Guardians of the Galaxy is the summer blockbuster I’ve been waiting for for longer than I can remember.
The usual adjectives of effusive praise are appropriate: funny, clever, touching, and, of course, fun. While Marvel Studios has certainly found the formula for successful films, they’ve been progressively more and more serious and, worse, self-important. Guardians has the good sense to mock itself and its concept, which is likely due in large part to its star, Parks & Recreation‘s Chris Pratt, and writer/director James Gunn (Slither), and perhaps almost as large a part being that it’s relatively free of the Marvel Universe around which every other film it’s made snugly revolves. I doubt we’d see even Tony Stark using a space-rat as a make-believe microphone, especially in the first two minutes.
So Gunn and Pratt bring a delightfully refreshing sense of self deprecation to their film, Pratt playing the somewhat well-known Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, intergalactic swashbuckler. The promotional writeups describe him as a mix of Han Solo and Marty McFly, but I think Indiana Jones may be more appropriate, since they’re both adept at getting into and out of particularly sticky situations.
This time Star-Lord has snatched an orb of potentially unimaginable power, which puts him in the sights of nearly everyone across the galaxy, from assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to planetary ravager Ronan (Lee Pace) to Yondu (Michael Rooker), Star-Lord’s kind-of adopted father, to genetically modified raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his Ent-ian-ish pal Groot (Vin Diesel). After a three-way battle on the universal capital planet, the four are imprisoned and…blah, blah, blah. They team up, everyone tries to kill them, and so on.
Continue Reading →
In 1977, at the age of 8, I sat in a theater and experienced the awe and wonder that was Star Wars. At the time, no one had any idea what kind of cultural significance it would have or what it would mean for cinema in general and science-fiction films in particular. Though there have been many books, essays and college theses that have attempted to quantify and examine those impacts over the years, at age 8 I didn’t really care about such things.
If I’m being completely honest I should admit that I still don’t, I just remember sitting in the darkened theater being completely pulled into a new and completely realized new universe of awe and wonder and being completely captivated and immeasurably entertained by it. Thanks to James Gunn and Guardians of the Galaxy, that feeling has returned 37 years later.
Continue Reading →
I will have to admit that I’ve not watched the FX series Damages very much. In truth, I’ve only seen the first few episodes. However, that hasn’t stopped the show from being a hit with many fans.
Unfortunately, that number of fans wasn’t enough for FX to keep the show on the air another season and it was officially canceled. But wait, there’s good news if you love the show. According to Deadline, the ratings-challenged show has been rescued by DirecTV. What does this mean? Well, count on Glenn Close, Rose Byrne and other major cast members being on board for two more seasons (20 episodes) of the Emmy-nominated show.
In addition, the satellite company is also picking up the rights to air seasons one through three so fans will get a chance to experience the series in its entirety all on one network. This deal will be different than DirecTV’s previous pickup of NBC’s canceled Friday Night Lights in that, unlike that show, Damages will only air on the satellite network and not on NBC as well.
Expect more episodes of Damages to being airing on DirecTV next year.