Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
August 1, 2014 5:20 PM - Subscribe

Guardians of the Galaxy is in wide release today, and garnering an enthusiastic critical response.

The movie is the latest expansion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and you can get a look at a lot of clips on the Marvel site. Some background on human lead Peter "Star Lord" Quill is available here, and Badass Digest's Meredith Borders has some thoughts on Gamora. There's been a lot of buzz about the performance turned in by professional wrestler Dave Bautista as Drax as well. And that's all before we get to the racoon and the (sort of) talking tree.
posted by Ipsifendus (296 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have seen this thing twice in the last twenty four hours. It was everything I never knew I wanted.

(Be prepared to have more feelings than you anticipated about a cgi tree and raccoon, however.)
posted by dogheart at 6:12 PM on August 1, 2014 [14 favorites]


Oh, just got back from seeing it. I have feelings.

Firstly: yes, it's a lot of fun.

Secondly: it's a surprisingly violent movie. A lot of shooting, a lot of bashing; no blood because it's PG-13.

Thirdly: it suffers a bit from spending too much time setting up its own bigger-bad sequel.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:02 PM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I need a new phrase for movies capable of making me either weep or gigglesnort. I enjoyed it; I had zero familiarity with the characters before I saw it, and reading the Wikipedia page on Star Lord makes me think that might not have been a bad thing. Part of what convinced me to see it was Charlie Jane Anders' post "Watching Guardians of the Galaxy is like getting back part of your soul".

Here are my random thoughts:

- Groot is adorable.
- More Gamora. (*_*)
- I was surprised by the Drax storyline and how it went, in a good way.
- Sad waste of Djimon Hounsou, though...and also not really sure why Karen Gillan was cast as Nebula; seemed like it could have been anyone.
- Great uniform on Glenn Close.
- Gorgeous ships.
- Lovely space scenes.
- Nifty gadgets.
- Got bored during a few action scenes, but that's par for the course.
- I'd love a supercut of people saying really literal things when the audience wouldn't expect them to.

My husband was way too amused at the Zombie Monkey; most of the theater was baffled. We went to see it in a tiny old downtown theater, which was pretty great because there were no more than 20 people in the theater and we had an entire row to ourselves.


(Yes hello I haven't posted here before!)
posted by wintersweet at 7:07 PM on August 1, 2014 [9 favorites]


Oh, also: cute "no [redacted] were harmed in the making of" in the credits.
posted by wintersweet at 7:13 PM on August 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


That io9 piece is good and this almost exactly mirrors what I thought:
the movie 100 percent invests in the cheese, and believes in it.
It's a very silly movie; but it's totally committed to its silliness.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:13 PM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was not expecting to cry over a drunk raccoon today, nor did I expect the galaxy to be saved by a dance-off challenge.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:19 PM on August 1, 2014 [31 favorites]


I had mixed feelings -- on the one hand, I enjoyed an energetic sf film totally committed to its space opera glee that was okay with not explaining everything to its audience (and there is something great about watching six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close gravely deliver dialogue about recalling Nova Squadron to defend Xandar from Ronan the Accuser's attack wing), but on the other we had half an hour of weightless CGI carnage in lieu of a third act, which is way too common. We have had about a dozen Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks now, and this is the first one that has actually disappointed me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:19 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


- Sad waste of Djimon Hounsou, though...and also not really sure why Karen Gillan was cast as Nebula; seemed like it could have been anyone.

Depending on how closely they hew to the comics, she could have a substantially larger part in Avengers 3.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:30 PM on August 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Just got back from seeing it (and accidentally paid extra for the fancy recliner seat theater, which may have been worth it). I found the first little bit right after the opening on Earth a little rough - sometimes I have problems hearing dialogue clearly and when there are so many terms getting thrown at me, I wasn't keeping track. And I think some of the connective tissue may have needed a little more enhancing, because at a few points I think I could feel the plot shrug and just continue hurtling on. But I didn't worry about it and once things got really rolling, I was on board. I did not expect to really walk out loving Groot and Drax and Rocket the most, but I think that's what I did.

Lee Pace wasn't buried under effects and makeup like a few other of the villains have been, but he was a pretty flat character. Also yeah, the last act being the same cgi city leveling is starting to get stale.

I don't think this is anywhere in the running for my favorite of the Marvelverse, but I enjoyed it a ton and want to go back and see it again. And gosh, it's a really pretty movie. Lots of sensawunda.
posted by PussKillian at 8:40 PM on August 1, 2014


That was absurdly enjoyable. And the mix of innocent pleasantness and absolute horror in Groot (shoving his branches into someone's brain?! and some other scene I can't quite recall right now) was unspeakably wonderful.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:18 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I suppose a less drunk me would say that what I really appreciated about Groot was that this juxtaposition made the character feel completely alien, which is a difficult thing to achieve.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:27 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


That. fucking. stinger.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:29 PM on August 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


The stinger: I don't think I've ever heard the remnants of a midday matinee showing What the fuck?! so hard.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:33 PM on August 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I feel compelled to add that it's not that I don't like comics; it's just that I was very Vertigo + indie + manga + limited amounts of Batman in junior high when all the guys were SUPER INTO Thor (and still that way in college when everyone was SUPER INTO the X-men and other Marvel titles). So I pretty much missed out on virtually everything relevant to the MCU.

The Great Big Mulp: Yes! Groot, not interacting with the universe the same way the rest of us are, eh?
posted by wintersweet at 9:33 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed it greatly. It have me everything I wanted in a movie about a bunch of aliens in the crazy as hell Marvel non-Earth universe.

I need to see it again, though, because thanks to my local cinema's new allocated seating policy, I was such sitting next to a guy who smelled like he rubbed himself down in marijuana oil, then hotboxed, then rubbed himself down again. Seriously, the smell was unreal. Tommy Chong and Snoop would both say "You need to cut back, man."

The stinger was hilarious, if only to hear the collective chuckling groans of every cinema patron who grew up in the 80s and had seen the Marvel movie that does not speak its name.
posted by Katemonkey at 10:06 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


shoving his branches into someone's brain?!

I think he was shoving his branches into the person's throat by way of their nasal passages. Extremely uncomfortable (not to mention temporarily suffocating), but not necessarily permanently damaging.
posted by jedicus at 10:11 PM on August 1, 2014


shoving his branches into someone's brain?! and some other scene I can't quite recall right now

The "some other scene" might be the IMPALING A BUNCH OF HENCHMEN on a branch and then slamming them into the walls FOR AN UNSETTLINGLY LONG TIME.

That was part of what I had in mind when I wrote "surprisingly violent".

The stinger: I don't think I've ever heard the remnants of a midday matinee showing What the fuck?! so hard.

Our audience had one kid who was utterly and audibly delighted by the cameo.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:34 PM on August 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I mean I don't want to overstate it, but that stinger is the epitome of the Marvel film vs. DC film approaches even more than the goddamn Rocket Racoon movie that preceded it, and I have feelings about it. DC is still trying to couch having Wonder Woman on screen in "no no wait you guys, give it a chance" and Marvel did that. And that's above and beyond my feelings about loving that particular unjustly maligned character.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:36 PM on August 1, 2014 [15 favorites]


Oh, and I assume the longish exposition that the Collector delivers about the five stones is laying some groundwork for future Marvel movies?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:36 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's true. It commands a lot of respect that the Marvel universe is so willing to play up its own silliness and has no intentions of backing away from it. It owns its nonsense, then plays it up to boot. I honestly can't think of any better strategy for a (at this point) film studio that is putting so much effort into its own continuity than to both own and respect its own absurdity.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:45 PM on August 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I loved this movie.

Some thoughts:

Goddamn, but Chris Pratt was awesome. And my, that is an impressive torso. Can we have a Captain America/Thor/Starlord torso off?

I would have liked more Peter Serafinowitz though. His one line was glorious.

The Nova Corps apparently suck at prison administration. One would expect better from this supposedly enlightened society.

For the most powerful being in the galaxy, Thanos' place looks pretty crappy. Consider a couch or a hot tub or something, dude. What's the use of all that power if you can't kick off your shoes and get comfortable at the end of the day?

The Nova Corps also apparently suck at planetary defence. Ronan has been murdering his way through the galaxy and they just let his ship fly right into their home planet?

Oh gods, the total destruction of the entire Nova Corps air force. NEVA 4GET.

I felt that Gamora and Blue Amy Pond suffered from a lack of character development. They're Thanos' adopted daughters, and he tortured them and brainwashed them and crafted them into perfect assassins and trusts them enough to to lend them out to his allies, but they turn on him instantly? Apparently Thanos sucks at brainwashing.

Where did Peter Quill get the tape deck in his spaceship? That definitely wasn't in his backpack. And 20 years with one mixtape? That's harsh, dude. At least it was a good mix.

I wish that Rocket had planted more Groots, because Groot. Army of Groots. WE ARE GROOTS.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:19 PM on August 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


The "some other scene" might be the IMPALING A BUNCH OF HENCHMEN on a branch and then slamming them into the walls FOR AN UNSETTLINGLY LONG TIME.

And yet they can't say 'asshole'. The ratings system is totally cray cray.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:21 PM on August 1, 2014 [12 favorites]


We just got back from seeing it, and I'm... pleased, though maybe not quite in love. There's a lot to like. As you say, Groot is very well-handled. Chris Pratt, funny and watchable. Drax's literality offers some great moments (although, what was up with the moment in Chris Pratt's inspiring speech where he says "we have to give a shit" and looks at Drax, who just nods?)

It's also great to see an oddball movie like this get a huge promotional campaign that represents it pretty accurately.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:14 AM on August 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Saw it last night and really loved it. My only familiarity with the comics was hearing a quick summary from a friend describing the basics of the Guardians, how they came to be, who they are, etc a couple months back. The movie seemed faithful to their existing origin story.

I thought the film did an amazing job at doing the classic "ragtag bunch of mercenary criminals come together amid distrust for one big score" story that I've seen dozens of times better than I'd seen it done before. I thought they set up each character really well and gave some backstory.

Chris Pratt was amazing, though I wish they used the minor cast more, Glenn Close and Peter Serafinowitz barely existed in it. The soundtrack was so good I bought it on my way out of the theater so I could hear it on the way home.
posted by mathowie at 7:07 AM on August 2, 2014


Really enjoyed it too, for many of the reasons given above. Apparently, the cameo for [REDACTED] the [REDACTED] was voiced by Seth Green, which seems appropriate to me.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Let's talk Infinity Stones! One of the recurring criticisms of this movie is that it's yet another Marvel film with a McGuffin-based plot, based around characters chasing some mystical item with unfathomable power; Of course, comics readers understand that it's all building to the Marvel Cinematic Universe doing its own version of the classic Infinity Gauntlet storyline. This idea is reinforced both by the appearance of Thanos and by The Collector's (Benicio del Toro) appearances in Guardians and in the end-credits teaser from Thor: TDW.

It appears that the MCU has at least three, maybe four of the six Infinity Gems (aka Infinity Stones) accounted for, if not necessarily fully identified in-universe:
  • Space Gem (confirmed): The Tesseract from Captain America:TFA and Avengers, which opened portals in space.
  • Mind Gem(?): The gem on Loki's mind-control staff in Avengers and the end-credits teaser on Captain America:TWS.
  • Reality Gem(?): The Aether from Thor: TDW, which exhibited weird interdimensional effects.
  • Power Gem (confirmed): The Orb from Guardians, used as a doomsday weapon.
This leaves the Soul Gem and Time Gem to be unearthed in some future Marvel effort.

Speaking thematically, I would have rather seen the Time Gem appear as the McGuffin in Guardians. All of the main characters -- including the villains! -- are nursing some kind of trauma or regret from the past. In the end, when Quill/Gamora/Drax/Rocket join hands as comrades to absorb the gem's power and defeat Ronan, it would have been even cooler if they were literally overcoming the power of Time itself to heal themselves and save the galaxy, instead of just in the figurative sense.

But then again, isn't everything in comic book movies both literal and metaphorical at the same time?
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:10 AM on August 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


I loved this movie. It helped me understand what superhero movies in the 90s were trying to do -- like the original Batman movie series. It got me to understand just how good a superhero movie that's fun can be.

When the credits started rolling though, I thought, "Eh, if there's a stinger, I'll hear about it online." And now here I am, and all of you are talking up the stinger, and I feel like I made the wrong choice.
posted by meese at 9:15 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Saw this at 7pm on Thursday evening in IMAX, with tickets bought a week earlier.

It was 95% worth it. Wasn't crazy about the space flight scenes and Quill's adopted father/mercenary got way too much time. But damn if it wasn't fun and colorful, both literally and story wise. After having seen the drab and depressing colors of Batman v Ohwhogivesfuck, it was a joy to see a comic book film that was dark, depressing and monochromatic. Yet all the major players had deep problems and messed up backgrounds. But it wasn't angst filled!

The sequel has already been green lighted for 2017 and this movie is raking in money hand over fist. Hot damn was it good.

I'm off to see it a second time now, while wondering when we get to see Rocket and Groot on a road trip on Earth.

The "some other scene" might be the IMPALING A BUNCH OF HENCHMEN on a branch and then slamming them into the walls FOR AN UNSETTLINGLY LONG TIME.

Yes, but that smile afterwards!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yes, but that smile afterwards!

Heh, yes. The character animation in this was really good; you totally forget that they're not real.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:26 AM on August 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Related, from FastCompany, screenwriter Nicole Perlman on writing an unexpected blockbuster.
posted by effbot at 11:34 AM on August 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Solid 8/10, maybe 9/10. Fun and infectious.

So many terrific things. The most terrific of all was the gestalt, which was just fun enough, and just silly enough, and just snarky enough. Somebody somewhere said that this is what the Star Wars prequels should have been like. I am somewhat inclined to agree.

My main complaint is that Ronan himself was a bit of a bore. The climax was also a little underwhelming, relative to what had come before it. I was hoping for a more clever victory than just, "and then they grab it together and that's how they can withstand it". I mean, yeah, Quill's parentage was a factor, but that was still effectively dumb luck.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:19 PM on August 2, 2014


I've never been happier to hear I need to see a movie again to catch a post-credits sequence I missed the first time.
posted by mathowie at 12:43 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Loved the movie, despite knowing nothing about the characters. So much fun. Though I don't understand the final stinger at all. I'm guessing I needed to have been more tuned into pop culture in the eighties for that to make sense.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:53 PM on August 2, 2014


So was the dog Laika? Seemed like a different breed, is there a Marvel Universe space dog?
posted by sammyo at 1:06 PM on August 2, 2014


The stinger was great because it made the grognards laugh and it made everyone else go "...the hell?"

Behind us at the screening was a charmingly confused 10-year-old girl. Quite soberly, she remarked, "okay, I don't know what that is. Dad?" And then dad had quite a time trying to convey what Howard the Duck was.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:09 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The dog is Cosmo, although obviously Cosmo is himself a reference to Laika.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:11 PM on August 2, 2014


The stinger was great because it made the grognards laugh

That and the Ranger Rick reference. I think only two other people in the theater laughed along with me at that one.
posted by asterix at 1:22 PM on August 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


The dog is Cosmo, although obviously Cosmo is himself a reference to Laika.

Who, by the way, was played by Fred. He got credit mentioning!

I absolutely loved this movie. I also think I'd have to see it again to really be able to discern all the specifics, but there were was a lot of little things which just added up amongst the greater adventure.

"That was my favorite knife..."

I think maybe because I have a weird/crazy sense of humor, but it rocketed it past Cap 2 to be my favorite movie of the year. The world building was also splendid and while I felt that Ronan was a little underwhelming at times (I would have loved to see him use the stone's power more in the build up to the final confrontation, other than scowl at Thanos), he wasn't bad. It was also just fun to hear/watch references to the Kree Empire. Woot.

Both Groot and Rocket completely won me over, despite the fact that I walked into the movie expecting them to be the weakest members of the ensemble. I also now understand why the promo image for the cartoon showed Groot in a pot. I have big props for all the visual F/X folks, they did a fantastic job.
posted by Atreides at 1:31 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


So was the dog Laika? Seemed like a different breed, is there a Marvel Universe space dog?

That's Cosmo, the telepathic space dog.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:59 PM on August 2, 2014


I went into this expecting to love Rocket and Groot and HELL YES I did, they are perfect, but I was not expecting to love Bautista as Drax as much as I did. I had reservations about his casting and was expecting basically "Arnold Schwarzenegger playing himself," but the combination of Gunn's direction and Bautista's comic timing was perfect. He's like Warrior Anya from "Buffy" IN SPAAAACE. "I wasn't listening, I was thinking of something else." Oh man, I need Thor and Drax in a room together.

Plus I must give Bautista kudos for sharing at least two very effective and emotional scenes with only Rocket and Groot, characters who are NOT THERE. When Drax started petting Rocket's ears to comfort him, I was laughing hysterically and crying at the same time.

(I longed to cuddle poor Rocket so badly. THANK YOU, DRAX)
posted by nicebookrack at 3:00 PM on August 2, 2014 [16 favorites]


More detail on why Rocket needed cuddles: ROCKET. AGH. The audience was already going to love him, because he's a snarky, badass, adorable raccoon with a machine gun. But the story went further, to make him also this bristly, lonely person of sadness and pathos. "Ain't no thing like me 'cept me." / "Everyone's got dead people!" / the entire drunk scene / "I called him an idiot." A guy is crying his heart out because his best friend is dead and it's not funny at all even as it's a raccoon and a tree.
posted by nicebookrack at 3:14 PM on August 2, 2014 [19 favorites]


I haven't seen it, but I've been told what's in the stinger, and, having grown up in the 80s, I have to say, I totally, completely, and unapologetically love the movie already made with that character. I've loved it since I first saw it (I was probably around 10 or 11?).

Besides, apart from being a lot of fun, the antagonists are totally PG-rated cosmic horrors.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:14 PM on August 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Just saw it with my oldest son, and we both loved the heck out of it. The music was a huge part of why it worked so well.

My wife, who doesn't really enjoy sci-fi and didn't go with us, asked me to explain what was so great about it. I said, at its core, it's good sci-fi, with great visuals and ship design and a bright and shiny Macguffin that everybody wants. On top of that, it's funny, and on top of that, it layered classic pop music on top of sci-fi, which felt very new and original to me.

Totally agree that Drax increasingly stole the show as the story progressed. Began as a meathead, but the more we see him interact with the rest of the team, the more the depth of his character emerged. I think he's a fascinating character.

Funniest moment for me, and I can't really say why: At the beginning, when Quill was going through the ruins and just starting to dance, something about the way the title just abruptly appeared over him dancing cracked me up. Perfectly set the tone for the next two hours.

One stray thought: I was shocked, upon getting home and checking IMDB, to learn that the blue girl was Karen Gillan. Totally did not recognize her.
posted by jbickers at 3:19 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've watched most of the current Marvel movies so I feel I should have grogged this more, but, I just didn't. The opening with his mom was very depressing, the flashback to his mom was just trite and I was ready to abandon the movie long before it was willing to shut up already.

Part of the problem may have been the trailers. I went in expecting a comedy (I avoided reviews) and that's not what I got. In fact, it's one of those movies where the funniest bits are in the trailers. If you're on the fence about this movie, watch the trailers a couple of times and save yourself the money and waste of time.

Nothing in the movie worked for me.

I should have been warned when one of the previews was for Dumb and Dumber: The Even Stupider White-Haired Days.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 3:24 PM on August 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, I'm delighted.

I'm inclined to say Gamora was exceptional insofar as she was the only protagonist who knew what she was doing, but that might be a charitable reading for a movie I enjoyed.

Regardless, as decent human beings, can we rejoice in Cosmo's appearance? I might have made a high pitched noise.
posted by The Gaffer at 4:14 PM on August 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


shoving his branches into someone's brain?!

As with other mefites above, I didn't think it was his brain. My read on it was informed by personal experience: a year ago I had a terrible ear infection in both ears and during the treatment an intern needed to have a look at my sinuses. This was accomplished by sending the otylaryngoscope or whatever it is called about four inches deep into one nostril with frankly very little warning.

Even if you have always been aware that your sinuses form a cavity not far from the geographic centre of your head, it is damned unsettling to feel something poking around in there. If these were tendrils belonging to an anthropomorphic seven-foot tree with a dislike of you, it would command your undivided attention.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:17 PM on August 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


Part of the problem may have been the trailers. I went in expecting a comedy (I avoided reviews) and that's not what I got. In fact, it's one of those movies where the funniest bits are in the trailers. If you're on the fence about this movie, watch the trailers a couple of times and save yourself the money and waste of time.

I think it just wasn't your cup of tea (not that there's anything wrong with that). I laughed, if not just grinned, at quite a bit of the material that wasn't in the trailers.
posted by Atreides at 6:15 PM on August 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


In Knowhere, Groot has a brief encounter with a tweenage girl where he quickly grows a little flower out of hand and offers it to her. Cute right? Except Groot is plant... and that's his reproductive organ.

So, kinda gross.

Also there's at least three or four Groot-ex-machina moments where he suddenly has an exotic power that's exactly what's needed at the time. I don't know the Marvel canon on him, but he must be some sort of billion year-old demigod.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:36 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know the Marvel canon on him, but he must be some sort of billion year-old demigod.

Fun fact, he was originally created in 1960 for Tales to Astonish, the book that spawned Ant-Man and The Hulk and was chock full of 1950's b-movie style monster thrillers. He was GROOT, THE MONSTER FROM PLANET X, and he was rad.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:56 PM on August 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Guys, guys, guys. I don't think you realize what that stinger actually meant. Think back to the first Marvel movie post-credits bit. Nick Fury recruited Tony Stark into the Avengers. Then Nick Fury became the guy that tied all the Phase 1 Marvel movies together. We're well into Phase 2 now and look at that stinger. LOOK AT IT! Don't you see it? HOWARD THE DUCK IS THE NICK FURY OF MARVEL PHASE 3.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 8:04 PM on August 2, 2014 [26 favorites]


This movie is the first MCU film that would really work as a jukebox musical, and it would be fabulous.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:11 PM on August 2, 2014


Totally agree that Drax increasingly stole the show as the story progressed.

Yes. I wasn't expecting to like or give a damn about Drax at all, but he was surprisingly well done. Even Gamora was surprising for desire to save everyone. There was no deep thought, it was just the right thing to do and this person who had been thoroughly abused made the decision to save a planet.

Some of the best parts were the rationale behind Quill being kidnapped, how he survived handling the gem (and being exposed to a vacuum) and finally the emotional meaning behind the name StarLord. I was also a pleasant surprised to see such a large ensemble cast deftly handled. And the music! The soundtrack and its use to ground the characters, set mood and convey emotion! It was another character in the movie!

Just all around damn fine popcorn.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:30 PM on August 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


The soundtrack and its use to ground the characters, set mood and convey emotion! It was another character in the movie!

Yes! The soundtrack was somehow so bittersweet because you could get a sense of the person that Peter's mom was through the music she loved, that Peter loved because of her. (If you put the Runaways on your little kid's mixtape, you're automatically the COOL MOM.) The music that carried Peter through the movie was literally Peter carrying his mom with him.

It's a brilliant narrative device to make the soundtrack act on behalf of a missing character. When Peter flashes back to his mother at the climax, it's not out of nowhere; she's been present in spirit the whole movie.

And while saintly dead mothers are obnoxiously common for standard action heroes, it's actually really unusual for a male genre hero to be hung up in grief over the death of his mother. (How often is Batman's mom an important character? How often does Tony Stark mention his mother while he's ranting about how Howard Stark clearly never loved or approved of him? Martha Wayne and Maria Stark died at the same time as the dads.) The hero being haunted by the death/absence of his father is much more common, with dead lovers and children as close runners-up.

I suspect from the paternity-reveal ending (and Yondu's narrative prominence) that Peter's daddy issues will be a Plot Thing in movie #2. But I pray his fierce love for his mom doesn't get shoved unmentioned under the rug in the process.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:43 PM on August 2, 2014 [26 favorites]


I need to see this again. The theater I was in smelled like a subway bathroom and the seats reclined to an uncomfortable position that provided no neck/head support. But the real problem was the gaggle of geeks behind us who loudly laughed and commented throughout the entire movie. Now, I'm a geek myself. I never bash people for being geeky. But it was like all ten of them had just escaped their parents' basements for the first time and had no idea how to behave in public, never mind a packed movie theater. I missed a ton of dialogue because they decided that everyone else's movie-going experience would be enhanced by their banter and guffawing.

My husband and I were discussing it afterwards, and he felt that the plot was pretty thin and suffered from trying to set up the characters for future movies. I can see that. But at the same time, I wish we'd gotten MORE character development. I found myself second guessing all of the characters' motivations and whether or not they were sincere or deceptive, and I think it's because I still don't feel like I really know these characters at all.

Favorite moment: Drax petting Rocket

Least-favorite moments: Warrior assassin Gamorra wearing heels

Did anyone else totally get a Farscape vibe from the movie? Smartass human making pop culture references to his fellow outcast/criminal alien buddies? I'll admit that I know nothing about the Marvel universe or the comics or anything, so I have no idea which came first.

I'm hoping that the next time I see it, I can just revel in the silliness and go with the flow for a really fun ride. So, yeah, Cinema Suites (the theaters that serve food and booze (that's right - 21 and over only!) right to your leather recliner) next time for sure.
posted by MsVader at 11:16 PM on August 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


Is the infinity stone really a proper macguffin though? It ends up being pretty important and actually worth all the fuss.
posted by dogwalker at 3:44 AM on August 3, 2014


It ends up being pretty important and actually worth all the fuss.

Only if you care about the big action scene at the end, which is widely thought to be the most generic and least satisfying element of the film. I kinda felt like all the requisite "Marvel Universe" elements were a great big Maguffin. The good stuff is everything squeezed in between.
posted by Mothlight at 6:50 AM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The goodness of this film hinged on the tone, in my opinion. I can't think of another film this violent and funny that has the universality of suffering and the need for kindness and fun as an established part of its universe. That surprised me in the same way that the beginning of Up surprised me.

And there's something about that particular flavor of melancholy that made the 70's music a perfect choice--not just because great music is always a balm for sadness, but also because there's something that sounds a little sad and otherworldly and beautiful in a lot of music from that era, I think, on top of the grooviness. Here's hoping that they work "Strawberry Letter 23" into a sequel.

A big part of me has wanted to dislike these new Marvel movies because in many ways, they represent all the awful ways that the film industry has changed in the last few decades. This film won me over completely though, and had me laughing and crying and feeling utterly catered to. I feel like it lost some of its laid-back tone in the run up to the climax and it became less fun for a while as a result, but in general, it was damn near perfect for a dumb popcorn flick, and I don't say that lightly. Well done.
posted by heatvision at 6:51 AM on August 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


This was a fantastically fun movie, Mrs A. and I both loved it. I guess we're all standing now!
posted by arcticseal at 7:37 AM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else totally get a Farscape vibe from the movie?

Totally, that vibe was picked up on pretty quick.

It's a great vibe.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 AM on August 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


So was Quill's ship colour a parody of the orange/teal side of things?
posted by biffa at 8:36 AM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this movie will result in kids/teens suddenly wanting cassette Walkmans.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:28 AM on August 3, 2014


But where to get the cassettes? Sony need to knock out an ipod (or I suppose other mp3) converter that looks like a Walkman but is much more convenient.
posted by biffa at 11:43 AM on August 3, 2014


Reading old thread, way to go xtian for calling the Howard the Duck cameo.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:24 PM on August 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


The balls Marvel showed in having a space heroes adventure, from a not-that-famous title, using a director with no big budget experience, featuring only one human among the main team, a sentient tree, and yes, a talking fucking raccoon, ought to shame the shit out of DC.

Also: I've been a vocal proponent of James Gunn since the Dawn of the Dead remake. I loved Slither, I was into Super, and I was effusive in my excitement when he was named to GotG. But I'll say this: none of his movies before this have looked a quarter this good, none of his action scenes have been 10% this kinetic and assured, and while he had some nice effects in Slither, they don't hold a candle to this. And while I guess it's possible that what we're seeing is Gunn stretching out and showing what he can do with a big budget, I'm inclined to give the credit to Marvel.

It really seems like their second unit teams, FX guys, and production designers have gelled into such a top-flight machine that they can carry anyone. Is it as good as say James Cameron? Nope. But it's as good ... no, probably better than Chris Nolan's action scenes. I suspected this was the case when Kenneth Branagh's Thor movie had totally respectable action. Nothing like this, but better than you'd expect given he'd never shot action before. But with him being such a student of film, you couldn't rule it out that he'd just risen to the challenge. Now, I feel pretty damn sure. It's the Marvel team, and they're getting better, too.

This is good news, though, because it means that Marvel can maintain a level of excellence and professionalism in their productions no matter who's behind the wheel. What they need are just good writers and handlers of actors. It probably also puts something of a ceiling on things, I guess, because it makes it less likely that any director will really cut loose with a singular vision. But then, if they're going to make ten of these movies over the next five years, this is probably the way to go.

It makes it less likely they'll be able to work well with guys like Edgar Wright. But it also makes it more likely that they can get good films out of guys like Peyton Reed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:36 PM on August 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Incidentally, I think one key element is Disney's ownership of Marvel. During the credits, I did see there were references to Disney owned production facilities. I would add that perhaps its Marvel rising to the level with solid backing by Disney to produce their movies to that certain requisite quality. What does DC have? Warner Bros? I think in complete contrast, they're relying far more on the vision and experience of their directors to pull off the success versus creating a machine that establishes a certain bar. (Incidentally, I think the television division is moving into that form, depending on how successful The Flash is, along with the continued success of The Arrow.)
posted by Atreides at 2:05 PM on August 3, 2014


I saw the movie this afternoon and thought it was fun. I did wonder, though, why the always-literal Drax called Gamora a whore. I looked through her wikipedia entry to see if anything in her backstory would explain it, but couldn't find anything.
posted by amarynth at 3:13 PM on August 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


There were some definite lapses in Drax and his relationship with the literal. Also note, as Lobster Mitten did, where he nods with apparent understanding to the words "We have to give a shit."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:16 PM on August 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


When I first heard about this movie, I thought that it was the beginning of the end for the Marvel cinematic universe. But everything I've been hearing about it since it came out makes me super-excited to see it!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:31 PM on August 3, 2014




%n: "There were some definite lapses in Drax and his relationship with the literal. Also note, as Lobster Mitten did, where he nods with apparent understanding to the words "We have to give a shit.""

What the movie didn't show is that Drax literally pooped his pants right there.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:19 PM on August 3, 2014 [14 favorites]


Some interesting bg on the stinger scene with Howard. Disney had of course, sued Marvel over Howard's design, claiming it was too close to Donald Duck. Marvel had to sign an agreement at the time to end the suit that restricted them to a single, specific design for him that could not be altered in any way, lest Disney come right back at them. Now, of course, with Disney owning Marvel, they can presumably do whatever they like.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:21 PM on August 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Those above the age of twelve likely felt Howard the Duck was a terrible movie. As did people seeing it later in life with their powers of discernment in better working order. But those of us twelve and under who saw it at the time often adored it, because Lea Thompson was dreamy.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:25 PM on August 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


What the movie didn't show is that Drax literally pooped his pants right there.

I was so ready for this joke (i.e., for Drax to close his eyes for a moment, then look back and say "ok") that I was jolted when it didn't come. They must have been setting this joke up and then had to take it out, or something - otherwise it just doesn't make sense to have Quill look at Drax in that moment, or to use that exact phrase. I wonder if we'll see that in a deleted scene or something.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:36 PM on August 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Number one thing that defied credibility for me: the tape with all the music didn't stretch at all and was in perfect condition after all those years. I could buy all the space stuff but the tape bugged me.

I'm in the minority, but I felt like this movie was at the top of the downslope after peak Marvel. It was just a little too self-aware in its riffing and deconstruction of tropes for me. I enjoyed it, but I had to take a bathroom break when they were coming up with the plan, and I realized I was a little bored before we got into the CGI battle that went on for ages at the end. It did everything it was supposed to, and it was funny, and Groot and Rocket and Drax stole the show. But it's not going to have a special place in my heart or anything, and less so than the other movies.

(FWIW, I was waiting for the literal giving a shit too.)
posted by immlass at 5:49 PM on August 3, 2014


Incidentally: Quill's Walkman is a TPS-L2, Sony's first commercial Walkman model and a design icon; a nice touch. (I just built an FPP around that link.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:11 PM on August 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


I liked that Yondu was basically sporting a Culture-style knife missile.
posted by whuppy at 6:21 PM on August 3, 2014 [16 favorites]


Number one thing that defied credibility for me: the tape with all the music didn't stretch at all and was in perfect condition after all those years. I could buy all the space stuff but the tape bugged me.

I loved the movie to death, but my first thought on seeing his walkman was "where in the fuck would he get replacement AA batteries in space for decades on end?"
posted by mathowie at 6:34 PM on August 3, 2014 [10 favorites]


where in the fuck would he get replacement AA batteries in space for decades on end?

My husband and I were discussing the Walkman and how it had clearly been modified to use nuclear power or something on the way home from the theater afterwards.
posted by immlass at 6:53 PM on August 3, 2014


The same magic space batteries that powered Yondu's Whistle Missile.
posted by malthusan at 6:56 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if your civilization has tractor beams and brain implants, finding someone to patch up your analogue tape recorder shouldn't be a big deal -- even if it isn't a prevalent technology. For example: no one in present day uses catapults, but any decent machine shop could fix yours if it broke down.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:05 PM on August 3, 2014 [12 favorites]


I was amazed the Walkman worked for so long; it didn't seem all that unreasonable to me that he'd be able to find batteries for it. I'm sure there's an off-world market for Game Boys or something similar fueling an entire black market for Terran exports. Or someone rigged it up to run on a bullshit Marvel-only power source for him. This would make a great fanfic.

I adored this movie. It was funny and loveable and all-in on its cheesiness. I didn't really bat an eye at Groot having all those weird powers (though I did wonder where all the matter that he's made of was coming from); I think reading comics (though not *these* comics) has generally made me not notice superpower ex machimas as much because they happen so often.

I also felt like it really took a lot of good stuff from the space-set sci-fi that I adore and really did great work with it. The C3PO/R2D2 relationship between Rocket and Groot, the Walkman as the "single Earth artifact" in Quill's life, etc-- it did a really good job of making a fun movie from somewhat familiar pieces and didn't try to be something it's not, and as a result it was probably one of the most fun space sci-fis I've seen in ages, and it certainly seemed to have more heart that a lot of the soulless reboots and adaptations we've seen lately.

Also, having the greater world out there makes it seem a lot more likely that they'll actually have enough characters around for Avengers: Civil War to make sense; right now there's only about a dozen people with powers on Earth, even if you include the ones on AoS (plus some non-powered capes like Clint, Nat and Sam, and some ambiguous ones like Bucky) and Civil War really depends on numbers to work.

Unrelated: I heard "Ronin", not "Ronan", in GoG and was, as a result, confused.
posted by NoraReed at 7:19 PM on August 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The player might make it -- 70s technology, all analogue and discrete, much more maintainable than CD and MP3 players packed with custom ASICs -- but that tape's going to be worn down to the substrate.

The "AWESOME MIX VOL 2" that he unwraps at the end -- the gift from his mom that he'd never opened -- was a nice wink towards "yes of course there's going to be a sequel".

(As opposed to the "he's only half human" exposition which clunkily telegraphed a "WHO IS QUILL'S FATHER" sequel plot.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:25 PM on August 3, 2014


This is a movie about interstellar travelers who all speak English, featuring a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, and the place where people are getting stuck is the durability of a mixtape?

Really?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:38 PM on August 3, 2014 [24 favorites]


The balls Marvel showed in having a space heroes adventure, from a not-that-famous title, using a director with no big budget experience, featuring only one human among the main team, a sentient tree, and yes, a talking fucking raccoon, ought to shame the shit out of DC.

I suspect the key thing is that Marvel has been building to this multiple franchises for a long time, since the mid '90s. The president to Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, is a big fan of comics and I think that's key. He wants the studio to make good films that make a lot of money. Fox and Sony just want to make films that make a lot of money, whether they're good or not doesn't really matter. Plus DC seems to have hitched its star to Zack Snyder, after letting Chris Nolan retell Batman's story for a decade without building on that to open up the rest of their universe.

And there's still no word when one of their movies will have a non-white male lead. At least DC has said Wonder Woman will be getting her own film in 2017.

(though I did wonder where all the matter that he's made of was coming from)

In the comics, people who could change size were usually cited as using an extra dimensional source for these changes. What extra dimensional source, you ask? Don't worry about those little details.

where in the fuck would he get replacement AA batteries in space for decades on end?

The great thing is that they never, ever tried to explain this point or where the tape deck came from or how the hell soft lining on the headphones lasted so long in such great shape. It's totally unimportant

Of course, the big question is why Quill never went back to Earth.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:41 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


oops.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:50 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Dark Knight Rise of the Guardians of the Galaxy Quest for Fire

Weirdest movie series ever.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:14 PM on August 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


NoraReed: "having the greater world out there makes it seem a lot more likely that they'll actually have enough characters around for Avengers: Civil War to make sense"

I'll be very surprised if they do an adaptation of Civil War in this decade, if ever. The trajectory they're on now with Age of Ultron and the ongoing Infinity Stone reveals makes it all but a certainty that Avengers 3 will be adapting Infinity Gauntlet.

What's more, the entire impact of Civil War lay in having comic-book heroes who have always operated as free agents being compelled to register with and work for the U.S. government. As it turns out, these were more or less the starting conditions for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what with the Avengers being a top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. project instead of Tony Stark's little superhero social club.

Given that Civil War was meant as an allegory of the War On Terror and the Bush-era (and now Obama-era, regrettably) specter of Total Information Awareness and warrantless wiretapping, it seems like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have pretty much covered that territory already. The standoff between Stark (pro-registration) and Cap (anti-registration) would require Tony to drop his whole "let's privatize world peace" MO and become a government lapdog, which would be 100% out of character with his portrayal in the MCU, especially after the events of Cap 2.

Now, Planet Hulk/World War Hulk, on the other hand...there's a couple of storylines that could be done some serious justice as movies.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:32 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dunno, this one really didn't do anything for me, and there were a lot of little annoyances that made me want to rant about it.

Maybe I'm just becoming progressively more jaded by every year's iteration of the Macguffin-centric, cardboard-villain-having, action-set-piece-stuffed comic book movie formula. I went in hoping that Guardians would be an affectionate parody of that style, a la Galaxy Quest. Instead, I got a movie where the parody was stretched way too thin, and padded out with the exact same routine played completely straight. The occasional jokes were funny, but everything else just felt like lazy, hackneyed writing.

Plus, the tonal dissonance between the comedy and the action/drama was just too much. I can't really bring myself to have much of an emotional response to Groot getting killed when I've just watched him skewer half a dozen nameless mooks and bash them into the wall for an unsettlingly long time, before turning and grinning into the camera.

The soundtrack was definitely the best thing about the movie.
posted by teraflop at 9:21 PM on August 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not baffled by the Walkman, I'm baffled that the tape itself is implied to still be functional and not, say, a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. Overall, I found the whole thing charming, although there were a lot of things I felt like I needed more explanation, and I think it's telling that I loved Drax the character and walked out admitting to my friend that I couldn't remember his name--and neither could the friend.

I do totally get why Peter never went home, at least through this point; he had a galaxy full of planets that weren't the one his mother was buried on and he was clearly not ready to deal with that. He's set up to go home, now, presumably as a part of the Hunt for Dad, which I'm guessing is the next movie.
posted by Sequence at 9:51 PM on August 3, 2014


Most of my love for the movie was cancelled out by drax's sexist remarks about Gamora and Quill's 'bitch' at the end. First that language had no place describing Gamora- she was literally a warrior assassin, those insults broke the movies own rules about drax's literalness, and were pointless. Second, I've always hated that line, even in Aliens. Just ugh. Fucking think of something cool to say! The writing for Quill was great at subverting tropes the whole time and then says the dumbest possible line at the climax. Give him somwthing heroic. Those lines stuck out and kinda ruined the references and other humor for me. Like the intentions of the writers were made clear; pander, pander, pander.

I'm surprised there isn't more discussion here after y'all thoroughly deconstructed the mewling quim line in Avengers. Also, fuck gratuitous ass shots. The hottest part was after Quill saved Gamora in deep space and quill ruined it. Humorous, sexy, cute and entirely based around character.


Still really loved Rocket, and the groot banter. Baby groot was a bit much. Also I'm the same age as star lord and my mom would have made me a totally different mix tape but I still cried during all the mom stuff, right on cue.

I guess I wish this movie didn't have sexist crap in it for purely selfish reasons. Cap 2 didn't have any of that and it fucking ruled.
posted by kittensofthenight at 10:01 PM on August 3, 2014 [24 favorites]


Most of my love for the movie was cancelled out by drax's sexist remarks about Gamora and Quill's 'bitch' at the end.

Those jarred for me too. That 'We're the Guardians of the Galaxy, bitch' could easily have dropped the 'bitch' and aggression, gone with an air of Bond-esque nonchalance, and still have been a decent Crowning Moment of Awesome. The casual sexism added nothing.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:22 PM on August 3, 2014 [9 favorites]


Is the infinity stone really a proper macguffin though?

The Internet defines a MacGuffin as "an object in a story," so yes.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:29 AM on August 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Gilmore Girls fans may have recognized Yondu's second-in-command as Kirk, the youngest of the eccentric townspeople in Star's Hollow. He's also the director's brother, and he did the motion capture for Rocket Raccoon.

Neat bit of trivia: the two brothers are friends with Joss Whedon, and Angel's Charles Gunn is named after them.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:52 AM on August 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


I thought Civil War had been announced, but I think that was a rumor or a hoax or something. So that's good.
posted by NoraReed at 2:48 AM on August 4, 2014


I feel really, really sad for Peter Quill's granda.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 2:54 AM on August 4, 2014 [17 favorites]


I saw the movie yesterday and laughed and cheered with the rest of the audience. It's the sf space opera I enjoyed as a kid, when the science, personal relationships, racism/sexism/xenophobia didn't have to be explained or justified because it was fiction with science!

Now I've started reading the comic, and right from the beginning I see the beginning has changed, presumably because the movie would have been too much like Starman.

It's making so much money because it has captured the naievity and swashbuckling that was Star Wars IV and presented it to all ages, including the ones that are too young to have experienced that magic.
posted by arzakh at 3:13 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


re: Civil War - it's more that there are numerous reports that Feige is a fan of that arc and absolutely wants to port it over to the MCU.
posted by cendawanita at 4:45 AM on August 4, 2014


NoraReed: "I thought Civil War had been announced, but I think that was a rumor or a hoax or something. So that's good."

Right around Comic-Con there was a hoax image making the rounds that purportedly showed logos for Marvel's entire release slate until 2019 or so. I seem to recall that Civil War was included as the subtitle for Avengers 3 on that, but no such announcement was made during the Marvel panel.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:43 AM on August 4, 2014


I wonder if the casting of Vin Diesel as Groot was at all consciously a reference to his association with The Iron Giant. Groot and The Iron Giant are similar...sweet, lovable, mostly-silent characters who are also very dangerous in certain situations, with similar ends -- even similarly meaningful last lines, which I won't repeat here (not just because SPOILERS but because if I write down the The Iron Giant's line I'm going to cry at my desk).

(If you haven't seen The Iron Giant, go watch it right now.)
posted by doctornecessiter at 6:10 AM on August 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


The C3PO/R2D2 Han and Chewie relationship between Rocket and Groot . . .

FTFY
posted by whuppy at 6:11 AM on August 4, 2014 [15 favorites]


I'm surprised there isn't more discussion here after y'all thoroughly deconstructed the mewling quim line in Avengers.

I remember that discussion as being all about how some of us didn't get the glory of master Joss, so I was going to pass on it here and had it instead with a friend who, like me, wasn't overwhelmed with the greatness of this film. Our conversation revolved around:

- Drax calls Gamora a whore, breaking the literal schtick (not the only time that happened but notable)
- Gamora is a total badass except when she's put in jail, where she's a damsel in distress who gets dragged off and has to be rescued by Quill et all.
- We have freaking sisters in this film and we still can't really pass the Bechdel test
- There are apparently now more pink, green, and blue folks in the MCU than POC with significant/speaking roles

We missed "bitch" in our discussion, but, yeah, also not cool. (Also the ass shot of Gamora on the stairs, which was totally fanservice.)

What I didn't like about the plotting and arc of the film was that it was inconsistent and abandoned character traits whenever the through line the writers chose for the plot made it inconvenient for character to stay in place, and also, frequently, for the sake of a joke. Particularly if the joke undermined the genre expectations. (Cf Gamora is a badass except when she needs to be weak so quill can rescue her, Groot switching from sweet to hideously violent as plot requires, etc.) They chose their priorities and carried them out, but those priorities were skewed from where I wanted them to be.
posted by immlass at 6:33 AM on August 4, 2014 [15 favorites]




Saw it on Friday, loved it but thought too much of the plot and jokes had been spoiled by the trailers (although that's kind of my fault). I was just as pleasantly surprised by Bautista as Drax as I was by Evan Peters as Quicksilver in DOFP, and I wished there had been more of him. Hopefully he gets more screentime in GOTG2. Now to wonder what they're going to go with...maybe the destruction of Xandar and origins of Nova?

BTW, in a bit of awwwsome (and undoubtedly good PR), Disney/Marvel gave a private screening to Bill Mantlo, who apparently really dug it. Even better, they're apparently helping out with his medical costs via profits from the movie.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:36 AM on August 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


I want a dancing baby Groot in a pot for my desk.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:42 AM on August 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


- Drax calls Gamora a whore, breaking the literal schtick (not the only time that happened but notable)

Yeah, that line was a clunker and should have been rewritten to have him calling her some sort of murderer.

Someone upthread said it brought nothing to the character, but I'd disagree there, as it shows Drax isn't being quite so literal anymore and things of her as friend. He's a work in progress.

- Gamora is a total badass except when she's put in jail, where she's a damsel in distress who gets dragged off and has to be rescued by Quill et all.

I took that as her allowing herself to be taken to prove a point and or decide whether she wants to allow herself be killed to atone for her crimes. When it came down to it, she disarmed her attackers and turned the tables, only to pointedly drop the knives and say she was no longer with Thanos. She knew they had good reasons for wanting her dead and didn't hold that against them.

Dave Bautista is getting a lot of deserved credit for making Drax more than just a dumb strong guy, but I found Zoe Saldana's portrayal of Gamora to also be compelling. To have an noted assassin shed her previous role and be the moral center of the movie and group's motivations was a great touch and Sadana's display of her evolving humanity was heartfelt.

- We have freaking sisters in this film and we still can't really pass the Bechdel test

The Bechdel test isn't the end all and be all of female interactions in movies as its inherently limiting. Besides, pretty sure those two argued briefly about who should retrieve the orb and Gamora pleaded for Nebula to came to her senses about Thanos.

(Also the ass shot of Gamora on the stairs, which was totally fanservice.)

*Shrugs* Chris Pratt was shirtless to show off his ripped body, so it's not as if comic book tropes weren't everywhere.

- There are apparently now more pink, green, and blue folks in the MCU than POC with significant/speaking roles


There are probably more aliens in the universe than people of color.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:54 AM on August 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is a movie about interstellar travelers who all speak English, featuring a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, and the place where people are getting stuck is the durability of a mixtape?

Really?


For me, these are often the details that I get hung up on. It used to drive me nuts in Terminator 2 that Sarah Connor had devoted herself to becoming a warrior, but hadn't cut her hair. Somebody up-thread mentioned the assassin-in-high-heels thing. My partner and I have, for nearly two decades, had a joke about this, something that goes like, "I can believe the time travel, the faster-than-light drive, the unlikely coincidence that he runs into his long-lost identical twin on that far-away planet...but you would never wear those shoes."

I'm amused by the "oops" link up-thread where some theaters started showing Rise of the Guardians by mistake. I took some kids to a morning second-run dollar movie a couple of weeks ago. All I knew about it was that it was Rise of the Guardians. The kids kept asking what it was about, and I was confusing it with Guardians of Ga'Hoole and kept saying, "It has owls but I don't know anything about it," and the mom of the kid who wasn't mine would say, "It's the one with Jack Frost, and Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy," and I would think, "Wow, I didn't know they were all in the owl movie...I wonder how that works?" and we went to the theater and were maybe 20 minutes into the movie before I realized it was a whole different movie and there were never going to be any owls.
posted by not that girl at 7:09 AM on August 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


There are probably more aliens in the universe than people of color.

There are no aliens (pink/blue/green or otherwise) that we know of in the actual universe, so all of the decisions involved--how many speaking roles POC get within the MCU and the way aliens are portrayed in Guardians--are all on Marvel. Nor does Marvel or the people they hire have to choose bitch or whore or mewling quim or any of the other decisions they've made that reduced the fun for me and other people in the audience. Someone upthread pointed out that they managed Cap 2 with less sexist baggage, so less of the annoying discriminatory crap can be done inside the Marvel framework.

If you've got ways to make it work for you, more power to you, but it does bug some of us and reduces our enjoyment of the movie.
posted by immlass at 7:13 AM on August 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


Also, I think other prisoners called Gamora a "green whore," so it's not wholly out of character that Drax would do the same. In the same scene, he called Groot a dumb tree.

Again, not a fan of the line, but it sorta does make sense for Drax to utter it. But yeah, it would have been better to go with a different line.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 AM on August 4, 2014


I put it alongside Thor's "he's adopted" line, which was funny in the moment but on reflection it was obviously a joke Thor wouldn't have made.
posted by PussKillian at 8:27 AM on August 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


There are probably more aliens in the universe than people of color.

This is the dumbest argument I've heard against real diversity in casting of SciFi/Fantasy media. I mean really. ”Honest! The universe is just cis-hetro white men as far as the eye can see, and aliens out of the neon crayon box!" I can only believe this if there's a shot of the Earth covered with happy people of color shooting our mayonnaise asses out into space via high-powered cannon.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:40 AM on August 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


If you're willing to overthink things slightly, Groot was a surprisingly dark character, even for an already surprisingly violent film. He starts off presented as a helpful idiot, but it rapidly becomes clear in conversations with Rocket that he's at least as smart as everyone else. And you could read saying "We are Groot" toward the end as evidence that he's actually quite wise, and possibly just choosing to limit his vocabulary. In that light, those happy, innocent little smiles after extreme violence become unbelievably fucking creepy: he understands exactly what he's doing, and is finding pure, guiltless joy in it. There's also the issue with groot-in-a-pot at the end: did Rocket just happen to pick up the one stick that's capable of regrowing into Groot, or are there now hundreds of Groot clones slowly germinating around the battle site? Or is "Groot" actually some sort of incorporeal entity, able to settle into and control whichever of the splinters he chose? Maybe it already exists in the comics, but you could do some really hilarious/nightmarish/alien things with Groot as a main character.

paper chromatographologist - In Knowhere, Groot has a brief encounter with a tweenage girl where he quickly grows a little flower out of hand and offers it to her. Cute right? Except Groot is plant... and that's his reproductive organ.

Hah! That didn't occur to me, but I did have a weird moment when he was spraying the room with his (glowing) pollen. Ew.

NoraReed - I didn't really bat an eye at Groot having all those weird powers (though I did wonder where all the matter that he's made of was coming from)

Trees get most of their mass by fixing carbon from CO2 in the air. If we assume that he can also fix nitrogen (which our earth plants can't without symbiotic bacteria but, hey, we're IIIN SPAAAAACE), then his sudden growth spurts make much more sense than Starlord's mask or e.g. the Iron Man suit.

not that girl - I can believe the time travel, the faster-than-light drive, the unlikely coincidence that he runs into his long-lost identical twin on that far-away planet...but you would never wear those shoes.

I'm sure there's a proper name for this, but I always think of it as the inverse of Chekov's gun over the fireplace: before a character can shoot someone, the audience needs to agree that the universe contains a gun. With rare exceptions, a storyteller needs to establish their universe and how it works, and then play within those rules. A lot of this is going to be implicit from the genre and setting (e.g. "contemporary Manhattan", "Victorian London", "cheesy scifi"), relying on the audience's familiarity with the tropes to fill in the gaps around the stuff that you describe explicitly. Of course, we carry a lot of expectations from real life in with us too (ice is cold, people need food to survive, high heels are terrible to run in), and just like any other aspect of the story's universe, seeing those rules casually broken is jarring and pulls you out of the story for at least a moment. It's not just pedantry: in a universe with inconsistent rules, how can we care about characters' perils or victories?

(This is basically a rephrasing of my rant about scientific accuracy in films. For people who're familiar with scientific concepts and equipment, talking about "neutrinos mutating" or holding a pipette upside down with no tip is analogous to watching the President make a phonecall by rubbing a stapler against his face. It's not an ideological thing, it just looks ridiculous and so thoroughly smashes your expectations of how the story's universe works that it's really hard to get back into it.)
posted by metaBugs at 8:55 AM on August 4, 2014 [17 favorites]


This is the dumbest argument I've heard against real diversity in casting of SciFi/Fantasy media.

Thank you! It's only Monday, but clearly I'm going to accomplish a lot this week.

But sadly, it wasn't a argument against real diversity of casting in SciFi/Fantasy, but an acknowledgment that since Guardians was dealing with a lot of aliens and exactly one human, it's not unreasonable that the number of differently hued aliens is larger than the various shades of humanity.

Certainly there's a loud point to be made that all ten of the movies in Marvel's Cinematic Universe feature white males as leads. And sadly it doesn't look like that'll be changing any time soon (although the diversity in Marvel's tv series is markedly stronger). But there's clearly be some attempt to incorporate women and non-white ethnicities among the supporting characters in the various movies, with a lot of success. It's just odd to have diversity complaints in a movie that's mostly aliens.

The larger problem is Michael Rooker playing Yondu as different shade of Merle from The Walking Dead.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:28 AM on August 4, 2014


Maybe it already exists in the comics, but you could do some really hilarious/nightmarish/alien things with Groot as a main character.

His first appearance is in Tales to Astonish! as a dastardly villain out to torment Earthlings.
In the Autumn of 1960, scientist Leslie Evans and wife Alice witnessed a blinding object falling from the sky. When Evans went to investigate the next day, he not only found the object, but discovered it was alive. Evans looked on as the alien creature, Groot, grew larger by the minute as he absorbed wooden objects into his own body. There in the woods, Groot announced his presence to the nearby community. Claiming to be the Monarch of Planet X, Groot announced that he had come to Earth to take a small Terran town back to his homeworld for its scientists to study. While the humans resisted, no gunfire, or even conventional fire could penetrate Groot's hide. Seeing the futility of trying to fight Groot directly, Evans abandoned the townspeople and raced back to his laboratory, for which he was labeled a coward.

Over the next three days, Groot used his ability to control trees and plants to turn the forest into a make-shift army. His announced intention was to use Earth's native vegetation to create a net of roots to allow him to lift the town into space whole. When Groot entered the town, Evans snuck up behind him and unleashed the fruits of his frantic work: a specially bred colony of termites. The insects voraciously ate through Groot's hide, and into his core. Groot collapsed in a a state of shock, and was believed dead by the townsfolk

posted by codacorolla at 9:45 AM on August 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher - The larger problem is Michael Rooker playing Yondu...

Damnit. Based on the accent and general demeanour I'd convinced myself that it's the same dude who played The Harbinger (Mordecai) from Cabin in The Woods, and was having fun fitting the two films together (Basically, older Yondu has some experience with evil forces and nasty aliens, but has definitely Seen Too Much. So he takes a sort of working retirement at the Facility, who appreciate his services as an easily needled shouty paranoiac, and are set up to take care of his makeup requirements and weird biology). I'm genuinely disappointed to be wrong about that.

codacorolla, that sounds awesome!
posted by metaBugs at 9:53 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is a movie about interstellar travelers who all speak English, featuring a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, and the place where people are getting stuck is the durability of a mixtape?

The why-is-everyone-speaking-English thing was actually the thing I couldn't let go of at first, but it is actually explained, albeit in a blink-and-miss-it way. When they're all in the prison and you see the holographic displays with information on the Guardians pop up, the one for Quill says he has a translator implant in his neck or something like that. I'm willing to roll with that.

The other thing I always get hung up on is civilian death toll, so I was also pleased when there was a line about how the city about to get squashed by the bad guys had been evacuated. I genuinely appreciate that the Marvel movies generally seem to make this tiny, token effort at reassuring the audience that civilians aren't being murdered by the untold thousands, or that at least someone in-universe gives a shit about said civilians.

Anyway, I thought the movie was tremendously fun and good-hearted, though I second the reservations about the random, pointless sexist language and missed opportunities for more diversity.
posted by yasaman at 10:28 AM on August 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


I appreciated the city evacuation line also, for that reason. Although at least in the initial shots of the Kree fighters kamikaze-ing the city they showed some civilians still in the streets, so there was at least some amount of death toll. But I felt like at least the movie didn't just ignore it or wave it away. (Like Man of Steel did. Ugh.)

One thing I worry about with Groot is there are a few critical moments where suddenly Groot has a power that's just perfectly suited to the situation. That could easily become a writing crutch... "well, let's just say Groot can also do this other cool thing to save the day again."
posted by dnash at 10:41 AM on August 4, 2014


I realize I'm coming into the discussion late, but man, that was a heck of a lot of fun. There are very definitely elements that could have been better (cast diversity, turning some of the worldbuilding to the Kree Empire or Xandar), but it was tremendously enjoyable and I thought the cast did a uniformly great job with what the script gave them.

Looking forward to the sequel, I'm not saying it would ruin the franchise to leave it out, but if there's no Quill/Groot dance-off I will be very disappointed.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I'm not a comics reader at all, so I don't know the history of the characters, but I have a somewhat-theory about Quill's father. It's right there in the first scene with his mother. She says something like "he was an angel, a being of pure light" then Grandpa cuts her off. The moment I heard that I was like "uh huh, she meant that literally - Peter's dad's gonna turn out to be not human."

Then I noticed several references to angels in the script along the way, most notably near the end where I think Yando says something about not being an angel.

And when Nova Prime says something about Quill is half "something very old" I thought of what Gamora said about that "skull of an ancient creature" that's being mined at Knowhere.

So I think Quill's dad is whatever the Marvel equivalent of an angel is. (The way the Asgardians are the Marvel equivalent of gods.)
posted by dnash at 10:47 AM on August 4, 2014


His father in the comics is an alien royal named J'Son (right up there with J'onn J'onzz for creative extraterrestrial names), but J'Son's people are neither angelic nor ancient and unknowable, so I doubt they'll use more than the name for the movies – if even that.

My bet is on the Marvel Universe's favorite Jesus stand-in, who also has a strong connection to the Infinity Gems/Stones – Adam Warlock.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:52 AM on August 4, 2014




The other thing I always get hung up on is civilian death toll, so I was also pleased when there was a line about how the city about to get squashed by the bad guys had been evacuated. I genuinely appreciate that the Marvel movies generally seem to make this tiny, token effort at reassuring the audience that civilians aren't being murdered by the untold thousands, or that at least someone in-universe gives a shit about said civilians.

From Think Progress: Guardians Of The Galaxy: A Superhero Movie That Actually Cares About Innocent Civilians

You’d think that the saving of lives would be at the center of all superhero movies. Why do superheroes exist, if not to save human lives? And yet, in our most recent batch of superhero movies, our knights in shining spandex have been the ones leveling skyscrapers like nobody worth rescuing is inside them. Superman in Man of Steel leaves Metropolis in a smoldering heap; The Avengers lay waste to half of New York City. If anyone is going to demolish New York, or its comics equivalent, in a movie — though I am not convinced NYC needs to be wrecked for any of these movies to be effective — shouldn’t it be the bad guys? Lately, our superheroes have been too busy gloomily brooding (in the Christopher Nolan mold) or being darkly snarky (your Joss Whedon types) to be invested in the lives of the civilians they ostensibly exist to protect.

In GOTG, our pack of misfit heroes did not lose sight of the most important element of their mission: not letting, as one character estimates, “billions of people” die. Once the Guardians join forces, they all agree that they would risk their lives to save the lives of others. This is literally the one thing all superheroes who are good at being superheroes are supposed to have in common.

posted by jbickers at 11:27 AM on August 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


if there's no Quill/Groot dance-off I will be very disappointed

I am already bewitched by the potential pelvic sorcery this would entail. Also: if there isn't already an extra planned for DVD/Blu-ray that has Vin Diesel mocapping a dancing Grootling, they need to get back to the studio and do one.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:28 AM on August 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am very curious about Yondu's potential role in the sequel, with regard to Peter's paternity issues. Yondu and Peter have an antagonistic relationship in the film, but Yondu apparently didn't turn Peter over to his dad because the guy was "an asshole" (someone the asshole space pirates think is an asshole?!) And if Yondu was merely interested in profit, there's no good reason for him to have raised Peter basically as his own instead of taking him to his dad as hired, selling him into slavery, or even dumping him back on Earth. Either Yondu is playing a very long game or there's some genuine affection for Peter there.

Michael Rooker was definitely playing Yondu like "blue Merle Dixon IN SPAAAAACE," but Merle was such an entertaining and complicated character that I don't really mind. Comic!Yondu fans may not be happy, but there are so many Proud Space Warrior Dudes in scifi already.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:34 AM on August 4, 2014


I want a dancing baby Groot in a pot for my desk.

Looks like you're not the only one. In fact, it's apparently such a popular request that Marvel's PR team is talking about it.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:36 AM on August 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


I for one demand a dancing baby Groot in a pot toy, perhaps one that will automatically dance to whatever music you're playing. I'm not at all the kind of fan who cares about or purchases any merchandise beyond DVDs and books, but I would buy a cute little dancing Groot the moment it became available. It would literally improve my life. Get on that, Marvel.
posted by yasaman at 11:36 AM on August 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Avengers lay waste to half of New York City. If anyone is going to demolish New York, or its comics equivalent, in a movie — though I am not convinced NYC needs to be wrecked for any of these movies to be effective — shouldn’t it be the bad guys?

Pretty sure it was the alien horde that was wrecking NYC and there's several scenes of Avengers racing to save civilians or give the polices plans to get get civilians off the street.

In fact, it's apparently such a popular request that Marvel's PR team is talking about it.

They're slacking if they're still talking about it. This should have been ready to at least pre-order on opening day, it's total no brainer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:50 AM on August 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Avengers lay waste to half of New York City.

The collateral damage wasn't actually that bad in The Avengers. There were multiple scenes showing the Avengers helping civilians (Hawkeye helping people out of a bus, Cap directing people to safety) and one of the stated goals of the Big Battle was to maintain a perimeter to limit the fight to a few blocks, plus we do see people being evacuated to safer locations. There were still buildings getting wrecked, but it was nowhere near as bad as Man of Steel or many other action movies. I'm kind of appalled that Snyder put his movie's death toll at a measly 5,000 people (which seems like a serious lowballing), while slagging on The Avengers for its apparent death toll. Dude, at least The Avengers didn't make its death toll (which wasn't forgotten, there was that shot of a makeshift memorial wall) All About the Hero.

But then, I admit I have super low standards about this sort of thing: I literally only need, like, one line of dialogue that mentions civilian safety. It's just depressing that so many movies fail to have even that.

So it was really gratifying that GotG was so explicit about the purpose being to save billions of lives: not revenge, not to act only in service of the heroes' own stories, not to make the dark and gritty "hard" choice, but just to save lives. And bonus, it was Gamora who was consistently the moral center of the movie. I wanted way more of her, because I found that powerful as it was, but I felt like there could have been a lot more to that. It seems like one of the through-lines for Marvel's heroes is "I have done terrible things and/or had terrible things done to me, and I will not allow that to happen to other people."
posted by yasaman at 12:09 PM on August 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


I really liked that there was nothing personal about saving Xandar for any of the Guardians. You had the whole team choosing to make their stand in defense of a place that none of them had any reason to particularly care about, because if they waited for a better shot at the villain, innocent people would die. I can't remember another SF movie that used pure altruism as the motivation for the big third-act fight since Star Trek Generations.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:19 PM on August 4, 2014 [18 favorites]


In that light, those happy, innocent little smiles after extreme violence become unbelievably fucking creepy: he understands exactly what he's doing, and is finding pure, guiltless joy in it.

I really like this reading: Groot as simultaneously childlike but terrifyingly ancient.

The moment that sold him to the audience I was in was the first fight scene, where Rocket and Groot are fighting Gamora to capture Quill. Groot looks down pitifully at the stumps remaining after Gamora has hacked off his arm-limbs; audience reacts "awwww".

(And then Rocket buttons the beat with "they'll grow back, dummy.")

The larger problem is Michael Rooker playing Yondu as different shade of Merle from The Walking Dead.

YES. SO DISTRACTING.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:22 PM on August 4, 2014


I would be okay with a non-dancing Groot made from bendable silicone and wire that I can reposition as I care to do from time to time.

I liked the nod to the famously named Picard Manoeuvre by Rocket (yellow suit) after one of his speechifyings ...
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:44 PM on August 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've never seen The Walking Dead. I had just assumed that Rooker was doing his usual Rooker thing, as he had done in the two previous James Gunn movies.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:48 PM on August 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


After the initial trailer, someone on MeFi said that Peter Serafinowicz was only in the trailer. So glad he was in the full film (the a-holes line is still great) and for more than just that scene.

Space battle (well - it was in atmosphere, air battle then) was cool, you don't get many of them outside of Star Wars nowadays.

Loved Yondu's knife missile (great reference whuppy, somehow didn't pick up on that) killing all the bad guys.

I loved the Rocket/Groot parody of English-talking characters having conversations with their alien-speaking sidekicks (Chewie: GrrAAggRRRGG! Han: What do you mean they disabled the hyperdrive?!).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:33 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I had just assumed that Rooker was doing his usual Rooker thing, as he had done in the two previous James Gunn movies.

Yeah, I've seen Walking Dead, but that was more Rooker being Rooker than anything.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:43 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was also pleased when there was a line about how the city about to get squashed by the bad guys had been evacuated

Well, mostly evacuated. There's a crowd of folks that quickly gathers as Our Heroes pull themselves out of the wreckage. Gotta have an audience for the climactic dance-off.

Great summer flick, but I agree it was lessened a bit by the dumbness of the constant explosions of the third act and the weird whore and bitch stuff, and that more of the supporting characters should have been women. And I didn't think Gunn directed the space chase scenes in particular all that well. It's a constant Hollywood cliche, I know, but they were much choppier and more jittery than they needed to be (or than those in Wheedon's flick), which interfered with the visual storytelling. The rest of the film was fantastic fun, though.

Oh, and while I liked reading those FastCompany and Time links above about screenwriter Nicole Perlman, the first woman to get a co-writer credit on a Marvel movie, the movie's Wikipedia page notes that her draft, written while she was in a new screenwriters program at Marvel, was heavily rewritten by Gunn and Chris McCoy. Here's Gunn at one site:

Really, in Nicole’s script everything is pretty different. I mean the story is different, there’s no Walkman, the character arcs are different, it’s not about the same stuff. But that’s how the WGA works. They like first writers an awful lot.

He seems to be implying there's a question about whether she should have co-credit, but that's not clear, I admit. And here he is at Rolling Stone talking about Rocket:

"When I came on board, the first draft of the script had him as Bugs Bunny in the middle of the Avengers, and I wasn't into it. I don't think of him as a toy. If Rocket didn't work, the movie wouldn't work. That meant fine-tuning how this character could be real. We retained that feistiness and humor, but there's more sadness to this mangled little beast than there's ever been in the comics."

I don't mean to diminish Perlman's accomplishment - after all, if, against all expectations of her as a female writer, she hadn't chosen Guardians as her first assignment and come up with a fantastic first draft, it's doubtful Marvel would have prioritized the film so quickly. But the spate of articles about her being a historic "woman behind an unexpected blockbuster" feels a bit like a cynical PR push, if the extent of of the subsequent rewrites is as great as James Gunn seems to be implying.

Particularly so in light of Marvel's continued approach to women in its films: one woman per team of many men, only one or two very brief interactions between women characters per film, etc.
posted by mediareport at 1:48 PM on August 4, 2014


Oh yeah, that moment at the end when Gamora tells Peter "We'll follow your lead" is another "ew, really?" moment. There were so many better ways to handle that moment than having your only female character on the team submerge herself to the male like that.

Like Peter asking, "Something good? Something bad? A little of both?" and then turning around to look at his new team of pals, who just stare back, maybe Rocket with an evil smile, Gamora with a raised eyebrow, Drax just hulking next to them, and then Peter, seeing his answer pretty fucking obvious on the faces of his friends, delivering that fun final line: "Ok, a little of both."

Instead, we get the kickass woman warrior saying, 'Whatever you like, dear."

"Ew" is the kindest reaction to that crap, for sure. it's just such unthinking sexism, like *none* of the points people have made for years about how easy it is to avoid that stuff have made a dent at all in corporate Hollywood brains.
posted by mediareport at 1:56 PM on August 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


FTFY

I actually intentionally avoided that metaphor because I don't feel you can have a Han Solo character when everyone is an outlaw; Solo acts as, in DnD terms, a chaotic influence. Rocket doesn't.
posted by NoraReed at 2:04 PM on August 4, 2014




Also everyone beware, doin' it with an "angel made entirely of light" will give you really bad cancer.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:27 PM on August 4, 2014 [12 favorites]


The larger problem is Michael Rooker playing Yondu as different shade of Merle from The Walking Dead.

I must be the only person who had Michael Rooker on their radar pre-Walking Dead, because, you guys, he's not playing Merle--as far as I can tell, he's playing Michael Rooker. He's been the same character in practically everything he's ever been in, and I ain't even mad because he's so gloriously good at it. Merle may be the role he's been practicing for his entire career, but he's been practicing for a long dang time.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:39 PM on August 4, 2014 [16 favorites]


(And on preview, I see I'm not the only one: Sticherbeast remembers, too. Though I remain convinced I'm still the only one who remembers him in Jeremiah. Or who remembers Jeremiah at all.)
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:41 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Like Peter asking, "Something good? Something bad? A little of both?" and then turning around to look at his new team of pals, who just stare back, maybe Rocket with an evil smile, Gamora with a raised eyebrow, Drax just hulking next to them, and then Peter, seeing his answer pretty fucking obvious on the faces of his friends, delivering that fun final line: "Ok, a little of both."

Yeah, that would have been better. One one level I do kind of like that it's Gamora who gives him the OK, because it implicitly acknowledges that she's the only one who could credibly object, but that may be too charitable a reading.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:57 PM on August 4, 2014


I think Gamora is under-served by this movie - I feel like Zoe Saldana keeps getting these "kick-ass exotic babe who is also the moral center" roles that are just sort of... unreal characters with pro forma motivations? humorless? and, I don't know, just not given enough stuff to do that the movie respects. Just as others said, she's the amazing assassin but gets captured by the random prison dudes? etc. I may just be too grumpy on this issue, not sure. She is a little like the good-guy city in this - sketched in an outlineish way, "here is the good guy city", but something about it feels weightless/unreal in a way that Quill doesn't. Like she has been issued a card to hold up periodically saying "We must do the right thing!" and doesn't get a lot else to say. Maybe it's that her other relationships in the movie (the two bad guys) are kind of abstractly drawn, so it's hard to take her backstory seriously?

As to the 'bitch', 'whore', I fully agree and they were jarringly out of place - and I'll bet ten bucks that those words (and "give a shit") are in there because they need to have a certain quantum of cursing points to qualify for PG-13. Gross and cynical, and stupidly underestimating the side-effects of having those be your go-to curse words, but I am betting not motivated by anything about the characters or other writerly considerations.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:11 PM on August 4, 2014 [10 favorites]


Hah! That didn't occur to me, but I did have a weird moment when he was spraying the room with his (glowing) pollen. Ew.

That coupled with Quill's line abut what the interior of his ship would like like under a blacklight means this must surely be the highest grossing movie with multiple allusions to spraying seed all over the place.

By the way, the post-credits scene of Howard reminds me that for a long time the tagline on the cover of his comics was "TRAPPED IN A WORLD HE NEVER MADE!" which line gradually migrated to movie trailer voice-overs indicative of the rugged lone wolf hero. English majors always got a chuckle out of this, as the line comes ultimately from an A.E. Housman poem about his closeted homosexuality in an era when it was illegal:
The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I: let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me;
And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest their neighbour to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell-fire.
And how am I to face the odds
Of man's bedevilment and God's?
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made...
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:24 PM on August 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


He's been the same character in practically everything he's ever been in,

There are two Rooker characters. There is cheerfully murderous hayseed Rooker, as in Walking Dead and a host of other films (he was at his most cheerful in Super, as I recall.)

Then there is glumly, trashily murderous Rooker, as in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

I will thank the stars if the latter never shows up again.
posted by maxsparber at 3:32 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cheerfully murderous space-hayseed Yondu with those gleaming golden teeth was a delight. I would happily watch a movie/series/Marvel One-shot of Yondu & his right-hand Gunn/Kraglin careening pirate-style across the galaxy, especially a prequel with bratty teenage Peter in tow.

Also, apparently only 4 people know who MCU Peter Quill's father is: director James Gunn, Kevin Feige, Michael Rooker, and "Sean Gunn, who played Kraglin, Yondu's number two." Interesting that Joss Whedon (supposedly) doesn't know and that Michael Rooker does. Make of that what you will!


(I will pay five million Internet dollars if in the sequel Quill meets his dad, punches Dad in the face, "that's for my mom, you dick," and immediately goes on his merry space-faring way. THE END.)
posted by nicebookrack at 4:14 PM on August 4, 2014 [14 favorites]


Yondu: Portrait of a Serial Ravager.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:13 PM on August 4, 2014


maxsparber: "Then there is glumly, trashily murderous Rooker, as in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer."

...who is also a hayseed.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:14 PM on August 4, 2014




I'm not sure exactly why, but I feel much more forgiving of the plot silliness in Snow Piercer than of the sillyness in Guardians of the Galaxy. Perhaps because I feel like Snow Piercer hinted at how dumb a perpetual motion train was from the outsider perspective, where in Guardians, little of the idiocy of the bad guys final plan was called out, and the good guys final plan was equally dumb, but even acknowledged, everyone went with it anyway.
posted by garlic at 9:28 AM on August 5, 2014


[I]in Guardians, little of the idiocy of the bad guys final plan was called out, and the good guys final plan was equally dumb, but even acknowledged, everyone went with it anyway.

The bad guys' plan seems pretty straightforward, really: obtain WMD, use WMD on people we don't like.

The good guy's plan was, by genre standards, likewise rather straightforward. You may need to explain a bit more about all of this.
posted by kewb at 1:27 PM on August 5, 2014


Ronan's plan was dumb in that all he needed to do was touch an object the size of a small rock to literally any part of an entire planet, but he chose to make landfall using his biggest, most recognizable ship right over the (presumably) most heavily guarded city on Xandar.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:30 PM on August 5, 2014


He was a fanatic and terrorist who wanted to kill a bunch of people while making a statement. It was only by elements of chance that he didn't succeed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:52 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


He was a fanatic and terrorist who wanted to kill a bunch of people while making a statement. It was only by elements of chance that he didn't succeed.

Agreed. The sinners of Xandar HAD to know their judgment day was upon them. His brain couldn't comprehend any other scenario, as evidenced by his speech, before interruption, after he did step onto the ground. It would have been completely uncharacteristic of him to simply slip down in a two person jet, tell the pilot, "I'll be right back!" hop out, and touch the stone to the planet's surface.
posted by Atreides at 2:25 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


He was a fanatic and terrorist who wanted to kill a bunch of people while making a statement.

Real life fanatics and terrorists don't let the statement making get in the way of committing atrocities though. I say that he's a super villain who was supremely (over)confident in his victory to the point he thought he could make some General MacArthur-esque grandstanding without any consequence.
posted by FJT at 2:43 PM on August 5, 2014


Real life fanatics and terrorists don't let the statement making get in the way of committing atrocities though.

And Ronan didn't either. Quite literally the only reason he lost was that few wild cards -- the Guardians showing up at all, Star-Lord being able to rally the Ravagers to Xandar's defense, and even Quill being able to handle the stone without dying immediately -- just barely managed to stop him. The film makes it very clear that he knew exactly how to wield the stone without destroying himself, how to get through all of his target's existing defenses, and thus that he could afford to make a big show of things.
posted by kewb at 2:55 PM on August 5, 2014


I saw this movie last night. It's all the things in SciFi that I don't like and I enjoyed it completely.

We DID have an instant WTF at the 20 year old tape still working but ... does anyone remember the "No Prizes" that DC comics used to award for people who wrote in about mistakes? The rule was that you couldn't point out a mistake in the last issue without explaining why it wasn't really a mistake. So my contention for the No Prize is that he has a master copy locked someplace safe and he just replicates it every couple of years. Same with the Walkman, if required. (However, that generation of Walkman was 90% metal and completely fixable with basic tools. )

Because I obviously live in a cave, I had never seen Rooker before and the whole way through I thought the Yondu actor knocked it out of the park. There are so few actors who seem legitimately scary to me. Danny Trejo doesn't creep me out. Yondu creeped me out.

I also didn't expect to like Peter Quill as much as I did. His character is one of those modern schlubs that keep popping up as protagonists. But he won me over, as did the talking raccoon. Drax had amazing comic timing- I wish they'd used it more. And Groot was awesomely alien, and I with they'd run with that even more. (for instance, at the start when he's getting humans' genders mixed up.)

I liked a lot of the hair in this movie- Glenn Close's weird updo, and her assistant's Prell-perfect helmet of never moving waves. I liked Glenn Close's uniform a lot too.

The downsides: Yes, the boring, serious women with no sense of humor. Saldana didn't get nearly the number of jokes she should have. The sticks-up-the-butts one was so unexpected that I actually laughed out loud. I didn't mind the high heels. She's been MADE to be a weapon. If you can comfortably wear a pair of weapons without looking out of place, why not? Same with the long hair- so useful for hiding things and looking harmless, too.

Except for Yondu, the bad guys were all flat & boring. (I had no clue that Ronin was the Pushing Daisies guy.)

What bugged me most were the jarring mood music pieces- like the cliche wonder-tinkling during Groot's pollen spray. Maybe the cliche-ness of it was supposed to be another in-joke but I don't think so. I liked the 70s music. I didn't like the rest of it.

EDIT: And yes, I totally imagine a Redwood Tree-like fairy circle of Groot clones where he landed.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:05 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Collector showed up in Hellboy, too, didn't he?
posted by small_ruminant at 3:08 PM on August 5, 2014


Gamorra and Nebula both lacked story arcs, which was disappointing. (Korath the Pursuer didn't have much of a role, either, he really should've had a brief fight scene with Yondu). But I did like how a random, one-shot female extra basically has her only plot in the middle of the story. As tragic as it was, there was something empowering about it.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:30 PM on August 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Ew" is the kindest reaction to that crap, for sure. it's just such unthinking sexism, like *none* of the points people have made for years about how easy it is to avoid that stuff have made a dent at all in corporate Hollywood brains.

I think Gamorra definitely ended up being too quick to be a subordinate to Quill's lead throughout the movie, but that scene didn't feel like a gendered subordination. It was more like, "I'm a badass, but you're badass enough to lead us, okay, Cap'n." The problem was that the movie did not actually show Gamorra being an interesting badass, she was a pretty cliche "tough action flick chick who is the only straight woman because the men are funny but she has to be humorless for having her head on straight."

That said, they should totally have a Zoe Washburn-Mal Reynolds dynamic in the next film.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:37 PM on August 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think she was just at a loss for what to do next. Quill had been wandering from job to job his whole life. Gamorra had one goal: to take out Ronan. Soo... now what?

Also, I actually felt like she was the hero.

Quill was the hero in the way that Jack Burton is the hero of Big Trouble in Little China. He THINKS he's the hero. He has a big ... truck. And he has one magnificent knife throw that saves the day. Otherwise he's kind of an oaf.

Okay, so it's not 1:1 but close enough.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:07 PM on August 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Despite her humorlessness, I thought Gamora managed to avoid an all-too-common cliche of the Action Girl archetype where instead of being The Girly One or the emotional "heart" of the team, she's written as an extremely flat, cynical, 90s-"badass" type - but still a sex object, if an "assertive" one, because let's not get crazy here. (This is a pitfall that Gamora in the comics falls into all too regularly, including as a member of the GOTG.) In the film, Quill ends up as the one who emotionally connects with everybody - that's why he's more of a hero than Jack Burton, at least, since he's the only person who could convince the rest of the group to actually work together. Gamora, though, is the one with the purpose; Quill keeps the team together, but she's the one who's been steadily insisting on saving people from minute one. To torture a metaphor, if Quill's the heart of the Guardians then she's the spine.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:28 PM on August 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Rocket's the head, Drax's the muscles, Groot is the anthropomorphic plant limbs that dishes out massive damage or serves as an organic Swiss Army knife.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:34 PM on August 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


in the way that Jack Burton is the hero of Big Trouble in Little China

We were saying the same thing, around my house! Maybe time for a reboot of that.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:46 PM on August 5, 2014




We watched Big Trouble in Little China recently and, boy, it really hasn't aged well compared to They Live.

(Or The Thing which remains forever timeless.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:57 PM on August 5, 2014


We DID have an instant WTF at the 20 year old tape still working but ... does anyone remember the "No Prizes" that DC comics used to award for people who wrote in about mistakes?

That would be Marvel.

EXCELSIOR
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:26 PM on August 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


I really liked it. I'm a little concerned that Avengers 1 ends with them fighting a faceless CGI army, this end the same way and Avengers 2 looks to be more of the same. I'm not sure why that's so inevitable but it could get old.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:00 PM on August 5, 2014


Baby Groot in a pot...
posted by Naberius at 10:21 PM on August 5, 2014




I desperately want to take Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder to see this movie and show them how to make a superhero movie without sucking the joy out of the characters.
posted by teleri025 at 8:47 AM on August 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Can somebody explain to me what was going on in the initial stealing the orb sequence? Specifically what was the thing with the scanner showing ghostly images of people walking around doing regular people things?

My best guess is that this was the planet we saw destroyed when the Collector opened the orb and we got the stone's backstory, and that the scanner thing was somehow showing things the way they used to be. So Quill was using that to figure out where the orb would be kept? How would that work? And why would it have been left behind on this planet anyway after the whole place had been trashed?

Or should I just shut up and enjoy the movie?
posted by Naberius at 9:49 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


He could have just be accessing previous 3D records/cameras to figure out where the orb had been located, then going there to see if it was still there. Very few people knew it was an Infinity stone, so only scavengers were looking for it.

Now shut up and enjoy the movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:54 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


My impression was that the gizmo knew where the stone was kept when the planet was inhabited, and it overlaid a recording from the past with the Cosmic Artifacts Warehouse highlighted.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:55 AM on August 6, 2014


I mean, it's never explained. I figured it was sort of like the holographic video in Prometheus. Maybe a security system, maybe a home video, maybe a historical document? We currently take all of those things with photographic video, and if some other civilization found those they could reconstruct a great deal of our life from them. Imagine using the metadata of a camera with GPS to find the Hope Diamond in the ancient ruins of DC.

I figure that Quill tracked it down on a lead and used it to find the specific coordinates of the orb. Regardless, I thought it was a fun way to do exposition that wasn't a flashback or a voiceover or something. That actually made me enjoy the movie right away.
posted by codacorolla at 9:55 AM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


'Guardians of the Galaxy' and the rise of post-plot cinema
A strain of world-weariness has permeated cinema in recent years — evident in the crowing/laments about how great stories have migrated to television — a belief that there are simply no new filmic stories left to tell. These sorts of comments usually lead to a heated back-and-forth about supposedly great new movies that either do or don’t tell a new story. “Guardians,” though, has done something different — it has slyly obviated the whole question. Who cares, it asks, if any of this is new or even a story as long as there are some cool visuals and laugh-worthy quips — as long as there are people, in the end, who are fun to hang out with?
posted by FJT at 10:14 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved loved loved it and almost didn't want to read this thread for fear a bunch of nitpickers would ruin it for me. Thankfully you didn't. Yay, metafilter! I cried several times, and it's been a long time since a movie made me struggle/fail to hold back tears.

That said, the "bitch" and "whore" lines totally stood out to me. The gratuitous butt shot did not, maybe because the gratuitous Chris Pratt chiseled torso shot gave me the vapors and it was all I could do to not grab my boyfriend's arm and whisper "holy shit." (Boyfriend would not have appreciated that so I kept it to myself.)
posted by misskaz at 10:30 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nor does Marvel or the people they hire have to choose bitch or whore or mewling quim or any of the other decisions they've made that reduced the fun for me and other people in the audience

I can totally get how having the heroes of a movie calling someone "bitch" and "whore" is a bummer and is unnecessary and should totally be left out. I agree. But the "mewling quim" thing. Holy jeez. It was a villain whose schtick is hubris, seeking to show his superiority and be worshiped, who constantly schemes and manipulates people to get his way. Pretty sure he was imprisoned at the time by people he felt were beneath him, and not happy about it. He was also really damned petty and in the middle of trying to create discord on that big helicopter aircraft carrier thingy so he might escape. Nasty insults are pretty much totally in character, especially when the entire scene is him verbally ripping into her. Yep it was a totally mean, totally sexist thing to say. It was also a bad thing done by the bad guy, which is another reason why he's bad. Darth Vader strangled a dude with his mind, Hannibal Lecter cut a dude's face off and wore it, Loki used a gendered insult. None of these things are meant to be emulated and are prima facie shitty things done by shitty people. Can a villain not be an asshole that says sexist things or does terrible things?
posted by Hoopo at 11:12 AM on August 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


'Guardians of the Galaxy' and the rise of post-plot cinema

I fail - utterly - to understand the point of that article. The writer seems to contend that there is no discernible plot to the film, which even he admits isn't really the case. There is a very clear plot. It is driven by the mcguffin of the infinity stone (like a lot of Hitchcock, let's pick North by Northwest) and it involves several characters whose separate storylines gradually merge into one (like Kurosawa's Seven Samurai), but nobody would accuse either of those films of lacking a story.

It seems that what he's really upset about is that the film doesn't explain the larger world in which that plot is set. And in the beginning you are indeed kind of confused about who this Ronan guy is, who he's mad at and why, etc. But that's basically because this film, unlike most of the other Marvel films, isn't set in our world with a weird element dropped in. It's set in a world about which we know nothing, and it makes the rather brave choice to not spoonfeed you all kinds of details in endless voiceovers that stop the movie dead (Dune, Dark City, Blade Runner).

It doesn't really matter that we don't understand exactly what Ronan's beef with Xandar is. All we need to know is that he is some kind of extremist who, for some reason that sounds kind of religious maybe, really wants to slaughter every innocent person on the planet. Because we know nothing about these characters and their backstories, their motivations are made very simple and off we go.

This wasn't so much of a problem in Iron Man because the audience gets the context of who a billionaire industrialist is, why the army is running around the middle east getting bombs flung at them by what looks like a gang of bandits. We get how the military-industrial complex works. We can plug what we see in Iron Man into that context and we're good to go.

This isn't the first time Marvel has faced this creative dilemma by the way. Consider Asgard. There we don't get a lot of explanation. Who runs Asgard's communications systems? It's factories? Are there Asgardian peasants, and what are their lives like? We just get a sort of standard medieval kingdom feel - you've got King Odin and his happy band of warrior knights, and the rest we just sort of assume from all the crypto-medieval fantasy we're familiar with. We can't do that with Guardians.

If you want to separate plot from context, just look at Seven Samurai again. There are certainly cultural details from Warring States Japan that went right over my head, but the underlying storyline is totally coherent and strong enough that it's been repeatedly picked up and set down in entirely different settings and genres from westerns (Magnificent Seven) to space opera (Battle Beyond the Stars) and it works just fine.

The issue here isn't one of plot. Here, as in Avengers which he also complains about, it's one of dealing with large numbers of characters in a world with a very detailed backstory. That's hard to do in film. I think Guardians made a brave choice in not overdoing it to the detriment of the story and trusting the audience to get its bearings and keep up.

or should i just shut up and enjoy the movie?
posted by Naberius at 12:25 PM on August 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


It doesn't really matter that we don't understand exactly what Ronan's beef with Xandar is.

It's pretty clear that the Kree and the Xandarians have been at war for over or about 1,000 years. A peace treaty was recently signed, though the two races or planets (it's not clear what) aren't very friendly with each other. Ronan isn't happy about the peace treaty 'cause he believes Xandar persecuted a lot of Kree and since he follows a particular religion which demands violent retribution he's going wipe out the entire planet.

That reviewer must have been trolling 'cause it's not hard to figure some of this stuff out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on August 6, 2014


But that's basically because this film, unlike most of the other Marvel films, isn't set in our world with a weird element dropped in. It's set in a world about which we know nothing

Wait, is this true? This movie isn't set in the MCU?
posted by jbickers at 1:14 PM on August 6, 2014


It's set in the MCU, but with an emphasis on the “universe” part of things. Nothing that happened in any of the Earthly Marvel movies matters one iota to the Guardians (yet).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:16 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think he has a point to a certain extent, where it's much more about the characters and their interactions and the plot is there to give a reason for those things to happen. But this is also the case with a lot of comedies, which is about 51% of GoTG's DNA. Like, in Airplane it matters that the plane is crashing and that the protagonist has to overcome a previous setback to land it, but it's much more about the dialog and the characters. The looseness of the plot has become a more prominent aspect of modern comedies especially, like how This is the End gives very little consideration as to what caused the apocalypse, and it's more about seeing James Franco and the Superfriends interacting.

What I'm saying is that the treatment of the plot is more what one would expect in a comedy as opposed to an action sci-fi. That makes sense given that the film is very much a comedy.
posted by codacorolla at 1:21 PM on August 6, 2014


Yes, it's sort the MCU's "meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy..." but we've seen absolutely zip of any of this in the previous movies except for a quick bit of Thanos in a post-credits scene.

And honestly if you took Thanos out of Guardians entirely, you wouldn't notice the hole. Thanos is just in this to keep his plate spinning until they're ready for him (I presume in Avengers III, The Infinity Gauntlet).
posted by Naberius at 1:28 PM on August 6, 2014


'Guardians of the Galaxy' and the rise of post-plot cinema

Totally reminded me of my friend who says that if you're looking at the plot of a movie instead of the characters and themes, you're doing it wrong. (I still do it wrong because I think character and theme are expressed by showing them in action.)

But the "mewling quim" thing. Holy jeez.

He called her the Victorian equivalent of the c-word so Whedon could sneak it past the censors, tee-hee! We don't say that word on Metafilter because it's offensive. Why shouldn't people call the same words out when people use them in pretendy fun-times? And what's lost by having the villain say something else? If there's nothing else the writers can think of to have bad guys say, they're creatively bankrupt (moreso than usual) and should go home.
posted by immlass at 1:30 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


The line was fine, it demonstrated how hard Loki was trying to get under BW's sking and how badly he failed. That or similar lines aren't something I'd like to see in every movie, but it works for me in this scene. YMMV.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:10 PM on August 6, 2014


Uh, I don't think Whedon's involved in GotG, is he? Except peripherally, since he does stuff with other parts of the MCU?
posted by NoraReed at 2:52 PM on August 6, 2014


Loki used a gendered insult. None of these things are meant to be emulated and are prima facie shitty things done by shitty people. Can a villain not be an asshole that says sexist things or does terrible things?

But why a gendered insult directed toward the team's only (if we don't count SHIELD Agent Maria Hill) woman? Why not call Nick Fury any number of race based insults or if better yet insult Tony for all his fratboy drunkenness and sexual promiscuousness (which are actual traits not based on identity)?

Also, Asgard is a society of warriors, and seems to have women in the ranks of fighting. I would assume that Loki grew up with a lot of strong women around him, so it does seem unusual for him to think of using such an insult.

It's set in a world about which we know nothing, and it makes the rather brave choice to not spoonfeed you all kinds of details in endless voiceovers that stop the movie dead (Dune, Dark City, Blade Runner).

First, I'm a huge Blade Runner fan and I have to point this out, as you seemed to have only watched the US theatrical cut of Blade Runner, which is largely agreed on as the worst cut and which has been succeeded by the Director's Cut, which has been out for over 20 years (and that cut has been succeeded by the Final Cut). I highly recommend for you to watch either the Director's Cut or Final Cut, as it entirely changes the movie, and there's a much better ending in both of them as compared to the crappy ending in the US Theatrical Cut that was just narration over a scene from The Shining.

Second, there is definitely some spoonfeeding in the form of expositional dialogue. The most obvious is during the prisoner lineup scene where John C. Reilly gives a brief summary of each of the characters. There's also that exchange of dialogue that happens a little before the funny "finger across the throat" line where someone conveniently asks who Drax is, and someone else answers "That's Drax the Destroyer, his mother and daughter were destroyed by Ronan, so he's out on a quest of revenge against him".

The issue here isn't one of plot. Here, as in Avengers which he also complains about, it's one of dealing with large numbers of characters in a world with a very detailed backstory. That's hard to do in film. I think Guardians made a brave choice in not overdoing it to the detriment of the story and trusting the audience to get its bearings and keep up.

I think it's both plot and character. Marvel films all have to deal with the push of creating a self-contained movie with clear plot and character arcs, but at the same time the pull of putting them into a larger universe with it's own running plot and arcs that also fit into a timed movie release schedule. And I think this is why I felt Guardians was kind of uneven in places. For me, it felt like some parts had way too much going on, while other places hardly anything happened. At the same time, characters that had certain expected personality traits or abilities seemed to change all of a sudden. Some of these were attempts at forcing a character to show growth, but they seemed to happen too early and felt unearned.
posted by FJT at 3:45 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


But why a gendered insult directed toward the team's only (if we don't count SHIELD Agent Maria Hill) woman?

He thought she was vulnerable and wanted to break her spirit as part of spreading chaos in the team.

Why not call Nick Fury any number of race based insults

Nick had just made a point of showing how he could kill him with a push of a button. Best not to mess with him too much.

or if better yet insult Tony for all his fratboy drunkenness and sexual promiscuousness (which are actual traits not based on identity)?

He was on the cusp of bringing the Chitauri to Earth, the Avengers were scattered, he thought he'd won. So he just threw Tony out of the window instead. Loki doesn't send out insults just 'cause he hates people, he does it to get under their skin and gain an advantage over them.

Also, Asgard is a society of warriors, and seems to have women in the ranks of fighting. I would assume that Loki grew up with a lot of strong women around him, so it does seem unusual for him to think of using such an insult.

Loki grew up with a lot of strong people, but thought they were all below him, so he had no problem insulting anyone if it served his purposes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:29 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


In terms of sexism, the thing that bugged me the most about this particular Marvel flick is that Quill gave the "We have to do the right thing" speech, when Gamora's entire character arc is based around the fact that she's been doing and saying that since she escaped from what's-his-face. Why is Quill giving her a fuckin' moral principles pep talk when she's the one who's been trying to talk him into suiting up and stopping the bad guys? Why isn't Gamora up there saying, "Look, I don't want to say I told you so but now you all see how bad it can get, and our merry band of misfits have to put an end to this?"

It was just... such a weirdly bizarre piece of incongruous writing, like someone stepped in and said, "NO WAIT WE NEED THE HERO TO MAKE A SPEECH".
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:09 PM on August 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Why is Quill giving her a fuckin' moral principles pep talk when she's the one who's been trying to talk him into suiting up

Well, actually that seems par for the course for oblivous, straight, white, male oafs. Hey! You know that dumb idea you've been suggesting all meeting? INow that I've thought of it myself, IT'S BRILLIANT! Yay me!

So it more seemed to me that he'd finally converted.
posted by small_ruminant at 7:10 PM on August 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Why is Quill giving her a fuckin' moral principles pep talk when she's the one who's been trying to talk him into suiting up and stopping the bad guys?

Gamora was talking first about selling the orb to someone else and cashing out. Then she just wanted to turn it over to the Nova corps. Then she almost died trying to do that and now Quill is talking about a suicide mission. Of course her and the others are a bit hesitant now, nobody really truly wanted to die.

Going up against Infinity Stone wielding Ronan was a bit insane, that's why she wasn't leading that particular come to Jesus meeting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:36 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not that I don't think Gamora giving the speech would have been cool. But the movie was about these five beings coming together as friends and family. Quill giving the speech works 'cause she did inspire him. Then it was his turn to inspire her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 PM on August 6, 2014


Then she almost died trying to do that and now Quill is talking about a suicide mission. Of course her and the others are a bit hesitant now, nobody really truly wanted to die.

Yeah, except where Gamora has illustrated that she is clearly willing to take near-suicidal risks for the purposes of defeating the bad guys with any allies and by any means necessary, way before anybody else even considered it (dropping her weapons in the prison, for instance.) Overall, I really WANT to like Gamora as a character, but I just.... admittedly I've only seen the movie once, so maybe I'm overlooking something, but her treatment by the writers was so inconsisently hand-wavey, waffling back and forth between kickass chick with something coming verrrry close to her own actual story arc, and damsel-in-distress side character, that having Quill give the speech really did come off exactly, as small_ruminant says, like male management taking credit for the woman's idea in the big meeting.

Hell, even leaving the bad guys' service is almost certainly suicidal-- eventually. It seems hilariously tone-deaf of Quill to make a "we have to make sacrifices" speech to the woman who threw her adopted father, sister, and entire prior life away to try and keep more bad stuff from happening.

Really though, I dream of a day where we get more than one female superhero on screen at once. Avengers 2, you'd better not let me down.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:14 PM on August 6, 2014


Maybe a security system, maybe a home video, maybe a historical document?

Excuse for Director James Gunn to give his dog, Dr. Wesley Von Spears, a cameo.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:26 PM on August 6, 2014


Just saw it tonight. Fan-freakin-tastic. I went it after having seen the first two-thirds of the five-minute clip and nothing else and LOVED IT.

It's weird, though, because the similarly-praised Avengers movie left me surprisingly cold. This was so thoroughly fun, though. Reminds me Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol -- a funny, exciting, visually striking movie with a great ensemble cast that gleefully plays with its genre's tropes. The perfect popcorn blockbuster.

doctornecessiter: "I wonder if the casting of Vin Diesel as Groot was at all consciously a reference to his association with The Iron Giant. Groot and The Iron Giant are similar...sweet, lovable, mostly-silent characters who are also very dangerous in certain situations, with similar ends -- even similarly meaningful last lines, which I won't repeat here"

Fun fact: The Iron Giant came out 15 years ago to the day. August 6th, 1999.

yasaman: "I for one demand a dancing baby Groot in a pot toy, perhaps one that will automatically dance to whatever music you're playing. I'm not at all the kind of fan who cares about or purchases any merchandise beyond DVDs and books, but I would buy a cute little dancing Groot the moment it became available. It would literally improve my life. Get on that, Marvel."

I... AM... KEEPON!

Also, here's the full playlist of tracks from the Awesome Mixtape, direct from Marvel:

1. “Hooked on a Feeling” Performed by Blue Swede
2. “Go All the Way” Performed by Raspberries
3. “Spirit in the Sky”* Performed by Norman Greenbaum
4. “Moonage Daydream” Performed by David Bowie
5. “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” Performed by Elvin Bishop
6. “I’m Not in Love” Performed by 10cc
7. “I Want You Back” Performed by Jackson 5
8. “Come and Get Your Love” Performed by Redbone
9. “Cherry Bomb” Performed by The Runaways
10. “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” Performed by Rupert Holmes
11. “O-O-H Child” Performed by The Five Stairsteps
12. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Here's a Spotify playlist (with a bonus track) if you've got it.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:48 AM on August 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Also, this is utterly delightful: behind-the-scenes with Vin Diesel recording "I am Groot" in different languages
posted by Rhaomi at 1:26 AM on August 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yeah, except where Gamora has illustrated that she is clearly willing to take near-suicidal risks for the purposes of defeating the bad guys with any allies and by any means necessary, way before anybody else even considered it (dropping her weapons in the prison, for instance.)

Sorry, not getting what you mean here, can you clarify?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:29 AM on August 7, 2014


Re Quill's big speech, it's the act two turning point - the darkest hour, the moment when in most films somebody would be dead. Everyone has pretty much failed. Drax actually got his shot at the one thing he's been saying he wanted for the whole movie, and he got his ass handed to him. It's less sharply drawn for Rocket and Groot, who just wanted to sell something to somebody and get rich. But they've failed at that too. I suspect the need to equalize their level of despair is why Rocket gets the line about how they should just run away and hope they can live out their lives before Ronan destroys everything.

Gamora's thing was specifically about keeping the orb out of Ronan's hands - because she, better than anyone else, understands just how unstoppable he'll be if he has it. And now that she's failed at that, I think she figures they're done. It's game over, there's no way they can expect to take him on and win. So everyone is in despair, and that's what Quill is trying to talk them out of. And that speech isn't just "we should be on the side of good even when nobody's paying us." It's "we should go and lay down our lives to try and save this planet of innocent people." That seems a very different thing that what Gamora's been about previously.
posted by Naberius at 6:44 AM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I had been looking forward hugely to this movie, and found it only fairly fun. Like a bland pizza with AWESOME toppings, you had to pick the bits of good movie (and they were many) out of the framework of validation for the dudebro manchild.

Like, in the first scene, young Quill has been fighting with the other kids because "they killed a little frog that ain't done nothing"... then we fast-forward to the adult Quill randomly kicking the little CGI rat-lizard things that also hadn't shown him any hostility. So... he grew up to realise that's OK?

I also think the "green whore" gag shouldn't have made the final cut, and it's a bit of a black mark against Gunn that it did. That speech is a major character moment for Drax, and suddenly his characterisation-- his firmly-established literalism and his regard for "honorable" conduct-- is subsumed by the writer/director's desire to call a woman a whore for a cheap laugh.

But Rocket and Groot were fantastic, and the actors were overall great, and the bits of comedy given to random side characters were also excellent. I just wish I'd liked this film as much as I thought I was going to.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:14 AM on August 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Like, in the first scene, young Quill has been fighting with the other kids because "they killed a little frog that ain't done nothing"... then we fast-forward to the adult Quill randomly kicking the little CGI rat-lizard things that also hadn't shown him any hostility. So... he grew up to realise that's OK?

No, it shows how much he's changed and how hardened he's become over the 26 years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:06 AM on August 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


On further thought... Peter got into a fight as a kid over a frog. Then later he doesn't care about the little creatures, kicking and mocking them, though not killing. He acts pretty mercenary and uncaring.

Until he sees a green person about to die after being "beaten". Freud would love this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:12 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]




I thought "whore" was gratuitous, but Quill's use of "bitch" at the end was okay. That insult, in that context, wasn't gendered, and it seems to me like it's the sort of standard bravado thing to say. We really need some sort of site where we can list out all of the potential problematic items in a creative work and we can vote on which ones we find offensive or not.

What does anyone else think about Carina's brief arc in the movie?
posted by Apocryphon at 2:49 PM on August 7, 2014


I thought "whore" was gratuitous, but Quill's use of "bitch" at the end was okay. That insult, in that context, wasn't gendered,

There is literally no context ever where the use of 'bitch' as an insult is not gendered.

If it was about the dogness and not the femaleness, the insult would be 'dog'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:51 PM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed it. It gets bonus points for subverting the "For me it was Tuesday" trope.
posted by drezdn at 5:07 PM on August 7, 2014


We really need some sort of site where we can list out all of the potential problematic items in a creative work and we can vote on which ones we find offensive or not.

My rule of thumb is that when I feel like being sarcastic about somebody else's concerns, I'm probably in the wrong.
posted by maxsparber at 5:33 PM on August 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


But plate of beans comes from somewhere, right?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:43 PM on August 7, 2014


What does anyone else think about Carina's brief arc in the movie?

Explosive story, really blew me away.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:32 PM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


He thought she was vulnerable and wanted to break her spirit as part of spreading chaos in the team.

Okay, so story works because story, but my criticism was also directed to the writers, who have control of this. I understand the frustration that some feel about the insult in the movie, and to have it explained as, "Well, it makes sense because X character and Y event" doesn't really cut it.
posted by FJT at 7:07 PM on August 7, 2014


Yeah I think the offensive stuff is even more offensive for breaking the tone the movie had set up, which should offend everyone. I mean Quill left earth before inserting 'bitch' into superhero movies was a thing, right? He should have said jag-off or lame brain or quoted TMNT (which would have been an even more awesome meta joke). There's an even huger tone issue for the Drax line. There's this magical tree sperm glowing in the air, cheesy synth music, he's professing friendship in a simple and childlike way and then the whole thing is ruined with that jarring line. Maybe if he used it in the bar scene it would have worked as a throwaway gag. It honestly felt like play to the cheap seats meddling.

Partially due to the long mefi discussion I actually felt Loki's line in Avengers was good characterization. I mean beating up soldiers and rich dudes is one thing, but don't talk like that to Black Widow. I guess it was pretty solidly established by the 'kneel before me' part but still. I think its a totally different type of line.
posted by kittensofthenight at 7:15 PM on August 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, I thought Rocket was treated with profound humanity. There's an okay piece on comics alliance about the mental health issues the team is dealing with and the portrayal of Rocket is downright amazing. The shot of his fucked up back, responding to crisis with immediate anger, refusal to get close to anyone except someone weirder than him. The animation and the performance and writing were spectacular. I say this as someone who hated Golumn in LOTR and Yoda in the Star Wars prequels.
posted by kittensofthenight at 7:24 PM on August 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Did anyone else pick up on the fact that not only was the Collector Gamora's buyer for the orb, but also the Broker's buyer as well? Look at the sequence of events: Yondu shows up at the Broker to interrogate him about who his buyer was, and then the next time we see Yondu and crew, they're showing up at Knowhere just as all Hell is getting ready to break loose. Pretty much, the Collector was playing all the angles at once.

On a tangent, I hope they bring back Yondu in the next one, he's just too fun. He's like Cajun Pawn Stars, In SPAAACE.

The bit with the troll doll, people have been saying that was Peter literally trolling Yondu... but the last time Peter was on earth, trolling wasn't called that, except perhaps in the darkest corners of usenet. That scene is the filmmakers trolling us into thinking Peter's trolling Yondu.

If you take a step back and look at what's actually going on, Peter's giving up one of his prized Earth possessions as a peace offering, because he knows that Yondu is just going to put it up on his flight console with all his other little figurines that he loves so much.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:05 AM on August 8, 2014 [36 favorites]


That's a great point, radwolf76.
posted by drezdn at 4:29 AM on August 8, 2014


I looked up the soundtrack cause I was all Yaaay nostalgic 70s rock hits with Sci-fi flavor! And shocked SHOCKED that Drive In Saturday was not featured as it is literally a glam rock science fiction song about nostalgia.
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on August 8, 2014


( I am willing to humbly accept the inclusion of Moonage Daydream however.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 AM on August 8, 2014


if there isn't already an extra planned for DVD/Blu-ray that has Vin Diesel mocapping a dancing Grootling, they need to get back to the studio and do one.

James Gunn revealed in the recent Empire Magazine spoiler podcast that he was the source for Groot's dance moves.
posted by garrett at 9:29 AM on August 8, 2014


Partially due to the long mefi discussion I actually felt Loki's line in Avengers was good characterization.

It was also part of a scene where the master of manipulation is being out-manipulated by the woman he holds in such contempt. The whole scene is a parallel to Widow's introduction, with Loki taking the Russian's place as the patsy.
posted by happyroach at 10:22 AM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was kind of disappointed that Moonaged Daydream was given short shrift with how it was used in the film. Not much of it, and with the audio cutting in and out over dialog.
posted by codacorolla at 12:49 PM on August 8, 2014


his prized Earth possessions as a peace offering, because he knows that Yondu is just going to put it up on his flight console

That's what I got out of it too- nothing else even crossed my mind. Yondu would know it was prized, too- he was as close as Quill had to family, after all, and raised him.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:28 PM on August 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I just got back from seeing it again, and this time was able to suss out a little more of the Xandar - Ronan stuff. Was struck again by just how pretty the movie is - if you have to have CGI all over the place, at least it looks gorgeous.

I also came away from it wondering if, after all of it, Yondu was my favorite character. Could be, could be.
posted by PussKillian at 10:26 PM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the movie, and found the overt sexism troubling. I even had a hard time pinpointing the specifics afterwards. Sure, the whore line and gratuitous ass shots (there were at least 3, the stairs was just the one that lingered the most). But sown thing else too... I don't want to sat lack of agency, because Gamora did have a lot. But it also seemed like she was just a side note in most cases.

(I did like the slave girls suicide though - very compelling.)

I also really wished they would have embraced an R-rating. Cartoon, bloodless deaths felt out of place and didn't do any justice to the carnage. We should actually understand the piles of dead bodies left behind, even if they're "bad guys".

All that being said, I really did enjoy the giant scifi world. It reminded me of all the horrible scifi I loved as a kid, but given the budget to do it right.

Also everyone beware, doin' it with an "angel made entirely of light" will give you really bad cancer.

I an do glad you said that. I thought I was the only one that had that thought, and it made me a terrible person.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:13 AM on August 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


A pretty minor point to bring back up, but I just saw it again and every animal that Peter kicks or grabs in the beginning was in the act of lunging at him with its teeth bared; he wasn't just randomly abusing animals, he was defending himself.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:04 AM on August 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


In terms of sexism, the thing that bugged me the most about this particular Marvel flick is that Quill gave the "We have to do the right thing" speech, when Gamora's entire character arc is based around the fact that she's been doing and saying that since she escaped from what's-his-face. Why is Quill giving her a fuckin' moral principles pep talk when she's the one who's been trying to talk him into suiting up and stopping the bad guys? Why isn't Gamora up there saying, "Look, I don't want to say I told you so but now you all see how bad it can get, and our merry band of misfits have to put an end to this?"

It was just... such a weirdly bizarre piece of incongruous writing, like someone stepped in and said, "NO WAIT WE NEED THE HERO TO MAKE A SPEECH".


Because that's the beat where the main character finds his inner strength, yadda yadda... One can make a good argument that quill shouldn't have been the protagonist, but he was, and according to formula, that's his scene.
posted by empath at 5:23 PM on August 9, 2014


I liked the jarring switch between happy, playful, oblivious Groot and terrifyingly destructive Groot. It's so hard to make a really alien alien.

I think this was in the same vein as Pacific Rim, in that we didn't get really fleshed out characters, we only got enough broad strokes, and then got to see them carom off each other.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:58 PM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's so hard to make a really alien alien.

I noticed during the early three-sided action scene where Gamora tries to grab the orb that Zoe Saldana makes the same choice that Robert Patrick did in T2 -- she sprints with her mouth closed. It is a subtle choice but it is something you do not really see in humans.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:09 AM on August 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have a possibly-dumb plot-related question: Why didn't they sell the Infinity Stone to the Collector?

They were about to get the money, and then the slave girl grabs the Stone and explodes, and then... they just leave? The Collector isn't dead, he's still got money - but they decide instead to hand the Stone over to the Xandarians? Did something happen in there that I missed?
posted by Bill_Roundy at 3:57 PM on August 10, 2014


So what does the Collector do without a collection? I thought it was a good revenge on Carina to destroy it all.

I enjoyed it. I brought my mom to the movie--and she does not like weird or science fiction--and even though she was confused by the plot, she seemed to have a good time overall. I think the music helped there. I did enjoy how they chose to use the music at more perverse moments, like "Hooked on a Feeling" while Peter gets tortured, "Escape" for escape, "I'm Not In Love" for the dying mom, etc. And "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" was quite a moment.

Nthing the "where is my dancing baby Groot, must I order one off Etsy" chants.

I'm guessing that Groots must reproduce via breaking off sticks and putting them in pots, so there must be a lotta baby Groots on Xandar now. I want one!
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:01 PM on August 10, 2014


They were about to get the money, and then the slave girl grabs the Stone and explodes, and then... they just leave? The Collector isn't dead, he's still got money - but they decide instead to hand the Stone over to the Xandarians? Did something happen in there that I missed?

Assumption that it was no longer safe with the Collector? Likewise, none of the gang really knew the extent of the stone's power, and having the slave girl blow the place up was an eye opening example of the power.
posted by Atreides at 5:11 PM on August 10, 2014


Assumption that it was no longer safe with the Collector?

I was pretty much going to say that: it looked like any containment device he might have had for it there was shot when Carina blew herself up.

Plus, that little display was not confidence inspiring with regard to the Collector's capabilities or motives. The whole thing happened in his stronghold, on his watch, due to his mistreatment of a slave girl.

The Nova Corps probably felt like a better bet to all of them - note that they weren't even convinced that was a good enough option, just the best one easily available.
posted by mordax at 5:22 PM on August 10, 2014


They were about to get the money, and then the slave girl grabs the Stone and explodes, and then... they just leave? The Collector isn't dead, he's still got money - but they decide instead to hand the Stone over to the Xandarians? Did something happen in there that I missed?

Yeah, they found out it was an Infinity Stone and not just an orb. This wasn't a some valued art piece or some such, but an incredible power source from the beginning of time. The Nova Corps seemed like they'd handled that better than the guy who's museum shop just blew up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:32 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


>: "So what does the Collector do without a collection?"

He just starts over.
posted by Mitheral at 8:25 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I realized today that the only thing in the sequel I'm worried won't live up to the hype is the soundtrack. Really, how do you assemble Awesome Mix #2?
posted by nicebookrack at 8:41 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Though presented in image macro form, this does raise a good point that the mercenary tough talkin' CGI raccoon was a much, much heroic character than the latest attempt at on-screen Superman.
posted by codacorolla at 9:18 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going to wait until I see it again when not like, currently undergoing possible food poisoning but while the movie itself has moved on from my mind, I'm still listening to the soundtrack and I wonder if the IDEA of this movie : a goofy AM GOLD space opera adventure with lots of aliens, is more powerful and interesting than the actual movie itself. Like we all just REALLY WANTED a movie like this and it's filling a void in the market that is clearly waiting patiently for it.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on August 10, 2014


Really, how do you assemble Awesome Mix #2?

You start HERE.

"I thought that they were Angels -- much to my surprise, they climbed aboard their starship, and headed for the skies."

Playing it over the flashback of Peter's mother meeting his father may be a bit too obvious though, so it might be best to save it for a different scene.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:12 AM on August 11, 2014


Like we all just REALLY WANTED a movie like this and it's filling a void in the market that is clearly waiting patiently for it.

Ha, friends and I were discussing something similar, i.e. how long it been since a really good space opera was in the theaters, combined with heroes that weren't grim and dark. I think a lot of the recent Marvel movies come close, but none are quite a boldly and unapologetically goofy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:52 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


"So what does the Collector do without a collection?"

Well, he's still got a talking dog and talking duck. Maybe he can start up a carnival sideshow kind of thing. Make it sort of hipster ironic. Serve craft whiskey or something. He'll be okay.
posted by Naberius at 6:46 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


wait, did the dog talk?
posted by empath at 7:20 AM on August 11, 2014


Sadly no, but he does in the comics. Hopefully that will make it into the sequel.

(Cosmo the telepathic superintelligent Soviet space dog is Knowhere's chief of security in the the Abnett/Lanning books, and I love that that is a sentence I can write)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also, of course he thinks with a Russian accent. Obviously.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking along the same lines, Whelk. I liked the movie a lot but I think in a lot of ways it's really the tone of the whole thing - the warm fuzzies we all apparently get from seeing space vistas combined with classic rock - is what's driving the success of the movie. The characters are great but they're not drawn very deeply, and what I'm seeing is that the movie is driving a lot of fan art as a response (and two pieces I've seen specifically referencing Calvin and Hobbes), but not slews of fanfic. That seems to mean something but I'm not enough of a fandom scholar to dissect it.
posted by PussKillian at 8:31 AM on August 11, 2014


I can almost guarantee you that the relative paucity of fan fiction is because there's no convenient slash pairing between two white dudes. GotG is likely to get a steady trickle of gen found-family fic, plus a handful of Gamora/Nebula, Peter/Gamora, and a few adventurous souls attempting to write Rocket/Groot. Maybe some additional pairings from the greater MCU if people are willing to pull comics canon in. But sad to say, modern fanfiction-writing media fandom seems to require two reasonably attractive white dudes to ship together to spur on a megafandom. At the rate it's currently going, GotG is far from a megafandom, and may well stay small enough to qualify for Yuletide.
posted by yasaman at 11:10 AM on August 11, 2014


Playing it over the flashback of Peter's mother meeting his father may be a bit too obvious though, so it might be best to save it for a different scene.

This is how you use that song in a flashback - have it so the big riff comes in when Quill's Dad finally does a "reveal" of What He Is to his Mom, like opens a door to a modest house and it leads to some kick-ass spaceship control room with wrap around views of the universe, then smash into a romance montage - just straight up Meatloaf, gauzey 70s white dresses, hair in Leia-ish braids, just tooling around the solar system and having Steve Nicks In Space High Romance (It goes without saying that his Dad has to have some seriously coiffed blonde space hair) ..and then some "and she never saw him again.." line.

BOOM. DONE.

(then you get the reveal that Quill's dad was a jerk and the romance was just a con to appeal to her and he just needed suitable breeding stock or something. blah blah your real family is the one you make blah )
posted by The Whelk at 11:22 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can almost guarantee you that the relative paucity of fan fiction is because there's no convenient slash pairing between two white dudes. GotG is likely to get a steady trickle of gen found-family fic, plus a handful of Gamora/Nebula, Peter/Gamora, and a few adventurous souls attempting to write Rocket/Groot. Maybe some additional pairings from the greater MCU if people are willing to pull comics canon in. But sad to say, modern fanfiction-writing media fandom seems to require two reasonably attractive white dudes to ship together to spur on a megafandom.

Yeah, I've seen the rankings list of AO3 fandoms by the number, and this is all sadly true. I saw one person propose that Gamora/Nebula had all the necessary ingredients to become a Loki/Thor thing, but without Hiddleston's cheekbones I kinda doubt it'll happen. Although I suppose you could follow the frequently used Leverage shipping formula and pair off Quill and Gamora then OT3 Drax, Rocket, and Groot - that would be quite the fic.

I saw a writer talking about GotG make some comparisons to Pacific Rim and I think there is some interesting stuff to unpack there.

On the other hand, despite how popular the found family trope is, I admit freely that it finds every button I have and mashes on it, as anybody who has caught me crying buckets while watching Lilo and Stitch can tell you. So that's a big part of what sold me on GotG.
posted by PussKillian at 11:34 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


But sad to say, modern fanfiction-writing media fandom seems to require two reasonably attractive white dudes to ship together to spur on a megafandom.

Yondu and Ronan. Ronan and Quill. Drax and Ronan. Groot and Drax. Drax and Rocket. Yondu, Ronan, Drax and the Collector.

If fanfic can't or won't work with any of that, then WTH?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:41 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


no convenient slash pairing between two white dudes.

Peter Quill/Corpsman Dey?

adventurous souls attempting to write Rocket/Groot

Oh man, that's so weird. I mean, c'mon ... Rocket/Drax is the obvious pairing here. The petting was just a start, you know?

(On preview: Two other mentions of Rocket/Drax. Told you.)
posted by CrayDrygu at 11:42 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just finished the 2008-10 Guardians comic series and there were a lot more female characters and female-character-driven plot points than I expected. Gamora, of course, but also Mantis, a kickass telepath/martial artist, Phyla, the daughter of Captain Marvel, whose love interest in Drax's daughter Moondragon, herself a powerful telepath, drives much of the series, a powerful evil priestess, a bi-gendered time-swept Starhawk... it's surprisingly full of female characters, only one of whom made the cut for the movie.

Of course, it's all smothered in standard comic book sexism; any sane person would gag at the costume Moondragon puts on after deciding she'd had enough moping about losing her lover. But it's still a pretty fun comic book series (you do have to ignore some tie-ins to previous and then-current Marvel space universe stuff), with some nice superhero art and a few really funny, and really touching, moments. Worth begging or borrowing if you liked the movie.
posted by mediareport at 1:46 PM on August 11, 2014


A couple of reviews/essays I came across recently:

Daily Dot: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' passes the Bechdel Test—but it fails women
As much as I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy in all its space-operatic wonder, that enjoyment was marred by what I can only describe as a miasma of douchiness.
Kameron Hurley: The Increasingly Poor Economics of Penning Problematic Stories
The funniest part about my experience with Space Run is that it wasn’t even egregious. I’ve gotten through far worse things – True Detective, Bioshock Infinite – that I endured because there were other aspects of the storytelling that were so good. But when you give me a mediocre experience and *then* punch me in the face, well, you know… fuck it. This is why I’ll put up with Guardians of the Galaxy having a weirdly womanizing hero and its sole female protagonist called a whore, because it offers, at least, other things that I enjoy. I will still, of course, call out this problematic behavior, but, you know, if the rest of the movie was ALSO shit, I wouldn’t bother with my dollars. What studios will start to understand, though, is that if I was given an equally good romp of a show that had more heroines, none of which were called whores, and an actual nice-guy hero who didn’t confuse women with paper towels one minute and act like a human with feelings the next, I’d choose that over the more problematic Guardians of the Galaxy anytime.
posted by Lexica at 2:41 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


suddenly[Drax's] characterisation-- his firmly-established literalism and his regard for "honorable" conduct-- is subsumed by the writer/director's desire to call a woman a whore for a cheap laugh

I thought it worked like this: During the initial hazing on the prison, at least one of the prisoners calls Gamora that; Drax hears that and internalizes it unquestioningly (as is his literalist wont); When he's characterising the other characters during the "you are my friends" speech he repeats it without realising it's supposed to be an insult, then almost immediately shoots (I think, or bashes mercilessly) an opponent who has just insulted Gamora on the grounds that "no one insults my friends", despite the fact that he just has. I agree that the scriptwriters could have chosen their insults more carefully, and admit that I've forgotten what the other guy called Gamora such that Drax attacked him, which might subvert my reading, but that was how I got the joke at the time (putting it firmly in character for Drax).

I'm still in slight shock from having seen Thanos on screen in all his… glory, I guess. He really is dedicated to the concept of open plan, isn't he? So's Ronan, come to think of it. They must have to walk miles just to put something on a shelf. Also: toilet privacy?
posted by Grangousier at 12:06 PM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


For the record I have gotten this entire bar into a come sail away singalong so I think it's a thing
posted by The Whelk at 3:42 PM on August 12, 2014 [1 favorite]




If you need more Dancing Baby Groot in your life, here's video of the scene. Also, this guy made a real-life animatronic one out of twine. I am in love.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:57 PM on August 12, 2014


Incidentally, I'll mention it before I read it everywhere else, so I can at least feel perspicacious - I wonder whether the thing they're going for with Quill's greater arc is Prince Hal, with Yondu as Falstaff. As far as I remember, Quill's father is a major King.
posted by Grangousier at 2:40 AM on August 13, 2014


Was that Mojo in one quick shot of the prison sequence, looking enamored with some sort of entertainment device?
posted by GrapeApiary at 12:40 PM on August 13, 2014


Doubtful. Mojo is an X-Men villain, so probably only Fox Studios is allowed to use him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:05 PM on August 13, 2014


I wish I had enough of a clue about electronic things to build a Groot.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:14 PM on August 13, 2014






Just saw it this afternoon. I loved seeing Emmet Brickowoski talking with Wreck-It Ralph.
posted by tomboko at 4:08 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Finally got a chance to see it and ... it was just okay. I liked the humor and a lot of the heros' performances but the villains were pretty boring and and the whole hand-to-hand combat on a spaceship while it falls into a city seemed exactly the same as last year's Star Trek.
posted by octothorpe at 8:28 PM on August 16, 2014


I can see that, but it doesn't matter. The characters and comedy were pretty great and worth repeated viewings.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess that I'm just bored with the action sections in most modern action movies, so much of it, especially the third acts, are just so dull and repetitive. Maybe I had my hopes up too high and shouldn't have expected anything more than another standard summer blockbuster.
posted by octothorpe at 8:41 AM on August 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


YAY discussion of this is still going on!

I finally saw this last night. I liked it, fun movie, although the middle of it only hangs together because it's moving so fast and blinking so furiously. I liked how Rocket's super geniusness was shown-not-told, that was nice. I liked Groot, OBVIOUSLY -- I liked that he was strong and mean but also gentle, it was a good characterization that didn't fall too heavily into standard Dungeons and Dragons buckets. I sighed heavily at the male-gaziness of it all, although at least we didn't actually have a clinched romance between Quill and Gamora. It wasn't egregious compared to many examples of the form, but it seemed really unnecessary in a tiresome way. One thing I did like very much is that apparently gendered sexual violence isn't part of this universe; there is one gross rape implication in the co-ed maximum security prison, and it's not directed at Gamora. (I could have done without it entirely, particularly in a movie that will expect to have lots of 13-15 year old kids in the audience, but they definitely exceeded my admittedly low expectations there.) I thought that Gamora's "betrayal" of Ronan was a little tacked on, they didn't develop that very well IMHO, but I loved loved loved the prison escape, and I really felt the mounting tension of the climactic battle scene.

It was totally a space opera, with remarkably strong characterizations. I liked Avengers better, but this was definitely worth my entertainment dollars.
posted by KathrynT at 10:23 AM on August 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I guess that I'm just bored with the action sections in most modern action movies, so much of it, especially the third acts, are just so dull and repetitive.

I would totally agree with that. It's as if the creators think "well, the audience expects one, so lets do it." but their hearts and talents aren't in it. Particularly with Winter Soldier. Evil guys are trying to take over the world, but Cap is busy working out his issues with Bucky in the same of fisticuffs on a falling ship. Guardians made more sense because the crashing ship only occurred because one of the heroes caused it, in a desperate attempt to kill the villain. And it failed.

Plus, the final battle was wasn't about action, but character development, where everyone lives out the WeAreGroot. Including Groot, whom Rocket is holding as he stands with the others.

That and they learned from the mistake of trying to target Ronan. Instead they hit the container of the stone, grabbed it and then used that to destroy Ronan.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:04 PM on August 17, 2014


I walked out of the theater having thoroughly enjoyed this movie (and overheard some guy saying it was his fourth viewing). But the more I think about it (especially prompted by this discussion), the more I am disappointed by the thin excuse for plot and character development.

I picked up on the dissonant notes that have been discussed here while I was watching the movie, and there were moments during the movie that just left me scratching my head—how do they justify getting from A to B here? (answer: they don't)—but it's on reflection that I realize, with a movie that has this huge a budget, writing the story is going to spend about as much whether it's written well or poorly, and it's going to be a trivial fraction of the overall budget. So why not write it well? Everybody else involved in this movie was kicking all kinds of ass. The production designers, prop makers, actors, animators, etc. They kicked ass. What are the writers' excuses?

All that said, even in hindsight, I enjoyed the movie. It has all the right parts, except for the skeleton.
posted by adamrice at 2:03 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm curious what you found lacking in the writing, as I thought it was particularly well done for summer blockbuster.

For the record, the film was written by James Gunn, based on story and plot by Nicole Perlman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:38 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh man, where do I start?

I should mention that I came to the movie cold. The only character I had previous knowledge of was Thanos. And the dialog was mostly great, apart from notable clinkers mentioned upthread.

I felt there were a lot of non-sequiturs and discontinuities in the plot.

- Yondu putting a bounty on PQ for lifting the orb seemed out of character, as he was basically the father-figure and seemed too fond of PQ to do that.
- Gamora and Nebula weren't so much introduced as they were thrown at the screen to see if they'd stick.
- There was no telegraphing the troubled nature of Thanos' relationship with his adoptive daughters. Both of them, seemingly out of nowhere, chose to betray him. But when they did, they chose sides against each other, which seemed even more nonsensical. Shouldn't they have been simpatico with each other?
- After the Collector's servant girl immolates herself with the Infinity Stone, the GotG crew decide the Collector can't have it. Now, there was a perfectly good reason for them to decide this if they had just waited a few minutes—Ronan shows up—but at that moment, I don't think he was there, and choosing not to sell to the Collector seemed out of character.
- The "give a shit" soliloquy seemed to come out of nowhere.

I could probably think of some more examples. The whole movie feels more like a series of set pieces than a story.
posted by adamrice at 8:15 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


A bit of tumblr meta that made me see the movie in a different light:
When you hear “band of misfits,” you assume you’re going to get some combination of fuckups and weirdos, and GOTG certainly delivers. They’re all different colors and species, engaged in variously illegal activities, with levels of merriment ranging from “stonefaced” to “maniacal.” But to stop there would be to miss the most important part. The emotional core of everyone on the team comes from their origin stories, which are: abducted from home by mercenaries, coerced into service of same; family killed by invading attackers; family killed by invading attackers, then coerced into service of same; abducted from home (or synthesized?) by shadowy experimenters and coerced into experiments in service of same; and Groot, whose origins are unclear but who is completely alone, except for Rocket.

These are not “dropped out of state school because I was partying too hard” stories, despite the lazy jokes about Quill sleeping around. These are stories of political violence and disenfranchisement. Our heroes belong not to the social category of fuckups but to a political category: refugees. By the time the movie starts, they’re a long way from being innocents, but those trajectories all started with being rendered helpless and alone. “Life takes more than it gives”: it’s taken their communities, their families, their autonomy.
posted by yasaman at 10:55 PM on August 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


- Yondu putting a bounty on PQ for lifting the orb seemed out of character, as he was basically the father-figure and seemed too fond of PQ to do that.
The bounty was for him to be taken alive. Yondu said at the time it was so he could kill him himself, but that was likely a combination of heat-of-the-moment anger and bluster to save face in front of his crew. He spared Quill pretty easily once he had him in his clutches.
- Gamora and Nebula weren't so much introduced as they were thrown at the screen to see if they'd stick.

- There was no telegraphing the troubled nature of Thanos' relationship with his adoptive daughters. Both of them, seemingly out of nowhere, chose to betray him. But when they did, they chose sides against each other, which seemed even more nonsensical. Shouldn't they have been simpatico with each other?
Gamora's characterization was more extended (probably to preserve her initially villainous aura) but didn't feel more incomplete than any of the other characters, whose stories were equally in medias res. But I agree about Nebula. Her entire betrayal seemed premised on a jibe from Thanos about not being his favorite daughter, plus a last-minute plea from Gamora. Her loyalty flip didn't make much sense even in context.
- After the Collector's servant girl immolates herself with the Infinity Stone, the GotG crew decide the Collector can't have it. Now, there was a perfectly good reason for them to decide this if they had just waited a few minutes—Ronan shows up—but at that moment, I don't think he was there, and choosing not to sell to the Collector seemed out of character.
They only change their minds once The Collector is revealed as somebody totally incapable of safely containing the orb's power -- both in the sense of "he couldn't stop an ordinary servant from snatching it" and "his entire compound has been destroyed." Also, they had no idea of the orb's true nature up until The Collector's explanation (and the orb's demonstration), so it makes sense they'd want to leave something so powerful in a high-security government facility rather than with a sketchy museum curator, when they thought it was merely some kind of trinket.
- The "give a shit" soliloquy seemed to come out of nowhere.
Like Ronan's totally straight take on the evil supervillain, this scene felt like an obligatory story beat they managed to keep fun by skewering it with humor. "Look, now we're all standing in a circle -- you happy?"
posted by Rhaomi at 10:16 PM on August 18, 2014


"Look, now we're all standing in a circle -- you happy?"
I was very disappointed by that scene developing into such a cliché, so that line absolutely slew me. Which is pretty representative of my experience of the film. For some reason I can't pin down the story left me cold, but as a rapid-fire sequence of pretty vistas and funny lines -- and the occasional "groot is really weird" -- I found it extremely entertaining.
posted by metaBugs at 3:43 AM on August 19, 2014


I thought Nebula's betrayal was set up pretty well by Gamora's. He gave them both the same kidnapping-and-murder treatment, and while Gamora frames it as her leaving because she's the good one, you don't need a strong moral center to hate the guy who killed your family and kidnapped you to be an assassin for hire.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:14 AM on August 19, 2014


Yeah, I'm confused by the "their betrayal didn't make sense" line of thought. They had no reason to be loyal to Thanos or each other.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:12 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: "They had no reason to be loyal to Thanos or each other."

Sure, but that means the movie suffers from a problem of either plotting or pacing. Betraying your father and/or taking sides against your sister (adoptive or no) are significant plot points, and either you need to telegraph that there's a reason for it in advance, or give it a moment to sink in when it happens. This movie did neither, and I think it's symptomatic of action movies these days that they're hurtling along too fast for meaningful moments to have the emotional weight that they need. It's similar to what's discussed in this video on Bayhem (see especially around 3:19 and 7:50).
posted by adamrice at 8:45 AM on August 19, 2014


Betraying your father and/or taking sides against your sister (adoptive or no) are significant plot points, and either you need to telegraph that there's a reason for it in advance, or give it a moment to sink in when it happens.

Interesting line of thought. I thought Gamora explained herself pretty well with "I can't just stand by and let him wipe out a whole planet" comment, while Nebula was all "you see what he did to me, if you're seemingly more powerful than him now, I'm with you". Not sure a beat or minute of reflection is needed. Thanos isn't a chair warmer, so the desire to betray him has been lingering for years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:56 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


They didn't handle either of those storylines well, though, Brandon. They both felt rushed - certainly so in comparison to the character development Quill got.
posted by mediareport at 9:17 PM on August 19, 2014




They didn't handle either of those storylines well, though, Brandon. They both felt rushed - certainly so in comparison to the character development Quill got.

Gamora was interesting because her development occurred off screen, before the events in the movie. At some point she decided to betray Thanos, steal the orb and then sell it for a big score to retire on, which lead to her edging out Nebula for the chance to come to Xandar and retrieve the orb.

Some people would complain about this development occurring offscreen and it's understandable, but I found it refreshing and it fit the movie's overall life affirming tone. Gamora was the movie's moral center and I just love the matter-of-fact way she drops the bombshell of betraying. Of course everyone has a limit and of course she's not going to help him kill everyone on Xandar, that's a bridge too far, even for someone who's no doubt killed before.

Reading between the lines, I also see her as similar to Black Widow, in that she has "red in her ledger" and what's to wipe some of it out, which further propels her to stick with the Guardians. She'd rather do some good for a change, even if that means she might die in the process.

Nebula seems fine for a secondary villain, she hates Thanos, but won't cross him for fear of him. Yet Gamora, his favorite daughter, did cross him and left Nebula behind. She left her sister behind, one who clearly liked her on some level. No wonder Nebula has such a seething hatred for Gamora and refuses to work with her when she has the chance.

At the end of the movie, Gamor is bobbing her head a little bit to the music's beat, indicating she may one day dance. Nebula is finally free of any obligation to anyone and heads off to do her own thing. So no, I don't feel their development was rushed. If anything, Peter's was, as by the end of the movie he's all grown up, so to speak, while Gamora and Nebula are still growing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:01 AM on August 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think all of these things you mention are true, but not seeing more than a nod to them really underserved Gamora as a character. I was completely confused by her "no wait I'm actually good" moment, partly because it was so momentary and also nobody seemed to question it - what, legendary assassin says she's betraying her long-time boss-father figure type and everybody just nods and accepts it? It's not a double-cross of some kind, or a way for her to try and keep herself alive in the prison? It would make the moment where she drops the knives a lot more significant if we knew a little more about her motivations. Why did she pick this moment to turn against Thanos?
posted by PussKillian at 8:29 AM on August 20, 2014


what, legendary assassin says she's betraying her long-time boss-father figure type and everybody just nods and accepts it?

Yes, she seemed very earnest. I'm not being glib, the actress old it, so yeah it was believable to me. She was asking, indirectly, for Quill to trust her.

Plus, only Rocket knew who she was and he really didn't care. He was only interested in Quill, namely bringing him along when they escape so he could collect the 40K bounty that Yondu put on him.

Then Gamora revealed she could collect 4 billion credits for the orb and everyone saw dollar signs.

Why did she pick this moment to turn against Thanos?

Because he was going to wipe out every living thing from Xandar and she didn't want to be part of that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:08 AM on August 20, 2014


Just saw this movie. I would very much enjoy a 30-second scene that consisted of Tony Stark and Rocket talking weaponry.
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:40 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


In terms of sexism, the thing that bugged me the most about this particular Marvel flick is that Quill gave the "We have to do the right thing" speech, when Gamora's entire character arc is based around the fact that she's been doing and saying that since she escaped from what's-his-face. Why is Quill giving her a fuckin' moral principles pep talk when she's the one who's been trying to talk him into suiting up and stopping the bad guys? Why isn't Gamora up there saying, "Look, I don't want to say I told you so but now you all see how bad it can get, and our merry band of misfits have to put an end to this?"

I'm totally with you on Gamora having the moral high ground, and I really would have liked to see more on her and Nebula's background.

That said, Quill had some moments too. He talked Drax down from killing Gamora, and he talked a drunk Rocket down from shooting at Drax. So he was a catalyst for the group forming at all, and he helped to keep it together. So I think he had a right to make that speech.

But I would have been happy to see Gamora do so in his place.
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:00 PM on August 21, 2014


I would very much enjoy a 30-second scene that consisted of Tony Stark and Rocket talking weaponry.

Or the Hulk and Groot just hanging out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:11 AM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I really would have liked to see more on her and Nebula's background."

This was my main gripe with Nebula and to a lesser extent Gamora's characterization -- their actions made narrative sense, but despite the big sister-fight scene the movie mostly skimmed over their emotional relationship. Given how randomly dudebro-y parts of the movie were and how little play sister-sister relationships get in sff/action films, I can't help but wonder if that would've happened if at least one of them was male.
posted by bettafish at 4:44 PM on August 22, 2014




OKAY I saw it again and I enjoyed much much more, partially cause zi wasn't undergoing food posioning and partly cause zi wasn't going " wait are the Kree the blue people what who is double crossing who?" and I could actually focus on the characters.

Interesting how they don't do any "grounding" or explaining, cause all these characters are from this crazy 70s Space Opera universe so why would they. The only explanations are for things they don't know about.

Also the pew pew final act smash EM up makes more sense and fits better here than in most of the MCU movies,

Where are the other stones we know about? The HYDRA regiment has Loki's green staff stone, the collector used to have the red one? Where is the blue tessaract again?


I'm just happy this crazy superhero soap opera with aliens and monsters exists, mostly.
posted by The Whelk at 1:17 PM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Tesseract from Avengers (Space) is in Asgard, the Aether from Thor 2 (Reality) is presumably still in the Collector's collection, although it might have been looted in the confusion after the sphere went kaboom.

IIRC Loki's staff was just a more garden-variety magic artifact rather than another Stone? I might be wrong.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:27 PM on August 29, 2014


Where is the blue tessaract again?

Asgard.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:27 PM on August 29, 2014


Ahh okay, I thought the green gem in Loki's staff was like the ..Heart stone or something ( Tony Stark Has No Heart) and since the end game seems to ride on all these super powerful stones coming together I kinda want to ...keep track of them.


Oh hey the tessaract is in Asgard, with Loki-as-Odin on the throne! I'm sure that's gonna go fiiiiine.
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 PM on August 29, 2014


Okay apparently there is a lot of speculation if Loki's Staff is an infinity stone and the post credits Winter Solider scene with the HYDRA remnants seems to really hint that it was cause then every post Avengers MCU movie has had an infinity stone in it. ( Excepting Iron Man 3 which is not really in the main continuity cause it's just Tony Stark learning to deal with PTSD and all his bad history)

Also bribing Loki with an Infinity stone so he can take over Earth so Thanos can get the blue (tessaract) stone is totally in his wheelhouse cause Thanos is actually the big bad of the whole series ( work with a genocidal maniac so he gets you things is kind of Thanos' whole deal...this time around I was more aware of how Roran is basically Loki in The Avengers.)
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 PM on August 29, 2014


There's a lot of speculation Loki's staff contains the Mind Stone, but nothing is confirmed.

Reasons: In Avengers, the staff is used to dispel the power of the device that the Tessaract was fueling. The scientist who made it said something like "You can't protect yourself against yourself" or some such. Only another Infinity Stone can defeat an Infinity Stone?

Also, in the Winter Soldier mid-credits scene, the mysterious bad guys is talking about the scepter, saying it was more powerful than any of them knew, while a computer simulation is taking it apart, implying the stone can be removed. PLUS, the Twins were created by the staff, after many other failures? So they might be how super powered "mutants that can't be called mutants 'cause Fox owns rights to that word" start appearing in larger numbers? Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the Celestials, who in the comics experimented on early humans to give them genetic potential for super powers. And Agents of Shield has shown that the Kree have visited Earth and some humans have down experiments on dead Kree.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:40 AM on August 30, 2014


I was a little disappointed when I first heard they were doing this movie and they didn't include the other female members of the team. I ended up seeing this on 9/11, and I was kind of surprised it turned out to be an allegory about 9/11 and terrorism. Anyways, I thought it was very fun and funny, but also very violent. And btw, that Infinity stone was not a Macguffin. It was just a regular old plot device.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:20 PM on September 19, 2014


James Gunn Shares ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ Sequel Details - "In terms of details on the upcoming sequel, Gunn wasn’t too specific, but he touched on how the tone would be different, that the script was quite far along and that Karen Gillan’s character, Nebula, would return for the sequel."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:10 PM on May 7, 2015






Re-watched it, just tonight, on Blu-Ray.

- Fantastic disc. I have an old, first-generation high-end Panasonic Plasma 1080p 50" HDTV, and the sloooooow blu-ray reader to match. When a film is truly worthy of the medium, remastered for the equipment, it's more intense and real than even in the cinema. My previous standard bearer was Ratatouille, which was in 3D without needing glasses - GotG was right up there with it, one of those movies which looked cooler on my TV than it did in the theater. SO MANY SPACE BATTLES!

- A super-team that argues among each other angrily and honestly as a built-in feature, well!

- A super-team where every member is the secret bad-ass, including the comedic relief.

- The Nova Empire is the future I want to live in, screw the Federation! Be who you are. Love who you like. It's so clean and bright! It's like what if Switzerland colonized the cosmos.

- Yondu. Just every scene with Yondu. Rarely has a role demanded so much from its actor, and rarer still the actor that can effortlessly deliver.

I LIKED IT.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:59 PM on March 4, 2016




OK. In order.

1) Fox On The Run. Cheesy and stupid and catchy and a hit that can only exist in its moment. Ideal.

2) The entire crew is made up of doofuses. All of them are really dumb, except for where they are brilliant. And then they are dangerously brilliant, and this makes the movie.

3) Drax's "DO ME NEXT!" Smart and stupid at the same time... but goddamn if he ain't seven kinds of courageous. I liked this much more than Baby Groot, it was so perfect and laugh-out-loud great.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:06 PM on December 4, 2016


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