In a recent interview with The Kentucky Kernel (via CBM), Joss Whedon reveals what his idea of a Summer blockbuster is like and how they have changed throughout the years!

QUESTION:“The Avengers” is based on S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury trying to unite heroes with extraordinary powers and egos. Did you ever feel like Nick Fury, trying to bring the actors into a team concept, and how did you handle creative differences in this type of situation?

JW: I felt very much like Nick Fury. He’s the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., literally, and that puts him at a remove from everybody, even if he likes them. He knows he’s putting them in harm’s way. Hopefully I’m not putting my actors in harm’s way. Hopefully I’m not even making them uncomfortable, but I’m not nearly as intelligent or manipulative as Nick and I didn’t have as many problems because my actors actually wanted to be together. They enjoy each other. But you do feel that responsibility that you’ve got to get all of these people to give their best. For (Fury) it’s in battle, and for me it’s when we’re rolling, to really come up with their best stuff and play off each other as well as possible, and you have a great responsibility to service them with your camera at the same time.

So I definitely felt some of the pressure, but I can see out of my left eye.

QUESTION:Did you have any particular combination of super heroes that you thought were the most interesting to see interact?

JW: I love the Bruce Banner, Tony Stark relationship. Bruce Banner’s the first guy Tony Stark’s come across who operates on his level intellectually, who isn’t a villain. But I also love Tony and Steve (Captain America) and how much they can’t stand each other, and I’m very invested in Natasha and Hawkeye and their deep friendship, so, you know — oh — I love them all. I hate this question (laughs).

QUESTION:What advice would you give to any student with ambitions of one day sitting in the director’s chair?

JW: My advice would be (to) sit down. Now you’re in the director’s chair.

We live in an age where anybody can make a movie. If you have a phone, you can make a movie. OK, maybe not a huge movie, maybe phone-sized, but it’s there. When I came up, you wrote a script, and you hoped and hoped. Or you raised enough money to make a short film.

Things are different now and the best way to get your work out there — not just as an offering to somebody else to hope they’ll make it, but to show yourself as a filmmaker and to learn as a filmmaker — is just make movies.

There’s no excuse not to now.

QUESTION:If you were going to insert yourself into a super hero movie, what powers would you have?

JW: I would have the power of invisibility, and then I wouldn’t have to show up for as many shooting days.

QUESTION: College students have a lot of options this summer with movies to see during their breaks. Why should college students have it first on their list to see “The Avengers”?

JW: I think “The Avengers” is the kind of movie that I grew up wanting to make and thought they had stopped making.

When I grew up, the summer movie was, literally, created as a concept, and all my life I wanted to do something like that, something like the first “Indiana Jones,” something that was steeped in character, in love of the genre that it was portraying, had intelligence, had real acting, had a story that unfolded and wasn’t just a sort of big premise that you already knew going in.

More and more, summer movies have felt a little cynical. There are very big exceptions to that, but that has been the case when people throw so much money down.

They’re not interested in a story, they’re interested in just barraging you with excitement and imagery and brand names.
Marvel doesn’t operate that way. They care about the people. That’s why they hire some of the best actors in the business to play their heroes. This is an old-fashioned movie.

It’s a little bit bigger than life, but it’s very human.

Tags: avengers, Joss, whedon

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

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Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

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The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!