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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Speed Racer,’ Tribeca Film Festival

I’m off to see Iron Man [opens May 2] in a little bit. Even as a non-comic-book reader, I don’t know that much about the character, certainly not as much as I know about Superman or Batman, I guess mostly because there never was an Iron Man TV show or movie when I was a kid. (My comic-book-fanatic brother is attending the screening with me so I can get his perspective on the movie.) But the buzz I’ve been hearing from some fellow critics who’ve seen the film already is that it’s excellent, and that it’s all about Robert Downey Jr. Which is a good thing on my slate: I think he’s brilliant, and I can’t wait to see him in this kind of role, which I never would have thought of him for. Apparently he’s a huge geek… which I never would have guessed, either, except that all us Xers are geeks by nature, aren’t we?

I don’t know what to make of Speed Racer [opens May 9]. I never saw the cartoon as a kid, and the trailer makes the film look like it’s all flash. I gotta hope that the fact that Emile Hirsch chose this role is a good sign — he doesn’t seem like the kind of actor who takes roles that don’t have some meat to them.

The rest of the week is all Tribeca Film Festival. The slogan of the festival this year is “Enjoy Responsibly” — there are some very funny little promos running before the films that warn of the dangers of being a “film junkie” — and I’m trying to keep that in mind. Which doesn’t mean I wasn’t out of the house by 7:30am this morning so I could make a 9am screening. Oy.

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