Iron Man 3 Link Round-Up
Clearing out all of these very good pieces from my Instapaper queue:
The Twisted Career of Hollywood Bad Boy Shane Black, by Alex Pappademas
But there’s a moment when Black starts talking about the action movie — a form whose precepts he codified and arguably perfected with Lethal Weapon — as something he barely recognizes anymore:
The worst of the action films are the ones where everything is one shout from beginning to finish. And there’s no differentiation between beats, like small or big, or quiet or expansive. It’s all just one loud shout. And by the end, the audience has been beaten in the face so many times, you could blow up the Taj Mahal and they’d go, “O.K., that’s nice.” Because they’ve seen so much. They’re just dead. We’re in a culture where people want to be deafened, apparently. And there’s an elegance, which is somehow missing. It used to be that when people talked, they talked in a very communicative way. They varied their tone, they varied their pitch. Now they just yell at you until you fall down. And that’s what I don’t like.
Iron Man 3: A Different Kind of Suit by Chris Laverty for Clothes on Film
Shane Black and the modern action blockbuster, which he helped create, duke it out in Iron Man 3 by Matt Prigge:
It’s odd for a filmmaker to try defeating the very cliches he once helped create. But then, times have changed: Hollywood product is more impersonal; personality is discouraged. Black, once the architect of blockbusters, is now an iconoclast. His “Iron Man 3” doesn’t have a heart (as though that’s a bad thing) but it does have a genuine sense of fun — even the noisiest, nonsense-iest parts are delivered with a smile. This isn’t “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” redux, but it’s closer to it than we deserve.
‘Iron Man 3’ does WHAT? — a behind the scenes look by Anthony Breznican on one of the more amusing & original plot twists in a comic book film.
Iron Man 3 Movie Review, by Matt Zoller Seitz
From his breakthrough as a screenwriter in “Lethal Weapon” to his directorial debut with 2005’s “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” Black has carved out a niche as a borderline parodist of crash-and-burn action, serving up moldy macho clichés while making fun of himself (and the audience) for loving them so much. The prototypical Shane Black hero shambles around presenting himself as a soul-dead cynic who’s tired of the same old same old, but within an hour or so, he’s rescuing people, swearing vengeance against evildoers, and sailing through the air unloading handguns. His stories straddle the midpoint of of the kidding/not kidding scale like a little kid standing atop a seesaw on the playground, shifting his weight around to make the opposing ends rise or fall.
5 Scripts That Made Shane Black Hollywood’s Hottest Writer In The 1990s, by Drew Taylor
‘Iron Man 3’ Takes On Drone Strikes, Media Manipulation, And The War On Terror, by Alyssa Rosenberg:
But Iron Man‘s extensive critique of the war on terror—a major subject of the film, along with eighties movie tropes, domestic harmony, and fan culture—takes a different and more radical tack, suggesting that the threat of violence by terrorist actors may be real, but the War on Terror is an invention that both terrorists and terrorized participate in.
Iron Man 3: more suits to play with, By Ian Failes, on how all the visual effects work was accomplished.
Townsend and Shane Black wanted to ensure that the Extremis look was, however possible, still grounded in reality. “How do make a guy who glows orange and explodes look real?,” Townsend jokes. The answer lay in referencing actual phenomena such as the aurora borealis, x-rays and how things looked photographically when you seen inside the body. “We wanted to steer clear of the medical look and keep a bit of mystery,” says Townsend. “We looked at time lapse photography of decaying fruit and vegetables and played it back to see if this organic process of re-growth and rebuilding. We looked at time lapse of cars driving through the dessert and there would be streaks of light flashing through the desert – they were very reminiscent and inspired these energy ribbons that were very organic with pulses of energy.”
Iron Man: A Terrible Privilege, a fun little piece by Dr. Andrea Letamendi aligning the mental condition of Tony Stark in this universe with real life parrallels
Changing Suits: How ‘Iron Man 3’ Finally Fixes Superhero Movies, by Calum Marsh
One of the most striking things about “Iron Man 3” is its central visual motif, one very much in keeping with its major themes: breakdown and failure hang over everything, disrupting plans, wiping out public spaces, making it impossible to get from point A to point B. Director Shane Black—who’s written these kinds of film-wide conceptual girders before, to similar effect—charts a course not from breakdown to perfection but from breakdown to nothing, its arc building not so much to an improved model as to a rejection of the model altogether. This plays out a bit like Brad Bird’s “Mission Impossible 4”, which also used technical failures as a motif; but where Bird employed malfunction as a kind of running gag, played always for laughs, “Iron Man 3” takes its constant defects much more seriously, viewing them as much a manifestation of internal crisis as a lack of care or maintenance. The point of the film is that Stark has to cope without: he has to overcome his foes without relying on the invincibility of his suit, but he also, more importantly, has to understand that the suit itself has been a crutch.
Bonus round: From 2009, in an article related to a movie he didn’t even remotely work on, Shane Black’s 10 Lessons on How to Make an Action Movie