Part of maintaining my certificates for teaching fitness and yoga is attending continuing education classes. I usually sign up for a variety of classes during fitness conventions. There has been several times where the class description did not match the course content. During those times I felt like a foreigner. It seemed as if everyone was talking a different language than me, especially when the other participants were engaged in the instructor’s discussion. It was uncomfortable as I sat there feeling out of place. I have to tell you I had a similar reaction while watching this film. As far as I can remember I have never read or seen a production of William Shakespeare’s story, “Much Ado About Nothing.” It was a large disadvantage I felt, for being able to follow this comedy from writer/director Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-TV). The story was about the different aspects in love and romance; focusing on one couple becoming attracted to each other, while another couple started out bickering with each other. For the majority of this sharp looking black and white film I was lost. Joss did the filming from his actual house, using actors he had used before such as Nathan Fillion (Serenity, Castle-TV) as Dogberry, Amy Acker (The Cabin in the Woods, Catch Me If You Can) as Beatrice, Alexis Denisof (First Knight, The Avengers) as Benedick and Clark Gregg (The Avengers, Iron Man franchise) as Leonato. Using Shakespeare’s words, Joss wrote and directed this film. I found it odd to have a modern setting while the actors were speaking Old English. The acting was good and as I said earlier, I enjoyed the look of the film. Because I was floundering as I tried to figure out what was happening, I will tell you about the audience. It was an older crowd, where several exclaimed their surprise at how full the theater was for this movie. They laughed out loud throughout, as I saw several couples acknowledge particular scenes with a hand gesture or nod of the head towards their companion. At the end of the film it appeared as if everyone immensely enjoyed the movie. In light of this I will give two ratings, one from the crowd and one from me.
3 stars from audience 2 1/2 stars from me
None of us need to worry, we are all safe and well protected to go to the movies, for the Avengers are here. I have to tell you, this is how you make a science fiction movie. The special effects were great but not overbearing with a strong story. And what I thought was most important, the film did not take itself too seriously. Kudos to Joss Whedon for writing a witty, fun screenplay and for his even, well paced direction. Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes franchise, The Soloist), delivered such great lines in his rapid fire delivery, pay attention closely. Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson (Star Wars franchise, Lakeview Terrace) was part of a top secret agency who brought a group of super heroes together to save the Earth from the evil Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston (War Horse, Thor). For those of you not familiar with the character of Loki, I suggest you rent the movie Thor to get the history of Thor and his brother Loki. But do not worry, you would not be lost if you chose not to see it. The movie was 2 hours 22 minutes long and I did not look at my watch once–a very good sign for me. There was enough action, humor, explosions, fights and egomaniacs to fill up the IMAX screen where I saw this amazing film. If you go or should I say when you go see this movie, make sure you stay to the end of both sets of closing credits.
3 1/3 stars
For those of you who have known me for some time, you must be shocked to see me review this horror film. I am not a fan of the slasher horror movie genre. The only tip off I had regarding this movie was Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) was the producer and one of the writers. With trepidation, I found an empty seat in the theater and prepared myself to be visually assaulted with blood and guts. The story started with five friends (comprised of your stereotypical jock, stoner dude, intellectual guy, grounded female and the party girl) who take a road trip to a remote cabin, for a mini vacation. At first I thought what an unoriginal premise; this was going to be one of those typical horror story setups. Not to give anything away, but I was so wrong about this movie. The script was smart, humorous with a splash of satire. I would not label this as strictly a horror film; instead, I would call it a hybrid of a science fiction horror movie. The story was wildly original and was finely executed (pun intended). Besides having Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Star Trek) in the cast, I felt Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Let Me In) as Sitterson and Bradley Whitford (Kate & Leopold, The West Wing-TV) were perfect together. The best way to view this film would be to go in with as little information about it. I would even recommend you bypass the trailer below. Just remember its roots were in the horror genre, so there were gory bloody scenes.