If you are reading this, chances are high you are at least a casual fan of Star Wars. It comes with the territory. Let’s assume you’ve come here to find out how good Rogue One is without reading spoilers. I think I can be of help.
To summarize the story briefly: Agents of the Rebellion seek out Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star’s architect. They want to use her to gain access to information about that rumored, terrific weapon. When they find out that the Death Star is real, a group of soldiers tries to steal the blueprints to the space station in order to find a hidden vulnerability in the design. If this is not what you expected then…where have you been the last couple of years?
Written by: Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel comic created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie and about 1500 other people
Age of Ultron is just another day at the office
How does one follow up a movie that is arguably the most entertaining display of blockbuster prowess in recent memory? How does the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe hold up these days? The answer is a straight forward and simple as it is beautiful: everybody is doing their job.
Written by: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, based on the character by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby and a story by Ed Brubaker
Directed by: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo
Welcome to the 21st century, Cap.
Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to hit the ground running, much like (excuse the segue) Captain Steve Rogers does in The Winter Soldier. While the action scenes are much more influenced by Parkour as well as harder than they were before, the events here put the psyche of Captain America to an even harder test: How much can he take? And whom can he trust?
Written by: Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof & Roberto Orci, based on the series created by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve
All you know about Into Darkness is just a smoke screen.
Where to begin? How about some rules. A contract if you will, between you, the reader, and me, the reviewer. I ask you to stay away from any and all spoilers. I ask you not to speculate with others about this movie before you see it. In return, I will write a review that will sail around those spoilers and still serve you enough information to make a decision whether or not you want to see it.
With the second Star Trek by J. J. Abrams though, this spoiler-or-no-spoiler problem is key. How so? You have to consider that the marketing campaign–including every interview and every word that Abrams himself has said–are part of the game and the experience. After watching the movie I can summarize the effect the campaign had in one, simple formula: The more you know about the (old) universe of Star Trek and the less (i.e. spoilers) you know about this movie, the bigger the fun will be for you.
So like all good geeks and movie enthusiasts, I visited my local cinema in the last few weeks to see the first film in The Hobbit‘s trilogy. Wisely, I chose not to reread the book beforehand. As it turned out, it was also wise of me to pay attention to the reactions of other people regarding the look of this high frame rate production. The reactions were all over the map; our landlord and chief bottlewasher Widge was definitely not on the fence about the subject. As for me, I happen to be on both sides of the fence.
Let’s dive into this head first, shall we? Did The Hobbit look like rubbish? Like with most questions in life, there isn’t a simple yes or no answer to this one. The projection I saw–3D and high frame rate–looked sometimes brilliant, sometimes average, sometimes goofy, sometimes like a fast forwarded documentary in hi-def.
Written by: Joss Whedon, based on a story by Zak Penn & Whedon, which was based in turn on characters appearing in Marvel Comics
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston
Where to begin? Let me predict just one simple thing: Starting May 4th, you will believe the hype. The Avengers is everything you would want from a blockbuster movie. It’s loud, fast, charming, funny and such a ride, you will want to see it on the biggest screen, in the best theater.
The story is pretty simple and uses a lot of the more subtle elements that were introduced in the “prequels” to this big superhero team-up: Loki (Hiddleston) is back in a big bad way, with the aid of an alien race, he is trying to conquer the world and to be worshiped as the god he is. In order to do so, he uses the energy cube we were introduced to in Captain America to arrive on earth. Since it has been analyzed by SHIELD, his arrival is neither unnoticed nor without consequence. Loki’s escape and theft of the energy cube is the introduction to the movie and gives you a good idea what’s about to come: a very fast and loud ride. Nick Fury activates the Avengers Initiative to fight Loki and protect the earth from whatever else might be coming.
Dom provides something special for Day 25 of National Poetry Month Audio:
Already during the first celebration of National Poetry Month here on Need Coffee, I wanted to do this: Reading the original German version of Goethe’s “Der Zauberlehrling” (“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”), which inspired a lot of music and most famously among popculturists: Disney
‘s “Fantasia” (and somehow a Nicolas Cage movie
) then offer an English reading as well.
Sadly though, the available translations are covered by a newer copyright than the long-in-the-public domain original. Since we don’t like to steal, I tried translating the poem myself, dreading the task since translating poetry will never ever truly work. The result, after the invaluable correction and polish by Dindrane, is a translation that is very close to the original’s content. The rhyme and meter have not been emulated, which does not sadden me, since this is a narrative poem.
Widge back again. So this is a single audio file. Dom leads off reading the original German, and he asked me to tackle the new English translation. His performance is much cooler, I’ll just go ahead and warn you of that.
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Day 14 of National Poetry Month. And for 30 Days of Poetry Audio we pass the mic to Dom, who brings us some Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s “Man’s Limitation.”
You can download it directly here and a unique feed is here. Enjoy.
Last year at this time we were listening to Wallace Stevens and “The Emperor of Ice Cream.”
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Written by: Justin Theroux, based on the character created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck and Larry Lieber
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Tony Stark (Downey) is the king of the world. Since we left the man in the suit, Stark single-handedly brought our world to peace. Although one superhero could never be enough to stop war all over the world, the movie suggests a situation similar to the fear of nuclear weapons: nobody is making a move because they’re afraid Iron Man will intervene, at the same time they are trying to develop their own warsuits.
The tides turn for the eccentric billionaire with the rock star image, when he is being attacked by Ivan Vanko (Rourke) during a car race in Monaco. Stark was able to shrug off the government’s attempts to get the suit into their hands before the incident, but after the attack, even his friend Rhodey (Cheadle) turns against him. And things just proceed from there.
You only need to know one thing about this movie: before the flick started, I was not in a good mood, mostly because the people behind were loud and annoying. When the movie was over, I had a big smile on my face. If you want to know why, keep on reading.
30 Days of Poetry Audio reaches ends and Dom has the last word. With some help from Yeats.
You can download it directly here and a unique feed is here.
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