Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Guardians of the Galaxy

4LN Unboxes the April 1 Up “Action” Box!

Hey! What’s up nerd friends! We’re back with another unboxing! This time we’re cracking open the newest 1Up box and checking out awesome stuff from Guardians of the Galaxy, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avengers, and Avatar the Last Airbender!

As usual, our kids join us and it gets chaotic. But that’s what we do best!

Make sure to head over to our YouTube Channel and watch some other videos too!

4LN Comic Review: Drax #1

Series: Drax
Writer(s): CM Punk & Cullen Bunn
Artist: Scott Hepburn
Colorist: Matt Milla
Page Count: 23

Drax

Summary from Comixology: “UFC fighter CM Punk makes his mighty Marvel Debut! Drax the Destroyer is the muscle for the Guardians of the Galaxy, but what does he do when he’s not adventuring through space with the Guardians? He lets his bloodthirsty quest for revenge take the pilot seat, of course! Determined to find and kill Thanos once and for all, Drax is ready to take on the universe. But when you’re tooling around the universe in a ship aptly named “The Space Sucker”, an unwavering desire for bloodshed isn’t enough to keep a mission from derailing. Drax crash lands into his wildest adventures ever, encountering foes no one will ever expect! The depths of space may not be big enough to contain this much grit, vengeance and all-out action!”

I’m a huge wrestling fan, and CM Punk is my all-time favorite wrestler. He was the perfect heel, and you never really knew what to expect from him. It’s one of the things that made him so amazing in the ring, and during promo’s. From his feuds with Undertaker to The Rock, CM Punk could sell anything. In April of this year it was announced that CM Punk would be writing a comic, and I was beyond excited. Although I’m not a big Guardians fan, I couldn’t think of a better character for CM Punk to write than Drax. I know that Punk is a pretty big comic book fan, so I’m sure he was marking out for this opportunity like I was marking out to be able to read it. I’ve been patently waiting for this book to hit shelves, and I’m so pumped it’s finally here.

This comic is a great mixture of pure violence, and also comedic relief. This is may be only the 10th Guardians related comic that I have read, but I really enjoyed what CM Punk and Cullen Bunn are doing with this book. As a comic writer, I’m a big fan of Bunn’s work on Magneto and Sinestro. He does a great job capturing the villains and the reason for their actions. I think Bunn and CM Punk make a great team, and I really look forward to where this book is going to go. This creative team makes a badass Drax, and he’s a character I would never want to mess with. Two scenes that stick out vividly in my mind happen within the first five pages of the book. The first one, Drax just rips an alien in half, and sprays blood, gore, and entrails all over Rocket Raccoon, who’s just not that thrilled about it, for some reason…

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When I first flipped through this book, I wasn’t that thrilled with the art. It seemed very “cartoon-y” but when I finally began reading the book, I realized the art was actually a perfect fit for the tone of the book, and Scott Hepburn’s art ended up kinda stealing the show. I also think that Matt Milla did a beautiful job with the colors in this book. It was a great blend of dark colors, but also very bight blues, pinks, and greens. The more I read this book, the more and more I began to love everything about it.

For this being CM Punk’s first time co-writing an entire book, he did a great job. It seems like Punk and Cullen Bunn both have a main vision for this book, and it seems like together they are going to make Drax one hell of an interesting read. Punk and Bunn made me interested in a character that I have never had a desire to read, or see in a solo book, so for that I seriously congratulate them as writers. I’ll be coming back next month to see what happens, and I think you’ll be missing out if you don’t pick this issue up.

Let it be known that I made sure this review was edited with a fine tooth comb, because the last thing I want is to be on CM Punk’s Grammar Slam. Where he rips trolls apart for insulting him with bad grammar.

 

Music Pairing:
I really had to think about what the best music would be for this book. I wanted to say Cult of Personality only because that was one of CM Punk’s walk out music when he was still with the WWE, but that didn’t really mesh well with the book. Instead I think a better fit would be the LA garage punk band F.I.D.L.A.R. (Fuck it Dog, Life’s a Risk)  and the song Drone just feels like it’s a good fit for this book.

Why Ant-Man Isn’t Too Much Marvel

Ant-Man has had a lot working against it. There was the trouble with Edgar Wright leaving the production, and then there’s been the prejudice cries of failure coming from comic fans and non-comic fans alike. Much like Scott Lang, and the character of Ant-Man in general, the odds were stacked steeply against it. Granted, the odds were stacked against Guardians of the Galaxy when it was released as well, but that was mostly because more people were less familiar with those characters. People have just seemed to arbitrarily not like Ant-Man, or at best they’ve been mockingly indifferent. Earlier this week one of our own writers, and a good friend of mine, Jeff, posted an article asking the question, “Is Ant-Man Too Much Marvel?

“What the hell bro? Don’t act like you didn’t love me in Anchorman.”

That’s a fair question and I respect Jeff’s thoughts as he was respectful and polite about sharing them, so none of this is intended to be an aggressive rebuttal or argumentative, but merely an explanation as to why I don’t believe Ant-Man is too much Marvel. I will also try to leave my personal feelings to the side and use facts and figures to make my point. To do that though, I have to sink to a level I’m personally not proud of. See, I put pretty much zero stock in what “film critics” say. You know the saying, “Those who can’t do, teach.”? I think that should be changed to, “Those who can’t do, become film critics.” But alas, to make my point I’m going to have to use them. Specifically, I’m going to use the website Rotten Tomatoes, which is arguably the film critic site I like least of all. Rotten Tomatoes assigns films and television shows a number percentage value based on professional critic reviews, as well as one based on viewer reviews. While I disapprove of treating any kind of art like a middle-school social studies test, the mass collective of opinions the site gathers is actually very beneficial to how I intend to convey my point-of-view as it represents the voice of many. I will also be using film budgets and box office revenue numbers to prove the monetary success of the MCU films.

“Someone doubts my longevity? Bring them to me so I can show them how I bought a f**king country with these paychecks.”

Also, just to clarify, we are only talking about the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) films here. Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The X-Men, Fantastic Four, and past Spider-Man films, as well as any Marvel comics films that were produced by any other studio will be excluded as Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) has no control over those films and therefore can’t be held responsible for their contribution to the deluge of comic book movies.

To be honest, this is the only one I still demand an apology for. #SorryNotSorry

In it’s first weekend of release, Ant-Man was the box office winner, bringing in roughly $58 million domestically. It is also currently Certified Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes with a 79% critic rating (the rating number can fluctuate), which is more than Jurassic World or even Avengers: Age of Ultron. Additionally, it has a user score of 92%. AoU has an 87% user rating, and JW has an 82% user rating.

But how about the other MCU films? Does Ant-Man hold it’s weight against them? Well, here’s the break down in the order they were released. All budget and box office facts were taken from Wikipedia. Also, I’m well aware of the rising cost of movie tickets and it’s affects on the income numbers. The purpose of this, though, is more about how much each film made compared to much it cost to make. (Additionally, any film that is certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes will be marked with a “cf”)

MCU                                    Rotten Tomatoes    Rotten Tomatoes   Budget   Box Office
Film                                     Critic Score              User Score                               Haul
Iron Man                             94% (cf)                   91%                            140M     585.2M

The Incredible Hulk          67%                           72%                            150M     263.4M

Iron Man 2                          72% (cf)                    72%                            200M    623.9M

Thor                                      77% (cf)                    76%                            150M     449.3M

Captain America: TFA      79% (cf)                    74%                            140M     370.6M

The Avengers                      92% (cf)                    91%                            220M     1.519Billion

Iron Man 3                          79% (cf)                    79%                            200M     1.215Billion

Thor: The Dark World      66%                           78%                            170M      644.8M

Captain America: TWS     89% (cf)                    92%                           170M       714.8M

Guardians of the Galaxy   91% (cf)                    92%                            195.5M   774.2M

Avengers: Age of Ultron   74% (cf)                    87%                            279.9M   1.394Billion

(I’ve left Ant-Man off the list due to it being so new. However, the film’s budget is estimated at 130M and globally it’s already made almost 115M in less than a week of release. It’s safe to say that it will definitely make it’s budget back, and likely go on to earn double that.)

“This guy!”

Based on the data above (god that felt satisfyingly nerdy to say), we can see that only two MCU films have not been certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, The Incredible Hulk and Thor 2, but it’s important to note, as well, that neither of those films falls into “rotten” territory either. Which is especially interesting to me considering how widely panned The Incredible Hulk is. Even with as much negativity that gets thrown at that film, a grouping of professional critics opinions still don’t earn it a low enough score to be officially be considered an “artistic failure”, and it has a one-number-higher score than Thor: TDW. Admittedly notable is that The Incredible Hulk is also the only one to not make more than double it’s budget at the box office, but it still made over 100M during it’s theatrical run.

Ever since The Avengers, the MCU films have continued to increase their revenue and while it does fluctuate some none of these films can be labeled “financial failures”. Also, with the exception of Iron Man 1, it seems that each sequel has been better well received by the regular viewers than than the film proceeding it. Even Iron Man 3 shows to be more liked than Iron Man 2. One could even argue that Captain America Civil War is doomed to be a critical “meh” since it will be the second film of Phase 3 of the MCU, considering that Incredible Hulk was the second film of Phase 1 and Thor: TDW was the second film of Phase 2. Yet, I’ve not heard anyone express concern that it will fail to meet positive critical or financial standards. (I probably will now though…)

In the interest of fairness, I let Jeff review this article, as he did for me with his, and he made a valid point that, while Ant-Man was the box office winner it’s opening weekend, it was the 2nd lowest opening of any MCU film so far (The Incredible Hulk opened with only 55M). But to it’s credit, it’s budget is also 20M lower than that film’s, and at 130M it’s the MCU film with the lowest budget to date. Jeff also explained that it’s smaller opening, “May be because of all the successful blockbusters of the summer.” “It will be a financial and is a moderate critical success.”, he added. “So I believe Marvel will be good through Civil War next summer and hope we don’t tire during stage 3.”

We’ve got our own Marvel Civil War going on in the 4LN team. I get to be Punisher!

To officially answer the question… No, I don’t think that Ant-Man is too much Marvel. Not yet anyway.

There’s a famous quote that says, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”. I believe the numbers speak for themselves and the majority of moviegoers have determined they’re happy with the MCU films that are being put out, and I think they’ll continue to vote with their dollars. Marvel will know when they’ve gone too far because the reviews will be consistently poor and, more importantly, the money will start drying up. Until then, it seems the majority of people still agree that the MCU movies (and  superhero movies in general) are a perfectly acceptable form of entertainment. Whew! I was really worried there for a minute…

Robert Downey Jr rolls eyes - that face you make when Someone says there are too many comic book movies

Beaking News: CM Punk to write Marvel series, Drax

Announced at C2E2 earlier this weekend, former wrestler, and soon to be UFC Fighter, CM Punk will be writing an on going series for Marvel. With the critical success of the film Guardians of The Galaxy, we have seen great stories since the release of the movie such as Bendis’s run on the main title, Skottie Young knocking it out of the park with Rocket Raccoon, and Sam Humphries continues his work on Legendary Star-Lord. CM Punk has worked on one previous Marvel book, Thor Annual #1, and it was great!

cm-punk
With CM Punk being my all time favorite wrestler, I am really excited for this comic to his the shelves. I’ll be sure to be jamming Cult Of Personality as I read every issue. Will Drax be waging war on drugs and alcohol? We’ll have to stay tuned on more updates, check back for more breaking news regarding CM and Drax.

Source: Bleeding Cool

Disney Inifinity: Is It Worth It?

Disney excels at making money, and Disney Infinity proves it.  If you are unfamiliar with the toy your kid is probably begging you for, let me get you two acquainted.  Disney Infinity is a 2-player, multi-platform videogame that involves the purchase of multiple peripherals to get more characters, levels, bonuses etc.  The game is centered around the portal, which is used to place both the game world and the playable characters (in the form of figurines).  This means that in order to play as more characters you need to shell out more cash to purchase more figurines, and to play more game worlds you have to purchase those too.

That’s a lot of stuff to buy… is it worth it?

First off, my kids are too young to play it, and lack the vocal faculty to beg for it.  My wife, on the other hand, wanted it for her birthday, and who am I to argue with a wife who wants videogames for her birthday?

No one, that’s who.

So on her birthday we went to Sam’s Club and purchased the Disney Infinity 2.0 Starter Pack.  The starter pack includes a copy of the game (make sure to get the one that corresponds with your particular system), the Avengers world, and three figurines – Thor, Iron Man, and Black Widow.  We got our for around $55, which really isn’t that bad for what you get.

Disney-Infinity-2_0-Starter-Pack

Where you start to find an enormous leak in your bank account is the inevitable desire for more and more characters and worlds.  We got lucky with the starter pack because my favorite Marvel character is Thor and Paige’s (at least in the LEGO games) is Iron Man, so we started with the characters we already wanted.  That being said, the next day we bought the Guardians of the Galaxy combo pack that comes with Star-Lord, Gamorra and the GotG world, and was another $35.  Then a couple of days later we bought Hulk because Charlie, our 2 year old LOVES Hulk (and to smash things).  Each of these characters run between $10-14 and are pretty hard to find used.  We were fortunate enough to have a friend give us Captain America, but we still bought Rocket Raccoon.  There is also a Spider-Man world and set of characters, but neither of us really care for Spider-Man or the characters playable in that world so there’s some saved cash there… Being the completionists that we are, we still have to get Hawkeye, Groot and Drax so that’s another $30-45 right there.

4120532-lineup_all_marvel-x3

Yes, let the money flow through you.

What I’m trying to say is that our sons are going to have a whole lot of Disney Infinity to play with because their parents got a little carried away and had a little disposable income at the time.

So yes, it definitely costs more than the average videogame when you factor in all of the peripherals that aren’t necessarily required, but will be bought anyway.  The upside is, the game is a lot of fun and the figurines make a perfect addition to a nerd-shelf, which is something I recommend all homes have.  The game itself is basically an open world “sandbox” style game that has a simple RPG style system used to level up your characters.  The more you play as a particular character, the more powers they can unlock.  We have had a lot of fun flying around New York, trying to put an end to Loki’s nefarious schemes and keeping Ronan the Accuser away from Knowhere, and the replay value is off the charts.  The Avengers storyline is relatively short, but the missions are entertaining (who doesn’t love smiting Frost Giants with Mjolnir, am I right?), and the characters maintain their level when you start a new game, so you can continue playing through the story to level up the characters completely.

Final Say

If you and your kids love the Marvel universe, this is definitely one of the best games available.  The missions are engaging, but short enough that they don’t start feeling like a chore (a common problem with the LEGO games), the gameplay is relatively straightforward, and the storyline is fun.  Ultimately, I think this game is worth it, but I would definitely pick and choose which properties you think you and yours would like the most, at least at first.  For us it was the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, for you it might be Spider-Man.  Either way the game is entertaining for both kids and adults, and is definitely one of the best games out there as far as Marvel is concerned.  It’s worth it.

(Barely) Star Trek

(Editor’s note: this article was written by our friend Mark from the Disembodied Beard)

I’ll make this short. Star Trek and Star Wars aren’t the same. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. You can’t ask someone if they’re a “Trek” or a “Wars” person, because that’s not a real dichotomy. Star Wars is a frenetic opera. Star Trek is Shakespearean theater in the best sense. You can like both, because they’re wildly different things to like, though you might not realize it after watching Into Darkness.

FqtiEiG

A comic I did a while back for DisembodiedBeard.net, my usual soapbox, which addresses the growing murkiness.

For this reason, Paramount trying to make Star Trek 3 like Guardians of the Galaxy is an awful idea. There’s no nice way to say it. Guardians is also an opera. A really good one, at that. It’s such a good opera, I hope the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII sat up and took notes. But wanting Star Trek to be that way means you don’t know what Star Trek is. Have you watched Star Trek? Go back and binge on The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine. Do you realize how much talking there is? How much standing, deliberating, thinking happens in a 45-minute episode? Enough to fill a Lucas Films CGI department.

I’m an old man. I have been since I was a child. So maybe “I’m just bitching,” as my ailing grandmother once said to her shocked family. But Star Trek is special. It’s unique and lovely, and it’s art. I know that because it’s transformative, because it leads the viewer to new information and new ways of seeing old information. It does something no one else has been able to replicate. It’s why fans like me long for another Trek show; television could use it. The problem is, no network is going to pick up a Trek series with that trademark tone if Hollywood keeps setting a skewed Trek agenda. Which is why, if there are any movie executives reading this, please, hear me out: think Gravity, not Guardians.

4LN Comic Review – Guardians 3000 #1

Book: Guardians 3000
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Gerardo Sandoval

Summary by Comixology – “Dive right into the action as the original Guardians of the Galaxy: Vance Astro, Yondu, Martinex, Starhawk and Charlie-27, try to save the future universe from the menace of the Badoon. But what happens when the Guardians discover something behind the Badoon, something even worse than they could have ever imagined? The very future itself is in danger, and the only possibility of salvation relies on the shoulders of this ragtag, bombastic group of underdogs. Thrown together by fate and fighting against intolerable oppression, how can they even hope to survive the first issue?”

Guardians 3000 #1

Overview –
I’ve been a fan of the original Guardians team for years. I have a bunch of old Guardians comics featuring all the characters that are being revived here. They’ve got a sort of an intergalactic A-Team like quality about them. I like that. There are so many different personalities in this motley crew of super-powered heroes, but they somehow they never seem to let it impact their heroic feats. Dan Abnett, who writes this series, also wrote Nova many years back, as well as the Annihilation books. It was definitely a good idea for Marvel to put this series in his hands. He’s great with classic characters.

click for super-sized previews of Guardians 3000 #1

The Good –
The interaction between the characters is perfect. The team genuinely feels like a troop of space soldiers on a mission. They all have unique strengths and abilities and they play off of one another well. The story progresses very well and and the ending is a cliffhanger for sure.

The artwork in Guardians 3000 is very good. The character designs and settings are very modern comic book art, and the colors are perfect. There are also different panels throughout the issue that feel like a departure from the rest of the book, and I really appreciated Sandoval being brave enough to do that. It’s always refreshing when artists toss in an abstract design to keep you excited about turning the pages.

Also, how about that Alex Ross cover? It’s freaking beautiful.

click for super-sized previews of Guardians 3000 #1

The Bad –
There’s nothing bad with this book, but I didn’t feel any real urgency when reading it. It took me several times of starting it to finally get through the entire thing. Now, that may be attributed to my desire to move away from being invested in so many Marvel books, so I probably put up a “don’t get sucked in” wall in my head before I started reading it to keep myself from being hooked. Ultimately, at the end I just wasn’t that enthralled so I don’t plan on continuing to read this series.

click for super-sized previews of Guardians 3000 #1

The Final Say –
If you’re a fan of the classic Guardians, you should at least give this book a read and see if it grabs you. It’s not a disappointment by any means, but, honestly, my favorite thing about it was the cover. I give it a 2 out of 3. It’s not bad, but I didn’t feel it was great either.

There’s also a Skottie Young cover that is hilarious and excellent.

4LN Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Official Film Synopsis from Marvel: “From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team–the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.”

 

Acting/Cast:

Let’s start with Chris Pratt, who is definitely the new Robert Downey Jr. here. His Peter Quill is so much like RDJ’s Tony Stark that it’s almost scary. Granted, Star-Lord isn’t on the same level of intellect as Iron Man, but he’s certainly a rival in arrogance and pop-cultural references. Next we have Zoe Saldana as Gamora, “The deadliest woman in the whole galaxy”, and boy is she ever. She isn’t just there to be a love-interest, in fact she completely sees through Quill’s BS and doesn’t let him get away with it. I knew going in that Rocket would probably end up being my favorite, and I was right. As awesome as a talking, gun-toting raccoon is, at some point in the film you stop seeing him like that. Bradley Cooper is Rocket Raccoon, and now that I’ve seen what life he gives the character I can’t imagine anyone else in that role. The real surprise for everyone, I think, is going to be Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer. I honestly didn’t expect him to be as good as he is. The way he captures Drax’s sternness is excellent, especially when it’s up against the absurdity of Rocket or Star-Lord. The other big favorite of the film is going to be Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. The Iron Giant is evidence enough that Diesel’s just got a thing for voicing characters that end up being lovable and heartwarming. Who would’ve guessed?

The cast of characters here is so deep that it would be hard to get to everyone. John C. Reilly was great as Nova corpsman Rhomann Dey. Glenn Close was wise and professional as Novacorps leader Nova Prime. Karen Gillan made for a very bitter Nebula. And Michael Rooker’s Yondu was a more likable version of his Merle from The Walking Dead. But headlining cast aside, the real standout for me was Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser. Having watched Pace on Pushing Daisies I can attest that this is a VERY different role for him, but one he performed brilliantly. This is the villain that I now realize Malekith (Christopher Eccleston in Thor: The Dark World) COULD HAVE BEEN. He was brooding, and cruel, and sinister, and overzealous, and lots of other adjectives that won’t do his performance justice. This villain is so much more complex than I can elaborate on because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but just do me a favor and try to pay very close attention to him when he’s on-screen.

 

Cinematography/Production:

I’ve been ranting a raving like a madman for years about how great of a filmmaker James Gunn is. (Seriously, it’s cost me friendships and jobs. I live in an abandoned warehouse just playing Slither over and over and over again on a portable DVD player I stole from a minivan. You owe me Gunn.) Guardians just confirms what I’ve been saying. He’s written and directed a truly flawless space epic. The CGI looks great and never feels cheap. Rocket and Groot especially translate very well on screen. Better than I think we all even hoped for.

I saw the film in IMAX 3D and loved it. I get that the tickets can be expensive, but I promise you this experience is worth it. Think of it like an amusement park. You may not do it all the time, but when you do, wouldn’t you rather do it right? A “go big or go home” kind of thing. This is the movie to see in this format. It’s got so many big, epic moments. It slows down just enough for you to catch your breath and then it tosses you right back in head first. It was not filmed in the 3D/IMAX format, but they utilized newer technology in the post rendering and that really adds a lot to the visuals. In the past, films rendered to 3D/IMAX post-filming have looked sloppy, but not this one. Just about every scene is deeply layered. It’s clear that Gunn didn’t delegate his responsibilities to other people, and instead remained very close to the project from beginning to end. That’s what a good director does.

 

Story/Plot: 

This is an origin story, just like the other first outings for Marvel’s characters of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). You honestly don’t need to know anything about the team because they lay it all out as they bring them together. They start out as rivals banding together over the prospect of making a big payday off of an object plagued by much conflict, and are eventually forced to make the decision of either going their separate ways and leaving the galaxy to it’s inevitable doom, or joining together in what it is almost certain death, to be it’s protectors. You can probably guess what they choose.

Every member of the Guardians has a purpose and something to contribute. The story is crafted in a way that every single one of them gets to show what they are made of and prove that they matter. There’s a speech, given by Star-Lord, that’s been in the trailers about how they’re all “losers”, how they’ve all “lost something”. You get to understand what they’ve lost and how it’s shaped them. There’s no “weak link” but they all have their imperfections. That’s what makes them relatable. In the film, we get to see how their flaws compliment one another and how they pick up each others slack.

It’s been a big selling point that this movie has a lot of humor in it, and it does. It is VERY funny. By far, it’s the most intentionally comedic of all the MCU films. But it’s so much more than that. There is a sentimental quality to it that I can’t pinpoint in any other comic book films at all. Maybe The Dark Knight Rises? When Alfred gives that come-to-Jesus-speech to Bruce. That’s one example in one movie. This one has several moments where you just feel like, “Good grief, that was heavy…” I am avoiding any blatant spoilers here, but let me say that I this is the first time I’ve ever cried at a movie only 10 minutes in. This film gets to the core of these characters and “humanizes” them (as much as you can humanize a murderous raccoon and a tree-monster). You feel for them and get invested in who they are. James Gunn and this cast get you deeply invested in each character in 2 hours. It’s taken half a dozen directors and 2 handfuls of films for that to happen with the other MCU characters.

 

Overall Thoughts:

I’m a mega Marvel nerd. I was geeking out THE WHOLE MOVIE. I sat next to 4LN writer Bill and kept hitting him whenever something particularly nerd-arousing happened (that sounds a lot more inappropriate than I mean it). I’m trying to keep my nerdiness at nay for the sake of being objective and professional. The bottom line is, this is a great movie. It’s a GREAT FREAKIN MOVIE! (Sorry. Nerd-Tiger got out of the cage.) There are moments of such creative ingenuity that it just astounded me. One of my favorite things about The Avengers is how even when being “mind-controlled” by Loki, Dr. Selvig and Hawkeye are not mindless zombies. They have original thoughts and ideas that they simply use for malice rather than heroism. That’s not a common concept in film, to have the brainwashed person still be able to think for themselves and not have to be ordered to do everything. There are moments like that in Guardians but there are more of them.

There are no real firm connectors to any of the other MCU films. There’s a slight (purple-ish) connection to The Avengers, and if you’ve been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you’ll notice a small connection as well, but other than those two small things I noticed, I didn’t catch anything else. My point is, you don’t have to be invested in, or even a fan of, the other MCU movies to watch this one. It very much stands on it’s own. I you like epic space adventure movies then this is something you need to see. There are lots of Star Wars comparisons out there, and that’s something that’s very accurate. You certainly can see that influence. This is the movie I wished the last 3 Star Wars movies had been. But I also kind of felt like I was watching a bigger budget version of the B movies I loved as a kid. Like, Mom & Dad Save the World and Suburban Commando. It made feel 10 years old again. It was just so much fun. That’s really the best way to describe it. Fun. Don’t you want to have fun at the movies again? Yes? I thought so. Then quit reading this and go see Guardians of the Galaxy! In fact, I’ll just stop here so you can go. Later!

 

Oh, and this…