25 April 2013

Watch Iron Man 3 in 2D!

Iron Man used to be my third favourite cartoon hero behind Superman and Captain America in an era of crude stop-go animation, a far cry from the sophisticated computer generated cartoons of the present day. I was, naturally, quite happy when the character was brought to life in the big screen by way of contemporary movie technology.

I cannot say, though, that I have always been happy with Robert Downey Jr.’s somewhat – and this, some may argue, is putting it mildly – egotistical interpretation of the Tony Stark character, the man behind the iron suit.

That said, big fan of CGI and special effects that I have always been, the spectacular imagery of the first two Iron Man movies has persuaded me to tolerate the Stark egotism, something I do not recall from the original cartoon series that I used to watch.

In Iron Man 3, which I watched today, Stark – and, I suppose, Iron Man – is probably at the most vulnerable that he has been in the three movies. The fits of egotism are still present; but Stark is also shown to be a flawed genius who suffers severe attacks of anxiety, a sleeping disorder and nightmares when he does manage to go to sleep.


As an example, the movie ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ has spears thrown straight into the camera. Seen through 3D glasses, the spears appear as though they are heading straight for the audience. Anyone totally immersed in the story finds himself getting out of the way.
The Iron Man suit that takes center stage in this movie, on the other hand, is a prototype that Stark is still developing and one that shows program glitches at the most inappropriate moments. It is this suit that Stark flies away in after being humbled in a raid purportedly masterminded by the ‘Mandarin,’ the movie’s villain – but more on this in a while.

Not only does the suit erroneously fly Stark to the middle of nowhere, it actually conks out like a car that has run out of gas. The ensuing scene showing Stark pulling the suit across the snow is both sad and comical.

In a way, it is also formulaic, not unlike Superman in the presence of Cryptonite.

Stark attempts to repair the suit with the help of a local boy; but spends so much time out of it that one begins to wonder how this can be an Iron Man movie when there is – for long stretches – no Iron Man.

Of course, just when you begin to worry that you may have wasted precious hard-earned cash at the ticket booth, all of a sudden you have Iron Men in all shapes and colours flying all over the place. And I am not about to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the movie by spilling the beans.

There is a lovely twist to the character of the ‘Mandarin,’ ostensibly the one behind acts of terrorism around the globe. Again, I will not be a spoiler; but Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of the character is refreshingly lighthearted, especially after the Mandarin is uncloaked for what he really is.

The final breathtaking fight scenes apart – and these are quite simply spectacular – my favourite part of the movie is when personnel of Air Force One are sucked out of the plane after decompression and start falling from out of the sky.

It’s my certifiably number one nightmare scenario; but, of course, Iron Man comes to the rescue. And the way the rescue was photographed alone makes parting with one’s cash well worth it.

That said, and this is just my personal take, I don’t really think there is any point in watching this movie in 3D. There is unmistakable depth to the images onscreen. On the other hand, I think 3D is best for movies that deliberately attempt to draw the viewer right into it.

As an example, the movie ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ has spears thrown straight into the camera. Seen through 3D glasses, the spears appear as though they are heading straight for the audience. Anyone totally immersed in the story finds himself getting out of the way.

Iron Man 3, in contrast, does not really have anything similar. I personally don’t think there will be anything significantly different as an experience in watching the movie in 2D.

I suppose this is just my way of saying I felt somewhat cheated by having paid twice what I would have had I watched the movie in 2D. And it was – 2D, I mean – also showing in another theatre of the same mall.











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