Archive for August, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy – A Futuristic Adventure-Comedy Exploring the True Meaning of Friendship

Friday, August 1st, 2014

In the vein of mythological-based films comes Marvel brings us Guardians of the Galaxy featuring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. After stealing a mysterious orb in the far reaches of outer space, Peter Quill, a half human/half alien is now the main target of a manhunt led by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser. To help fight Ronan and his team and save the galaxy from his power, Quill creates a team known as the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to save the world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Gerry O, age 12, comments, “The film has something interesting for everyone – a sense of adventure with a side of romance and perfectly timed jokes as well as can’t-beat action all rolled up in one film.” Willie J, age 15, adds, “The finest thing about this movie is the comedy that goes with it. Writer James Gunn really does a fine job of using the archetypical characters (tough female, dumb big guy, sassy little guy) and gives them attributes that add to their farce.” Shelby R, age 14, concludes, “Marvel has created a 3D futuristic adventure-comedy that explores the true meaning friendship.” See their full reviews below.

Guardians of the Galaxy
By Willie Jones
Video review here:

It’s predictable, cliché and often times cartoonish…yet, Guardians of the Galaxy is still one of the most entertaining blockbusters you’ll see this summer. Boasting beautiful special effects and constant humor, Guardians of the Galaxy may not be a groundbreaking entry into its genre, but it certainly is a welcome addition.

The finest thing about this movie is the comedy that goes with it. Writer James Gunn really does a fine job of using the archetypical characters (tough female, dumb big guy, sassy little guy) and gives them attributes that add to their farce. Really, the comedy is the film’s saving grace, as its predictability sucks away any suspense. Remember, with a film such as this, it’s not where the path ends that matters, it’s how much fun you have along the way.

I give my utmost respect to Bradley Cooper for his sensational, and hilarious voice-over work. Between his pre-recorded deliveries and the wonderful editing of Fred Raskin, Hughes Winborne and Craig Wood, the character of Rocket becomes an instant fan favorite. I also enjoyed his lovable sidekick, Groot who tells you his name a ton of times in the film in comedic fashion. If you’re a film and acting nerd like me, I think you might find more excitement in seeing Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro in their fine supporting roles. They don’t do much but their presence alone is enough.

I find it interesting that Groot, who has the least amount of lines, is the best-written character in the whole film. Groot says so much without saying anything and is easily the most lovable and the most human character in the film. Despite the fine characterization and portrayals of the “good guys” in the film, the villains are terrible. They are probably the worst thing about the movie. They are overly cartoonish and come off as B-movie caricatures. From the overly dramatic, yet beautiful, score accompanying the villains, to their hammy portrayals, they are just hard to watch. It’s funny how films of this nature (action, comic book based) spell out everything, as if you wouldn’t get it on your own.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this film I also found it to be a bit frustrating. Like Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, The Guardians of the Galaxy actually has a deep and darker meaning. Beneath the explosions and punch-lines, the film is about the loss of loved ones. I’m not going to give the movie away for you but be aware that the film is about losing family and friends and how that affects your motivations and loves. If the film wasn’t quite so formulaic, it would be one of the greatest films of its genre. Easily. The characters are deep enough and their motivations and loves are justified enough through rational traumas, that this film could have been Marvel’s Dark Night. Unfortunately, for me, it’s too predictable to hit that mark.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. You can see this film in 3-D or 2-D at your local theater. Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun, entertaining romp that offers a lot of laughs, has a great soundtrack and is a guaranteed good time.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Reviewed Shelby R.
Video review here:

The sweet sounds of 80’s music, amazing stunts, hilarious one liners, a talking raccoon and a loving, giving tree named Groot are some of the highlights I like most about this film. Marvel has created a 3D futuristic adventure-comedy that explores the true meaning friendship. Chris Pratt plays Star-Lord who is a really good at making enemies and finds himself in trouble when Gamora, Rocket and Groot are after him for stealing the most powerful orb in the galaxy.

One of my favorite scenes is when Star-Lord distracts Ronan from destroying the universe by singing Sweet Child and dancing. Everyone asks him what is he doing and he explains that this is what people do on Earth and he challenges Ronan to a dance off. A memorable moment is when Ronan comes charging toward the guardians and he says “Star-Lord.” Star-Lord replies finally because everyone is always calling him by his real name, Peter Quill and he wants a cool superhero. It is funny that he is excited by people calling him his alias when he should be worried about getting blown to pieces.

Alexandra Byrne, (known for designing costumes for Thor, The Avengers and Finding Neverland) has changed the look of costumes for Sci-Fi and adventure movies. Every costume has more depth for each character especially that of Star-Lord. In the opening scene, you see Star-Lord with a dark maroon cape and metal mask and then, when the aliens try to kill him he escapes by flying via his built-in rocket shoes. The cinematographer, Ben Davis, creates a galaxy never seen before. Throughout the movie I felt as if I was sucked into another galaxy filled with unique aliens and different landscapes.

The moral of this film is that friendship is more important than anything. James Gunn shows how desperate all of the characters are to get 4 billion units and then get rid of each other. But, they are meant to do something greater together and that is to protect the galaxy and learn how to love others. I recommend this film for kids 12 to 18 and I give this five stars out of five stars.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Reviewed by Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Video review here:

This is a funny and action packed adventure that fans of Marvel will adore! When I heard about this film, I thought this will be another add on to the series of films based of super hero comic books, and well, maybe it was time for something fresh, but Guardians of the Galaxy pleasantly surprised me – it is a fantastic adventure that many people will enjoy.

The film has something interesting for everyone – a sense of adventure with a side of romance and perfectly timed jokes as well as can’t-beat action all rolled up in one film.

The story starts with a young boy who just experienced a tragic loss and has been abducted by aliens. What do you think they do to him? Train the boy to be an outlaw. Twenty years later, he finds a powerful object and teams with other outlaws to make sure it doesn’t get in the wrong hands. Can they succeed or would he switch to the “dark side?” You have to watch the movie to find out

This movie is stupendous. The jokes aren’t everyday flat jokes, they are one-of-a-kind, ironic humor all the way. The special effects are crystal clear and pretty amazing and, to add to all that, the story is nicely done and plays smoothly. However, even though the jokes are a bit more unique, the rest is rather normal. One item I craved for and didn’t get was to see something unique that would separate this film from the rest of the comic book-based films. However, I still greatly enjoyed it.

My favorite scene is when StarLord (as he calls himself) is about to face a huge enemy that may destroy billions of lives. What does he do? He starts a dance off! The villain is very confused which gives enough time for the crew to plan something to save everyone!

This movie has some gore and a lot of very intense scenes so I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 star for over all a good film, but not much different from a lot of others.

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