Rapid Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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“So here we are: a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac. But we’re not going to stand by as evil wipes out the galaxy. I guess we’re stuck together, partners.”
– Peter Quill

SYNOPSIS: After discovering a mysterious orb in another part of the galaxy, Peter Quill from Earth, is now the main target of a manhunt led by the genocidal villain Ronan the Accuser. Being hunted across the galaxy, Quill gets lumped together with a group of misfits that need to learn how to get along before they can become the “Guardians of the Galaxy”. – via IMDB

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I definitely liked this far more than I thought I would. The soundtrack was great (which is how this was bumped up .5), the characters were entertaining, there was cheese, there were some seriously odd moments, there was plenty humour, and it was just a fun flick overall. I don’t think it is deserving of the hype surrounding it but I liked it more than anticipated, which is something. I went in expecting something like The Avengers, which, as you all know, was not my favourite movie or anything. I didn’t know too much about this, which I am sure counted in the film’s favour, so it was all new to me. I thought the cast was fantastic, each bringing their bit to the table and  having fun while doing it, which shows on screen. Rocket Raccoon really had me laughing at the best of times, especially with his penchant for prosthetics, as well as how he could laugh about it (that giggling!). Seriously. Chris Pratt does a very good job in the leading role, and I liked him. I thought the villain, Ronan, was absolutely freaking ridiculous and not creepy at all (and I was told he was pretty cool). He was not. He looked like a giant blue, muddy nun, and sounded silly. You know I like a good villain… The movie itself was decently paced, didn’t feel as long as it was, and it was shot quite well. The effects were pretty good, though here and there it was a little dodgy. Guardians of the Galaxy has a very different feel from all the other Marvel movies we have been getting over the last few years, and it worked wonders here, like a breath of fresh air. I still don’t quite understand why the world has gone ballistic over this, but it was fun and worth the watch, if nothing more than just to see this band of misfits together. I enjoyed the way the movie was presented, and the plot progression. I don’t actually have an awful lot to say about this one, so I will stop waffling on about it.

Poster credit.

JB & The Chop Do: Star Trek (2009)

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Well shit… today is bittersweet as it’s my last day of hosting during the Star Trek Project…. 😦 We still have another week to go but… I sure have loved doing this!! Thank YOU so much, dearest JB!!! This has been GREAT!!! I mean that!!! Obviously today we focus on the reboot of the franchise that had fallen pretty far over the last few movies and we got what we desperately wanted – ACTION!! HUMOR!! EXCITEMENT!! This was totally fucking awesome and the best thing that could have possibly happened to this franchise, at least according to me. I thought the cast were all fantastic and there were even little throwbacks to the original series. ONE thing did kind of bother me a little though, and I’ll address it later but – this was all kinds of awesome! Let’s see what The JB has to say about it –

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SYNOPSIS: On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien time-traveling vessel looking for Ambassador Spock, who, in this time, is also a child on Vulcan disdained by his neighbors for his half-human heritage. Twenty-five years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. Challenged by Captain Christopher Pike to realize his potential in Starfleet, he comes to annoy instructors like young Commander Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself, thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever as a new version of it begins. – via IMDB

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Dammit, WordPress changing shit all over the show again, now I need to write this and deal with everything looking all weird again and such… meh. :/

I am totally with the Chop on this on: this is one of those rare occasions that the reboot is just fantastic on so many levels, a breath of fresh air, and came together incredibly well. I freaking love these movies, for so many reasons.

I thought the way the movie started was great – fantastic effects, a solid scene introducing us to Kirk’s past, and an amazing Romulan space ship coming out of a black hole, blowing up the Kelvin. Very cool. I also like how Chris Hemsworth played papa Kirk. It was quite a sad and brave thing he did to save the crew, his wife, and his child.

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Chris Pine really nailed the absolute cockiness of Jim Kirk, which was awesome. He was equal parts douche and honourable (in a strange, his morals kind of way). Well done on that front. I really liked that he didn’t necessarily recreate William Shatner, but that he did his own thing. I thoroughly enjoyed him.

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I was not always a fan of Anton Yelchin playing Chekov, though I do enjoy his work. Well, the more I watch it, the more he grows on me. I thought the casting overall was just spot on for these new movies. There is absolutely no way I was going to dispute Quinto as Spock – I love Spock, and I am a massive fan of Quinto. There was no ways that that was going to bomb. I honestly wish that he was in more stuff. He always impresses me, and I can listen to him talk for hours. That voice!

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There were so many funny scenes, too. The humour was absolutely awesome in this, and it is a blast of a  movie! I had plenty laugh out loud moments and giggling galore, which is awesome. This is not necessarily a comedy at all, but they managed to incorporate the elements into it super successfully. Like Karl Urban, being all McCoy and the initial shift from liking Spock to his eternal irritation with him. Simon Pegg is a pretty darn cool Scotty, and I was a fan of the friendship between him and Keenser. Very cool.

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Star Trek takes you through this epic journey of how the crew of the Enterprise come together under Kirk, and it’s worth it. Funny lines, great introductions for all the characters, ultimately it all comes together in the end, and it’s awesome. JJ Abrams just gets the sci-fi thing, and he did an outstanding job rebooting a franchise that was (yep) getting really tired. I am so sad that he won’t be doing the third one 😦 Well, I am terrified of more Star Wars, but let’s hope he can do that as successfully as he did this.

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Anyway, there is so much that I can say about this movie. The most important? That I loved it. The effects astound me every time, the humour, the cast, the performances, the shenanigans they get up to, all of it. Sadly, the journey is damn near over, and I have been having immense amounts of fun with it. Thanks PSC! Last but not least, bestie, this is specially for you!

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the chop

Who hasn’t seen this?? We know about the rebootyness of it and the time travel and Chris Pine and Quinto and Pegg and Urban and this and that and this and that and Hemsworth and Tyler of all fucking people Perry and Saldana and Yeltin and Bana and face tattoos and the Beastie Boys and fuck all and I loved it. But I think the main thing to concentrate on here is the reboot of The Green Lady. I’m sure Brian and Luke used to get their BeatIt on back in the day or yesterday when the rerun played during lunch hour in the break room at work, but I was never a huge, horny fan. She never got me “astir in the hot box” so to speak. I was more into the ladies you can find HERE. I mean:

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Even though she only has a small bit part, I think the modern version is an apt improvement (even though this isn’t the most flattering still):

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I mean:

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Or:

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MMPH:

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Or MMPH!!:

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And:

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OOPS!! How did THAT get in there??? But, I really did like this movie and, being a lifelong Spock guy, I have to be honest and say that the only thing that bothered me with this is how Old Spock is in it. I mean, so Romulus is about to explode and, despite having legions of cadets and veterans in the UFP, they send 150 year old Spock to try and save the planet? That sounds like a dodgy call to me. But hey, this is Science Fiction, I reckon. Oh well – good stuff!

KA1

OOOPS!!!

Review: Out of the Furnace (2013)

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“I’ve got a problem with everybody.”
– Harlan DeGroat

Russell Baze (Christian Bale) is a hardworking man. He is a blue-collar worker at the local mill and lucky to have a job seeing as he lives in the economically depressed Rust Belt. His younger brother Rodney Jr (Casey Affleck) is a military man with a gambling problem and in with some criminal types but not necessarily bad people for some money. Going to settle his brother’s debt with John Petty (Willem Dafoe) one night, his whole life is changed. Going home to his girlfriend Lena Warren (Zoë Saldana) he is in an accident that is not even remotely his fault but sentenced to prison. Leaving his younger brother and dying father behind, Russell begins his incarceration.

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“Working for a living? I gave my life for this country and what’s it done for me? Huh? What’s it done for me?” – Rodney Baze Jr

While in prison, his father passes away, and Russell is wracked with even more guilt over his passing and not having been there. Upon his release, Rodney takes Russell to his father’s grave and then to their home. Russell slowly but surely starts sinking back into the old ways of his sad life, though he is upset that Lena has moved on and is now seeing police offices Wesley Barnes (Forest Whitaker). Rodney is not working and is finished serving his country, fighting for Petty to settle his debt. Russell discovers this one day and confronts his brother, again offering that Rodney come work at the mills and that he should not be too proud to work for a living. In a rage, Rodney goes to Petty, forcing his hand to set up a fight for him with Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson), a disgraceful redneck with a drug and anger problem. Petty is not keen on the idea, but Rodney’s vehemence eventually gets the upper hand and he arranges.

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“Now, will you calm down. I’ll get you the money, Harlan. I’m fixin’ for a fight this week.” – John Petty

Rodney is told to throw the fight, but has a tendency to forget that policy in the heat of the moment. Petty continually warns Rodney that DeGroat is not worth screwing over, and in the ring it looks as though Rodney is set to win, and Petty has to make sure that Rodney loses, which he progresses to do. However, on the way home from the fight, DeGroat catches up to them and kills them both. Russell is informed by Barnes of the transgression, though he says Rodney may still be out there and that Russell should leave it to the police to work out. Russell and his uncle Gerald “Red” Baze (Sam Shepard) set out together with a plan – justice will be exacted for Rodney. Either they will find Rodney in DeGroat’s county, or they will make him pay for what he has done.

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When your future relies on the decision you are faced with

Russell must make a decision about avenging his brother and throwing away his freedom and average, hardworking life, or he must let the police sort it out, though they have made it clear that they don’t really want to get involved with DeGroat. Will Russell be able to let DeGroat get away with the murder of his baby brother? Will Russell ever be able to live a normal life and stop suffering unreasonable hardships all the time?

A 7.5/10 for Out of the Furnace. I was hooked from the get-go. The film boasts a pretty solid cast and they all bring brilliant performances to the table and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love Woody Harrelson but wow he was so reprehensible in this one. Christian Bale delivered a great performance of the hardworking and very caring brother. It was great to see Casey Affleck again, and he played the little military man gone wrong very well. I was not particularly sold on Forest Whitaker in here, either his skills or his character, it just didn’t work completely. I enjoyed the plot of this film as well as the progression. I loved the camera work and effects; it looked so great, like washed out. The soundtrack worked perfectly, and the pace was so good for what it was. The conclusion of the film had me at the edge of my seat, not because it was unexpected, but because it was pretty moving. The film’s pace is slow and deliberate and worked perfectly for this film. This is a film not everyone, definitely nothing new or revolutionary and goodness knows it has its flaws, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it, if not for the performances alone.