By: Conner James - MSTv
The US has issued international players of the online MOBA game, League of Legends athlete visas, effectively recognizing the video game as a professional sport. The visas will allow gamers to play in tournament matches, recognized as legitimate athletes.
Players have been issued with P-1 visas, intended for "individual athletes".
Developer Riot Games has been campaigning for players to be recognised as sporting professionals.
The move has been described as "groundbreaking" for eSports, a growing community of professional gamers.
Team manager Michael O'Dell said the Canadian player's application took "several months".
"Now Alberto can stay in the USA and practise and fly in and out of the country without worrying that he would be refused entry," he said.
Riot Games put the team in touch with an immigration lawyer who took up the case.
"The lawyers had to go back and forth with US Immigration for several months to get everything in place, especially understanding that this is a sport," said Mr O'Dell.
In recent years eSports has grown rapidly and top players can win millions of pounds in prize money.
League of Legends has more than 40 million players worldwide.
The biggest tournaments are attended by tens of thousands of fans and receive coverage on dedicated TV channels.
Winners of the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship starting in September will take $1 million (£662,000) in prize money.
The US embassy in the UK states that individual athletes with P-1 visas "may be admitted for five years and a team for a period of six months".
This is from a post on a friend's blog, and this was the impetus for this post
"Thor vs Superman A highly debatable argument. We’re literally gonna fight at this geek table. What do you think? Who wins?"
My take on this fight...
Anyone familiar with this matchup knows the players and their power sets. You also know that their powers & limitations have changed over the intervening years. For the purposes of this melee, I’m going with the Superman & Thor from the mid-to-late-90s; the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Superman and the post-Donald Blake Thor. I won’t be giving a blow-by-blow of “how the fight could happen" or “how the fight should have gone down". I’m just going to tell who I think COULD win and why.
A little more background into the players: first, Spuerman.
Superman’s powers had grown monumentally over the years since his creation in 1938, especially in the Silver Age of comics. They’d gotten to the point where writers were telling stories where Superman could read lips while watching a conversation light-years away. Not only that, he could even hear the conversation. Most surprising of all, he was strong enough to move entire planets, if the need arose. The Crisis on Infinite Earths helped to reign in those truly awesome powers. When the DC Universe pieced itself together after the Crisis in 1985-86, it was with a more “believable" Superman. One who couldn’t move planets, but was still immeasurably strong. Whose vision powers were still amazing, but had limitations. It is THIS Superman who will be fighting out of the blue corner.
In the red corner, we have The Mighty Thor, God of Thunder. The Thor of the Marvel Universe has also had his powers and limitations altered over the decades since his first appearance in 1962. For those not familiar with the tragedy of Thor in Marvel comics, let me try to sum it up. Thor is a demigod, the son of Odin, Allfather and ruler of the Nine Realms of Asgard, and Gaea, the Spirit of the Earth, or Midgard. Thor was tasked to be the guardian and protector of the people of Midgard, and, through his mother, gained greater strength and stamina while on Earth. He was also a vain and arrogant man. As a punishment for his hubris, Odin banished him to Earth, and bound his soul to that of human doctor, Donald Blake. Blake was, to use an antiquated term, lame. One of his legs didn’t function properly, thus he required the use of a cane. While in Norway, he came upon a walking stick, struck it against the ground and became Thor, the walking stick becoming the magical hammer, Mjolnir. One of the limitations placed upon Mjolnir at this time was should Thor and the hammer be physically separated for more than 60 seconds Thor would revert back to Dr. Blake. This limitation would be removed some time later, after, presumably, Thor learned the lesson of humility Odin set for him. Thor and Dr. Blake were then themselves physically separated, Thor to live his life, Blake to live his, although this separation would take some years to be accomplished. This is the Thor competing in the matchup.
(I said I’d sum it up. I didn’t say it’d be short…)
Thor has many powers associated strictly with Mjolnir, but he has a pretty impressive, though limited, power set in his own right. Through Mjolnir Thor can open portals to other dimensions (although mostly to Asgard or one of the other Nine Realms), control and manipulate lightning and cause thunder-like sonic booms, and fly (although “fly" might be a bit of an overstatement, he basically throws the hammer and holds on to the strap as the hammer flies through the air with no control, so it’s less like flying, per se, and more like throwing himself to his destination). Now WITHOUT Mjolnir, he is still incredibly strong and agile, having been trained as a warrior-god for centuries.
Now, on to the matchup.
Both men are pretty evenly matched, physically. Both are immensely strong. Both can take a punch from someone as immensely strong as they. Superman, however, has a distinct advantage here, because he has the wider array of powers: being able to move at inhuman speeds, a variety of vision powers (although how x-ray vision®™ helps against Thor is debatable), his “arctic breath®™", and, most importantly, flight. As mentioned before, Thor can’t fly. He just throws the hammer, hangs on for the ride, and then whirls the hammer to slow fall to the ground.
In melee combat, Thor has, I think, the upper hand simply because of Mjolnir. Mjonir is, by nature, a magical weapon. As long as Thor has access to it, he’ll probably come out ahead. He has an even greater advantage if the combat takes place on land. However, if Superman can separate Thor and Mjolnir, and he can take the fight to the air, I think he could pound Thor to unconsciousness. I would give a slight (and I stress SLIGHT) edge to Superman in melee combat, provided he can overcome, or avoid being waylaid by, Mjolnir.
In ranged combat, I think I would give the edge to Thor. While Superman has his vision and breath weapons, neither would halt the advance of a demigod on a mission. Thor, on the other hand has lightning he can call to his aid. MAGICAL lightning. He also has Mjolnir, a weapon as good at distance as it is at close-quarter combat. Although, as before, if Superman can separate Thor from Mjolnir, a ranged combat duel would probably be a moot point.
Overall, I would conservatively give the edge to Thor, simply because of Mjolnir. As long as he has that, Supes doesn’t stand a chance. However, if you’re just looking for a toe-to-toe, bare-handed fist-fight, it’s a win for Superman.
Reproduced from: theadvocate.com
It's sometimes difficult to think of "The Last of Us" as a game, as opposed to a series of yelps, skipped breaths and sighs of relief. This is not a "fun" game. It is an emotionally and mentally exhausting journey that dips its toe into every zombie movie cliche in the book and, yet, still manages to come out the other side feeling vital and powerful.
Twenty years have passed since the cordyceps fungus (it's a real species, look it up if you dare) evolved to target human prey. Those infected with the fungal spores became aggressive, mindless carriers, and soon the few survivors were holed up in militaristic ghettos where cops shoot first and ask questions later. When a smuggler named Joel gets saddled with his most unusual cargo yet, a young girl named Ellie who might be humanity's last hope. The two of them must brave the apocalyptic world outside the city gates.
The setup is nothing zombie aficionados haven't heard before, but "The Last of Us" takes its time to makes the player care about its heroes. Before you know it, the simple scare tactics of zombies pouncing from behind corners feels like small potatoes beside the mounting dread of trying to protect Ellie against increasingly stacked odds. Despite growing up post-apocalypse, Ellie is just a regular 14-year old girl. She hums to herself. She stops to tie her shoe. She gets excited when she sees garden gnomes for the first time. Over the course of the game's 15-hour story those little details add up, making the burden of protecting her feel all the more real.
From a gameplay standpoint, "The Last of Us" is as trusty-and-rusty as the zombie tropes it employs, giving gamers a finely honed but streamlined take on the run-and-gun cover-based shooter combat we've seen so many times before. However, limited ammo and supplies mean that sneaking past enemies is always preferred, and running from a direct confrontation to attack from a better position is often the only way to survive.
Joel is a handyman at the workbench and can slap together the junk he finds into useful upgrades and items. Alcohol and rags can be used to make medical kits or Molotov cocktails, for instance, and guns can be given scopes and faster reload times. It's a well-implemented system, but no matter how armed to the teeth Joel becomes, it's usually a better idea to just sneak by. Fortunately, the player can also upgrade Joel's hearing, which lets him "see" enemies via sound waves like a lo-fi Daredevil.
"The Last of Us" features a new spin on multiplayer, as the typical online death match becomes something of a resource-gathering game. Basically, the supplies you manage to grab in between blowing away the enemy team go toward keeping your own faction alive. Together with a team of (hopefully) cooperative teammates, you'll try to keep enough supplies flowing to the people back home to survive a pre-set amount of time. It's a clever way to raise the stakes and inject some of the anxiety that makes the single player mode so tense.
"The Last of Us" succeeds at many things. It takes the increasingly tired zombie genre and makes it feel new again with a dash of real-world science and a couple of very human heroes. It scares the player by giving him too many zombies and too few bullets with which to kill them. Most of all, it makes the player feel something. Anxiety. Desperation. Hope.
No, "The Last of Us" isn't a fun game. It is, however, a game that will stick with you long after you put down the controller.
By: Associated Press
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer fight for justice in their upcoming film, "The Lone Ranger," but their ancestors did it for real.
Genealogy research website Ancestry.com revealed Wednesday the two actors descend from historic American freedom fighters.
Hammer plays the Lone Ranger and Depp portrays his Native American sidekick, Tonto. Yet the site's historians discovered that it's Hammer with the native roots. The 26-year-old actor is a descendent of Cherokee leader and peace advocate Chief Kanagatucko, who was known as "Old Hop" or "Stalking Turkey" because of his age and gait.
Researchers said Depp's eighth great-grandmother was Elizabeth Key, the first slave in the American colonies to sue for her freedom and win. It happened in 1656 in Virginia, where some of Depp's ancestors have lived since the early 1600s.
Truth, Justice and a 7/11 nearby. That says Superman/America!
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
This new millennium has brought a whirlwind of changes to our ever shrinking world. Changes, ranging from the microscopic to technologies to ease our daily life trials, can now add the determent of the once mighty protector of Earth to the continuous assault of new progresses.
Can it be true? Yes, unfortunately it is.
However strange, it seems the 21th century will be known for being the days when the noble man of steel, Superman, was considered a menace to the human race - and actively pursued as such.
And just as strange, for the times we currently live in, these actions seem to make perfect sense. Or at least, this is what the producers of the new film, "Man of Steel," would have you believe.
In this Friday's worldwide release of the new film, Superman will finally be given a "reality check" for his place in a much more jaded and distrustful world.
Questions will be asked of those living within the film world, (and to the moviegoers likewise), as to how the world would react to a being, living among us, with powers and abilities capable of making him a world power unto himself.
Would this being be considered a terrorist? Would he be hunted down as a constant threat to national, if not worldwide security? These are fair questions considering one of the most intense scenes involves Superman being handcuffed and under military arrest, by his own choice.
Issues like this which will be explored and addressed in this newest trek into the varied 75 year history of Superman. And in a sense, the tackling of these issues seems way overdue in any medium.
Ever since his creation in 1938, this strange visitor from another planet was just kind of "accepted" into the world, albeit fictional, at face value. Despite Superman being an individual capable of throwing people, or ocean-liners, around at a whim, no one was ever shown distrustful of him, or running in abject terror from him using his abilities.
In addition, even once his alien origins were reveled, it seemed a simple smile and an "oath" to help humans with matters they couldn't address for themselves, was enough to keep mankind placated.
Well, we three-dimensional beings all know that a world like that just wouldn't exist. And its the more realistic possibilities concerning a being of inconceivable power, walking among us, that will be touched on in the new film.
Henry Cavill, the newest wearer of the "S" insignia believes Superman, in the real world, would be absolutely terrifying to the public. He says, "In the previous movies, it was just kind of accepted that he was a superhuman, but what would happen if this dude really did exist? If he was discovered, he would probably be put in a room and experimented on."
With justifiable feelings, Cavill exclaims that his version of Clark Kent/Superman begins very low-key and nondescript. At the beginning, this version is just a drifter trying to find his place in the world. His Clark doesn't wear glasses, work at The Daily Planet or have the familiar blue and red tights convenient to do a quick -save the day- change. The movie seeks to portray Clark Kent/Superman as a lonely outcast and someone with somewhat of an identity crisis. But, don't expect a revisit of the Batman/Dark Knight pathos to play out here.
"It's just a more realistically realized version of Superman. We tried to apply logic to the story. He lives in our world. That's it. It's a straightforward protocol. We put him in our world without it being a joke. If we had made it a little lighter, it would feel like Superman of the past," said film director Zach Snyder.
This Kent/Superman lives in a very jaded and immediate world where information produces on cue. In response, producers and directors of the film did away with the clumsy and wimpy Clark of days past.
This Clark had to be more cautious in protecting himself from discovery. He begins by working odd jobs all over the world - while still serving as a silent protector - based on the values and principals instilled in him by his adoptive parents.
And even more differences have been added to more ground the character in reality. Scenes of Clark seeking solace in a church, Clark/Kal-El's questioning of his loyalties amid Earth's invasion by his people and his finding of his innate "humanity" and a sense of acceptance are all explored within the film.
Even the relationship between Lois and Clark/Superman is explored slightly differently in this newest take. Lane, played by Amy Adams, still retains her aggressive, confident female markers. But unlike previous incarnations, she finds that Superman needs her, ofttimes more than she needs him.
"The dynamic is a little different," says Adams. "I loved how this relationship between Clark and Lois allowed for a subtle chemistry and mutual respect to develop. And I just thought there was something different to be explored within their relationship that we're able to touch on a little bit in this film. She believes him, and that's really rare for Lois. There's an authenticity there."
But will all these changes transition to moviegoers acceptance and box-office gold? Warner Bros hopes so as fans worldwide wait for the June 14th release.
Warner Bros hopes that this film will launch a film franchise for them; much like Marvel did with last year's Avengers and the cinematic universe leading up to it. But, will this newer, more actualized feeling of a benevolent, all-powerful alien being here to help humanity, change all our set memories and allow us to accept a more contemporary and relevant Superman?
I, for one don't think Warner Bros is alone in being fairly confident that will happen.
Matt Smith, just before his iconic run as the 11th
Reproduced from: BBCNewsbeat
As soon as Matt Smith announced he would be leaving Doctor Who, speculation started on who would be the next actor to take on the iconic role.
Current favourite at the bookmakers is Ben Daniels, at 4-1.
He has previously starred in the Netflix remake of House of Cards as well as Merlin and Law and Order: UK.
Other favourites include Him and Her actor Russell Tovey, Rory Kinnear from Skyfall and Ben Whishaw who also starred in the Bond movie as Q.
Olivia Coleman: 1st female Doctor?
Fellow Peep Show star, Olivia Coleman, who has just won two Bafta awards, is one of the women suggested to be the first female Doctor.
Jenny Colgan, who wrote the official Doctor Who novel, told the Today programme: "Anything is possible with casting.
"I love the fact that a woman is all we have to speculate about now. If they cast an actor of colour, nobody would even bat an eye, so I think the woman thing is the only thing left for people to get curious about."
Thomas Williams says, "whoever is the new doctor needs to be unknown. New to the scene and not a current personality!"
A lot of people want to see the return of David Tennant. While others think Idris Elba, Olivia Colman, Rob Sharpe or even Russell Brand would be brilliant choices.
Matt Smith's "spectacular" exit is yet to be revealed and producers say it will stay "under wraps".
They have confirmed he will return to BBC One screens in the 50th anniversary episode on Saturday 23 November.
He stands ready to protect humanity
By: Conner James - MSTv
The summer movie event of 2013, "Man of Steel" will hit theaters world-wide on June 14th. And Warner Bros has, for the most part, been very secretive about reveling too many details about the film. That is, until today.
The studio has just released a 13-minute "Man of Steel" featurette. The mini-documentary shows action segments not yet seen, interviews and behind the scenes footage.
In this all-new revision of the classic character, Superman takes a cue from the current comics and continuity aspects of from the past 25 years.
In the film, a young Clark Kent discovers is not of this Earth; and as such, is gifted with powers and abilities beyond mortal men. Growing up as an outcast and loner, young Kent journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.
However his origins find him first and Kent realizes the hero in him must reveal itself. If he is to save the world that adopted and accepted him from annihilation, Kent must become a Superman and the symbol of hope for all mankind.
The new movie, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), will be opening on June 14th. In the meantime, enjoy the mini-feature below.
The world's finest are coming in 2013!
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
Ok, now I'm psyched!! After seeing the newest trailers for next month's "Man of Steel" theatrical release and this fall's, "Batman: Arkham Origins" video game release, I'm in full DC fanboy tilt mode!
Let's start with the new Superman trailer, shall we? As more and more hints are reveled about the movie, the new preview shows earth in full invasion mode by Kryptonians looking for Kal-El/Superman.
The leader of the invasion, General Zod, seems to be broadcasting his ultimatum world-wide with the demand that Earth turn over Supes, or else..
No, this ain't your daddy's Richard Donner's "Superman the Movie," it seems. The nice and enthusiastic feel of that film is gone. This looks to be another summer blockbuster superhero adventure with alien invasions thrown. But this time, a whole superhero team isn't needed - the first and greatest of their kind will suffice.
Batman, on the other hand, will be doing some invasion of his own in this fall's, "Batman: Arkham Origins" video game. This third game in the incredibly brilliant and popular series presents a much younger Dark Knight, in the dawn of his career.
As expected, Bats is much more subject to failures, impulsiveness and violence towards his prey. But, no one will probably be complaining about that as this game will be showing first encounters with several of his arch enemies.
But, two great videos are worth all the words I could spout. So take a look at both and tell me you're not feeling the excitement! You're not?? What are you, dead or something???
By: Associated Press
The company unveiled the Xbox One, an entertainment console that wants to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies, sports and other entertainment. It will go on sale later this year, for an undisclosed price.
For the past two years, Microsoft's Xbox 360 has outsold its rivals. But it's been eight years since that machine came out, and Microsoft is the last of the three major console makers to unveil a new system. In those eight years, Apple launched the iPhone and the iPad, "FarmVille" rose and fell and tablets began to threaten desktop computers, changing how people interact with games and beyond.
Now, the stakes are high as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are all using their latest machines not only to draw gamers but also to command the living room. The goal is to extend their reach beyond loyal legions of hardcore gamers and to become as important to our lives at home as smartphones have become to our lives on the go.
Don Mattrick, Microsoft's president of interactive entertainment business, said the company has spent the past four years working on an "all-in-one home entertainment system."
At an hour-long unveiling at the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters on Tuesday, Microsoft executives used voice controls to switch back and forth seamlessly between watching live TV, listening to music, playing a movie and browsing the Internet - all while running apps for stuff like fantasy football and Skype chats on the side of the screen.
The Xbox One unveiling follows Nintendo Co.'s launch of the Wii U in November and Sony Corp.'s tease in February of the upcoming PlayStation 4. Each of the new consoles has shifted away from simply serving as gaming machines, as they incorporate streaming media apps and social networking features.
People will be able to connect their cable or satellite set-top box and watch TV through the Xbox One. It will have its own channel guide and allow viewers to change channels by voice command.
Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi demonstrated how the console switched quickly between channels after saying show names such as "Mary and Martha" or commands like "watch MTV." His voice command of "What's on HBO?" brought up the channel guide for HBO.
"No more memorizing channels or hunting for the remote control," Mehdi said.
The interface for the TV goes well beyond the functionality in the Wii U, which still requires users to press buttons to change the input source on the TV. Xbox One seamlessly flipped between games, movies and TV shows with voice commands.
In addition to the console, Microsoft unveiled a new version of its camera-based Kinect system with better motion and voice detection, including the ability to recognize faces, tell if you're smiling or talking and gauge your heart rate. In a demonstration, the new sensor detected up to seven people in front of it. Microsoft said the new Kinect will be included with the Xbox One and is deeply integrated into the system, but it won't necessarily always be watching users in their living rooms.
"There's the ability for you to manage the privacy settings so you can turn it off," Marc Whitten, Microsoft's chief product officer of interactive entertainment business, said in an interview in his office after Tuesday's presentation. "Just like the 360, the biggest thing for us is that you are in control of your privacy."
The company also introduced a more ergonomic Xbox controller, with a slightly different layout from the Xbox 360 controller and trigger buttons that vibrate. The new console will also add the ability to play Blu-ray discs, matching what Sony has in its older PlayStation 3.
The Xbox One won't require a constant connection to the Internet, but having it will be useful for many of the gaming and entertainment features. The Xbox has been popular largely because of its Xbox Live service, which lets users play games online with other players with annual plans that cost as much as $60 a year.
Despite talk that Microsoft might restrict the use of games previously owned by others, the company confirmed that the Xbox One will indeed play used games, but it didn't provide details on how that would work. It said games for the Xbox 360 won't work on the new system because the underlying technology is different, though the company said it will continue to make games for the older machine. Whitten said the Xbox 360 "is going to be incredibly vibrant for some time to come."
A multiyear agreement between Microsoft and the National Football League is in the works to develop new interactive viewing experiences for pro football games through such products as the Xbox One and Microsoft's Surface tablet computer. Fans will be able to watch games, chat with other fans, view statistics, access highlights in real time and gather fantasy information about players and teams - all on a single screen. For those who prefer multiple screens, fans can get an even deeper experience on mobile devices such as tablets.
Nintendo kicked off the next generation of gaming in November with the launch of the Wii U, the successor to the popular Wii system. The Wii U features an innovative tablet-like controller, though its graphics is on par with the previous-generation Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo said the console sold just 3.45 million units by the end of March, well below expectations.
Sony was next, teasing plans for its upcoming PlayStation 4 - without showing the actual box - at a February event in New York. The reaction to that console, which featured richer graphics and more social features, was mixed. The PS4 is expected by the holidays.
Microsoft didn't waste any time showing off the Xbox One console, new Kinect sensor and Xbox controller at the beginning of Tuesday's presentation.
In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark faces off against the threat of The Mandarin. This third, and possibly final, film, staring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Guy Pierce, and Ben Kingsley, does a great job with pacing and character development. Visually, the film is quite stunning. There were no slow or dead spots in the pacing of the story or plot.
That being said, the main gripe I have is the charactarization of the Mandarin. In the comics upon which the characters are based, the Mandarin is one of Iron Man's primary villains. He first saw print in Tales of Suspense #50 in 1964. His main weapons are 10 alien artifacts that he wears as rings on each of his fingers. The rings allow him to project energy off varying types, including fire, ice, wind, electricity, physical and mental force, among others. In the film, however, this is far from the way he's portrayed.
In the film, the Mandarin is portrayed as a terrorist, which is largely his modus operandi in the comics as well, however, in the comics, he's a quasi-mystic, portraying the alien origin of the rings as magic, knowing that they are, in fact, science. the alien origin of the rings, however, is not even hinted at in the film, nor are "The Ten Rings" mentioned, above and beyond being the name of the organization the Mandarin leads.
I have to preface what follows by stating that I am not, currently, a reader of Marvel comics in general, or Iron Man specifically, so much of my information here is 2nd hand. That being said, I believe most of the story elements in this film are pulled from more recent Iron Man and/or Marvel comics, specifically the Extremis procedure.
Not knowing much about the storyline in the comics, in the film, Extremis is an experimental procedure that allows the human body to heal itself after traumatic, sometimes even catastrophic injuries. It was developed by Maya Hansen, played by Rebecca Hall, who is a biochemical engineer and one-time lover of Tony Stark. Maya now works for Advanced Idea Mechanics, or AIM, the product of scientist Aldrich Killian, (Guy Pierce), a one-time fan of Tony Stark who, when we first meet him, suffers from a noticeable injury, but by his 2nd appearance is fully healed.
It turns out that Maya and Killian, through AIM, have made great strides in developing Extremis and are looking to enlist Stark in developing it further by asking Pepper Potts to try to get Stark Industries to ally itself with AIM. Pepper refuses citing the possibility of Extremis becoming weaponized. Those fears are realized when Happy Hogan is caught in the epicenter of an explosion at Graumann's Chinese Theatre, for which the Mandarin claims credit.
Stark vows vengeance against the Mandarin for putting Happy in a coma and the action in the story ramps up. Stark's home is destroyed as are many of the displayed armors. Surviving the attack at his home, Stark, beaten and exhausted, rockets, in damaged armor, to Tennessee, site of a previous Mandarin-type explosion not linked to the Mandarin. During his investigation in Tennessee, he befriends a young boy named Harley Keener, played by Ty Simpkins, who aids Stark in his investigation, giving him many key pieces of information about the small Tennessee town in which Harley lives.
The Mandarin continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. and the President, played by William Sadler, by breaking in to live television broadcasts and making threatening pronouncements to and about more upcoming threats against the country. The Iron Patriot, the former War Machine, Lt. Col. James Rhodes, is tasked to find the broadcast site the Mandarin uses to issue his threats and is captured by one the Extremis agents.
Harley aids Stark in repairing his damaged armor as well as Jarvis, the armor's artificial intelligence operating system, voiced by Paul Bettany. Jarvis leads Stark to a mansion owned by Killian where he meets the Mandarin, who it turns out is just an actor. Killian, it turns out, is not a pawn but the mastermind behind the Mandarin menace and the weaponization of the Extremis procedure.
It's at this point I renew my distaste of the treatment of the Mandarin as a villain in this movie. The Mandarin is not a petty functionary, but a menace in and of himself. He is one of the most powerful threats in the Marvel Universe and to see him portrayed as a figurehead, lowered to the level of a drug-addicted soccer hooligan is, to a comics reader like me, very aggravating.
If i were to give Iron Man 3 a grade, I'd give it 3.5 out of 5. It loses a point because of the Mandarin. I'm sorry, it's just hard to get my head around.