Thor: Ragnarok

Directed By: Taika Waititi
Written By: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher Kyle (based on the Thor comic books by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby)
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo

It’s long been a distinguishing thor_ragnarok_posterfeature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that comedic flair which underpins those lavish, CG fuelled action set-pieces and stirring melodrama. Ever since the effortlessly charismatic, incessantly zany, and quick-with-a-quip Robert Downey Jr. first donned the Iron Man suit in 2008, and with it fostered the rise of an entire studio and 16 resulting films, Marvel has long hung their hat on their ability to deftly blend tones of light and dark. Even when the Universe’s hottest commodities squared off in a calamitous brawl with mass political ramifications and which, somehow, along the way conjured near-tear jerking affect (2016’s Civil War), Marvel and their team of passionate writers and enthused Continue reading “Thor: Ragnarok”

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Directed By: Jon Watts
Written By: Jon Watts, Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei

Watching Spider-Man: 20170706091137!Spider-Man_Homecoming_posterHomecoming, I found myself resigning to the fact that when it comes to comic-book blockbusters, derivative, overblown action sequences are a strict inevitability; something this type of film must feature if it is to fulfil its spectacle, popcorn friendly mandate. Upon reflection however, this isn’t so. Consider Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and the first mono-e-mono showdown between Batman and Bane—the scene is stripped bare; there are no explosions, no swirling camera movements, no thunderous score. The scene is quiet, visually legible, still. There’s an intimacy there. By honing in more on the participants in the action rather than the rubble they’re Continue reading “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Directed By: James Gunn
Written By: James Gunn (based on The Guardians of the Galaxy characters created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

Compare Guardians of the Galaxy 9309ee7890499a5b4d7d825f02dbe80eVol. 2 with another Vin Diesel action blockbuster currently in release: Guardians employs the theme of family as the story’s bedrock, as its binding agent, one that is kaleidoscopically studied in the screenplay. Consider the genetically engineered racoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a loner by nature who deliberately attempts to sabotage himself as a member of the Guardians union because he’s unsure of how to belong to a family. Continue reading “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”