Guardians of the Galaxy

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Pixie’s Best of 2014 and 2015 Picks

Published December 30, 2014 by vfdpixie
Theatre13

Theatre 13…where all horror films should be seen…Wooooo!!

 

2014 in review made me a little nervous to be honest.  I feel like I didn’t see nearly enough films, or maybe it was because I feel like I didn’t review a lot this year?  Who knows, but I did come up with a few.  A lot of them are indie films, and a lot I saw on the festival circuit.  Some have been released and some you may have to search for on demand, but I recommend seeing them!  Click on each film title for my reviews or links to trailers, and if you have any to add, please comment!  I’d love to know what your favourites were!

Godzilla:  I don’t like remakes, but I really enjoyed this one.  Big ol’ monsters smashing things made up for a so-so storyline, and it was a fun blockbuster event for me.

Maleficent:  Another blockbuster movie with one of the best makeup looks.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of Angelina Jolie’s beautifully altered face, and the effects were great.

Guardians of the Galaxy:  So much fun. Just so much fun.

Lyle:  This 65 minute film is pretty incredible.  Shown free of charge for a brief time to raise funds for his next project, writer and director Stewart Thorndike serves up a modern version of a Rosemary’s Baby-like suspense horror that is deeply moving.  A lesbian couple move into a brownstone with their baby Lyle, and mysterious neighbours coupled with a family tragedy gets the paranoia going full speed ahead.  Gaby Hoffmann, the current indie film darling of the moment, shows why she is in such demand.  Her portrayal of a mother on the brink is memorable, and I loved the haunting score.  You will have to follow the film’s Facebook page to find out when and where you can see it, as it is currently not available online.

Wyrmwood:  The zombie movie for action movie fans.  It is going to be released by IFC on February 13, 2015, so keep your eye out for it!

Predestination:  A wonderful spiralling tale of time travel and love.  This has a limited release date of January 9th, 2015.  Find it!

Housebound:  I’m not a comedy horror movie gal, but this one is superb!  Great pacing and a great cast.  Seems like it was released on DVD this past November, so again, find it!

Oculus:  a slow burner with a cool story, and one I will be adding to my collection.  Done by Mike Flanagan, the man behind Absentia, which I also loved for its unique story.

Two Canadian films I recently saw were Black Mountain Side and Berkshire County.  Both take on classic horror fare and make it their own.  Berkshire County seems to have an April 2015 limited release date, and Black Mountain Side will hopefully come out in 2015 as well.

Another Canadian gem was Hellmouth.  Starring Stephen McHattie, one of my favourite Canadian actors (whom I finally met this year! Yay!), this surreal quest for redemption will take you away with its visuals and retro feel.

The Babadook:  One of the most talked about films that actually lived up to the hype.  Tense, scary and dark, this is a must see for all horror fans out there.

Only Lovers Left Alive:  Starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, this beautiful love story about lonely vampires will make you ponder your existence and purpose.

 

What will 2015 bring us?  Apparently a ton of sequels and remakes (big surprise!), but I’ve sifted through the fluff to find a few that seem to have a bite that is just as good as the bark!

First up is It Follows.  This film has made the festival rounds and is getting quite the buzz as being a refreshingly terrifying addition to the tormented teen horror roster.  After a steamy date, a girl is now being followed by a creepy unknown.  Love the Carpenter-esque score.  I will definitely see this one in March when it comes out in wide release!

Z for Zachariah has my interest because I still have my dog-eared copy of the book I loved as a teen.  Chiwetel Ejiofor stars and I hope they do the story of post-apocalyptic survival justice.

Chappie is about a robot with heart, intelligence and innocence.  Directed by District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp and starring Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, and Sharlto Copley, it is sure to be one of the bigger films with the great special effects that Blomkamp is known for.

Directed by Hostel and Hemlock Grove‘s Eli Roth, Knock Knock is a “horror/thriller” about a man terrorized by two gorgeous girls.  Not really sure about this one, but Keanu Reeves is in it.  All I can say is:  Don’t. Hurt. My. Man.

Insidious 3 and Sinister 2 are on their way.  I feel like I need to see them because I was there from the start.  Also from the producers of  the Insidious, Paranormal Activity and Sinister series comes another Amityville movie, which I also have to see because, again, I was there from the start.  In this case, Jennifer Jason Leigh stars in Amityville The Awakening, so there will be guaranteed intensity with her performance.

The aforementioned Mike Flanagan is coming out with a new one called Somnia, about a kid whose nightmares become real.  He is known for creepy atmosphere, so I expect something great.

I need to see Jupiter Ascending just for Channing Tatum in those ears, and Mad Max Fury Road because it looks like totally insane and brutal fun.

I would really, really love to see Pixie Dust realized in 2015!  Check out my interview with writer and director Damon Colquhoun and donate to get it made!

Lastly, Guillermo del Toro’s new gothic horror Crimson Peak about tragedy and a haunted house will probably be a good bet.  Also, Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hiddleston are in this.  Yup.  That will get my bum in a seat.

So there you have it.  A 2014 wrap-up and my 2015 picks all in one long-winded package!  Wishing you all a wonderful new year that brings us all good, great, no-FANTASTIC luck in life, love and health!

 

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Carolyn

 

 

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Reaches for the Stars…And Gets Them!

Published August 4, 2014 by vfdpixie

gofg

Guardians of The Galaxy (2014, 2 hrs 1 min)

Be forewarned.  I am about to rave about a film.

I wasn’t going to write a review for Guardians of the Galaxy because all I could think was “It was so amazing!  I just had an eye-gasm!  End of story.”, but after collecting my thoughts, I found there was plenty to comment on, even if I am, as I warned you, going to rave about it, and even though generally, I am not a Marvel Studios movie fan (yeah, you heard me right!).  So here it goes…

Taken from the long running comic of the same name, the story brings us our main character, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) a.k.a. Star Lord, who was abducted as a child after his mother’s death by a team of crusty alien “ravagers” lead by Yondu (Michael Rooker).  They raise him to be a fast talking, scavenging thief who steals a mysterious orb.  This one act throws him into an action packed sci-fi caper with four ragtag criminals, ranging from the foul-tempered Rocket the Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), to the gentle but protective talking tree/human hybrid Groot (Vin Diesel);  the beautiful green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and a massive muscle-bound alien Drax (Dave Bautista).  Backed by a great old school soundtrack, this crew of unlikely heroes weave through many hits and misses to thwart the plans of evil duo of Thanos and Ronan and save the galaxy.

What was so amazing about this film?  Let’s start with the script that was written by director James Gunn ( of the cult hit Slither) and Nicole Perlman.  I have not heard such funny, snappy dialogue that kept the momentum until the last frame in a long time.  Simple language that was put together in clever, witty bursts, mastered by the cast as they kept the comedic energy and mood at a constant, even during some more touching moments.

Next was the visually stunning sets, costumes and characters.  It made me think of the last Star Trek movie.  Like Star Trek: Into the Darkness,  Guardians of the Galaxy was overflowing with beautiful costumes (I really loved Gamora’s outfits), alien life forms with pink, blue and green hued skins and background scenics that pushed your imagination.  It also makes me think that this is something to whet the sci-fi appetite for those who yearn for the next Star Wars film.   Throw in some well cast stars, such as John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey, the deadpan officer who catches the motley crew; Glenn Close as Nova Prime the leader of the officers, and hello, Karen Gillan of Dr. Who and Oculus fame as Nebula, Gamora’s evil sister, and Michael Rooker as Yondu the snaggled tooth scavenger with a pet needle, as well as many others to give you great performances no matter how small their role.  My personal favourite was Drax.  Wrestler turned actor Dave Baustista was really entertaining as the alien who took all things literally, not to mention that he wore only a pair of tight trousers and displayed his incredible torso for the entire movie.  And being an animal lover, it’s no surprise that a CGI raccoon named Rocket would steal my heart!  Bradley Cooper (who will always remain in my good books for doing The Midnight Meat Train) was just hilarious as the irritable genetically modified Procyon lotor.  Wait for the scene when he has tears in his eyes.  It will kill you with the cuteness.  Rocket was the perfect foil for Chris Pratt’s portrayal of Quill.  With his comedy background and boy next door good looks the combo worked like a charm for this seat of his pants character.  So glad he was the final choice since rumour has it he had to audition a few times to secure the role. Oh and did I mention the dancing?  Quill could bust a move and won me over as I am known to spontaneously jazz hands my way through the day.

Those of you who follow British actors should keep your eye out for Peter Serafinowicz as Denarian Saal, one of the officers under Nova Prime.  He had his own bizarre comedy show and was in Shaun of the Dead as well as countless voice acting gigs, and Emmett Scanlan as the head riot guard in the jail where our heroes are held.  Scanlan is most recently know for his living dead character Simon from the great Brit zombie series In the Flesh.

Finally, hats off to the incredible team that created the aerial fight scenes in the final act of the film.  The amount of hours that went into creating the seamless space crafts as they twisted and blasted each other was well worth it as myself and the rest of the audience in the theatre were just blown away by the spectacle of it all.

I could go on for days about this film, but really, do yourself a favour and just go see it this summer.  I didn’t think you could have this much fun at the movies!

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