I recall a drunken conversation with a friend from university, Dave Waddington, who was wetting himself with glee and too much cider, at a terrible late night movie he'd seen late the previous night, many, many moons ago.
It had the words Iron and Man in the title but because of poor scanning, when reduced from wide screen to teev screen, it had rendered as 'Ron Man'.
Dave found this vastly amusing.
I've never been able to find the B- or possibly C-grade flick which amused him so much. It appears nowhere on IMDB. Maybe it was some Italian-Japanese co-pro? It's been bugging me all week after having watched and enjoyed the most recent of the Marvel comix franchise movies on the weekend. (I enjoyed it even more when I heard it hadn't even been released in the US. Oh, how the mighty hegemon has fallen.)
Anyway, it's US release is imminent, and the terrible page view churn of pop cultural analysis is beginning. Esquire has a bit that I won't link to and wont recommend googling or binging up because it sports some terrible spoilers, but it caught my eye cos it investigated the deeper cultural psychology of the third iteration of the Ron Man series.
I am sucker for the deeper cultural psychology of mass market genre product.
Apparently its all about the luddite anxiety.
With the release of Iron Man 3 this Friday, summer movies begin arriving in earnest, which is the time the spiritual state of the American public is revealed. During the rest of the year, even the most mainstream Hollywood movies are made for niches. But summer movies are made for everybody. They have to be, to compete in the race to 350 million domestic. Their broadness makes summer movies incredibly useful as guides to the psychology of the American public. And if this year's crop of blockbusters is anything to go by, the American public is both obsessed with technology and absolutely terrified of it. They want to see supercool machines do incredible things and then blow up and go away.
This I found to be a startling hypothesis, and one which I really didn't take away from my viewing. Esky tied it in to a couple of other titles, but poorly. What is Pacific Rim, for instance, if not the triumph of machine over monster? And Star Trek Into Darkness hasn't even been released yet, so it's a bit of stretch to be citing it in support of your unsupportable thesis when nobody's seen the fucking thing yet.
I don't want to get into the end of I, Ron Man 3 because, you know, spoilers. But I fully epxect him to be there, kicking alien ass in the next of The Avengers installments.
Any US Burgers who haven't... snigger... seen it yet... go wild. And if you get the chance, check out the Chinese release. It has an extra four minutes of footage which make absolutely no fucking sense at all. New characters who have no thing to do with the storlyine but who throw out some great lines like, "Please let China help you, Ron Man."
You won't be disappointed.