Friday, April 30, 2010

Iron Man 2: My thoughts and impressions

After catching Iron Man 2 yesterday, I'm rating it a solid C, or 5.5/10. It's a passing grade; perfectly enjoyable and decent, but not great.

My main problems with the movie was the pacing was a bit off, and that there were missed opportunities for some of the characters.

The first quarter of the movie focused on many of the ancillary, inconsequential goings-on in Tony's life. While it is good to establish a context, it went on for far too long. The middle sections were quickly glossed over before the big battle at the end. There wasn't a sense of time to the whole sequence of events. I wasn't able to gleen whether all the events happened within days, or weeks or months, giving me a disjointed feeling by the end.

At the end of the first movie, Tony seemed so self-assured about his purpose that his actions in Iron Man 2 seemed out of step. The movie explained it as a way of coping with his gradual poisoning by the miniature arc reactor, and his way of leaving behind his possessions to his inheritors. But I felt the portrayal of Tony was a bit over the top, and turns into a caricature of himself.

Pepper Potts, once a capable strong young executive, comes off more as a overly harassed wet nurse, which is true to character. But the portrayal grates on me.

I also felt that the antagonists were a wasted opportunity. And they really lacked the level of menace and threat that Obidiah Stane presented in Iron Man. Stane was a amoral calculating,cold, cunning business man. Justin Hammer was more akin to a joke, a buffoon and a wannabe.

Ivan Vanko could have also been a far larger threat; he is supposed to be on almost equal footing with Tony in terms of intelligence. During his first monologue, where he talks about making God bleed, I was really hoping he'd be a far more interesting opponent and an antithesis to Tony.

The highlight for me was the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff. She was deadly as her moniker suggests (the scene in which she and Happy breaks into Hammer's facility is gold), and she's smoking hot without being trashy.

I did enjoy the movie, although I was disappointed in some areas. It's not often that a sequel surpasses the original, so there's no real surprises here. I was hoping for a "Dark Knight", but instead it is more of a "Die Hard II".

Monday, April 19, 2010

PixelCast - Stopgap Episode 2

We've had to make a quick stopgap episode, while Tim is away. So we got Dylan, James, Patrick and myself just talking about games we've been playing recently, and some general chatter about iPhone gaming, upcoming games, bonus materials for first-hand buyers, and James' Facebook fan page.

Games talked about: Tilt to Live (iPhone); Rainbow 6: Vegas 2 (multi); Blazblue (multi); Pokemon Heart Gold (DS); Splinter Cell: Conviction.

Download the file here. Or subscribe to iTunes.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

PixelCast 15 - God of Pixel

Exciting stuff for this latest episode of PixelCast. Tim and I are joined by a real-life GRRL, Lauren Headley. We talk about God of War 3, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and dead mice. We also share our opinions about videogame retailers, and their role in our gaming lives.

Download directly here.