As for movies, I just saw No Place on Earth, about several Jewish families in the Ukraine who hid out in caves to avoid the Nazis. It was very good, though I had slight trouble understanding one of the relatives when he was speaking.
On Sunday I voted, then went to see Iron Man 3. I liked it better than Iron Man 2, but not as much as The Avengers. MAJOR SPOILERS below:
I liked how the movie began with Tony Stark's voiceover, for it reminded me of Shane Black's previous movie with Robert Downey Jr, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which I loved. The voiceover soon disappeared once the action picked up, although it was amusingly reprised in the scene after the credits ended.
I was pleased that Tony Stark did more fighting out of his suit, or with only part of his suit working. That made things more challenging and impressive. He was also hampered by his PTSD and insomnia. It could have been as annoying as his self-destructive behavior in Iron Man 2, but it managed to be sympathetic. I liked that Pepper finally got to do more than just lecture Tony or be a damsel in distress. I enjoyed the scenes with the kid, because his reactions to Tony having anxiety attacks were quite funny. I liked the CGI effects for the Extremis soldiers when they fought, but when I noticed that their clothes regenerated along with their limbs, it took me out of it. I mean, if they were shape-shifters like Odo's species in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it would be okay, but if the clothes are actual clothes instead of illusions on their skin, then it doesn't make sense for them to grow back after explosions and fire. But that's just nitpicking.
Somewhere, months or perhaps a year ago, I recall reading internet spoilers/rumors about this movie, saying that Ben Kingsley wasn't playing the Mandarin, but actually a figurehead for the real Mandarin played by Guy Pearce. Luckily I'd forgotten this when I watched the movie, so "Trevor Slattery" still came as a surprise to me. But as I ponder my distant memory of the rumored storyline, I'm surprised by how accurate it turned out to be. Though I'm sure the filmmakers didn't want this plot point revealed, I wonder why they decided to go around denying that the Mandarin was in the film at all, which they did for a while. It reminds me of the secrecy about the villain in the Star Trek sequel. Is he Khan? Is he not Khan? Why give audiences a pointless run around? Why not just own up to it? These sequels are guaranteed to be hits because of the prior films, regardless of the villains featured. Fans knowing the plot already certainly didn't stop other franchises like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter from being successful. Now that many movies premiere overseas first, avoiding spoilers will become impossible.
I do worry every time that Robert Downey Jr. gets cast in another film, because I keep thinking he's got plenty of franchises already, and I want to see the next Sherlock Holmes film.