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Posts Tagged ‘Joss Whedon’

Firefly 10th Anniversary Panel

July 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Like many of you, I was unable to attend Comic-Con in San Diego this year.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it from afar.

One of the most anticipated events for me was the Firefly 10th Anniversary panel.  I discovered the show on DVD around the time Serenity was being released in theaters and I instantly fell in love with it.  So when I heard about a reunion panel I was quite excited.

Now, this panel will actually air as a special on the Science Channel (which has had some success airing Firefly reruns as of late), but that won’t be for some time and like many people I don’t get that channel.  Lucky for us, the folks over at Things From Another World (TFAW) were able to film the panel and put it up on YouTube.

I’m not going to try and recap the 52 minute YouTube video for you, because I don’t want rob you of the experience.  Just know that the panel includes Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin, Tim Minear, Jose Molina, and about 4,000 other Browncoats.  The entire panel was very heartfelt and sincere.  It’s amazing to see what this show means to not only the fans, but the cast and crew after all these years.

 

If the embedded video doesn’t work you can always view it here.  And if you don’t have the time to watch the entire panel, The Huffington Post has a pretty decent recap here.

Thanks for playing along.  We’re still flying.

J.

Critical Beat: The Avengers

May 6, 2012 2 comments

Like just about everyone and their mother this weekend, I went and saw The Avengers.  With an estimated $200 million opening weekend haul, I find it hard to believe that most people didn’t see this movie.  That being said, I’m still going to take the time to give my two cents.  And no worries, if you happen to be one of the few who haven’t seen it yet I will keep this review spoiler free.

Immediately after the movie ended, a friend of mine turned to me and said it was mediocre.  I can see where he’s coming from.  This movie is far from exceptional.  But it is also far from bad.  It is a good movie.  Not great, but good.  Yet at the same time I can say I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

THE GOOD parts about the movie were the moments when the team was together.  The final act is one large “splash page” scene from the comics.  Watching the team do battle under the leadership of Captain America was a childhood dream of mine.  And it couldn’t have been executed any better.  There is actually a specific scene during the final battle that pans through the action and perfectly depicts this.  You’ll have to watch it to see what I mean.

The movie was also rife with classic Joss Whedon style.  I didn’t expect this movie to be as funny as it was, but it was chock full of great blink and you’ll miss it moments and lines.  One reason to see the movie twice in theaters is because the entire audience will erupt in laughter and you will miss the next line.  You can tell that Joss Whedon was trying to place the family relationship of the team in the forefront, because they fight and bicker like siblings.  And it works.  The old adage “No one picks on my little brother but me” seems to be the backbone of the movie.

And then there is the Hulk.  One of the reasons I felt that a Hulk solo movie never really succeeded (though I do like The Incredible Hulk) is that the Hulk is a supporting character at best.  It is hard for him to carry a solo movie, because at some point it will be just “Hulk smash!”  That is the same reason he is perfect for the Avenger’s movies.  Bruce Banner’s struggles parallel that of the team.   Just like the team, he is a combination of opposing ideas.  He is trying to bring two opposing sides of himself into harmony.  He shouldn’t be able to function, yet he does.  And since he doesn’t have to carry the story, he can be used to emphasize this struggle within the team.  He is very much the voice of the audience, because he sees and points out why the team shouldn’t work.  Yet they do, just like the movie.  And then when push comes to shove, the Hulk is allowed to just smash.

The final act was absolutely stunning, as I mentioned before.  After a year of “who are the aliens?” debate, it turns out it didn’t matter.  Loki was the villain, and he was perfect.  The aliens were simply his army, and nothing else.  It was really Loki and his manipulation of the team that caused the true struggle.

THE BAD has to be the first 20-30 minutes of the movie.  It takes a little while to get going.  The team has to assemble and in order to do so some things need to be set up.  The villains plot, bringing Dr. Banner in to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Thor returning to Midgard are just a few examples.  All of these things take time.  I think this is what really keeps the movie from being outstanding.  And it was something that couldn’t really be avoided.  But once they do get together, that’s when the fun begins.

I could go on about the little things in this movie that expand upon the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and probably will in a later post, but that is not the point here.  Overall this was definitely the movie we had been waiting for.  It may have not been as thought provoking as Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies that it is being compared to, but it is an exciting thrill ride that provides the goods.  So if you’re one of those few who haven’t seen it yet, find the time to.  You’ll thank me later.

4/5

J.

Categories: Movies Tags: ,

The Cabin in the Woods: Why all the hate?

April 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Last week I had the pleasure of catching a late night screening of The Cabin in the Woods .  The theater was packed and full of screams and laughs.  The crowd was generally pleased.  And so was I.  This was a movie I’d been looking forward to for about two years now.  Ever since I heard that Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard were teaming up to make a horror movie that would be a new twist on horror movies, well needless to say I was hooked.

And the movie delivered everything it promised.  It was funny.  It was scary.  It was something new.  And it got people talking.  Boy did it get people talking.

Usually when a movie comes out there are three categories you can put a person into.  Those who didn’t like it.  Those who thought it was alright.  And those who thought it was great.  The Cabin in the Woods is one of the rare exceptions that creates two new categories.  Those who absolutely hated it and those who loved it more than life itself.  And it’s this dichotomy that brought me to writing today.

I went on the message boards on IMDB as I often do after seeing a movie and saw many comments along the line of “If you didn’t like the movie then you must be stupid because you missed the point” or “I can’t believe people actually like this movie, they’re f-cking retarded”.  Of course I’m paraphrasing.

My question is this:  Why all the hate?  It seems that when people of these two love/hate categories get together to discuss a movie, they never really talk about the movie.  It’s always personal attacks aimed at the other party.  I know the internet has made sharing ones thoughts very easy (i.e. this very blog), but why does every discussion have to turn into an argument?  And why does every argument have to be personal?

The fact of the matter is not everyone will like every movie.  We all have different tastes.  But you don’t have to attack another person because of it.  If you find that you can’t properly defend your stance on a subject without resorting to such low blows, well then maybe you should take the time to reconsider your stance.  And in the end you might realize, it’s just a movie.

J.

Don’t Spoil Yourself or The Cabin in the Woods

March 10, 2012 Leave a comment

With a handful of big summer blockbusters being released in the coming months (The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, etc), it’s really a much lesser known movie that I’m really excited for.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be in line opening night for the other movies, but there is just something about The Cabin in the Woods that has me on pins and needles.

 

 

The Cabin in the Woods is the brainchild of Joss Whedon (BtVS, Angel, Firefly, The Avengers, and the list goes on) and Drew Goddard (the writer of Cloverfield).  The two set out to make a horror movie about a group of young adults who visit a cabin in the woods.  Simple enough, right?  I think we’ve all seen a few versions of that.  The catch, it is supposed to throw away all the stereotypical horror tropes right out the window.  And that’s all we know about it.

The movie opened last night at the SXSW Festival (http://sxsw.com/) to rave reviews by fans and critics.  And that is all that I know.  And that is all that I wish to know.  I even stopped reading a review once the writer said he could think of no way to talk about the movie without giving away spoilers.

In a time where on set photos (as even I wrote about here) and reports give us greater access to a movie before the release than ever before, it is refreshing to have a movie that we know very little about.  Even the trailer doesn’t give us much.  It just lets us know something is not right, and I think that is the best way to market this movie.  Go see it because you don’t know what it is about.

This movie is primed to affect the horror genre in much the same way that Scream did, s0 do yourself a favor and grab your smartphone and markdown this date (or use a calendar if you still have one):  April 13th.  That is the release for this movie.  Then watch the trailer once or twice.  That’s all you need to do.  Don’t read any reviews or interviews.  Don’t do a search for behind the set images or videos.  The secret behind the cabin will be revealed to you when you see the movie.  Just as long as you don’t spoil it for yourself.

J.