dr erskine said he chose steve for the serum because of his kindness and courage to cover for the fact he read steve’s enlistment form and realized this fucker’s birthday is the fourth of july
(via theirastra)Posted on August 17, 2014 at 7:44 AM
Posted on August 17, 2014 at 6:58 AM
god, ANON, i could kiss your little gray face and snuggle your shiny sunglasses against my bosom. i am so, so tempted to try and put together a super coherent srs bsns meta-esque thing about it for you, but also, i have been wanting to do that for, like, a year, and should probably not kid myself, and don’t want to leave you hanging longer than i have already left you hanging, so this is just going to be me, babbling, about feelings (i hope you see this, this is the best question anyone has ever asked me).
i need to clarify first of all that i fucking love iron man 2, i am probably iron man 2’s second-biggest fan after jon favreau, it’s my third-favorite marvel film overall (after IM3 and cap2), which is probably my most actual #unpopular opinions stance other than, like, “i don’t care about the beatles.” people aren’t wrong that it’s excessively bro-y and insufficiently critical of bro culture, people aren’t wrong that it’s a giant fucking mess and probably at least 20 minutes longer than it needs to be, people aren’t wrong that the “plot” is, um, mostly stupid and the villain is forgettable even by mcu standards. but i love it.
partly this is because i hate the art of filmmaking so my standards for movies are really weird and nonsensical. partly this is for a host of little things i think are just delightful, like every line out of sam rockwell’s mouth and how little nick fury respects tony stark (septembriseur recently pointed out to me that one of the most “off” things about tony in avengers is the difference in how people, especially nick fury, relate to him, and, like, YEAH, nick fury doesn’t scornfully make fun of tony stark to his face even once in avengers, like ???? bullshit). but a lot of it has to do with the fact that my dad is a pretty shitty person and i will give almost anything bonus points for letting me connect to it on that level. i like to be open about my biases!
if iron man 3 is about the demons we create, the first two iron mans are, to a significant extent, about the demons we inherit: what they do to us, but also what they lead us to do the world, and how a monster doesn’t have to be of our own making to be our responsibility. it’s how dad did it, it’s how america does it, and tony’s life has no purpose except rectifying those injustices to whatever extent he can. they’re also movies about legacy. in standard mcu style, they are endearingly unsubtle about this: next time you watch them, keep track of how often that word pops up. in the first one, it’s usually about future legacies: tony’s, stark industries’s. but in IM2, it goes both ways.
in IM2 — where tony tells the audience at the stark expo “it’s about legacy; it’s about what we choose to leave behind for future generations” within literally the first five minutes of the movie — the nominal villain inherits his animosity towards the stark family from his father, and is to a large degree carrying his vengeance out on tony because howard happens to be dead. b-list bad guy hammer, meanwhile, literally refers to howard stark as “a father to us all, and to the military-industrial age.” the ghost of howard stark looms large in this movie; they disappoint, they leave a mess, they die but they don’t.
the place he looms closest, of course — the moment his presence flickers into something almost beyond the spectral — is when a long-forgotten blooper reel lets tony see his father telling him: what is and will always be my greatest creation is you. i’ve seen people read that line as the moment tony realizes his father did care about him after all, and i cannot get behind that reading at all. when talking about howard with coulson, earlier, he says, “he never told me he loved me; he never even told me he liked me,” this does nothing to contradict that. “you are my greatest creation” isn’t “i love you,” or even “i like you.” in this context, it’s conditional, contingent on tony’s scientific brilliance which will let him carry out something howard started while howard preemptively takes credit from beyond the grave. and, please: tony stark doesn’t need anyone to tell him he’s smart. that’s the one thing about tony stark everyone, including tony, agrees on.
a lot of people, talking about that clip, focus on that line, or on the probably representative moment where he brusquely calls his wife to get young tony out of his hair. i haven’t seen much attention paid to the shots we get of howard being unprofessional, rude, drunk while others are trying to get something done and go the fuck home for the night — of acting, in other words, a lot like the kind of asshole we’ve spent the past hour watching tony embody. tony is a fucking nightmare to everyone around him in iron man 2, and it’s because he’s dying, but it’s also because he’s an adult baby with the coping mechanisms of a bratty thirteen-year-old (at best). some of that is howard’s fault, but a lot of it is his, because that’s the thing about the demons you inherit: at some point they become yours. and sometimes, at some point, you become them. that old film reel is the ghost of christmases past, present, and future all at once: it lets us see where tony came from, and it gives tony a sudden brutal glimpse of where precisely he is and where he’s going.
because this is a movie about legacy, and the reason i’ve spent so long talking about howard stark when you asked me about the strawberries scene is because that, i think, is part of what fuels the strawberries scene, which immediately follows the message from howard. i love the strawberries scene because tony watches his father kindle in him a spark of recognition that has to be uncomfortable, watches his father say something howard probably thought was a nice thing to say to your kid — what better compliment could a narcissist conceive of than “you remind me of me?” — and decides: that’s not the way he wants to be remembered.
and it’s funny, because it’s the big stuff that almost came easier. in the first movie, he decided he didn’t want stark industries to be remembered as a set of war profiteers, and done, shut it down, i am iron man, there is only this, no looking back. stark industries doesn’t manufacture weapons anymore, and this moment takes longer to get to, comes more clumsily to fruition: this is the moment he decides it’s not enough to be a Great Man if you’re not also a good person. it’s the moment when he decides that if he is dying, he doesn’t want pepper to remember him the way he remembers his father.
so he goes to fix things with pepper.
and it goes terribly.
Posted on August 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM
text post meme: howard stark edition
Because she is my favorite.
(via scaredystark)Posted on August 6, 2014 at 10:31 AM