I still remember the fans’ reactions when Marvel Studios announced that Guardians of the Galaxy would be part of the lineup for Phase Two of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). The film that would come out on August 1, 2014 was not a standalone Hulk film, nor was it a Black Panther film that many were hoping for. Instead, it was to be a film that featured a humanoid tree and a talking raccoon. What the hell? Do these superheroes even exist? Turns out, they do – they just became the Guardians of the Galaxy team fairly recently, in 2008.
Still, that didn’t placate the belief that Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel’s riskiest film. These were hardly characters that people recognized by name alone, and how would this film fit into the MCU? As it turns out, this kinetic film is not only the one film in Phase Two that stands well on its own, it’s also a film that can stand out from the MCU entirely. What’s more, director James Gunn has turned a film with supposedly risky material into a fun, absorbing film that makes a world come alive for moviegoers to enjoy.
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Image
As I walked to the Hall H line on Friday night, I was still hopefully optimistic to be able to get in to the one panel I’d been dying with anticipation to see, Warner Brothers. This was mainly due to the fact that Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is less than 2 years away, and there were some heavy rumors that came out regarding the DC Cinematic universe in the prior weeks before the Con. These included a potential release slate for WB for the next 8 years with titles such as Shazam, Man of Steel 2, The Flash and Green Lantern movie, as well as actors quite heavily hinting at characters they are playing such as Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and The Rock as Shazam. With all these rumors floating around Warner Brothers and their DC lineup, announcements were surely to come in Hall H Saturday morning at the Con.
When you really think about it, your life isn’t so much a story with a plot as much as it is a work in progress. It only becomes a story after time passes, after death. When you find yourself in the moment, life is not “set.” There’s only the “now.” Ultimately, we are not in control of our own narrative. Perhaps that’s why we appreciate the storytelling technique, whether it be for books, movies, or television; as storytellers, we are in control of every aspect of our work: story, direction, characters, dialogue, setting – you name it. The same can’t be said for our lives.
When people talk about why they watch movies, the words “escape from reality” often pop up. That being said, why watch films about life, about reality, when we want to escape from it? I can’t speak for everyone, but I think it’s because those films remind us of ourselves, the human condition. That is what we all share in common, is it not? Capturing the very essence of life is a task that few films take up, a task that very few of those accomplish, and Boyhood is one of them.