Thursday, May 09, 2013
"Iron Man 3": I saw this more to experience the new Loudoun Alamo Drafthouse
Well, “Iron Man 3” (directed by Shane Black) is essentially a comic book more than a real movie, even in 3-D. It looks, from my records, that I saw the first “Iron Man” in 2008 (reviewed only on my old “doaskdotell” site), and skipped the second one.
Last night, I drove out to the new Alamo Drafthouse at the new Loudoun Downtown in Asburn, VA. I had heard about the properties in Texas, and about the puritanical “no talking and no texting” policies. I was quite impressed with the spaciousness of the auditoriums, the tables, and waitered service. I went late on a weekday night because storms earlier in the evening made me leery of tempting the traffic. There’s a bar on the premises, and a lot of movie paraphernalia.
The theater also makes an animated short subject of its conduct policies – the testimony of a Texas gal who got kicked out and had her money taken – and it also offered a couple animated Iron Man cartoons as shorts.
Here’s the website for Alamo’s Loudoun property, link. There’s one in Winchester, VA (70 miles away) too.
The company has many locations, but stresses Texas (including Dallas-Richardson, Austin. San Antonio (of course), El Paso, and New Braunfels. I’ll bear that in mind if I get to Dallas again soon.
Drafthouse cinemas have in the past been associated with repertory cinema. The old Arlington Theater on Columbia Pike in Arlington VA (where I once saw "Gone with the Wind" as a boy) became a drafthouse, and is quite informal. In Minneapolis, there used to be (and maybe still is) a Suburban draft house a couple blocks down from the Landmark Uptown on Hennepin -- it was popular for festivals. (I saw "Okie Noodling" there in 2001.)
As for the ("Iron Man III") movie, well, we know the concept. It seems as though Robert Downey Jr.’s character Tony Stark wears an armored suit that can put itself on – and maybe it’s manufactured by a 3D printer. He can fly like superman, sometimes. This time, the archenemy is the terrorist Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who isn’t above kidnapping people and making them look like him. There’s the accomplice Aldrich (Guy Pearce). Don Cheadle plays Col. Rhdoes, and Savin (James Badge Dale) looks like a caricature of NJ Gov. Chris Christie (after bariatric surgery).
Tony Stark has a beautiful home (3-D printed, to be sure) on the cliffs at Malibu, which gets invaded and destroyed by choppers. (It had survived all the wildfires, and housed displaced homeowners). He visits Rise Hill, TN in December and encounters southern snow, as well as sidekick Harley (Ty Simpkins), Then later he engineers a skydiving rescue from Air Force One, over Miami Beach, Hint: you already have to be a good swimmer to get rescued (I’m not).
You have to sacrifice some of your own bod, you own external trappings of a man, to become iron man. IT takes some chest work to get fitted, as we see only at the end,. Downey is already past peak.
The link for the film site (Marvel and Paramount Pictures) is here.
Alamo started the feature without making it clear that the previews had ended. The feature starts with a Marvel (rather than Paramount) mark and shows some immediate footage, which makes it look like another preview at first.
The 3-D was reasonably well done (and not gimmicky).
I guess Alamo is a pretty popular name for many business lines to trademark. I used to rent cars from Alamo (Car rental) all the time in the 1980s.