Posts tagged Joss Whedon
Shakespeare has never been as accessible on the big screen as he is in Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Sure, there have been plenty of modern Shakespearean film adaptations, but they often rely on well-known actors or massive stylistic updates to connect with audiences. Whedon’s version bridges that gap because it features his stable of performers and includes modern technology, while maintaining the essence of The Bard’s work.
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If you saw The Cabin in the Woods several times in theaters like I did, then you also can’t get enough of Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s horror masterpiece. One of the best parts about their intriguing flick is noticing more nods to genre classics and jokes with each viewing.
You should be able to catch anything that you missed last screening and find out all sorts of delicious new factoids when the film arrives on DVD. While you’re waiting for your chance to watch it at home though, Titan Books has released two great ways to get your Cabin fix: The Cabin in the Woods – The Official Movie Novelization and The Cabin in the Woods – The Official Visual Companion.
Joss Whedon is finally receiving the widespread recognition he deserves as a writer, director, and producer. We have his hit 2012 flicks The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods to thank for that. Before Whedon achieved mainstream success though, he already had a rabid cult following. His admirers endlessly analyze the television shows, comics, and films that he creates. Heck, my alma mater even has a class exclusively on his show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Leveraging Whedon’s devotees, Titan Books and the magazine Pop Matters have distilled fan commentary into a single book entitled Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion.
The answer to your burning question about The Avengers is a resounding “Yes.” If you’re into movies or comics, you’ve anxiously awaited its arrival since 2008’s “Iron Man,” which first hinted that an Avengers film was in the works. After four years and four more Marvel movies, you’ve been wondering “Will it live up to the hype?” Rest assured, not only does director/writer Joss Whedon’s flick live up to the hoopla, “The Avengers” surpasses it.
Whedon’s 3D beauty captivates you from the opening scene, where Thor’s angry step-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) makes a deal with some mysterious baddies. Promised an army to help enslave the human race, Loki drops down to Earth to assemble his force and stir up trouble. Despite Loki’s unclear motives, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) immediately realizes that he must call together the planet’s mightiest superheroes in order to stand a chance against the villain.
Based on its title, “The Cabin in the Woods” sounds like it could be a shoddy remake of Sam Raimi’s cult classic “Evil Dead.” And while you can tell that Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s movie draws inspiration from the horror staple, it also borrows elements from genre giants like “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “Night of the Living Dead.” These guys aren’t mere copycats though. Homage is only part of their endgame.
Goddard and Whedon’s film aspires to a much loftier goal: to spin the genre on its head. This ambition is revealed by the movie’s whip smart tagline: You think you know the story [but you really don’t].
“The Cabin in the Woods” follows five college friends who travel to a remote cabin in the woods for a relaxing weekend getaway. As with most victims in horror movies, these kids are blissfully unaware of the terrors that await them there. After arriving, they venture into the cabin’s basement, where they unwittingly unleash the forces of evil upon themselves. Still sounds like “Evil Dead” right? That’s what Goddard and Whedon want you to think, right before the story takes an amusing left turn.
To divulge more of the plot would spoil the thrill of seeing “The Cabin in the Woods,” for the first time without any expectations. If you decide to see it (and you really should), just keep in mind that it’s not really important what is tormenting the friends, but rather why they’re being attacked. The revelation of these details is just as humorous as it is horrifying.
In his directorial debut, Goddard and his co-writer Whedon craft a brilliant horror film which parodies established clichés just as skillfully as it honors them. It’s fair to say that you will probably laugh your ass off throughout the whole movie thanks to the hilarious dialogue and actor Fran Kranz who plays the stoner Marty. While Marty might on dope, he’s certainly no dummy. He can see right through the haze, using sarcasm and delightfully offbeat sentiments to warn his friends of impending danger.
Even with all the self-aware jokes and nods to the genre, “The Cabin in the Woods” still maintains a fascinating air of seriousness. Because the picture features a healthy amount of gore, you can’t quite call it a horror/comedy. Attempting to fully classify the film without spoilers is a useless endeavor, so just get out there and see it for yourself! After watching it once and taking in its mysteries, you’ll enjoy it even more on the second viewing, where you can catch all of its more subtle humor and references. If you’re a true horror junkie who likes to laugh, “The Cabin in the Woods” will easily be your favorite flick of 2012.
My Grade: A
Q&A: ‘The Cabin In the Woods’ Stars Fran Kranz And Kristen Connolly Discuss Joss Whedon And Acting In Horror0
When Fran Kranzand Kristen Connolly first signed on for the Joss Whedon-penned horror flick The Cabin in the Woods, they immediately knew they were going to be part of something special. Helmed by Drew Goddard making his directorial debut, the film tells the story of five college friends who travel to a remote cabin in the woods for a relaxing weekend getaway. They soon discover unimaginable terrors there, and together they must survive long enough to learn the truth behind the mysterious cabin.
Originally shot in 2009 under MGM, the film sat on the shelf for two years because the studio went bankrupt. Lionsgate acquired the movie and released it this year at South by Southwest, where despite its well-traveled premise; the picture received significant praise for its brilliant mixture of horror homage and parody.
Recently two of its stars, Fran Kranz and Kristen Connolly, were in Boston to screen The Cabin in the Woods, and I was lucky enough to participate in a roundtable interview with them. Below are some of the highlights of that conversation.
Q: What was it like working with Joss Whedon?