Joss Whedon, My Hero — Tan Lili

In the genre of sci-fi horror-action, no one does it better than Joss Whedon. Here’s why.

1. He tugs at your heartstrings  

Joss does a flawless job in character development. If you haven’t seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer before, just watch Seasons 2 to 5, and you’ll know exactly what I mean. I could empathise with every single character in the series, even those with smaller roles. The episode that touched me the most was Season 5’s The Body, which showed how Buffy and her Scooby Gang dealt with the former’s mum’s sudden death. There was no background music, no demons to slay — save for one vampire, which appeared at the end of the episode for a grand total of 30 seconds. Each character brilliantly conveyed grief in his or her unique ways. Little details — Buffy pulling down the hem of her mum’s skirt to protect the latter’s dignity, Willow panicking over what to wear to the funeral — became significant. Apparently, even Joss and his crew were left in tears when filming the emotional scenes. “My experience with death is that apart from a lot of people hugging at funerals, it seldom brings people together. It actually tears them apart,” Joss said in an interview. Well, he sure did capture that gut-wrenching feeling of helplessness in The Body. It was nominated for Best Script in the Nebula Awards (the Oscars of the sci-fi/fantasy realm).

2. He keeps you at the edge of your seat

If there is one movie you have to watch on the big screen this year, it’s got to be The Avengers. Okay, I lied. You have to watch The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 too. But, really, The Avengers was epic. It kept me at the edge of my seat from start to finish. Possibly because I was seated on the second row from the screen … but, for the most part, it was due to the barrage of non-stop action. There were plenty of moments where I asked myself the following: “How in the world are The Avengers going to defeat the baddies when they just keep coming? There isn’t enough time!”; “For crying out loud, just die!”; “No! Thor cannot die!”; “PLEASE GOD, NO CLIFFHANGERS!!” Yet, the inimitable team managed to pull it off in 143 minutes. Thank you, Captain Whedon.

3. He throws humour in your face

There are few directors/writers who do humour like Joss does. His brand of wit strikes at the most unexpected of times, leaving you in stitches — even after the moment of hilarity has long passed. Spot-on punchlines aside, those random “WTH” moments peppered throughout The Avengers were an absolute riot. The recent The Cabin in the Woods, also starring my new fave guy Chris Hemsworth, is another Joss Whedon classic. There were plenty of shocks and scares, and even more laugh-out-loud scenes. I loved it.

Oh, and to that someone who commented The Cabin in the Woods was “just a stupid B-grade horror film”, all I’m going to say is, dude, don’t go hating on the movie just because you don’t get the genre. I mean, I’m not judging you for saying Mirror Mirror was side-splittingly hilarious. Really, I’m not.

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