8:00 PM, 31st July, 2010
With the whole world now aware of his dual life, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (the ever-entertaining Downey Jr) finds himself under increasing pressure from the US government to share his Iron Man technology with the military. What’s more, the very invention that is powering his suit – and keeping him alive – is slowly poisoning him. Overwhelmed by the power and the pressure, Stark becomes reckless. Soon, even his closest allies begin to take sides and as new villains emerge, he again finds himself up against all odds.
Despite featuring more villains, action, special effects and more of generally everything, Iron Man 2 thankfully manages to avoid feeling bloated or overdone. Credit for this must surely go to returning director Favreau, who keeps things on track and firmly grounded – a task easier said than done, especially when so many sequels of late aim for bigger and better but fail miserably.
Joining the top-notch cast from the first film is the formidable Rourke, as a Russian inventor with a vendetta against Stark, and Sam Rockwell, who provides plenty of the film’s great moments as the slimy Justin Hammer, rival to Stark and all-around try-hard. Even Favreau gets in on the action, in a beefed-up role as Stark’s amusing right-hand man and chauffeur.
Iron Man 2 is an invigorating two hours of smart, action-packed superhero fun, which fly by and again leave you wanting more. Fortunately, as with the first film, you can stick around after the end credits for one last scene.
10:19 PM, 31st July, 2010
Michael Moore’s most moving and effective documentary was Bowling for Columbine, a highly personal exploration of America’s toxic gun culture. He deservedly won the Oscar for best documentary. His subsequent polemic Fahrenheit 911 earned much more money at the box office but was nowhere near as good, with Moore taking easy shots at the soft target of President George W. Bush.
But with Capitalism: A Love Story Moore is back on form. He uses his own home movies to illustrate the relatively benign capitalism of his youth. Then he explores the reasons why America has rapidly moved towards a plutocracy in the decades since. A key reason, Moore argues, was the elevation of Ronald Reagan to the Presidency and the subsequent “Reaganomics” deregulation of the financial system.
If you decide not to watch this entertaining (but appalling) documentary, you must be a “dead peasant”.