Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Film

Guardians of the Galaxy

Do you remember when the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was released to the masses and the masses balked? This isn’t a Marvel comic book film, were the cries. There was space, and spaceships and people with green skin. Ohh… people.

That trailer totally got me. My knowledge of the Marvel universe is limited. Did not have the remotest clue about Guardians of the Galaxy. Nothing. It was new. It looked different. And after the disappointment of Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World and, to a lesser extent, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I really needed to see a comic book film that would restore my faith in the genre.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Peter Quill – sly devil.

James Gunn’s Gaurdians of the Galaxy did just that. Guardians takes us out of the well-known universe and plonks us somewhere completely alien, while still building a universe and arc that’s going to be pivotal in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s funny, witty, dry and sarcastic. It’s a mainstream James Gunn film. And a good one. A GREAT one.

Guardians of the Galaxy felt very much like The Avengers – putting the band together. But with Guardians the band of misfits really felt like a proper band of misfits. Misfits, outcasts and those who don’t fit in. None of these guys can be classed as “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” – somewhere Peter, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket just fell of a wagon and carved their own paths.

Thoroughly enjoyed the action in the film. It just feels like it’s been forever since there was a good space based film. (Just as I typed that, my brain went to Interstellar. What I mean is a space sci-fi pulp feeling film. K?) The final battle was incredible. It was perfectly done with some actually very emotional moments alongside Gamora and Nebula slogging it out and epic air battle going on around it all.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I am Groot.

The score disappointed. Tyler Bates’ score didn’t shine in the film. It didn’t bring anything to the moments it was backing. Then on listening to it as a standalone album, I can’t remember much of it. Perhaps I’m moving on from the “soundtrack-y” sounding scores. BUT the actual movie soundtrack is fantastic – the awesome mix vol. 1 was the oddly perfect selection of songs for the film.

Chris Pratt knocked it out of the park as Peter. Funny, intelligent, witty – completely sold on Star Lord. Was surprised how attached I got to both Rocket and Groot. Especially Rocket – the film did a brilliant job at not over sentimentalising the shitty situations each of the Guardians were previously in. Or saw themselves as.

Guardians of the Galaxy

An utterly magical moment in the film.

And it’s that that made the film for me. Despite all the glorious space opera going on and the action – the Guardians of the Galaxy themselves were each incredibly relatable characters. At one point in our lives, we’ve all felt some of what these characters have portrayed. And look at them – they’re fucking heroes who still have a long way to go.

100 movies: Moneyball

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

MoneyballMoneyball (27/11/12)

Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

Still playing catch up on the previous years big award winners it seems. Moneyball is the latest in the long line of films I’m playing catch up with. A film about baseball. See, I like my sports films. But usually I have more than a vague idea about the sport. Baseball? It’s like cricket, right?

Thankfully, I didn’t really need to know much about the sport to get the film. All good sports based films should be like that, right? So with my little knowledge of baseball I managed to really enjoy the film. Moneyball is pretty much an underdog story. A well told underdog story with some solid characters and a tight script.

I remember Brad Pitt being praised for his work on this film. Now don’t get me wrong, I think he was solid in this film. But I have never seen the big ‘wow’ about Brad Pitt. In any of his films. He’s never blown me away. I’m not saying he’s not a good actor. He is. I reckon. I’ve just never seen a performance from him that’s left me reeling. In Moneyball, I thought Brad Pitt did a perfectly good job. Sounds a bit patronising, right? It’s not meant to be! I just can’t think of a better way to put how I thought of him in the film. More than adequate, but it’s not the sort of role that’s a stretch for him, right?

For me, Jonah Hill stood out a bit more. Here he is in Moneyball, a fairly serious drama. And he’s considerably more toned down than I’ve seen him. I’m not Jonah Hill’s biggest fan. I’m definitely near the other end of the scale, but he stood out for me here.

Moneyball’s a good film. A well told story. I like the message it brings across. It’s not the sort of film I’m dying to see again, but glad I’ve given it a watch.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…