Guardians of The Galaxy Movie Review

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Real Talk By: Cmack The Don

It seems that every summer since Iron Man (2008), Marvel Studios has been making sure to bring us more and more pieces of their cinematic universe, slowly building the massive, diverse world that longtime comic book fans are used to, and with this years Guardians of the Galaxy, we see a huge step towards that expansion.

So far, we’ve had every single Marvel Studios flick be a piece of the larger Avengers story, with each major team member getting their own fleshed out movie that adds up to their part in the final team up. It was a brilliant way to make a team movie feel more balanced, the characters more meaningful and less cheated out of screen time. After all, if you watch The Avengers and want to see more of a given character, you can just watch their own movie. The point is, all the Marvel Studios have taken place on earth, with earthbound crime fighters, such as Captain America in Marvel’s other fantastic entry to their saga this year.

Guardians of the Galaxy breaks that earthbound pattern and takes the franchise to the outer limits of the cosmos, starting the introduction of characters, ideas, and concepts that will only make everything in these movies more rich and fleshed out. As a Marvel Comics fan, Guardians was one of the movies on their list for recent times that excited me most because of this, and I can happily say that the finished product is everything I was expecting and more.

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-Marvel

Let’s start with the humor and overall feel of the movie. Marvel has a great strategy in making their own movies seem so varied and unique from one another, with the Winter Soldier feeling more like a fast paced thriller and action film, Guardians is a totally different feel to keep audiences from tiring of the Marvel universe on-screen. It is a contender for funniest Marvel Studios film yet, with laser fast one liners, sight gags, running jokes, and moments of random stupidity all well-balanced with a great cast of characters.

That’s the strongest point about it: the characters. Marvel has always been more about its characters than the complexity of its plots and story-lines, and that’s okay. When they’re represented right, their characters are so damn good. We see that in Guardians, an obscure team dating back to the late 60’s who were given a major overhaul in 2008 by writers Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett. Lanning and Abnett’s run was praised for being funny and not overly serious, while still maintaining complex characters and exciting situations. This perfectly sums up the movie also. The movie not only manages to balance comedy and drama well, but often does it impressively in the same scene, with the dialogue smoothly ping-ponging between tense to hilarious without seeming forced or like to much to process.

It’s true that the team is somewhat slimmed down from the comics, but movies are a different format and the film is busy enough as it is with the fantastic performances, costumes, and writing of the characters we do see. The movie manages to give us a feel for who these characters are in a very short amount of time, but it still doesn’t feel rushed. If I had to sum it up, I would say that the heart behind this is very obvious and evident, these characters aren’t as large of pop culture forces as the X-Men, or Spider-Man, and they don’t even try to make them into that with this movie. It revels in their obscurity, proudly addressing the idea that while The Avengers are the main stars of the show on earth, there’s a weird team whose members include a talking tree and raccoon somewhere out in the deep reaches of space that did just as much good as they did, they just aren’t as organized or recognized for it.

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Mean Muggin’

The largest criticism I would have for Guardians would be the villain, and the conflict surrounding him wasn’t really expanded upon that much. This sort of makes the main storyline seem a bit generic, and the villain as well by extension. Like I said earlier, the main characters are so strong, their interactions so engaging, that even though the plot is average or slightly above, I don’t think it affects the overall enjoyment of the movie. Knowing Marvel history and storylines will help you understand how big of a deal characters like Ronan the Accuser are, the nature of the Kree/Skrull war and how the Xandarians factor into it. It could easily pass you by in this film if you don’t know it that well, with you the viewer seeing Ronan and the alien races as fairly generic. I will say that this criticism might definitely be addressed with future Marvel Studios movies, they’re only just starting to branch out into the cosmic part of Marvel, and future movies would be able to show more and more.

Guardians is an excellent example of what a summer popcorn movie should be. Yes its loud and fun with great special effects, but behind that there are real, relate-able characters. Great performances, and a feeling that the cast and crew really believed in what they were creating, instead of it just being an empty cash in. If Marvel Studios continues developing a mini-franchise of Guardians within their current universe, the next crop of Star Wars movies have their work cut out for them. I have nothing but praise for Marvel being daring enough to use characters that aren’t as standard, didn’t have a mainstream representation, and are very offbeat. So to reference the movie’s excellent retro soundtrack, when it comes to the horizon of Marvel Studios films, it looks like things are only going to get brighter.

Guardians of The Galaxy gets

4mf

4 out of Five

What’s Legit?

+Strong Lead Cast of Heroes

+Great Special Effects

+Hilarious

What’s Perpetrating?

-Dull Villain

-Main plot is lacking

#Guardians @PlayLegit

posterguardians

Captain America and The Avengers Retro Review

Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback

Captain America & The Avengers is a multi-platform game that was available in two different arcade versions, along with SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and Game Boy. All of the versions differ slightly.  Most notably the arcade rendition of the game was created as two completely different consoles, one of which four separate players could fight at the same time using one of the four playable characters, and another arcade console that was a two player version with each player being able to select from the four. Also it should be noted that there is an NES game with the same name that is essentially a completely different game. I played the Sega Genesis version for the sake of this review.

At the start of the game the player can choose from one of four characters, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawk Eye, and Vision. Once you’ve choose your character you get a completely lame series of text screens telling the story of how red skull has assembled a mind controlled take over team and it’s up to the avengers to stop them. I was highly disappointed in the presentation of the story line, especially after having reviewed several other comic book themed games where the story line is followed along by beautiful comic book style story art. On a good note however this same text is used within the game during the beginning of certain areas as conversations between your main character and the enemies. I like the text being used in this way more as it carries the storyline throughout the game instead of letting it drop off.

moving into actual gameplay the art becomes more noticeable, although not as impressive as it could be in the background, on-screen characters and enemies look very good.  The Sega version has the possibility of two players. I can imagine the arcade version with four players would’ve been a ton of fun as the beat-em-up chaos would’ve erupted even more with more players included. Even the one player version of the game is fun however and the feel is very fast paced on the Sega Genesis console.

In the game your character has two attack moves and one jump move, along with a special move. Depending on your character the special move changes, Captain America throws his shield at enemies, Iron Man throws a laser cannon from his arm, Hawk Eye shoots arrows across the screen, and Vision shoot lasers from his eyes. These characters can not only be chosen from at the beginning of the game, but also whenever a continue is used by the player, they can opt to choose a different character. Along with the regular moves, objects on the screen can also be utilized.

Part way through the game a surprising turn in gameplay happens when the game turns from a beat-em-up to a side scrolling shooter. Depending on the player’s character you will be shooting different objects but this is a really fun part of the game and one I appreciated to the fullest. The side-scrolling shooter portion isn’t by any means ultra challenging but it does break it up and helps keep the game from becoming too repetitive.

Overall I really enjoyed this game. While it didn’t win over my heart it was a pretty solid title and really a fun game to play. It didn’t bring anything to innovative to the table for its day, as far as classic beat-em-ups go, but it is fun to be able to play as your favorite avengers. On top of it all this is a great multiplayer game. The more people the better.

Captain America and The Avengers Gets

3mf

Out of five

What’s Legit?

+Not glitchy

+Good character art

+Fun in multiplayer

Whats Perpetrating?

-Could have had a prettier beginning story

-Background art not overly impressive

-Brings nothing new to the table for its time

Follow me @TLRMsThrowback