Disclaimer: Disney, Marvel, Dreamworks & ABC Family sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, including my Guardians of the Galaxy movie review. All opinions are my own.
I’m going to be brutally honest here.
I didn’t grow up reading comic books. I can’t tell you anything about the Avengers. And I have no clue what Thor is about. I’m not a Marvel movie-goer. My husband, well, that’s another story. He loves and sees all the Marvel films.
So when I was invited by Disney and Marvel out to Los Angeles and discovered we’d be watching a special advanced screening of the new “Guardians of the Galaxy”…….I admit, I didn’t know what to expect. I was incredibly excited about interviewing the actors involved, but would I really, I mean REALLY enjoy the movie?
Rated PG-13, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is in theaters today, Friday, August 1st. Before I talk about the film, here’s a little snippet about it:
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team–the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” in theaters August 1, expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
Two weeks ago today, I along with 24 other amazing bloggers, headed over to Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California for a special advanced screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
This wasn’t the first movie screening of the press trip. We had attended many screenings and they had usually been held in a private theater for just the 25 of us. I was expecting more of the same for the Guardians screening. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
While this wasn’t a red carpet event, it seemed everyone had packed into what I’ll call the Snow White theater on the Studio Lot for the screening.
What’s a movie without popcorn? Walt Disney Studios made sure everyone had popcorn in these cute buckets before being seated in the theater. And what a theater it was. I couldn’t take any photos because this was serious business……..no leaking was allowed. They would have security with night vision goggles on during the screening.
Imagine the scene. Packed theater buzzing with excitement. Velvet red theater curtains up front. And a few faces you might recognize in the seats around.
It was time! Everyone was excited!
But where do I sit? I’m one who prefers to sit towards the back, especially in my “old age”. 🙂 Unfortunately, there weren’t many seats left when we all arrived. Soooooooo………I sat in the 2nd row. Yes…..the 2nd row.
This would be interesting.
A thief, 2 thugs, an assassin, and a maniac.
Oh…..and one is a raccoon. Did I mention the tree?
And these were supposed to be my super-heroes?
And while I never would have believed it before leaving the studio lot that evening, Marvel, along with the incredibly actors and talented director James Gunn, made me a believer. Yes, I liked the movie, but more than that, I believed in these guys, the Guardians. I even liked them. Who would have thought?
Every group has a leader, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are no exception. Enter Chris Pratt, aka Star-Lord.
I knew 10 minutes into this film that I would not only like it but LOVE it.
Why so soon?
Two (2) Reasons……….
- The film has heart
- Pop-culture references
I know I’m not the only one. Listen, I knew nothing about the Guardians of the Galaxy or it’s backstory, and oh, there is a backstory. I sat there in tears in the first little bit of the movie. I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting so much emotion. I wasn’t expecting to be able to relate to one of the Guardians at all, in such a personal way. I did with Peter Quill (Star-Lord).
The good thing about the emotional scene was that it gave the movie some depth I could never have anticipated from the previews. The film has action. It has special effects. But there’s a personal story or two or three in there too.
And while the tears flowed so soon in the movie, it couldn’t have been made without it. So necessary. Brilliant move.
The pop culture references throughout the movie are just plain fun to watch.
And while you’ve likely seen this Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack: Awesome Mix Vol.1 online or in stores, the Awesome Mix tape is actually in the movie and plays an incredibly important part of the story surrounding our hero, Peter Quill (Star-Lord).
From the music to the S-W-E-E-T dance moves ala Chris Pratt, you can’t help but enjoy yourself.
You see, I completely changed my opinion of all the Guardians during the film…….except for one, Rocket the Raccoon.
Previously, I would have guessed he’d be the most fun, because well, he’s got a lot of great and funny lines (as shown in the previews). But in reality, he’s the only one who remains tough in the end.
The other Guardians soften up to me with their stories and all they’ve been through, but Rocket remains constant. One tough raccoon with attitude. But I talked to Director James Gunn and next week I’ll share more from my interview with him about Rocket………things that really made me think about that little guy differently. You won’t want to miss.
“I am Groot”
Groot is lovable. I had no clue. I mean he is essentially a tree who speaks 3 words. Okay, there’s really a 4th, but I’m not spilling the beans.
Star-Lord may be the leader, but it’s Groot who steals the show (and no, that’s not Vin Diesel in that costume…just his voice).
This is a photo of my favorite scene in the entire movie (but there’s another Groot one that comes in a close second). It’s been known to cause a few tears, but in a beautiful way.
While the focus is understandably on the five Guardians, the supporting characters in the movie are outstanding. Evil is portrayed quite well through Ronan and Thanos.
PARENTS: With a PG-13 rating, there are of course some things that you might not want your younger children to be exposed to. Violence is obviously a given with this type of action movie. There is one scene which I wished had been cut – so unnecessary. While the Guardians are being processed into the prison, Chris Pratt’s character has an extended scene in which he uses his middle finger. It’s not a quick gesture, but is the entire focus of the scene. But it is only one scene (and you could cover their eyes since I’ve told you where it is in the film). Thankfully, that’s the only really unnecessary scene…..actually quite refreshing to see only 1.
There are issues of loss and sacrifice (hence my tears), so just be prepared if your kiddos are sensitive to that.
Conclusion: With so much laughter (and even a few tears), I have to give “Guardians of the Galaxy” two thumbs up. Marvel has knocked this film right out of the galaxy. I will be going to see it again……..WITH my husband. He is shocked!
What do you think? Are you heading to the movie theater this weekend? Are you excited?
As for these guys….I’ve already posted my interviews with them and there are several gems about the movie! Read them now:
Interview with Chris Pratt as Star-Lord
Interview with Vin Diesel – Hooked on a Feeling
Interview with Zoe Saldana – Gamora
Interview with Director James Gunn – this was surprising!
Interview with Dave Bautista aka Drax the Destroyer
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st – TODAY! PG-13