We are living in the age of the geek. From the revitalization of ‘Star Wars’ to the resurgence of the super hero drama, there is almost nothing that we can complain about. Okay, we could spend some time rattling off the errors of the DC Universe but we won’t do that. After all, ‘Justice League’ is around the corner and they can’t get that movie wrong — right? No, we’ve never heard of the ‘Suicide Squad’. Shifting gears, let’s talk about a franchise that has never been anything but wonderful — ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The second entry in the Marvel franchise hit theaters just last weekend and fans are already glowing.
If you spaced out and missed the fist ‘GOTG’ then you dodged one of the most pleasing and fun cinematic experiences of the last few summers. Forget the fact that this is a super hero movie, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was a surprisingly fun and exceedingly mature entry into a genre that can go low-brow far too often. Led by Star Lord (Chris Pratt) the Guardians of the Galaxy are a motley crew of second-rate super heroes that end up in the spotlight far more often than they’d ever expect. James Gunn (‘Slither’) sits comfortably behind the camera, bringing to life a colorful palette that most Marvel directors have been averse to touching.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ steps up everything that we loved about the first film while bringing a mature evolution to the characters inside of the story. We won’t give any spoilers but we will say that newcomers Kurt Russel (Ego), Sylvester Stallone (Stakar), and Tommy Flanagan (Tullk) all add a ton of color to one of the most exciting ensembles in the business.
What we were most nervous about when ‘Vol. 2’ was announced was that the team of writers would jump the shark. It would be easy to cave to popular opinion and make this a film to sell Baby Groot merchandise. While Baby Groot plays a big part of the film, they don’t overload the cheese. Instead, we get a multi-layered picture that focuses on each unique member of the ‘Guardians’ ragtag bunch. The movie plays on Peter Quill’s past, explores his future, and does a darn good job of bringing it all together.
Many people were excited when Emelia Clarke was cast as the unknown female lead in the upcoming Han Solo standalone movie. Her role as Danaerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones has been well-received in many circles, and a number of people are looking to see what she can do with another role. There are also many questions surrounding her character and what her role is, especially considering the fact that we know Han Solo has a romantic destiny with a certain princess/general.
Those questions have Clarke nervous. Both of her projects have been packed with mysteries. HBO has been extremely tight-lipped about Game of Thrones secrets, while Disney and Lucasfilm are renowned for their ability to keep a secret and to force their actors to do the same. In a recent interview, Clarke opened up about her fears.
“I genuinely can’t tell you anything other than Alden [Ehrenreich, the actor chosen to play a young Han Solo] is magnificent, and it’s a delight to do something on that level with really cool actors and nice people. But it’s even scarier talking about that than Game of Thrones.”
The difference is that Clarke has read the entire script for the Han Solo film, while the Game of Thrones scripts usually come out week by week as they go through their production schedule. She knows all the secrets of the new Star Wars Saga story, whereas HBO keeps their actors on a need to know basis.
“No one knows anything,” she said, referring to Game of Thrones. “No one is told anything. It’s all crazy. It’s a secret from the cast. We generally can’t be trusted. They pretty much have told us so.”
In HBO’s mind, just as with a military or spy agency, you cannot spill secrets that you do not know. The only plot secrets we know for certain about this new Star Wars film is that it will cover six years, following Han from the age of 18 to 24. We will discover how he gained his life bond from Chewbacca, and likely how he won the Millenium Falcon from Lando Calrissian, played by Donald Glover.
Often times, when it comes to the talk about movies, one of the things that is mentioned is the idea of seeing a movie as the director intended. This has often been constantly talked about with watching a movie in widescreen in order to explain the black bars on the television set. However, things have changed in the entertainment industry. For one thing, seeing a movie in the theater does not necessarily mean seeing the movie as the directed intended. Other than deleted scenes and director’s cuts, there have come to be different types of theaters for different types of films.
One thing that the more serious movie goer understands is that some directors make films in ways that require a different format altogether. For instance, there are shifting ratios in some movies. While some could say that one could do that in a regular theater, it does miss the point of the whole thing. For one thing, when directors like Christopher Nolan used IMAX cameras for his movies, he wanted the IMAX scenes to be much larger because of the greater resolution of IMAX cameras. Only 70MM IMAX could capture the full glory of the IMAX scenes as they were meant to be shown.
One of the upcoming movies that are taking advantage of the IMAX format is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. While none of the scenes have been shot with the IMAX cameras, there have been some scenes that have been framed with IMAX in mind. Given that the aspect ratio is 1.90:1 as opposed to 1.44:1, this movie is an ideal fit for digital IMAX cinemas.
Seeing the movie as the director intended is how one is going to get the most out of the movie going experience. After all, the director is trying to tell a story. He has crafted everything together carefully so that he will be able to get his point across to the view. Every aspect which includes the aspect ratio(s) and soundtrack has been carefully thought out.
There was a time when big event movies were treated as big events. This meant that the films were shown on larger screens which larger formats such as 70MM. People always got to enjoy greater sound and a bigger picture. Also, the 70MM formats offer a much better picture than the 35MM formats. Going to the movies used to be such a huge event for people. Then in the late 90s, the 70MM format pretty much stopped. 35MM became the one format to watch movies on. Also, movie theaters have switched to digital sound formats. As a result, every movie pretty much sounded the same. There was very little reason to catch a movie on the first night other than to catch it on a large screen.
For a few years, people only had 35MM. However, there were experiments with new formats such as IMAX. Eventually, IMAX became the one format for putting movies in theaters on a large format. One of the good things about IMAX was that it has the greatest picture quality for movies that have been shot on this format. However, it has taken a long time before it could really be used for movies. For one thing, IMAX has a limit on the length of movies that could be put on the platter.
One of the limitations that people experienced with IMAX movies is that the films were cut down from the full length. Therefore, the early movies that have been released in IMAX were abridged movies. Fortunately, they have worked through that and now full movies could be shown in this format. Now, there are reasons to see movies in IMAX. These reasons include the changes in aspect ratios for greater show experiences.
Among the films that are able to take advantage of the format is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. which is going to make the most of the IMAX experience. People are going to have a fun time at the event.
Stan Lee has been appearing in Marvel based movies and television for decades. Much of the time, he shows up as a cameo. He has appeared as a general, a bystander, a FedEx Agent, a playboy, and much more. For a long time, fans have had a theory that all of these appearances add up to one important thing, Stan Lee is actually Uatu, the Watcher.
Uatu is a recurring character in the Marvel comic universe. He never participates, and, as his name connotates, he has watched some of the most important events in Marvel. His race is billions of years old, and they have chosen to watch over and help the “younger” races in the universe. Uatu, for better or worse, chose to watch the humans of Earth.
In a recent interview, Marvel chief Kevin Feige seems to lend some credence to the theory, especially considering Lee’s new appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. Lee has two cameos in the new film, and both seem to heavily suggest that he is indeed Uatu.
In these cameos (and *Spoiler Alert*) Lee is in the company of figures that are very much watching and judging the events of the movie. Their garb and makeup styling are certainly reminiscent of the comic “Watchers”.
Fiege appears to confirm this theory in a statement. “Yes, we always thought it would be fun. Stan Lee clearly exists, you know, above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians was something very fun…It wasn’t in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent – we thought it would be fun to put that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films.”
While this may be story back fill, it certainly seems that Marvel itself has taken fans wishes into account when it comes to the godfather of all things superhero.
When the announcement was made that the sequel to Blade Runner is not going to be directed by Ridley Scott because of his commitment to the Alien franchise, the announcement was met with a lot of disappointment. For one thing, Ridley Scott is the one that was responsible for the film being a hit in later years. Also, Ridley Scott had the visual style that complimented Blade Runner. However, there has been good news. This news is that Denis Villeneuve has been chosen to helm the project. Villeneuve is known as a great director with a good visual style that could complement the world of Blade Runner.
However, there have been further announcements that the sequel is not really going to look like its predecessor. Fortunately, there have been concept images, and even set photos that show that they are doing everything they can to keep the spirit of Blade Runner with the sequel. Then when the teaser dropped, it has shown that they have managed to keep the spirit of the original. While there are some scenes that are in completely different environments, they still have the same feel of the old predecessor.
Even though the teaser of the new Blade Runner film was really short, it showed a lot for people to be excited about for the new movie. Whether or not the film is going to match its predecessor remains to be seen. At the same time, it does not really matter as long as the story is good. Blade Runner from 1982 was a major technological achievement in many respects. To try to top it might not be a good idea. However, the director of this film is turning out to be a good match for this film. Also, the director of the original, Ridley Scott, is staying on as the executive producer. Therefore, he has some kind of say in the creative aspects of the story that is going to be released on the big screen.
As people know, a lot of movies do get sequels. However, there is one question to be asked. This question is whether or not the movie needed a sequel. While there are some movies that have been created with the intention of bringing in a sequel to continue the story and expand the world, there are some movies that are complete in and of themselves and have no need for a sequel. The interesting thing is that some unnecessary sequels are actually pretty good. However, the original movie itself was good enough on its own, and the sequel in and of itself may have dulled some of the impact the film may have had when it was left alone.
Among the movies that have been designed to be franchises are Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Batman, and plenty of other movies. They have had plenty of sequels and installments in the franchise. However, not all of them were really good. Then there were some that were really good and even exceeded the first film of the franchises. One thing to be said about sequels is that one is not going to quite capture the same magic of the first film.
With the films that may have been just fine without sequels, they have had complete stories and the sequels were probably not needed. These films are Rocky, Alien, and Blade Runner. However, Rocky, Alien and some other franchises have released sequels that have lived up to the first one. The verdict has not been given on Blade Runner 2049. Even the director has stated that he does not expect it to top or even live up to its predecessor. For one thing, the predecessor has done a ton of things to influence sci-fi. Even as a really good film with a good story, Blade Runner 2049 is not expected to have as much of an impact as its predecessor did. However, it will likely expand the universe of the first film.
One common occurrence in the industry is that there are films that are released and they are a big enough hit to get the industry considering a sequel. The interesting thing is that there is often no telling when a sequel is going to be greenlit, made and then released. For one thing, some franchises have sequels that are released in as a little as a year apart while other movies seem to take years and in some cases, more than a decade to gain a sequel.
Among the sequels that have taken long to finally get made are any Terminator sequel, Rocky Balboa, John Rambo, Escape From L.A., and finally Blade Runner 2049. These are just a few of many late sequels. While some of them did not live up to the glory of their predecessors, there are some that managed to not only match, but outshine their predecessors. One thing that made it successful is that it has taken the time to become its own thing as opposed to just going by the numbers. While some of the characters and themes are the same, there are plenty of differences that make the film its own thing.
Having a sequel released years after the original movie is met with many challenges. For one thing, a generation has passed since the last movie in some cases. Therefore, it is important to reintroduce the film to the audience. Also, it is likely that people have moved on from the film that is getting the sequel. Therefore, it is going to have to stand on its own merits as opposed to riding on the success of the predecessor. Some directors make the mistake of trying very hard to reintroduce the franchise to the audience as John Carpenter did with Escape From L.A.
When it comes to sequels, timing is everything. The principle of timing when it comes to sequels is better sooner than later. It rarely works when one waits over a decade to make the film.
Alien and Blade Runner are two franchises that have been started by Ridley Scott. They are also considered Sci-Fi classics. One interesting thing to note is that both franchises have new installments coming out this year. Another thing, that is exciting to hear is that the new installment in the Alien franchise, Alien Covenant, is going to have a new trailer for Blade Runner 2049 attached to it. This one is going to of course show more footage of the film. Therefore, people are going to get to see how this film truly looks and get a better idea of the plot of the film.
Whether the plot is going to be revealed in the trailer or not remains to be seen. However, it is common for films to have their plots revealed in their trailers and even have big twists spoiled. The trailer for the original Blade Runner movie has had its plot revealed in the trailer. Of course details about the plot of the old film are left to discussion. The teaser only shows a couple of scenes including a scene with Ryan Goslings character walking through the wasteland which oddly captures the spirit of the old Blade Runner.
Then there is the Han Solo-esque appearance of Harrison Ford as Deckard wearing rather “normal” looking clothes. A lot of people talked about Harrison’s Ford wardrobe. It almost seems like he is breaking the fourth wall with his fashion statement. Either way, it is going to be an exciting day when Blade Runner 2049 is released to theaters.
There are some concerns about the film. One concern is how they are going to handle the mystery of who Deckard is. One thing that has been said is that the director of the new film is going to take care of this mystery. It is possible that they are going to deal with different aspects of the whole concept of replicants and open up the world of Blade Runner.
The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has turned out to be a major hit with audiences. This second installment into the franchise is going to go bigger. It is not just going bigger on the action and the plot, it is also going bigger on format. In other words, people are going to be encouraged to see the movie in IMAX. One thing about IMAX is that it is considered the best way to watch movies. For one thing, the picture is huge for 70MM IMAX theaters and the sound outshines regular cinemas. Therefore, people are given a reason to enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 on such a huge format.
The IMAX format of the film is going to be given a treatment that the action films that have been released on this format have been known for. It is going to have shifting aspect ratios. The movie is going to be presented in 2.39:1 for some scenes and 1.90:1 digital IMAX ratio for some of the bigger action scenes. One thing that people should keep in mind is that this film has not been shot with IMAX cameras. Therefore, there is not going to be a change in the resolution like in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight films and Interstellar as well as the upcoming Dunkirk.
Fans who want the biggest experience will do very well to enjoy the film in IMAX. Of course, given that this is a big event film, there are also other big formats that people can watch it in as it depends on the theater that they are living close by. The important point is for people to get the largest experience that they can get with this film.
One of the good things about these larger premium formats is that it takes people back to the days of 70MM presentations with a huge screen and a much better sound system. People got to enjoy full immersion into their films.