“Iron Man” – Joanna Langfield reviews

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This action special effecter seems to have all the right stuff: so how come it isn’t more fun?

Jon Favreau has mounted this newest Marvel comic come to screen with a sure hand and a solid appreciation of its roots. The always wonderful Robert Downey, Jr. is a hoot as early guy Tony, boozing it up with the players, babes and nuclear arms that have made him an internationally famous gazillionaire. Quickly, he witnesses the wrath of his own creations and our loveable playboy has a crisis of conscience. Not to worry: our boy doesn’t just sit in his magnificent surfside abode and contemplate his navel. No, Tony descends into the basement and comes shooting up with Iron Man, the most amazing soaring bucket ‘o tin since Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose. And yes, it is very cool watching him create this modern day stunner. But the very special effects of trying on a computer generated arm don’t last long enough and pretty soon, we’re back to stuff we’ve seen all too often before.

Not that the cast doesn’t give it a game try. Gwyenth Paltrow is adorable as the standard assistant with a dream; a shaven (head, not chin) Jeff Bridges seems to be getting a chuckle out of his mentor role and Terrance Howard hints of glee to come in the inevitable sequel.

Purists, I suppose, will appreciate the grisly violence and real bleakness of the war scenes here; I’m wondering how they will play to the aimed for “family crowd” that this movie is supposedly trying to please. Wouldn’t it be something if, after all the Iraq themed movies landed with a thud at the box office, it took a guilt driven comic book hero to get the masses to think while they cheer?

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Joanna Langfield (Archived Contributor)

Her voice is heard throughout the 50 states and around the world by more than one million listeners on her syndicated radio programs: Joanna Langfield’s People Report and Video and Movie Minute. She’s also seen and heard as a regular contributing commentator on CNN International, CNN, Fox News and CNBC. In print, her articles have been published in such high profile magazines as Video Review and McCall’s. Joanna Langfield is known for taking interviews to another level with probing looks at celebrities’ insights rather than just their latest projects. As a result, she’s secured a niche among the nation’s premier interviewers and movie critics. Joanna began her career on the production staff of a local Boston television station. She then focused her energies towards radio and produced talk shows at WMEX-AM in Boston. After moving to New York, she became executive producer at WMCA-AM for talk show personalities Barry Gray and Sally Jessy Raphael. She began hosting a one-minute movie review spot which, in turn, led to her top-rated weekend call in-show, The Joanna Langfield Show (1980-83). Joanna moved to WABC-AM to host The Joanna Langfield Show on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to midnight. It was the highest rated show in its time slot. From 1987-1989, Joanna hosted Today’s People on the ABC Radio network, which was fed daily to over 300 stations around the country. She also appeared on WABC-TV as a regular on-air contributor. In 1989, Joanna formed her radio production company, Joanna Langfield Entertainment Reports, to syndicate her radio reports. She is considered to be one of the top authoritative commentators on the entertainment industry. Read Lagfield's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Joanna Langfield" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).