August 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy = fun summer movie

Coming up on a month since my last post.  Hadn't quite intended to go quite so long, but things happen.  Way of the world and whatnot.

Like the title indicates, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend.  Admittedly, even from the trailers I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this movie, as like a lot of audience members I know practically zilch about this incarnation of the group.  The only character I really knew anything about was Gamora, and that really only from the Infinity Gem limited series, which was so long ago that's probably safe to say I knew squat about her other than "hot alien green chick."

Since I don't have cable and really don't watch a lot of TV, I've not seen most of the adverts for the movie.  Although the initial trailer, with "Hooked on a Feeling" as the background music did a lot to convince me to go see this movie.

And I'm really glad I did.  It's not high drama, it's not going to provoke any major philosophical discussions, but it's a damn fun movie.

I think the scene that really set the tone for the film for me was very early on, when our 'hero' Peter "Star Lord" Quill shows up on a planet after the title drop, does a bit of scouting around with some high-tech gizmo, and stuffs it away to pull out a Sony Walkman, put on his headphones, and start jamming and dancing to "Come and Get Your Love."  If the trailers hadn't already convinced you this was going to be a light-hearted space opera, then this scene would cinch the deal.

I won't go into any major spoilers, but I found each of the main characters to be highly enjoyable to watch.  For me, I'd have to say the weakest of the team was Gamora, but then I could well be biased as I'm not particularly enamored of Zoe Saldana (I honestly thought Uhura in the New!Trek films was a snide bitch as opposed to the slightly sassy yet warm version that Nichelle Nichols portrayed in both TV series and films).  At least the writers didn't simply exploit her for fan-service, and stayed true to the idea that Gamora is a very dangerous and capable combatant.  It was a given that Rocket was going to pretty much steal every seen he was in, but I think he had to work for it given how well Drax and Groot came across.  Yeah, Peter aka "Star Lord" (who?) was the 'hero' of the piece, but I felt he had enough humanizing flaws and quirks that he was just as interesting a character as Rocket or Drax.  Groot was pretty simple, but he's a simple guy and he managed to convey a surprising amount with just tone, expressions, and body language.

Both the stingers where worth staying for, and in hindsight the release date of August 1st made the second stinger even funnier given what movie was released almost three decades ago on that same date.  I don't think anyone actually expected that character to ever show up in the MCU, and I thought it was a nice nod to the older Marvel fans that might actually remember said character.

In other news, it's just over a week to GenCon, and man am I starting to get the pre-convention jitters.  Yeah, there's some neat swag to snag (Force and Destiny Beta, as well recent confirmation that Far Horizons will be available at the FFG kiosk and the D&D 5e Player's Handbook), but one of the main things I'm looking forward to is getting to see many of the d20 Radio crew that I've gotten to know over the years, as well as putting names to some new faces, such as Phil aka DarthGM, who has (for the meantime at least) replaced Dave as the co-host of the Order 66 podcast.  As well as hoping for a chance to play in a pick-up game run by GM Chris, something I've managed to do every GenCon so far and that I've not regretted.

So yeah, Guardians of the Galaxy.  If it's playing in your part of the world, go see it.  It's a fun movie, and proves yet again that when it comes to comic book movies, make mine Marvel!

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