In an age where narratives of superheroes, animation and science fiction rule the box office, there is one fossil amongst the great big box office contenders that audience just can’t quite enough of. In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the park may be gone, but dinosaurs are definitely here to stay.
Who would have thought that Marvel’s next highly entertaining, multi-million (hopeful billion) dollar cinematic adventure would be set in a futuristic space world, whose tonal and narrative flow is shaped around a retro-filled soundtrack with songs dating from the 1960’s to 1980’s? With hits including Blue Swede’s Hooked On a Feeling, The Runaway’s Cherry Bomb, The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy is the epitome of silly, mindless fun at the movies. I’m not sure what Marvel Studios obsession with Marvin Gaye may be currently, but after having the song Trouble Man dictate the narrative for the highly impressive Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year, it seems that the powerhouse studio is repossessing old concepts and ideas, and polishing them up quite nicely. With a bit of frantic, highly busy visual effects as well as engrossing dark physical and illicit family comedy, and presenting them in exuberantly exciting fashion for people of all ages to enjoy, Guardians of the Galaxy is a clear-cut winner.
From the moment the screen fills with light, and we come face-to-face with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), his eyes are desolate while his voice is filled with love as he recites the poetically romantic words of Loretta’s letter to her husband of fifty years, Chris. Theodore works for BeautifullyHandwrittenLetters.com, a company established sometime in the near future where people are either too lazy or just mentally incapable of writing their own letters to their loved ones. The irony of her begins (as do so many other films) with someone else’s love story. The trials and tribulations of Theodore’s love story not only mirrors the love we share with others but also portrays our uncontrollable and inexplicable dependence or ‘love’ for technology. In that sense, her becomes part science fiction love story/part docudrama, with a message that is both a parable of the direction human behaviour is headed and a misunderstood, timeless love story for the ages. Either way, her is the most captivating and responsive film of the year, demanding attention with a grueling look at our ability to love and be loved.