Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WORD OF THE DAY! 3/4/14!

Guardians of the Galaxy
1.  Marvel Comics. (Est. 1969) A team of super heroes that came together to confront and defeat the Badoon race trying to conquer the Earth's Solar System in the 31st Century on alternate timeline of Marvel Earth 691.
2. Marvel Comics. (Est. 2008) After the Phalanx Invasion of the Kree, they were a team of interstellar heroes brought together, by Star-Lord, to protect the galaxy and proactively seek out, contain, and stop threats rather than reacting to crises. This team is the basis for the upcoming 2014 film of the same name made by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures featuring Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot.

 I love super hero movies.

Despite the fact that I'd say a little more than half of them are bland (Daredevil, 2003), plain bad (Hulk, 2003), hilariously bad (Spiderman 3, 2007), or proof that Hollywood is ran by a pack of rabid snake people (Catwoman, 2004), lately, especially at the hands of Marvel Studios under Disney, have made some of the funnest films of the last decade and best super hero films of all time. After they pulled off the Avengers, I came to trust Marvel Studios and believed they could pull off about any project they want.

And so, when they decided to pick one of their relatively unknown properties for adaptation into a major motion picture, even I admit that with all the trust they've built up with their blockbusters that it is difficult to NOT be skeptical. I mean... who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? I'm not a casual super hero fan; I own two long boxes of meticulously organized and packaged trade comics, a book shelf of graphic novels, and have two notebooks filled with my own super hero ideas for my own universe (a subject for another time). Yet, despite all of my knowledge, obscure and common, from reading Marvel encylopedia and fan sites, I knew next to nothing about the Guardians of the Galaxy, besides the fact they exist, when I saw the announcement for the film. I had heard of them, and Groot, and seen them in a cameo on a cartoon show. That was about it.

So, I did a minimal bit of research to have some reference of expectation and read all the little tidbits of news as they came out. I gotta say that, with every bit of news I heard about the film, the more excited I became about the film. Probably the most exciting to me was the casting news: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel (a nerd who gets to live out his fantasies in Riddick), Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista. It was interesting, but seemed spot on with the characters they were assigned...  Finally, a couple weeks ago, I heard the trailer was coming out and I lost my mind over the teaser shared the night before.

So, what do I think about the trailer? Let's just say:

I'm hooked on a feeling
I'm high on believing

The trailer builds tension with a generic opening: a roguish figure walks into some ancient vault or tomb and toward some ancient device floating on a column. He is interrupted from picking up the device by the sounds of weapons arming themselves and the operators of the weapons demand our hero identify himself. He tries to say, with all sincerity that he can muster, "Star-Lord."

And it falls flat. They have never heard of the "the legendary outlaw". Then, John C. Reily portraying an officer of the Nova Corps gives the audience a breakdown of a rag tag of relatively obscure super hero team unlike any introduced in film to date:

Drax's wife & family were killed (by Thanos) and he has been on a search for vengeance ever since. Played by Dave Batista of WWE fame, Drax is gonna be our mini-hulk berserker with knives and, buried underneath all that rage, is apparently a heart of gold (or so I've read).

Then we have Gamora, the last of the Zen Whoberi (a people wiped out by the Badoon) and a deadly assassin. Portrayed by Zoe Saldana (Star Trek & Avatar), this mean, green, killing machine is a sword-wielding badass and I can't wait to see her come up against the villainous Nebula (played by Karen Gillian of Doctor Who fame).

Now, we're talking, as we hit Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper of The Hangover films) , originally a mentally uplifted racoon-like creature created to be a caretaker on a planet, Halfworld, populated by mentally ill citizens. As the planet's chief law officer, Rocket protected Halfworld from extraplanetary threats. In the 2008 version of the guardians, he is enlisted as a gifted weapons expert, military tactician, and a loyal friend to have in the battle against evil. He also has a special relationship with...

...Groot as motion-capped and voiced by Vinn Diesel. Like several characters of the Guardians team, he was originally conceived as an antagonist and was reborn dozens of times, before ultimately being an unlucky prisoner in Kree Space. Rocket freed him and the two became inseperable. Groot is probably the strangest and most powerful member of the group, being a space treeant that can absorb wood to grow and rebuild himself. He can also control trees, even use them as an army, is surprisingly resistant to fire, despite being made of incredibly durable wood, and has regenerate from nothing but a sprig at least three times. He is even a genius, actually have had the best education on his homeworld but, unfortunately, suffers from a speech impediment and can only say "I am Groot" with any number of inflections giving the phrase any number of meanings.

If they can sell America on a talking raccoon and tree man, Marvel will rock the box office.

Star-Lord or, by his earth name, Jason Quill (played by Chris Pratt of NBC's Parks & Recreation) is the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. He is a half-human half-alien hybrid from Earth that, after discovering his origins, wound up bouncing around the galaxy before eventually finding his destiny in using his charisma and combat skills to bring together the Guardians of the Galaxy. It will be interesting to see how this character is interpreted in the film and how he manages to bring his team together, but we can be sure that Pratt will have a lot of fun with the role.

All-in-all, despite 2014 being a year featuring X-Men, Captain America, TMNT, & Spiderman films, Guardians of the Galaxy is the super hero film I am most looking forward to for two reasons: it's different and it's familiar. It's different, because it is a new film franchise with a very different cast of characters and attitude that we haven't seen in a big budget super hero film, but it is familiar, because Marvel hit it out of the park with The Avengers. I hope you guys keep an eye out for this one, but I'm already sold.

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