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Pumping Iron Man

Tony Stark choices. Playing horse. Friends like those. Plus more.

5.21.08

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RAVE REVIEWS
Re: James Bowman's "Iron Man":

James Bowman's review of Iron Man seems to forget that the movie can not claim a literary heritage. It remains true to the comic that it is derived from and the comic was warped the comic book code of the 1950's and 1960's.

The "vaguely left-wing and pacifist sort" of politics was built into the comic by the cultural watch dogs of the comic publication industry when the comic originated. Except for choosing this as a movie project, in this one instance Hollywood is nearly innocent of injecting additional hippy-dippy politics. It was already there. I'm just grateful that they abandoned the infantile "secret identity" dramatic device.

As an adult I would prefer to see Hollywood make Tuxedo Park into a film. Charlie Wilson's War is probably as close as Hollywood is to get to a story of that sort.
-- Gregory Franke

Would someone please tell James Bowman to lighten up?

Iron Man is fun, entertaining, action-packed, and very well acted. In short, it's great movie, even for folks who aren't fans of the comic or of comic-book movies in general. As I am both, I feel qualified to offer an unequivocal "thumbs-up" to Marvel Entertainment, Jon Favreau, and Robert Downey Jr., who was the perfect choice to portray the brilliant yet deeply flawed Tony Stark (who was himself based on Howard Hughes).

Is it a perfect movie? No. Does the plot have a few holes? Of course! Is the pacifism angle a tad too "Code Pink"? Maybe. But then again, let's not forget that Stark, as IRONMAN, does spend a great deal of time in this film delivering a major beat-down to Muslim terrorists! When was the last time that Hollywood "dared" to do that, Mr. Bowman?

In short, perhaps Mr. Bowman should stick to reviewing small, art-house type flicks, the kind that film critics drool over, but that induce somnolence in the rest of us. When I spend upwards of $40 to go to the movies, I don't want to be lectured to, sermonized, or exposed to some obscure Finnish director's angst and emotional pain. I want to be entertained. And Iron Man delivers.
-- Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

For Gosh's sakes this is a movie about a Marvel Comics hero, not some treatise on politics people! Why is it that conservative movie reviewers cannot simply tell us if a movie is good or bad, but have an irresistible urge to delve into the politics of the movie? Especially when the movie isn't about politics! I saw the same thing happen with X 3: The Last Stand when a conservative reviewer went on a rant about the supposed pushing of the gay agenda because of the way the character of Angel looked; since he was a somewhat effeminate teenaged male, that was taken as a sign that the "gay agenda" was being pushed. And here we have a reviewer ranting about the politics of Iron Man because of a couple of little lines that he disagrees with. As much as we conservatives accuse liberals of politicizing everything, we sure aren't innocent of it ourselves.

Look, this is a summer movie that is aimed at tweens, teens, young adults, and those like me who loved comics as a kid and always wanted to see what the characters I loved would look like on the silver screen. It is why I took my son to see the all the recent comic-based films, and probably Iron Man as well. The movies are supposed to be fun, they are supposed to be a couple of hours where we get to suspend out disbelief and put the worries of real life out of our heads. And as much as the reviewer wants to go on and on about political messages in a Marvel Comics movie, I just have one question:

Was the movie any good?
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

I really tried to appreciate your online magazine. I really did. But it's clear that you employ angry mental defectives. Indeed, you give them a forum.

It would be a total waste of my time to refute this idiotic review on a case-by-case basis. I'll simply let you know that I'm 40 years old, fiercely conservative in every way, and that this is, by no small margin, the worst review I have ever read...
-- Neal F. Guye
Coos Bay, Oregon

Paul of Tarsus wrote, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Well, sometimes it is fun to take out childish things again. Dude, Iron Man, is a summer movie based on a comic book. Chill!
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

H-O-R-S-E
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Party of the Weak Horse:

Ronald Reagan is an appeaser by Mr. Lords definition. He traded guns for the hostages held by Iran, and he held talks with Gorbachev. And how about Nixon who held talks with China, opening it to the West. Or George Bush who held talks with North Korea and Libya. How about Secretary of Defense Gates who has called for talks with Iran, or John McCain who called for talks with Hamas? Does that make the Republicans the party of appeasers?

Mr. Lord needs a refresher course on the history of his own party. And he needs to reconsider his definition of appeasement. It's not appeasement to call for talks, and everybody, except for a handful of hysterical right-wing conservatives like Mr. Lord, knows that.
-- Ron Schoenberg
Seattle, Washington

Another excellent history lesson from Jeffrey Lord. I wish every American voter could read this.
-- Doug Helland
Lakewood, Washington

One of the best right-on articles I've seen. Keep up the great work.
-- Dan Foree
Phoenix, Arizona

Appeasement may be the most misused and abused word in the arena of political discussion today. Chris Matthews exposed Kevin James, a right wing talk show host from L.A., by asking him to define appeasement and to distinguish between appeasement and negotiation. All James could do was huff and puff and offer up a tautology as his final answer. I must confess that I have wondered if our president would have deported himself any better had he been occupying Mr. James' chair. A few questions: (1) When Eisenhower met with Khrushchev to discuss the nuclear arms race, was he negotiating or appeasing? When Nixon went to China and met with Mao Zedong, was he laying the groundwork for bringing China, a rogue state at the time with nuclear weapons, into the world community or was he appeasing a terrorist nation? President Reagan had friendly relations with Gorbachev. Does this make Reagan an appeaser? Republicans opposed Clinton's foreign policy in the Balkans. Appeasement? As usual, Mr. Lord writes an entirely one-sided account. My criticism is not primarily with what Mr. Lord reports, only with his lack of balance.
-- Mike Roush
P.S. This blind hog denizen of DailyKOS would like to acknowledge Mr. Shreve for his temporary recantation. While It is flattering to be judged "absolutely, 100% right," this is not an accurate assessment. My judgment, couched in hyperbole, was a mere approximation of reality. It obviously ignored the countless Americans who work for no level of government and own or work for companies that execute no government contracts. In other words, they have no direct, personal interest in pork. Betrayed by the President and the GOP for the past nearly eight years and having no well financed K-Street lobby to advocate their interest, these people effectively have no real voice in the current process. Little wonder that as I drive through the Carolinas, I see Ron Paul signs in abundance. While he is getting no more oxygen from the MSM than Ron Paul, it will be instructive to see how well Bob Barr does this November.

One has to wonder what level of atrocity will have to befall America before Democrats: a) recognize evil per se, and: b) realize that evil cannot be accommodated or appeased. The execution of 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11th was apparently insufficient.

Would a nuke do it? The bet here is even a mushroom cloud over an American city would only temporarily interrupt Democrats from once again wringing their collective hands and asking, "Why do they hate us?"
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Mr. Lord has it partly correct. The Democrats have a long, glorious, and continuing history of appeasing (actively supporting) our sworn enemies. The more deadly the enemy, the more blatantly and forcefully they side with them. Take their 70 year love affair with the Russians, for example, which continued up until the Communists folded. Where he goes wrong is in going on to assume that they are appeasers by nature.

They are not. When it comes to all out attack against our friends, the Democrats are famous for their 'no quarter, take no prisoners' tactics. In light of the Democratic treatment of our friends, Sherman's relationship with Georgia appears positively benign and the Japanese treatment of the Chinese in Nanking a model of benevolence.

Other than that, he has it about right.
-- Bob Ludwick

I am currently reading a history of the Copperhead movement prior to and during the American Civil War. This movement was principally located, but not restricted to, the Ohio River Valley states on both sides of the river.

The Copperheads were almost totally Democrats who were opposed to military action by the Union in the Civil War. It is actually eerie to read this -- except for the names and dates, it is as if I am reading the current newspaper or watching the news and listening to current-era Democrats.

In over 150 years, there is no change in attitude, "ideas," or words between then and now.
-- Charles Brown
Maryland

WHAT A MAROON
Re: Jeff Emanuel's The Lessons of Annapolis:

I disagree with the view that George W. Bush learned anything from Annapolis, or anywhere else for that matter. After watching Bush for far too many years, it is crystal clear that this man is incapable of even
admitting he made a mistake, yet alone learning from it. Bush has a mind like a locked box -- nothing goes in and nothing comes out. What happened at Annapolis and what happened in Israel was that Bush was telling his audience at the time what they wanted to hear. Political banalities with no ideas and convictions of their own do that all the time and Bush is a banality writ large. It takes a huge leap of faith to assume that just because Bush said something different, he had learned a lesson. As soon as his audience changes, he will say whatever is convenient.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

NOT TO BELABOR
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Appoint of Order, Please:

Mr. Homnick may be correct in his reasoning as to why "Condi" chose not to run. She's repelled by the actuality of the running. Rubber chicken, mingling with the great unwashed, unpleasant scrutiny. All of that does sound daunting. But let's get serious. Other than preside without strength over a pusillanimous State Dept. what credential does she offer? If we stipulate that she's more learned than Mr. Obama, and certainly a lot more pleasant, we are still left with the unhappy fact that she's never run anything very well or to much effect. Let her go her way, Joan of Arc she ain't.
-- J.C. Eaton
Wisconsin

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE
Re: George H. Wittman's When a President Comes to Visit:

If President Bush wanted to kowtow to leaders who are hostile to the ideas of American prosperity and security in order to beg them to allow more oil production, he could have simply addressed his request to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Congressional Democrats have hamstrung domestic oil production for decades through their obstruction of new refinery construction (our last one went online in 1977), drilling proven domestic reserves and
exploration for new reserves. Oil reserves in ANWR, the Gulf of Mexico and California could alleviate our current oil shortage, while new refinery capacity would break the bottleneck that causes seasonal
shortages, but specious environmental concerns and luddite economics conspire to ensure that U.S. capital will continue to flow to despotic regimes which funnel it back into the global jihad.
-- Mike Harris
MAJ, U.S. Army

It's long past time the United States gave these duplicitous bastards a choice: stop supporting a de facto cartel or start defending yourselves.

They should be glad someone like me isn't president. I'd make 'em the 51st state.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, FL

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