This afternoon, Granny babysat for the youngest children and Granddaddy took the rest of us to see Iron Man. It seems like Granny always has to sit out the movie outings, but it really is her preference. See, Granny has some form of movie narcolepsy that causes her to fall asleep whenever she sits down to watch a movie. She has had it for as long as I can remember. When we were little, she would sit down with the best of intentions and be snoring fifteen minutes into it. My youngest brother, who used to be the poster boy for impish mischievousness, would slither from his seat to the floor. Once he made it to the floor, he would disappear and reappear several rows away, like a gopher on a golf course. The middle brother and I had a choice. Ignore the escapee until Helen Reddy was singing again or wake our mother to report the delinquent. Waking our mother was a gamble, because she didn’t care if Kermit was walking on those strange looking legs and was likely to send me to fetch the giggling gopher. When VCRs became a fixture in every home, my mother rejoiced. It may take her three or four tries, but now she sees the entire movie. We don’t even put popcorn in her hair any more.
I don’t need to review Iron Man when everyone else has already sung the praises of this latest comic book movie. Critics would have liked less screen time devoted to the creation of the suit while everyone else just enjoyed the movie. The people who sat through the entire long, long credits ALL looked like they spend more than a little time sitting at a computer. When the shadowy figure on the screen spoke, the audience actually squealed with glee at the recognition of the easily identifiable voice. Noah was a little confused at the excitement of several audience members. “So, there’s gonna be another movie with Iron Man?” Oh, Noah, this is the ERA of the comic book movie. The comic book geeks of yesterday are today’s movie audience. Instead of being the oddballs who wore pointy ears instead of playing sports, we are being wooed by movie studios. They pull us in with the nostalgia of familiar characters, but they capture us by making the stories about our mid-life anxieties. The fuzzy line between the good guys and the bad guys, the flawed and damaged characters and the absence of easy plot resolutions all make the fictional superheroes completely real. Comic book movies are a flight of fantasy and a visit to the therapist’s couch all at the same time. The previews were unmemorable except for one. I had goosebumps during the preview for The Dark Knight. I love summer movie season.