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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 superhero flick based on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It brings back writer/director James Gunn and most of the actors from the first film including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Michael Rooker and brings in newcomers like Kurt Russel, Sylvester Stallone, Pom Klementieff, and features one hell of cameo from (*spoiler alert*) David Hasselhoff. 

The film tries hard to recreate the magic of the first one and it succeeds for the most part. The humor is there, the character interaction is there, the action is there, but it’s missing the joy of discovery. At this point we know what to expect from Star-Lord and his crew. That’s not a bad thing. You’ll like it if you liked the first one. My girlfriend hadn’t seen the first one so we watched it on demand and then watched Vol. 2 later that night. That’s practically five hours of Guardians of the Galaxy in one sitting and we didn’t get sick of it. That’s impressive because I have a short attention span. I’ll end this review on that note because I hear the ice cream man outside. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is good. Go see it in IMAX 3D if you can, it’s worth the money and not many movies are these days.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Guardians of the Galaxy (film)

Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 blockbuster superhero/sci-fi flick from Marvel Studios. It follows the adventures of Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt) as he comes into contact with a mysterious orb that everybody in the galaxy seems to want. Quill forms an alliance with a couple of random aliens as they attempt to prevent the evil Ronan and his forces from obtaining the orb. Guardians of the Galaxy has all the hallmarks of a Marvel movie. It has interesting characters, intense action scenes, spectacular special effects, humor, heart, and a sense of adventure. But it’s a bit of a letdown, especially compared to The Avengers.

The plot is fairly typical of most Marvel films. The main characters find a mysterious object of unimaginable power and must form an unsteady alliance from all the bad guys who want it too. The good guys find it, the bad guys find out they have it, the good guys go on the run, the bad guys go on the chase, the bad guys get the object, the good guys get it back, there’s some inevitable betrayal and the bad guys get it back, all hope seems lost until the good guys come up with a plan, they put their plan into action, there’s a climactic fight scene where everything is at stake, and the good guys get the object back and win, then there’s fifteen minutes of credits rolling, followed by a thirty second long scene that teases the next Marvel movie.

The cast is not to blame for the movie’s failings, but maybe their chemistry is. They don’t have any. Chris Pratt describes his character as a combination of Han Solo and Marty McFly, but he lacks the charisma of Harrison Ford and the charm of Michael J. Fox. He shouldn’t be the centerpiece of a major Hollywood franchise. Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, an alien assassin who first tries to kill Quill and then ends up joining him. Zoe Saldana is best known for playing a blue alien in Avatar, and she gets to showcase her acting chops by playing a green alien in this movie. Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer, an angry brute of minimal intelligence. He doesn’t bring much to the team, but he provides the film with some of its funniest moments. Vin Diesel plays Groot, a CG tree with only one line of dialog that he repeats throughout the movie. Bradley Cooper plays Rocket Raccoon, a furry little alien that resembles a raccoon but isn’t really a raccoon. He had the potential to be the film’s best character and he has his moments, but nothing he does really stands out.

One thing that bugs me is the Walkman motif. Quill has a Walkman with a mix tape that his mom gave him before she died. He listens to the mix tape for over twenty-six years in space. The tape would fucking deteriorate. The sound quality would be terrible. I don’t know why they couldn’t have used a Discman instead of a Walkman. CDs have much better sound quality and are way more durable then cassette tapes. Kids today don’t even know what a Walkman is. They’ve never seen a mix tape. CDs aren’t that popular anymore but kids still know what they are.

Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t a bad movie. It’s not a good movie either. It’s just a summer blockbuster, and that’s disappointing because I expect more from Marvel Studios. See it if you were planning on seeing it, but I wouldn’t recommend wasting your money if you’re on the fence about it.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


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Actors in Multiple Movie Franchises

Some movies make a lot of money. And people like money, so they decide to make a sequel to make even more money. And if that sequel makes money they might make a third movie. And three movies in the same series makes a trilogy, and (for the purposes of this article) a trilogy is a film franchise. So if an actor appears in three or more movies in the same franchise and three or more movies in another franchise, then they will appear on this list. Unless I forgot about them. Sorry forgotten celebrity.

Harrison Ford starred in the original Star Wars trilogy and the Indiana Jones trilogy (and that shitty fourth movie that I try to forget about). He’s also rumored to come back in the new Star Wars movies.

Tim Allen starred in the Toy Story trilogy and the Santa Clause movies.

Michael J. Fox went Back to the Future three times and voiced Stuart Little three times.

Matt Damon was Jason Bourne three times and was in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.

Eddie Murphy was Donkey in four Shrek movies and Axel Foley three times as a Beverly Hills Cop. Mike Myers was Shrek in the Shrek flicks and Austin Powers and Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies.

Shrek And Donkey - Shrek The Final Chapter Desktop Wallpaper

Orlando Bloom was Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and he’s reprising his role in The Hobbit movie. He was also in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies too.

Sir Ian McKellen has saved the world as Gandalf in three Lord of the Rings movies and will do so again in The Hobbit trilogy. He’s also threatened the world three times as Magneto in the X-Men franchise.

Patrick Stewart played Captain Jean-Luc Picard four times on the big screen and played Charles Xavier in three X-Men movies with a cameo in the Wolverine movie.

Crazy anti-Semite Mel Gibson has been in four Lethal Weapon Movies and was Mad Max three times. You know he hates Jews right?

Warwick Davis was in six Leprechaun movies (about half were direct-to-video) and was also in all eight Harry Potter Movies playing duel roles as Professor Flitwick and Griphook.

Sylvester Stallone was Rambo four times and Rocky Balboa six times. I have a feeling he might be Expendable three times too.

Vin Diesel sucks a lot of balls, but he’s been in four Fast and/or Furious movies (one of them was just a cameo), and he will play Riddick again in 2013. I’m sure that there are at least four people who will pay to see that shit.

Ben Stiller has played Gaylord Focker in three movies and loaned his voice to three Madagascar movies.

Gary Oldman played Sirius Black in Harry Potter 3, 4, 5 and 7.5 and has been James Gordon three times in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Bruce Campbell has played Ash in the Evil Dead movies and had cameos in all of Sam Raimi’s Spider-man movies. That might be a stretch, but it still counts.

Antonio Banderas has been Puss in Boots in three Shrek movies and one spinoff and was in four Spy Kids movies (his scene was cut in the fourth one. Yes, there are four Spy Kids movies). He was played El Mariachi in two out of the three El Mariachi movies, so he doesn’t get any points for that.

John Cho has hung out with Kumar three times as Harold, and he was in American Pie, American Pie 2, American Wedding, and American Reunion. Cameos count. Right, Bruce Campbell?

Samuel L. Jackson was Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode I-III. He also played Nick Fury in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers, which are all part of the same universe, so he gets included.

Jackie Chan has three franchises under his belt. Three Rush Hour movies, four Police Story movies, and he’s loaned his voice to two Kung Fu Panda movies with a third coming out in 2013.

Christopher Lee played Fu Manchu three times, he was Dracula in a bunch of movies. He was Count Dooku in Episodes II and III and the animated Clone Wars movie. He was in Lord of the Rings too.

Hugo Weaving has also been in three franchises. He threatened Neo three times as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy. He loaned his voice to Megatron in the Transfomers movies. And he was Elrond in the Lord of the Rings movie and will reprise his role again in one of the upcoming Hobbit movies.

So that’s my list. I think it’s pretty complete. If you see anyone that I’m missing leave a comment. And I’ll either correct you or add it to my list. I don’t know how to rate this so I will just settle for something like this:

Critically Rated at 12/17

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