Movie Reviews

Published on July 29th, 2014 | by Joseph Saulnier


Guardians of the Galaxy

Wow.  Just wow.  It feels like there are no words that could describe how great Guardians of the Galaxy is.  This is the first movie in a while where I walked in with high expectations, and yet they still managed to exceed them.  OK.  Enough gushing.  Time to get to the dirt.

Guardians, while a movie about a group of people, follows Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) as he loses his mother and then is suddenly whisked away (kidnapped) by an (at first) unknown space ship.  Then we fast forward 26 years later and we see what the young kid who couldn’t handle the death of his mother has become.  A quick-witted, sort of goofy, outlaw who likes to refer to himself as Star Lord.  He double crosses the same people who have helped raise him to be the man he has become, and so sets off a series of events that brings Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) together to go an insane adventure in an attempt to save the galaxy.  In order to do this, they must stop Ronan, a Lieutenant in Thanos’ army, from obtaining a mysterious orb.  The gang comes together through unlikely circumstances, and ultimately work very well together as a team, but do they have what it takes to get the job done?

This movie is all around genius.  While I did have high expectations for the film, I was a little reticent about James Gunn directing.  He has not had anything on this scale in the past, but man did he knock it out of the park.  Every element of this world was working together perfectly… the soundtrack and score helped set the quirky, adventurous tone of the film.  The cinematography combined with the visual effects was captivating.  The acting was superb, with the standout being Dave Bautista as Drax.  Who knew he had it in him?  Apparently James Gunn did.  But every actor played their part as if it were meant for them specifically.  If I have one gripe in the department, it’s that Nebula (Karen Gillan) did not have as much screen time as she should have.  You also some surprise supporting cast in their too with the likes of Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro, the movie is definitely Gunn-ing for gold.  (I am so sorry.  That was cheesy I know).

We saw this movie in 3D.  I am not a big fan of “everything has to be 3D”, and typically space-based movies tend to overdo the 3D effects.  However, I think that the 3D in this movie was slightly understated, which is a definite good thing.  Sure, there were scenes that you could tell were made specifically because it would be shown in 3D, but they didn’t make you sick of the effect 5 seconds into the scene.  It was very artfully done, and not too overwhelming for a space film.

This is definitely the film to see this summer.  Great action, good story arch, great setup for the next movie, and a multitude of tie-ins to the other Marvel universe films.  I am definitely going to be seeing this in theaters again, especially since we did not get the bonus scene at the press screening, and it will be a definite buy on Blu-Ray.  Even in 3D.

I also wanted to address the rumor of Nathan Fillion being in this film.  No, he is not Nova.  However, he is in the film.  But blink… and you will miss it.  I am curious to see if anyone else can find him in the film.  Please let us know in the comments!


4.5 out of 5 stars


Second Review By Gareth Von Kallenbach

When it was first announced, many called the pending film version of “Guardians of the Galaxy” Marvel’s biggest gamble to date. The reason for this is that the comic in which the film was based was never one of the studios biggest or longest running entries and most of the characters in the book actually made their debut in other Marvel projects before getting their own forum.

With clever casting and a great mix of action and humor, Marvel once again show that they have the Midas touch when taking their characters from print to the big screen and have created a visually stunning film that is a true delight.

After being captured from Earth as a youth, young Peter Quill, (Chris Pratt), becomes a rogue who travels the galaxy looking for his next score. When he obtains a valuable orb, he soon has intergalactic overlord Ronan (Lee Pace) on his trail as well as several law enforcement officers and bounty hunters and goons.

After an attempted sale goes bad thanks to the arrival of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket(Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel), the group finds themselves incarcerated and drawing some unwanted attention thanks to Gamora being the adopted daughter of a being who has murdered and subjugated much of the galaxy.

When fate combines them with Drax (David Bautista), the band of misfits joins with one another to keep the orb from the hands of Ronan and his master Thanos who would use it to destroy countless worlds.

The film is filled with action as the trigger happy Rocket rarely misses a chance to lock and load. The cast works very well with one another and there is a great deal of humor and heart to the characters. Even after the nearly two hour run time of the film, I found myself not wanting to leave the crew and thankfully we have been promised their return in a fade out scrawl.

Writer/Director James Gunn has hit the film out of the park with his big-budget debut and clearly shows that he knows his material well and does not let the film become overshadowed by visuals and action.

Imagine a talking Raccoon and giant Tree with a limited vocabulary getting some tender reaction from fans as well as laughs in between the action and you can see why this film works on so many levels.

The film was converted from 2D to 3D but Gun himself supervised the process and it makes it one of the better conversions to date.

I am so happy with this film, I will likely head out and see it again this weekend, braving the crowds to do so as it is that good.

4.5 stars out of 5.



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