Guardians of the Galaxy- The First One

The five Guardians, sporting various weapons, arrayed in front of a backdrop of a planet in space with the film's title, credits and slogan.

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those movies where positive reception from fans and critics alike was a near-certainty. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those films people will look back on because it was an innovator especially for 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy mostly works because of the humor, drama, and likability of characters which is what drew me into liking this film.

The plot: Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) steals an orb that has the power to destroy life in order to sell for cash (not knowing the powerful nature of the orb at the time). This gets him in a tangle with bounty hunters Groot (Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) who have to work with each other to defeat a bigger enemy called Ronan

The plot summarized: I am Groot

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I want this to be on my drivers licence

I liked Guardians of the Galaxy. Did I love it? I’m not so sure. What I credit Guardians of the Galaxy in doing is getting a film containing a multi-star cast over with critics and audiences and myself as that is a tough task to accomplish. I also appreciate it for being innovative by being a superhero movie that wins the audience through humor while mixing in a tinge of drama. In most superhero movies pre- Guardians of the Galaxy that was the other way round.

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The power of dance knows no bounds. If only this was used on Doomsday in Batman vs. Superman, it might have made more sense. Shots have been fired.

The problem is, I am watching Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time in 2017 is that I have seen many superhero movies doing exactly the same thing: Using wacky jokes in order to be liked. Power Rangers, Suicide Squad, The Lego Batman Movie, and Deadpool have also tried to succeed by using lots of in-jokes and meta humor to varying degrees of success. Still, I would rank Guardians of the Galaxy second behind Deadpool out of the movies that I mentioned. That’s a good ranking considering the other movies could have refined what Guardians of the Galaxy paved.

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Peter explans to Drax the meaning behind slitting a person’s throat by putting his finger on his throat. This goes for nearly thirty seconds. It’s a rare movie where a lot of the humour comes from explaining jokes or gestures.

I liked the meta humor to a point. That point was reached when the would be a dramatic point in a conflict in which one of the main characters (mainly Peter) would interject by saying jokes when I thought it was unnecessary as it patronized the main villain Ronan. It watered down the payoff of key fight scenes in the movie. It made me believe that the heroes were not taking the main antagonist Ronan seriously. If the Guardians of the Galaxy treat the villain like a joke, I see no reason to take the threat seriously and therefore I don’t care for the Guardian’s fates. It felt like the movie was selling itself short.

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I say that this secne where the guardians unite is a good scene however Rocket the raccoon believes they look like “A bunch of jackasses” You be the judge.

What wasn’t sold short was everything else in the movie from the character development of all four Guardians of the Galaxy as a cohesive unit from bounty hunters who are all in for themselves to the bonding through grief in order to work together and destroy the villain. The emotional payoffs of the four characters worked and made me want to see them fight and win.

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The special efferects are great. It’s not exclusivly purple like Battlefield Earth. There are a variety of colours and textures that are pleasing to the eye in this movie.

The special effects were wild and beautiful to look at most of the time. Marvel have this thing nailed down where they show a lot of colors and shades in their special effects and you never feel like you are drenched in it. Doctor Strange, in my opinion, is still the best superhero movie for the GCI that it had, but Guardians is yet again a close second. It adds a lot of life to the movie and it’s always got me in wanting to see it.

So, Guardians of the Galaxy is not as perfect as what people made me believe, but I am still happy with the final product. Like a lot of three-star movies I give, all they need is some refining and it would have gone a long way with my enjoyment of it. Still, like any three-star movie, I cannot deny I enjoyed it ***3/4

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Logan: A Great Send Off

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Logan is a great movie that meets the high standards that Marvel have produced in recent years. Logan is much better than the mediocre X-Men Apocalypse and ventures into concepts that don’t get deeply explored in a normal superhero movie. Those concepts being mortality and familial relationships between generations. For a superhero movie, Logan is amazingly down-to-earth.

Set in 2029, Mutants have become nearly extinct, Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) health is failing  and works as a limo driver. He takes care of a frail Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in hiding. Logan is approached by a woman to take care of this girl called Laura (who is a mutant) and send her to North Dakota before this evil organization captures her. The girl, location, and organization are significant, but I won’t elaborate further as they are large plot points which I don’t want to spoil it.

Logan’s Struggle Within

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What I enjoyed the most about this movie is Hugh Jackman acting as he portrays a human being more than a superhero. There is no motivational rhetoric or spandex. It is about how he helps people despite being hounted by his mortality, and yet still has to learn from life. What is so good about Logan is that the movie does not detract from that message.

An example of how they don’t stray from Logan’s struggles is the action set pieces being low-key (very few explosions and CGI special effects). I believe they are deliberately set up to be low-key so the viewer doesn’t get distracted from the characters. It’s kind of funny that a movie like Logan works off this thing called character development. It’s an unfamiliar concept to too many action movies. They should try it out sometime!

Logan’s Sidekicks being Sidekick-ey

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Logan’s lovely sidekicks. I realised that this movie could be interpreted as a superhero version of Manchester by the Sea. I am an odd person.

Speaking of character development, they have great supporting actors that help accentuate the character of Wolverine. Patrick Stewart has two great moments as Charles Xavier but the best supporting actor goes to the bilingual Dafne Keene who plays Laura- a character that rarely speaks. Keene plays it with a peculiar hybrid of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (The growling, violent tendencies) with Alex Hibbert in Moonlight (The silent child internalizing her struggle and learning about the real world). She gets into some comedic situations at a service station that inadvertently gives Logan some humanity. It was simultaneously funny and sweet.

Out of all the Marvel movies I have reviewed so far, Logan is the one that feels like a character study. This was a smart move because it’s different and it works. I did not love Logan to the extent of hardcore fans (I have talked to a couple of them. They believe it is perfect) but I understood and liked the sentiment behind everything. It is a worthy send-off for The Boy From Oz and the man on The Enterprise ****1/4