Monday, November 10, 2008

Your diet needs more iron, man!

First, there was the brilliance that was Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's brain trusts parted ways to create two spin-offs: Cinematic Titanic and RiffTrax!. This past weekend, I got to watch the...riff track (?)... to Iron Man.

For the most part, I enjoyed it. The technology seemed easy to use...the track only slipped out of synch once, and not by much. Most of the riffs were as dryly witty as MST3K veterans have come to expect.

There were two things, however, that I could have done without.

The first were frequent quips--mostly at the beginning--about Robert Downey Jr.'s former drug use. This is low-hanging fruit as humor goes, and in my opinion, there's nothing funny about it. I have friends in recovery, and it seem like he should get some credit for having been sober for several years now. Then again, it's hard to say, but it's possible that he would actually find these jokes funny. He seems to have a healthy sense of humor about himself.

The other thing that bothered me were the cracks implying that the character of Pepper Potts was stupid. This just doesn't jive with that character at all, or with what I know of Gwyneth Paltrow.

My favorite moment involved the quote in the title of this post. Another was when a "Sherlock Holmes deerslayer cap" was mentioned among the silly-looking hats that Tony Stark might wear.

On the one hand, RiffTrax! is taking on harder targets than MST3K ever did, just by riffing on good movies that people actually like. This can lead to trying too hard, where the badness of a B movie often speaks for itself. On the other hand, all movies require a certain suspension of disbelief, and we have probably all riffed on even our favorite films in this way.

Either way, we are lucky to still have the wise-asses of Deep 13 sitting in the back of the theater with us.

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