Tag Archive: Tony Stark

Avengers and Freedom

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

All this past week the only movie I heard being discussed was Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman.

blackpantherIt is setting records like crazy for highest box office, for highest pre-sale tickets. People are marveling over the fact that the director is only 31 years old. But Ryan Coogler also directed Creed, winning Sylvester Stallone an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

His other movie was the highly touted Fruitville Station, the story about a man shot in the San Francisco mass transit station. All three movies feature Michael B. Jordan. Ever since I saw Jordan on the TV show, Parenthood, I had a feeling he would be a force in Hollywood.

Some people have that ‘something’ and Jordan has ‘it.’ When I saw him in Creed you could feel his charisma. But one of his goals was to play a guy totally unlike himself, completely different and that meant finding a ‘bad guy’ role. He has found that role in Black Panther as Erik Killmonger.

I plan to see this movie sometime in the near future, Black Panther will surely be around for sometime. I‘ve made due with clips and trailers that I can see on Youtube. My youngest has been ordered by his brother to stop giving away the secrets of the movie.

If I am lucky I will still know nothing by the time I get to see it.

Captain America Civil warIn the meantime, I will have to settle for Captain America: Civil War. In this installment of the Marvel Universe, Captain America/Steve Rogers and Iron Man/Tony Stark do not see eye to eye about legislation meant to keep these superheros in check. Tony is for it while Steve believes it goes against everything that America stands for.

Rogers saw what happened the last time people were forced to register and does not want a repeat of that world. Stark, on the other hand, understands why governments want to control the damage that can be done by these super battles.

Soon, the various members of the Avengers, including a whole host of new people, are choosing sides. Some side with Cap, others decide to join forces with Tony. It is not pretty and some of the team members have total fanboy moments. All of this leads to an epic fight between Iron Man and Captain America.

More importantly, there is another force taking advantage of this divide. The reasons why seem crazy and not so crazy. And in the end, it makes us question what we know to be true.

Cap and ironman fightThis is a movie I have watched a few times. While I have a crush on Captain America and his philosophy of what it means to be American, I am fascinated by Tony Stark’s emotional development. Stark appears to be suffering from PTSD but wants to hide it. He also wants to be in charge and constantly improving his technology while ignoring that he made his money from weapons. These are characters that are complex and act out in ways that seem contradictory to what we view as their intrinsic values.

While I notice new details about sets, I never cease to be amazed by the development – both good and bad – of the characters in the Marvel Universe.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Iron Man 3 – Dealing

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Our family weekend consisted of plans that ended up getting squashed and re-configured.


We started with a plan to see Iron Man 3 at the drive-in theater in Gibson City. The Harvest Moon is our favorite for the great green spaces as well as the fine concession stand food.


If you have never had a Funnel Cake Sundae, you are missing out.


However, six people in a minivan trying to watch a movie while it is cold and rainy is not my idea of a good time. So instead we packed up the family and a friend to head over to Movies 10.


What we found was a Tony Stark trying to deal with everything he saw during the fight with the Avengers in New York. And he is not succeeding at it. Tony is up for days at a time and when he sleeps, all he can dream about is New York.


But when an explosion at the Chinese Theater injures his friend, Tony sends out a message to the man claiming responsibility, the Mandarin, that he will find him and bring him down. Meanwhile, we learn about an experiment to create super humans that has one fatal flaw.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

If anything, this movie is about masks. The masks men like Tony Stark and the Mandarin use in order to complete their objectives. It is also about masks that some of us wear while appearing to be a normal person. What heroics or villainy lies in our hearts is not always reflected in the clothing we wear. The most deceitful character, in my mind, is one you did not expect at all.


The action was incredible, as always. A full-fledged attack on Tony Stark’s Malibu home is devastatingly great. But the scenes of previous terrorist attacks by the Mandarin are perhaps the most profound. They are gripping in the sadness of loss of life for those people who were not a target per say but merely collateral damage.

Now, I know there are fans of the comic book that are going to be disappointed. They are not going to like how the Mandarin is portrayed, how it leans far away from the original story. But trust me when I say that this reveal of the Mandarin is everything we might want to believe of current figures that use/used televised messages. It is a dirty move and it is brilliant.

For our family, it was a good movie. Our eight-year-old watched it although if you think your child is more sensitive, I would recommend skipping it. I would have done that when my oldest was this age but now my youngest watches these movies with the older kids. It makes him feel as if he is just like them.

While I put my foot down for R-rated horror or intense action movies, Iron Man and the Marvel comic movies manage to keep the blood and gore to the imagination. That I can live with.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle

Come See The Avengers!

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Finally, finally, this week the movie that we have been waiting for hits the home theater market.

The Avengers arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. To say we are excited would be an understatement.

This is the one movie my husband did not see this summer although the kids and I went with friends to the drive-in to see it on opening weekend.

And what a powerhouse of performances.

I love Chris Evans as Captain America which is a completely different character from his Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four.  He pulls together the serious earnest young man who wanted to fight Nazis and became a leader in the process. Robert Downey Jr. continues as the stunningly self-confident Tony Stark . Perhaps my favorite player is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in which he is humanized even more than when Bill Bixby played the character on the old TV show.

Poster Image from IMBd.com

The story follows Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to come up with a solution when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) decides he wants to take over Earth with a group of otherworldly warriors. He starts with New York City. But the problem is Fury’s group is there as well. And they are ready to fight back, especially Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who wants to bring his adopted brother back home to Asgard.

But Loki is a fierce opponent. He has more than one weapon to use and his favorite one is discord, creating disturbances within the team. That scene in the flying headquarters is wonderfully tense as the darker parts of each person comes into play. It shows what propels each character and what they control within their soul.

This time I am looking for all of those little things I missed as I was paying attention to the big action scenes. The little details of pictures on the wall and references to other characters or real-life items. My neighbor saw a reference to the ship her son had served during his stint in the Navy. I have read articles about pictures and references  to other Marvel comic characters.

But I also want to see nuances. Such as the scene in which Steve Rogers gives Nick Fury some money for a bet. I could not remember what the bet is about. I want to observe the Hulk’s and Thor’s relationship to understand why the Hulk slams Thor at one point.  I want to watch for the scene all the way at the end of the movie when the whole group is at a diner, simply sharing a meal together.

Perhaps the greatest strength of this movie is the dialogue. There are seven characters that we need to know intimately as well as any secondary characters associated with each. With each interaction, whether in battle or in downtime, we learn a little more that defines these characters. We learn about who they are and who they love and why they act in the manner that they do.

There are precious few perfect movies. But in my book, The Avengers just might be one.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.