tone, pace or sheer exhuberance as its predecessor) and “Iron Man 3” (which opens May 3, 2013). “Iron Man” was also the first film created by Marvel Studios as phase one of their “Marvel Cinematic Universe” (2008’s “The Incredible Hulk”; 2010’s “Iron Man 2”; and 2011’s “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”) which led up to 2012’s superhero extravaganza, “Marvel’s The Avengers.” Written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. Based on comic book characters created by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. Directed by Jon Favreau. “I am Iron Man.”