Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

guardians_1Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Haddock, Sean Gunn, Peter Serafinowicz, Christopher Fairbank

Directed by James Gunn

Expectations: Super, super high. If I don’t like this, I’m going to be crushed.

threehalfstar


Guardians of the Galaxy is easily one of the best Marvel films yet. Other than The Avengers, I don’t think a single film in their line-up comes close to the amount of pure entertainment on display in Guardians. Pinpointing exactly why Guardians is such a successful piece of entertainment isn’t something that needs to be done, but if I want to write more than, “OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH GUARDIANS WAS DOPE!” I have to come up with something to talk about, right?

So let’s talk about the characters. While every Marvel movie is generally known to be a hit before it’s even close to a release date, Guardians of the Galaxy was a different story. Where characters like Iron Man and Thor allow most of the audience to bring some knowledge into the theater, most people have never even heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I read a lot of Marvel comics growing up and I only had a very limited, passing knowledge of their existence. This was Marvel’s first attempt at a film without the name recognition of a big character, and it was a huge gamble. But the film’s success proves that the public doesn’t specifically care if they know who’s who before entering the theater; they care more about seeing a fun movie, regardless of origin. So if you’re a big shot Hollywood exec reading this, take note! Stop raping our collective childhoods for rebootable franchises! The public will always be hungry for original content! (And yes, Guardians is technically adapted and not original content, but in the eyes of the average moviegoer this is an entirely new thing.)

Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) →

Mini-Review: The Color of Magic (2008)

The Color of Magic (2008)

Starring David Jason, Sean Astin, Tim Curry, Christopher Lee, Jeremy Irons, David Bradley, Laura Haddock, James Cosmo, Nicolas Tennant, Karen David, Liz May Brice, Nigel Planer, Richard Da Costa, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Miles Richardson, James Perry, Stephen Marcus

Directed by Vadim Jean

Expectations: Low. Loved the books, but it’s gonna be one hard adaptation.


Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are known for their wonderful sense of humor and ridiculously madcap storytelling. This is a hard thing to bring to the screen but the BBC seems to have done it mostly right. Taking the first two Discworld books as its basis, The Color of Magic is a delightful romp through fantastic settings and situations.

Fans of the books will enjoy seeing Rincewind and Twoflowers come to life, but will be disappointed that certain key scenes have been written out for time and/or budgetary constraints. Overall, it is very well-written though so these omissions don’t hinder the story at all, and a first time traveler to the Disc will never be the wiser. The casting is excellent all around and the filmmakers did a wonderful job of taking what could easily be called an unfilmable book and making it into a very watchable 2-part TV film. Unfortunately, a lot of the humor doesn’t come through (or comes through differently) but the film still succeeds despite this.

Worth watching for fans and non-fans alike, The Color of Magic is a fun addition to the rather small lineup of genuine fantasy films.

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