I really have no idea how I feel about this movie.
Seriously, I just don’t know how I feel about Marvel’s latest outing. Considering how excited I was for this movie, and when early reviews started pouring in, and it was being met with mixed reactions, I thought to myself “how can these people not love this movie”. But after seeing it, I myself have fixed feelings about it…..Don’t get me wrong – Guardians was great, it just ended up being a completely different movie from what I was expecting. One of my most anticipated movies of 2017, I felt underwhelmed when I left the theatre. I’ll say this, for all the flack Man of Steel got, was I the only one who thought the ending of Guardians was similar to that. Yeah, they weren’t fighting in a populated city, but my god it felt like the exact same movie. Peter Quill literally turned into Superman. Or maybe that’s just opinion, but all of that stuff at the end just felt so out of place and not the movie I thought I was going to be watching. The whole movie was going so well and I was just so thrown off by the ending that it completely changed my outlook. When the movie opens up, from the very get go I knew this movie was going to be hilarious. Some people might not like all he jokes, but when they keep hitting, I don’t understand why people get upset with the amount of comedy.
You know the crew right? Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillian). Okay now you know if you didn’t before. Oh and who can forget the ugly new comer Mantis (Pom Klementieff). As usual the cast is great, it’s by far the best part of the entire movie. They all love these roles so much and give so much to them, that it just makes the whole thing work. Honestly, who knew Dave Bautista could be so funny and deliver so many quality one-liners. Bradley Cooper kills it at Rocket, it’s perfect voice casting. And of course, the star of the show Star Lord himself, Chris Pratt was born to play this role. And he says he wants to continue for 20 more years! That won’t happen but that’s commitment baby! And Zoe and Karen almost feel like real sisters at this point.
The whole movie is about family. Peter has his daddy issues; Gamora has her problems with her sister Neubla. Drax is still getting over the loss of his family, while welcoming a new member to the team Mantis. Rocket is trying to learn that it’s okay to love, and to want to be part of a family and Baby Groot is well kind of just doing his thing. Yondu is also trying to learn that he loves Peter Quill and trying to find his purpose and spot in life. Guardians is full of so many messages and trying to be more than just another superhero movie. I’m all for the messages, and during parts of this movie it can get emotional, James Gunn does a great job in making this movie pull on your heartstrings, but sometimes that gets drowned out by words, rather than just letting me feel what they are trying to make us feel. So his whole life, Peter has wanted to know who his father is and we get introduced to Ego (Kurt Russell) who has been searching for Peter for a long time. Ego is essentially a god, who has created an entire planet for himself. He isn’t all that he appears to be; he’s kind of a shady Dad. Knocked up Peter’s Mom while on Earth, and then left her for a strange reason. I’m going to go pretty light on any spoilers because I wouldn’t want anything being ruined for this movie. As usual Kurt Russell is dynamite and the chemistry between him and Pratt was fantastic. They meshed so well together, and it just made the whole father-son relationship seem a little more real. Another father-son relationship going on was between Yondu and Quill, as from birth, he has raised Peter and believes that he is his real father. Michael Rooker who plays the blue man himself, for me was the highlight of the movie. He was incredible, and he’s always been a fantastic actor, but in the first Guardians there simply just wasn’t enough Yondu. Now he’s part of the team, and him and Rocket had some of the best scenes together in the whole movie. Yondu understands Rocket, who feels isolated and alone and pushes away anyone who gets to close. Yondu feels that and they form a great friendship and actually a Yondu-Rocket spinoff would have been amazing!
Another reason why I have such mixed feelings about this movie, was the soundtrack. Remember how awesome the mix tape was in Guardians Vol 1. This time around, I can maybe remember one song from Vol 2. Great song, The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, but I wanted more from the soundtrack. Music was such a big part of the first one, in terms of making certain scenes click and feel more emotional and I just never got that this time around. Which was kind of a letdown, that was one thing I was really looking forward to.
I thought the story was great, James Gunn is an extremely gifted writer, and one of the strongest components of the film is its solid writing. But towards the end, once again, the galaxy is about to end, but why do I feel like nothing is at stake? Literally the galaxy is going to shit, and Rocket is asking for a piece of tape, yes I know that bit was hilarious but sometimes that’s the problem with the MCU. I just never feel like anything is at stake or anything truly awful will happen. And when it gets mixed in with humor at the wrong time, sometimes I just shake my head. It was just a massive CGI-fest towards the end, like I said, it felt very Man of Steel like, I couldn’t handle Peter and his Dad flying through the air punching one another. And once again, we need to be reminded a handful of times throughout the movie, that this is part of the MCU, so don’t forget that. It’s almost forced at this point; it’s been almost 10 years now, WE KNOW! I was angry that we didn’t see Thanos; they should have had him show up, because I feel like when he finally show up, it will be Whiplash all over again. I just wish sometimes they would hold back on the larger picture references and just let us enjoy the story for what it is, but maybe that’s just me.
At the end of the day, I went into this movie thinking I was going to love it. That didn’t end up happening, I certainly had a great time, because first of all I love Chris Pratt, and I was laughing my ass off the majority of the movie. I guess it just wasn’t the movie I thought it was going to be. I went in expecting one thing and was completely thrown off guard by the ending. It didn’t derail the movie for me, but it just felt so out of place. I guess that’s the best way to describe it. It looks beautiful, it’s funny, but it’s just not what I wanted from Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2. I wonder if people are now going to send Dave Bautista pictures of their turds. Maybe I’ll tweet him and ask….
Check ya later.
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 = 77/100
Goodbye 2016, hello 2017! At last the year from hell is over! 2016 in many people’s eyes will go down to be an all timer, in the worst way possible. For popular culture junkies like myself I will never forget it. We saw so many influential people leave us, and movies disappoint us (I’m looking at you Batman V. Superman) that when the clock struck 12 on December 31st, we all rejoiced that it was officially the start of a new year. That being said it wasn’t all-bad in 2016; if you’re reading this, you probably love movies as much as I do. Movies are a great way to escape for a few short hours and be reminded just how extraordinary something can truly be. While there were many disappointments in 2016, I’d just like to thank certain films such as; La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival and Nocturnal Animals for restoring my faith in Hollywood, after what was a lackluster summer to say the least. That’s all behind us now, and I’d like to share the ten films I’m most anticipated to see in the year 2017!
10 Stephen Kings IT director/ Andres Muschietti
Beep beep Richie! Are words that haunted me as a young child. The 1990 made for TV movie adaptation of Stephen Kings famous novel brought the terrifying Pennywise the clown to life. Personally I think the original still stands up today, and I’ve come to appreciate it more as I’ve grown older. Andres Muschietti is coming off a stellar directorial debut with Mama, and hopes Bill Skarsgard who’s playing the infamous clown will bring the same magic as Tim Curry did in the 1990 version. I’m not usually one for horror movies, as I believe they have shifted in a weird direction, but there’s just something about this movie that feels right. Boasting a great young cast especially Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) and Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) makes this seem even more promising. I’ll admit that I was a little turned off from the photos of Pennywise so far, but I can’t let a few pictures determined how excited I am to finally see this movie on the big screen. My goal for this movie is for it to be successful enough that we get the adult sequel and that I don’t regret putting it on my list.
9 Power Rangers director/Dean Israelite
Nostalgia, Nostalgia, Nostalgia. Don’t judge me on this one; the original had a lot of my firsts. First toy I can remember, and certainly my first crush (thank you Kimberly). When I first heard they were remaking the Power Rangers into a feature film I didn’t think much of it. The 90’s TV show can be summarized as a poppy, cheesy afterschool kids show. So it was hard to fathom how they were going to translate that onto the big screen. Lionsgate have really flipped Power Rangers a complete 180 degrees, with it looking very dark and gritty from everything we seen thus far. For some, this is the biggest criticism of the movie, but I think it’s the perfect direction to take this franchise. The trailer gives off a very breakfast club meets Chronicle vibe and I’ve been intrigued ever since. The folks behind the new movie have been rolling out promotional images of the movie here and there and the new look Alpha 5, Zords and even the rangers who are looking a little too Iron Man-ish have me thinking that they are taking Power Rangers in a whole new direction. The biggest surprise for me would have to be the casting of Bryan Cranston as the giant floating head Zordon. Why on Earth would he choose to be in this movie? Does it make me believe there’s a chance this movie could be good, well maybe but sometimes actors just need a payday. The thing I’m most excited about is without question is Elizabeth Banks playing the villain Rita Repulsa. At least from the trailer and all the images we have seen it looks like she’s all in on this role and I couldn’t be happier about it. This has all the makings of being a horrible crapfest, but that’s not the point of the list. I’m excited to see what this movie could be, and I’m even more excited to see just how bad this movie could truly be. IT’S MORPHIN TIME!!
8 War for the Planet of the Apes director/Matt Reeves
“The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since”.
First it was just apes, then apes on horses and now you’re telling me apes on tanks?????! The apes are back baby, and this time it means war! This movie is going to be bittersweet for a lot of us, seeing how it will certainly be the last time we get to watch the great Andy Serkis do his thing as Caesar. This franchise has done so much for motion capture performances; it’s taken them to a whole other level. The first Apes was a great movie, the second was extraordinary and this could be the cherry on top of the trilogy sundae. This has all the makings to be a great trilogy, maybe even one of the best ever. Matt Reeves is back in the directors’ chair for the second time for this franchise and this time around he’s bringing Woody Harrelson. Who looks menacing as hell as the villain along for the ride. I loved what I saw in the first trailer and visually these movies just keep getting better and better. The apes look breathtaking and I just can’t say enough about what Andy Serkis has accomplished for the motion capture industry. These movies have done wonders for the lure of the planet of the apes, and with some rumors that this final installment might have some ties into the original movie it intrigues me even more. I’m going to miss Caesar and I hope this movie will be the sendoff he deserves. Side note: I really hope they bring back Koba, that guy was awesome!
7 Kingsman: The Golden Circle director/Matthew Vaughn
I remember back in 2014 walking into Kingsman and not thinking too much about it. I heard it was a fun time at the movies and was based on a graphic novel, so I said to hell with it and gave it a shot. As soon as the opening credits hit and Money for Nothing, Chicks for Free by Dire Straights came on, I knew then in my heart I was going to love this movie. Kingsman was fun, full of incredible action (YouTube the church scene and you can thank me later) and it didn’t take itself to seriously. I love being surprised by movies when they go beyond your expectations; it’s just a really great feeling to have when walking out of the theatre. Now 3 years later, here comes Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and I couldn’t leave it off my list. Matthew Vaughn is returning and he’s on a little bit of a role with, Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class and Kingsman respectfully. The entire cast is back but you’re telling me Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum are being added?! This only wets my beak even more. Not a whole lot of information is known about the plot or whom the new cast members are playing, with things being very tight-lipped around the project. What I expect from this sequel is more of the same, great laughs, really good action and most importantly a great story and awesome new characters being thrown into the mix. This has serious potential to be one of my favorite films of 2017!
6 Dunkirkdirector/Christopher Nolan
In the latest Christopher Nolan movie, he will be heading to World War 2 to tackle the historic battle of Dunkirk. Lets face it, when Nolan steps up to the plate it’s an event at the movies. He’s a filmmaker through and through and what you are watching is a spectacle you have to go see to believe. Whether it was the Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception or his latest film Interstellar the man knows how to make a movie. If you know history, well you know Dunkirk does not end well (spoilers) so I’m curious to see how Nolan is going to pull this one off. We got a great war movie in 2016 with Hacksaw Ridge, but Dunkirk will be packing a little more of an emotional punch, seeing how brutal and violent that battle was. There’s just not much more to say about this movie, visually it will be stunning, tremendous acting and it’s going to be an emotional time at the movies. In the end it’s Christopher Nolan doing a war epic, I’ll be there opening night.
5 Alien: Covenant director/ Ridley Scott
In space no one can hear you scream, but they might have heard me yelling in the theatre as I sat and watched Prometheus. What was there not to be excited about, it was Ridley freakin Scott back directing an Alien movie, and boy did it not sit well with me.
The poster alone got me excited for this movie, because as a huge alien fan, it told me everything I needed to know about this movie. I think it was the best movie poster of 2016. Then early Christmas morning FOX decided to drop the trailer for the next installment in this franchise and OMG this movie is going to be bananas. It’s everything I wanted Prometheus to be, it looks like Ridley Scott is taking it back to what made Alien so successful, suspense, gore, horror and most important of all ALIENS. The trailer is so well put together that I don’t need to see anything else to know that I’m going to enjoy the crap out of this movie. I want to be on the edge of my seat when watching an Alien movie. I want to be a little scared and this looks like it’s going to fulfill those needs. The cast alone is just out off the charts with talent, but the person who I think is going to steal the show is none other than Kenny Powers himself Danny McBride. Actually James Franco is in this too, so maybe this is just some crazy high and it’s somehow a Pineapple Express sequel, there’s only one way to find out. Fun fact, Terry Hall from The Mighty Ducks is in this, I honestly thought he made one movie in his life. Who knew?
4 Logandirector/James Mangold
First off, props to Ryan Reynolds for leaking that Deadpool footage, because without doing so Deadpool is never made and without Deadpool the world wouldn’t be getting a rated R Wolverine movie. This isn’t your grandmas Wolverine here folks; it’s a whole new ballgame. This will be the most brutal, violent Wolverine yet, something we really haven’t seen since the mansion scene in X2. If watching that trailer synced to Johnny Cash’s Hurt didn’t get you fired up for this movie then something is wrong with you and you should see a doctor immediately. The trailer gave me all the feels, and made me realize just how much I’m going to miss Hugh Jackman playing this role. This trailer really knocked me on my ass, and it’s something as a Wolverine fan I’ve always wanted to see. This is it for Hugh Jackman as the beloved character, it’s his kitchen sink performance you could say, he’s going to be throwing everything he’s got at this one, and for some it’s going to be an emotional ride. He’s been playing this character for almost 20 years now (that’s insane), and this movie is going to be is swan song. I’m excited to see where this movie takes the X-men lure, and how it’s all going to play out in the end. Based loosely off the Old Man Logan story from the comics, this movie finds Wolverine teaming up with Professor X one last time to save a young mutant much like Wolverine from falling into the wrong hands. One thing that intrigues me about this movie is the Professor X story line part, part of me thinks he will just be in Wolverines mind the entire time, and I can’t wait to find out if I’m right or not.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol: 2 director/James Gunn
The gang is back! Marvel’s misfits are returning after the 2014 smash hit that up until this years Civil War I considered to be the best all around Marvel movie. This time around Star Lord is finally getting over his daddy issues and is in search to hunt down the man. Fully loaded with another awesome mix tape, the whole gang is returning but this time we are getting the ever so cute Baby Groot!. James Gunn is back directing (duhhhh) and he cares so much about these characters and franchise that I don’t think anyone else could direct this movie. The trailer alone sold me on this movie, it looks tailor-made for me, and with Chris Pratt promising this would be the biggest most epic scale movie we’ve ever seen on the big screen. I can only hope they follow through on that promise. The humor seems to be back, and the dynamic between the Guardians is something that’s almost rare in movies these days. It’s a massive science fiction, fantasy blockbuster that just feels right. Everything from the trailer looks like it’s popped right off the pages of a comic book and it just looks fantastic. I only have one concern about this movie, and it’s a little thing but I just don’t want them shoving Baby Groot down our throats for the entire movie.
2 Star Wars: Episode VIIIdirector/Rian Johson
The force will be strong with this movie. The Force Awakens did a great job bringing back Star Wars into our lives, all the beloved characters that people hold so dear in their hearts. It was the perfect way to set up this new universe with all the new characters and immersing them with the old. Everyone knows that this movie will be pulling on heartstrings whenever Carrie Fisher graces the screen, regardless of how much she will be in the movie. The Force Awakens did exactly what Disney and JJ Abrams wanted it to do, and that was get everyone excited again about Star Wars. Now the real fun can begin with Episode VIII, and this movie is going to take Star Wars in a new direction, one that people really haven’t seen before. People are going to want this movie to be the Empire Strikes Back of the new trilogy, for me I just want it to be something new and fresh. Let Rian Johnson take this franchise to places it’s never been before and do things we aren’t accustom too when it comes to the Star Wars universe. The director Rian Johnson knows how to make a great science fiction movie, Looper was such a unique and original story that I don’t think I would be as excited for this if he wasn’t sitting in the directors chair. Obviously everything is very hush-hush about this movie, but one thing is for certain and that is the return of Luke Skywalker, and I’m pumped to see Mark Hamill back on the screen playing the role that made him famous. I’m curious to know where they will take his character and ultimately just who has Luke become.
1 Justice Leaguedirector/Zack Snyder
OHHHHHH BABY!!!! Here we go folks; it really is due or die time for WB and the DCEU. Just like Eminem said, “if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment, would you capture it,
or just let it slip”? If I were to say no other DCEU movie had come out, and this picture of the Justice League was released and this was the first thing we ever got to see from WB, people would lose their minds. That’s not the case, we have gotten three stinkers in a row now and time is running out for them to turn this ship around. There is so much riding on the success of this movie, and I’m just not talking about financial success here people. Lets try to get a DCEU movie fresh on rotten tomatoes shall we! After the disaster that was Batman V. Superman, it being so dark and gloomy, humorless and all around just a downer movie, I pray that Zack Snyder has listen to his critics and changed his ways. Saying all that, we can all agree that Batfleck crushed it as the Caped Crusader. Now they are introducing the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg into the mix and from the trailer it at least looks like they are on the right path. I just can’t be walking into Justice League a super confident person, because I have seen the three previous DCEU movies and I just don’t know which Zack Snyder will be stepping up to bat (pun attended). The Justice League is the greatest superhero team up of all time, and we are finally going to get to see that on the big screen, something some people have been waiting to see their whole lives. A nice change in tone, shifting away from the gloominess of BvS will do wonders for this movie. People need to care about these characters, and want to see more of them when they are done watching Justice League, and have people talking about whether they will be more excited for the next DC or Marvel movie. For the love of god please don’t screw this up Zack Snyder that’s all I ask of you, sincerely the entire world.
Well there you have it, my most anticipated movies of 2017. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a tremendous year for movies. If I did this list for 2016 all of my favorite movies from the year wouldn’t have even made the list and that’s what I love so much about movies. You just never know what you are going to love and which ones you are going to hate until you see them.