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Review

Harry says GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is better than German Chocolate Cake & means it!!!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is better than German Chocolate Cake was the first thing that entered my mind after watching the movie today.   If you think about that… look at any picture of me…  I love German Chocolate Cake, it’s what I’ve always requested for my birthday cake…  I can imagine its taste just by shutting my eyes and imagining the flavor, texture…  everything.  

 

So why is it better than German Chocolate Cake?

 

First, that’s a personal call.   Right now, if offered a slice of German Chocolate Cake or to watch the film again…  I’m watching the film.   In fact, I can talk about German Chocolate Cake without even wanting it right now, because I’ve got to fucking see this movie again!  Actually, it’s a terribly awesome compulsion I’m feeling right now…  It’s hard to describe…  but I’ll try…

 

When I was a kid watching SPACE 1999, STAR TREK, BUCK ROGERS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, TOHO Sci Fi, 2001, SILENT RUNNING, DARK STAR and of course STAR WARS…   I mean… everyone I knew geeked out about that stuff.  But I also had…  all the comics.  My parents ran a Comic Shop & Business & when it closed, they brought every issue home.  I was allowed to read everything.  When I was reading a comic and it introduced something I didn’t know – and there was that little asterisk and notation to see issue number whatever…  I went upstairs, went to the appropriate box and pulled the issue… then put everything back later.   Now, because I was absolutely a science fiction freak…   I discovered THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY in their debut in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES issue…  but it isn’t like they had any kind of run… the didn’t.   But they popped up all over the place.  Now that was a very different team than has made it to the screen…  But… the characters in this team were also all over the place. 

 

But one of my favorite parts of my childhood was thinking of Yondu and locating Alpha Centauri in the night sky.   But more than specifically GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY…  what is in this movie is the Marvel Cosmic.   Which I’ve always expected the Enterprise to run into some day…  Or Han & Chewie…   Now in all the time since I was a kid… there’s been plenty of Sci-Fi to keep me entertained.  To percolate my imagination – which has soaked up pop-culture sci-fi through constant exposure…  but I haven’t seen Cosmic Marvel.   The Asgardian realms haven’t really counted.  They’re cool, but they use magic like super science to get around mainly.   The vagina in the sky above Manhattan spewing out aliens… well, they weren’t the Marvel aliens  I gave a shit about.

 

But now we’re talking about KREE, we’re talking about XANDAR & the NOVA CORPS…   And all that that entails…   Stunningly beautiful spacecraft…  Killer cool aliens…  and the locales…  So far out there!   NOWHERE… really?  To see that!  That beautiful.   That stunning.  That ALIVE!   Then there’s what the Collector shows our band…   NEVER IN A MILLION BILLION YEARS…  I mean, I’ve been dreaming of this shit my entire life.   Huge chunks of Jim Starlin space stuff…  Freakin’ THANOS!  

 

All this stuff…  it’s been in my dreamspace for decades.   When I was screaming at MARVEL film to get their shit together in the 1990’s -2000’s…  I seriously never believed I’d ever get to see a celebration of the form quite like what James Gunn dished out tonight.

 

The Earth bound part of the Marvel Universe, I’ve enjoyed greatly…  but everything they’re doing is still only about 40% of the potential awesome I, as a fan, feels that they’ll one day hit.  

 

And that isn’t about strict adherence to comics… it’s taking into account of what’s possible in cinema these days and that they keep incrementally upping the ante – when I’m ready for a 100% right now.

 

James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is closer to that mark of holy fuck wow…  it’s happening… than anything I’ve yet seen from MARVEL.  

 

Take what Michael Rooker and James Gunn did with Yondu.   Ok.  I love this character in a really obsessive/cultish manner… and well… when those shots of Yondu got out…  I really missed the huge fin on his head… and I didn’t see a bow….   And I got a little panicked.   I have to admit.  

 

Now, how we’ve seen Rooker… it’s how he is in the film.  Snub-Hawk… no fin.  No bow.  But…  My fave Alpha Centaurian has been written into Starlord’s orgin story in a fucking wonderful fashion.   Not only that… but looking at that Snub-Hawk…  It feels like an injury.   As though he may have once had his fin scalped.   Rooker imbues Yondu with a painful history that was given ink in the comic, but not the soul of Rooker’s eyes.   The chipped teeth… he’s grizzled.  AND HE STILL WHISTLES TO DIRECT HIS ARROW AND IT WILL FUCKING OWN YOU!  But leaving the theater I found myself wanting to see that earlier years with the young Starlord…  Perhaps before he lost the fin. 

 

Now – here’s a warning for folks.  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY starts right up…  and the opening scene is a quiet… soft… emotional scene…  SO…  get settled in your seats before start time.  You do not want to miss the pre-credit 1988 scene.   All at once, it instantly felt like the best thing ever.   It’s tough. Helluva situation… but man…  When we next meet that boy…  It is being sci-fi Indiana Jones – and this is something… just -joyful to discover.   Chris Pratt dancing upon an alien surface….  Like an unskilled Gene Kelly splashing and kicking and just celebrating his life.  Cuz really… who amongst us wouldn’t instantly give it all up at a drop of a fucking hat to be a Space Indiana Jones Kirking our way through hot alien chicks while having full on Buck Rogers gear…   RIGHT FUCKING NOW!   Let’s go.   Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill is every kid that ever dreamt not of hard science in space… but wistful fantasy adventure in space.   It’s what wove a spell on us with Lucas… but I kinda have to say…  I love GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY at a ridiculous level right now – so I should back off any absolute statements… but in a year… after I’ve seen this fucker maybe 70 times…  I might start making big statements about this film.   Chris Pratt almost guarantees that all on his own.   I haven’t yet digested PARKS & REC, Yoko’s a huge fan, so I’m totally game right now.  Pratt is leading man in a way that’s more Gable than any actor of the modern era…  Flirty Gable… Devil May Care Gable…  Celebratory Gable…  But Pratt has this whole other quality that’s all his own – it’s a sweet matter of factness.  I watched MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON the other day, just cuz it was time, and there was an aw shucks gosh gee whillikers goodness gleaming in Jimmy Stewart’s eye…  and Pratt has a bit of that too.  All I know is I want to see 10-20 future movies with him as this character.  He definitely exhibits Charisma +500 here.

 

Rocket and Groot… these two are so great it is hard to even know where to begin.  Well, when we first catch up with them… Groot is drinking from the fountain as Rocket is scanning the crowd on Xandar for a good bounty.   You instantly get to see their character interaction…  and it is a tad Laurel & Hardy…  Rocket is the verbose one and Groot is the physical emphatic performer.   That said…  Rocket’s drunken brawl with Drax may be one of my all time favorite scenes out of any Comic movie.   That fucking Raccoon…  He’s pouring his soul out.   His poor tortured one of a kind furry ass.    Groot is a big tree heart that pulses across the screen…  By the end of the film, he owns the entire planet.  

 

If there was a character that I thought was going to rub me the wrong way, it was Gamora played by Zoe Saldana.  Thankfully, she’s fantastic…  She’s best with Chris Pratt, who really does bring out the best in everyone he’s in a scene with…   But the softening of Gamora comes from being under the influence of Starlord’s +500 Charisma…  and his use of his mother’s music is the best super power use in a movie.   I mean, think of it.  Those tapes, those songs… he’s discovered just how special that music is… and when Zoe’s Gamora has the headphones on…   I was DYING!!!  It was such a perfect small scene.. and yet, that vista… 

 

Seriously, this is BEAUTIFUL science fiction fantasy.   Just stunning stuff.   It feels weird to be discussing it from a single viewing.  My eyes became drunk with imagery very quickly.  It took me a while to settle down and stop spazzing out trying to see EVERYTHING… instead of focusing more on the characters.  Once Peter, Rocket, Groot & Gamora get sent to the Space Prison Kyln…  I’m in such a happy place.   The use of songs, the score…  the texture to the palatte on screen…  it was all so much love.  LOVE.

 

Just the knowledge that the songs were a gift of his mother’s…   it’s the soul of the film in so many ways.   Yet, Quill has another side he is going to learn about at some point.   That’ll be interesting, heh. 

 

Now, this is a film made up of favorite things…  I mean, I’m coming up on 1600 words and I haven’t even serious creamed about Dave Bautista’s amazing DRAX THE DESTROYER – who joyfully reminds me of Brian Blessed’s Prince Vultan in FLASH GORDON.  When he’s laughing like a jackass through that amazing battle in the skies of Xandar…  I was DYING!  Indestructable badass that he is, he laughs at the face of a would be death!   His very literal character is genius.   He also reminds me of the great Rex Ingram in THIEF OF BAGDAD…  An all powerful benevolent homicidal maniac… His makeup is magnificent, but it’s everything that Bautista is giving that character…  he’s given a wide latitude to have a singular reaction that is all his own throughout the film and god bless James Gunn for it!   Absolutely euphorically cool!

 

I saw the film with a fairly normal crowd.  There were some geeks spread throughout, make no doubt, but the majority were people that were there because it was a free movie and they really like them MARVEL films.  Didn’t matter, they laughed, cheered, went AWWWWW, the whole gamut.   Me, I’m smiling like a crazy person loving every frame.

 

Just like German Chocolate Cake, when it was over…  I looked at my Dad with puppy dog eyes and asking for MORE PLEASE!   I just couldn’t believe that this was this great. 

 

We sit around a lot talking about wanting something different and badass and cool.  This isn’t like the other Marvel movies…  it’s a bit more balls out.   There’s more pure personality in this film than anything they’ve done.   If they end up teaming Tony Stark up with this crew…  HOLY SHIT BALLS that’ll be a day long remembered!  

 

Here’s a film with absolutely awesome physical visual effects mixed with fantastic character driven visual effects…  and Rocket & Groot will OWN you, but you’re likely to be talking about DRAX, GAMORA and Chris Pratt a whole lot too! 

 

I’ve got the AICN screening on Monday, but I’ll be seeing it several more times theatrically.   And man… that Blu Ray 3D…  See this movie as big & loud & as 3D as it gets.   This is one of those films, that no matter what you’ve read…  you’ve really no idea of the special chemical combination that Gunn has captured here.  This one’s magic.   Magic in that, it reduced me to childlike wonder throughout.   That lean forward and grin like you’ve been chewing lead paint your whole life.   Just simply euphoric love.  

 

I would so love for this to become the biggest MARVEL film…  I know there’s no way.  But it’d be a helluva thing.   I love the Galactic scale… I hate to say I didn’t spy Howard the Duck, but I hope to all the powers that be, that he’s in there like some claim!  Everything about this film kicks AVENGERS’ teeth in.   Like how the Guardians come together…  it’s fate… circumstance…  NATURAL.   Love that.   The sense of humor is effortless… and the visuals…  HOLY MASH POTATOS MEAN SOMETHING!!!  

 

I really do feel folks are going to lose their minds over this one.   You’ve never seen anything quite like it before – and that’s fantastic.     

 

 

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