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guardians-of-the-galaxy-posterThe apes may have ruled the box office recently but it’s going to be all change this weekend. Amidst the blistering sunshine (and occasional downpour), Marvel’s new generation of superheroes arrive in the cinema almost certain to blow away all opposition.

So what do Chris Pratt, a talking racoon, something that looks a bit like a tree and a green woman have in common? They’re all part of Marvel’s latest hope for world domination. Perhaps aware that The Avengers franchise can be milked for only so long, Marvel has taken a gamble by adapting one of their zanier stories. Chris Pratt leads an ensemble cast that includes Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel in an effort (predictably) to save the galaxy. This time round though, there are plenty of laughs to be had alongside the obligatory spectacular action sequences. This is now the tenth entry in Marvel’s cinematic universe. Guardians of the Galaxy suggests they’re good for a few more yet.

A trip into Michel Gondry’s mind would be one of the most terrifyingly glorious ordeals you’d ever experience. His latest effort, adapting a much-loved French novel, provides him with the kind of material he’s made for. Romain Duris plays the distraught partner of Audrey Tautou who has to work a number of unorthodox jobs to help cure her from that well known ailment; a water lily in the lung. A little lightweight compared to his best work, Moody Indigo is still packed full of visually astonishing moments of surreal fantasy.

If the sun outside is proving too relentlessly positive, Blackwood arrives to offer a dose of good old English horror. Ed Stoppard’s college professor relocates to the countryside with his wife and young son to recover from a recent breakdown. Unfortunately, he ends up plagued by evil visions in his new house that set him onto an obsessive mission to uncover a local mystery. It’s hardly original but good value for a quick scare or two.

Darren Aronofsky’s decision to follow Black Swan with a big budget epic about Noah certainly raised a few eyebrows. Concern only increased when stories began to emerge about the number of different cuts an unhappy studio was testing. We shouldn’t have worried as the end result is an astonishing display of filmmaking chutzpah. Out on DVD this week, Russell Crowe takes the title role in a mad adaptation that refuses to follow the normal blockbuster rules. That anyone allowed Aronofsky to make it is quite frankly incredible but we should all be thankful they did.

That’s all for now. If you’re tired of saving-the-world antics, check back next week when The Inbetweeners return for a decidedly less heroic sequel.

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