Harry Potter’s Burlesque Birthday Party – July 31 at the Rio TheatreLord of the Schwings REMOUNT – August 18 at the Rio TheatreTenacious D Burlesque Tribute with the Hot & Heavy Band – September 1st at the Rio Theatre
Guardians of the Galaxy has been a franchise that is steeped in love, nostalgia and a message that is so very important for us to remember. Family isn’t who you are related to, it is who you love and who loves you back, and that love comes in many different forms. Tim Gunn loves his Guardians. He carefully crafted a story of friendship, love and sacrifice with humour and passion.
From this point onward… SPOILERS! Again.. Spoilers.
I have to applaud the digital effects department for making Kurt Russel look like he did in the 70’s and the establishing scene of Ego (Kurt Russell) and Meredith Quill (Laura Haddock) driving down the road listening to Brandy – You’re A Fine Girl by Looking Glass showed the love and delight that Ego and Meredith had in each other and how Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt) started out in this world as an expression of those feelings.
But then we cut to 34 years later and Peter and his family of choice Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and a now Kid Groot (Vin Diesel) are getting ready to do the job they were hired by The Sovereign, a race of genetically engineered perfect beings who do not want to endanger their own perfect kind, to do, defending super spiffy space batteries from a monster who wants to eat them. Rocket is setting up a makeshift PA system for them to listen to music while they work. We get from this setup Kid Groot busting a move to Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra while his teammates take on the monster. It is a thoroughly entertaining scene and has some moments of absolute charm. My favourite was while Gamora was flung back by the monster and landed next to Kid Groot he waved Hi to her and she waved back. He also had a great moment when Drax was collapsed next to him for a moment where he stopped dancing as a call back to the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1.
Elizabeth Debicki was regal and arrogant in her performance as the Sovereign’s High Priestess Ayesha. Who pursuit of our heroes after Rocket stole the batteries that The Guardian’s were protecting made up most of the circumstances for our heroes to meet the main antagonist Ego, who is Peter’s father but also a living planet that has set out to destroy all of the universes only to remake it in his image. The scenes between Ego and Peter are filled with romanticised father-son bonding tropes and a sense of dread. Since all good things must come to an end, the main tipping point where Ego reveals that even though he was deeply in love with Meredith that he had to give her cancer so he wouldn’t feel the urge to see her again and Peter’s immediate rage and desire for revenge was the stuff of Shakespearean lore.
The rest of the story unfolds with the Ravagers led by Yondu (Michael Rooker) tracking our heroes throughout the galaxy to find the batteries and in the end revealing his true intentions on never delivering Peter to his father. We also witness the heartache that Yondu suffered growing up as a Cree war slave and in his relating to Rocket as being a “thing no one loves” the character becomes an endearing father figure.
Other stories in this epic masterpiece include the sibling rivalry between Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Gamora coming to a climax and the sisters making piece with the cruelty they were raised in and the healing friendship/romance budding between Ego’s pet humanoid Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who he has trained to help him sleep and Drax who is starting to wonder what it would be like to go on to the next step of grief, acceptance. All of which is culminated in the redemption of Yondu and acceptance back into the good graces of his fellow Ravagers who disowned him for breaking the code of not dealing in human life. In the end the whole Ravager fleet along with the main captains of the ships who comprised the original Guardians of the Galaxy from the 31st Century. (Stakar Ogord – Sylvester Stallone, Charlie 27 – Ving Rhames, Aleta Ogord – Michelle Yeoh, Martinex – Michael Rosenbaum, Krugarr and Mainframe – Miley Cyrus)
Other great things about this movie:
You will want to stay to the very end, because they delivered with a great end credit scene filled with easter eggs galore
Howard The Duck makes another appearance
Stan Lee’s cameo is top notch, he is explaining how cameos work to The Watchers
Sullen Teenage Groot makes an appearance
More of Cosmo The Space Dog
David Hasselhoff does the end credits music and appears in a key moment of the movie
Also, Adam Warlock sighting kiddos!
Vancouver is an improv town, boasting several improv theaters that teach and mold gaggles of improv artists each year. The most innovative and prolific is the Instant Theatre Company. Their show lineup is eclectic but well thought-out, ranging from themed performances to all out free-for-alls, where you can see the talents of the many troops that are forming or have coalesced via their school.
One of the most unique shows to come out of the Instant Theatre is The Outer Middle Zone. “Behind this dark curtain lies another dimension – a dimension of late night science fiction theater inspired by The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. A dimension where some of Vancouver’s top improvisers bring you astonishing tales from the border of the everyday and the uncanny. The dimension we call… the Outer-Middle Zone! Cast members Nikolai Witschl, Brad Duffy, Travis Bernhardt, Chelsey Stuyt, and Max Tennessen spin stories filled with unexpected twists and macabre turns, all made up on the spot based on your suggestions. Get all the chills, suspense, hilarity, and surprises your all-too-human brain can handle at Instant Theatre’s late night science fiction triple feature!”
The stories spun that night were eerie and delightful, the story of a man who swindled his way into a more modern hell, a white room without a means of escape and with no one to entertain him; a man stranded on an island, reliving the terror of interacting with the ghosts of a family he was marooned with; and the terror of being forced to battle for space on the last rocket ship, leaving Earth before the ever-increasing gravity imploded the planet and everything and everyone on it.
I have seen a lot of improv and it can be hit-or-miss, but Instant Theatre proved to be more of the former and none of the latter. There were moments watching this that I felt slightly terrified and touched by emotions that were honest but not pleasant, though in a good way.
The actors faithfully and lovingly capture the tension and fear that was North America in the middle of The Cold War. Skillful and clever, they were able to evoke the cheesy camp of early TV commercials for products that no one would want, the dryness of a newscast of that era all while battling through suggestions that would flub up those less skilled.
Instant Theatre is a gem and the future of improv in this town. If you ever get a chance to go to a show, please do: you will not be disappointed and if you feel the urge to hone your improv or comedy craft they would be happy to teach you. Visit http://instanttheatre.com/ for their show and class schedule.
Ho-hum. Another day, another trailer.
That looks like something. There’s people in in that resemble the X-Men, certainly. When you talk to people that liked the recent x-movies, though, the thing they mention is the complexity of the relationship between Charles and Erik. Does it look like there’s much of that here?
No, there’s some blue thing who is doing… something? Something bad, maybe? There’s a lot of sparkle and jingle-jangle, like keys being dangled before a toddler, but after the initial wow dies down – the second the trailer ends – everything about the trailer is gone. It’s forgettable, interchangeable with any of a dozen other trailers.
Like, say, this one:
You know, I’m going to go out on a limb: Ben Affleck’s take on Batman looks interesting. I think he’s going to pull that character off, and I’d be interested in seeing his movie, preferably before Dawn of Justice, but DC Comics is playing catch-up to Marvel and instead of taking their time to craft a story using their incredible backlog of characters, they’re just going to jam everyone into one movie like throwing shit at a wall and hoping that something sticks.
The problem with this approach is that it relies on spectacle rather than substance, and spectacle is increasingly meaningless on it’s own – effect based movies have become increasingly boring because every movie has special effects, and so the only thing to set one movie apart from the others is the characters within those movies.
It’s funny that character driven movies, which fell out of favor because of spectacle, are now making a comeback due to the super-saturation of spectacle.
And that’s why we’re excited for this movie:
Yes, the Black Panther looks awesome for those of that know who he is, but every beat in that trailer is character based. Cap, Bucky, Falcon, Natasha, Iron Man. We care about everything in this trailer because of who these people are and what they mean to one another. They have a mythos behind them, history, so everything they say and do is given weight.
X-Men Apocalypse could have focused on the strained ties between Charles, Erik, and Raven as they deal with one another and a new threat, but instead we get what looks like a confused mangled mess. Dawn of Justice could have focused on the fallout from Man of Steel resulting in Batman and a panicked response from the world, but instead we get what looks like a rushed outline that will cram too much style with too little substance.
Civil War hits a perfect median by having every bit of spectacle be character based.
It’s a difference born of different philosophies of movie making. Fox and DC Comics are making superhero movies, whereas Marvel is making good movies that just happen to have superheroes in them. It’s a design choice that informs everything all three of those studios do, and it’s made all the more frustrating when it comes to DC Comics because of how good Arrow and Flash are.
Yes, I’m going to go see all of them in theaters, but by the time they come out on blu-ray I’m only going to remember Civil War, and Civil War is going to be the only one I’m likely to buy. I hope I’m wrong. I hope Dawn of Justice and X-Men Apocalypse buck the expectations set by the trailer and give us solid, interesting characters.
I’m just not going to hold my breath.
First of all, I should come clear. I’m not a Mad Max aficionado. I haven’t actually seen the originals (*gasp! horror!*). Well, I’ve seen bits and pieces of them over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat and watched them through from start to finish. Or if I did, it was so long ago that I have no recollection of it. So basically, I went in to this movie knowing the basic pop culture aspects of Mad Max, but with no attachment to the character, and no list of things that “must” be in a Mad Max movie.
So,where do I begin? How about…
OMGTHATWASSOAWESOME, GOSEE ITNOW and MOSTEPICMOVIEEVAR!!!!1!!!!1! over and over again.
I don’t think that would be a particularly helpful approach, but I do have to start thinking about how many different words I can come up with for “fabulous”.
Mad Max: Fury Road is the straight up gold standard for action movies. Most “action” movies usually involve a whole lotta plot and exposition, interspersed with bits of action sequences here and there. Mad Max however, is pretty much one giant action sequence – two hours of high speed, explosive car chases. I bet the dialogue itself could probably fit on a dozen pages – aside from one scene, I think the most Tom Hardy had to remember was “my name is Max”. And yet, for a movie that is in-your-face-action and almost nothing else, it doesn’t get tiring. The two hours actually passes fairly quickly. It is all handled so beautifully, and the way George Miller cuts things together, you can actually *watch* the action scenes. I find that with so many movies these days, the cuts are so fast that you never truly get the scope of that is going on. Although, admittedly, after two hours of watching vehicles speed through the desert and crash into one another, I had to catch my lead foot a few times on the drive home.
The one thing that is making the news these days (mainly because of the response from the MRA douchebags) is that Mad Max is a feminist movie. And if it hadn’t been brought to my attention, I would not have walked out of that movie thinking “man, that was a brilliant piece of feminist filmmaking”. Maybe I like to live in my world where a woman is able to kick ass and take names without it being a big deal. Maybe I just refuse to think that our society has sunk so low that a movie where women are allowed to be something other than eye candy is something to be remarked upon. But now that I think about it, almost any of the characters in the movie could have been gender swapped, and it the story would have played out in the same way. And I think that is awesome.
I sincerely hope that this movie does well enough at the box office to justify a sequel, but on something like a $150 million budget, it has a ways to go. So this is my way of saying GET OUT THERE AND SEE IT NOW! And be prepared to have your mind blown for two hours straight.
There’s a guy I know that gets very upset when he looks at the modern world.
It’s hard to blame him. There’s people that think that Gamergate is seriously about ethics, as opposed to being about some jilted idiot getting revenge on a girl who dumped him, and a bunch of idiots jumping on his band wagon. Except…
“It’s totally about ethics,” he says. “It’s about ethics in gaming journalism.”
Dystopia is a common theme of science fiction, and has been since the dawn of the genre. Our need for the present to be the apex of civilization leads to us casting an increase in technology with a degradation of ethics as the only possible future. From the corporate nightmare presented by Aliens to the economic subjugation of the Hunger Games to the political bloodbath that is Battle Royale, we inevitably look to the future as a cautionary tale.
I love me some Matthew Perry. It’s easy enough for me to say that Chandler was my favourite Friend, but it goes beyond that. I’ve enjoyed his work in films, particularly The Whole 9 Yards and its sequel. I’ve enjoyed his attempt at reclaiming television fame. Studio 60 should have been the new West Wing and even Mr. Sunshine wasn’t a terrible show.