To say that I am a fan of writer-director Joss Whedon is an understatement.
Although he has talented in his own right, he is actually a third generation screenwriter in an incredibly talented family. His grandfather, John, was a writer on The Donna Reed Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Leave it to Beaver.
His father, Tom, wrote for Captain Kangaroo, The Electric Company, The Dick Cavett Show, Benson, Alice and The Golden Girls. His brother Zack wrote scripts for Deadwood and Fringe and his other brother, Jed, is a scriptwriter on both Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Drop Dead Diva. Joss teamed up with his brothers to create the incredibly entertaining web miniseries Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion.
Although his big break was getting his screenplay for Buffy the Vampire Slayer produced into a movie, Joss Whedon’s fame started after several uncredited drafts or rewrites of movies like Speed, Waterworld and Twister, when he was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the original Toy Story.
After that, he sold the idea of turning Buffy into a TV series, which became a commercial and critical success and was also spun off into the series, Angel.
My favourite of his TV creations was Firefly which, like most people, I discovered after it was cancelled after only half a season. It became such a big hit on DVD, Whedon got the green light to make it into the feature film, Serenity.
After that, he created the well received, but short-lived Dollhouse.
When I heard he was picked to write and direct The Avengers, I was very excited. If any one could bring the right balance of story, humour and action that we have already seen in the movies leading up to this, it would be Whedon.
The Avengers was first teased after the credits on the first Iron Man movie and the teasing continued after the credits of The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America.
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johanson (Black Widow) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) all return in the roles they were groomed for but Edward Norton, who played Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk is replaced by Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, The Kids Are All Right) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) is introduced as Hawkeye. Also, Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, Thor’s evil adoptive brother.
If you believe 96 per cent of the critics who have already given it positive reviews, Whedon has lived up to expectations and managed to create a superhero epic that lives up to the hype that has been building over the last few years.
West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thompson is a documentary about one of Canada’s most beloved painters whose death was as mysterious as his artwork is beloved. It shows for one show only at the Paramount Theatre Sunday at 5 p.m.