Saturday, December 13, 2014

Movie reviews: Edge of Tomorrow and Guardians of the Galaxy

1.1. Edge of Tomorrow - Short review:  

1.2. Long review: Groundhog Day meets Skyline

1.2.1. What I liked: The story, the action, and the characters were just good enough to hang together till the end. Well, almost.

1.2.2. What I did not like:
     Tom Cruise plays Marine Major William Cage, a PR guy who avoids combat. A Marine? Marines are famed for the saying 'Every man, a rifleman.' I found this premise unbelievable.
     Cage lives and dies and lives and dies and, along the way, finds out that everything the United Defense Force knows about the invading Mimics is a lie. So when Doctor Carter infodumps his working theory of who the Mimics are and how they do what they do and a thousand other little factoids, why should Cage (or we) believe him? Everything else was a lie; why not this? But like a horse pill, we have to swallow it whole. (I thought this was bloody stupid writing. In the middle of the movie, I thought this. While Carter was speaking, I thought this. Bloody stupid writing.)

1.2.3. Who I think is the audience: Tom Cruise fans.

1.2.4. Is the movie appropriate for children to see? I dunno. Maybe. Movie deaths but no gore. No sex.

1.2.5. On the basis of viewing this movie, will I pay to see the sequel? Oh, God, no.

1.2.6. Rating and the plot in a nutshell: How I rate movies:

 -- I want my money back.
 -- Worth a rental, not more.
 -- Worth first-run theater price once. <-- Edge of Tomorrow
 -- I will pay first-run theater price to see it again.

Running time: 113 minutes. The plot in a nutshell.

1.2.7. Other:

      For the action and the special effects, yeah, this was worth seeing once.
      If this seems like a luke-warm review, that's because it is.

1.2.8. Links:
IMDb review
Rotten Tomatoes review

2.1. Guardians of the Galaxy - Short review:   *:D big grin

2.2. Long review:
2.2.1. What I liked: The dialog. The characters. The over-the-top action. The music. Absolutely the most fun I've had with my clothes on this year.

2.2.2. What I did not like: 
     I don't know who  did the makeup for Zoe Saldana, but this guy has a rare talent. He took one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and made her unattractive. 

2.2.3. Who I think is the audience: Everybody. 

2.2.4. Is the movie appropriate for children to see? Sure. One bad word. Okay, eight bad words. Maybe five, 'cause two of 'em are repeated. Movie deaths but no gore. No sex. 

2.2.5. On the basis of viewing this movie, will I pay to see the sequel? Yes. The sequel cannot come soon enough. Here, take my money. 

2.2.6. Rating and the plot in a nutshell: How I rate movies:
 -- I want my money back.
 -- Worth a rental, not more. 
 -- Worth first-run theater price once. 
 -- I will pay first-run theater price to see it again. <-- Guardians of the Galaxy 

Running time: 122 minutes. The plot in a nutshell.

     What? There was a plot, too? Yeah, kind of. 
     1988. Peter Quill's mother is dying. He hides from his grief by playing his Sony Walkman loud. When she dies, he runs from the hospital and -- get this -- is abducted by aliens. 
     Fast forward 26 years. 
     Peter Jason Quill, now a Ravager, combs a dead world for a valuable Orb. Finds it. Others find him. Big fight. Big escape. Big laughs. "I forgot you're here." 
     Quill tries to fence the Orb on Xandar. His buyer nixes the deal. Gamora, working for Ronan (but secretly betraying him), steals the Orb. Quill steals it back. 89P13, aka Rocket (a genetically modified and cybernetically enhanced raccoon), and Groot, a humanoid tree, intervene. Everybody goes to jailworld, aka Kyln. "Not helping!"
     At Kyln, the foursome meet Drax, who has no sense of sarcasm or metaphor. The foursome becomes a fivesome. And they escape. "That was a pretty good plan." 
     Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ronan meets with Thanos. They spend a few minutes insulting each other, and Ronan takes off to get the Orb. Personally. "That is true."
     The fivesome go to Knowhere, a hive of scum and villainy in the severed head of a celestial being. (Is this over the top or what?) They meet the Collector, who wants to buy the Orb for four billion Units. The Collector tells them that before the universe was, there were six Singularities. Blah, blah, blah. The universe started, and the Orb is really the Philosopher's Stone. Nope, nope, nope. Wrong movie. It is the Infinity Stone. The Collector says it has the power to destroy worlds. "This vermin speaks of affairs he knows nothing about."
     Meanwhile, Drax drunk dials Ronan and challenges him to a duel. Can you say "Bad idea"? Yondu, the Ravager captain, comes to Knowhere. This ain't good for Quill. Ronan comes to Knowhere. This ain't good for anybody. Fight, fight, fight. Ronan's minion Nebula takes the Orb from Gamora and leaves her to die in space. Quill saves Gamora and surrenders to Yondu. "That is also true."
     Everybody heads for Xandar. Quill messages ahead and gets the Xandar constabulary to come to his aid, because when you are a Xandar cop and a life-long outlaw calls you up to say "Hey, big baddie is coming to spoil your day forever, so let's join forces" of course you say yes. Fight, fight, fight. Fall, fall, fall. Crash, crash, crash. "We are Groot."
     Ronan is THAT close to doing the dirty deed that will turn Xandar to toast when Quill challenges him to a dance-off. (I am not making this up.) More than once Ronan asks Quill "What are you doing?" when what he shoulda done was pull his pistol and shoot the sword swinging Arab. Oops! Wrong movie. "Subtle."
     Quill grabs the Orb, er, Infinity Stone, which shoulda killed him. Gamora takes some of the pain. Drax takes some of the pain. So out of character it works, Rocket takes some of the pain. Groot takes . . . well, Groot ain't there. One for all and all for one, Quill tells Ronan they are the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and blows Ronan apart. "You said it yourself."
     In gratitude, Xandar pardons their crimes and expunges their criminal records. This is a mistake. Kinda The End. "Break it down hard."

2.2.7. Other:

     I saw this movie the day before Thanksgiving. Since then, I have seen it three more times and had a ton of fun each time.
     This movie has plot holes big enough to pass supertankers, and I don't care. The dialog is wicked funny. The characters are likable. The whole circus rambles along at light speed. And the music never ends.
     Guardians of the Galaxy is a comic book, and it never forgets that. Not for one second. Great movie. 

2.2.8. Links:

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