Movie Quote of the Week – 5/5/17

Answer to MWL 5/3/17: Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) – Guardians of the Galaxy

Ronan: [Peter starts singing and dancing] What are you doing?
Peter Quill: Dance off, bro. Me and you. [Continues dancing, motions to Gamora] Gamora. [Gamora shakes her head] Subtle. Take it back. [Peter keeps dancing]
Ronan: What are you doing?!
Peter: I’m distracting you, you big turd blossom.

Thanks for everyone’s submissions and one ticket to Xander to That Other Critic (That Other Critic) for answering correctly.

Lightning Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven (2016) movie posterSynopsis
When gold baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) forces the residents of Rose Creek to evacuate their town, several people refuse. After her husband is murdered by Bogue for standing up to him, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) seeks help from the bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington). Chisolm recruits several other men to help teach Rose Creek townsfolk to defend themselves against Bogue and his men before they attack the town.

Review
I’ve never seen the original 1960s The Magnificent Seven and it has been a very long time since I have seen Seven Samurai, so I can’t really attest to how the remake of a remake compares to its predecessors. But what I can tell you is that it makes for a fun ride if you take it for what it is.  The Magnificent Seven is first and foremost an action flick.  There is the potential for great character development but this film foregoes that to pack in as much explosions, gun-slinging, and excitement as possible.  The titular seven are each given the simplest of reasons for helping the townsfolk of Rose Creek. But you know what? That’s OK.  Director Antoine Fuqua understands exactly what kind of movie he wants this to be and doesn’t try to pretend it is something it’s not.

The cast is pretty start studded, including seasoned stars like Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, and latest acting sensation Chris Pratt. I barely recognized Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays the Kingpin in Netlix’s Dardevil series, until a friend pointed out to me it was him.  Each character is unique and the cast is extremely diverse, making for some amusing and playful banter between them.  Pratt is a hoot as always and Washington gets the most screen time of anybody (mostly since he is the one who rounds up the group) but each of the other Seven gets their time to shine on screen.  The cast alone is well worth the time spent watching the film.

I thought The Magnificent Seven was GOOD :-). It is the definition of summer blockbuster. If you are looking for some deeper film with character study, then maybe check out Seven Samurai, one of this remake’s source materials. But if you want a popcorn flick with fun characters, good laughs, and a lot of action, then you’re looking in the right place.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Antoine Fuqua – Director
Richard Wenk – Screenplay
Nic Pizzolatto – Screenplay
Simon Franglen – Composer
James Horner – Composer

Denzel Washington – Sam Chisolm
Chris Pratt – Josh Faraday
Ethan Hawke – Goodnight Robicheaux
Byung-hun Lee – Billy Rocks
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo – Vasquez
Martin Sensmeier – Red Harvest
Vincent D’Onofrio – Jack Horne
Haley Bennett – Emma Cullen
Cam Gigandet – McCann
Peter Sarsgaard – Bartholomew Bogue
Luke Grimes – Teddy Q
Jonathan Joss – Denali
Emil Beheshti – Maxwell
Mark Ashworth – Preacher
Billy Slaughter – Josiah
Carrie Lazar – Leni Frankel

Lightning Review: Take Me Home Tonight

Take Me Home Tonight movie posterSynopsis
Matt Franklin (Topher Grace), an MIT graduate, is given a second chance to hook up with his high school crush (Teresa Palmer).

Review
I think I have become jaded towards romantic comedies. Take Me Home Tonight is not a bad film, it just has the same story as almost every romantic comedy out there. It’s very formulaic and conventional material. I’m a fan of most of the actors, like Topher Grace (he was great in That 70’s Show), Anna Faris (who I think is an underrated actress), Dan Fogler (some of my favorite movies of his are Fanboys and Balls of Fury), and Chris Pratt (more recently). The only actress I wasn’t real familiar with was Teresa Palmer. Most of the characters are generic and the script is nothing impressive. There is some 80s nostalgia given the setting, particularly the soundtrack, so it has that going for it. Like I said, I didn’t not like Take Me Home Tonight, this was just a case of I’ve-seen-it-all-before.

Rating
3/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Michael Dowse – Director
Jackie Filgo – Screenplay
Jeff Filgo – Screenplay
Topher Grace – Story
Gordon Kaywin – Story
Trevor Horn – Composer

Topher Grace – Matt Franklin
Anna Faris – Wendy Franklin
Dan Fogler – Barry Nathan
Teresa Palmer – Tori Frederking
Chris Pratt – Kyle Masterson
Michael Biehn – Bill Franklin
Jeanie Hackett – Libby Franklin
Michelle Trachtenberg – Ashley
Demetri Martin – Carlos

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians of the Galaxy movie posterSynopsis
When Kree extremist Ronan the Accuser (Lee Price) threatens the planet Xandar, five misfits, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper (voice)), Groot (Vin Diesel (voice)), and Drax (Dave Bautista), must work together to prevent its destruction.

Review
I’m not sure what Marvel put in the Kool-Aid but I’m drinking it up. Guardians of the Galaxy is pure fun. On top of that, it tells a great story and looks beautiful. I have often praised Iron Man for being the model on how to properly make a superhero origin story, now I can say that Guardians of the Galaxy is the definitive example on how to create a superhero team origin.

Ever since The Avengers, Marvel movies have had a lighthearted feel to them. I am a big fan of this because it prevents them from going too dark, although they still may have serious moments. This tone also allows for some great humor. With comedic actors Chris Pratt and Bradley Cooper, Guardians is the funniest superhero movie since Iron Man 3. I don’t think there was one moment where I wasn’t smiling. Pratt is definitely the highlight of the film but I’d say Cooper is a strong second. Despite not having much screen time, John C. Reilly stole his scenes. He wasn’t overly heavy with the comedy but instead was more subtle, contrasting with his usual movie antics.

Currently, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack is the best selling album in the United States, and for good reason. The music is a great mix of classic 1970s and 80s rock and pop songs. If I didn’t have most of the songs already I would probably go pick it up. Besides the music, there are many references to the 80s. My favorites being Quill calling Rocket “Ranger Rick” and Quill explaining to Gamora the plot of Foot Loose.

This is one of the most unique movies I have seen in awhile. I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching The Avengers but in a skewed, Thor setting. Not many movies have a gun-toting, talking raccoon who travels with a talking tree. Actually, I don’t think any others do. Being the Marvel fan that I am, I appreciate them dipping into their less popular franchises.

I absolutely enjoyed Rocket and Groot. The duo reminded me of R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars (except this time the small one was the interpreter). Besides Rocket being one of the stand-out characters of the film, several of his scenes were made better by his interactions with Groot. To go with the rest of the film, they were fun and goofy with the right amount of action sprinkled in.

With the set-up Benicio Del Toro’s The Collector had in the mid-credits sequence in Thor: The Dark World, I expected him to have a more integral role in the story.  But the more I thought about it, I realized that he could become Marvel’s next Agent Coulson.  In the comics, he is very involved in the cosmic side of things, and he could do the same in the films.  He could act as the glue that binds several of the cosmic properties that are sure to appear over the next several years, showing up to offer explanations and add cohesiveness to the films.

If there was one thing I wished this movie did better, it would be to expand on the relationship between Gamora and her sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan). Guardians did well to build and showcase the rivalry between the adopted sisters, but didn’t do much more than that. There is large potential for stories based on their relationship, similar to Thor’s and Loki’s relationship, that I hope it’s picked up in future movies.

Marvel once again raises the bar on the superhero movie genre with Guardians of the Galaxy.  It’s playful tone, great action sequences, lovable characters, and beautiful special effects blend together perfectly to create one of definitive team origin movies to date.

Rating
5/5

Also check out my reviews for the other films in Marvel’s Phase 2: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
James Gunn – Director / Writer
Nicole Perlman – Writer
Tyler Bates – Composer

Chris Pratt – Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana – Gamora
Dave Bautista – Drax
Bradley Cooper – Rocket (voice)
Vin Diesel – Groot (voice)
Lee Pace – Ronan
Michael Rooker – Yondu
Karen Gillan – Nebula
Djimon Hounsou – Korath
John C. Reilly – Corpsman Dey
Glenn Close – Nova Prime
Benicio Del Toro – The Collector

Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer #4

Official Synopsis: Brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

This trailer, just… wow.  Marvel definitely saved the best for last.  There is a lot of new footage, but it is mostly action sequences, which is perfectly fine with me.  I don’t know what to say it was so awesome.  Just watch it.  And if you already watched it, watch it again.  It’s that good.

Guardians of the Galaxy rockets into theaters August 1, 2014.  Directed by James Gunn, it stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Baurista, the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Peter Serafinowicz, and Glenn Close.

My Christmas in July Blogathon is at the end of the month, read this post if you would like to participate.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer #2

Official Synopsis: Brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

After the character introductions of the last trailer, the second Guardians of the Galaxy focuses on the story and how the team comes together.  I must say, I am completely sold on this movie.  The cast is top notch, the effects look awesome, and if the humor that is here runs through the entire movie, it’s going to be hilarious.

It’s funny to see how stuck in the past Peter Quill is.  Blue Suede’s Hooked on a feeling, Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky, the tape deck Groot inspects, all throw backs to a different era.  And it’s awesome.  Speaking of Quill, his mask is pretty sweet.  I like to see how his gear works.  We get to hear the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper as Groot and Rocket.  Ronan the Accuser also gets a few good close ups.  Most of the cast gets a brief shot or two, so if you go through the trailer slowly, you can get good looks at everyone.

Guardians of the Galaxy rockets into theaters August 1, 2014.  Directed by James Gunn, it stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Baurista, the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Peter Serafinowicz, and Glenn Close.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxy