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Published on May 15th, 2013 | by JJ


Mars Needs Podcasts #211- Iron Man 3, No Jokes.

JJ and his amazing friend Aaron are here to…blah, blah, blah. Look, here’s what happens. Aaron and I have both seen Iron Man 3. He already aired his viewpoint on Weekend Justice, and when I asked him if he wanted to talk about it, he wisely pointed out that we have The Drive In Of Doom to tear apart what we like and don’t like in movies. Fair enough. I received some contact stating that Mars Needs listeners would like to hear what we had to say about the film. So I figured we would dedicate 10-15 minutes to a little Tony Stark talk. What follows is an hour and a half of Iron Man 3 spoilers and dissection. Like it or hate it, we can sure rattle on about film.

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About the Author


JJ Hawkins currently lives in Portland, Oregon. As a vegetarian, thespian and goatee grower he fits in perfectly.

  • Leslie

    Sooo… I’ve got something to say about Iron Man 3. I paid incredibly too much attention to this movie, so I thought I’d answer the debate about the armor being summoned. The armor cannot be summoned throughout the movie because the passageway is blocked! JARVIS is up and running the whole time. Tony asks JARVIS if it is clear and JARVIS is all “yeah” so they get summoned.
    Also, Leslie Bibbs (aka: the reporter who Tony sleeps with in the first movie) IS in the movie. She is one of the reporters outside of the Hospital when Tony is all like “Yo, come get me.” to the Mandarin. She is in the white outfit and she kinda gets pushed around. But she is there…

    • Aaron

      Yeah, I didn’t notice either of those things Leslie. Thanks for the head-up! Although, I think a line earlier in the movie addressing the rubble issue would have been required, but at least they did say SOMETHING about it that I just didn’t catch.

      • Jason Wood

        I didn’t catch the blocked-by-rubble part either until I saw the movie a second time. My problem with the rubble is, I have a hard time believing 40+ Iron Man suits combined can’t move a little rubble out of the way to get free. In the first movie the Mach 2 armor fell and broke through the ceiling, the floor, and crushed one Tony’s cars just by it’s weight alone. I mean if these things couldn’t blast their way out of a hole, what kind of POS suits was Tony building during his off-time anyway?

        • Will

          Yeah, especially since one of the suits has GIANT DRILLS FOR ARMS. I think it’s supposed to be that the rubble is blocking the servers or something but, yeah, having only watched it once (and being pretty distracted by kids in the cinema) I’m willing to accept that there’s probably an explanation in there somewhere, even if it’s just “sometimes, robots be crazy”

          • Sharp-O

            Tony’s wifi was being spotty, that’s my headcanon and I love the Striker suit! Piledriver arms FTW

  • Joshua Mosteit

    Yeah, like Leslie said, the suits couldn’t be summoned because rubble blocked the doorway to the sub-basement. Friggin’ amazing how you two managed to argue for so long over a clearly addressed plot point.
    As for the Mandarin…well, fuck the Mandarin. Fuck Yellow Scare villains in general. “50 years of history” may mean a lot to you, but when that history is founded on abject racism (and the Mandarin’s initial character design deliberately drew upon racist Chinese caricatures, so as far as I’m concerned there’s no argument there), that history doesn’t really mean much. Reinvent Wonder Woman’s Chinese nemesis Egg Fu however you like, it doesn’t change the fact that his roots lie in racial prejudice and stereotypes, guaranteeing that that character can only be handled in a subversive way (a la DC’s “52” maxi-series). Not to mention for the majority of the stories he appears in, the Mandarin’s little more than a dime-store Dr. Doom with magic rings; I just don’t get why the hell gutting and reinventing his character so radically is such a big deal.
    Overall, probably my favorite of the Iron Man movies. The previous two fumbled the ball in the third and second acts, respectively, but 3 is the first one to feel like a WHOLE film with a proper arc and plot structure, uninterrupted or burdened with ancillary crap. No problems with the directing or characterization whatsoever.

    • Aaron

      If Matt Fraction can make a perfectly acceptable Mandarin in the last 5 years, in an Eisner winning series no less, I don’t see why they needed to make their choices in this film. If they did the exact same thing with The Joker in Dark Knight, people would be storming Nolan’s house. Say what you will about his origins, he’s still Iron Man’s arch villain and something better could have been done.

      • Joshua Mosteit

        They DID do that to the Joker. Nolanverse Joker resembles next to nothing of his comic counterpart save themes and motivations; beyond that, the character was completely reinvented from the ground up. No Ace Chemical Plant accident. No Red Hood. No chemical scars. Only a distillation of core principles epitomizing what that character represents on a thematic level: elemental chaos.
        Which is essentially what they’ve done with the Mandarin in Iron Man 3: a Cold War villain recontextualized for a post-Soviet, post-9/11 world. JJ’s explanation of how the movie reflects the U.S.’s state of mind vis-a-vis terrorism sums this up perfectly. To play the character straight in this day and age would be damn well disingenuous, a reinforcement of America’s disillusioned, paranoid state of mind, regardless of what Matt Fraction did with the character (ONE good turn doesn’t make up for fifty years of mostly crap, not to mention). He’s Iron Man’s arch-nemesis strictly by default because the rest of his rogues gallery sucks on toast. And comparing him to the Joker is downright laughable.
        Now, if what you meant was if they used the exact same “twist” behind the Mandarin but with the Joker: The Joker’s very existence being…a JOKE would actually fit the character. It’s the exact kind of lunatic mind game native to Batman comics and the Gotham City setting. Not to mention you’d have the inevitable double twist of a night in Arkham Asylum ironically turning the “fake” Joker into the REAL Joker. Yeah, I could totally see that.

        • Aaron

          You clearly hate the Mandarin character.

          • Joshua Mosteit

            Hate? No. Indifferent? Most definitely.

  • Richard ‘Sharpo’ Sharpe

    Aaron’s nerd-rage is delightfully sweet. While there are a couple things that I didn’t like (Ill-timed jokes, not enough armor time, not enough Codey), I enjoyed it. The Mandarin was an amazing character, and they hid his reveal very well (But in retrospect, I kinda want to see the climax where Iron Man chases the Mandarin round in a go-kart like the LEGO sets foreshadowed.) He may not have been a Magic Asian or the delusional apostle of some mysterious alien menace like Fraction portrayed, I felt his character worked in this movieverse and Trevor was a fun guy! You leave him alone.

    It was funny, entertaining and made me want to buy a shit ton of toy armors and that’s good enough for me. What’s not good enough is that there’s no decent action figures for the armors! *rabble rabble rabble*

    Also, weren’t those some fantastic credits?

  • Peter Ash

    cool dude

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