Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Sequel to: Guardians of the Galaxy
Cast: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffSylvester StalloneKurt RussellElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean Gunn, Seth Green, Michael Rosenbaum, David HasselhoffVing RhamesMichelle Yeoh, Jeff GoldblumStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 3.5.2017

Plot:
Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have made quite a reputation for themselves. People have even started to ask them for help. But it’s not easy to leave your old habits behind and when Rocket not only helps but also steals, one thing leads to another and the group find themselves crashing on a planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). This is not a coincidence: Ego tells Peter that he is his father, throwing him for quite a loop. But trouble has only just begun.

I was not a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie to begin with, and I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was even weaker. At least Baby Groot was cute.

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The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

The LEGO Batman Movie
Director: Chris McKay
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington
Based on: Bob Kane‘s and Bill Finger‘s comics character
Cast: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizondo, Mariah Carey
(I saw the dubbed German version, though.)
Seen on: 9.2.2017

Plot:
Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Will Arnett) leads a rather lonely existence. Between beating up criminals like the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and eating lobster thermidor prepared by his trusted butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), he spends most of his time alone and in pain at the memory of the family he lost. But things change rapidly when Bruce not only accidentally adopts an orphan (Michael Cera), but the Joker and pretty much the entire league of supervillains surrender themselves to Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) who just proposed a new approach to crime for the police. But there must be something behind that surrender and Bruce has to find out.

The Lego Batman Movie is a celebration and parody of all things Batman and more. It’s as funny as it is nonsensical, and yet it manages to say more about the character Batman than more serious adaptations have managed. But at its heart, there is not much behind the jokes.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

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Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (2011)

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Writer: Joss Whedon, Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
In Comic-Con Episode IV, Spurlock follows a few people during their Comic-Con experience: two guys looking to break into the comic industry as artists, a comic vendor trying to break even, a costume designer team, two attendants who fell in love at the last Comic-Con and an action figure collector. And interspersed are interviews with famous (and also not so famous) geeks and attendants like Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Seth Rogen, Seth Green, Eli Roth and with a special appearance by Stan Lee.

The movie was fun and very nice, but I did have some issues with it. Though those at least didn’t take away much from my enjoyment, because during the film I was very well entertained.

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It (Stephen King)

I’m a big Stephen King fan, and yet have never read his two main works (at least to me they seem to be his main works) – It and The Dark Tower series. Now, I finally reduced this list to The Dark Tower series and finished It.

I liked it, a lot. It’s definitely one of his stronger books. The story itself goes about in the usual Stephen King way, the book does not. I liked the structure of the novel, the way he switches between 1958 and 1985. And of course, his writing style, as usual, is very, very good.

But the biggest and strongest point from the book are his characters. I liked all of the Losers’ Club (L. asked me, which character I liked best. I told her “Ben”, which was immediately followed by an internal outcry of “What about Bev? Bill? Stan? Mike? Richie? Eddie?”).

Unfortunately, his characters were also one of the weakest points. I don’t know why he went with seven kids, because he really focuses and characterises only on 3, maybe 4 of them, leaving the others kind of empty, compared to the density of the others. If that makes any sense.

But what gets me every time I read a King novel, is how well he knows people. I mean, all of the characters are so real, so thoroughly thought through, so logical in their own ways. Even if they are more sketched than anything else.

I think that’s part of why his books are so scary: Because everything else is so real that you can see it, that you feel like you know it, the fantastic elements don’t seem to be so fantastic anymore.

After having read the book, I finally also watched the movie. I was unimpressed.

The special effects sucked, but okay, it’s almost twenty years old (holy shit, it’s already almost twenty years old). So I won’t hold it against them.

What really bothered me, was that they changed things from the book I didn’t think it was necessary to change (why is the cycle 30 years in the movie and about 27 years in the book? Was it really so hard to explain why Stan killed himself, so they had to explain it differently in the movie, making him kind of less Stan-like? etc). On the other hand, they left things from the book in the movie I didn’t think necessary (like the banana-heels episode. It never came up afterwards, in the movie).

What I did like was the way they tried to keep the time-jumping structure from the novel (even though they didn’t go through with it to the end). Although I do think that the way they connected the adults and children sometimes was a bit too much. I got that young Bill and old Bill where the same person (and I think that you’d get it as well if you hadn’t read the book), without them making the same overly theatrical gesture while the pictures blend into each other.

I loved Tim Curry, he was great. I was really surprised [in a good way] to see Seth Green and Jonathan Brandis, I didn’t know they were in there. [Okay, Jonathan Brandis is not really well known, but I had a major crush on him when I saw Neverending Story II. And I just looked his page up on the imdb, and he killed himself five years ago. That’s so horrible…]

Well, I guess I can sum it up with: The book is sooo much better: it’s extraordinary. The film is a run of the mill horror shocker with an eighties feel to it.