Letters to Holly

Friday, May 2

Iron Man

So, yes, I ran when I got home. I made myself run for 30 minutes or until I finished a new circuit of the neighborhood. I was trying to run for time, but I finished the lap in 29 minutes. The Superman theme really helps me get up the hills. The knee was fine; in fact, it bothers me more when I walk in jeans than when I run in shorts. I got home, cleaned up, and met up with Your Sis and another couple for a long, long supper. We got home after Lost had started, and I watched the recording while Your Sis slept. She'll probably catch it tonight. I made myself stay up late so I would hopefully stop waking up at 4 a.m. I hung up a new blind in the workshop and plotted the next painting strategy.

Motion Picture of the Day

Iron Man is getting rave reviews, and I'll see it tomorrow morning, come hell or Hiawatha. It's not a property that immediately makes for a sure-fire film franchise. The hero is a drunk control freak, and he has a weak rogues gallery. In fact, his greatest enemies stemmed from the character's foundation as a 1960s creation. Iron Man fought commies. He road-to-Damascus moment was during the Korean War and not in whatever Middle Eastern country this film uses. His heyday was the early '80s as the Soviet Union still lurked over the horizon. Off the top of my head, I can remember five Soviet villains and two of them wore armor suits. He also fought a Chinese imperialist and literal corporate spies. In the days of Dallas and Top Gun, Tony Stark was comics' JR Ewing. He had the Tom Selleck mustache, the fast cars, the slinky gals, the armors (lots of variations), and he threw back cocktails in board meetings.

I'm keen on this film because the cast is impressive. Love Downey, love Bridges, love Howard and Paltrow. I'm surprised the director seems to have crafted a big moneymaker; Jon Favreau is best known as an indy guy. But, to be fair, so was Chris Nolan, the guy who made the latest Batman movies, and Sam Raimi, who made the Spider-Man films.

I'm also happy to see another Stan Lee/Jack Kirby creation get a shot at the big time.
Iron Man is of the same brood as Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spidey, X-Men, and dozens more. They had no idea what would work with the readers; they used every conceivable gimmick. Iron Man took, and he remains the most successful armored character in comics. The film essentially preserves the origin, complete with his retro-cool gray armor.

From what I hear, if you stick around after the credits, you'll see a big-name actor appearing as another comic character, the same character as which he also cameos in the upcoming Hulk movie.

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