3 stars (out of 4)

Released 2013

I went into this without seeing IRON MAN 2.  Fortunately, I had seen THE AVENGERS last year.  Viewing the THE AVENGERS should be considered a prerequisite for this film, as there are many references to a traumatic event that happened in New York in the past that the audience is assumed to have knowledge of.

What I liked especially about this current installment of IRON MAN was the really creative use of the mechanical suits.  Let’s face it, watching a super hero fighting in a faceless power suit can get old after a while.  Therefore, I enjoyed seeing that the suit could be used fully or partially, defensively or offensively; pretty much every imaginable permutation was on display.

My only half-joking complaint is that this movie may be offensive to US presidents and vice presidents.  I could understand if Mr. President was not physically strong or athletic, but he should have seemed a little bright, at least.  Here, he was depicted as nothing more than a damsel in distress; he was not afforded even one smart line of dialogue.  For other reasons, I also found the actions of the vice president to be unbelievable…

The Sessions

3 stars (out of 4)

Released 2012

Winning performances by John Hawkes and Helen Hunt as thoroughly likeable and relatable characters in this true story of a paraplegic man who hires a sex surrogate.