Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I am Groot, amirite?





Guardians of the Galaxy – 5 out of 5



In 2008, Marvel brought together the Guardians of the Galaxy team (again) in the world of comics and, thanks to this film, the new team has been brought to the public eye.  I started to casually read their adventures not long after that time and quickly became a fan—mostly of Rocket and Groot.  I was shocked to learn that Marvel Studios decided to make a feature film of the galactic superhero team because, there was no doubt about this, making a Guardians of the Galaxy film was a huge risk…but like every other film in Marvel’s epic movieverse, the gamble paid off and it is, quite possibly, the best film since The Avengers.

                                                                                                                        Marvel Studios/Disney
"To Infinity and beyond!!!!

We can say that because Disney owns our asses."


                                                                                      Marvel Studios/Disney
Moments later, Groot's spores fell into everyone's mouth.
The villainous Thanos (voiced by James Brolin) is out to collect a mysterious gem that is one of the galaxy’s most powerful weapons and one of the Infinity Stones.  Thanos calls upon Ronan the Accuser to collect the stone and he even grants him the use of his adopted daughters/assassins; Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), to help him.  Unfortunately, Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), a wayward human taken from Earth as a child and now roams the galaxy as an outlaw, has taken the stone.  Soon, Gamora goes after him in order to collect the prize and betray Ronan so he won’t use the power for his own mad quest.  The two end up getting arrested and, getting mixed up in all of it in order to collect a bounty on Star-Lord, so is two eccentric thugs; the talking raccoon, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and the vocabulary-stunted Ent, Groot (Vin Diesel).  Inside prison, they reluctantly team together and find further companionship in Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a man who lost his family to Ronan and now is on a mad dash for vengeance.  Together, they form the Guardians of the Galaxy and are out to stop Ronan from getting the Infinity Stone and save the universe.

                                                                                                                        Marvel Studios/Disney
You don't have to know what Gamora is doing here but it's obvious it's badass!


Like I stated earlier, GotG was a HUGE gamble on Marvel Studio’s part because not only was it about taking the Marvel movieverse into outer space but it was taking a group of superheroes who are not in the mainstream at all.  Sure, before Iron Man, Tony Stark was a B-List superhero that—MAYBE—your grandpa might have heard of but he wasn’t as unknown as Drax or Groot or even the Nova Corp.  Yes, dudes like me were excited because we love the spitball, hotwire that is Rocket and were clamoring all over ourselves to see him on the big screen but for your average movie-goer that enjoys what Marvel is making, you ran a big risk of alienating the audience and seeing them check out of seeing the next film in Phase 2.  However, once again, Marvel nails it and I once again am giving a perfect score to their film.

                                                                                                                        Marvel Studios/Disney
In college, Drax was known as the Destroyer of Bathrooms.


Part of what makes Guardians work so well is the fact that director James Gunn was able to bring about a Sci-Fi tale that had all the familiarity of something like Star Wars and was able to inject it with fun characters, was able to make the film simultaneously action packed and hilarious, and make it feel like it belonged in the overall scope of the Marvel Movie World.  Sure, comic book fans like to complain about their movie adaptations because of changes from the source material or the fact that they’ve pushed their way into the mainstream (my mother even watches these movies and loves them) but Marvel Studios really knows what they are doing.  They have a vision and they bring in the right people to make that vision a reality.  Whether that be bringing in the team of Robert Downey Jr. to play Tony Stark and have Jon Favreau to capture the spirit of Iron Man or bring in the Russo brothers to fantastically capture the political thriller feel needed for Captain America:  The Winter Soldier or, in this case, bring in the man who gave us Super and Slither.  Gunn was the perfect man to capture the pure fun essence of Guardians.

                                                                                                                        Marvel Studios/Disney
I'm 90% sure that the raccoons who knock over my garbage cans look like Rocket.


While, like I said, a lot of comic fans like to moan about how the movies change the source material but I, for one, enjoy seeing how they adapt the characters and stories that I know and love.  The biggest change was the history and presentation of Star-Lord.  In the pages, Quill has always taken a backseat for me to Rocket and Groot.  While I enjoyed the character, I really enjoyed the new take on him and the new direction they gave him.  Making him bumbling, Han Solo-esque character rather than the product of a man/alien love making session who ends up becoming an intergalactic policeman with Element Guns (honestly, I would have liked to see those guns in the film, though) was very refreshing.  It only helped matters that Chris Pratt (a man I have been wishing will become my best friend) played the character perfectly and made him an astounding amount of fun to watch.

                                                                                                                        Marvel Studios/Disney
It's funny because he fully knew how that machine worked!


The fun element is literally carried into every member of the Guardians as Dave Bautista is better than I’ve ever seen him and is both physically badass and hysterical as the overly literal Drax.  Zoe Saldana looks like she can make your bones break with just a tilt of her head as Gamora.  Bradley Cooper absolutely PERFECTLY captured the spirit of Rocket and Vin Diesel was not only the only choice for Groot but he brought a character to life with nothing but three words.  Some people don’t hold much stock in voice acting and some people like to talk trash about Diesel and say he’s a bad actor but the character of Groot only says, “I am Groot,” and Diesel was able to put so much varying emphasis and convey so much emotion in every time he spoke that it really created volumes about his voice acting ability.  Additionally, they really made Groot adorable and the child-like wonder he brought to each scene just brought a smile to my face.

                                                                                                                        Marvel Studios/Disney
Gawd dammit he's adorable!


                                                                                       Marvel Studios/Disney
Unlike in Oculus, Karen Gillan is not still playing Amy Pond!
Having good heroes is a must but you also need strong villains and Marvel has never failed me there…and they don’t here either.  Not only did I get a geek-boner because I got to hear Thanos speak but I also was practically jumping out of my seat with enjoyment over how threatening and entertaining Lee Pace was as Ronan and how cold Karen Gillan was as Nebula—not to mention you have Djimon Hounsou as Ronan’s lackey Korath, and if you don’t think Hounsou is cool and a great actor, then I don’t want to know you or share this bag of Oreos that I have with you.  Overall, these villains help really to not only create an obstacle for our heroes to hurdle and try and save the world(s) but they weren’t just Marvel Studios trying to rehash past villains or trying to recast another Loki.

                                                                                                                       Marvel Studios/Disney
"J'accuse!"
 


Like all Marvel films, the special effects are second-to-none but this one goes even a step further because it involves so many foreign worlds.  Fantastic special effects, amazingly detailed sets, and top shelf make-up help bring the worlds and the people populating them to life and made the cosmic world that Marvel is crafting and expanding come to life and feel like it belongs with all the other films.  Additionally, the film has one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard and really helped make the fun light and insanely entertaining!

                                                                                                                      Marvel Studios/Disney
I'll be honest, I wish The Collector was in it more...but there's always
Guardians 2!


Finally, like every film before this, there are Easter Eggs a-plenty that will keep the comic book fan glued to the screen in order to try and spot them all.  Sure, there’s the obvious ones like Guardians member Cosmo the psychic dog or CHARACTER NAME WITHHELD FOR SPOILER PURPOSES who is talking to Benicio Del Toro as The Collector after the credits but there are just too many to catch them all and it only further keeps these movies ridiculously fun and also makes GotG, quite possibly, the Marvel movie that is most worthy of repeat viewings (well, that and the fact the movie is fun as all hell).

                                                                                                                       Marvel Studios/Disney
There are not enough moments in my life where I can walk epically down
the corridor of a spaceship.


Guardians of the Galaxy was a big chance but a chance that paid off because the end product is bringing new superheroes that were, pretty much, unknown to the masses to the center stage.  On top of that, the story is solid and is just old fashion Sci-Fi, space-traveling fun, the characters are colorful and incredibly well acted, the action is fist-pumpingly great, and the movie is non-stop hilarious!  Marvel hit it BIG with this one and they continue to prove that they are the dominate force in comic book adaptations!

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