Tag Archive: paul bettany

iron man 3Dir. Shane Black
(2013, PG-13, 130 minutes)

The first thing that came to mind while watching Iron Man 3 was how much better superhero movies need to get about women. Just one day ago I watched the terrific second part of Feminist Frequency’s critical analysis of the problematic roles of women in video games, and here is a movie that makes her point for her.

There are two major female roles. The first, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), more or less runs Stark Industries and manages Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) dysfunctional life, but before long she is damseled by the screenplay – that is to say, she is kidnapped and rendered helpless so that male characters can fight over her. Pepper gets two moments of heroism, but both are the result of technology or augmentation inflicted on her by male characters.

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Dir. J.C. Chandor
(2011, R, 107 min)

Margin Call is the movie Too Big to Fail should have been. The HBO telefilm, which tried to cover the 2008 financial crisis from the top down in just 100 minutes, had a plaster-dry instructive approach, reiterating what was already better explained in the documentary Inside Job and otherwise failing to provide much dramatic interest. In contrast, Margin Call is laser-focused. It takes place over one day at a fictional New York investment bank, where all of a sudden they realize their numbers don’t add up and they must negotiate the apocalypse.

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