An Open Letter To James Gunn

Hi mister James Gunn,

First: I decided last december that I wouldn’t watch trailers for movies in 2014. I pour over them and really love them but I wanted to give that a shot so I could watch movies clean. My no trailer diet was to start January first. That means I had already seen a trailer for The Winter Soldier, and for The Edge Of Tomorrow, and a bunch of others, but not Guardians Of The Galaxy…

Second: When you were announced as writer/director for Guardians of the Galaxy I was besides myself because I really like Slither and I absolutely love Super. Also the PG Porn stuff is genius. I never read the GOTG comics but the idea of you playing in the Marvel sandbox, in a science fiction setting, pleased me to no end.

So the first trailer for GOTG came out and everyone flipped out over it and I had to sit there and resist. And I did. But then these assholes released another trailer and another one and I had to resist all over again and resist some more and now I’m basically The Resister it’s my name now and that’s your fault. 

Then the Montreal-based Fantasia Film Festival announced their line up for this years’ festivities and, lo and behold, GOTG was on the menu. So on July 15th at 1 pm when tickets went on sale I ticketmastered like a motherfucker and got tickets for myself and some friends.

That brings us to today. I was the first guy in line. I arrived a little before 3pm to see this movie with my friends and have great seats. This movie I had not seen a single moving frame of. I trust you, man, you make good films, so I was in. They let us inside at around 7pm and I don’t mind telling you we had the best seats in the house. Since this is the Fantasia Film Festival I didn’t have to worry about assholes with cell phones or assholes who talk during the movie or just assholes in general. The crowd at Fantasia screenings is the best crowd in the world. They love movies and they want to experience them the best way, how you’re supposed to, in a big damn room surrounded by like-minded people and okay that’s the setup you need to appreciate where I’m coming from for the next few paragraph.

So the lights dimmed and the screen lit up and the first thing you did is you took the beginning of your movie and you shoved in right in my heart. Right, deep, down into the most fragile corner of it, right where it beats the softest, the quietest. I had a case of the wet eyes and we weren’t five minutes in. How did you do that? In a fucking Marvel movie? What sorcery is this?

But then the movie continues and other things happen and you bring up the title card and I was laughing so hard I had the wet eyes again, but different. And then you got all the characters at the same place for the first time (wait, except the great Bautista who shows up a bit later) and we get this super fun and funny and thrilling and perfect action scene and the crowd is howling in excitement and clapping and laughing and, man, you got us. You just got us. We’re yours, this little community with our lives on hold just outside the theatre doors, enraptured by the mayhem on screen.

I don’t want to review the film, I don’t know how to go about doing that and many better men (and women, clearly) than me surely will in the coming days. I just want to tell you that everything in it works. I laughed and I cried and I was thrilled and impressed and wowed and awed and everyone in the room was right there with me. You made a movie theatre movie, you know? A crowd movie. What you made is really special and precious and not everybody in your line of work can do that. Everybody who worked on this with you did an amazing job, too. Everybody should be proud.

You did a damn beautiful thing, sir.

So I wanted to thank you.

Until next time, 

Simon (AKA The Resister)

I love this poster so damn much. It could only be improved upon by being painted by Drew Struzan or someone equally good instead of being a photoshop job. Still, it’s done right and I love it.

Dear Marvel studios…

Dear Marvel studios, bravo on Winter Soldier! What an incredible film!!! However, please realize that 3D has never helped your films, it has only ever hurt them. It is a bad habit and even though you use it with, I’m sure, only the best intentions, it has enhanced my enjoyment of your movies exactly never.
I remain a huge fan of your studio, its boundless creativity and increasingly fearless genre-hopping tendencies.
Your pal and your fan,

Simon Panneton

There is literally zero reason why Paolo Rivera’s AMAZING above poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier can’t be the official one, other than Hollywood has long ago given up on making great poster art. It’s really too bad. This poster was commissioned by the film’s crew, and Rivera just fucking delivered the goods.

This little piece of geek art by Hanho Lee is fucking astonishing. Hulk Vs Iron Man in a Hulk-buster suit. Bravo.

(Take a look at his blog for more of his work)

Here’s that Iron-Man 3 trailer in not HD. 

Check out the trailer in glorious quicktime HERE

ANT-MAN IS CONFIRMED AND GETS A RELEASE DATE!

Finally! Marvel confirms Edgar Wright’s ANT-MAN and gives it a November 6th 2015 release date! The film was co-written by Wright and Joe Cornish, writer/director of last year’s excellent Attack the block. The two also co-wrote The Adventures Of Tintin: The secret of the unicorn, together with Steven Moffat. The Lesson here: they know how to write a great film.

(via comingsoon)

Absolutely lovely deleted scene from Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. I love the character of Steve Rogers (Captain America) so it’s really nice to see this.

Embed courtesy of Latinoreview.

The only Avengers review you need to read…

In my opinion the absolute best internet personality writing about film is FILM CRIT HULK over at badasssdigest. Don’t be fooled by the Hulk voice, it isn’t a gimmick. It’s a part of who he is and you just have to go with it. It’s very much worth it, the guy understands movies like very very few internet bloggers (or prominent film critics, in my opinion).

Anyways, I kept waiting for his take on THE AVENGERS (I movie I absolutely love) and it’s finally HERE.

Forget about my silly review, just go read that one. Oh, spoiler alert - he gets to the meat of it.

The Avengers

I’m not sure where to begin.

I have no shortage of love for what I’ve just seen. In fact I’ll run it to you this way: this is by far the most exhilarating Marvel movie yet. This movie is EVERYTHING that it had to be. It’s a better movie than both Iron-Man films by a long shot, it’s much better than Thor or the previous Hulk movies, it’s just. So. Fucking. Awesome.

Let’s get something out of the way: I’ve read complaints about the script. About a lack of character archs for the heros. I’m baffled by this. It’s a complaint made by people who missed the entire point of the movie. While it’s true that The Black Widow and Bruce Banner and Steve Rogers and (most of) the rest don’t do a lot of evolving during the movie, the actual main character here is the team, The Avengers, and the team has an INCREDIBLY SATISFYING arch. You couldn’t ask for better. That’s what the entire movie is about. These people should not be in the same room together, let alone form a team. But they have to. Add conflict, stir.

Let’s talk characters.

I was watching Iron-Man 2 yesterday (I ran through all the Marvel films in the past two weeks, just for fun) and I couldn’t believe how much of an asshole Tony Stark was for most of the movie, how unlikeable. It was a long way from the Tony Stark from the first film, who, even though just as self-absorbed, was extremely easy to root for because he didn’t feel like just a selfish jerk.

That guy is back in The Avengers. Tony Stark is great. Still snarky, still funny, completely brilliant, but the jerk aspect from the sequel is gone. In fact all the characters here are fantastic, nobody drew the short straw. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is incredibly good and relatable and gets some great moments, especially with Stark. Even the lesser known characters that worried me, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are fantastic and absolutely play a vital role in the unfolding events. Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill could have been just a throwaway character but not on Whedon’s watch, no sir. She’s great too. Same for Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury. Most directors would have been fine having him bark orders for the entire film, playing the grandiose loud mouth Mr Jackson is often stuck playing. Not here. Whedon writes him as an almost quiet guy. There’s a clear feeling I got sometimes that Fury is the guy who knows what’s right and what to do but is also well aware that the things that need to be done aren’t always morally all that great. But Fury will make those calls. The beautiful thing is you can tell, in Jackson’s acting, that Fury doesn’t enjoy making them, that he probably gets many sleepless nights because of some of the things he does, but that these things need to be done.

These characters, Captain America, Thor, Iron-Man, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, fight. They fight enemies but they fight amongst themselves too. In really awesome fights as well as in heated arguments. The beauty is that every character has a valid point. When Stark argues with Cap, he has valid points, he’s not just being a dick. And Cap has incredibly valid points too. That makes for decidedly juicy dialogue.

Ahhh, the dialogue.

It’s great how you forget all about Whedon when watching this (normally you hear Whedon in his dialogue, which is not necessarily a bad thing - I love it - but here he understands that these characters already have their voices and he shouldn’t whedonize them) (well, not too much). He just gets every character, and their dynamic within the group, so well that he always puts the right words in their mouth. Often very funny words. Yes, that movie is incredibly funny. There are moments where I laughed, I’m almost certain, harder than I will at the movies for a very long time. There is one gag in particular that I laughed hard at and then continued giggling over for at least a minute or too. But he never makes a character do a joke or say something funny if it doesn’t completely fit both the character and the moment. He never betrays a moment for the sake of a joke. The man is funny but he’s smart too and he chooses his moments well.

But I knew all this going in. I know Whedon is smart and funny, and I know that he gets these characters and that he understand team dynamic. That’s not news to me, I’ve been a fan of him since the 90s for exactly that.

I never would have guessed, however, he’d be this good with all the action stuff. And, man, there is a LOT of action in this film. More, I’ll venture, than in every other marvel films put together. But WAIT! Isn’t that just too much? I mean you don’t want to go to the movies and get pummelled by an avalanche of explosions and punches and needlessly loud dolby surround, right? We already got Michael Bay for that.

Don’t worry. While there is more action in this than in the latest Transformers movie (seriously), there isn’t a minute of it that A) doesn’t make complete visual sense, B) isn’t emotionally compelling, C) isn’t clear in therms of goals, in therms of cause and effect, and D) all of this action is peppered by little moments between characters that let you catch your breath as well as understand why whatever awesome peice of badassery waiting to happen next needs to happen.

You may have noticed I’m staying away from the plot. Look, there is a menace, and they need to fight it. That’s all you need to know. This isn’t a Coen Bros movie, the script isn’t an intricate piece of tangled narative brilliance. It’s very straight forward. That doesn’t stop it from being impossibly effective. There is so much room for interesting character dynamics between all our main heroes that a overly-complicated script would have honestly been a hindrance, not a benifit. 

Man, it’s just a great fucking flick. Every hero got moments that made me cheer, every one had opportunity to prove their worth during the movie’s two hour running time, every last one. But. I gotta talk a bit, just a bit, about The Hulk. Fuuuuuuuuck. The Hulk has a moment that made me want to stand up and cheer so loud, a moment that gave me goosebumps. The Hulk is a fucking star in this movie. He gets some GREAT laughs (remember: never at the expence of the character or the moment) and he gets this absolutely awesome moment (and many more before and after). And I mean “awesome” litterally. As in: inspires awe.

I could continue this for a while yet, but I think I’ve made my point. The Avengers is one of the greatest comic book movies ever made, right up there with The Incredibles and Spider-Man 2. It’s a jaw-dropping spectacle of the highest order and an endlessly satisfying night at the movies. This is one that I will pay to see again. Whedon just threw down the gauntlet and other directors must be shitting their pants.

Bravo.

Oh man I almost forgot: STAY UNTIL THE VERY END! I loooooooove the after the credit easter egg. Pure greatness.

Mondo released info on their final The Avengers poster, Tyler Stout's AMAZING poster for not one character but EVERYONNNNNE!!!!! (read that in Gary Oldman's voice from The Professional).

Follow them on Twitter to find out when this goes on sale (at some point tomorrow).

And possibly my favorite of their ongoing Avengers poster series, Mondo's super badass THOR, by the über talented Martin Ansin.

Here’s MONDO's amazing Iron Man poster, as part of their on going Avengers series. This one's done by the great Kevin Tong.