The grand experiment that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been trucking along since 2008. The first nine films (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) combined have earned over 6 billion (with a “B”) dollars worldwide. These movies are a great financial success, but more and more they are starting to feel creatively dull. The most recent film from Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy, looks to break that trend. Based on an incredibly obscure comic book team, Guardians of the Galaxy is unlike any movie Marvel has put out, and it feels like it, too.
Passion is essential to any art project. In fact, passion is important to any endeavor, regardless of artistic merit. If you don’t really care about what you are doing, you won’t be successful in your actions. That’s true of anything from storytelling to relationships to dog-walking. Unfortunately, passion alone does not guarantee quality. One example of passion perhaps exceeding its grasp is found in the Riddick series of films, which is the pet project of actor Vin Diesel and writer/director David Twohy. I spent the last few days catching up on the (thusfar) trilogy, which has garnered acclaim from several sources.