John C. Reilly

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is good, freaky fun

Of course, Guardians isn’t perfect, as it struggles to find a consistent tone. Sometimes it wants to be more adult, with bawdier language and sexual innuendo. For instance, Quill’s rumination that “If I had a black light, this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting!” is pretty sophisticated for mainstream PG-13 fare. Other times, it feels as though the filmmakers are pandering to a much younger audience. You can almost visualize a ‘Dancing Groot’ doll gyrating in your kid’s Happy Meal.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is solid entertainment, despite some wonky action and character work

For every good sequence, there’s one that’s muddled with bad camerawork and editing. Like a lot of blockbuster action, it’s barely legible; you have to work to keep up with it, and that work interferes with the enjoyment. The story also sags in the middle, as it seems to exist mainly to fill out the run-time. The protagonists take the MacGuffin to a dude they wish to sell it to, but the only real function of the section is to exposit what it is. It turns a big chunk of the plot into a shrug.

Fantasia 2014: ‘Life After Beth’ entertains, but fails to truly rise from the grave

Twenty years ago, if someone said that ‘zombie romantic comedy’ was going to become an actual cinematic sub-genre, they’d have been called a witch and burned at the stake. And yet, they would have been right, and Fantasia 2014 has seen the unveiling of yet another film in the rapidly expanding genre, Life After Beth. Starring Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation and Dane DeHaan, recently of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Life After Beth is best described as a zombie breakup comedy. It’s also best described as “decent, but not amazing”, a serviceable enough zom-rom-com kept afloat mostly by the supporting cast.

New trailer for Marvel and James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

A galaxy’s apparently at threat, but despite all the aerial combat and general punching of people, the trailer for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy is positively jovial in spirit (in the sky). James Gunn (Super, Slither) directs this adaptation of a comparatively lesser-known superhero property, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Peter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. To this writer’s mind, the (good) feeling that this looks like a weirder version of Firefly is strengthened by this first full trailer, which you can view below. Big damn heroes, etc.

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