I never planned on getting into Guardians of the Galaxy. I know essentially nothing about this thing called the “Marvel Universe.” (Are there stars in it? Planets?) I’m not sure I’m really into any of it now, honestly, even after seeing the second film in James Gunn’s blockbuster franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. But I sure am enjoying the hell out of dipping my toe in the comic waters.
I saw the first installation in the middle of the day in July, 2014. I’d stayed home from work (it was a Wednesday, I believe) because I’d just received news that my grandfather had passed away early that morning, and I was in no shape to go into the office. Far from home and far from family, after the initial shock wore off, I didn’t really know what to do with myself.
So I took myself to the movies. I took myself to see the only thing I knew I couldn’t care less about: a big, blustery summer superhero flick. It was one in the afternoon and there were maybe three other people in the theater. And it did exactly what I needed it to do: it completely transported me away from the world outside that cinema.
Continue reading “Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
The first part of the year is traditionally a bit of a cinematic wasteland, a barren stretch of a release calendar filled with movies that would qualify for a Razzie long before an Oscar or Golden Globe. Sure, there’s Sundance in January, and some nominated films see wider U.S. releases in February. But generally speaking, it isn’t until May that things really improve, as early summer blockbusters make their way into the world.
It’s that context that makes a gem like THEIR FINEST, opening barely halfway through April, all the more enjoyable. In a sea of mediocrity, it’s well worth the trip to the cinema this month before they’re overrun by superheroes and action adventures.
Continue reading “Review: Their Finest”
In 2009, Mark Webb directed one of the best indies of that year, (500) Days of Summer. Quirky and endearing, it was a success both with critics and audiences. It also set Webb on the path most successful white male independent filmmakers find themselves on following such a hit: he was drafted to helm a superhero movie. Specifically, 2012’s Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel.
In Gifted, Webb returns to the world of actual people and interpersonal relationships, nary a suited-up superhero in sight. Well, that is if you can forget that the film’s lead, Chris Evans, is Captain America himself. (Also, I just realized that a guy named Webb directed the Spider-Man movies, and that makes me giggle.)
Continue reading “Review: Gifted”