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.
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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.
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One of the biggest presentations this year at Comic-Con was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey panel in Hall H. Peter Jackson and company showed off twelve minutes of new footage and a brand new production vlog.
While it is highly unlikely we will ever see the footage in its comic-con form, we have been graced with the production vlog. In fact it has even been enhanced to give us a peek at Peter Jackson’s experience at the convention itself.
Typically these vlogs do a wonderful job of making you feel apart of the larger whole that is The Hobbit production, but the additional Comic-Con aspects actually allow fans everywhere to feel, at least in a small way, like they partook in The Hobbit Comic-Con experience.
Aside from all the con goodness on the front end, the main vlog itself is also one of the better yet released. It detailed the final days of shooting, and gave us our first look at some key elements.
You can check out the full new vlog after the jump, and I am sure no one needs reminding that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters this December 14th.
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SciFi Wire has an interview with Chi McBride, who played Emerson Cod in the tragically cancelled show, and in it the actor says Bryan Fuller, the creator of Pushing Daisies, is currently hard at work on scripting the graphic novel that will carry on the story of the Pie Maker and his magical reanimating finger.
McBride, who was promoting his new role in the comic-adapted series Human Target, says that he’s seen some of the pages for the book, and that it’s “off the hook.”
“It’s a whole thing about a whole bunch of corpses coming to life,” said McBride. He also indicated the tone of the book will be darker and edgier than what could be done on primetime-mainstream television. McBride also dded his enthusiasm for seeing the project continued not only for his own satisfaction, but to also reward the loyal fans.
Pushing Daisies, which was executive produced by Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Men In Black), was aired for two seasons on ABC before having the plug pulled for low ratings and high-production costs — despite it’s positive critical and fan response. The show also starred Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Swoosie Kurtz, and Kristin Chenoweth.
There’s few other details about the book currently but when it comes out I’ll definitely pick it up.