Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
If you've spent any time on the Internet, watching TV or, let's face it, just ventured out of your house in the past few months, you're probably aware of a little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy, which has quickly become one of the summer's most anticipated films. In fact, you've probably already got plans to go see it when it hits theaters on Friday, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have any idea what exactly you're signing up for. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel's lesser-known titles, the kind that only hardcore comics nerds knew about before the studio announced plans to turn them into a blockbuster. But don't worry: you still have plenty of time to learn everything you need to know about this merry band of misfits before your Friday night showing. In fact, we've put together this handy guide to the Guardians of the Galaxy with all of the questions you might have been too nervous to ask so that you'll be able to hit the theater knowing Groot from Gamora and why, exactly, this "bunch of a-holes" have been entrusted with keeping the universe safe.
So, from what I understand, the Guardians of the Galaxy are basically just the Avengers in Space. Yes and no. They are a team of universe-saving superheroes like the Avengers, but they’re still pretty different.
Really? How? Well, for one thing, they weren’t put together by S.H.I.E.LD.; they met up in prison.
So they’re criminals. Yep. But they’re trying to do some good by saving the galaxy, so they’re not the bad guys, really.
Well, if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s not in this, how about Iron Man? No, sorry. These movies are tangentially connected to The Avengers, but none of those characters will appear in this film.
How are they connected?Remember Benicio del Toro's brief appearance at the end of Thor: The Dark World?
Vaguely.That's the connection. He has a significant role in this movie.
So does that mean Thor is in Guardians of the Galaxy?No.
How about Captain America?Dude, no.
So if we don’t have Iron Man, who is going to be the good looking, wise-cracking leader? He goes by the name of Star Lord, although he’s the only person who actually calls himself that. His real name is Peter Quill.
And who is Peter Quill? He’s a half-alien half-human who was kidnapped from earth as a child and was raised by a gang of thieves and smugglers. He’s also a pretty impressive pilot.
Who’s playing him in the movie? Chris Pratt.
Wait, we’re supposed to believe that Andy Dwyer is going to save the universe? Yeah. Isn’t it awesome?
I guess. Who else is on this team? Their names are Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon, and Groot.
Okay, let’s start with Gamora. Tell me about her. She was adopted as an orphan by Thanos and—
Wait, who’s Thanos? Thanos is the murderous super villain bent on wreaking havoc and destruction. He’s determined to get the Infinity Gauntlet which has the ability to destroy a star. He’s basically the big bad in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe right now, Avengers films included.
And he’s going to be in this? Yes, he’ll be making an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, and he’ll be played by Josh Brolin. You might recognize him as the purple dude in the credits of the first Avengers movie.
Okay, keep going about Gamora.So she was adopted by Thanos raised to be his personal assassin, and became one of the most feared fighters in the universe. But eventually, she turned against Thanos and decided to try and make amends for her past.
Okay, and who’s playing Gamora? Zoe Saldana.
Even though she’s also in Avatar and Star Trek? Yep. She’s the queen of sci-fi franchises.
Who’s next? Drax the Destroyer? Yes. Drax was originally a human named Arthur Douglas, but after his whole family was killed by Ronan the Accuser, his soul was put into a different body so he could fight Thanos.
Wait, hold on. Who’s Ronan the Accuser? I thought Thanos was the bad guy. They’re both bad guys. Ronan is a Kree radical, who has agreed to help Thanos hunt down an artifact if Thanos will destroy the Xandarians – his mortal enemies – in exchange.
What is a Kree?A technologically advanced, war-loving alien race.
And what is a Xandarian?Another alien race. Not so big on the war.
Got it. So is Ronan the Accuser a big part of Guardians of the Galaxy?Yeah, he’ll be the main villain in this one. Lee Pace will be playing him.
Any other villains I should know about? Nebula, who grew up with Gamora. Unlike her adoptive sister, she is still loyal to Ronan and Thanos. She’ll be played by Karen Gillan.
Oh, is this the thing she shaved her head for? Yes. Nebula is bald, so Gillan decided to shave her head, since it would look better than putting makeup on top of a bald cap.
So, that’s it? Ronan, Thanos, and Nebula are all the villains? There’s also Djimon Honsou as Korath, an intergalactic hunter who serves Ronan, and (like we said above) Benicio del Toro, who plays The Collector: an eccentric, obsessive keeper of intergalactic rarities. If you need something, and it might be illegal to own that thing, he probably has it.
All right, all right, is that it? There are a lot of villains in this thing. Yeah.
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
So back to Drax: who’s playing him in the movie? Dave Batista.
You mean Vin Diesel isn’t playing the aggressive muscular dude? No, Vin Diesel’s playing a tree.
What?! Well, he’s playing Groot, a tree-like humanoid who has the ability to regrow himself from the tiniest twig.
Well, he at least has some witty banter or something, right? Of course! Provided that witty banter consists only of the phrase, “I am Groot.”
… Okay. So, why is Groot in jail, then? He’s there thanks to his job as the muscle/personal companion of Rocket Raccoon.
Is that...? The machine-gun firing, rage spewing, back-talking, possibly homicidal raccoon? Yep. You know what's even weirder? Bradley Cooper's providing his voice.
And how did he learn to fire a gun? Rocket is originally from a planet called Halfworld, which was basically a colony for the mentally ill. All of the animals there were genetically modified to become as intelligent as humans and to be able to walk in their hind legs so they could take care of the inmates there.
So, an anthropomorphic raccoon and a tree have teamed up with a criminal, assassin, and thief in order to protect the galaxy? That’s exactly what happened.
I think I need to lie down. No, no! Stay with us, you’ve almost got it.
Fine. So why exactly did they team up? Why is the galaxy in need of their help? Basically, Peter Quill steals an orb that Ronan the Accuser is after, and so he needs the rest of the team’s help in order to evade the villain and the intergalactic manhunt that he’s started. But then they discover how powerful the orb actually is, and they are determined to protect the galaxy by keeping it from falling into the wrong hands.
Why, what’s so special about the orb? That remains to be seen.
Well, then, how do they find that the galaxy is in trouble? Do they just figure it out on their own? They’re recruited by the Nova Corps, who are the military police tasked with keeping the planet Xandar and its citizens safe.
Are those they guys...? Who call them “a-holes” in the trailer? Yeah, that’s the Nova Corps.
I like those guys. So, are those all of the characters? Yep, that’s everyone and a basic rundown of what they want. Anything else you want to know?
Yeah, what's with all the classic rock in the trailer? The songs come from Peter’s Walkman, and it’s basically the last connection he has to his life on earth. Also, it’s awesome.
Can I watch the trailer again? Of course:
And when does this movie come out? Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on Friday, August 1!
Oscar-winning Brazilian movie Black Orpheus is heading to Broadway as a new musical. Playwright Lynn Nottage will pen the script for the stage show, which Lucky Guy's George C. Wolfe will direct.
The 1959 film, helmed by Frenchman Marcel Camus, was based on the Vinicius de Moraes play Orfeu de Conceicao, a modern adaptation of the Greek myth of poet and prophet Orpheus, who tried to bring his wife Eurydice back to life with the sound of his music.
Black Orpheus, which won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 1960 Academy Awards, helped to popularise the sound of bossa nova music thanks to a soundtrack by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa. Some of their songs will also be included in the stage musical.
A premiere date for Black Orpheus' Broadway debut has yet to be set.
Pop star Rita Ora details her failed relationship with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris in her new music. The R.I.P. star dated Harris for a year before their split was confirmed earlier this month (Jun14), and she has now cited the romance as the main inspiration behind her upcoming second album.
Ora reveals her new songs detail her "life story" from the time she met Harris, covering their initial infatuation up until the end of the relationship.
She tells Australian Radio host Kent 'Smallzy' Small on Nova FM, "I just knew I wanted to do an honest, vulnerable, love album... I had an amazing experience with a feeling of love and it was probably one of the biggest inspirations for this record... It was a big inspiration for this record. You can tell... from the first track to the 12th... that it's a build. It went from me walking into the studio single to me being in a relationship and talking about the honeymoon period and feeling incredible and nothing they do can go wrong to me figuring it out that... then it dies down and... then, you still don't have to be afraid of love. And you can still have hope in it... Whatever age you are. It's what that's about. It's the story, you hear it in the record. It actually is my life story."
The currently untitled record is expected to be released in the autumn (14).
Actress Maria Bello has been cast to star in a TV movie adaptation of Stephen King's Big Driver. The film will be based on the horror author's novella Full Dark, No Stars and will also star Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett and Will Harris.
Big Driver will be directed by Mikael Salomon and will centre on a writer who seeks revenge on a serial killer who rapes her and leaves her for dead.
Production is set to begin in Halifax, Nova Scotia this summer (14) and the movie is slated to premiere in the autumn (14).
Actress Emma Roberts was honoured for her career achievements at the Maui Film Festival in Hawaii on Thursday night (05Jun14). Julia Roberts' niece was presented with the Shining Star Award on the second day of the annual movie event.
On the opening night of the event on Tuesday (04Jun14), actor Mike Myers presented a special honour to music manager Shep Gordon. The industry mogul, who is the subject of Myers' film Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, picked up the Maverick Award.
Other stars set for honours during the festival include 12 Years A Slave actress Lupita Nyong'o, the recipient of the Rainmaker Award, Evan Rachel Wood (Nova Award), and Joe Manganiello (Triple Threat Award).
Wood made her first public appearance since splitting from her husband Jamie Bell when she attended the festival's opening night reception on Tuesday.
Another one bites the dust. Last week, Fox canceled one of its few sci-fi shows, Almost Human, reaffirming the network’s reputation as a bad home for science fiction programming. The network may have given rise to the sci-fi kingpin The X Files, as well as the well-liked Dark Angel, but they haven’t been able to find another hit since, which may be the result of too many early cancellations. Most notorious of the killed-too-soon sci-fi series are Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Dollhouse. But Whedon wasn’t the only victim: Terra Nova, Tru Calling, and now the J.J. Abrams produced detective series were all canceled before their time. So where is Fox going wrong?
It’s safe to say that Fox's first misstep took place in regards to Firefly. The show became such a cult hit that Whedon revived it for a concluding film, Serenity, and was asked if he might resuscitate the long-finished series after the Veronica Mars Kickstarter raised enough money to fund a film. Firefly was canceled after a mere 13 episodes when it wasn’t receiving the kind of viewership Fox expected. Given the amount of praise the series has gained in the 15 years since cancelation, it’s easy to see that Fox missed out on a diamond in the rough.
The problem with Fox is that the network never fully commits to its sci-fi shows and expects too much. If Fox wants to have a successful science fiction series on its network, they should give those shows creative freedom. For instance, Fox shouldn’t air episodes out of order (like it did with Almost Human) or try to force a show in a direction they think might be more successful (like it did with Firefly).
At this point, Fox’s bad reputation with sci-fi series has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more that Fox mistreats its science fiction series, the more sci-fi fans decide not to even bother investing in those shows. Science fiction is a niche genre that won’t appeal to as wide a range of viewers as reality competition shows, but that doesn’t mean the audience isn’t there. However, fans aren’t going to invest in a show that could very likely be canceled after 13 episodes.
Either Fox needs to decide it really wants to draw in science fiction fans, which might mean letting a show run a little longer than a single 13-episode season to allow viewers a chance to actually get invested; or, Fox should just give up. They’ve seemed to hit gold with its paranormal drama, Sleepy Hollow, so maybe Fox should stick with projects of that ilk and leave the sci-fi series to networks that will give them a real chance.
Pop star Ariana Grande has been scarred for life after a spooky experience at one of the world's most famous cemeteries. The singer/actress is adamant she had a run-in with an evil demon during the terrifying trip in Kansas, and she even met with a medium afterwards to help understand the ghoulish encounter.
Speaking to Australian Radio host Kent 'Smallzy' Small on Nova FM, she explains: "I had a really terrible experience in Kansas City and I encountered what everybody thought was a demon and I spoke to a medium about it and it was really crazy and scary and I hate talking about it because it was terrifying.
"I went to a cemetery... which is famously known as one of the seven gates to Hell on this Earth because I was interested in it and I wanted to check it out and check for trouble and I got it."
The Stull cemetery in Kansas has been at the centre of claims it is a gateway to Hell, with police cracking down on trespassers breaking into the site in a bid to discover if the urban myths are true.
Revered Canadian author Alistair Macleod has died aged 77. The writer passed away on Saturday (20Mar14) after suffering a stroke in January (14).
He was best known for his 1999 book No Great Mischief, which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2001.
MacLeod taught English and creative writing at the University of Windsor in Ontario for 40 years and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009.
At the end of Almost Human, the characters on the show met in front of a review board to face the decision of whether or not android Dorian (Michael Ealy) could continue to work as a cop. It was a sidewise smirk at the fact that the Fox series was facing possible cancelation. The show remains on the bubble; the more time that passes, the more bleak the outcome looks. Fox does not have a terribly good record in terms of letting science fiction themed shows breathe and grow for long. Firefly and Terra Nova, anyone?
The thing that will be really aggravating is that if they cancel this in the face of renewing the nihilistic garbage that is The Following. Almost Human is a show that has a heart. Karl Urban and Ealy have an easy cameraderie and there are a lot of unanswered questions that I would love to learn the answers to: What does the other side of The Wall look like? What does John Larroquette's mad scientist have up his sleeve? Will Urban's John Kennex actually make a move at some point with Minka Kelly's Valerie Stahl? Will Michael Irby's Richard Paul ever be a good human being?
I know that part of the decision may be financial. In this day and age, it's cheaper to film shows about psychopaths who stab people over and over and over rather than having to have to build futuristic sets. That doesn't make the possibility of the show not coming back any easier to stomach. The only consolation that I may have is that the network let it run its episodes and not axing it in the middle or even earlier, like some other networks.
There may come a time when science fiction becomes a staple: the CW is trying with The 100 right now, but people seem to prefer the fantastical, like Supernatural, or comic books, like Arrow. Until then, I'll keep hoping and waiting. And also praying that Urban and Ealy don't wind up with roles on The Following in Season 3.
Russell Crowe is suffering from a number of chronic injuries including a degenerating hip and torn Achilles tendons. The actor admits working on action-packed movies over the years has taken a toll on his body, and he has now revealed the full extent of his physical problems.
Crowe has tears in both Achilles tendons, as well as a build up of fluid in the bone marrow around his knees, known as bone marrow edemas, a painful hip condition and shin splints, an injury which affects the lower part of the legs.
He tells Australian radio station Nova FM, "At 49, I find it a little bit difficult to run these days. I have grade four tears in both Achilles, I have shin splints, no cartilage in the toes in my right foot, I've got bone marrow edemas in under my knees and I have one degenerating hip..."
However, Crowe is able to laugh off his troubles, joking that he has been injuring himself on movie sets since playing the lead role in 2000 movie Gladiator, which is set in 180 A.D.
He adds, "The joke I tell is that I've been picking up injuries since 184 A.D. but if you're gonna run around with tigers, that's what you get I suppose."
The admission comes just days before Crowe turns 50 on Monday (07Apr14), and when asked about the impending milestone, the actor replies, "Fiftieth birthday - can you believe it?"