In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@KimFreakinB) consider Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel Comics movies:
Shawn: I am Groot!
Spoiler alert - I loved it. I don't know when I've left a theater more satisfied with a superhero film than with Guardians of the Galaxy. I think it's partially the lack of hype of the previous films this year and that it sneaks in at the tail end of Summer when there isn't much competition. But I was surprised that it even exceeded my expectations.
So where does it fit in the spectrum for you, Kim? What are your current Top 5 Marvel films?
Kim: We are Groot! Get it right, because we're all in this together.
Guardians of the Galaxy had everything I love in a movie - action, a little bit of emotion for the Mom in me, '70s music, Chris Pratt without a shirt, and a raccoon hybrid who hangs out with a talking tree. Let's face it - this movie simply has something for everyone. I walked away happy and wishing I could turn around and go back in for a second viewing.
Top 5 Marvel films:
5. Iron Man 3
3. Captain America: Winter Soldier
2. The Avengers
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
Can I throw in a nod for the time-bending sequence featuring Evan Peters in X-Men: Days of Future Past? I promise not to call him Quicksilver.
Shawn: You aren't far off.
5.The Amazing Spider-Man
4. Captain America: Winter Soldier
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
1. The Avengers
The Avengers was just the wet dream of every 10-year-old that ever picked up a comic book. It had huge characters fighting on a huge scale with tons of destruction and blowing shit up. I think that Guardians took a smarter tack for 2014. Take your point about the funny, smart hero with a great soundtrack (not with a new Creed song but with music that the parents of 10-year-olds know already) and throw in fantastic CG characters. What demographic does this movie not appeal to? I walked away thinking that when the Guardians leave that planet their adventures easily could turn into Firefly. Where do you go for a sequel and not ruin this?
Kim: I never cared for the Spider-Man movies. I'd put Blade over all of them, as well as anything X-Men related. Maybe it's the girl in me who still likes her heroes with a generous helping of muscles and a side order of yum.
I see the sequel to GotG being the search for Quill's father. Could it be Thanos? That would be a terrible rip-off of Star Wars. Maybe it's really Groot, and his mom was a hippie who hugged one too many trees. I see it as continuing to be fun and entertaining, centered around Awesome Mix Vol. 2. I was a little irritated at the end by the post-credits scene. While it was amusing to see them tap their roots, I wanted more of a tie-in to other current movies. I missed the teaser for a future Marvel movie we're accustomed to seeing, so to leave the theater without that was a little disheartening for me. If the character shows up in the next Avenger movie, I reserve my right to dismiss the entire lot as gimmicky.
Gamora as a strong female character. Can we talk about that? With Marvel's push to diversify, they gave us female and green, strong, independent and she played a primary role in defending the galaxy.
Shawn: I was worried about where they were going to take the Gamora character. She's a strong character with a tragic origin in the comics, including being raped. She's gone through stages of being in very revealing costumes and she's been a love interest to a couple characters, most notably Adam Warlock.
They really stuck to her assassin role for a majority of the film. She wasn't set up as a victim and the love story was perfectly muted. Most importantly, with all the comedic males in the film, Gamora didn't fall into the role of either sexy slut or team mom. I see her as definitely the straight role to play off the quirks of the other characters - especially Quill and Rocky. She has to be the one who gets impatient with their antics. She maintained her bad-ass qualities throughout the film. Does this follow some of the strong women from Thor's universe?
Marvel has something here that is rare. They have a franchise that exists in the Universe of their other films but has quite a different tone. The dark, end of the world stories have their place in The Avengers and related films. This franchise would be best served to be the Indiana Jones adventures corner of their Universe. Take Awesome Mix Vol. 2 and give me some Gerry Rafferty, Poco, Marshall Tucker Band and some space adventures.
Kim: I think Lady Sif's consistent eye-rolling could be applicable to Gamora. I don't see the love-struck girl batting her eyelashes piece for Gamora though. I see her as more of a "the past is the past, where can I go from here" type of girl. She's something every young girl can aspire to be - confident, smart and not letting a sad past or poor choices keep her from kicking ass. It's evolution of self at its finest, and Marvel would do well to focus on some of that past without specifics if it wants to suck in the young adult female demographic. It's the old, "look what she can do, even with all the shit she's been through" role model. I'd get behind that more easily than Lady Thor, Goddess of - holy hell. I just can't say it.
As for Awesome Mix Vol. 2, crank up "Oh What a Night" and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and you've got the perfect makings of a sequel that can't miss. Don't forget the dance-off.