Monday, August 27, 2012

How Would a Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Work?

With The Avengers come and gone, Marvel Studios prepare to enter 'Phase 2′ of their cinematic universe. With Iron Man, Thor and Captain America all due sequels, it was tough to see what Marvel's mystery project in 2014 could be. Was it Black Panther, Ant-Man? Well our questions have been answered, and Marvel's first film away from the Avengers universe is set to be Guardians of the Galaxy!

But wait? Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy and how would a movie work? The team originally debuted in 1969, although far less familiar than the modern team seen today. Dwelling on the 31st Century, the original team focused on obscure characters like Starhawk and Major Victory. It wasn't until 2008; when sci-fi writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (or DNA for short) took the team into new heights post Marvel's mega-cosmic event 'Annihilation'.

Essentially making the team 'Space Avengers' DNA made GOTG one of Marvel's best books, featuring iconic characters such as Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer and talking rodent Rocket Racoon. It was a high-adrenaline affair that had been missing from comics since the 90′s. The Avengers books had long focused on street heroes and New York, while Thor was in the process of being rebooted after a brief hiatus. Marvel was missing a cosmic universe, and DNA responded by creating one that easily rivalled DC's own Green Lantern universe.

1) Control the humour.

One of the main reasons Avengers worked is because it took a tricky concept, and grounded it in reality by using humour. How else would icons such as Iron Man, Thor and Cap work together if there wasn't some bickering involved? The problem with GOTG is that it's a much more grand concept, and over-using the humour could almost make the film more self-parody than action-blockbuster.

That doesn't mean limit the jokes altogether though. After all, it's a film featuring a talking racoon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review of The Lucky One

Call me crazy, but I'm starting to think that Nicholas Sparks needs to either: A) stop turning his books into movies, or B) locate and keep on speed dial the person who was responsible for the screen adaptation of 'The Notebook', because frankly, you can only expect audiences to hope for a life changing love story so many times before they stop giving you the benefit of the doubt.

THE GOOD: A grown up and---if I may be perfectly frank---smoking hot Zac Efron plays Logan Thibault, a young Marine who has survived three tours of duty in Iraq, when many around him haven't been as fortunate. He believes he owes this miracle to the photo of a young woman-Beth (played by Taylor Schilling) that he stumbled across in combat. When his tour is over, he sets out to find her and thank her for saving his life. It's a simple thing to say, really, when he finally locates her, yet for some reason that's never quite clear, he can't do it. Instead he ends up working for her and her grandmother at the dog shelter and obedience school they own. By the time she learns about the real purpose of his appearance in her life, his explanation seems flimsy. Throw in Beth's bully of an ex-husband, Keith (played by Jay R. Ferguson), along with a steamy shower scene and Efron flexing his biceps as he lifts bags of dog food, and you have the makings of a great love story.....right? Well, not particularly.

THE BAD: I need to point out here that, although I don't always read a book before it's made into a movie, I did with this one... and that might have been a mistake, because I couldn't help but feel irritated at how WRONG they got it. The casting was pretty solid, although I never felt much chemistry between Logan and Beth---but that may have just been because I was thinking the whole time how much I would have liked to play Schilling's part. But I suppose that's not integral to this review.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Romantic Movies for a Modern Age

Ah, the romantic comedy, it's an enduring genre that truly has stood the test of time. Many of us have grown up with classics like Breakfast at Tiffany's or colourful musicals such as Easter Parade or My Fair Lady. These movies capture the beauty of romance. They have idealised ideas about finding 'the one'; Boy meets girl on a chance encounter, boy and girl must overcome obstacles to be together, girl is eventually swept off her feet - cue long, lingering Hollywood kiss.

Romantic comedies today adopt a similar plot structure. However, the 'boy meets girl' part is shown to be decidedly more difficult. Modern romantic comedies take a more cynical view of the trials and tribulations of finding someone to love. Below are some of the best modern romance movies.

No.1 - Bridget Jones (2001)

When Bridget Jones was adapted to the big screen from Helen Fielding's book of the same name, it seemed to define an entire generation of thirty-something women haunted by their loudly ticking biological clock and 'smug married' friends. Bridget, played by Renee Zellweger, is single and desperately looking for love. She's overweight, her biological clock is ticking and she records her hopes, dreams, frustrations and failings in a journal. She also sleeps with her philandering boss, blinded by his charm. She then meets a handsome family friend, the aptly named Mr (Mark) Darcy (Colin Firth), a man she immediately detests, but who she comes to realise is just the kind of man she was searching for all along.

Bridget's search for love demonstrates how hard it can be to meet people in a modern society and the stigma once attached to single men and women of a certain age, while simultaneously liberating them to embrace their singleness - which if we're to believe Bridget, will eventually lead to love. After all, she makes many mistakes along the way, but she still gets her man in the end!