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Guardians of the Galaxy - Blu-ray Review

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Guardians of the Galaxy - Movie Review

5 stars

It seems that Marvel Studios can do no wrong, doesn’t it? I mean they bravely come out swinging a few years ago with a roster of characters that the average movie goer doesn’t know, and interweave a multi-film narrative into a multi-billion dollar earner that trounces all current competition, while making instant icons out of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and so on…

Now they’re deep into production on those first few characters’ arcs, Marvel hasn’t stopped there. Their ‘Phase 2’ plans included the peppering of a new bunch of characters that, much like the characters that preceded them onto the silver screen, the average movie goer didn’t know. Unlike their predecessors, the Guardians of the Galaxy were not even a top tier comic book. Sure, they had been in Marvel’s comic releases sporadically for the last few decades, but say anyone of those characters names pre-2014, and blank stares would have ensued.

Now everyone knows Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot are, and deservedly so. Marvel eschews the super hero framework of their previous heroes to offer us a ragtag group of misanthropes in a wacky space opera that has one agenda: FUN.

Peter Quill, aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt) is abducted by aliens moments after watching his terminally ill mother pass away. Cut to a couple of decades later, in the gutters of deep space, and he’s something of a cat burglar, stealing shit to make a buck. Only his latest acquisition, an orb of immense power wanted by some very dangerous and powerful aliens, is gonna land him in a whole mess of trouble and bring a disparate group of equally questionable characters into his life and change it forever.

Quill is instantly likeable, with seasonings of Han Solo, Indiana Jones, but more bumbling and unsuccessful. He’s relatable; he’s a hound dog with a good heart, and plenty of flaws. All the characters are spectacularly well drawn and have their own area to shine in the story. Rocket Racoon was a highlight for me, but, I tell ya, no character isn’t given moments that elevate what could have been standard fair. Drax could have just been a dumb brute, but he’s given a good back story and a hilarious difficulty taking things too literally. And Groot, a tree creature voiced by Vin Diesel, has but three words in his vocabulary, but what is done with the line, “I am Groot,” will amaze and move you.

The special effects are astounding, the rich colours of their universe, the machines, the costumes—it’s just a beautiful looking movie. The writing is snappy, the pacing fast, the action relentless, the characterisations organic, meaningful, successful.

The performances, tied to some outlandish characters, are impeccable and immersive from the entire cast. Even the damn Racoon has the ability to deliver a nuanced, moving performance, as does the tree! No small accomplishment.

Order of the day here—and they knock it out of the park—is fun. It’s damn fun to knock around with this ship of fools. It’s fun to immerse yourself in the world that James Gunn (director of the criminally underrated Slither) brought to life. The soundtrack is nostalgic and fun. It is, without a doubt, the best time in at the movies a jaded old cinema goer has had for a good long time. It is the best Marvel offering since Iron Man, and this reviewer will be their opening night for the next one.

Very well done.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.
Runtime:
121 mins
Director
: James Gunn
Cast:
Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Genre
: Sci-fi | Advetnure
Tagline:
When things get bad, they'll do their worst.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We've already established that you destroying the ship I'm on is not saving me!"
Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://marvel.com/guardians
Release Date:
August 1, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 9, 2014
Synopsis: In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 9, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The AVC MPEG-4 1080p offering is pretty spectacular. Colours pop off the screen in brilliant crisp arrays from start to finish. Blacks, being in the universe, are a constant presence and are rich and inky, and perhaps a little crush seeps in, robbing some detail but it isn’t to a detrimental level. Colours, when we’re talking aliens galore, can’t be referred to as natural, but they are detailed, with the heavy makeups holding their own in high def.

Sound is a powerful DTS-HD 7.1 mix that is beyond aggressive with immersive effects. Dialogue is crisp, centred and perfectly blended amongst sound chaos that will make your speakers sweat. This is reference quality sound, and a disc very useful in showing off your home cinema.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length audio commentary with James Gunn

Special Features:

Extras… While there is a relative informative and innovative featurette in the guise of a computer game motif that covers most areas of production, I found it wanting. It’s not bad, but it ain’t comprehensive. There’s a commentary, a gag reel, and a pretty meh sneak peak at Avengers: Age of Ultron that, considering a full trailer is already out, doesn’t show us shit and is rather underwhelming.

  • Guide to the Galaxy with James Gunn (HD, 21 minutes)
  • The Intergalactic Visual Effects (HD, 7 minutes)
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 4 minutes)
  • Exclusive Look at Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron (HD, 2 minutes)
  • Gag Reel (HD, 4 minutes)

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