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Guardians of the Galaxy


Peter T Chattaway
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Took my nephew to this last night knowing nothing other than folks here were generally positive on the film.  I found it quite enjoyable--and also having heard Gunn's interview on yesterday's Morning Edition, was on the lookout for the Walkman.  Gunn made it seem that this object was integral to his creation of the story and elevating it beyond the typical summer blockbuster fare.  I'm curious, is Quinn's Walkman in the source material?  Anyway it's a nice touch--though finding AA batteries in the galaxy must be a challenge.  I work for the company that owns Duracell, and I don't think our distribution extends past the stratosphere. 

 

The plot's kind of silly and preposterous, or it is because we've seen it so often, but the execution of the storyline and characterization is handled well.  We watched it in 3D, and that tends to lend a video game vibe to most action films.  I wasn't down on the Bradley Cooper voice work; found him to be bringing the right mix of anger and repressed sentimentality.  Who was Drax, though?  I thought that character and actor were great--everything's literal a conceit we've seen before (Data in Star Trek comes to mind) but with his hulking presence and sheer physicality it worked well ("Why would I place my finger across his throat?"  "Nothing goes over my head, my reflexes are too fast.")

 

And Thanos was the creepiest looking comic book villian I've seen--both the design and the menace.  Too bad he had limited opportunities to showcase his malevolence in real tension racking ways.  Pretty fun though--a nice surprise that a movie with a talking tree and a anthropomorphized raccoon played as well as it did.  And Joel, I assume you meant another type of Star Wars lineage above--both in terms of conflict roles and in metaphor.

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John Drew wrote:
: . . . though finding AA batteries in the galaxy must be a challenge.

 

I raised this exact point on Twitter last night.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Incidentally, has anyone tallied up all the footage from the trailers that is *not* in the movie?

 

Case in point: the early trailers featured the line-up of all five Guardians being admitted into the prison, and for obvious reasons: it was an easy way to introduce this very strange cast of characters to audience members (like me) who had never heard of these guys before. But in the actual film, it turns out that only *four* of the Guardians are in the line-up, because one of them was already in prison.

 

Then there are the shots of Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana putting their shirts back on, after what *seemed* to be a tryst of some sort: also not in the movie.

 

Then there is John C. Reilly standing on the launch pad and saying "This might not be a good idea."

 

Then there is Glenn Close saying "Do you mean the fate of 13 billion people is in the hands of these...?"

 

Any others?

 

Seriously, it kind of takes me out of a movie when I've seen the trailers and I go to the movie and I find myself thinking, "Hey, it's *that* scene -- I recognize it from the sets, the costumes, the camera angles, etc. -- so any second now I'm going to hear that line in context. . . . Wait a minute, what happened to the line? Why is nobody saying it? In context?"

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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And Joel, I assume you meant another type of Star Wars lineage above--both in terms of conflict roles and in metaphor.

It was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment. I just kept thinking STAR WARS throughout GUARDIANS, noticing numerous parallels (Quill = Luke with Han's attitude; Rocket and Groot = Han and Chewbacca; two empires breaking a peace alliance that leads to planetary destruction; Thanos' single henchman as an Emperor Palpatine knockoff; Knowhere = Mos Eisley, etc.)

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The Hollywood Reporter comments:

 

The last minute of the video teases the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whether it's in clips from Guardians, using the postcredits sequence from Captain America: The Winter Soldier that introduces Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) or the CGI Ultron head from the 2013 Marvel Studios Comic-Con presentation, before the fast-cut frenzy is replaced by something different.

 

As the Marvel Studios logo fades out, it's replaced by a slow fade-in for Brolin as Marvel's "mad titan," Thanos, promising that he "will bathe the star ways in your blood" before sitting back on a floating throne with an evil grin.

 

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has recently echoed earlier comments from Avengers director Joss Whedon that Thanos will not be the bad guy behind the scenes of next year's Age of Ultron, telling reporters at a press event that the character is not part of Avengers: Age of Ultron. "I think Thanos does what he wants and shows up where he wants to, and I'm not going to tell him otherwise," he joked before adding, "We're still making Avengers 2, so nothing's definitive one way or the other, actually."

 

Perhaps this means that Thanos' appearance at the end of this video is less a tease for the next year of Marvel movies but something farther ahead. Avengers 3, anyone…?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Tyler wrote:
: Peter Quill's father is Howard the Duck? Am I doing this right?

 

Uh, no. Not in the comics, at any rate.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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And Joel, I assume you meant another type of Star Wars lineage above--both in terms of conflict roles and in metaphor.

It was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment. I just kept thinking STAR WARS throughout GUARDIANS, noticing numerous parallels (Quill = Luke with Han's attitude; Rocket and Groot = Han and Chewbacca; two empires breaking a peace alliance that leads to planetary destruction; Thanos' single henchman as an Emperor Palpatine knockoff; Knowhere = Mos Eisley, etc.)

 

Sure--was just thinking the most logical parallel would be for the Luke:Vader relationship to be mirrored here, but if the filmmakers follow the Wikipedia plot outline for the comics, then, no, the parallel ends.  But, oh, what could have been!

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Christian: Agreed about Bradley Cooper's miscasting, especially in light of the perfect casting of Vin Diesel.

Though did the main planet really looked "lived in"? I kept thinking it looked a little *too* perfect, like some of the characters' hair.

That was me, actually.

 

The Xandar set was clean and pretty, but it also included things like phone booths, shops here and there, walkways and such that looked less like they were designed by a set designer, and more like they were part of an actual, living city. That's what I meant by "lived in." 

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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This was lots of fun, no doubt.  I think I could have gone along with a film that was pushed even more out of the box, looney.  Not complaining though, there was certainly some great designs and ideas in this.

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The PETA discussion in the live-action Dumbo thread (a movie I hope never to see, which is why I'm not linking to it) reminded me of a lovely little "Easter egg" near the end of the GotG credits:

"No animals or tree people were harmed in the making of this film"

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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The PETA discussion in the live-action Dumbo thread (a movie I hope never to see, which is why I'm not linking to it) reminded me of a lovely little "Easter egg" near the end of the GotG credits:

"No animals or tree people were harmed in the making of this film"

 

(This doesn't strike me as spoiler-type content, but FWIW) I believe the exact phrase was "raccoons or tree creatures."

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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The PETA discussion in the live-action Dumbo thread (a movie I hope never to see, which is why I'm not linking to it) reminded me of a lovely little "Easter egg" near the end of the GotG credits:

"No animals or tree people were harmed in the making of this film"

 

(This doesn't strike me as spoiler-type content, but FWIW) I believe the exact phrase was "raccoons or tree creatures."

 

I yield to your expertise, SDG.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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  James Gunn Spends Opening Weekend Of Guardians of the Galaxy Working On The Sequel

 

 

 

So I guess that answers any questions about the potential... well... sequel.

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So there's a big easter egg in GUARDIANS:

Adam Warlock's cocoon lies among the Collector's items, and in the post-credits scene, it's open.

Here's a great piece on who is Adam Warlock for anyone interested: http://www.avclub.com/article/jim-starlins-warlock-sets-standard-cosmic-comics-207366

 

 

 

Woah. Between this and Doctor Strange, I'm beginning to imagine a delightfully weird future for the MCU. And I'm actually interested in checking out some Marvel comics, which is unusual. Or, at least, it makes me want to finish the Jerry Cornelius series.

Edited by NBooth
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Just got in from this. As I said on Facebook, for once Marvel has made a movie that I'm more interested in praising than in parsing. Part of that, admittedly, is because Guardians is less thematically ambitious than, say, The Winter Soldier--the friendship stuff is a bit on-the-nose, and the resolution is at once too obvious and delightfully simple, but I don't know that too much could be said about it that the movie doesn't already say. But this--unlike all the other MCU flicks--has a world that I'm not only interested but also eager to see more of. It's got a tremendous sense of fun, and [unlike other Marvel movies] it doesn't totally collapse in the final act. Though its themes are pretty rote, it follows them through [compare to The Winter Soldier, where the thematics are subordinated to the action-packed finale]. A couple of notes:

 

1. Tons of references: Star Wars, of course, and Indiana Jones--but Dune, too, in the design of the antagonist's ship. And a possible shout-out to "The Tholian Web"? 

 

 

2. Notice how much fuss was made about getting civilians out of the city. I can't help but think that's a direct response to some of the commentary surrounding recent superhero movies.

 

3. Chris Pratt may not be the next Harrison Ford--I'll wait and see how his turn in Jurassic World goes--but he's fantastic. Zoe Saldana is fantastic. Heck, I even liked Cooper as Rocket, and I don't generally like Cooper as anything.

 

4. Second sf movie in a decade to use "Ranger Rick" as an insult [or have there been more?]. Both star Saldana. This one's better.

 

This movie doesn't get me excited for any of the other MCU movies coming out, but--like I said above--it does get me excited about the prospect of more Guardians. I don't know that I would be able to gin up as much talk as I have over other MCU movies--or X-Men: Days of Future Past--but [unlike The Avengers, which was utterly forgettable] I'll definitely be planning on revisiting the movie.

Edited by NBooth
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I spent the majority of GotG trying to figure out why I wasn't enjoying it more. Other than that the ending dragged a little......

 

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who felt this way. I just got back from seeing this tonight.  I don't have a lot to say at the moment, except that I felt I was constantly playing catch up for the first 45 minutes, trying to figure out how all the main characters were related to the supporting players. Then, when the story finally kicked in, I felt that the opening 45 minutes must have been deliberately designed that way to disguise the fact that this is just a retread of story lines that have already been played out in better Marvel films.  A lot of great design work, in a film that may turn out to be my biggest disappointment of the summer. 

 

 

...this film calls to mind so many other movies, while still feeling like a wholly original and fresh work of its own.

 

 

This is what I wrote after seeing Snowpiercer last week.  Guardians of the Galaxy generated the opposite reaction.  Brought to mind many other films, but didn't feel compelled to improve upon them.

Edited by John Drew

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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...this film calls to mind so many other movies, while still feeling like a wholly original and fresh work of its own.

 

This is what I wrote after seeing Snowpiercer last week.  Guardians of the Galaxy generated the opposite reaction.  Brought to mind many other films, but didn't feel compelled to improve upon them.

 

 

That is fair. Guardians is in no way revolutionary or original. Its virtue lies largely in the charm of the cast and the relative novelty of its style of fun, colorful escapist entertainment in an era of dark, grim, gritty blockbusters. 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Not surprising, but just to confirm that this movie looks like the sizable hit everyone was predicting, and not a one-weekend (or two, or three, or four...) wonder:

 

Guardians so far has set industry records for the best Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of August.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:
: Guardians so far has set industry records for the best Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of August.

 

I also read somewhere (and then confirmed) that it had the best Wednesday *of the year* (narrowly beating the record set by Frozen on New Year's Day).

 

You have to go back to Christmas Day, when The Hobbit 2 grossed $9.3 million, to find a bigger Wednesday. And then, prior to that, you have to go back to the $20.8 million that The Hunger Games 2 made on November 27, which I'm guessing was the day before the American Thanksgiving, yes? And then, prior to that, you have to go back to the $9.7 million that Despicable Me 2 made on July 10, which doesn't seem to be a particularly special day, and the $35 million that it made on July 3, which was its opening day and is also the day before your national holiday. And then the $10 million that Monsters Inc. 2 made on June 26. And then the $9 million that Man of Steel made on June 19. And then the $11.4 million that The Hobbit 1 made on Boxing Day 2012. And then the $12.8 million that The Twilight Saga 5 made on November 21 2012 (the day before Thanksgiving, again?).

 

And that takes us back 24 months.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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