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Showing posts from March, 2013

A Different Iron Man 3?

Marvel studios confirms a different version of ‘Iron Man 3′ will open in China - The Global Dispatch

Iron Man 3 will have a slightly different edit for the Chinese market.  This is not a surprise. Given the restrictions on foreign films in the Chinese market, Marvel Studio's decision to team with DMG entertainment for financing was sure to open the door to more than location shoots and Chinese cameo roles. Some people might grumble, but it is important to note that American entertainment companies have followed similar rules in other countries for decades.  Of greater interest to me is that this change will remind some people of influence or censorship debate linked to U.S. corporation trying to operate in China.  Privacy concerns have dogged Google and twitter for years.  The debate is clearly more serious when human rights for dissents provide the backdrop. Yet, in some ways, the power of escapist entertainment as a space for negotiating perspective might provide interest moment…

Scoop on Iron Man 3

Those media insiders over at Digital Spy have published major spoilers from the 20 minute extended preview of Iron Man 3! 

I'm not saying I called it based on the TV spots, but I was pretty close. I think we can see how the Extremis storyline will factor into IM3. 

Iron Man 3 sounds better and better with every snippet.

Iron Man 3 TV spots

Is there anything new in these ads? These spots are basically based on what we have already seen. Questions abound driven by plot speculation across the web.  Case in point,  is Tony using Extremis to move the armor in spot 2?

I can't be sure and anyone who read the comic book knows the Extremis transformation merged part of the armor with Tony's body. Are we seeing this in the tv spots? This seems to be a modular assembly and not a biomechanical interaction. The armor "working at the speed of thought" aspect so crucial to the Extremis story could be on display or it could be something else.  

This reflects a bigger ideological question. Will the audience want to see Tony Stark become part machine? The danger posed by science changing our bodies is a major theme in science fiction today. Will this anxiety inform Iron Man 3 or will The Mandarin as Bin Laden be enough?

If the goal was to make me (and you) curious, Marvel Studios is doing exactly what it needs to do…

Eisenhower's Farewell Address and the Problem of Defense

On January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appeared on television to deliver his farewell address. Broadcasted from the Oval Office of the White House, Eisenhower framed his closing remarks as “a message of leave taking and farewell” to his countrymen. Far from a nostalgic reminisce of national service, Eisenhower provided a cautionary narrative about the dangers of military buildup in the United States.  Eisenhower's remarks frame a debate about U.S. defense policy since 1945. Namely, he spoke openly of the need to find balance between forces that desired to spend, at all costs, to secure the United States from attack and those forces that advocated for negotiation and disarmament. These ideas inform the meta-textual narrative found in the pages of Iron Man. Debuting two years after Eisenhower's address, Iron Man can be seen as continuation of the pro-American and anti-communist dialogue found throughout Marvel's Silver Age revival. Yet, the narrative also …

One Narrative Universe

Marvel continues to infuse the "feel" of comic books into products across platforms.  This tactic avoids alienating long time fans, but opens the door to a new audience excited by film and television adaptations.  While DC Comic struggles with finding the right tone for many of its Golden Age characters, Marvel's Silver Age origins allow better flexibility for adaption.  As creators adapt the stories for new platform, much of the youthful anxiety and societal uncertainty inherent to Marvel's 1960s stories can be transferred to contemporary debates.

Something to consider as DC and Marvel bring major movie releases to theaters this summer. 

Iron Man 3 and Media Narrative

The media narrative around Iron Man 3 is growing. The details around the plot can be pieced together from multiple source on the web. What is the takeaway? By in large, the reaction to the film seems universally good. The feeling that this will be a character driven movie is coming through. At the end of the day, this is perhaps the most important element I have garnered from the coverage. One of the looming questions for Marvel Studios is can they continue to produce films that will engage the audience. To accomplish that, they need to continue to evolve the narrative linking the Marvel Cinematic Universe together and do that while adding depth and texture to the stories that allows everyone to find something they can enjoy. From all account they accomplishing that goal. Can the comic books that inspired the films accomplish the same thing?

International Trailer For Iron Man 3

The international trailer features glimpses of Chinese actors and setting for the Iron Man 3. The financing from DMG Entertainment opens the door for Iron Man 3 to get access to the Chinese film market. At the same time, the transformation of the Mandarin from his jingoist origins to 9/11 analog to Osama Bin Laden allows the film to avoid offending the Chinese moviegoer. It also highlights the complex politics linked to anti-terrorism campaigns in the United States and China. While both may try, neither country can avoid the charge that "terrorist" groups can be traced to resentments linked to policy decisions that affect common citizens.

New Global Context and Iron Man 3

The new trailer for Iron Man 3 features a not so subtle engagement with post 9/11 geopolitical uncertainty. Will Iron Man win? Of course, the trick is how the narrative handles the complexity of applying U.S. values to global landscape where issues of race, class, and power are not defined by American views alone.