Hollywood is never really known for taking risks and that's relatively understandable because they peddle in money not in art. One thing that nobody saw coming was for Marvel and Disney to take a massive risk on a film franchise that spanned nine movies and grossed billions of dollars. As of now the Avengers universe has performed extremely well in both critical reviews and box office gold. So why would they want to roll the dice on five characters that no one had ever heard of in a wacky, silly space adventure with zero name recognition from even the most passionate comic book fans? That's a good question but whatever the reason was, I'm thrilled that they did.
I've gotten into arguments with comic nerds that say things like, "I've been reading the Guardian of the Galaxy series since I was a little kid" because no they haven't! No one has heard of these characters and the few that have were never into them because there was almost nothing to get into. Lots of randoms have been members of the Guardians but the five awesome characters we see in this; played by Chris Pratt (NBC's Parks and Rec, Zero Dark Thirty), Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Crash), professional wrestler Dave Bautista (Riddick) and the voices of Bradly Cooper and Vin Diesel, were created all the way back in 2008. Ironically (or not so ironically), this was the year the Marvel master plan started with The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.
Another risky choice that Marvel/Disney made was casting the A-list actors in bit parts and voices for CGI characters and the actual actors you see are unfamiliar and unconventional choices. It's even more impressive when you realize they also chose James Gunn as the director who's prior films, Slither and Super, have been dark comedies that have amassed a cult fan base at best. Never comanding a film with a budget more than a few million and never really using massive computer FX is never obvious for a single second in Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn has created a fun, colorful, exciting space adventure that is so masterful it makes you feel like you did when you saw Star Wars and Indiana Jones for the first time. Yes, I know that's a bold statement but if you put yourself in a 10-year-old's brain while watching it, you can't help but to have your mind blown with witty dialogue, big explosions and interesting characters.
Pulling off a movie this impressive would've been amazing enough but for anyone educated in the vast Marvel movie world, it's kind of jaw-dropping. Anyone with enough curiousity to read up and learn comic lore can see how the puzzle of (what is now) six different film franchises are fitting together in one massive story the scope of which has never been seen in film before and probably won't again (good luck with what you're trying, DC). Characters that used to be reserved for random teases at the end of the credits are now getting more screen time, such as Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, True Grit) as super villain Thanos. This is the first time we see Brolin as the purple-faced tyrant and it makes you salivate for him to be the main baddie in The Avengers 3.
Everyone in Guardians of the Galaxy pulls their weight from a screenplay with hilarious dialogue, to Gunn's inspired vision and an amazing cast that makes it all come to life. One of the most shocking things was Bastista's performance. I don't ever expect much from professional wrestlers who try acting but he's hilarious! I would say that he's the breakout performence but there's no such thing in this film. Everyone shares the same amount of screen time and everyone takes turn stealing the movie. Guardians of the Galaxy may have landed on Earth as a mystery and unfamiliar but they're gonna make their mark and we'll never forget them now.
Some Facebook users Friday morning were rudely surprised to find that their electronic connection to the world was broken.
Some who tried to log on were faced with a message from Facebook that said, “Sorry, something went wrong.”
That’s it. No further explanation. Just “something went wrong.” And some people went a little gaga. When one social media outlet isn’t there, you need to go to another to complain about it. Which is making #facebookdown the top trending item in the Twitterverse right now.
Still no word from Facebook on what happened, or how many people were affected, or how long the disruption lasted. It does seem that things are back to normal, so everyone can get back to the business of sharing Grumpy Cat memes and commenting on the latest escapades of The Real Housewives of Wherever.
It would be interesting to sit in on one of the idea sessions for Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, just to see how the concept of Face Balls ges birthed.
Here's the deal: Jimmy's guest throws a giant air-filled ball at Jimmy's face. The event is captured on slow-mo camera for instant replay. Then Jimmy throws a giant air-filled ball at his guest's face. And they repeat the process with bigger balls.
Actually pretty funny, and who better to kick off your Face Ball segment than Julia Roberts.
She shows off her remarkable sense of humor - check out her comments as she catches a couple of balls in the face.
On Wednesday, singer David Cassidy – the pop singer from the 70s who starred in The Partridge Family – had a court hearing scheduled to answer to a charge of driving while intoxicated in the town of Schodack, NY last summer.
Because he lives in Florida, the court agreed to allow Cassidy’s lawyer to appear in court to accept a plea deal on his behalf.
Everything was set until someone pointed out to the court a tweet by the New York Racing Association on that very same day, saying that David was at Saratoga Race Course – about 40 miles from the courtroom – playing bocce with a few other guys.
A new court date has been scheduled. And you can bet that David won’t be playing bocce that day.
David Cassidy, Dominick Schettino, Anthony Bonomo, and @garycontessa playing bocce by the #Saratoga Pavilion. Gary Sciacca on his way.
The original Night at the Museum was something of a hit – with Ben Stiller as the night security guard at a museum where things came to life after closing time.
Night at the Museum 2? Well, I must admit, I missed that one. Didn’t even know it had been made.
And yet, the franchise has already pulled in $1 billion worldwide.
So here we are, just months away from the release of the third installment – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – and the first official trailer has dropped, showing the reunion of Ben and Robin Williams, among others.
Check it out. I’ve got to admit, it got a couple of genuine chuckles out of this tough audience.