I don’t know much about defense attorneys, but I don’t completely buy the depiction of them, or of one of the prosecutors (David Krumholtz), in David Dobkin’s new film, The Judge (2014). There’s something utterly specious here. Still, although this legal drama is not terribly good, it isn’t terribly bad—or even plain bad—either. It has Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall (as convincing as ever), Vincent D’Onofrio (full of depth), and Billy Bob Thornton. Critic David Edelstein is right about its “picturesque” outdoor shots. It has a story of very limited strength, but at least some strength is there.
That said, allow me to comment also that I like old movies (significantly old) because they were prohibited from showing the kind of gross vomiting and diarrheal excreting that The Judge gives us. Ugh!
For a man who has threatened a major-league terrorist, Tony Stark—a.k.a. Iron Man—certainly leaves his house unprepared for the savage aerial attack that constitutes Iron Man 3‘s first large-scale action sequence. Where are the robotic guns? It should be understood, though, that the movie’s narrative is fundamentally for children. Everything else, I would say, is for grownups as well as children, which is good news. Shane Black’s film is faulty but fun, a relentlessly commercial family pic (made by Marvel/Disney—again, relentlessly commercial). Predictably, Robert Downey Jr. is unerring in the title role. The one-liners he spouts are only part, albeit the most important part, of what makes IM3 a semi-comedy. Guy Pearce and Sir Ben Kingsley can also be funny. The film is close to being a laugh-fest with explosions.
Another thing: there may be a mini-message in the film—terrorists are invariably ULTRA-villains (Guy Pearce, this means you).
Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (2012) is consistently entertaining. Its action footage would be more entertaining, wholly exciting, if it contained greater suspense (like the car chase in The French Connection), but no matter. It’s still head-on fun and technically accomplished.
Certain Marvel comic-book movies, most of which I haven’t seen, anticipated this lengthy flick in which Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk and other superheroes band together to–you got it–save the world. (I wonder who’s going to save it from the economic policies of political leaders?) I enjoyed the movie’s humor and was certainly glad the talented, now likeable Robert Downey Jr. was on hand. I mean he’s now likeable as a human being, I think. Like the action, Downey makes us forget most of Whedon’s poor plotting.