Resin Heroes

Let me tell you a tale of the Guardians of the Galaxy

Gather round and let me tell a tale that will shock, horrify and electrify you.

I have a little secret to admit — according to some very high profile sources, one of which is me, I’m the one person in the world that didn’t care for the 2014 movie Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I didn’t like GG. Think of how odd that is coming from a superhero and sci-fi junkie who’s spent many a Saturday night scanning Netflix, then Amazon Prime and then Netflix again looking for anything superhero or sci-fi to watch — to say that he doesn’t like a superhero sci-fi movie that the masses loved, that made nearly $800 million at the box office is practically sacrilegious. But it’s true, I’m no a fan of Starlord, Drax, Groot, Gamora or any of that interstellar bunch.

That’s not to say that I’m a fan of each and every superhero movie. No way! I didn’t care for either of the Thor movies and thought a lot of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a drag. But I don’t dislike either of those two movies. I’m not a fan of them but will still watch them if I happen to be flipping around the dial and catch an airing. Yet, I’m not that way for GG, and it’s not like I haven’t tried.

For starters, I didn’t see GG in the movie theater, though that’s not that uncommon these days since I watch most movies at home via digital download. A few of my friends did see it there and said it was wonderful and a some called it their favorite superhero movie ever. And online reviews of the movie were generally glowing too.

Plus, I was always a huge fan of the GG comics and the whole superheroes in space subgenera that emerged in the 1990s, of which this film was adapting and updating, too. So, once GG was available I immediately rented it and sat down to watch what I was assuming was going to be a great experience.

Except it wasn’t. Right from the start, right from Peter Quill as a kid being abducted by aliens to adult Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) trying to steal something, getting caught, trying to talk his way out of trouble before finally having to fight his way out of it — I knew the movie was in trouble for me. And here’s the thing, I’m not sure why.

I don’t mind it when characters have smart-mouths, I loved Deadpool. And I don’t mind it when movies are over the top in terms of action, I love things like Mad Max: Fury Road. But for whatever reason these elements in GG just didn’t click for me.

And it’s not like I haven’t tried to like the movie. When I told those same friends I didn’t like the movie as they were getting Groot Christmas presents and rewatching their Blu-ray of GG for the many-ith time, they couldn’t believe what I was saying. It was like GG was made for me, it was a combination of the generas I like and even had story elements from comics I liked and collected. So surly there must’ve been something wrong with me since I didn’t like it. Either I didn’t like GG because everyone else did, which I don’t think so since I’m generally not like that — I either like something or I don’t and aren’t ashamed to say so, or maybe my initial viewing of the film was sub-optimal. That what I needed to do was to go back and watch it again. So I did. Since it was released I’ve watched GG two more times and every time the viewing’s over I come away with the same review, “Meh.” To me, GG isn’t bad but it’s not good either.

And now comes the forgone sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that’s currently in theaters. If it’s anything like the first GG it’ll be a film that most people I know will love and cherish. But for me it’ll be a movie where I’m on the outside looking in trying to figure out what all the fuss is about.

2017 Summer movie preview

Out first this summer is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 May 2. I wasn’t a fan of the first movie but am in the minority since the launch of these trash-talking, comedic space-faring heroes lead by Star Lord (Chris Pratt) quickly became a surprise mega-hit at the box office a few winters ago. This time, “Chris Pratt of the 1980s” Kurt Russell joins the cast as “Ego,” who in the comics anyway is quite literally a “living planet.” And what’s not to love about that?

May 19 sees the release of Alien: Covenant, the third Ridley Scott Alien film, and a direct sequel to Prometheus (2012). Prometheus got a bad rap by the critics but made more than $400 million at the box office hence Alien Covenant. What’s interesting here is that from the looks of things Scott has taken Alien: Covenant back to something a little more in the vein of Alien with the crew of a ship fighting the insect-like baddies and away from the more esoteric Prometheus, which I happened to like a great deal. Luckily, I also happen to like Alien a great deal too and couldn’t be more excited for this movie if I tried.

DC Entertainment tries to get their movie act together with the release of Wonder Woman on June 2, the fourth release of the modern DC movie universe. Originally appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and stealing the show, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) launches the Amazonian to the big-screen in her own movie set during WWI. My only concern for Wonder Woman is that she fought the monster Doomsday in Batman vs Superman and almost single-handedly took him down in an ultimate bad !#$ way. So whatever she faces in Wonder Woman has got to be as big or that movie might be disappointing.

The creators of The Mummy on June 9 are attempting to create their own franchise and so-called “shared universe” of movies with the Universal Monsters. Starring Tom Cruise not as the mummy but someone trying to stop her from destroying the world, early looks at The Mummy seem to indicate something like Mission Impossible crossed with Suicide Squad. The Mummy is the first movie of this interconnected film universe that will also include the likes of The Invisible Man, Wolf Man, Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon in future films if this one’s a hit.

Spider-Man movies have had a really weird path to the big-screen the last few years. There were two Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man flicks a few years ago that failed to score billions at the office so that version was shelved. More recently Columbia Pictures, who owns the film rights to the character, had a new Spider-Man, this time played by Tom Holland, crossover in the Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War last year while still retaining the rights to make their own Spider-Man stand-alone films. Now comes that first film Spider-Man: Homecoming out July 7 this time with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) crossing over to this film.

A third Planet of the Apes film War for the Planet of the Apes is out July 14. The Apes film series is one of my favorites with the first chronicling why the apes got their smarts and the second what was happening with them just after the fall of man. This third film seems to be the story about the final apes vs man battle, with the winner taking claim to the planet. If you’ve seen the 1960s/1970s apes movies I’m sure you know how that works out.

Closing out the summer is the first movie based on the The Dark Tower Stephen King book series on July 28. Starring Idris Elba as the heroic gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the evil sorcerer, the The Dark Tower movie series is being billed as a sequel or continuation of the books rather than a big-screen version of them. It’s hard to describe The Dark Tower without giving too much away, but there are alternate dimensions, monsters and magical powers and, best for Hollywood, if this first is successful a series of seven other books that can all be turned into films.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (1990) cover



guardian-of-the-galaxy-poster1Yeah, see it in IMAX.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Summer movie preview

First up this year, as it has been every year since 2007, is a movie based on a character from Marvel Entertainment; this time The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on May 2. Totally skipping the notion that every super-hero movie sequel should feature just TWO villains, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) throwing down with Electro (Jamie Foxx), Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti).

Three villains!? Do you think Spider-Man might, gulp!, lose this time!?

Bryan Cranston in Godzilla

Bryan Cranston in Godzilla

On May 16 Godzilla returns to US theaters after an absence of 16 years. Like virtually every other Godzilla movie ever made, Godzilla is set to stomp unsuspecting cities, this time here in the US. Godzilla does have a few things going for it; the movie’s being directed by Gareth Edwards who also directed the underrated Monsters (2010) and stars a post-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston.

I can only hope that Godzilla finally settles the debate on the true fate of Dr. Niko Tatopoulos from the ’98 Godzilla.

Michael Fassbender in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Michael Fassbender in X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past, really X-Men Part 5, “bamfs” into theaters May 23. Days of Future Past mingles characters from both the newer prequel X-Men: First Class film and the original X-Men trilogy of films from ’00-’06. This time, Professor X and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) from their time to their younger counterparts (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) in the past to head off doomsday in their timeline.

X-Men:Days of Future Past is a great comic story and this movie does look interesting if a bit character-heavy with a dozen + super-hero characters currently listed for the film in IMDB.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow, out June 6, wins the award for best original movie title All You Need is Kill turned into something that sounds like more like a soap opera that sci-fi epic. Tomorrow features a futuristic battle-armored soldier, Tom Cruise, who’s sent to fight an invading alien army bent on world domination. In his first battle Cruise is killed almost immediately by the aliens but inexplicably wakes up to relive that battle over and over again. Think Groundhog Day but with heavy artillery and power-armor.

The “didn’t they promise us there’d be no more of these movies after the last one — they lied!” movie Transformers 4: The Age of Extinction stumbles into theaters June 27. This Transformers movie sets itself apart from every other Transformers movie in that it has dinosaur Transformers, the Dinobots. Which sure screams “let’s figure out what we can sell the most toys of THEN come up with a movie” to me.

One sequel I’m genuinely interested in this summer is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, or really Rise of the Planet of the Apes Part 2, or maybe really Planet of the Apes Part 8 on July 11. Taking place nearly a decade after the events of Rise, in Dawn most of mankind has been wiped out by the virus released in that film allowing the smart apes lead by Caesar to rise (get it?) to the dominant species on the planet. My worries here are that both the writers and director of the spectacular Dawn were oddly enough dumped from Rise. This doesn’t mean that Rise won’t be good, I’m just concerned that it won’t be as interesting or thought provoking as the first.

The Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy continues the Merry Marvel Marching Movie Machine in theaters August 1. Sort of X-Men meets Star Wars, Guardians follows a human (Chris Pratt) in the far off reaches of deep space who teams up with characters like a living tree and a raccoon (no joke) to battle the evils of the universe. Back in the ’90s Guardians was one of my favorite comic books and after seeing the trailer for this one I’m actually kind’a excited about the big screen Guardians.

On August 8 a fourth live-action version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles chops it’s way into theaters. Supposedly this version alters the history of the turtles a bit with an alien invasion being the cause of the genesis of said mutant ninja turtles. ALIEN INVASION!? Totally unrealistic when compared with the original explanation of turtles being exposed to radiation that turns them into kick punching crime fighters. Everyone knows radiation works wonders, just ask Daredevil.