“Guardians Of The Galaxy 2” Is Here! James Gunn’s Great New Superhero Film! His “Dolphinman” Roots!

Summer 2017 Begins With A Superhero Blockbuster!

It’s here! “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. II” blasts off today, and it’s getting terrific reviews! First, check out the trailer:

A great looking trailer – and as I said, the reviews have been superlative – a sequel that takes a beloved film and cast and moves the story forward in a great way!

Kudos To Director James Gunn!

This new blockbuster is a result of the tireless effort of Director James Gunn, who was passionate about the special nature of this franchise.

Geek magazine Guardians of the Galaxy

When the first film was released in summer 2014, that issue of GEEK magazine featured Gunn on the cover, and I’m excited about it for two reasons: first, Director Gunn and the film deserve the attention. Second, the aricle includes one of my James Gunn photos!

Johnrieber.com photo

Yep, there it is, clear as day in the upper right box…OK, here is the picture, full sized for your enjoyment:

Troma movies

The Writer asked to use it, and since I thought it was a fun picture, and have posted it on my blog before, said “sure.” I also know James saw the picture and didn’t raise an objection to it…

James Gunn is doing lots of press to support the film, spending time talking to fans on social media about the songs he chose for the soundtrack. Remember however, that “GOTG” wasn’t Gunn’s first superhero film…

This was Gunn’s “anti-hero superhero” film – the terrific “Super”. Here is the plot: after his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, an everyday guy transforms himself into Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, though he lacks for heroic skills.

James Gunn directs a tight, effectively shocking look at the everyday man who wants to rise up against those who do him wrong!

Rainn Wilson Super

Writer-director James Gunn does a terrific job with a cast that is up for anything – Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Gregg Henry and Michael Rooker.

super-ellen page is bolty

And how about this for trivia? Towards the end of the movie when Liv Tyler is in her rehab group session, she is heard stating “f**ked up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional”. This is a reference and nod to her rocker father Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith) and his 1980’s song “FINE” which is an acronym for the same line.

Lots of great moments, grisly grindhouse exploitation, and heart. LOVE James Gunn’s work and terrific performances by the entire cast!

Troma movies

Lloyd Kaufman Cameo!

Gunn was one of the creatives at Troma for years, and when the first “Guardians” was released, he posted a picture from the set of him and Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman, who had a cameo in the film!

James Gunn Lloyd Kaufman

Here’s what Gunn wrote: “I was grateful when my old boss, the president of Troma Entertainment, @lloydkaufman, came to London to do a cameo in the film – as a prisoner in the Kyln. Lloyd taught me more than anyone else about making films. One of the things that keeps me sane in this business is staying true to my roots – whether with friends, family, or co-workers. As the world around me changes it’s nice to have some consistency in my personal life (even if that consistency is as crazy as @michael_rooker). Have a great day, folks!”

Kudos for the terrific gesture! James Gunn has a great, colorful history in film, and I wanted to celebrate that as well. So here is the story of my Cannes film festival shoots with James and the wacky Troma team!

Troma movies

Welcome to Cannes!

Yes, Troma and James Gunn owned the “unofficial” Cannes film festival, and I had the chance to have some fun with the gang in one of the most beautiful places in the world!


Oh, as it turns out, one of the most beautiful places in the world just happens to be home to the world’s most prestigious film festival!

This is the Palais du Festival, where the world’s greatest filmmakers arrive to showcase their movies to the world. Cannes 2014 begins on May 15th, and this is a look at the festival and the fun I’ve had there – this is me one year – in a meeting…

I was lucky enough to go to Cannes a dozen times, where I saw the world premieres of “Pulp Fiction”, “Breaking The Waves”, “Moulin Rouge” and many more…and interviewed a bunch of great film makers and stars…it is one of my favorite spots in the world… a place where, at any time, someone can take their top off and get a crowd to take a picture…

I witnessed shoving matches and fistfights as these photographers fought for the perfect shot of a big star – or a topless starlet…it is a delirious madhouse…

Alex was with me many times – like this picture of us taking a break during filming one year for E!

As you can see, Alex caught Michael Castner relaxing before a shoot…and Alex also ran into John Lithgow once!

It a madhouse, one of my favorite jobs ever, and I vow to go back next year with good friend Steve Kmetko, who not only interviewed big stars for us every year, but also hung out with our friends from Troma…

And while the official film festival was underway, so was the “unofficial” Cannes film festival!

All The Love You Cannes!
Full disclosure: I am in this movie. I am. It might be a single b-roll shot while Lloyd mentions me in passing, but hey, I’m a Troma star!

Here we all are in Cannes one year: E! News Host Steve Kmetko, who allowed my wife Alex, along with James Gunn, turn him into “Dolphinman” for “Sex On The Riviera”. Lloyd is on the left, by the way…

Every year I was in Cannes, Lloyd and his Troma team were up for any shenanigans…and their tireless energy is captured in Lloyd’s documentary about life at the Cannes film festival.

Tiffany Shepis on the left and James Gunn on the right were always ready to film special stunts with us to capture the craziness of Cannes…we had a lot of fun with them, and they are terrific people!

If you want to see the best documentary about the pomp, circumstance, and sordid underbelly that is Cannes, “All The Love You Cannes” is the movie for you!

Places like Cannes are crucial to an independent studio like Troma – they attract international buyers, they get screenings for their films – as well as lots of press.

The Troma Team is willing to try every stunt imaginable to get a little publicity, including walking the streets of Cannes dressed as various Troma heroes, staging lesbian make-out sessions, hilariously crashing Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “press conference,” where JCVD shows up for about 2 seconds.

By the way, thanks to Director John Brennan, Dolphinman lives on!

Yes, see the trailer for the new Tromatic adventure here!


So congrats to James Gunn on the upcoming release of “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. II”!

Geek magazine Guardians of the Galaxy

Categories: Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, Cannes Film Festival, documentary films, Exotic Travel, Exploitation films, Great Films, Grindhouse, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Movies, Movies About Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Troma Films, Uncategorized

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8 replies

  1. A few things occur to me while reading this John. One you have a great job that you’re good at and thank you for sharing some memories. Two that everybody needs to start somewhere and often the B, D or Z industry of filmmaking allows for people to get their start. Three James Gunn right now is at the height of his powers but has held onto relationships and lessons from his early days and a sensibility that only improves his current blockbusters. May such things continue to be in an ever changing media landscape.

    • Lloyd, you are absolutely right: James has gotten success but has used his past to strengthen his filmmaking today…he deserves all of this – oh, and he was married to Jenna Fisher from The Office for a while – they made a film called “Lolli-Love” that Troma released!

  2. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Today’s the day for “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. II”!


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  2. “Kick” Troma Into Movie Theaters! Sex! Violence! Support The “Return To Nuke ’em High”! | johnrieber
  3. James Gunn! The Origin Of Troma’s “DolphinMan”! Wrestlers V. Zombies! New Tromatic Classics! – johnrieber
  4. The Complete “MARVEL Cinematic Universe”! The Most Successful Movie Franchise EVER! Best Superheroes! The Single WORST MARVEL Film! A Timeline! – johnrieber

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