Friday, August 1, 2014


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Guardians of the Galaxy: They Can Guard My Galaxy Anytime

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It's here! Our summer blockbuster. Fun. Splendid visual effects. Rapid, witty dialogue with one liners as sharp as bullets. At times the laughter overpowered the sound track. Never mind as there are always the visual effects to study. Stunning. Perhaps the most inventive superhero movie to date. Oscar worthy costumes and make up for sure. An animated raccoon named Rocket with the voice of Bradley Cooper. A talking tree, Groot, comes alive with the voice of Vin Diesel.
But it is Chris Pratt who is the perfect comic of a comic book hero. As former American pilot, Peter Quill with the nickname Star-lord, he knows how to not take himself seriously and to share his ability to look at himself quizzically and with a sense of awe. Half alien and half human, his exaggerated facial expressions always seem to end with an awe shucks attitude. Zoe Saldana as Gamora is her beautiful slinky self. Charles Reilly has too small a part as his timing is always top notch. And Glenn Close is too brief in her appearance as Nova Prime. Her makeup and costumes excite the palate and add to her dynamic stature making her galaxy worthy. David Bautista as Drax has a physic that doesn't quit. Benicio Del Toro plays the menacing The Collector while Lee Pace is terrifying as the evil Ronin.
Guardians of the Galaxy was directed and written by James Gunn who had some assistance with the screenplay from Nicole Perlman. This film is an example of where Gunn's almost total creative control worked to Marvel's and Disney's advantage and delight. Of course Stan Lee is uber alles. David Abnett and Andy Lanning wrote the comic book to which we all owe our gratitude.
But it is the music that takes on a character of its own. Great golden oldies such as: "I'm not in Love," sung by the 10ccs, "Come and Get Your Love," "Let's Go All the Way," performed by the Raspberries, "Hooked on the Feeling," "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," are played in the beginning to give us a time and place then their lyrics are sprinkled throughout. Our Star-lord hero is grooving in outer space with a vintage Walkman in his ear as he dances on his tippy toes amidst a galaxy we have never seen before. Carefree and footloose. Fear is foreign to our Star-lord who would rather dance and clown around and make music his kind of god rather than terror or anger. By strutting his stuff like the youth of today, he proves to be our new latter day space hero. For Guardians of the Galaxy to send a message to dance and sing in the face of fear makes this film great.
The plot is about an orb the size of a baseball that contains the ability to destroy the Galaxy. Our hero, Star-lord steals this orb and throughout the film an array of aliens tries to capture Star-lord and get back the orb. Ronin is the frightening enemy who must be destroyed for peace in the Galaxy.
The beginning is masterful, but mid way there were a bit too many saucer type mini air crafts bombarding the screen and I became bored. It became 'let's look at the watch time.' And some of the jokes are silly and adolescent, but if you ignore this films attempt to 'be funny' and at times miss, you will enjoy its cleverness and creative genius. The ending is powerful and rewards your restlessness that might have had you walk out in the middle. That or take a nap in outer space.
But it is the weird charm of the Guardians of the Galaxy that will linger -- along with its masterful soundtrack -- long after you leave the theater. You, too, will be "hooked on its feelin."

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