Joss Whedon’s Double Rainbow – A Review
Joss Whedon, the cult mind that brought us such classics as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, rejoins the mainstream in a huge way this May. Two projects bearing the Whedon name burst their way into the theatres, Cabin in the Woods shortly followed by the unignorable Avengers. But how have these two cinematic juggernauts affect Whedon’s cred? We’ll be taking a look into both and seeing if the master of 90’s science fiction has still got it.
Cabin in the Woods
Hitting theatres on April 13th, this instant classic placed itself firmly in any horror movie fan’s mind with the likes of Scream, Shriek I Know what you did Last Friday the 13th, and (to a lesser extent) Scary Movie. This is your ultimate meta-horror story, but more than that, it is also a legitimately scary story.
The Story alternately follows the internal workings of some government facility, which portrays itself in mundane obscurity until you find out what they’re doing, and the exploits of a group of college kids ready for a weekend of leisure in the woods courtesy of a cousin’s cabin. Stings of the two stories begin to tie together rather quickly, however and as they do, we begin to see the bloody tapestry the writers were working towards. Finally when the whole picture lies before you, you can do little but stare at it’s horrible brilliance.
This movie is co-written by Whedon, and boy-howdy does it show. If you’re a fan of snark, sarcasm and clever witticisms you will be well pleased. But the script goes beyond the usual verbal barbs. Whedon is a master of making even awkward silences hilarious. We also see his deftness with characters come out here in a big way. In contrast to the terrible bog of Rob Zombie and Eli Roth that horror fans have had to slog through; Whedon brings us characters that we like almost immediately. These are not your usual torture porn fodder. Everyone from the kids to the government workers behaves like real people that you probably know or even resemble. As such you actually care whether these people live or die.
Make no mistake this is a horror movie, and as such, it is bloody! But even at the darkest parts of this movie, the amazing humor of the writing shines through and gives us just enough lightheartedness to keep the gore from becoming disgusting for the simple thrill of being disgusting.
From an acting standpoint this movie was casted perfectly. Fran Kanz, Kristin Conolloy, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson*, and Jesse Williams all do an amazing jobs as out lovable cast of doomed kids. Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford also do an excellent job as our cynical and sarcastic government workers. Angel fans in particular will enjoy the return of Amy Acker in this film.
All in all this movie is something every horror movie fan should see. Also if you were a fan of Buffy, Angel or Firefly all the things you loved there live on here
Yetti’s Score: 98/100 SEE THIS NOW!!!!
As a comic book geek I take it upon myself to see every comic book movie it is physically possible for me to see. Usually they leave me much the way X-Men; First Class did, screaming and throughing things at the screen. However once in a blue moon, us comic book geeks are gifted with a comic book movie that makes us scream in triumph and glory as our favorite spandex clad heroes smash the big screen. Lately we’ve enjoyed a host of such films. Thor, Iron Man and Captain America have all raised the bar for what comic book movies are capable of. And the penultimate explosion of their glory, comes to a riotous climax in The Avengers.
To say that this movie is a triumph would be an understatement. This is the pinnacle of what a superhero movie should be. On the acting side of things, this is a perfect cast of misfits and mongrels. Notable among this cast is Robert Downey Jr. whose snark and sarcasm is what keeps the film as humorous as possible. I have encountered no greater team than Joss Whedon’s words in Downey’s mouth. Scarlet Johansen as Black Widow gives an impressively human and emotional performance all while keeping the dangerous aloofness her character requires. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner gives an excellent performance as both detached and emotional all at the same time. Chris Evans is completely believable as a soldier, completely out of his time and yet still willing to do his duty. Chris Hemsworth, is GORGEOUS as usual, and his leonine nature is perfectly suited to the hero he’s playing. All in all this is a cast where it’s extremely easy to forget that these heroes are being played by actors. The performances are so good that you just believe that they are the people they’re playing.
On a technical/Looks side of things, the Avengers distinguishes itself with grace. It uses as little CGI as possible. And the time it does accents the scene nicely. Much like Asgaurd from Thor CGI is used to accent the background and create an incredibly real setting. The shots with planets and nebulae in the background, are gorgeous. The Iron Man suit looks amazing and during the many fights you get see his suit sustain damage and see the paint chip off in places. That mixed with Downey in the real suit give you this wonderful feeling of reality. In short: THIS IS HOW CGI SHOULD BE USED!
The story of this movie is perfectly crafted. It mixes in elements of its predecessors while advancing the plot of its own movie. Giving us closure all throughout the movie so we can focus on the climactic final fight.
All in all this is a must see movie. If you miss this, you will be regretting it all summer. Or at least until Thor 2 comes out.
Yetti’s Score: 100/100 PERFECTION
So two of the best reviews I’m likely to give in the upcoming year, both with Whedon’s name on them. In the 90′s and early 2000′s Whedon was the name in SciFi, It seems like his time might have come again. Though he’s gone from the television screen to the big screen, the same masteries have afforded him such success. Whedon is a master of character, and this is what usually drives his screen plays. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a perfect example of characterization, with its steady cast of at least four member which we got to see evolve as the show went on. In the Avengers we see the characters evolve, on a much quicker scale, but its no less dramatic. The trick is to create these lovely nuanced characters who have foibles as well as character traits and we as an audience will come to immediately fall in love with them.
So here’s hoping that, whether we’re seeing his great new blockbuster or rewatching our Buffy DVD’s, us geeks will have plenty more hours to gush over the Wonderful Mr. Whedon.
*Fun Fact: Anna Hutchinson who plays Jules in Cabin in the Woods, also played Lilly in Power Rangers; Jungle Fury.