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Guardians of the Galaxy


Peter T Chattaway
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Saw this last night. In 3D! And not on purpose! We misread the times. This was my first 3D experience. I didn't hate it, and the 3D seemed to draw you into the world. That said, I spent so much time trying to parse the extra dimension that I wasn't able to pay attention to the cinematography that much.

 

I liked it a lot, and I'll echo others in how the weirdness and humor really drew me in. I tend to give a lot of Marvel movies more of a pass than I should, but this one I just enjoyed. For the most part, at least—there was a sense of cruelness there (and ickiness in a few jokes) that rubbed me the wrong way. I'm still trying to pinpoint what makes me think that, but it's my gut sense at this point. 

 

Cast was great, I thought, and the real stand-out for me was Dave Batista. I thought Drax stole the show. ("Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast.")

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As of this weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy will be the top-grossing film of the year... in the United States.

 

It's a different story worldwide, where the film is on the verge of passing Godzilla to be the #8 movie of the year.

 

And it's currently #12 -- right behind Noah -- if you look strictly at the overseas figures.

 

Among Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Guardians of the Galaxy will, as of this weekend, be the top-grossing film in North America that doesn't feature Iron Man (in other words, it still ranks behind all three Iron Man films and behind The Avengers), but overseas, it currently ranks ahead of only The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger -- though it's only got another $20 million to go or so before it passes the original Thor and Iron Man, too.

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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James Whitbrook at io9 argues that the success of Guardians means weird isn't a bad thing anymore, as far as movies are concerned:

 

t took something as zany and bizarre as Guardians to finally really hit home that being weird isn't an instant death knell for a genre property any more. Of course it's not just weirdness like a talking tree-man and a trigger happy sentient Raccoon that GOTG has going for it - there were plenty of other reasons it worked so well - but the fact that characters as weird as that are now some of the biggest hits of the year, shows that as long as it's done well, people are more than willing to accept more than a bit of weirdness from their media. Hell, the fact that Man of Steel failed to light up the box offices last year might even be an indicator that the general public are willing to punish a film when it doesn't go as weird as it should with its properties.

 

 

When I re-posted the article on Facebook, I commented:

 

"Hmm. On the one hand, yeah. The reading of the Clara-Vashtra scene in "Deep Breath" is particularly convincing. On the other--well, look, LotR, Twilight, and the Star Wars prequels made bank, and I don't think any of them were too shy about the fact that they were weird, weird, weird properties [or even, in the case of the PT, objectively unpopular with a vocal fanbase]. So it'll take more than the success of GotG to convince me of the article's central thesis. It'll take--I dunno--the smash success of Doctor Strange and the unleashing of an Adam Warlock movie. Or something. Maybe a new version of The Final Programme."

 

More to the point, I'm just not convinced that GotG is really all that weird. Its mystic/supernatural stuff was no more out-there than anything else in the MCU, and its comedic turn defused anything unsettling about having a raccoon and a tree as main characters. It's weird, but it's mainstream-weird. I think it's safe to say we won't really be on the cusp of a Golden Age of Weirdness until something like this blows up the box office:

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

...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. 

 

 

 

So I decided to give this one a second chance yesterday.  Let me tell you....  for the uninitiated who may have felt like I did on the first viewing, this works so much better the second time around.  Enough so that I raised my 2.5 star rating to a 3.5, and it could go as high as 4 if it holds up on a third viewing.  Instead of feeling like I was trying to decipher a twisted, tangled family tree, I actually got to enjoy all of the references to 70's and 80's pop culture that got lost on the first go round.  I still don't think the core story is all that great, but I can see this franchise perhaps becoming more entertaining than the post-Avengers film have been.

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 
Harold and Maude
 

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NBooth said:   I'm just not convinced that GotG is really all that weird. Its mystic/supernatural stuff was no more out-there than anything else in the MCU, and its comedic turn defused anything unsettling about having a raccoon and a tree as main characters. It's weird, but it's mainstream-weird.

 

 

Yes, I agree.  Like I indicated before, I would have gone along with this film pushing the weirdness further.

 

Gotta say though, the first scene with the dancing has really stuck with me.  I thought that was all kinds of cool.

Edited by Attica
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John Drew said:

 

:I actually got to enjoy all of the references to 70's and 80's pop culture that got lost on the first go round.

 

 

On that note.

 

 

 

Also.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy’ Concept Art Reveals What Groot, Rocket and the Gang Almost Looked Like.

 

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"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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