Danny Boyle makes good movies. Sometimes he makes great ones. This one isn't great, but it's certainly a ride. I went into it with some idea of what to expect from Filmspotting reviews and such; I think I was bracing for something like Inception. It's not really that, but there are some similarities; it can be a little difficult to tell what's really happening and what isn't, and there's quite a bit of jumping around, but the narration helps to keep it mostly straight. It's visually interesting and exciting, but the characters make some strange turns, and it all just falls together a bit ridiculously by the end. I'm just gonna end this one with this: Rosario Dawson knows what you want.
Mud's great. It definitely rides on the quality of its actors. It's probably the best I've seen from Matt McConaughey, Michael Shannon's in it, other dudes from Boardwalk Empire and Deadwood both make appearances, one of the main characters is a kid from The Tree of Life, and Reese Witherspoon's okay I guess. With that lineup as the base, Jeff Nichols crafts an endearing, emotional film only tangentially similar to Beasts of the Southern Wild (which I liked a bit less than this in retrospect). It's got friendship building, violence, action, budding and broken romance, and a lot of water with snakes in it. I'd say that's a winning formula. Definitely catch this one.
Iron Man 3
Shane Black made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It's not only an awesome movie, it also features Iron Man himself (RDJ). Makes sense to have him pick up the pieces left by Jon Favreau (who appears in this movie as comic relief). I liked the second film well enough but only saw it once. No desire to see it again. This one here has shades of that one, but it does it all a lot better, with a much more interesting villainous angle and a much more human Tony Stark. Still, it's a little hard to believe Tony's emotional plight with his constant, rapid-fire verbal deflections; but it wouldn't be an Iron Man film without that. The little tie-ins to the rest of the Marvel movie-verse (mainly Avengers) are fun and serve the plot well enough. Ben Kingsley's Mandarin works better than I thought it would, but perhaps not for the reason you might think going into it. I liked it but I wouldn't put it over the first film. The initial ending credit sequence though, is fantastic. Nice post-credits tag too.