Guardians of the Galaxy

August 2, 2014


The announcement that Marvel was truly cashing in its credibility chips – even moreso than they did with Thor, for despite that character being well known, introducing a whole intergalactic mythos is a far cry from following the origin of an earth bound superhero – with Guardians of the Galaxy, a little known (and unknown completely to me) property into the Cinematic Universe that has become the Hollywood juggernaut of the last 8 or so years, was a huge surprise to many. Giving a huge budget to little known character that were based in worlds entirely unknown and populating it with B list stars was a ballsy move, especially considering there’s little earth-based grounding to ease the transition. This significant departure from the normal formula is probably why this has been the most anticipated of the Marvel films in a while, if only because there was a huge question mark around how it would be received. Handing over co-writing and directing duties to James Gunn, who cut his teeth at micro-budget schlock studio Troma and whose directorial efforts have thus far been intriguing, if not always successful, idiosyncratic genre exercises. The fact that we get a pretty traditional space opera drenched in the kind of Whedonesque post-modern humour that’s been one of the keys to the success of the Marvel enterprise is almost disappointing in its obviousness. Not to say it isn’t enjoyable – it is actually very much so – but for those of us looking to see what this multi-film franchise could really do, it gives us a clearer idea of just what the limits are, even as it expands beyond what’s come before. Read the rest of this entry »

The LEGO Movie

February 12, 2014


When correspondents on the Fox Business channel did a segment complaining about The LEGO Movie’s bad guy being “President Business” and why Hollywood has to teach kids to demonize CEOs, it should have been a parody.  Charging what is basically a feature-length advert for a huge corporation’s product as some sort of anti-capitalist propaganda is so self-evidently absurd that only a dry wit or a complete lack of self-awareness an be responsible.  I have little doubt in my mind that it was the latter in this case, but I will give them some credit after having seen the film:  Though what they were suggesting was incredibly stupid, The LEGO Movie certainly defies easy “Right v Left” categorization.   Read the rest of this entry »