Archives For Joss Whedon

TIFF’12: Day 9

September 17, 2012 — 3 Comments

Finally! I have come to it. The end of TIFF’12. Okay, so there were actually two more days. But I skipped them! Including Day 9, I saw 29 films and a special live event. That’s 30 ticketed events in 9 days. I know some people who do more than that, but those people are crazy and my load just about killed me. But before I could officially call it quits, I did have to, you know, watch some more movies.

For my last day at TIFF I decided to go all out. I had four tickets, plus I planned on rushing one of two possible movies. It would be a long day, beginning with a movie at 11am and ending with a movie starting at midnight. I was also pretty confident that my line-up of films would be stronger than the last couple of days. As it turns out, I was right. Click to read more.

The modern movie age has become a cycle of hype more than an appreciation for film itself. I chalk it up to the mainstreaming of the nerd class and the ubiquity of the Internet. Film culture online is rarely about the films themselves, but the industry and hype surrounding them. I fall prey to it, as well. It disturbs me, though. For about half the year, all anybody cares about is how the films of the Summer will stack up. Once that’s over it’s just a big race to see which films get the most acclaim and awards. If any of these two seasons is better, it’s the awards one, mostly because the good films tend to stick around in the consciousness more, giving them more time to find an audience. The Summer season is altogether a different story. Almost the opposite, really. Months—sometimes years—of hype lead up to one short weekend, the discussion explodes for roughly a week, petering off through the next week, and nearly disappearing after that.

Take a look at this summer, for example, which arguably began early in the Spring with the release of The Hunger Games. In fact, we can start even earlier, with John Carter. Pretty much since that film’s release, the two or three-week cycle has played out like clockwork. It’s partly a sign of a year with many big releases, but it’s also an illustration of how Internet culture works. There are several stages, but essentially they come down to: The Hype, The Pre-Release Buzz, Release, Taking Sides. Click to read more.

Much Ado About Whedon

October 24, 2011 — 3 Comments

Because apparently Joss Whedon was not content with simply being treated like a God, he had to go out and prove he really is one. The guy whose only previous film direction credit is Serenity somehow managed to pull off one of the most incredible directing feats I recent cinema history. Presumably in the middle of shooting/directing The Avengers, Joss Whedon put together a second cast and shot and directed a whole other film. Without anyone knowing!

The film in question is an adaptation of Bill Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s a pretty famous play, you might have heard of it. You can find the cast list and press release here.

At this point I only have two questions. First, how the fuck the Whedon manage to put this together right under everyone’s noses without even so much as a leak? Secondly, when the fuck can I slap down my $10-13 in order to see this movie?

Besides that, I think we have to applaud the uniqueness of what Joss Whedon has done. He pulled one over on all of us and as a result, next year we’ll be getting not just one Whedon movie, but TWO! The man is giving us gifts aplenty. What’s next, a second season of Firefly all set to air next week? A boy can dream.

Also notable is the fact that Whedon, who by all accounts could do whatever he wants now that he landed the Avengers gig, took the time to put together another, smaller, more personal project. It reminds me of when Whedon got together with some friends to make Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog during the writer’s strike. He didn’t need to do it. He could have just worked the picket lines a couple times a week and that’s it. Lucky for us, Joss Whedon is a true creative spirit, apparently unable to live unless he’s making some kind of TV show or movie or some sort of other artistic project.

All I can really say is, “thank you, Joss Whedon. You rock.”

Inspired by this great A.V. Club piece, I have decided to try my hand at picking one of my favourite TV shows and describing its worst episode. And heck, why not making it a semi-ongoing series!

Firefly, Episode 13: Heart of Gold

The show only had 14 episodes (and a movie), but there is no doubt in my mind that the only one that is not very good is Heart of Gold. There are definitely a couple other “lesser” Firefly episodes, but Heart of Gold is the one I often skip when I’m re-watching the series. It’s not that the episode is outright bad. It’s really not. The episode even has a couple classic moments, mainly involving Jayne.

Unfortunately the rest of the episode is just forgettable. It feels like the episode was a bit of an afterthought. Had the show gotten a full 22-episode order this episode would have been considered pure filler. There is some important development regarding the Mal-Inara situation, but even that feels forced, and it was never a driving element of the show to begin with.

The worst thing about the episode is that it actually feels out of place with the rest of the show tonally. This is a little unexpected considering the Western cliché of it all, but it’s the truth. The sentimentalism of the episode. The reasons for the crew getting involved. None of it feels like regular Firefly. It all seems out of touch with what makes Firefly so good. Sure, the show has a sentimental streak, but it reaches that through a combination of sly sarcasm and general cynicism. It also doesn’t help that the idea of the Firefly crew protecting a brothel seems silly even in concept.

Though I wouldn’t say that Firefly has any outright bad episodes, Heart of Gold definitely comes the closest, and for that it is the show’s worst episode.