All Together Now

September 13, 2012 3:29 pm

“All together now”, that seems to be the call from Hollywood at the moment with some great characters being thrown together to form something magnificent. That’s what most people seemed to be saying when coming out of the cinema after watching the ultimate superhero team-up ever. Well the word that was actually used to describe the film was Marvel –lous which if you ask me fits the bill perfectly. Yes, Marvel thought they would take things to the next level by assembling its avengers for the big screen to form something quite unforgettable. The team behind Marvel thought its two movies per year wasn’t enough so needed something bigger to keep the money rolling in. Well Avengers Assemble certainly seemed to sort that out after grossing a whopping $1.5 billion at the box office to make it the third highest grossing movie of all time behind Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic. Marvels back up film “The Amazing Spider-Man” didn’t do too bad either raking in over $750 million, placing it in the top 50 on the money table.

The most powerful assemble of all time is as follows:

Iron Man – Robert Downey, Jr
Captain America – Chris Evans
Bruce Banner/Hulk – Mark Ruffalo
Thor – Chris Hemsworth
Black Widow – Scarlett Johansson
Hawkeye – Jeremy Renner

This team, or ‘time bomb’ as Bruce Banner calls it, gave the audience a cinematic experience like never before. Yes, we got the explosions, the fights, the serious tone of Samuel L Jackson, but we also got a team that argued and beat the hell out of each other. The humour in the film was also spot on and laugh out loud funny at times. These elements added to the newly founded experience which gave us the most impressive blockbuster in years.

The year 2014 sees the return of Captain America, and Marvel’s second film of that year will be another superhero TEAM. This time Guardians of the Galaxy will be hitting our screens with a release date of 1st August 2014. This selection had been hotly debated and it looks like Marvel has taken the risk so they kind of need to get it spot on. The line up for the next Superhero collaboration includes Rocket Raccoon who is an excellent marksman, has an affinity for heavy weapons and is also a great military tactician and leader. These attributes help him become the leader of the group when Star-Lord is away. Star-Lord is a master strategist and problem solver, he wears a suit that grants him augmented strength and durability, this also allows him to travel through space, Star-Lord also uses an Element Gun which is a special meta-pistol capable of projecting one of four elements, (Air, Earth, Fire & Water). Also in the gang is a super-strong being specifically created to kill Thanos (Misshapen and Monstrous evil character obsessed with death). He goes by the name of Drax the Destroyer and has powers such as tremendous resilience, flight, and the ability to project concussive blasts of cosmic energy from his hands. The next member of the team makes things interesting as she is the adopted daughter of Thanos. This means she has gained the attributes from Thanos such as his speed, strength and durability, she was also helped to become a formidable hand to hand combatant, and she is also a highly skilled gymnast and assassin. It’s not exactly the relationship between Thor and adopted brother Loki but it’s something we can all look forward to. Last but not least is a living plant called Groot who can throw trees around to attack enemies, he can make himself gigantic, massively increasing his mass and can also rebuild himself when being chopped down to a twig.

This team was originally created in 1969 with its own comic book released in 1990 but then was revamped in 2008. After twenty five issues it was cancelled so now you know why it was a debatable to bring it to the big screen. The Guardians main objective will of course be to defend the universe from the bad guys trying to destroy it. Somehow I don’t think we will get the same reaction from the avengers heroics but the comic book geeks may still get a kick out of it. There is also that feeling of fewer adults attending this one with a more child like feel about it. Speaking of a younger target audience such as children, DreamWorks animation are releasing yet more guardians, this time Rise of the Guardians. A different type of guardians though, this time a more familiar set of characters that we all have grown up with or believed in at some point. “You better Believe” is the films tagline, after all it’s a superhero film where they get their powers from belief. The famous guardians of childhood that will form the next biggest super group of the year are Father Christmas, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, The Sandman, and Jack Frost who DreamWorks have chosen as the protagonist. This animated avengers epic will include a well known cast such as Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, and Jude law as the nightmare king. When the guardians hear that the bogeyman (Law) has plans to engulf the world in darkness, they all come together to recruit Jack Frost to join their group in saving the children of the world. You’re probably thinking what does Jack Frost have that the others do not, well apparently something special inside. These are more than just old childhood characters they are archetypes that we all believed in as kids. This feature seems to be very popular boasting just under two million views for its trailer, the trailer itself is very well put together with the avengers tone all of the way through. The bit that did it for me was a part when Jack Frost and the Sandman are actually standing back to back in the street with Jack saying the line “you take the ones on the left, I’ll take the ones on the right”. I thought this was just great because it was so like avengers street battle. Rather than Marvels comic books, this film is based on the book trilogy entitled “The Guardians of Childhood”. My advice would be to definitely give the trailer a view then if this collaboration is to your liking then you can take things further with a November 30th release date.

I promise you now that there are no more god damn guardians from here on, just more stars, action heroes and more stars. Also the complete genre mash up that is Cloud Atlas, based on David Mitchell’s multiple storyline novel. First off though is this year’s Expendables 2, where as you probably know is where Stallone gathers all action heroes from over the years and develops a plot that let’s be honest is rather poor. Well the first one was better than number two but both equally as bad as Statham’s versatility as an actor. The story for the second film is basically the crew coming together to save Schwarzenegger, they take a break and then go for a stroll in the woods after Willis says so, bump into Van Damme, he kills one of their recruits and pisses everybody off, then Stallone and his men go and kill him, the end. Oh, sorry, SPOILER ALERT….. not really. This is a film that simply draws in the crowd with its names and action sequences rather than premise. Arsekickers Assemble included the usual from the original with Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Crews, and introducing new names for number two, Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth and female Yu Nan. The idea of these guys coming together generated a lot of hype but simply hasn’t taken off perhaps as it should have done.

Specific days of the year are another chance for Hollywood to ensemble an all star cast for a feature. The stars range from the best young talent to the well established A lists. In 2008 we had Valentine’s Day where intertwining couples in LA break up and get back together based on the pressures of the special day. These were also the same events that took place in New Line Cinema’s New Years Eve except the location was New York City. (New is the word). If this setting is more for your liking and would like to see an ensemble cast delve into romance then you can catch it on DVD from 10th December. At the beginning of next year is another film with an ensemble cast but this time is not for a specific day of the year. It’s Movie 43 that is made of twenty five comedy segments; it’s worth checking out the cast, there are a lot of names involved.

Now… for the mega-movie experiment that is Cloud Atlas, which I am extremely excited about. Talk about getting a great cast together, that’s nothing, this movie is going a step further with an array of genres all thrown in. They’re calling it an upcoming Sci-fi, detective thriller, adventure drama, period romance, comedy film. Here’s the official synopsis “An epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present, and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution”. This plot may take some time to digest but when you do get your head around it, its genius. This ambitious movie also has collaboration in the directional department in Andy & Lana Wachowski with Tom Tykwer. This is an experiment within itself but I reckon the trio will pull it off as it is believed they have kept to the spirit of the book. The films main objective is to make cinematic sense of David Mitchell’s novel which has six different stories, six different time periods, six different locations and told in six different literary styles. I believe this can be pulled off, especially with an ensemble including, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon. As the actors will be popping up in different stories it will create something rather unique, with Hanks describing it as “Cinematic Literature”. My last note on this epic would be to watch the exceptional five minute trailer and get all hyped up for a UK release date of March 22nd.

We’re seeing stars, characters, action heroes, stories, genres and even directors collaborating to make the perfect piece of entertainment. Is Hollywood finally coming together? I’ll leave that one for you to decide.

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