Guardians of the Galaxy review: More please!

I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy last night and wanted to write-up a quick review. And yes, I am listening to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a feeling” while I type this up. 😛

Beware, spoilers ahead!

guardians-galaxy-movie-previewI have read so many mixed reviews of this movie. One’s calling it a space opera, with too much going on, going as far as comparing it to Star Wars. Another review says it’s a great film with a lot of heart, bringing back the true hero in cinema. Me? My thought when the movie was done: I want to see this again!

But there is one thing I want to make clear: it’s not Star Wars. It’s not even close to Star Wars! It’s in its own universe in fact! Like ACTUAL universe, with galaxies and planets and characters and spaceships that don’t exist in Star Wars, so who in their right mind would think that it would even serve as a comparison?

That being said…just because it’s not Star Wars, doesn’t mean it’s not a great film! I love this movie…its going up on my top list of all time favorites and I’m pretty sure after it comes out on blue ray (which I’m sure, sadly, will be a billion years from now) it will be watched over and over again like I do with Lord of the Rings, Princess Bride, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. It beat out Inception and even some beloved and cherished chick flicks of mine. That means something.

Why I love this movie so much?

  • The characters.

Abducted as a child, Peter Quill, grows up to be a thief. When he decides to double-cross the person who raised him, he meets other thieves and bandits with their own agenda. A genetically altered raccoon named Rocket, and his friend, Groot, a plant humanoid who can sprout flowers from his hands, among other things. Then there’s Gamora, a fierce assassin who’s been turned into a weapon by the evil Thanos…and then there’s Drax, the Destroyer, who wants to kill Gamora’s father, oh, and the guy also working for him, a very creepy, Ronan. Drax also has a problem understanding metaphors. (But more on that later.)

Together, this hodge-podge group find themselves trying to defend the galaxy, to save everyone from the very weapon they stole in the first place. I can see why Marvel had some misgivings about this story, but it works. The chemistry between the characters is fantastic and it is their differences that make them unique and interesting.

  • It’s a movie with a lot of heart.

Rocket and Groot are best friends, and the interactions between them are at the heart of it all. I love seeing characters with vast differences coming together as a central unit, defeating all odds together. Both Groot and Rocket are computer generated, but it is so easy to forget that, when you see the emotion playing across their faces.

Most of the time, you’ll find yourself laughing…it is a comedy after all. But there are also tender, heartfelt moments that grip you amongst the laughter. It makes you remember that these characters want you to know they matter, and that there is more to them then who they used to be and they show that through friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. There’s a lot of good here.

  • It ties in with the other Marvel films

Remember that weird, creepy white-haired guy at the end of the second Thor movie? The one they gave the aether to? He’s here. Taneleer Tivan, or The collector, he’s also called. He’s the buyer Gamora had for the orb. But there’s also Thanos, the big bad that’s supposed to crop up in the third Avengers movie, or so I heard.

I also read how people are surprised that Marvel is becoming a brand, like Disney or Pixar with a certain expectation when it comes to their films. I can see why. They do it so well! To me its fantastic the way all these films are beginning to tie into one another…it feels like a sequel that never ends.

  • We’ve got great action and fight scenes

It’s incredible and great to watch. And there’s lot of color. The world outside seemed kind of dull to me after watching this film. Very cinematic.

  • It’s funny

The banter between the characters in itself is amusing, but there are also jokes and dancing, oh, and music. And there’s some amusing scenes when Drax has some trouble understanding metaphors. It’s amusing, but English majors especially will appreciate the humor – I know I did.

  • The music

We finally get to understand why we’ve heard Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a feeling” over and over in the trailers. Peter Quill listens to a cassette tape over and over with hits from the 80s and earlier eras on them, a gift from his mother…and really the only thing he has to remember her by. There’s also “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum, and “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” just to name a few. The soundtrack in this movie is really what makes it different from the other Marvel films. It certainly reflects the uniqueness of the characters themselves.

And overall, this is just a very great film. Perhaps, it is my obsession with a great story and characters, but I’m pretty sure I fell in love with this movie last night.

And will probably be seeing it more than once in theaters! (Because I’m a nerd like that.) 😛

What did you guys think of the film?

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Dawn’s Rising – Angel, My Angel

Sometimes you’ll stare at your word processor all day and only a few worthy sentences will come out. Sometimes it’s those sentences that surprise you the most…

In Dawn’s Rising, one of my characters, “Chase” plays guitar. I have a scene where my main protagonist “Angel” is sleeping on the couch and Chase is perched on the end of the couch playing a song on his guitar to her. They don’t know each other very well at this point, but it doesn’t mean the resulting song doesn’t have meaning:

            Angel like a gem

            that glitters when she speaks

            angel, my angel

            stronger than she thinks

            don’t you know you’re angled?

            multifaceted blue

            angel, my angel

            I love you…

I have never written songs before and wish I had the talent to find the music that belongs to these words I wrote last night, but I hear them in my head, and that’s good enough for me.

It’s a slow song, like a lullaby that has a few verses to it and this is just the first one, or the only one that’s he’s written so far. He has a deep voice, but not too deep, with bit of husk to it. The result is a voice that is sexy, rough and smooth at the same time…like the sound of someone’s voice when they first wake up in the morning.

This is a perfect description for Chase, who’s normally put together, but still a bit rough around the edges.  He would not have the perfect tenor’s voice. His voice would be more like the earth: rich, and dark and deep; full of mystery and longing. Full of a thunderstorm, the lightning that crackles just beneath the surface.

I love the poetry behind it, though. Even songs, no, especially songs should taste good on the tongue, too.

10 Reasons why you should watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Tonight

Well, as emphasized in a recent blog post, you all know my love for Joss Whedon. I believe he is an amazing writer, a talented director, and just a great example of a person who loves great entertainment and wants to share that love with others.

During the writer’s strike in 2008, Joss Whedon, with the help of his brothers, Zach Whedon and Jed Whedon as well as actress and writer, Maurissa Tancharoen, created a musical web series: Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.

The short film is about Dr. Horrible, or “Billy” (Niel Patrick Harris) who longs for the love of a young woman named Penny (Felicia Day). In the midst of an evil plot to do wrong in order to be considered for the Evil League of Evil, he final meets her, Penny, the love of his life. But like all of his plots to do wrong, he is immediately pushed aside by Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), his arch nemesis.

So, WHY should you be tuning in to see Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog on the CW at 9pm tonight?

  • Joss Whedon! Joss Whedon! Joss Whedon! – If you like great writing, you’ll pretty much love anything he’s involved in. ‘Nuff said.
  • Great cast – Nathan Fillion (Castle), Niel Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother),  and Felicia Day (The Guild).
  • Nathan Fillion – Just ’cause I love him so much!
  • Great music – You’ll be surprised how talented the Whedon family is as emphasized by the creation of this film.
  • Catchy songs – You’ll want to sing along with it. Durrh!
  • Great Story – It’s cleverly written, funny and oh-so-very entertaining.
  • It’s award winning – It’s won 7 awards already!
  • Great Characters – Never thought you’d feel sympathetic towards the bad guy? Ohh, think again!
  • Niel Patrick Harris – Great singer, great actor, great looking, great everything!
  • It’s Intelligent – Like everything Whedon is involved in, it’ll make you think and surprise you!

Okay, now I’ve given you my reasons time to find your own! Be sure to tune in tonight at 9pm on the CW!

Here’s a look at the first act right here, the rest is, of course, available on youtube:

And if you’ve already watched it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Once Upon a Time Review 10/7/12 – Why we love these characters

***Mild Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched last night’s “We are Both” episode of Once Upon a Time, I suggest you go do that now before reading this! And it was a great episode, I highly recommend it!***

Photo credit: ABC.

In this episode, we are reminded that if you love your favorite show’s characters enough, you will follow them anywhere. Once Upon a Time’s second episode, “We are Both,” reminds us why, we as fans, love this show so much. The characters are alive and accessible to us; we feel their tension, their heartbreak, their struggle. We love it when we see certain characters conversing with others. Regina and Charming. Charming and “Mr. Gold.”

It is the mark of great writing. To be able to take your characters anywhere. To make them grow. To show their weaknesses, to show their strengths. To remember that a character is loved not because they are perfect, but because of their imperfections.

Because perfect characters are boring characters and no one is as UN-boring as Storybrooke’s very own evil queen, Regina.

The episode focused on her story this time around and I love how we get to see the building blocks of evil and it makes us question and think: What is evil? Who is evil? Because everyone has a purpose of living, or a motivation of some kind.

The Highlights?

  • Granny with a cross-bow.
  • Seeing Rumpelstiltskin’s true golden self.
  • Dr. Whale asking if he can date a nun. And then standing next to Blue in a certain point of an episode. Coincidental? I think not!
  • Charming’s speech. He’s still got it!
  • Regina’s realization that she doesn’t want to be her mother.
  • The dwarfs with pick-axes.
  • Henry and “Gramps” at the diner. So adorable.
  • A glimpse of the enchanted forest.

Last night’s episode really reminded me how much I have come to adore these characters. It’s like with LOST all over again. I feel like I know these characters. They have written them so well that I feel like if they ever had to disappear, I would fight for them. That is the mark of great writing, and great characterization. And something that I think many TV writers/producers forget is the main point of great TV watching. We watch something because we love it. And Once Upon a Time definitely knows how to woo its viewers.