Thor’s World is Becoming Cliche

Review of Thor: The Dark World, Directed by Alan TaylorAs the Avengers films become more intertwined with one another, they are becoming both more self-referential and more confident in the type of action drama they are trying to cultivate. At the same time, these films are increasingly mainstream with very few surprises.The first question about most sequels is: how does it compare to the first? Thor: The Dark World is decisively better. The action sequences, the graphic effects, and the … [Read more...]

Iron Man 3 and the Obsession with Scientific Progress

Review of Iron Man 3, Directed by Shane BlackThe United States is a technologically-obsessed society in a technologically-obsessed era. The line between magic and science in Hollywood films has begun to fade. The Avengers franchise is a perfect example. The Avengers movie involves gods and supernatural forces, but these are part of the same world as the magical Tesseract cube, which is integrated into human science. Or think of X-Men where scientific reasons (i.e., genetic mutations) create … [Read more...]

Iron Man 3 is worth every nickel

Review of Iron Man 3, Directed by Shane BlackDoes this movie even really need a review? As with everything else in the Avengers oeuvre to date (with the possible exceptions of Hulk and The Incredible Hulk), Iron Man 3 is a lot of action-y goodness with light moral thematic underpinnings. Which is exactly what we want from a comic book movie. Those that over-moralize at the expense of action inevitably fail, as do those that cut the moral out completely in favor of big-name stars or … [Read more...]