film

What should Robert Downey Jr. do now that his time as Iron Man has come to an end?

After the fallout of “Avengers: Endgame” Robert Downey Jr. has one of the most unique opportunities in the film game, he can choose to do whatever he wants with his time at this point. Any feature that has his name attached will likely garner more attention than most, even though his “Dolittle” didn’t quite mesh with audiences and critics, it still made over two-hundred million. Though I wouldn’t recommend big budget, overly CGI reliant tentpoles anymore. I would, however, recommend several options that could flavor the third act of his career in performance with bold, daring, choices. Or simply just weird and abstract roles. I’d recommend a future similar to the path that Daniel Radcliffe has taken, who went out of his way to choose downright insane, wildly fun, character pieces since leaving Hogwarts behind (My favorite being “Swiss Army Man” https://spacecortezwrites.com/2016/07/11/review-swiss-army-man-or-undead-harry-potter-farts-a-lot-paul-dano-talks-to-him-about-it/). Downey is no stranger to abstract or somewhat bizarre films, just look at “The Singing Detective” (https://spacecortezwrites.com/2017/12/16/review-the-singing-detective/) or “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” for a glance at some of his pre-Marvel Studios out-of-the-box roles. Below are just a couple of ideas I’ve been mulling lately.

Work with Mel Gibson

Okay, so we might as well get this one out of the way as some will outright reject any notion of Mel Gibson getting any work after his history of less than welcomed anti-semitic rants (obviously, not cool to say the least). However, it has been some time since then, and Gibson has apologized (http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1913028_1913030_1913025,00.html), and as far as I know he hasn’t had any further instances of hate speech, and I have to admit that I admire his skill as an actor and a filmmaker. Why then, you might be asking, should Robert Downey Jr. work with Mel Gibson specifically? Well, for starters, the two have been longtime friends who have helped each other out in times of strife. Gibson acutally helped to produce the earlier mentioned “Singing Detective” which was Downey’s first role after his bout with rehab (link below to article about said friendship). Personally, what I would want most from a film starring these two as leads, is either A) a modern Noir in the same vein as “Chinatown” with the two as detectives chasing down Macguffins in the rain with shootouts and gritty mystery afoot; or B) some sort of cop drama with the two as partners, but less in the stylized noir genre and more like Downey’s previous work in “Zodiac” for example. There’s a lot that could be done with either premise, but both sound like a roaring good time to me!

https://archive.jsonline.com/entertainment/newswatch/149496285.html/#:~:text=During%20a%202003%20interview%20at,he%20could%20return%20the%20favor.

A24?

As previously stated here on this blog many times before, my love for the film studio A24 is boundless. Regardless of whether or not each film they distribute will be a box office juggernaut or a penniless dud- they simply refuse to make normal, broad-based appeal films. They always choose fascinating and artistically divergent films from filmmakers with a voice and vision. Which is why I would love to see Downey star in a film distributed by A24. The possibilities are unlimited. Just look at fellow MCU star Scarlett Johansson’s abstract film “Under The Skin” (The sixth film in this link: https://spacecortezwrites.com/2020/05/03/quarantine-2020-catch-up-rapid-fire-reviews-3-politics-and-or-absurdity/) for an idea at the potential. Could you imagine what Ari Aster or Robert Eggers would do with Robery Downey Jr in a starring role? I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

Horror? Action?

While I feel like this category is the least likely, it’s also possibly the most enthralling of all the possibilities for me personally. If Downey got involved with the genre hits that have been cropping up more and more in recent years, I think there could be some excellent material for him to work with, plus I legitimately think his presence in these suggestions would better the films overall. If Jordan Peele, for example, wanted to work with Downey in a starring or supporting role in whatever horror concept he’s been stewing on as of late, I feel safely assured in the quality of that possible outcome. I also think it would be a real treat if Downey popped up in the next “Conjuring” sequel (mainline, not the spinoffs) as a Catholic priest, or even as one of the ghosts, or spirits, with a more involved role. That just seems like a good time. There’s also the possibility of him getting involved with the last of the planned “Halloween” sequels, “Halloween Ends”. I don’t quite know how he could fit in there- but damn it, I’d be happy if he showed up. Horror aside, it just struck me- What if Robert Downey Jr was in one of the next “John Wick” movies? Can you imagine it? What if he was a power player at the High Table? He could be a ruthless suit, or a gritty ringleader of some other faction within New York City or even the head of another major international city’s Continental! Or maybe just an old acquaintance of Mr. Wick’s that can assist him in his time of need? Awe man… now I really want him to be involved in the “John Wick” series…

Indie! Indie! Indie!

Maybe, however, RDJ just wants something … quieter? Something smaller, that speaks to our times, or simply a powerful drama about the human condition? He’s been nominated twice for the Oscars, but he has yet to take home the gold, maybe pairing with a critically acclaimed director for a good old-fashioned drama would merit him a shiny golden statue for his mantlepiece. There are a TON of filmmakers out there that could work with Downey to craft something truly unique, but the ones that immediately come to mind are Chloé Zhao, Martin McDonagh, David Lowery, or even Taika Waititi if he reverted to smaller scale drama/comedies like “The Hunt for the Wilderpeople” after his next Thor film. If he chose to go this route, I think we’d all be rewarded by the change in pace.

Well, there you have it! Those are just a few of my thoughts on the exciting future that awaits both audiences and Robert Downey Jr himself! Granted, this article is about a year and a half behind the crowd, but hey, I write ’em as they come to me. Whatever he chooses to do from here on out will be something to look forward to, that’s for sure! I’m still waiting on that third “Sherlock Holmes” movie if I’m being honest with you, but anyways, hope you had fun with all this RDJ speculation! Stay safe out there!

film

Review: Get Out

Written and directed by Jordan Peele of “Key and Peele” fame, “Get Out” is the directorial debut from the sketch show comedian. Peele seems to have done his horror homework because his first feature achieves what many movies in the genre fail to do; create an atmosphere of tension that doesn’t rely on jump-scares to unsettle the audience. This is the type of horror movie that I revel in, the kind that hints and nudges you from thinking “That’s kinda creepy..” and transforms into “Get out man! Just get outta there!” by the time the third act rolls around. I prefer psychological horror or thrillers more than the stereotypes of the genre that movies like “Paranormal Activity” or “Saw” suggest. To each their own though, my favorite horror film is still “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. “Get Out” is more of a blend of horror and comedy, but the comedy is used to great effect when the story needs it. Particularly from Rod Williams (Milton ‘Lil Rel’ Howery) Chris’ good friend and TSA agent who he frequently calls for a voice of reason, and a good laugh.

Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris Washington, a young photographer whose in a relationship with Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) and is about to head off to her parents house in the wealthy secluded suburbs. Chris is a little anxious while packing, Rose prods and he reveals his unease about the potential for racial tension, he asks, “do they know I’m black?” She paws off the comment saying that her parents aren’t racist, just friendly and awkward, forewarning Chris that her dad would have voted for Obama for a third time if he had the opportunity. He accepts that and is soon met on their doorstep with an amicable “We’re huggers!” from Rose’s father Dean (Bradley Whitford) and her mother Missy (Catherine Keener). In fact other than a few curiously worded statements from Rose’s father about his near genocidal hatred of deer and his father losing a spot on the 1936 Olympics team to Jesse Owens, (who famously won four gold medals in track and field and subsequently marring Hitler’s propaganda about the supposed greatness of the Ayran race) everything seemed well enough. That is, until he spots the other two black people on the property, Walter the groundskeeper (Marcus Henderson) and Georgina the maid in the house (Betty Gabriel).

Mood and feeling permeate the remainder of the plot as “Get Out” plays with our expectations and is measured in its pace, allowing us to become equally unsettled alongside Chris. Things ultimately ratchet up in intensity once Missy Armitage suggests trying her method of hypnosis to cure Chris’ “nasty little habit” of smoking. The film holds no blatant twists per se, things unfold at a clip where the true intentions of the Armitage clan are revealed in due time. I’ll leave the rest to be discovered upon watching, but it is a fascinating pairing of clever race relation anxieties and something a bit more… cerebral. What I loved about the film is how Peele has taken inspired cues from classics of the creepy variety to create something new and original. “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”, “Rosemary’s baby”, “The Stepford Wives”, “Misery”, and “The Shining” have all been referenced by Peele in interviews when asked about his influences and where he draws inspiration from and “Get out” is that much better for having the patience to shoot the film the way he did. He even noted that the original intent of the film when he wrote it was to make a point to prove that just because we elected a black man for president twice, the country wasn’t in some fairy-tale version of a post racial society. Hard to argue against that reality now, isn’t it?

Final Score: 1 Neurosurgeon, 1 hypnotist, and 1 dead deer