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Thursday, April 25, 2013 

Clues of the political bents in early reviews of Iron Man 3

The movie hasn't quite opened in US theaters yet, but early screenings were given in the UK and Australia. I looked over some of what were linked to on Rotten Tomatoes, and while predictably, they don't say much of anything about the film's politics, there were a few that did send telling signs of the downside. For example, the Cinema Autopsy review says:
While Stark is grappling with his sense of self, so is the country that he and most of the other Avengers hail from. Just like the threat to Gotham city in The Dark Knight Returns, the threat in Iron Man 3 is a terrorist manifestation of the sins of the past coming back to deliver judgement. In his broadcasts to the terrified people of America, the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) compares his acts of violence to violence done against other countries by American militarism and intervention. As Iron Man 3 further explores the nature of the Mandarin’s agenda, the film delivers an overt examination of the nature of terrorism and how a culture of fear is so easily constructed and exploited for political gain. In terms of the way foreign otherness is frequently portrayed so regressively in mainstream pop culture, Iron Man 3 is surprisingly subversive for how well it plays on audience assumptions.
But in what way? These are pretty troubling signs, since it could suggest the filmmakers injected subtle 9-11 conspiracy theories. One of the vital questions is whether any counterarguments and rebuttals are made against the Mandarin's defense of his actions, and whether the heroes apologize for their country's "interventions", which surely allude to Iraq, and the sites I checked don't get into that. And The Scotsman says:
With a flair for the theatrical, Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin is work of barmy brilliance: an enigmatic, American-hating terrorist of indiscriminate racial origin who uses the cover of mass media to instil fear in the public while a small but dedicated army of genetically modified soldiers home in on the symbols of American imperialism.
Oh good grief, that sounds almost like contempt by the paper's writers.

Some of the reviews say that Kingsley's beard looks like bin Laden's. If only. It looks more like any beard seen on a Chinese/Japanese/Mongolian swordfighter from remote times, and the comics Mandarin is from China. But as discovered earlier, they're squandering even that potential in the movie by making him indicate he's American.

I also found an interview on Hitfix with Shane Black, where he spoke about opposition to using vile profanity in the screenplay and more about tailoring the film for Chinese distribution:
Turns out Tony Stark's alcoholism wasn't the only element of "Iron Man 3's" original screenplay that veered a little too sharply into adult territory. Indeed, writer/director Shane Black's penchant for using the f-word also required some intervention - by none other than his co-screenwriter Drew Pearce.

"We actually had to have a sit-down conversation about the fact that you couldn't say 'fuck' in a PG-13," said Pearce during the threequel's press conference on Monday.

[...] parents will be happy to know that the film does not, in fact, make use of the popular curse word, though in Black's estimation it also doesn't "pander" to that audience by excising all traces of adult sophistication.
But what if it panders to leftist and/or anti-American beliefs? They may not be able to use raw profanity in a PG-13 movie, but why is it okay to make it a leftist diatribe?
Also addressed during the Q&A was the much-reported-on Chinese version of the upcoming film ("We left out the giant dragon," joked Black), which will feature extra bonus footage tailored specifically for audiences in the emerging international market.

"Marvel would like to keep an element of surprise about that," said Pearce. "So when the inevitable versions of it feed back to us, you'll see exactly what it involved. But for the moment, I don't think we're allowed to talk about it."

"The Chinese version will be an interesting surprise," added Black. "We do know that there's additional footage that will be available in that version, which I'm sure will filter back here."
Oh, I'm sure a lot of people will be very interested to know just what's said in the extra scenes prepared for China, and they're not bound to be pretty. The dialogue is probably recorded in English but if China dubs its movies into local language, then what they say can only be learned by people who read lips.

And Variety's review reveals something more that doesn't reflect well on the PG-13 rating:
(Although clearly unintentional, the movie’s recurring images of severed limbs and burning bodies can’t help but strike a queasy note in light of the recent events in Boston.)
Now wait a second. They're reluctant to use raw profanity in a film purportedly for family audiences, yet they have no problem showing scenes of gore?!? If this were real life and on the TV news, that would be one thing. But this is a movie that they say is for the whole family, and then they inject something that could make any parent who finds out prior to tripping to the movie house nervous about taking the kiddies along? What's going on here?

After the jihad attack at the Boston Marathon, those scenes could probably backfire on the movie's chances of drawing in big crowds. As though it weren't bad enough that the movie's got potential anti-Americanism in store, they even have to be hypocritical about the age suitability rating. This movie sequel doesn't look like it was made by particularly responsible filmmakers.

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The more I hear about this movie, the more it sounds like a 9-11 conspiracy nutcase's wet dream come true. Ugh. It sounds like they also incorporated the politics of Extremis in addition to the story..

I'll definitely take a wait-and-see attitude. If Mandy's anything like al Qaeda-type terrorists -- complaining about American militarism/imperialism all the while behaving like 7th century barbarians in a 21st century world -- then there should be little popular sympathy for his anti-American views.

It sounds like Black is attempting to use Mandy as Warren Ellis's "John Pillinger" from the "Extremis" comics. We'll see how that works out.

Ultimately that's the approach I'm going to take, too.

On the bright side, at least they're not going to have John Pillinger in the movie.

I'll also try to wait and see what the finished product is like when the movie debuts.

There are many famous movie in this world.China is very much famous for creating gorgeous.If anybody do not have idea about chines language it is very much difficult to understand.

why learn Chinese?

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