Log in

Guardians of the Galaxy – Review

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Wide-560x282

Guardians of the Galaxy came out in cinemas across the UK today.

It’s been a long time coming; at least it feels that way. I’ve been looking forward to this movie for most of the year.

We’ll start with the opening. This is spoiler free so I won’t go into detail.

We get a beautifully shot and heartbreaking prologue, introducing us to Star-Lord’s origin. Unlike most of the Marvel movies, this happens before the logo even appears on screen, separating it from the rest of the movie nicely.

After the familiar and excitement inducing logo appears is when the fun really begins.

I should mention that despite my usual misgivings I went to see this movie in 3D. Usually I prefer to forgo this sort of faff, but if you’re going to the IMAX, 3D is not optional. It’s also the best possible way someone could watch this film, especially the main opening.  You really must see this film in 3D to get a full understanding of how incredible a director James Gunn really is.

guardiansgalaxychrisprattstillThe proper intro hadn’t been going for more than perhaps 3 minutes before I and half the audience, were laughing out loud. Not laughing from it being bad, and there wasn’t exactly a joke, although those come thick and fast in this movie, but from sheer joy. The intro makes you grin so wide your face hurts. It does have a few laughs in there, mostly sight gags and they roll along perfectly into the first action sequence.

This film does not waste time; it hits the ground running and not just with action and funny moments. It’s brilliant at establishing characters, and their relationships with the world around them, almost instantly. After the first sequence was over you find yourself thinking, “Wow! Chris Pratt IS Peter Quill.” He inhabits this character in a way we haven’t seen since Robert Downer Jr. brought Tony Stark to life in Iron Man.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-groot-and-rocketThe rest of the characters are similarly well handled. Groot and Rocket are as adorable as they are terrifying. Rocket’s vulnerability, in particular, is one aspect not shown in the trailers which is unequivocally nailed throughout this film. He’s funny, smarter than everyone else and gun crazy to be sure, but his humanity and sincerity are genuinely moving at some points.

Groot is equally fun to watch, this movie manages to bring CGI characters to life and make you forget that they aren’t real. I expected all of Groot’s funniest moments to come from his lumbering, sweet, cluelessness. Don’t get me wrong they mine that well for all its worth, but the most fun they have with Groot is when his talent for violence shocks you. It reminds you all too well of that moment in The Avengers where the Hulk shows the extent of his distaste for Loki. We all knew they had this character right when they cast Vin Diesel though, who better than the Iron Giant to bring him to life?

gamora-guardians-of-the-galaxyGamora is beautifully executed, she makes clear from the off that she’s not simply a love interest for our hero, no matter how much he’d wish she was. Her journey in the film is possibly the most interesting. Already experiencing a crisis point in her life and housing a past filled with unimaginable torment, Zoe Saldana shows an old, wounded soul in every close up and every line.

bautista-drax-clipDrax is, well Drax is for the most part hilarious. With a past like his, it’d be easy for this character to be confusing but they keep everything perfectly balanced. Dave Batista, who many thought might be the weak link, really shines throughout this film. Especially loving the choice to make him a completely literal character, unable to grasp metaphor. It allows for some brilliant humour, without sacrificing his intelligence.

gotg4I could spend forever going into each of the smaller characters and the villains here, they’re all just impeccable. I don’t think I really have the time to explain what an incredible achievement this film is, in creating so many characters that are so well fleshed out and portrayed.

Obviously I can’t go into plot and scene details but suffice to say that the story rolls along at a steady pace, keeping you from getting bored for even a single second. You also never feel overwhelmed with information. This last point is a big deal because this film does something that so often leads to information overload. It builds a world.

gotg14The universe it creates is rich and textured and populated by countless races, political conflicts and landscapes. There is never a point where you feel lost or confused and it’s only really after the movie that you realise what an incredible feat that is.

This movie can’t be properly reviewed without a shout out to the music. The soundtrack is actually better, if that’s possible, when combined with the stuff that’s happening on screen. Especially the last two. The last two musical moments make this film end with that same jaw hurting grin that you started it with. Really, you have no idea until you see it.

XXX GUARDIANS-GALAXY-MOV-JY-0704.JPG A ENTThis is quite possibly the best Marvel movie yet. I know that’s something people have been saying about every movie they’ve released over the past year and a half, but this is something different. We have no doubt that Avengers: Age of Ultron will be exceptional and will be hailed in a similar way. Still, Guardians of the Galaxy is, I feel, special.

We knew it was going to be, the trailers made us that promise and the feature delivered with incredible style and an irritatingly smug awareness of its own brilliance. Which, of course only added to its charm. Yep this movie knows it’s great, just like Star Lord knows he’s a legendary outlaw.

You might say “But Star Lord isn’t!” and I’d reply “Watch the movie, he absolutely is.”

 

Competition Time! And The Winner Is…

guardfeat

On Monday and Tuesday geek retreat teamed up the the Odeon to bring our amazing readers the chance to win 4 tickets to Guardians of the Galaxy!

The competition was simple, caption the image below and the one that makes us laugh the most wins!

Well the competition is over and it looks like we have a winner!

This was a really difficult decision, in fact we had to get help from all of the Geek Retreat staff to narrow down our selection. The entries were funny, some clever, and some just plain silly.

Congratulations go to our winner, Caffeinekick!

And here’s her caption…

Untitled-3 (2)

Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition and we’ll see you again on our next amazing giveaway!

Don’t forget that Guardians of the Galaxy hits cinemas in the UK today and the Odeon are showing 2D and 3D screenings!

You Must Read This Super Cute Email Exchange Between Joss Whedon & Tom Hiddleston!

PANews+BT_P-ae42e46d-9683-4a03-8064-5b69073f5a5d_I1

Who knew Joss Whedon and Tom Hiddleston could be this sweet?

Well, anyone who’s ever seen an interview with either of them. To be honest it comes as no surprise, they’ve proven time and time again to be two of the most genuinely nice people in the entertainment industry.

Now, thanks to Business Insider, we have even more proof of their combined force for awesome. They published the following exchange, which will be appearing in Joss Whedon’s upcoming biography.

The email comes immediately after Hiddleston had read the script for The Avengers for the first time.

Given how amazing Loki’s part in that movie was, it’s little wonder that Hiddleston couldn’t contain his squee.

 

“Joss,

I am so excited I can hardly speak.

The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn’t know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: “real menace”; “field of obeisance”; “discontented, nothing is enough”; “his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull”; “Puny god” …

… Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason … It’s high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the “real menace” and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It’s grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I’ve ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.

I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence…. That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.

… But really I’m just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don’t do. It’s epic.”

 

To which Whedon replies, in a much les verbose, but equally adorable manner.

 

“Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It’s more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn’t be more pleased at your reaction, but I’ll also tell you I’m still working on it … Thank you again. I’m so glad you’re pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.

Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.”

 

These two are forever showing themselves to be cute, funny and just all round the sweetest guys on the planet.

We can’t wait to see Avengers: Age of Ultron when it hits cinemas next April.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Official Teaser Trailer!

hungergames

The folks over at Lionsgate have been doing an amazing job with clever and interesting ways of promoting the upcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1.

With the incredibly gorgeous posters, created for each district and the ominously big brother-esque PSA from President Snow. There was also a page of script released on the Hunger Games site, to further our anticipation. They have pulled out all the stops.

But now the waiting is over and we finally get teaser trailer for the movie itself!

Mockingjay Part 1 hits UK theaters  on the 21st of November this year. This will be the penultimate installment of the Hunger Games franchise and promises to be much darker than the ones that have come before. Which is quite a feat, considering the movies were about children killing each other for the entertainment of the rich upper class.

The teaser trailer is short but oh so tantalizing!

UGC Comic Review – Caliban #1

caliban+001+(2014)+(digital)+(darkness-empire)+001b

Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Facundo Percio
Published by Avatar Press

By Dominic Kelly

Horror can be a rather fickle genre to write for.

Be it film, TV or comic, horror is a genre that is entirely subjective. Much like comedy, what scares one person may not scare another. At the core of it all though, there is one kind of fear that is almost universal in its scope; fear of the unknown. Ever since our younger years, the unknown has invoked a sense of dread that many other fears don’t capture.

Now as most people will know, I am massive fan of horror in general. Ever since I was a kid, the genre has had its own little corner in my heart. In fact I have written a few articles for this very site on horror projects and my general love of them. So it fills me with joy when a project comes along that is genuinely scary. Such is the case with Caliban, the new comic book from Punisher writer Garth Ennis and artist Facundo Percio. But scares aside, how good is this comic?

In Caliban, we are introduced to the crew of a deep space mining vessel on course for a newly discovered planet. Amidst the great dark seas of infinity though, something goes amiss. During their trip the ship collides with another vessel during warp, fusing the two together. It’s from here that the crew have to deal with an unknown maze of metal that now stands before them. Faced with death or worse, the crew decide to enter the ancient ship, hoping to discover its origins.

At its core, Caliban is an old story told very well. While an excellent horror at its centre, there is enough here to easily capture the attention of any reader looking for a good story. Much like Alien or Event Horizon before it, the comic builds its story throughout, as opposed to just relying on scares. This is a concept that seems lost on a lot of people these days, so it’s good to see someone understand that scares shouldn’t come at the expense of the story.

Ennis’ grasp of this concept makes for a great read in the end, as scares are built to, as opposed to being thrust upon us. Realising that there is power in the unknown, the story builds slowly, and when scares hit, they hit hard. Character development is never lost though, and before long, what looked to be stock characters take on a life of their own.

Complimenting this awesome story is some atmospheric art. From the brush of Facundo Percio, the art of this first issue not only compliments the uneasy tension, it builds on it. Percio’s artwork invokes a claustrophobic sense that inspires a tense feeling as the story progresses. The art never falters either, and adds to the story’s uneasy nature with an ease that is rare to see these days.

Caliban is a perfect example of how powerful the horror genre can be. In just one issue, Ennis has managed to capture something that has been lacking from the genre recently; a sense of dread. Paired with Percio’s wonderful and creepy art, Caliban makes for a great read all round. If you’re a fan of horror and its like, then this is required reading.

10 New Set Pictures From Star Wars Episode 7!

feat sw

Early last month we were treated to 40 set photos on location for Star Wars Episode 7. There were set pieces, creatures and all sorts of delicious goodies to feast our eyes upon.

Then, just last week J J Abrams gave us a sneaky little peek at the brand new X-Wing design as he pushed the “Force for Change” charity drive.

Now the Star Wars machine is in Ireland and the 10, brand new set photos that have been released today are of the breathtaking landscape on Skellig Island. The sequence being filmed, will apparently involve the search for a missing Luke Skywalker and his eventual discovery by Han Solo & Co.

Check out the images below.

Click on the thumbnails to view larger image.

Source: ScreenCrush

JUST HIT THE WEB! Sin City: A Dame To Kill For – Red Band Trailer!

Sin-city-a-dame-to-kill-for-banner

Wow.

This trailer is really something. As if we didn’t already know that Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is going to be spectacular, now we have the proof.

Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are back with the next installment of Sin City and it’s only taken them nine years to get here. With some old, familiar faces, some new and intriguing characters plus that same, fantastically cartoonish, Noir aesthetic that draws you deep into Frank Millers world.

This trailer has it all; action, girls, guys, blood, guns and even Lady Gaga!

That’s right, if you keep your eyes peeled you’ll see her in the trailer.

[Caution, this trailer may not be suitable for younger audiences]

 

Godzilla Sequel Monsters: Rodan, Mothra, Ghidorah?

godzilla-2014-france-wallpaper__140518160110-575x318

Before the release of this year’s reboot, whether Godzilla would be facing other monsters, and who those monsters might be was kept quiet for as long as possible. It seems this approach has been completely abandoned, as Legendary have given some pretty strong indications of who we might be seeing in the next installment. Here is a description of a presentation given at San Diego Comic Con:

“They showed a bunch of old newsreel footage similar to the opening credits but it was interspersed with the tag: “There is still one secret that remains hidden,” “There are others.” And then we see a shadow of what’s clearly Rodan with the words “Codename: Rodan.”  Then they show the old Mothra with the title “Codename: Mothra,” and lastly…. “Codename: Ghidorah! Monarch Assessment: Conflict Imminent.” Followed by the words “LET THEM FIGHT”

It has already been announced that there will be a trilogy of Godzilla sequels, all to be directed by Gareth Edwards, and now we have an idea of who will be showing up in them. Legendary have clarified that they will not all necessarily feature in the next Godzilla film.

ghidorah, the three headed monsterSo will they each be in separate movies, will they all feature in a huge monster mash up? Will Godzilla team up with Mothra and Rodan to save the earth from King Ghidorah like in the 1964 Japanese Ghidorah, The Three Headed monster?

Knowing just one of these monsters was coming would be exciting on its own, but all three?

Something tells me that this franchise is going to do well, and that nearly five hundred million at the box office may not be its upper limit.

Competition Time! Win 4 Tickets To Guardians Of The Galaxy.

guardfeat

It feels like we’ve been waiting for this Thursday for a VERY long time, doesn’t it?

Ever since that first trailer hit the web, it’s been a sort of tantalising torture to bide our time until Guardians of the Galaxy arrived. With “Hooked on a Feeling” playing in an endless loop through our minds, we’ve been an excitable mess of geekery.

The wait is almost over folks! This Thursday Guardians of the Galaxy will finally be released in the UK!

To celebrate this occasion Geek retreat has teamed up with Odeon Cinemas to bring you another caption competition. This time the prize is four, yes count em, four tickets to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the Odeon.

The Odeon is currently booking for both 2D and 3D showings of Guardians of the Galaxy.

The competition will run all of today and tomorrow, the winners to be announced on Thursday morning after they’ve been contacted by us.

In order to win all you have to do is come up with the funniest caption for the image below.

Submit your entries in the comments below and if you are our lucky winner, we’ll contact you via your registered email. We’ll also announce our winning entry right here on the site!

[Important: We will not accept entries via Facebook or twitter]

Untitled-3

 

Once a winner is decided we’ll contact them via email and the Odeon will send out your tickets!

Have fun and good luck!

Comic-Con Watch! Brand new Arrow Season 3 Trailer Is As Exciting As It Is Long!

Arrow-TV-Series

Trailers don’t tend to be quite this long.

Usually 30 seconds, a minute at a stretch. So this trailer, at over 3 minutes of tantalising, adrenaline pumping action, is pretty impressive.

The new trailer for Arrow season 3 has landed and it’s more than a little spectacular.

For fans of the show who witnessed the heart wrenching roller-coaster ending to last season, this is highly recommended viewing.

The trailer made its debut at Comic-Con yesterday. And we can see why it’s so long. It has a lot to fit in. So much has happened and so much more is planned.

The show will return for its 3rd season in autumn of this year. Although who knows when it’ll be hitting UK screens.

Who’s excited?

Wait don’t answer that yet. First watch the trailer, then answer.

Guillermo del Toro talks Justice League Dark, Constantine and Pacific Rim 2

pacific rim

Amongst the big reveals about Batman V Superman and Avengers 2, some other news pieces aren’t getting as much coverage as they usually might expect. For example, ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype managed to speak to writer and director Guillermo del Toro. He’s been working on a Justice League Dark film for some time now, and with rumours around a Sandman film, and a connected DC film universe, spoke of the project and its connection to other DC properties.

“I’m still working on it, Sandman doesn’t figure in the Dark Universe. We have Deadman, we have the Demon, we have Swamp Thing, we have Zatana, we have Constantine, but DC and Warners have been very clear that they are trying to keep those properties separate so when the time comes they can unite them, once they know they’re quantifiable. Batman, Superman, Green Lantern… everyone eventually will come together. Right now, they’re allowing us independence.” 

The inclusion of Constantine obviously led to the question of whether the film will be connected to the upcoming television series.

“No, I had that conversation when the Constantine show was pitched. I said, ‘Do I have to have continuity with that?’ and they said, ‘No, feel free to continue the way you’re going.”

When he said: “Swamp Thing for me is my favorite superhero of all times. I always like the monsters,” the subject of Pacific Rim 2 was inevitably raised. He wouldn’t say much, but he did reveal that;

“We’re going to shoot part of Pacific Rim 2 in several locations so it’s not as set-driven as the first movie. We want to use locations and exteriors a lot more, and daylight. I’m trying to make a movie that feels like a direct continuation of the first one but it also brings a lot of stuff that is new.”

Del Toro is currently working on The Strain, and with Pacific Rim 2 production due to start in a few weeks, it’s unlikely Justice League Dark will be hitting cinemas any time soon. But it still seems to be on the cards if we’re willing to be patient

Comic-Con Watch! All 8 Brand New Avengers 2 Posters!

11

Everyday of Comic-Con Marvel have been releasing 2 brand new, and we should add gorgeous, posters for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Each poster depicts a a single character from the upcoming movie, on a battlefield, fighting a sea of Ultrons.

Yesterday we showed you the 6 that had been released so far, including Black Widow, Iron Man and Captain America. Today of course we have 2 more! Thor and the Hulk have now joined the fray and the set is complete.

Check them out below, click on the thumbnails to see the larger images.

And when you put them all together, you get this incredible landscape of carnage.

This is just what we need to make us even more impatient for the 2015 release.

Comic-Con Exclusive Age of Ultron

Hercules Review

Hercules

We’ve seen this before.

 

Unfortunately I’m not simply referring to the number of previous adaptations of Hercules, including The Legend of Hercules which was also released this year. No, in fact this film actually offers an interesting twist on the classic tale. The problem with this particular picture is how rigorously is sticks to a basic action-movie formula. It’s a film we’ve all seen a dozen times over, and I for one am getting tired of it.

An adaptation of the comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars sees Hercules and his gang of elite mercenaries hired by the King of Thrace to save his Kingdom. It is set after his legendary twelve labours, and throws a question mark over the legitimacy of his divine heritage. Mythology is replaced with heightened realism, as it is revealed that Hercules’ great feats are exaggerations of more earthly adventures.

The legends of Hercules being spread are a marketing tool, intimidating enemies and ensuring a steady list of clients. However it never dismisses the idea that he may actually be a demigod, and he regularly displays supernatural strength. The issue is left open, allow an exploration of the power of myths, the influence of stories and the role of heroes.

It’s intriguing stuff, and it could have been made into a very good movie, but alas, along the way it was translated into a often predictable affair, with impressive action scenes, but very little else. The cast were given little to work with; even John Hurt could only do so much with dialogue that tended to be either clumsy, cliché or both.

The film makes a significant effort to be humorous, there are quite a few comedy moments, which is well intentioned and a joke here and there can make all the difference. The problem is, none of the jokes were funny. Not once during the whole showing did I hear anyone laugh at any of the jokes. Again, the issue here was that they were the same jokes action films were making thirty years ago, we’ve heard them all before.

If you want to see some fairly entertaining violence then film will do the job, but don’t expect too much else from it.

Comic-Con Watch! 6 Brand New Avengers: Age of Ultron Posters And Counting!

Untitled-1

Each day of Comic-Con Marvel have been releasing two brand new, comic-con exclusive posters for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

So far, including those just released today, we’ve gotten six gorgeous posters of Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Scarlett Witch and Quick Silver. Not to mention a bonus glimpse at The Vision in the most recent poster.

Each of these posters are part of a larger image and when they are all complete they’ll piece together into, what looks to be a massive, awe-inspiring battlefield. A battlefield made up of hundreds, if not thousands of Ultrons!

We cannot wait to see the finished product!

Click on the thumbnails below to see each of the posters released so far.

Comic-Con Watch! Firefly Cast Reunite for Firefly Online Game!

ffo_1

There’s been some amazing news for fans of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, out of Comic-Con.

It was announced yesterday that every one of the original cast will be reuniting to take on their roles for the online game.

That’s right folks, now you’ll be able to chat with Mal, listen to River’s poetic dialogue and perhaps even get into a bar brawl with Jayne.

It’s been 12 years since a ship called Serenity and its crew found a place our hearts and was quickly wrenched away. We Browncoats have never quite gotten over the loss, even with a movie and some pretty fantastic comics to tide us over.

This news might not quite heal the wound, but any consolation is a welcome one.

We can’t wait until the game is released, so we can immerse ourselves in the Whedonverse once again.

We don’t know what sort of ship we’ll want, or what sort of crew we’ll assemble. But we do know this, we’ll aim to misbehave.