Tag Archives: Marvel Studios

David Dastmalchian on poverty and abuse drama ‘All Creatures Here Below’

Since his striking film debut as a haunting henchman of The Joker in The Dark Knight, David Dastmalchian has built a strong resume of memorable supporting parts in blockbusters and auteur-driven projects. He’s a favourite of director Denis Villeneuve, featuring in PrisonersBlade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune, and a mainstay of both Ant-Man films.

He’s also a writer, now of a second feature in which he also stars. The first, 2014’s Animals, drew inspiration from his own history of addiction and homelessness several years prior to his acting career. All Creatures Here Below, also from Animals director Collin Schiffli, again explores poverty as well as sexual abuse which Dastmalchian says stems from revelations in both his own family and his childhood neighbourhood…

Full interview for Little White Lies

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Captain America: Civil War (Anthony Russo/Joe Russo, 2016)

One of the most frequent complaints to be thrown at Marvel Studios’ franchise (released under Disney) concerns their entries’ tendency towards homogeneity. Another is their too-frequent focus on the ongoing ‘cinematic universe’ brand, rather than making cohesive, satisfying individual films in their own right. Well, Captain America: Civil War feels like something of a turning point, for several reasons. It manages to be a sprawling clash of the titans that incorporates key superhero players from other movies (with their own individual personal conflicts and quirks) while also debuting entertaining new ones (Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland as some kid called Peter Parker); it largely keeps its teases for future entries concerned with emotional fallout instead of plot McGuffins; and it tells a cohesive, compelling story with genuinely interesting ramifications…

Full review for The Skinny

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015)

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, James Spader voices the eponymous villain, an entity of artificial intelligence that can inhabit seemingly any mechanical host around the world that it sees fit; break one body and you’ll just find him in an ever bigger one. Ultron is the superhero film embodiment of the ghost in the machine. Age of Ultron’s writer-director Joss Whedon, meanwhile, is the human in the too-often homogeneous Marvel machine, packing his second Avengers film with wit, pathos (as a result of characters’ palpable emotional vulnerability), and some actual thematic thrust regarding the concepts of invincibility, the transient state of human existence, and America’s knack for trying to prevent conflicts that haven’t even started with methods that doom people anyway. The symphony of destruction works because this blockbuster behemoth has an actual soul…

Full review for The Skinny