Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3”
By Sam Struckhoff
"Iron Man 3" (PG-13) -- Marvel's metal hero is back in action. Billionaire inventor and not-so-secretly Iron Man, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is enjoying his money and new relationship with his assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Everything comes crumbling down when The Mandarin -- an updated villain from the comic-book series -- starts to terrorize the USA.
Just like in the last two, Downey Jr. is a nonstop current of pithy jokes and smugness -- both inside and out of his Iron Man suit. Stark is a powerful personality on his own, and this script takes full advantage while delivering more action than the previous installment.
"Redemption" (R) -- Joey Jones (Jason Statham) is an ex-special forces veteran of Afghanistan. Back in London, he lives on the streets and struggles with vivid flashbacks of the war. Despite his deep emotional scars, Joey is one hell of a tough guy and soon starts working as muscle for some local mobsters (it's OK, he's doing it for good reasons.)
The movie is a little distracted, and gets pretty boring between bone-crunching fights. Statham is dealing with his own emotional damage, trying to woo a saintly nun (Agata Buzek) who works at the soup kitchen, seeking vengeance for a girl he knew on the streets, AND trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his daughter's mother. This movie could have given Statham more room for what he does best -- over-the-top acts of thuggery and intense bruiserdom.
"Unfinished Song" (PG-13) -- Arthur (Terence Stamp) is one of those grumpy old fellas who wouldn't dream of doing anything whimsical or adventurous. When his darling wife (Vanessa Redgrave) insists that they attend a senior-citizen choir practice, Arthur gets even more curmudgeonly at the sounds of the recent-era pop music being taught by the cutesy vocal teacher (Gemma Arterton.) You can see where this is going. Watch as his rigid demeanor is soothed by the healing power of music. It gets a little too sweet and sappy at times, but it's ultimately a fun story about opening up to new things.
"Room 237" (NR) -- This could be the ultimate movie for (or about) people who obsess about movies. Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film "The Shining" is a meticulously crafted masterpiece that features a father (Jack Nicholson) slowly going insane as he and his family spend a lonely winter in an isolated mountain resort. "Room 237" features interviews with people who have apparently gone crazy while sitting in front of "The Shining" over and over again. The movie buffs in "Room 237" share their feelings about the True Meanings behind the film -- complete with arrows, animations and other visual aides.
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