Trashy People, Trashy Topics But One Helluva Good Movie

I could care less if a faded and jaded country star ever had an affair (while underage or at any time) with a big time baseball player. If a teenage Disney sensation slaps her fans in the face by posing for a trashy cover on a national magazine. It makes no difference to me if flashy actresses and kinky socialites flame out on drugs and booze or if an actor in a respected crime series tanks his career with heroin and a pharmacopia of other substances. Frankly, none of those stories merits any longer mention than I've just made of them here.

We create icons in this country like shooters posting paper targets on a range and blast away at them with the same stony-faced glee. The difference is, target shooters just want to throw a little lead and punch a few holes, while many of us ache to see celebrity careers shredded.

When I first became aware of Robert Downey Jr., he was already self-immolating with drugs and I dismissed him as just another burnout who'd be found with his brain pan-fried in an alley some day.

After tonight, boy am I glad he went straight.

Iron Man is a damn fine movie but, more than that, it's a testament to a guy who showed up all of us who wrote him off as just another Hollywood loser.

Iron Man has heart. It rockets along from the opening scenes all the way to an after-the-credits bit that, while downplayed, suggests a terrific sequel is in the works. Downey Jr's Tony Stark is a pleasure to watch if for no other reason than the jubilation mixed with boyish wonder shining on his face when he brings his super creature alter-ego to life. In much the same way as he resurrected his career.

Heres to a guy who deserves the round of applause he received in the theatre tonight. Thanks for bringing us a new hero. And on your terms, not ours.

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Comment by Doug M. Cummings on May 5, 2008 at 3:56am
One of the sports guys in the Chicago Tribune just ran a lengthy piece this morning bashing Clemens and all the other high-dollar athletes who are/have been involved in scandal. So what? Articles like that just pander to the bitter ("those jocks have it all while I have nothing") and the better-than-thou ("if I had their money I'd give it to the poor, not some hooker!") and accomplish nothing.
Comment by Dana King on May 5, 2008 at 3:01am
I share your attention span for celebrity jock sniffing; I only care because the coverage uses space that might better be spent on something worth knowing. (I realize what's "worth knowing" is in the eye of the beholder.) Robert Downey has been no exception, but his situation held a tinge of sdaness for me. He's a exceptional actor of great talent who has pissed away what should have been the prime of his career, surfacing from rehab only long enough to show everyone what they've been missing. His demons are his own, and he has had opportunities to overcome them that are denied to most. No tears shed there. Still, let's all hope he's turned the corner. Mostly for his sake, but the rest of us stand to gain a lot of entertainment from a straight Robert Downey.

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