Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2

I caught James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 last Saturday and what I found so impressive overall was the way Gunn managed so many stories and plot threats in a way that was not only cohesive, but made sense.

Because–and trust me on this–there are so many ways Guardians  could have easily collapsed under it’s own weight.

But it never does.

What’s almost equally impressive is the way everyone gets their own arc, without the movie feeling bloated or over-stuffed.

And Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 is so gorgeous, as if it’s not only not afraid to admit that the worlds depicted first appeared in comic books, but is proud of it.

And there’s not a cynical bone in the movie’s body, which is why when you see Baby Groot and Rocket you just go with it.

Because you know–on a level conscious or not–that Gunn believes in these characters as much, if not more, than you do.

Marvel’s Inhumans – Teaser Trailer

The teaser trailer for Marvel’s Inhumans dropped this morning (‘dropped.’  That sounds vaguely like a pregnancy reference.  Not sure how I feel about that) and typical of teasers, tells you next to nothing about Marvel Television’s upcoming series.

Or does it?

When the trailer first opens, you can see something as the word ‘Inhumans’ pans backward.  

Is it the Earth or Attilan (the city that the Inhumans live on the Moon)?


And the striking music, which to me speaks of hidden menace and a certain grandiosity, is certainly fitting…

And while it doesn’t make up for the fairly unimaginative interpretation–visually speaking–of Blackbolt, it’s certainly a start.

Marvel’s The Defenders – Official Trailer 

‘You look like an idiot,’  said Jessica Jones, as she and Matt Murdock walked down the immaculately white hallway, their very gait daring anyone to get in their way.

Murdock, a devil without a costume; wore a grey cloth around the upper half of his face,  responded tersely.

‘Your scarf.’

I had little doubt in my mind that the coming together of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would be awesome, but that small exchange washed them away because while it wasn’t a huge moment in a trailer full of them , those two short sentences told you volumes about Jones and Murdock.

Though they’ll have to sell me on the hallway fight.  Don’t get me wrong, the Defenders fighting in a coordinated fashion was pretty cool, though the hallway fight in Season One of Daredevil was quite possibly the best fight scene to take place in a hallway–in movies or television–that I have ever seen.

Which unfortunately has the effect of making other hallway fight scenes pale in comparison.

Another point worth mentioning is that the FX on all the Marvel Netflix series has been relatively subtle (typically there’s lots of wire work, fight choreography, and occasionally, gore effects) though they’re using Nirvana’s Come As You Are  in the trailer.

And while considering the nature of the undertaking is quite appropriate, it could not have been cheap.

So, I guess I’m saying that maybe if they had directed some of that cash toward special effects…

The Defenders – Elektra Teaser Trailer

2017, despite the reality of a Trump presidency, and all the insanity such an idea beings can be considered a golden age –especially if you happen to be a fan of superheroes because there are probably more viewing choices to choose from than there has ever been.

The while the CW isn’t known as ‘The DC Network,’ it might as well be considering how many superhero-based shows are live there (There are also comic book-based television on Fox and NBC as well).

And while DC entertainment may have staked a claim on the network television stage, Marvel Television has made it’s strongest showing on Netflix, where series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have already aired, with more on the way (The Punisher, The Defenders and additional seasons of the already mentioned series’)

This is on top of the work Marvel Televisoon is doing for Freeform–formerly ABC Family) based on Cloak & Dagger and The New Warriors.

Like I said, there’s likely no better time to be a comics fan.

Shifting Reality: Book I of the ISF-Allion Series – Review

I have been know to review books here on Screenphiles, but it’s not something that I do on any sort of regular basis.

That being said, I just finished Patty Jansen‘s Shifting Reality, the Book I of the ISF-Allion Series and it was…okay.

The future world the novel depicts was an interesting one, though my biggest gripe is that the book, in an effort by the writer to craft what appears to be a viable future, can be very exposition-heavy.

At the end of the novel, in a section called ‘About the Setting’ Jansen explains that a ‘major disaster’ drove rural people into Jarkarta where the worker population was sourced.

What is never made quite clear is why they were sourced from that region (other than the writer being fascinated with Indonesia and it’s culture).

Another way the book would have been improved would be if more information was provided about the ISF–their origins and how they came to be–as well as Allion–which initially seems like a sinister conglomerate but ends up so much more.

Luckily Melati Rudiyanto, the main protagonist of the novel, is our eyes and ears into this fascinating futurescape because while the narrative may lag on occasion, she was interesting enough to keep me invested.

Overall Shifting Reality is a pretty good read (despite the occasional narrative lag), and worth seeking out.

I discovered Shifting Reality via The Humble Bundle, where you can pay what you like for eBooks that shift regularly in terms of genre, so this week it might be horror, though next week or could be hard Sci-Fi, and so on.

Alien: Covenant | Prologue: The Crossing – Trailer

I find this latest trailer for Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant particularly fascinating, though not necessarily for the reasons that I originally thought I would.

I found the idea that Shaw (Noomi Rapace) had initially reassembled David (Michael Fassbinder) somewhat troubling, especially when you take into account the chaos that he had a hand in initiating–never mind the de-facto murder of Halloway (Logan Marshall-Green) though it’s not apparent that Shaw realizes that David was behind that.

Though it actually makes sense that she would repair David because the likelihood is great that she could not pilot the ship alone, and besides the idea of traveling to an Alien–literally and figuratively–with a talking, disembodied head would probably NOT be a great idea.

Besides, Shaw has journeyed light-years across space on the strength of her faith; on the chance that she might meet the people who literally engineered the Human species.

Compared to the wonders she’d seen, and the terrors she’s survived, repairing David is almost a no-brainer.

Though what’s most interesting about the trailer is toward the end, when the ship arrives in the Engineer homeworld and David says: ‘Look on my works, you Mighty, and despair!’

That’s a line from Perry Bysshe Shelly’s Ozymandias and while it’s uncertain how David means it, seeing that the poem revolves around a found remnant of a fallen empire, it doesn’t look good for the Engineers.

Justice League International Trailer 1

I honestly don’t much like what I have so far seen from Zach Snyder’s upcoming Justice League and the recently released International Trailer hasn’t much changed my mind.

Snyder’s visual esthetic is on full display, which is to say that most images have a murky, ugly aspect to them, though if this were the movie’s only problem I might be okay with it.

My greatest problem with Justice League–and the entire DCEU (DC Extended Universe) is its relative unfaithfulness to the source material.

And since Zach Snyder was the creative force behind the emerging cinematic universe, he needs to be gone so that Geoff Johns–or whomever is leading DC Entertainment this week–can put their visual, as well as esthetic,  stamp on the growing cinematic universe.