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Iron Man 2, Shrek Forever After, Knight & Day

January 7, 2011

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf, Made)
Quick Thoughts: Continues where the first one left off with Downey Jr. hamming it up as the charming Tony Stark, a man that has just revealed himself to be the superhero known as Iron Man. While this sequel doesn’t suck–it’s actually pretty decent–it does lack the freshness and grit that made the first one so good. I felt like Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash was underused as the villain; he’s limited to two scenes of potential destruction for the entire movie. The rest of the time he’s working behind the scenes for Tony’s business rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockford). The movie does have some dope moments: the Iron Man suitcase, War Machine, and the laser swords. A respectable sequel that’s solid on light comic moments and action, but lacks much substance to move Iron Man’s story forward in any interesting fashion.
Viewings: 2
Replay Value: Enjoyable the second time… probably won’t buy it though unless I see it ultra cheap somewhere.
Sequel Potential: I’ve heard Jon Favreau won’t be doing a third Iron Man, but Robert Downey Jr. will be back as Tony Stark for 2012’s The Avengers.
Oscar Potential: Nothing worth talking about… maybe some visual effects work.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 5.5/10 (Worth Watching/Recommended)
Recommendation: If you liked the first Iron Man, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see this; just know it’s not on nearly the same level as the first movie.

Knight and Day (2010)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma, Walk The Line, Girl, Interrupted)
Quick Thoughts: A spy thriller-comedy with an absurd and somewhat boring story and cheesing acting from the two leads. It’s actually better than I thought it would be, but only because I thought it would be atrocious.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Never again.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: None.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 3/10 (Skip It)
Recommendation: This isn’t terrible, but it’s not something anyone needs to see.

Shrek Forever After (2010)

Starring: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas
Director: Michael Mitchell (Sky High, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo)
Quick Thoughts: It’s easy to forget how great and original the first Shrek film was… the first sequel was pretty good too, but Shrek 3 was absolutely painful and left me with a sour taste in my mouth. At least Shrek Forever After ends (possibly) the franchise on a positive note. Rumpelstiltskin tricks our beloved hero into signing a contract that gives Shrek a day’s worth of freedom from the constant burden of being a father and husband in exchange for… the day Shrek was born. Plunged into a world where his own wife and best friends don’t recognize him, Shrek is faced with his most formidable and emotional journey since the original film. Shrek Forever After is no Toy Story 3, but it’s a respectable close to a surprisingly successful franchise for Dreamworks.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: The Shrek movies have lost their luster over time… I’ll probably never own this.
Sequel Potential: Is the ogre really finished? I kind of hope so, but you don’t want to bet against these things.
Oscar Potential: Probably won’t even get a nomination for Best Animated Feature.
Nudity: N/A
Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)
Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the franchise, you’re obviously going to want to see this movie and it’s a good send off film.

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