Monday, 7 May 2012
CINEMA/TV: WHEDON SMASH!
I'm rather pleased with that title because it can be read several ways. It's a reworking of The Hulk's favourite cry: "Hulk smash!" which he then does. It refers to the massive successive of The Avengers in the States this weekend -biggest weekend opening ever with 200.3 million dollars. It's a success with the critics and cinemagoers and word of mouth should ensure lots more taking plus repeat viewings -even I might go and see it again. It also means that Joss Whedon himself is a big success.
And, um, lots of others.
Starting out as a TV writer on a few episodes of Roseanne and Parenthood, he went on to write Toy Story (yes, Toy Story!), Alien Resurrection (which I still think is grossly underrated -Whedon has very interesting stories about it), Titan A.E., the original Buffy movie (which diverged from his original story). He created, sometimes writing for and directing Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and writing directing Firefly's spinoff movie Serenity, wrote/directed a web-based musical comedy Dr Horrible's Singalong Blog, created the underrated TV series Dollhouse. Almost all of these are on my all-time favourites list. And now we're getting on for The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers -see recent posts. Taking a two-week break from the latter he invited a bunch of his mates (including Nathan Fillion) over to his house where they made a modern day version of Much Ado About Nothing based on an old play by some dead British geezer with Whedon writing and directing. "From the director of mega-smash The Avengers and with a budget as much as the cost of filling his freezer..." Still it'll certainly do very good business, or at least better than it would have done a week ago. I'll be there.
What's good about Whedon is... well, just so much. He creates great characters, has a knack for getting the best out of his actors, is particularly good at ensemble pieces, writes with great humour which is never forced, has a strong feminist sensibility without ever getting preachy, and there's a general compassion, warmth and humanitarianism about his work, a liberal (in American terms). Basically, he's a good person and this shows through in his work. He also has a geek sensibility which appeals to lovers of horror, fantasy, science fiction, and comics -like me.
There's a lot I could write about him and his work but books have been written about his work and a book about is due to be published later this month (yes, I have it on order) and this is just a blog.
Right now, he's probably one of the happiest people in the world. He deserves it and I hope he's allowed to make the most of it creatively.