I’m a huge fan of the Marvel universe, whether it’s on the big or small screen. So it was a given that I would have to see their latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy as soon as I could. While I wasn’t able to see it at the theaters, being able to experience it at home in high-definition was worth the wait, as it’s without a doubt one of the most fun and gorgeous looking movies I have ever seen.
The plot follows a young boy by the name of Peter Quill who is abducted by aliens back in the late 1980’s after just experiencing a tragedy not long before being taken. The aliens turn out to be space pirates who raise him to be just as good at stealing (if not better) as they. Twenty-six years later (now played by Chris Pratt), he’s all grown up and goes by the name Star-Lord (it all makes sense in the end) and has a laid-back, charismatic personality that gets him out of most tough spots, along with a pair of super powered pistols. When his latest attempt at stealing a mysterious orb goes wrong, he becomes the target of a number of people who also want the orb for their own evil purposes. The main threat comes in the form of Ronan the Accuser (played by Lee Pace), who works with the beyond evil Thanos who needs the orb in order to take over the universe.
While on the run, Peter ends up running into some folks who will eventually team with him to keep the orb out of evil hands. There’s the rocket launcher-packing genetic experiment named Rocket (voiced to perfection by Bradley Cooper who sounds nothing like himself), a rebellious assassin named Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), a green and red covered alien seeking revenge by the name of Drax (Dave Bautista of WWE fame) and a humanoid tree named Groot (also played perfectly by Vin Diesel) who can only say “I am Groot”, but says it in different ways much like Pokemon do with their names.
I’ve always wanted to see this movie, even before all the hype and box office number came in. I’m so glad to report it was well worth the wait and turned out to be one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Everything featured here screams “instant classic”, from the great cast to the even greater soundtrack comprised of classic 70’s and 80’s songs, to the beyond amazing special effects. I apologize if I come off sounding like a fanboy, but trust me, the movie is that good. I can easily understand how it carved a place for itself in a genre that’s fast becoming clogged with sequels and reboots.
Personally, I think Bradley Cooper steals the show as the often hilarious but driven Rocket, as his character along with Groot need to have their own spin-off film or at least a Marvel One-shot short or something. The rest of the cast is perfect also, as viewers will find themselves laughing at the quips, getting pumped up off the action, and cheering when they overcome adversity.
Out of most of the films I’ve seen on Blu-ray (and I’ve seen a lot) Guardians of the Galaxy is hands down one of the most beautiful. Thanks to the vivid detail that only high-definition can give and fantastic special effects, it’s enough to make any viewer swear aliens and spaceships are real. You know the special effects are good when they don’t look like effects, and that’s exactly how it is here. What would great visuals be without equally great audio behind them? The sound here is just as awesome, as every funny line, classic song and booming sound effects come through loud and clear. There’s also some extras to check out when the action is over that should keep viewers happy long afterwards. Audio commentary throughout the film by director James Gunn kicks things off, who goes into all sorts of details about directing certain scenes, providing loads of production backstories such as the various alien races and their cultures, the special effects and more.
If that wasn’t enough James Gunn for you, you’ll be happy to know he returns in the six deleted/extended scenes in which his optional commentary can be turned on or off. He’s also featured on “Guide to the Galaxy with James Gunn” that goes behind-the-scenes with footage shot on set from some of the big parts of the film. “The Intergalactic Visual Effects for Guardians of the Galaxy” focuses on my two favorite characters, Rocket and Groot. This extra goes into how the animation and voice work for the two was made and how they come together, along with some fun interviews with Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel who really go all out to bring these characters to life.
Rounding out the extras is a hilarious but short gag reel the features all sorts of funny flubs and outtakes. From stunts and lines gone wrong, to off the wall antics such as the cast busting out into a dance-off, there’s something for everyone to laugh at here. I was excited to learn about the “Exclusive Look at Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron” but it turns out not to be too much as it’s just a short look at some of the on set footage along with brief comments by Joss Whedon, Kevin Feige and Elizabeth Olsen.
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most fun, beautiful, action-packed films I’ve seen in years. Featuring a fantastic cast with great chemistry, a groovy soundtrack, and awesome special effects, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better Blu-ray to pick up just in time for the holidays. If you’re looking for something new to add to your movie galaxy, hop in your spaceship and pick up this gem. It’s sure to be a new classic that people will love for years to come.