I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Guardians of the Galaxy

tn_guardiansPeter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt, ZERO DARK THIRTY) is a wannabe legendary space outlaw, a good fighter with a cool breather mask and ship who takes gigs from unsavory characters retrieving rare objects and stuff. A Transporter, if you will. When he finds something called “the orb” for a scary space guy with the scary space name of Rhonan the Accuser, he learns that it endangers everybody in the galaxy, and he decides he’s against that. So he teams up with an alien lady trying to snatch it from him (Zoe Saldana, but green this time instead of AVATAR blue), two bounty hunters trying to capture him (Bradley Cooper [MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN] and Vin Diesel, both voicing cartoons), and a psycho they met in prison (Dave Bautista, RIDDICK) to try to get it somewhere safe, wherever the fuck that would be. I don’t think they discuss throwing it into a volcano like a lord of the rings would do.

mp_guardiansSo Star Lord is the hero of a space adventure, but he’s also just a dude. Snatched from earth as a child in 1988, he still sometimes mentions Ninja Turtles and FOOTLOOSE, and I think I saw an ALF sticker on his stereo so he probly talks about that too and how he relates to him because he’s a reverse ALF. His prized possession is a mix tape his cool mother (whose death moments before his abduction must explain why he never went back) made for him. I love this because it puts ’80s rock and soul songs on the soundtrack of a digital age space opera, because it’s genuinely sweet, and because it’s funny trying to imagine how he maintains a cassette player in space. Also I’m glad she had pretty good taste. Being 1988 it could’ve easily been a bunch of George Michael, Whitney Houston, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Or it could’ve had “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

Cooper plays Rocket, a realistic animated raccoon who was experimented on and made intelligent, so now he talks, wears clothes, kicks ass. It’s completely absurd and it completely works. Kinda weird though because he doesn’t know what a raccoon is, he never heard of it until Peter called him one, yet he comments on having a short lifespan. How does he know what his lifespan is if he doesn’t even know what he is? Uh oh. Possible error. Thumbs down. This movie is bullshit.

Although Cooper was Face Man in THE A-TEAM he’s the Hannibal here, the guy who comes up with the plans, and if you were allowed to smoke cigars in movies he would be the one doing that. His muscle is Groot, a large animated tree man, but I’d say the B.A. Baracus is Bautista’s character Drax. He’s a scary, tatooed, shirtless alien “destroyer” out to kill Rhonan The Accuser, who killed his wife and daughter.

Yeah, “Drax the Destroyer” is a pretty crazy nickname to have, but you gotta wonder about one like “Rhonan The Accuser.” It’s gotta be that he’s always accusing people, right? So how does he have friends then? Don’t they get sick of being accused of shit all the time? Or do they just laugh it off? “Ha ha, you know Rhonan, always accusing.”

Back to The A-Team. I guess Star Lord must be Murdoch, although he’s kind of the leader, and that leaves Gamora to be Face? No, this A-Team thing doesn’t work. Groot is actually more like Chewbacca, because all he ever says is “I am Groot,” but Rocket understands what he really means and responds as if he’s having a real conversation with him. And he’s a tree that walks around and can grow his arms long and stuff. He lives his life a quarter ring at a time.

You know what’s weird, this is a Marvel Comics movie, and it introduces us to all these colorful characters in one movie. They didn’t have to give each one a separate movie or two before teaming them up, they just introduce them and have them meet all in the same one movie. HOW THE FUCK DID THEY DO THAT? Breaks every rule known to the internet. Groundbreaking. This could change EVERYTHING. But probly not, we will still solo movies for all characters always, and prequels.

I actually saw one industry article about the success of the movie, and it mentioned how brilliant it was that now they could spin off each of these characters into their own movies. I feel like that’s missing the point. There’s no “spin off” in “team.” If THE DIRTY DOZEN came out now would we hope each character gets their own movie?

Anyway, these guys first fight each other, then they escape from prison together, then they have to get this orb thing to safety, battle Rhonan and evade the guy who spacenapped little Petey in the first place, a blue guy with a Lobot mohawk played by Michael Rooker (ABOVE THE LAW). And because Vin Diesel’s there it has a surprisingly touching theme of outsiders without families coming together and forming a new one together. Though it’s re-written and directed by Troma vet James Gunn it actually looks high rent compared to many Marvel pictures. For example the fantasy world effects in the THORs look cheap-ass compared to all the ships, planets and creatures they created here. If I may nitpick I think the animation acting of Groot could be better, I think it is a little obvious cartoony type movements more than the subtle pantomime you see in the best animated movies. But everything looks great.

Some have pointed out that it’s nice to have one where you don’t gotta know jack shit about the Marvel movies and universe to understand it. And it’s true, I’m sure this is all comic book shit, but it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t tie in to the other movies in obvious ways. BIG IMPLIED SPOILER THIS PARAGRAPH ONLY even the after credits tag thing is just a joke and probly not a set up for another movie. But it was the first one in a long time that made me laugh and clap. It’s actually the exact thing we’ve all joked about happening after the credits of one of these movies, but it took this particular movie and a director with a goofy sense of humor to make it actually happen.

I think Gunn made this the funniest Marvel movie (though the IRON MANs and THE AVENGERS have lotsa laughs). Lots of funny lines and cultural misunderstandings and what not. Imagine having to worry about whether or not this guy gets your jokes:

still_guardians
In fact, thank you GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for making the guy who would usually be in one jokey scene threatening to prison-rape the main character actually join the team. I’m so happy for Bautista, who I don’t know from wrestling but who I’ve been a fan of since Demon Dave cast him in his first real movie role. I’ve seen him being called a “breakout star” now, but of course we all know him from his five previous movies, three of them DTV:

WRONG SIDE OF TOWN
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
THE SCORPION KING 3: BATTLE FOR REDEMPTION
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
RIDDICK

Until now Brass Body in MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS was probly his coolest character, but Drax combines that physical menace with comic timing and a lovable lack of awareness about how terrifying he is. He’s so simple and heart-on-his-sleeve that I had to feel for him, and be happy when he found a little time for friendship and fun in the middle of his mission of vengeance. One of my favorite things in the movie is when he watches Groot giving a bunch of guys a brutal beating in a novel way and he turns to Quill with a huge, delighted grin, like a kid watching a girl’s shirt fall off.

And I don’t know man, call me sentimental but for some reason Quill’s love of music as a form of pure human expression moved me. The thing on the beginning of the credits where SPOILER? Groot dances to “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 really got me. This simple-minded creature being reborn and suddenly understanding what Quill sees in music, and just expressing this pure joy, to that song… I loved it. And I know the dance is nothing fancy but I hope Vin Diesel did the motion capture. He used to breakdance, you know.

vindieselbreakdancing
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is what the STAR WARS prequels should’ve been… a space movie completely unrelated to Star Wars, made using technology that has evolved over 15 years after being pioneered in the Star Wars prequels. I don’t know how that would be possible, and admittedly people would’ve been really confused and disappointed if the prequels didn’t explain anything about Anakin Skywalker or have Jedis. But I heard some people saying this and I wanted to be cool so I am saying it too. Because really what is the point of enjoying a movie unless you use it as a vehicle for saying that you didn’t enjoy a different movie. FUCK YOU GEORGE LUCAS YOU HURT ME AND I WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU EAT A DICK FOREVER NOT MY SUPERMAN.

As far as this series of Marvel Studios movies goes I’d put this in the top 3. I still think AVENGERS is the best, but with either this or WINTER SOLDIER a close second. WINTER SOLDIER has a tighter story, but GUARDIANS definitely has superior action clarity, and the advantage of all these cool aliens and shit.

In a way GUARDIANS shows how useless all this pontificating is that we do about the Marvel movies before they come out. At least for right now they know what the fuck they’re doing, and we can only guess what they’re up to. It’s probly wiser to take a wait and see approach than to assume they’re fucking up. Because no, it doesn’t matter if it’s a popular comic or not. Yes, they can get us to accept a talking space raccoon. No, the honchos did not squash Gunn’s sensibilities.

In fact, this is a pretty ideal case of an outsider indie guy (although one with some studio experience, having written the SCOOBY-DOO movies) getting to drive dad’s car and making the most of it. He was able to make a slick movie with broader appeal than TROMEO AND JULIET or SUPER, but one that nobody else would’ve made the same. And that’s why I will try to forgive this band of outlaw troublemakers being officially sanctioned by the fucking Nova Empire at the end. Because it’s a metaphor for the filmatists themselves: scrappy outsider losers banding together, somehow with the approval and resources of The Man, to do what they do best. Gunn is making a Gunn movie, even giving cameos to his regulars like Gregg Henry, Lloyd Kaufman, Nathan Fillion and the voice of Rob Zombie, and a major role to his long time collaborator Rooker. See, it didn’t matter that SLITHER was kind of a flop. The good guys still won.

Hey wait a minute, I never noticed that. That’s the Marvel secret. They use directors who did a movie or tv show that was beloved by the internet or nerds but then failed to catch on with society at large. It started modestly with IRON MAN from the director of ZATHURA. Then CAPTAIN AMERICA they go back to the guy that did the pre-internet THE ROCKETEER. THE AVENGERS, of course there’s no better choice than the guy that did SERENITY. IRON MAN THREE the guy that did KISS KISS BANG BANG. For WINTER SOLDIER they actually got directors from TV’s ultimate examples of heavily worshipped, low rated, early cancelled shows, Arrested Development and Community. And for GUARDIANS the guy that did SLITHER.

Who else should they get? Guillermo Del Toro was probly a shoo-in until a PACIFIC RIM sequel got greenlit. The JOHN CARTER guy maybe? I doubt they’re gonna be able to get SPEED RACER/CLOUD ATLAS. They did Shane Black, would they reach all the way back to Fred Dekker because of MONSTER SQUAD? And does Frank Darabont count because of SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION? Or THE MIST maybe?

Oh shit, SCOTT PILGRIM V. THE WORLD! There’s a fucking movie that is worshipped on the internet and ignored in reality! That’s their next director!

Oh, wait. That’s who left ANT-MAN. They’re breaking the pattern. They’re gonna fuckin blow it!

Or that’s what it seems like, but like I said, they know what they’re doing. Congratulations Marvel, you sold me a raccoon. Now get Wesley Snipes on the phone please fellas.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 10:33 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

88 Responses to “Guardians of the Galaxy”

  1. I’ll be honest: I enjoyed the movie, been jazzed about it since it was announced 2 years ago, but jesus fuck I’m shocked by how much folks are embracing GOTG. Am I alone on this boat? And I mean folks outside of nerdom. Had a co-worker come into work yesterday, yammering about it being the best Marvel film yet.

    In a way this is a repeat of THE AVENGERS in terms of the reception because there’s so many reasons why people love it. (Not to mention both won folks over with the humor and cast chemistry.) Somebody online said that Bautista in this film endeared him like Andre the Giant did in PRINCESS BRIDE…except if he was also psychotic and could rip your spine out.

    Hell I even liked Yondu as time passes from my screening. Not good, not bad, he’s just for himself. He’s honest like that as an outer space blue redneck. He can smile and admit that yeah his surrogate son tricked him, but next time they meet he’ll pummel him just because.

    It’s a foregone conclusion that besides coming back for GOTG 2, they’ll also be in THE AVENGERS 3: THANOS FUCKING SHIT UP. Right? The idea of seeing Tony Stark and Rocket Raccoon in the same room together makes waiting 4 years almost worth it.

    But one thing Gunn/Marvel: I want a bigger role for Cosmo, a speaking part really. With the world going to shit, we need hilariously awesome telepathic Russian cosmonaut dogs more than ever.

    (I even like that nerd campaign out there for the sequel to cast Kevin Bacon as Star-Lord’s father. What? Bacon was in Gunn’s SUPER. Not totally out of the realm of possible.)

  2. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    August 5th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I loved this film. Great music, comedy and action. So glad to see something come good that so many people were sceptical about. I can’t be bothered to keep tabs on who said what, but I reckon most of the people bigging this film up now spent months before its release questioning its chances. I’ve also had it to the back teeth with pretty much every website (not this one though) writing endless “top five things we want to see in the new Star Wars” or “five reasons Marvel are fucking whatever”. When did that become used on every website?

  3. You’ve come a long way from Tromeo and Juliet Mr. Gunn, good for you.

    Or maybe not such a long way? And so good for us.

  4. Yeah, gotta say MVP here goes to Bautista. He takes a role that could easily just be a one-dimensional heavy and really turns it into a funny, surprisingly sweet performance.

    In a way, its kinda unfair to compare anything to STAR WARS, because that was so much a product of its time and place. But GotG does have that kinda magic, just a perfect balance between characters we like and want to root for and an amazing, detailed universe full of cool stuff to get lost in.

    And that’s the real shock — What really surprised me here is the production design. This is the first 170 million dollar movie I’ve seen in ages where I can honestly say that I feel like it was worth it. After so many expensive but dull retreads of things we we’ve already seen, this feels like the first production in ages where they must have just said “I want to see something cool in every single shot.” And that’s what they got. There’s just a giddy joy in imagining this wild space fantasy world which is so evident you can’t help but get swept up in the fun. There’s nary a frame in the whole thing that doesn’t have something awesome and crazy in it. It’s just a joy to look at, and then having it populated with ingratiating characters makes it a joy to spend time in that universe, even at an unnecessary 2+ hours. It’s a good reminder that with enough money, you can put pretty much anything you can imagine on the movie screen… its just that Gunn’s production is the first Ive seen in a long time which actually has enough imagination to make that a genuinely exciting idea.

  5. If only more of the internet knew how Val Kilmer got Richard Stanley fired from Island of Dr. Moreau, so Stanley could direct Doctor Strange.

  6. Man, I wanted to like this, especially since I am known to sing and/or dance inappropriately at the drop of a hat, drunk or sober, and I did like a lot of it. The ’emotion intro’ (a staple since STAR TREK?), the music (I had to immediately listen to Motown after watching it), the cast (they were all good to great). But it was so disjointed, and I wonder if kids today will even recognise a Walkman. And did Groot have any opinions about the wood panelling inside the Milano? It made a schoolboy error in SPOILERS wiping out Ronan, though. He was a pretty awesome bad guy, actually threatening and not a duff purple cartoon like some characters appear destined to be.

    Still, I applaud the ambition if not the execution.

    I did wonder if the self-censoring Peter Serafinowicz shouted ‘Fuck it!’ or ‘Rocket!’ at a certain climactic scene – anyone else hear/mishear that?

  7. Dikembe Mutombo

    August 5th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Yeah I damn near loved this. Laughed a ton, but I was glad that it had a heart too – the band of misfits theme is really well done, for instance I loved that The Rocket Raccoon actually turned out to be a real character with resonant, vulnerable moments instead of just the annoying quip machine that he could’ve been in the wrong hands (think of that terrible Deadpool footage from a week or two ago). A bit that I haven’t seen anyone comment on that I was really into: Drax petting a despondent Rocket, which is touching but also funny because of Rocket’s reaction.

    Also this movie made me realize, it’s a great sign for a movie if days after watching it I still can’t decide who my favorite character was. Right now I’m leaning towards Yandu – Rooker’s little gestures are so perfect – but then I remember how much I loved Drax…

    I also wonder, if a movie ends with ‘I Want You Back’ playing over the final scene, is it even possible to leave the theater not feeling good? The songs in this added more to it than any movie I can think of in years. I resent you throwing George Michael under the bus though Vern… you tellin me soft rock ass Pina Colada Song is better than Father Figure? C’mon son.

  8. George Michael is a great songwriter, especially when you realize that nearly every Wham! song was about him dealing with the crippling anxiety caused by being a gay man forced to pretend to be straight in order to maintain his career. Check out how many songs are about women wanting his money, wanting to have his baby, or wanting to tie him down in a relationship he knows is just for show. Other songs deal with coming out to his parents without really saying it in so many words or even berating a gay friend who’s trying to settle down with a beard. It’s incredible paranoid and bitter but honest and fascinating music. It just happens to have a silly eighties beat so no one ever listens to what the lyrics are trying to say.

    “Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go” does not really fit this theory. But other than that I think I’m on to something here in my opinion.

  9. Oh, and this little comic strip movie is probably my favorite of the year. A perfect balance of comedy, action, weirdness, and sweetness, and the first great jukebox soundtrack in ages. I have nothing bad to say about it.

  10. My favorite little moment that nobody else laughed at was when John C. Reilly relays Starlord’s dick speech and Glenn Close says “Do you believe him?” All super serious. I like how straight she plays it. It kind of feels like her and Jodi Foster in ELYSIUM accidentally switched parts.

  11. The two scenes that had me laughing outloud were Star Lord using an alien rat creature as a microphone and Drax The Destroyer laughing insanely in the backseat of the Milano as they crash into Ronan’s mothership, while Star Lord and Gamora were white knuckling it. Great fucking movie.

  12. “They know what the f@ck they’re doing.”

    Exactly. Marvel has proven multiple times that they know how to convert their properties into fun, exciting movies that delight audiences and critics alike.

    That’s why I though it was really unfair when the Internet excoriated Marvel because Edgar Wright decided to walk on Ant-Man (he quit, he wasn’t fired). I have nothing against Wright and I wish him the best of luck, but when I hear that he and Marvel had “creative differences” I think it’s unfair to assume that Marvel’s take was wrong-headed and that Wright’s was ingenious. Mostly, Marvel has gotten it very, very right, so why don’t they get the benefit of the doubt? Since when was SHAUN OF THE DEAD such an absolute masterpiece that Wright gets 100% credibility and Marvel gets 0%?

  13. Hopefully, as Vern alluded to, this movie will convince studios that the individual origin story isn’t absolutely necessary. I’m not saying that I didn’t like Batman Begins, Spider-Man, Man of Steel, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, etc., but the formula feels a little tired. There are plenty of iconic characters in film that didn’t have origin movies: Dirty Harry, every Steven Seagal character (you know, mysterious background being a calling card), Indiana Jones (at least not until after he was iconic), Han Solo, Darth Vader (until recently), Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies, etc. etc. etc. Hell, we never saw a movie about a young Terminator being manufactured and learning to hate humans and discovering that he was going to be sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor. The origin story can work, but sometimes I feel like we’d be better off just getting to it, letting the character unfold, and bits of background doled out as we go along instead of the pro forma origin movie where we get the (sometimes ridiculous) story of how this guy learned to fly, built a battle suit, decided he wanted to dress as a bat, or lifted a bus for the first time.

  14. Did anyone spot who Lloyd Kaufman was playing? I didn’t see his name in the credits so I assumed he wasn’t in it, which bummed me. I always found it endearing that Gunn, as Troma’s only local boy made good, brought Uncle Lloyd with him on every step up the studio ladder. It’s like Dante and Demme putting Corman in their movies as a way to pay respect to where they came from.

    It did warm my heart a bit to see Gunn’s salamander-looking brother in such a prominent role. You can’t even claim nepotism because that guy was born to play parts like that.

  15. As far as I noticed he’s only in one shot, as one of a group of prisoners. He’s not even the focus of the shot, he’s a little left of center, but I was excited to spot him.

    I forgot to mention how good John C. Reilly is in his small part. Alot of his dialogue is much funnier than it would’ve been with somebody else. He really commits when he’s explaining to Drax that it would be illegal to pull someone’s spine out.

  16. Mr. M — Kaufman is one of the guys in the prison, you only see him in a little cutaway to some guys standing on a balcony. But he’s in there.

  17. I loved this movie. I liked it when I saw it and it’s only grown on me since. So many laugh-out-loud moments and unexpected heart. Even more than most Marvel movies, this one knows when to let a dramatic moment play out and when to undercut it with a self-deprecating joke. It’s a fine line, but this movie danced along it to the tune of “Come and Get Your Love”. The team dynamics in this movie worked so well I was genuinely excited to see them flying off together at the end and was bummed that I couldn’t join them immediately on further adventures.

    I could complain that it’s yet another Marvel movie without a memorable villain, but the film is stuffed full of great characters anyway. It’s hard to get too mad about it. Special mention must be made of whatever alchemical combination of prosthetics and computers that were used to create Nebula. Amazing make-up effects there.

    I liked that Rocket Raccoon is treated like a real character instead of the annoying comic relief sidekick he could have easily been. Part of the credit goes to Bradley Cooper, who gives an honest-to-Groot performance instead of just a celebrity voice hamming it up for a kids movie.

    And yes, this is yet another Marvel movie revolving around an all-powerful magical artifact. In fact, Benicio Del Toro reveals that there’s been/will be at least five Marvel movies revolving about magical MacGuffins, most likely followed by a MacGuffin team-up movie where they’ll be chasing around FIVE magical world-destroying doodads.

  18. I loved this movie. And that love just keeps growing. I don’t know what it was, but it all just resonated with me. Part of it might be how it’s been mentioned on here (I think the the latest MAN OF STEEL thread) how it’s very reminiscent of the 80s action/adventure movies. Along with the fantastic soundtrack, some of my love could be due to nostalgia.

    I thought the cast were great. Great chemistry and great character development. I felt like I really got to know each character, but it didn’t feel like so much time was spent building that up that it dragged. I thought Pratt was great as Quill. I thought he had the absolute right mix of wanting to be a hero, not really being a hero, becoming a hero. He was charming and funny in that man-child way which is more endearing than Tony Stark’s asshole charm.

    I didn’t see what Vern talks about with Groot being too cartoony. I definitely thought that was the case with Thanos, though. Hopefully they fix that before making him the main villain in whatever movie that’s going to happen in. I thought the mix of props/scenery and make-up and CGI was great. It was excellent world building. It felt like a place you could relate to. I loved that we got to see more of the galaxy, rather than just one or two planets and aliens.

    We were recently talking about MAN OF STEEL getting a bum rap. I really liked that one and I really liked this one. I think the movie galaxy is big enough that we can have many different kinds of super hero movies and we can love them for their differences, but, yeah, this one really rang my bells.

  19. Yeah, my girlfriend looked pretty good in this movie.

  20. MacReady: I spent the first half of the movie wondering why no one told me that Gina Carano was in it and the second half wondering why it took this long for someone to dress Rachel Leigh Cook up as an sexy black-eyed alien.

    It’s not really my fault. I don’t even know what a Doctor Who is.

  21. MMP – I’m impressed with Marvel’s knack for apparently picking the right guy for their leading men that don’t just end up owning their roles, but put them all in a room…well they would stand out from each other personality-wise.

    I’m surprised nobody has made the BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA comparisons, and GOTG sorta reminds me of it in regards of bursting with energy at the seams and having no qualms with being silly. Hell Star-Lord is basically Marvel’s Jack Burton if u think about it. (Didn’t Pratt here remind anybody else of Kurt Russell?)

    snafu06 – I have to disagree with you and Vern because of this: Captain America for example has a great origin story. Iron Man too. They’re too good not to use if you ask me. (If Black Widow ever gets her own film, she might have an origin story worth playing with.) As for the GOTG guys…I dunno. Rocket Raccoon and Groot could work I suppose, if they take inspiration from Bill Mantlo’s RR mini-series from the 1980s (just add how he meets this former resident of Planet X.) Drax has a crazy origin where he was a sax-playing human(!) who is then killed by Thanos, and is resurrected into that alien body. But apparently Marvel has decided to ignore that.

    CL – Lee Pace I really wished had more to do because not only able to be the booming scene-chewing baddie that a film of this sort needs, he had two great scenes that he pulled off without much fanfare unfortunately. (1) playing passive when dealing with Thanos in the flesh and (2) acting “WTF?” to Pratt’s distraction.

  22. So there was a time where Vin Diesel looked a little like David Schwimmer? Say it ain’t so.

  23. RRA, perhaps you misunderstood me. As I mentioned, it’s not that I don’t think origin stories work, they often do (I also enjoyed Iron Man and Captain America, as I believe I mentioned). But they aren’t always necessary and they have become the default. New super hero, new origin story. I think audiences are willing enough participants to accept much of the new world and its rules without beginning at the start of a particular hero’s career. Marvel, in particular, has created a universe that does not require the entire back story to a character in order for it to work. A character can show up, already comfortable in their role as a hero, and the journey can be about something else. It can add variety to the structure, since they seem to be planning on two or three movies a year and it might go a long way to addressing some audience members’ concerns that the first chapter is clunky, introducing lots of elements that need to be explained before we can get to the good stuff in part 2.

  24. I loved this movie. It got a huge grin out of me right from the title card (where Quill was still in the bottom left of the screen dancing) and pretty much kept it on me throughout the entire thing.

  25. Obviously, I’m also on the Nebula love train. I know Karen Gillan best from her feisty turn in OCULUS earlier this year, and would never have guessed she could pull off a menacing turn like this. Well done Gunn for yet another odd casting choice that succeeds.

    RRA — also love the look on Lee Pace’s face when (SPOILER)his hammer gets broken. (End spoiler). Ronan is a used to being a tough guy who always gets his way, but he sure isn’t above putting on a truly fabulous “Oh….shit” face. The fact that it happens in slo-mo really lets you savor the moment, too. There are a million ways he could have played this, from anger to shock to fear, but instead he gets this look that immediately made me think of this:

    Fuckin’ perfection.

    Snafu06 — I’m with ya, I think studios got weirdly obsessed with origin stories when what audiences really want is to see the characters do their thing.

  26. Dikembe Mutombo

    August 5th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    What’d you guys think of the action? It was really well-executed but it didn’t pump me up like the assbeatings in THE WINTER SOLDIER. The rest of the movie’s so entertaining that I didn’t mind, but I thought that was interesting.

  27. To bring a little wrestling angle to it, I’ll say I’m pretty happy for Big Dave because his most recent WWE return really kind of crashed and burned, at least until he embraced the fact that he didn’t get to come back as the conquering, Hollywood hero like The Rock did. He’s never been my favorite guy in the ring, but he’s always had a little personality, especially when the WWE would let him cut loose as a bad guy. So I’m actually hugely shocked he was so good as a babyface in Guardians because that’s never really been his thing in wrestling. No doubt he’s the MVP that really brings this crazy movie together. I didn’t even realize that I missed one of his funniest lines the first time I saw it. The audience’s laughter drowned out the “I will catch it” bit when he’s talking about stuff not going over his head.

  28. The Original... Paul

    August 6th, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Y’know what makes me think I should see this one, despite all precedent? The fact that you guys are talking mostly about the characters you liked, rather than the action sequences / plot (unlike, say, “The Winter Soldier”, which I was lukewarm on). I’d pretty much decided to avoid it at all costs, but I might give it a shot now.

  29. Loved this film!

    Vern, didn’t all the survivors from THE DIRTY DOZEN get their own spin off movie? Telly Savalas was so good that he got two – even if he died in the first one.

  30. That final pre-credits shot is one of the most joyous things I have ever seen in a movie. I loved this! If Gunn can improve a bit on shooting and editing his fight scenes in the sequel then it would only improve it. Bautista’s fights were not quite clear enough for me, and when you have a genuine athlete in your cast their skills should be in full-display.
    The comedy, effects, characterizations, structure, soundtrack, casting and pacing were all spot-on, and I loved the fact that a certain rude joke about a famous painter went over the head of many audience members in my screening (not mine though, I caught it!).

  31. Is it weird to say I liked all the distant shots of space stuff and disliked all the medium/close shots of human & humanesque beings? Maybe I need a break from The Movies. Y’all are loving this thing and I was barely entertained by it. Sigh. (What does it take to change the essence of a Mouth?) Same thing, to a more hateful degree, happened with IRON MAN 3 and CAPTAIN AMERI[I]CA. Yet I have enjoyed most of that Marvel show on ABC.

    The brand has somehow achieved the precise mathematical level of positive reception & track record (approximately: 3 shitty things, 1 good thing, 2 useless things, then 1 AVENGERS; 3 great episodes, then 10 shit episodes, then several good episodes) necessary to sucker me into watching everything it does even as I usually semi-regret paying for it and fully regret accidentally belittling the people who don’t regret seeing this stuff at all. I want to be diplomatic and tactful and I want to be part of your club, but I don’t agree with y’all’s taste & lowered expectations for these mediocre hero movies.

    It’s not Glenn Close’s fault or John Reilly’s fault, but their scenes reminded me of the worst parts of HUNGRY GAMES (a franchise I hate far more than I am lukewarm toward Marvelverse).

    We all appreciate a good analog-friendly character, but why couldn’t StarLord get an MP3 player? It’s the future. You’re not the killer in the American THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Contemporize, man!

    And nothing the raccoon says is funny. The casting of Brad Cooper’s larynx adds nothing.

    (Why the fuck haven’t producers figured out they can both save money and cash in by casting some no-name nobody in these voice roles? There could be a whole reality show contest and everything. (“Who wants to voice-star in the next $200,000,000 blockbuster?”) And our movies wouldn’t lose anything by not having celebrities in the recording booth, with the exception of Kathleen Turner *is* MONSTER HOUSE.)

    In conclusion I saw this movie Thursday night and I have no recollection of who the villain is or what he/she/they want or why GOTG was presented in 3D (other than to separate us from our extra $3).
    Also something something BLADE II.

  32. It’s ok not to like stuff but you may just wanna cut your losses and quit the Marvel movies. They don’t seem to be for you.

  33. I just have to say that if one did NOT enjoy this movie and revel in the unadulterated FUN flowing from it in waves of Gunnsian goodness, then one’s world must be a grey, bedraggled, shitstain of an existence.

  34. Jareth Cutestory

    August 6th, 2014 at 9:19 am

    This is probably where me and funnybook movies part ways. Really didn’t like this one very much at all. Not as terrible as AVENGERS, but cloying enough that I figure it’s best if I steer clear of this stuff.

    Also, it puts me in that terrible camp of people complaining that any given episode of FIREFLY was way better, which is not a role I ever wanted to inhabit.

    But seriously, what are people seeing in this film that denotes style of any kind on the part of the director? I saw SUPER. It had a modest style. GUARDIANS is just the same old recycled Marvel formula house style, indistinguishable from anything else I’ve seen from them. Referencing FOOTLOOSE in an amusing fashion doesn’t compensate for the numbing blocks of exposition and trite emotional beats that constitute the bulk of this utterly over-familiar movie.

    Also, genre fans beat up on Sam Worthington yet give the lead of this film a pass? For the first half hour I thought it WAS Worthington in this movie. Suddenly Boreanaz and Fillion aren’t the charisma voids I thought they were.

    The voice work in particular was so incredibly perfunctory, especially Space Raccoon, who was indistinguishable from any grating Saturday morning cartoon. Gilbert Gottfried would have had more nuance. They should have got the guy who does Bender’s voice.

    Anyway, no offense to the fans. Like The Limey, I consider this an interesting failure to overcome the overwhelming dictates of market-driven film-making by committee.

  35. I dug the shit out of this.

    Loved the performances although the film was heavy lifting suspension-of-disbelief-wise it had a lot of fist pumping moments as well as a great dose of humour. I find the true mark of its quality is that everytime I read about one of the gags I find myself grinning like an idiot again.

    And come on, “You said it yourself bitch. We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy” fucking mega.

  36. I could have lived without the “bitch.” It’s played out and I’m trying to wean myself off of sexist curses like that. This guy tries to destroy an entire planet and the worst you can think to call him is a word that means “unpleasant woman”? This guy’s a fucking alien warlord, you think he cares about our puny Earth misogyny? Plus, I like women so getting called one is not really that insulting to me. I’m not offended or anything but we can do better as a society of people who call each other names all the time is what I’m saying here

  37. Language evolves old chap. As a sometime sociologist I’ve been particularly reflexive in my thinking on gender issues, for instance I no longer allow myself to think or say things like “I love women” because that’s just weird, like saying (Demetri Martin please don’t sue me) “I like 12 year olds”.

    Instead I tend to think “I like people (aside from the ones I don’t)” since Women are in fact also people.

  38. I meant more that I don’t think being compared to a woman is a negative thing, which using “bitch” as an insult automatically presupposes. And I know language evolves. The secondary meaning of “bitch” being used in the movie was more “person beneath me who does my bidding, often in a sexual capacity,” which is even worse. “You, sir, are so insignificant as to be nothing more than my common-law wife, who cooks my meals, services my manhood, and is barely subhuman! That is how little I think of you, my good man!”

    I don’t know, like I said, it’s not offensive. I’m not getting up in arms about it. But it’s certainly unimaginative and not really of a piece with the tone of the movie or Pratt’s character. It was a good moment but that word threw me out of it a little. It’s an easy line. Too easy, in my opinion.

  39. The Original... Paul

    August 6th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Sternshein – not sure if your “not for you” comment was directed at me or Mouth, but personally I prefer to remain optimistic. There are at least two Marvel movies that I really like.

  40. The Original... Paul

    August 6th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Ok, it’s just struck me how strange that sounds coming out of the mouth, or rather keyboard, of somebody who just spent most of an insomniac night bitching (sorry) about Captain America.

    Let’s say “optimistic”, but not “uncritical”.

  41. I resent the accusation that I am an enemy of fun, but I’m too fun-loving a guy to not merely brush it off my (and Jareth’s) shoulders. My existence is decidedly not grey or bedraggled or shitstainy (I work barely 20 hours a week, watch like 2 movies daily, and plan to spend October at my ladyfriend’s Costa Rican beach house for chrissakes — if anything, I’m way too laid back and saturated with contentment), and my love of AVENGERS and my like of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. prove that these characters in this universe can appeal to me.

    There’s not much *wrong* with GOTG
    (aside from forgettable villains and the question of how the gravity gets turned off outside but not inside the tower even though the tower has broken windows);
    it’s just that the movie didn’t give me a buzz. Hell, the one part that *was* cool — calling the bad guy “bitch” in a badass pre-mortem one-liner — just got ruined for me by Mr. Majestyk.

    Hard to argue subjective semantics & etymology, but I come down on the side of free speech. Might sound like a monster here, but I actually sympathized with Jonah Hill during his recent “f**got” scandal. He’s roughly my age, and when we were growing up the gay slur was used by 11-12-13 year olds (who didn’t even know what “gay” really meant) in the same way people said “asshole” or “punkass” or “dipshit” or “retard” etc.. If you piss off a person enough, he/she might respond by calling you a motherfucker but it doesn’t mean he/she actually thinks you are Oedipus Rex (and exclaiming “asshole” doesn’t mean I actually think you are a defecation delivery device), and calling someone “f*g” in the heat of the moment doesn’t mean you actually look down on people of a different sexual orientation. I think the same basic sentiment & logic applies to “bitch,” but of course I understand the sentiment & logic of trying to move away from such nasty utterances. Misogyny is wack.

    Okay, I’m gonna quit skating uphill and go watch BLADE II again, which you should do as well.

  42. This was great. Not just in its own right, but I think it’s placement in the whole timeline of the Marvel movies couldn’t be better as it’s a real palette cleanser from the major shift we just got in WINTER SOLDIER. We move away from that for a while, and when we go back to Earth for AGE OF SPADER, enough time has passed we can just say “shit has developed” without really having to explain it too much(though AGENTS OF SHIELD will still be running with that).

    Did anyone else see Star-Lord’s origins and think “OH, so Peter Quill is the Sci Fi Peter Pan”? He’s a boy who leaves his life behind to go to a fantastical place, and basically when we meet him is someone who’s never grown up.

    “The casting of Brad Cooper’s larynx adds nothing.”
    Well, it adds his performance, which I was impressed by. As someone who pays attention to the voice actors in animation and video games, I do think those people deserve more work and yeah, someone like Troy Baker could have probably did the same thing for less money, but Cooper wasn’t just phoning it in there. He put some effort into that making that it’s own thing, and I appreciated it.

    “and the question of how the gravity gets turned off outside but not inside the tower even though the tower has broken windows”
    Gravity isn’t the same thing as oxygen, Mouth.

  43. “how the gravity gets turned off outside but not inside the tower even though the tower has broken windows”

    Maybe I’m doing work for the movie, but it didn’t seem crazy that if you had artificial gravity that the guards would have their own independently operating gravity for their guard tower/command center while being able to disable the gravity of potentially unruly prisoners.

  44. Rewatch could be required, but it doesn’t seem clear at any point that the gravity is based on metal/magnet properties. It appears to be based on atmosphere properties, so that makes it strange that part of the room is gravity-less (after a flourish of the totally believable anthropomorphic raccoon’s fingers) while a small pocket of the room (surrounded by broken glass) is artificially gravity-full.

    Whatever, no big deal. I love THE AVENGERS despite the silliness of Hawkeye and Dr. Whatshisface losing their Loki-hypnotism because they got smacked in the head. If it’s not a continuity error, it’d be nice if someone explained it. If it is a continuity mystery, I apologize for bringing it up because it doesn’t deserve to be the thing that ruins a good movie that you all like.

  45. We all appreciate a good analog-friendly character, but why couldn’t StarLord get an MP3 player?
    I’m just going to assume you’re being sarcastic here.

    Yeah, the “bitch” line made me cringe a little bit. I wasn’t offended but it was a lazy attempt at PG-13 badassification. The misogynistic nature of it is just the icing on the cake. Also, the part where Drax called Gamorra a “whore” rubbed the wrong way a little bit, especially since the whole space prison scene had been progressively unisex without any implied rapiness at all.

  46. Well here’s how I see it: The artificial gravity is a force that’s being directed. It’s possibly as simple as the field extends out from the guard tower(a reasonable possibility if they can control it from there) as bubble (for that room, as it was clear gravity was on in other parts of the station) and they just dialed the size back to just being around the guard tower. I still don’t see the relevance of the broken glass. Space shuttles don’t have gravity just from being airtight.

  47. Okay, good. I’m glad to have been defeated on the gravity-grouchiness issue.

    The “bitch” line is in line with the very end of Gunn’s SUPER (2011), when Dwight Schrute says something cathartic and hardcore to [bad guy] as he [spoiler-stabs] said bad guy. Gunn’s rarely been more impressive than that moment (not sure how much credit to give him for the best parts of TROMEO & JULIET), and it’s all the more impressive considering he was working in an extremely tired, played out “meta-real-life-superhero-deconstruction” genre-formula at the time. Ahem.

  48. Reminds me how Gunn got into trouble over his comments about comic book characters:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/29/james-gunn-marvel-director-sexist-homophobic-superheros-article-guardians-of-the-galaxy_n_2211522.html
    Putting aside the fact that the quotes I’ve read from the piece indicate an overall joking tone, albeit in questionable taste, I do wonder how offensive anything can be towards a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. Who’s feelings are being hurt in these cases? People who relate to those characters? Well, they’re still not the ones being talked about, so who gives a shit? And no, I don’t feel like teenage mothers should be slut-shamed, but at the same time, let’s not act like people who willingly exercised poor judgment should be immune to criticism for their actions.

  49. CL – some Mary Sue folks complained about the whore line, but I dunno. Its funny because Drax is thick headed to say the least. If the other characters had said that, I would agree but remember what Drax did after he said that: I think he dispatched a henchman or something, sticking up for her. Again he’s an idiot, but he’s trying.

    Mr. M – To be fair considering Star-Lord’s manchild personality, are you really surprised? I mean dear lord look at what he did to distract Ronan at the end.

    This reminds me of last year when people were complaining about RIDDICK with the title character being misogynist and saying dumb stuff that he thought was cool, which I replied: why would we expect a criminal to be respectful of women? Or be a poet laureate for that matter?

    Jareth – I’m baffled that one could watch GOTG and not think Pratt was likeable or charismatic, even if one didn’t care for the film.

  50. Stu – remember the Internet losing their shit over Goyer’s comments on She-Hulk and Martian Manhunter? Yeah people do take things personal when fictional characters are insulted.

  51. RRA: Yeah, I get that the joke is “dumb ol’ Drax thinks all women are whores”. It’s not necessarily out of character for him to say. I guess it’s like a very mild version of when you meet someone new and really like them but then they say something racist or sexist and you’re disappointed.

    As for RIDDICK, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to think Riddick is totally rad and cool and that his lines are badass and awesome. We aren’t talking WOLF OF WALL STREET here. I’d say they were right about 65% of the time, which is good enough. I liked it.

    Jareth must have wandered into a cinema on Bizarro world.

    Stu: That Gunn “controversy” was click-baiting nonsense, but it’s weird to say that we should just accept sexist or homophobic language if we aren’t the ones being personally insulted. And I don’t like to use the term “male privilege”, but that last sentence just reeks of it.

  52. Having grown up in the house of Yondu I think Peter has come a long way. He could have been a lot worse.

    What I as a man of some age found to be most appealing about Gunn’s style was the similarity to such classics as SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE, THE ICE PIRATES, CHERRY 2000 you name it. You just can’t beat that early 80’s sci fi feeling!

  53. I found myself waiting for someone to accuse them of ripping off Mass Effect.

  54. Jareth Cutestory

    August 7th, 2014 at 7:29 am

    RRA: I wasn’t bashing Pratt as much as I was questioning the disparity between perceptions of him and Sam Worthington. Pratt was perfectly serviceable but entirely unremarkable to me. Mostly I feel the script didn’t let any of the characters breathe. There were none of those lacksadaisical moments between quips and shootouts where you get a glimpse into the inner workings of the characters. The script was so packed with exposition and characters describing their actions that the few moments that were slotted in to feel like emotional payoffs seemed perfunctory.

    In short, I would have liked a lot more of the post-credits dancing stuff throughout the movie. Of course, I also would have preferred AVENGERS if the movie was told entirely from the perspective of Harry Dean Stanton. There’d be these puffs of smoke in the sky, the odd rumbling, but mostly we’d just watch Harry Dean putter around the job site until Hulk falls on his ass. At the end of the movie Harry Dean would see a few highlights of the day on the evening news. There’s a reason Disney isn’t throwing money at me to make these things.

    Having said that, my big complaint about FIREFLY is that Fillion didn’t inhabit his character with the same gravity as a young Harrison Ford would have (or, for that matter, the way the rest of his FIREFLY cast did, especially Tudyk and the ship’s mechanic). In comparison to Pratt, however, Fillion had the weight of Ian McKellen. And McKellen had to contend with that dopey purple helmet.

    To me, these films are reminiscent of the manner in which so much modern music is produced: a big wall of sound that has been tweaked and polished to an inhuman degree. I find it overly literal, didactic and stiflingly over-plotted. Plus, Buffy did the who friendship-is-strength theme in a more rousing manner.

    And since Mouth acquitted himself so well of being a grump, let me give it a stab: I giggle like a schoolgirl at goofy kung fu shit all the time.

  55. Jareth: It’s fine that the movie didn’t click with you, but Chris Pratt couldn’t be more different from Sam Worthington. Pratt has a puppy dog charisma and vulnerability (not to mention finely honed comic chops) that Worthington, while a serviceable actor, could only dream about. I assume: 1. We’re dealing with a translation problem here; and 2. You have seen absolutely none of Pratt’s other work. Comparing Pratt to Worthington is like comparing the Ramones to Def Leppard. There are superficial similarities but they’re not even playing in the same genre.

  56. On Drax’s “whore” comment, I think the whole point is that Gamora is not having any of that shit. Drax, machismo personified, doesn’t even think twice about degrading women, and is genuinely kind of shocked and confused when Gamora calls him on it. He’s so intimidating people don’t call him on his crap very often, so it doesn’t even occur to him that she might be offended that he considers all women whores. But the point is not that he’s right, the point is that he’s a moron and Gamora is gonna call him out on it. It’s an empowerment moment where Gamora can stand in for all ladies who have been objectified and degraded offhandedly by generally well-meaning male colleagues, and tell them to cut that shit out, it’s not gonna fly anymore. And indeed, Drax seems to understand and subsequently defends her from similar insults (with a rocket launcher).

  57. I didn’t have a problem with that line either, because the joke is “Drax is an idiot who doesn’t understand basic social conventions,” not “This is a totally badass way for a hero to speak and we should all be cool with it.”

  58. Again I want to stress that I’m not upset about the other line, but I am disappointed that it wasn’t more imaginative. Or, barring that, I wish they’d used the PG-13 rating’s one allowed F-bomb. “We’re the Guardians of the fuckin’ Galaxy” would have killed, in my opinion.

  59. I don’t think Drax thinks “all women are whores” and I don’t think he was actually deliberately degrading her either. I can’t think of any examples of where he said anything misogynistic anywhere in the movie. l felt like he respected females more than a typical character would in this universe, with his desire to avenge his wife front and center. The joke there is that Drax doesn’t have a “modern” bone in his body, and he’s incapable up picking up on nuance. He’s like an older generation adult who sees a girl with a tattoo and automatically assumes she’s from the wrong side of town. I read that line to mean that she’s attractive and wearing a midriff-bearing shirt. Her personality is unlike that of his wife, I’d assume. She’s independent, headstrong, and she’s cruising around with a thieving misfit, so by default she must be a prostitute. You take that incorrect value judgement and couple that with Drax’s terrible social skills, and you get a great line.

  60. “I’ve also had it to the back teeth with pretty much every website (not this one though) writing endless “top five things we want to see in the new Star Wars” or “five reasons Marvel are fucking whatever”. When did that become used on every website?”

    Ace Mac Ashbrook – Its clickbait, pure and simple. And they always work to generate web traffic, apparently.

    The best clickbait IMO is such that doesn’t seem like clickbait at first glance. Take this recent piece by Scientific American (a decent rag) which speculated about whether its possible to surgically smarten an animal up like what happened to America’s new favorite raccoon.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2014/08/05/putting-rocket-raccoons-hippocampus-into-hyper-drive/

    Its a quick interesting read, and its clickbait. But at least I don’t feel like a tool like most clickbait tend to.

  61. “Stu: That Gunn “controversy” was click-baiting nonsense, but it’s weird to say that we should just accept sexist or homophobic language if we aren’t the ones being personally insulted. And I don’t like to use the term “male privilege”, but that last sentence just reeks of it.”
    That wasn’t what I was saying, but yeah, maybe I overstepped there. I don’t have anything against underage teenage mothers and I wouldn’t say anything about them, but I also don’t think their saints people shouldn’t be able to say anything about. A better example for the point I was making would be when people got mad that Gunn said something like “I used to think Black Canary was the hottest woman in the universe, but the fact she’s fucked Green Arrow has really turned me off from that.”
    Now I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that. It could be that he dislikes Green Arrow and finds her taste in men off-putting. It could be that Green Arrow pretty much was a guy who fucked anything that moved, and Gunn was worried she’d catch something. Whatever it was, he was still talking about losing interest in one fictional character because of their interaction with another fictional character and that got fans of the character mad for some reason.

  62. I know we talked about this before somewhere, but I’ve got to say it again: this film’s basically an update of FARSCAPE, right?

    – The protagonist is from Earth, lost in space, talks smart, references TV shows, films and music from the past that none of the aliens he deals with have ever heard of.

    – His love interest is an alien, tough badass woman initially resistant to his charms – but she comes round to liking him in the end.

    – There’s a tough warrior dude who lost his family and wants revenge…

    It all checks out.

    But of course there’s a whole lot of money behind this one so it looks much more expansive than Farscape ever did.

    I got a couple of laughs out of it, but it left me colder than I thought it would. I don’t know…I usually love films like this, but it felt kind of hollow to me. Maybe the sequel is going to add some depth to the characters, but it’s just as likely that that’s going to get lost in the effort of tying this in with the rest of the Marvel film stuff.

    And what’s up with the music? Not the songs – I liked those – but the actual score? Really disappointing. Films like this need a strong, rousing main theme and I’m afraid this didn’t even come close to offering one, which is a shame.

  63. CEPE – reminds me of this joke making its rounds online about Fox’s reaction to GOTG:

    http://i.imgur.com/bzulraj.jpg

  64. RRA:

    Exactly.

    Maybe the success of GOTG is gonna scare up some new backers for that mooted Farscape movie/reboot/whatever it is that’s allegedly in development. (Though judging from the way the show ended and that daffy Peacekeeper Wars mini-series that was meant to tie things up they should probably hire some new writers for the thing. That was dire stuff.).

  65. The reason Drax calls her a whore is because that’s what all the angry prisoners were calling her earlier in the movie. He took them literally.

  66. Jareth Cutestory

    August 9th, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Majestyk: Thanks for the clarification. You’re right; I haven’t seen Pratt in anything else. I guess it’s sort of like expecting someone to get Jason Bateman after only seeing HORRIBLE BOSSES or IDENTITY THIEF.

    For the record: I was more offended by the lame “We are Groot” line than I was at any of the casual sexism thrown about in the movie.

  67. Nabroleon Dynamite

    August 18th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    We are Groot was the most offensive line in the movie.

    The rest was gold.

  68. In one review someone mentioned that Groot would speak 5 words, so knowing James Gunn, I was hoping one of the other two would be the one PG-13 “fuck” that is allowed.

  69. I’m always late to these summer blockbusters, but I just recently saw this one. Like most people here, I enjoyed it. The bright colors set against the dark backdrop of space gave it a unique look, and of course the pop songs were well incorporated into the film.

    My only complaint is that these characters are set up to be cynical anti-heroes. But the plot requires them to save billions of people. And we’re never really given a reason why they would suddenly become so altruistic. For me, these two aspects of the film never really meshed. Still, it was a nice change of pace for Marvel, and it shows why they have been able to make blockbuster after blockbuster. They know what makes a crowdpleaser, and they also know that their audience will get bored if they keep on pumping out the same film.

  70. YOU are late? It hasn’t even started over here yet!

  71. Good to see I’m not the only one late to the party.

  72. Nabroleon Dynamite

    August 21st, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I’m gonna go with them just wanting to save themselves, since they were probably gonna be included in those billions killed.

    That’s my guess.

  73. I think the whole point of their characters was that they became cynical antiheroes by necessity, not design. Each of them (Groot possibly excepted, only because we don’t know his origins story) were plucked from their normal lives (little earth kid, space princess, ordinary raccoon, family man) by exterior forces (alien kidnappers, genetic scientists, cosmic warlords) over which they had no control and forced into a cutthroat world (space scavenging, bounty hunting, revenge, interstellar genocide) they never would have chosen for themselves. I think that’s the point of the whole movie. You might have been through some shit that makes you think you need to be an antisocial badass to survive, but just open yourself up a little bit and you’ll find that there are some motherfuckers out there who understand what you’ve been through. Stick with them and you can do some amazing fucking things.

  74. Damn, Majestyk, you nearly brought a tear to my eye. You’ve got a soft heart under that tough talking exterior.

  75. Every tough guy needs a little badass juxtaposition, right?

  76. It’s not like the film doesn’t address the question of why this group has decided to save the world (I think Chris Pratt says something along the line of, I’m also a member of the galaxy). I guess I didn’t find it too convincing. I kind of wish the film could have been about a heist rather than saving a world, but that just wouldn’t work for a summer blockbuster, I guess. The demands of the budget and the characters seem a little at odds. But it in no way ruined my enjoyment of the movie. Guardians does a lot right, and I think most summer blockbusters should aim for its level of quality.

  77. Dude, it’s called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. That is literally what it’s called.

  78. Yeah, but they also use the phrase ironically in the film at one point, so I don’t think that’s a real impediment to having smaller stakes. I realize I’m close to reviewing the film in my head rather than the one on screen. And, anyways, I really enjoyed the movie. I just had that one issue with it.

  79. I do like the idea of a heist movie for the sequel, though.

  80. Except ANT-MAN seems like it’ll use the heist film conventions.

    RBatty024 – why does Han turn back at the end of STAR WARS to save Luke’s ass? Why does Lando go from screwing Han/Leia/Chewie and them to the Empire on a silver platter (under the pretense of doing this to save his city) but then have a faceturn and put his people at risk by turning on the Empire?

    Its that romanticized idea that most people could be decent and heroic, its just that most events/motivations cause them to not act upon it.

    Again as I think I mentioned before, I’m surprised in retrospect that more people haven’t complained about how the group got their name. Its cheesy, its convenient…yet I think it works.

  81. Okay, now that this movie finally reached my country, I actually saw it. And I liked it a lot! Now I won’t bore with repeating everything that everybody else has said, but since a few days it has been said on the internet that Warner/DC has a “no jokes” policy in their movies. If this is true, whoever is responsible should watch GOTG. Face it, without the jokes, this movie would have bombed, just because it would depress the shit out of every viewer. The movie has so many dark edges, from the most depressing opening of every movie since UP, to the heroic sacrifice (more or less) of one of the best characters. I’ve never watched a movie where the audience was constantly laughing, but were still sniffling when the end credits rolled.

  82. I’m okay with the (I doubt ironclad) no-jokes policy for DC. DC’s always been a bit more traditional and staid than Marvel, which made its bones by delivering a more irreverent, “hip” take on the stuff DC pioneered. I’m glad the two universes will continue to have different flavors. Trying to make them too similar would be like having the same director making both STAR TREK and STAR WARS: an unnatural state of affairs that would of course never be allowed to happen in a civilized society.

  83. Mr. M – a MOS-ish take on Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Sandman films make sense. But Shazam! ? Yeah that one I wonder about.

  84. My only real familiarity with Captain Marvel is that crossover storyline where Black Adam ripped a bunch of people in half. So I guess…sure?

  85. Since we’re talking future movies, what you all think of Joaquin Phoenix apparently playing Dr. Strange?

  86. Phoenix is okay, but I hope he demands too much money or something and they go cheaper and hire TV actor Timothy Omundson, who is perfect for that job in every regard.

  87. My pick was Luke Evans because he can do suave and scary at the same time. But I guess that’s why he’s already Dracula. A guy can only play so many magical dudes in capes.

  88. Random observation: I had to watch this movie in 3D, because as always not one single theatre nearby played it in the version, that God wants us to see. So I just thought “fuck it” and invested 10 extra bucks in a train ticket to at least watch it at my favourite cinema. (A really classy one with 80 years of history.)

    You probably remember that I bought a while ago those 2D glasses, that convert 3D back, because I can’t really watch 3D and therefore it’s more a distracting annoyance. But this time they didn’t do shit for any reason. I don’t know if it was because I had a balcony seat (Yes, it really is THAT classy) or because the screen was even bigger than in my normal multiplex, but I had to use the 3D glasses.

    And it was the first time the 3D worked for me! Now don’t get me wrong, I still prefer to watch my movies in 2D, but I really wonder what was different this time around. Was the conversion better (although it has been said that my previously watched 3D movies TR2N and TRANSFORM3RS had one of the best 3D ever), was it the size of the screen or was it because it was a theatre, where the staff actually cares for their job and probably adjusted the projector right, unlike in the crappy multiplex that I usually go to, because it’s closer to me? I don’t know. But it’s good to see that 3D isn’t completely lost on me.

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