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Guardians Of The Galaxy Blu-ray Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-ray

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a fresh entry in the Marvel Universe.

The plot: After nicking an orb, Peter Quill (AKA Star Lord) becomes targeted by the villainous Ronan the Accuser and his semi-father/space pirate Yondu. Eventually, Quill learns that the much sougth after orb contains an infinity stone which has the potential to be a devastating weapon in the hands of the power hungry Ronan. Knowing it can’t fall into Ronan’s hands, Quill plans to stop Ronan’s evil plan with the help of a rag-tag group (that he met in jail) comprised of an assassin (Gamora), a muscle bound fighter (Drax), a tree bounty hunter (Groot), and a genetically engineered bounty hunter raccoon (Rocket).

Back before “Guardians of the Galaxy” became a global smash hit, the film was considered a big gamble from Marvel. Not only was the source material fairly obscure, but it was more of a space opera than a superhero flick. As we all know now, the gamble paid off big time as the critically acclaimed film currently stands as the highest grossing film in the domestic box office.

On paper, this movie shouldn’t have worked. A sci-fi flick with a talking tree and a talking raccoon sounds more cartoonish than anything else. However, this movie has something the more grounded, serious minded blockbusters of late do not- fun. While the comparisons to “Star Wars” are a bit much, GOTG does indeed share similarities as both films have an adventurous spirit, lovable characters and humor. In fact, it is the film’s humor and cast chemistry that makes this Marvel film such a winner.

Chris Pratt, who has starred in sitcoms and minor comedies for years, finally gets his big break here as Star Lord/Peter Quill. Not only does he knock it out of the park, but his career justifiably skyrocketed as a result. Zoe Saldana, who has become the go to butt-kicker lately, also shines as the alien assassin Gamora. Perhaps the biggest surprise here is Dave Bautista as Drax. The former WWE star has had only a few roles up until this point, but he manages to hold his own here giving the character some real depth. While he may not be getting as much publicity, one of the film’s strongest performances comes from longtime James Gunn collaborator and “The Walking Dead” star Michael Rooker. Rooker (who plays the space pirate Yondu) proves to be one of the most interesting characters as he’s a mixture of a good and bad guy. Of course, the biggest crowd pleasers here are Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Granted, both actors only provide voice work for their CGI counterparts (with Diesel only saying 3 words over and over), but they truly bring these characters to life.

If there was a knock on ‘Guardians,’ it would have to be the central story and villains. The Antagonists (Ronan the Accuser and Nebula) are profoundly underused and underdeveloped and could have benefited from more screentime. Granted, Nebula could appear more in sequels, but it would have been nice to see her do more in the first film. Storywise, the film is a bit too routine. While I understand this story sets up the Infinity Gauntlet, how many times must we see a comic film use the precious orb, stone, artifact, item? It’s been done more times than I care to count.


Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? In a word, perfect. The visual f/x look absolutely stunning in hi-def.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the mix tapes to the pulse pounding action, this track delivers the goods.

* Disney trailers.
* 5 deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary by James Gunn.
* A nearly 4 minute gag reel.
* “Exclusive Look At Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron”- A very brief 2 minute behind-the-scenes featurette containing set footage and information about the various shooting locations across the globe.
* “The Intergalactic Visual Effects For Guardians of the Galaxy”- A featurette on the FX (primarily the two CGI characters Groot and Rocket).
* “Guide To The Galaxy With James Gunn”- Writer/director James Gunn talks about the visual style, the music, the characters, easter eggs, the mythology, and more. Easily the best extra on this disc. The video game chapter segments are a nice touch as well.
* An in-depth solo commentary by James Gunn in which he discusses characters, creative choices, spoilers, GOTG 2 hints, factoids, etc. One of the best commentaries I have heard in awhile.

Overall Thoughts: Under the watchful eye of idea man/writer/director James Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy” turned out to be a top tier comic book film. If you haven’t seen it already, you should. If you have seen it, you should own it. Note: Don’t forget to watch the end credit cameos.

December 6, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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