Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - Featuring your Parent's "Get it On" Music, KOTR, Shameless Humor and Pop Culture References

The hottest movie of the year finally made its debut this weekend and has already surged to the top. So much hype has been pushed around Marvel's new and relatively unknown franchise, that people started to worry that this would be horribly stupid. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The movie totally gives what it sells and a lot more. A great mix of fun, mockery, dirty jokes and beat em up fun, for everyone who is a comic book / space junkie, this is an adventure that really gives the audience everything it needs to enjoy a movie.

Down and Dirty -

Xandarians know what obscene alien gestures look like
A great giant mockery and plethora of contrasts meshed with key elements of a hero's journey, transforming a rag tag, divided group of criminals into the Guardians of the Galaxy. This whole movie literally makes fun of itself and what we expect out of a comic book movie. Its happy, then sad, then happy, then slightly serious, then back to happy. The music often times doesn't fit the mood of the scene and neither does half the scenes in the movie. Even the characters are pretty awkwardly put together. Its almost a joke in itself at how ridiculous the contrasts are and that is what makes the movie work. Its quirky, adventurous, lighthearted, and full of punches. Disney took a grave chance on such a unique story and has won the battle.

The Soundtrack - 

Is literally the most noticible thing in the movie and sometimes it is quite strange. I felt like the whole movie was built around the soundtrack and not the other way around. Although the track picks are quite good, it can confuse the mood of a scene at times. I do think the choices were intentional however to keep the mood light, even in large states of conflict. Even Chris Pratt's rendition of "Ooh Child" when he sings to Ronan the Accuser was thoroughly hilarious. The last thing you want to do when some one is about to wipe out your existence is to sing and dance in front of him. I guess the power of dance does work.

Story - 
Take a picture, it will last longer.

The story was pretty good and easy to follow. The only part that might have been shaky was Gamora's betrayal of Ronan and Thanos. That was pretty big news to me considering she probably had done quite a few bad things for a while. So why now? Unlike the Avengers, I felt the developing bond between the criminals was much better than the automatic copy/paste job they did with making the Avengers work all of a sudden. They had enough time in the story to help each other out and side with common goals to make the final friendship that much sweeter. As Drax said:

"You, Quill, are my friend."
"This dumb tree is my friend. And this green whore is now my..."
*Gamora berates him*

Science -

Nope. I can make believe a lot of things for the sake of fantasy and enjoying movies...but nope. Just nope. Don't bother thinking about science, it will make your brain hurt. But I guess we never watch these things for the science. I was just thrown out of the story a few times when I realized that there was little regard for how they treated space in general.

CGI - 

Drax is totally joy riding in the back.
Very awesome, they pulled off Rocket, Groot, Thanos and all the animated characters and sci-fi forces that made this whole film spectacular. Their color blends, tones, realism and movements were spot on and amazing. I was very pleased with how well developed all of the graphics were, including the contrasting colorization which made the film sublime, but not so unrealistic that it threw you out of the world. In fact, I really felt like I was watching a comic book and could imagine myself turning the page.

Characters -

Amazing. Everyone popped with their own personalities and it meshed well, perhaps better than even the Avengers irregardless of their differences. 

Peter Quill - The immature, smart ass and leader of the group. He seems to be a slick thief and the a hell of a fighter when he is in a jam. Even though he plays off as a player, it seems he does have a soft spot for women. Peter is literally stuck in the 8Os and has never gotten out of it due to being abducted from earth during that time period. He makes obscure references to the 8Os even though nobody understands what he is talking about. Peter also calls himself "Star Lord" and prides himself as the most wanted outlaw in space [even though nobody knows who he is].

Gamora - The assassin with a heart? It seems she has the most belief in Peter than anyone else. Gamora is the "daughter" of Thanos. The last of her race, her family was murdered and she was abducted to be experimented on and turned into a dangerous weapon. Gamora's character is well developed because she is not a damsel and distress type character, nor a highly feminist "hear me roar, I don't need no man" female. The kiss tease was one of the highlights of the film, because it went there...but then didn't. I appreciated Gunn's avoidance of her being the token love interest and went down an entirely different route all together.

Rocket the Raccoon - By far, the best out of the bunch. Rocket is a treat for everyone to behold. He is a raccoon with a gun, how much better can you get than that? His personality, antics and temper is what keeps things interesting. Rocket fidgets with things and creates weapons as he goes along, which would seem appropriate for a intelligent creature such as a raccoon. Rocket is sarcastic, ill tempered and defensive, but has a deep affection for his friend, Groot. Rocket is a little brainiac hellion in a furball body and you will love every minute of his dialogue and antics.

Groot - The walking tree with a gentle heart, selfless and childlike. Until you threaten his friends. Then he will stomp you into the ground. Groot is a wonderful bag of tricks that can only say "I am Groot" to every response. Rocket is his best bud and translator. He seems to protect Rocket with a passion, understands him, and puts up with him. Groot is the muscle while Rocket is the brains. If you think about it, they have a great Lenny and George dynamic to them.

Drax the Destroyer - A fierce warrior that has been on a rampage since his wife and child died at the hands of Ronan. He has no ability to understand humor, expressions or sayings. Even though he is the type of guy you don't want to mess with, there are times he seems innocent. Drax is a strong, loyal, and interesting character that seems a little thick headed at times. He is also fearless, running into battles regardless of his chances of survival.

FUN Facts:

You know you want a telepathic Russian dog to do your taxes
COSMOS: The movie delivered when they brought in Cosmos, the telepathic Russian dog. Unfortunately, they had him as part of the collection and we never got to know Cosmos properly. Maybe next time? In the comics he is supposed to be the Chief of Security of Knowhere and he seems pretty bad ass with his broken English. And if you want to know...the original Russian space dog was named Laika, one of the first living creatures to go into space.

Infinity Gems Watch: All of the marvel movies so far are leading up to the infinity gems and Thanos's take over. So far we have seen 4 gems appear in the movies:

1. The Tesseract - That cube thing that caused a ruckus in Avengers 1? Yeah, that is one of the infinity gems. Its power is space. So as far as we know its safe in Asgard.

2. The Aether - That red airy thing that got stuck in needy Jane in Thor 2 is the second infinity gem. Its power is reality. From what we know, this gem is safe with the Collector [or maybe not anymore].

3. The Orb - The gem in the orb in Guardians of the Galaxy is the third infinity gem in the series. Its power is..well...power. Demonstrated by its infinite destructive capabilities. Its now safe in the hands of the Nova Corp according to the end of the Guardians movie.

4. Loki's Staff - This one is not confirmed yet but its wildly debated that its another infinity gem. Its power is mind [as was demonstrated when Loki took over people's minds in Avengers 1]. From what we know, HYDRA has the staff according to the ending credit scene from Captain America: Winter Soldier. So I expect it to play a bigger part in the Avenger's movie.

If Loki's staff is an infinity stone, there are 2 more gems we haven't seen yet [time and soul] and I will bet anything that we will see another one in the Avengers: Age of Ultron that is coming out next year. Here are some great references if you want to know more:

Marvel Universe - Infinity Gems

Infinity Gems History Explained

Things Ronan Would Spend Time on the Toilet Thinking About:

Super Deaths - 

Every hero has to have a dead or missing somebody, don't they? I don't know a lot of comic hero movies that don't have some weird, tragic back story. So I guess my point is, if your parent is missing/dead/been abducted by aliens/left you when you were 2; you could very well be a super hero. For those of you with normal parents that are still together. You are super villain fodder when Zod/Thanos/Ultron/Dark Elves/Giant Super Evil invades Earth.

That Walkman -

Is the most indestructible thing since the Hulk's pants. Seriously. What the hell is that thing made of? And how does Peter get batteries to keep it going? Whatever the case is, the people at Apple and Droid need to take a lesson from Walkman so klutzes like me can keep using them for the next 26 years.

While we are at it, that Table is Pretty Impressive Too - 

The Collector's slave girl gets all "Let My People Free!" on everyone and blows up half the building when she touches the infinity stone. That table just resisted everything, damn. Im surprised the Collector didn't die. Whatever that table is made of, I want it to EMP proof my home.

This was a "Hold My Beer" moment for Drax
Drunk Aliens Do Drunk Things - 

Apparently it doesn't matter what race or how big you are, if you are not a drinker, you are bound to do stupid things. I am pretty sure Peter knew what being drunk was, so I can't imagine how he thought letting a gun loving raccoon, a giant tree, and a revenge lusting psychopath have a few....several drinks and thought this was going to turn out all right. The fact that they decided to get drunk right before they met the collector was hilarious considering they were about to meet a super important dude.

Knights of the Old Republic -

Did anyone feel like Xandar had a strong Knights of the Old Republic feel to it? I couldn't help but see Star Wars in that scene and running around with my character in the game. It could be the style and white stone contrast that reminded me of the series, but it was so strange to watch. I was half way expecting C-3PO to come out.

This Movie Had a Case of Emotional ADD - 

The very first scene we get is SUPER DEPRESSING and then all of a sudden out comes the tunes of "Come and Get Your Love" and the movie now wants you to feel up beat and laugh. This type of scene contrasts happens quite frequently and its a little jarring until you get use to it. I think the beginning scene was the most jarring because opening moments do set the tone of the film. The beginning scene was so unnecessary to me it wouldn't have mattered if it existed at all due to it being mentioned a few points in the film for the characters to connect.

Crash! Bang! Boom! - 

At some point, Rocket crashes his ship through the window of Ronan's ship saving quite a few people in the process, but there would have been no way Drax survived the hit he took from Rocket's ship.

Ronan the Accuser Sounds Awfully Similar in his Opening Monologue to the Mandarin - 

Did anyone catch that vibe? I felt like he was practically saying the same words...almost had the same tone and then finally broke away a bit. And what was the point of murdering some dude with a hammer? I guess its part of being get to kill the accused with hammers.

Nobody Notices a Giant Spaceship in Front of the Hospital - 

Aliens come down to Earth to pick puny kid? You know how many fat terrans they can find if they just went down the street? I mean why terran flesh? Don't they realize we are all made of Hardees, KFC, Mcdonalds and Panda Express and that Americans have no nutritional value?

Holding your Breath in Space - 

This is the big nerd in me, but Gunn treated space like water and that is a big no no. So Peter gives Gamora his mask to breathe so she can live and he starts dying himself. Then when they get beamed on the ship, they are suddenly OK? I saw the both of you start to deteriorate, you can't lie to me! I know her DNA is different, and lets state for a second, Peter's is different enough that he can survive long enough in the most outrageous temperatures and conditions in space, but looking this up took 2 seconds on the internet, so shame on you Gunn for letting this BS fly:

       This is Why We Can't Live in Space Without a Giant Suit:

  • You would lose consciousness because there is no oxygen. This could occur in as little as 15 seconds.
  • Because there is no air pressure to keep your blood and body fluids in a liquid state, the fluids would "boil." Because the "boiling process" would cause them to lose heat energy rapidly, the fluids would freeze before they were evaporated totally. This process could take from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Your tissues (skin, heart, other internal organs) would expand because of the boiling fluids. However, they would not "explode".
  • You would face extreme changes in temperature: sunlight - 248 degrees Fahrenheit or 120 degrees Celsius;shade - minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 100 degrees Celsius
  • You would be exposed to various types of radiation (cosmic rays) or charged particles emitted from the sun (solar wind).
  • You could be hit by small particles of dust or rock that move at high speeds (micrometeoroids) or orbiting debris from satellites or spacecraft.
You would die quickly because of the first three things listed, probably in less than one minute. The End. Thanks Google. You Da Real MVP.

And to think, I didn't imagine hillbillies would make it to space

Yondu Udonta is a Space Merle Dixon - 

As soon I saw this guy Im like OMG, Merle, your skin turned blue! I guess you couldn't have a James Gunn movie without Michael Rooker, he was also in his movie, Slither. Apparently Gunn only had Rooker in mind when he casted Yondu. Lucky man! There is life after death in the Walking Dead, and its being the alien leader of the Ravagers!

Face Destruction - 

For as much crap that these guys get put through, everyone makes this out alive and relatively unharmed from extreme internal organ damage, I swear Peter may have cancer of the everything now that he has lived through space and touching an infinity stone. In fact, I think everyone, but Groot might just die before the next Guardian of the Galaxy movie from the infinity stone battle.

Villains Really Need to Cut the Monologue - 

I swear, Ronan, this is like Villain Lesson #1, if you have the good guy in a position of mercy, don't talk for a half hour about how you have won. Just kill them, darn it! Ronan is so atypical of a villain to gloat. I would just  have "gotten on with" the doom and destruction bit since you know, I wasn't really there for my glory, just your deaths. But he had to let them know he won before he killed them. I guess every villain is secretly a pompous rejected rock star inside.

Thanks for Saving Us? - 

I don't know about you but I didn't see a lot of places that was not destroyed by the fight. Not sure what there was to thank about since a lot of people died, buildings crumbled and a giant spaceship crashed in the middle of the city. Also....there were a lot of people hanging around the area Ronan was at. I would be way in the back...trying to plot my escape from the planet as this craziness was going on, not running toward it to watch Ronan burn me out of existence.

Music Life Sentence - 

Did Peter really listen to this soundtrack for 26 years? Shouldn't the tape have shredded by now at some point? And man..he should have opened that package he got from his mom sooner. He could have gotten some new beats at least at some point in his life or just downloaded the entire database of music from Earth every now and then. He had to have wanted to return at some point out of curiosity. Right? Right?

She's definitely jealous of her Beyonce Hair
Sister Bitch Fight - 

At one point the sisters, Gamora and Nebula have their big show down [as we expected], but Gamora is not actually Thanos's daughter, so is Nebula also not his daughter? And why does Thanos just take random women and make them his "daughters"? Is he impotent? I think he is impotent. There you go folks, too much power and a desire to conquer the universe = impotent.

Ronan the Accuser is Thranduil -

Dude, I totally didn't recognize Lee Pace. GREAT JOB on the make up! You even covered up his eyebrows.

Emporer Palpatine, is that You? -

I swear at some point it looked like Emperor Palpatine was talking on screen. I was totally like, dude, stop rubbing it in our face that you purchased Star Wars, Disney. We get are very large and very evil.

They just Played Space Invaders for their Final Battle Scene... - 

When Ronan's flyers were kamakaze bombing into Xandar, the Ravagers posted into the city and pointed upwards shooting them as they came down. They were basically playing space invaders...

Peter's Dad is Special? -

I'm sure comic fans knew this and I know I can just look this up, but I want to be surprised who Peter's dad really is. Is he an Elder? Some type of Celestial being? It was good that they explained that Peter's ability to hold onto the infinity stone had a lot to do with that because I was about to call bull shit seeing how powerful that stone already was.

All of these Characters are Equally Matched? -

This is why we can't have nice things...
Its weird, but all of the characters are equally matched in capability. Granted the better fighters are Drax and Gamora, while Groot is all powerful and heavily convinient to the plot. Peter was still able to get the best of Gamora in their fights, outsmarts Drax in his talks, and seems to be able to control the insane duo Rocket + Groot before they kill him. I figured Peter would be the least capable of the group in fighting ability, but I guess not.

Convenient Arrow is Convenient - 

Why didn't we have that thing on board? Or even on the ground? That whistle arrow killed 2O people and a ship in five seconds. We could have used that on Xandar or against Ronan or really anybody at all. Take your pick, Yondu.

The Entire Force of Xandar Died In One Scene - 

Seriously...I don't know why everyone's so freaken happy. The entire flying patrol force of Xandar just got murdered in this battle. Now Xandar is completely defenseless and has to rebuild. Nobody even acknowledges this. I'm surprised any of these people were left to say thanks to Peter and his crew. There should have been memorials everywhere. That main officer should have been sulking his friends died and that he was the lone survivor because he wasn't up there with them. People forgot a good thousand ships or more died to give the Guardians enough time to defeat Ronan before the ship crashed landed.

Orange Water- 

I really want to know the cleansing properties of that agent orange water they hosed them down with in that jail.

Definitely puppy stealing eyes going on in this photo
Glenn Close Looks Like She Wants To Steal Your Puppy - 

She got that "Cruella de Ville" hair do going on. I thought I was going to have to hug every puppy the next day at the shelter to make sure she wasn't coming to make coats out of them.

What is She Typing? - 

The chick that was typing next to Glenn Close while she was ordering everyone around to protect Xandar. She was furiously typing on one finger and I kept thinking, there is no way she is keeping up with all of the orders on one finger. She must be typing to her boyfriend about how much her job "suxx lol. #livingthedream #XandarAttack #ImTotallyAnExtraInThisMovie"

This Jail Sucks - 

It took the Guardians five seconds to get out of that jail in the most noisy, damaging way possible. Why didnt they seperate these knuckle heads? They knew Gamora was wanted for all kinds of deaths, they knew the raccoon and house plant had broken out more than once before.

Don't know why they didn't separate them and why the sentry tour is literally in the middle of the jail. That's a total bust if they have to run out to save themselves because the Guardians managed to block the guard's only escape route. This jail is designed really poorly.

This...does not look safe at all.
Rocket Boots - 

Star Lord has way better control of his boots compared to when Tony Stark made his. Tony neededstabilizers on his hands to better control the direction of his flight, but Peter doesn't. I do think Peter wins this one.

So...the Collection - 

Now that the collection has escaped...what kind of consequences does that cause the universe?

Whoever Hid the Infinity Stones Needs to be Fired - 

These stones don't seem very well hidden in this universe. If you happen to stumble onto one that's just hanging out in a ruin some where, it seems pretty darn easy to grab. Even if you had no idea how to open it, the beings who do know how to open it will find you. So really these infinity objects were held in pretty shitty easy places to begin with even though they are so dangerous. I guess Elders of the Universe's have shitty millennial intern problems too.

So overall this movie was really fun and a risky dark horse compared to the rest of the Marvel Universe. Contrasting choices and humor vs emotions worked well in some instances and not so great in others. The casting choice was 1OO% spot on. Everything from the make up, the CGI movement, and even the voice acting that breathed life into the most obscure of characters. The movie gives you that beautiful swath of colors, emotions, and character development. A real treat for the audience. We got a great comic book feel without it being too corny or fake, making you forget that there are no such things as talking raccoons and cities based out of floating heads. So come out to the theater and get your love!

Got a burning urge to prove your nerdy pride? Comment below!

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YAY Sparkles!

DnD Rating: 8.5/1O

After Credits: Yes! There is a scene as the credits start and another one after the full credits are complete, so stay behind! Its not really a scene to connect the movie with the rest of the series, but it is an interesting surprise. In case you don't get the final scene...comment and I'll explain.

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