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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy


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Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Yes, we were quite late to this one, but Canada Day weekend we finally took in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We were both fans of the first one, and had heard generally positive reviews of the sequel, albeit with some debate as to which volume was better.

The first movie was a fun discovery. This one had to meet the expectations raised by that one. It tries to do so in a big hurry, with an amazing opening action sequence that is soon interspersed with a musical interlude featuring a dancing Baby Groot. Shameless, but I loved it anyway.

The whole movie continues along in similar fashion, with more action, more humour, more classic rock, more cute Baby Groot.

But its real strength are its full complement of flawed but lovable characters, who are dealing with various family issues in this one. Peter has a chance to reconnect with the father who abandoned him as a child. Gamora has taken her troublesome sister hostage. Rocket ponders on the consequences of his prickly approach to his teammates (other than Baby Groot). Drax mourns his lost wife and daughter while bonding with a new acquaintance, Mantis.

First one better? Sequel better? I don’t know. I just think the two would make a nice double bill.


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Movie review: Much Ado About Nothing

***½ Much Ado About Nothing (June 2013) – Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing posterAmy Acker, Alexis Denisof. Shakespeare’s classic comedy in a modern setting.

“I’m bored.” — Text from my husband, just before the movie started.

She says: On a warm summer’s evening, I had proposed an outing of walk in the park, gelato, and movie. He eagerly embraced the proposal—except for the movie. He feared being bored by that.

I was not so concerned. But as noted, the movie is set in modern times, and begins wordlessly. When the characters begin speaking in iambic pentameter, I must say I did find it a bit jarring, as though I was hearing Esperanto without subtitles. But I got into the flow of the language pretty quickly, and was fine thereafter. A lot of the comedy is physical, as well, which helps it along.

Overall, I found it very enjoyable. It’s very funny where it’s supposed to be, throughout. The dramatic moments are suitably so. The inserted backstory of Beatrice and Benedict adds interest. And it is fun seeing some of Joss Whedon’s favorite TV actors again: Topher! (from Dollhouse, as Claudio), Fred! (from Angel, as Beatrice), Captain Reynolds! (from Firefly, as Dogberry).

Don’t fear the Shakespeare.

He says: OK, it wasn’t totally boring. Nathan Fillion was really good—really funny.