Iron Man opens today around the country, and more importantly, at Cinerama, here in Seattle. I know that this film is in fact playing at many other area cinemas {ones that you should all rush out and patronize this instant}, but when you are looking for a midnight show of the latest action-packed blockbuster (the night before everyone else goes to see it on it’s “opening night”) then you must seek out Cinerama. Now that I have adequately thanked Cinerama for allowing me to see Iron Man at midnight on May 1st/2nd…I move on.

Film Forecasts…this new format is something I call a “Film Forecast.” It is meant to give the reader an idea of how he or she might enjoy a particular film. It is specifically designed NOT TO: (1) spoil the movie by forcing the reader to inexorably march through an overly revealing scene-by-scene recap of the film; (2) tell you that my opinion is more accurate than yours and that I have the end-all-and-be-all say as to the quality of any particular movie; and, (3) forget that a bad (i.e. intellectually stunted, hideously campy or just formulaicly pandering) movie can still be fun to watch.

With that, I give you my, ironically, overly biased Forecast for Iron Man

What is it: A billionaire engineer/arms manufacturer (played by Robert Downey Jr.) has a life altering experience and becomes kind of a super hero.

At its best: Wow! Did I say “wow!” I think that it should be said that at this point it would be appropriate to say…WOW!

Really, At its BEST (10…yes 10; and no, I am not quick to give out 10’s): John Favreau does a wonderfully true-to-form take on the Iron Man lore from the pages of the Marvel comic. It is a blast, literally, from start to finish. Huge laughs, amazing effects, excellent acting, great interplay between the characters, good, evil, strippers, fast cars, and much much more. This is what you want when you go to the movies.

At its WORST (7): Enjoyable, action-packed, solid directing and acting. It’s still a super hero movie at its heart though and can’t escape that fact, leaving it to be a very entertaining action movie, but not “great cinema.”

Others like it: Spider-Man (1 and 2 more than 3), Batman Begins, Hulk (2003), I-Robot (which is not as good).

Who’s in it: Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac, Chaplain, Only You, Less than Zero), Jeff Bridges (Tucker, Seabiscuit, The Big Lebowski, Starman), Gywneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love, Sliding Doors, Se7en), Terrence Howard (Hustle and Flow, Idlewild)

Who DIrected it: John Favreau (Elf and Zathura…he also acts (Swingers, Wimbledon, Rudy)

How long is it: 126 minutes

Home Community Film Forecast: Iron Man at Cinerama in Seattle