Just a quick update to apologise for the radio silence here at Pop Arts lately; lots of stuff happening offline that has needed the majority of my time. BUT I hope to be back to regularly scheduled programming very soon.

Many thanks x

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

As aforementioned, I do love a good comic book/superhero movie. Like most of the audience, I knew virtually nothing about Guardians of the Galaxy going into the cinema and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who then came out of the cinema totally besotted with them all.

Guardians of the Galaxy starts with an unusually emotive opening gambit: our central character Peter Quill is still just a boy, and whose mother is dying. As he runs from the hospital, grief-stricken, he is quite literally beamed up into a space ship hovering above him. The next time we meet him, he has grown up to become an acclimatised spaceman and a criminal. He lands on an abandoned planet to steal a strange orb and judging by the crew that comes to stop him and take it for themselves (led by the criminally undervalued Djimon Hounsou); this is one super important orb.

We learn that scary, deep voiced badass no. one, Ronan (a truly terrifying Lee Pace), a dictator who wants to wipe out several other races of people, is working with scary deep-voiced badass no. two: Thanos (Josh Brolin). Thanos and Ronan have a deal to help each other destroy all their enemies and need that orb to help them accomplish all the blowing up and massacring they’re so keen to get on with. As a gesture of good will, Thanos sends his ‘daughters’ to help Ronan: the robotic Nebula (an extremely cool looking Karen Gillam) and super-assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana, who still manages to be luminously beautiful even when painted pea green). Gamora intercepts Quill (the lovely, awesomesauce Chris Pratt), who is selling the orb for his own gain, but her attempt to kill him is foiled by a sociopathic weapons genius who also happens to be a genetically modified raccoon, Rocket (Bradley Cooper, voice) and humanoid tree and ‘the muscle’, Groot (Vin Diesel, voice). Rocket and Groot turn out to be bounty hunters after Quill and all four end up in the Kyln, a floating space prison, owned by Nova Corps, some sort of nice space people/police.

Still following?

To cut a long and convoluted plot short, Quill, Gamora, Rocket and Groot, along with hard headed, revenge seeking Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) band together to break out of prison, sell the orb, get some money and hopefully escape whatever appalling plan Ronan has in store. Naturally, things don’t go to plan…at all.

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Throwback Thursday: Pop Arts Revisits…Legally Blonde!

Hello! Happy Thursday to everyone. For those of us in the UK, the weather has taken a steep and swift turn towards the autumnal, despite it being August, with our last Bank Holiday weekend approaching. Sigh.

Due to summer busy-ness, we’ve skipped a fair few Thursdays, but I can’t think of a better way to restart than with the gloriousness that is Legally Blonde.

Legally Blonde is often pigeon-holed and dismissed as a chick flick, which infuriates me. Am I a girl? Yes. Do I like girly, overtly feminine things? Yes. Do I like watching films about romance and love and puppies and shit? Dear God, YES. Do I like the term ‘Chick Flick’? Hell no. ‘Chick Flick’ is patronising on all sorts of levels. Clearly, it donates a film that is apparently for women, but more specifically than that, a ‘chick’. I feel like I get dumber by association any time someone refers to me as a chick, y’know? Added to which, ‘chick flick’ doesn’t even get the honour of being called a film, it’s a ‘flick’ – a throwaway, silly thing.

On the surface, I suppose Legally Blonde does seem throwaway and silly. Blonde, pink obsessed, California sorority girl goes to Harvard Law School with the sole intention of convincing her ex-boyfriend to marry her. Simple, right? Except that it is so much more than that and totally blows away any nonsense terms like ‘chick flick’.

(Please note: the discussion below presumes you’ve seen Legally Blonde. Which of course you have. RIGHT?)

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Book Review: I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star) by Judy Greer

Essay collections seem to be becoming popular again, especially amongst high profile women. I Don’t Know What You Know Me From was my third such collection, following Tiny Fey’s Bossypants and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star) is by Judy Greer, an immensely prolific actress, who will be familiar to most people who own a TV set. I picked this up because I do know what I know Greer from, having seen/owned enough films she has appeared in to legitimately start a Judy Greer collection. Greer is known for being a smart comedy actress and for playing a multitude of best friends in various romantic comedies. I like her a lot as an actor (seeing her name on a cast list usually means a plus for me when it comes to choosing films) and I think it would be fair to say that those best friend roles are usually far more interesting than our leading lady. I Don’t Know… is both a sort of memoir and essay collection, taking us from Greer’s childhood through to her move to Hollywood and subsequent acting career.

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