Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Tops of 2017 - May

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is a step forward and a step back for the Marvel space series. But its somewhat neutral progression doesn't stop it from being funny and heartwarming.

BORN IN CHINA does stunningly capture some cute animals in the wild but doesn't really say much except "nature kinda sucks" and "pandas are cool".

● Overall Film Count: 9 ●

Wow, only two new films. I'm really not feeling movies lately.

Like the first film, I'm placing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on my Best of list despite some grievances. I still really enjoyed it, even to the point of seeing it twice in theaters. I have it over Lego Batman because I'm frankly starting to come a little down on the film and its nerd-baiting material. Will Logan be the next one to overtake it?

Still no seen stinkers to ruin my run of this year's crop!

Best Films of 2017

1. Get Out

2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

2. The Lego Batman Movie

3. Logan

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Review

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his fellow gang of galaxy-saving misfits find themselves being the prime target of several parties. A gold-skinned, genetically perfect race known as The Sovereign want their heads after Rocket steal the space batteries that he and the crew were hired to protect; Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his rebellious Ravagers subsequently become The Sovereign's personal goon squad to bring the Guardians to their scheduled execution; Nebula still wants to best Gamora in combat and scrub her sister from existence; and a bearded man named Ego (Kurt Russell) arrives to spend some quality time with his supposed lost son Star-Lord. Though not a planet-jumping adventure flick like its previous entry, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is an intriguing yet slow-moving sequel that spends more time with a heady discussion on the concept of god and its parallels to the relationship between a father and son. This will greatly disappoint those coming into it looking for more big CGI battles to munch popcorn to and for any advancement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Writer-director James Gunn does include these elements along with his standard rowdy humor and pop culture mentions but they are all substandard this time around. The violence is chiefly directed for 3D purposes, thus making it practically useless to view its full potential in the future, and the wild slapstick does bring some hearty laughs but it doesn't feel as fresh as it once was. For example, Drax's unstoppable fit of laughter was one of the best jokes in the first film and here it's repeated nearly nonstop during the first half. The actors are all still great and each are given a moment to shine but the real standouts are Karen Gillan as a more fleshed out Nebula and Pom Klementieff as the wonderfully naive servant Mantis. The production design is absolutely gorgeous, from the new costumes to the warped out spaceships to the breathtaking CGI vistas and buildings that reside on Ego's personal planet. The pop song laden soundtrack once again compliments the visuals significantly, particularly the use of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" and a special song by Cat Stevens at the very end. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 may be seen as a disappointment by Marvel Cinematic Universe fans for its lack of Thanos and talk of Infinity Gems but its true sequel approach allow us to enjoy a fun movie about theology and what makes a family and deepens our love for these quirky characters. It wants to be THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK of its franchise and it does so for better or worse.