Sunday, August 10, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy was good. Great even. A friend said that he liked it more than X-Men: First Class, and alright, that's fair. I'd be a tad bit wary about having the two movies duke it out in the ring though. They're both Marvel movies, yeah. They even use characters that technically exist in the same universe, yeah. But it does feel like Marvel is pretty much divided between X-Men and the Avengers, only they trade and swap heroes and villains like teen lovers trade and swap spit. First Class was a superhero movie, but I don't really think that GotG was, and I think that's a positive (though Wikipedia disagrees with me in the first sentence of their article). The movies aren't in the same weight class, I guess is what I'm trying to say.

I think it's the kind of movie that should be bunched closer with the recent Star Trek movies, or even Star Wars. There are definitely heroes, and some with supernatural abilities, but I don't know. Actually, I do know. I'm just trying to prevent myself from having to say that I liked it more or less than First Class, which up until now was definitely my favorite superhero movie. But there are differences between the two types of moives, the humor being the biggest.

Throughout the entire movie, I don't think five minutes passed without the movie calling for an audience laugh (which we all were pleased to provide). I've seen it three times so far, and each audience treated different jokes differently, but I think there was only one intentional joke that didn't get a good reaction from one of the audiences (the third viewing audience). I've gotta give it up for the third viewing audience though, their interaction with the movie was the most fun to be a part of. Their laughs were a little more ridiculous at parts that were kind of funny, and people near the bottom row gasped so loud that I could hear them clenching the armrests near the top. They were silly, but it was fun.

There were some neat things that I noticed my third time in front of the movie. At this point, I'd mention there may be spoilers ahead, so you can duck out knowing that I liked the movie and, if you like funny things or space fiction (not quite the same thing as science fiction), then you should see it. Warned. The pink girl that emerged from the bottom of Quill's ship in the beginning was wearing the same shirt that he was wearing when he was abducted. And the two pink girls that Rocket saves on the bridge near the end are (and I'm not sure about this here) Dey's wife and child. So when he says that his family is alive because of him, and is looking at Quill, he should be looking at Rocket (but of course he isn't going to get any recognition, he's a weird little monster!).

All the characters were awesome, even Gamora. I specify her because I have also seen Hercules recently, and the token female character in that movie bothered me almost as much as it bothers me that Samurai Jack didn't ever get the resolution it deserved. Honestly, I have a hard time naming a favorite of the five man band. I would say, though, that Quill won my heart (if not from the dancing on the abandoned planet in the beginning) the moment he used those jet boots to cross that chasm. I'm a sucker and a half for jet boots, and his mask is pretty rockin' as well.

And speaking of dancing, Pratt brought moves to those grooves! The music in that movie was awesome, and I really, really think it helped package the movie in extremely pretty wrapping. I've got most of the pop songs that were on his mix tape on my Spotify, and they're getting plenty of listens (including one right now).

I won't go into saying too much about plot right now, because depending on how much you know about the Marvel universe you will likely think it better or worse, and I'm not even sure where I'm at in my relationship with plot as a writer right now. I'm thinking about it too much, so it all seems kind of stale to me.

But the plot itself didn't get in the way of my enjoyment in the least. There were only two parts throughout the entire movie that I didn't like. After Quill gives his speech just post losing the orb, Rocket makes a comment, and Quill turns away from the group and it was just weird. If this were a play, and I was expecting asides and very obvious character positioning and movements, meant to convey meaning because you don't have quite the range that you get when you're running fast with cinema, I would have been fine with it. But man did that throw me off a lot the second and third time I saw it. I almost laughed (if I didn't actually).

The other thing that bothered me was how powerful Ronan was after attaining the Power Gem (yes it was the Power Gem and not the Space Gem for those of you were a part of that conversation: read here under the Infinity Stones section), and how little he did with with that power. I mean, when he was floating above Xandar couldn't he have kind of just jumped down (or even flown down in a smaller ship) and killed the planet? I mean, I get it, villains will be villains, especially in comic book stories, but that grated on me each viewing regardless. It's a good thing evil is so dumb in stories, else the good guys would never win and then what hope would we have?

Anyway, I always find it hard to go back to saying good things about something after I have outlined the bad, so I'll stop here, on one final note. This movie was awesome. It wasn't one of those movies that made me question my capabilities as an author (Oh, man. That was so good. How am I ever supposed to write anything near that good? Why even try? Etc.) but it was one of those movies that had me completely caught up in everything, from the music to the dialogue to the space battles, and it made me jealous, disappointed that my life is not filled with such colorful trials (and women), out of this world beauty and freedom, awesome comedy, and, of course, jet boots.