7:00 PM, 8th July, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy was a complete surprise to me. Not unlike the very first Iron Man (which I saw with my very limited knowledge of the Marvel universe at the time) the seemingly obscure story of Guardians absolutely blew me away. It was hilarious, endearing and simply awesome.
The film saw a ragtag bunch of misfits band together, overcome their internal struggles and become, well, the Guardians of the Galaxy. How very Avenger-ly.
There were three things that made Vol. 1 so great. First and foremost, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord with his roguish sass, comedic timing and overly impressive dance moves. Pratt is simply a God amongst men and was perfectly cast in this role. Secondly, the kickass and all ’round classic soundtrack of hits from the ‘70s, aptly named ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1’.
And finally, the very best part of Guardians was the interaction between the seamless ensemble cast. Every member of the team all worked so perfectly together and the end result was simply comedy gold. I will make a big call here, but personally I enjoyed the dynamic between the team in Guardians way more than The Avengers. There, I said it.
The highly-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is set two months after the first film, as the Guardians travel throughout the cosmos trying to discover who Star-Lord’s father is and in the process struggle to keep their newfound family together. Be prepared for more of everything you loved in the first volume, but now with the adorable Baby Groot to fawn over too. Oh, and also expect ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 2’ to be twice as awesome.
9:10 PM, 8th July, 2017
Wes Anderson is synonymous with the cult indie film. His works are iconic; through use of impeccably arranged details, textures, colours and music, Anderson has an awkward yet confident style, perfectly complemented by an elite pool of actors which he recycles throughout his films.
The Life Aquatic was my very first experience of Anderson’s work and I fell in love immediately. There are so many wonderful aspects to this film: the incredible soundtrack, including delightful acoustic renditions of David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese; adorable animation and predominantly, the excellent cast, fronted by everyone’s favourite rascal, Bill Murray, who plays Zissou (a homage to the great oceanographer and documentary filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, to whom the film is dedicated).
Whilst filming his most recent documentary, Zissou’s partner Esteban is eaten by an elusive ‘Jaguar Shark’. Reminiscent of “Moby Dick”, Zissou becomes obsessed, swears revenge on the shark and is determined to document its destruction. Owen Wilson plays Ned, a fan of Zissou’s who joins the expedition and finances the expedition, because he secretly believes that Zissou is his father. Cate Blanchett plays Jane, a pregnant reporter covering the bizarre quest, who Ned and Zissou end up having a rivalry over.
Anderson gained his well-deserved cult following due to his beautiful, tender and often surreal and ridiculous coming-of-age films. He focuses on themes of love, family, grief, manhood and responsibility. Amongst Anderson’s contemporaries, The Life Aquatic is an absolute must see.