The Last Witch Hunter is an intriguing entry into the world of cinematic fantasy genre. While it doesn’t particularly revolutionize the way we see witches and warlocks nor does it herald “the next great franchise” of feature films, it is a solid tale packed with great special effects, excellent pacing, a presentation designed for an intellectual audience (relatively speaking, of course), and charming characters that are fairly believable in terms of their place in this witchy world.
I knew ‘em before they were famous.
For those that aren’t as deeply invested in comic-book lore as some of us (what do you expect – one of my first real jobs when I was 16 was in a comic book store, for cryin’ out loud… being knowledgeable about comics was literally my job), the newest cinematic offering from Marvel Comics, Guardians of the Galaxy, may seem a bit more “random” than you are prepared to handle: the film is only loosely connected to the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe that audiences have come to know and love, that of Iron Man, Captain America, and The Avengers fame (among others). In fact, at this point, the only actual crossover that GotG has with the rest of the on-screen Marvel superhero crew is The Collector, an eccentric, intergalactic keeper of rare treasures and oddities; The Collector was seen in the mid-credits scene of Thor 2: The Dark World as he met with two of Thor’s compatriots and agreed to keep the powerful Aether – one of the six Infinity Stones – in his collection. He appears in GotG in a slightly-expanded-but-still-fairly-ancillary role.
The Collector is an old-school comics character, making his first appearance all the way back in 1966, and has usually existed in the nebulous area of not quite a bad guy, per se, but not a hero, either. Over the course of comic book history, he’s had run-ins with The Avengers, The X-Men, and – you guessed it – the Guardians of the Galaxy. You see, much like the first two aforementioned teams, the Guardians have also been around in print for over 50 years. From the ‘60s through the ‘90s, the team existed in the 31st Century, a band of intergalactic alien loners that come together to fight injustice (including one character, Major Victory, who possesses and uses Captain America’s very-old-but-very-functional indestructible shield). These are the Guardians of the Galaxy I grew up with, and they spoke to me, since they combined two facets that I thought were totally tubular: superheroes and science fiction.
Still with me? Good, although you don’t necessarily need to know all the above info about Guardians of the Galaxy to have a great time watching the film. All you really need, quite frankly, are your eyes and your ears. Continue reading REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy