(USA) Here’s the thing. Robert Downey Jr. does Tony Stark—Iron Man’s unsubtle alter ego—effortlessly, convincingly, and with such breezy charm that he’s easily the best thing about superhero movies right now. The man could do it locked inside an iron suit with a glowing electromagnet implanted into his chest, no sweat. In fact, he does.
(USA) Action/Sci-Fi/Adventure. Directed by Joss Whedon. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner. Category IIA. 142 minutes. Opened Apr 26.
So you’re probably going to go see “The Avengers” because you don’t want to be left out of the cultural zeitgeist. Well, you’ll be pleased to know it’s a darn good movie. Here’s your watcher’s guide.
(USA) Directed by Guy Ritchie. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly. Category IIA.
(USA) No, it is not as brilliant as “The Hangover.”
(UK) Given the rate at which Hollywood has been plundering from novels, comic books, video games, and its own movies, it was only a matter of time before they turned their attention to the world’s most famous literary detective. The Basil Rathbone movies of the ‘30s and ‘40s established Holmes as a cloak wearing, pipe-puffing intellectual with the smoldering sexuality of an amoeba.
Neither rarefied art film nor widely accessible inspirational drama, The Soloist falls between the cracks both creatively and commercially. Based on the real case of a newspaperman finding a former musical prodigy homeless on the streets of Los Angeles, Brit director Joe Wright's first American feature has moments of power and imagination, but the overworked style and heavy socially conscious bent exude an off-putting sense of self-importance, making for a picture that's more of a chore than a pleasure to sit through.
Category IIB. Whatever happened to the days of real comedy? The days of the dirty 70s, when flicks like “Blazing Saddles” and “Animal House” would spout what-the-hell-did-they-say dialogue like “Where the white women at?” The controversy was a means to a comedic end—not like the gross-out genre of late, where it’s the end itself. Thank God then, for Robert Downey Jr. and “Tropic Thunder.”
Category IIA. Pleasing comic-book geeks with a big-screen adaptation is a formidable task, a struggle to balance a true-to-its-roots translation with all the trappings of a blockbuster. Take “Batman Begins,” for example: a realistic and gritty origin story, but a ridiculous runaway-train conclusion. Or “X-Men”: the tales may be epic, but they are chockful of cut corners and glaring errors, obviously because they were rushed to meet the release date.
(USA) Precocious, eccentric and extremely wealthy, 17-year-old Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin, Hearts in Atlantis) is expelled from every boarding school he attends, before enrolling in a public high school run by the cynical, overstressed and hard-drinking Principal Gardner (Robert Downey Jr., Zodiac).