Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Friday, September 26, 2014

"Guardians Of The Galaxy" / O4W

I went to see “Guardians Of The Galaxy” largely out of curiosity. On first release the trailer looked unpromising, and I’m not entirely up to date on the Marvel Comics universe and those films inspired by it. But, it has been a huge success, so, I reasoned, there must be something in it.
And so there is. James Gunn’s direction is more coherent than it might have been, given the CGI-intensive sci-fi-action goings-on, and aided by a witty script, he maintains a tone which is irreverent without veering into charmlessness. The nostalgic pop soundtrack is also a clever touch.
Chris Pratt maybe lacks charisma as the central protagonist, but then his is the everyman character, and he’s likeable enough. The cast surrounding him is extremely strong – Zoe Saldhana as the love interest, Karen Gillan as her evil sister, Bradley Cooper (voice only) as a genetically engineered space-racoon, Michael Rooker playing it dark; as well as such luminaries as Glenn Close, John C. Reilly and Benicio Del Toro, not to mention familiar British character actors such as Peter Serafinowicz and Christoper Fairbanks.
The plot remains a mystery to me. Something about an orb, and bounty hunters, and the end of the universe. The importance of friendship is a key theme, and the character of Groot (Vin Diesel) seems to pay homage to the power of nature. The whole thing is slickly done, and an enjoyable enough ride, even if it doesn’t really leave a lasting impression.
The post-credits “joke”, however, really isn’t worth hanging around for.

(Marilyn Monroe in a still from "Inside The Poetry Storehouse")

Meanwhile, my film of pieces from The Poetry Storehouse is currently showing as part of Screening #1 of Outcasting’s contribution to the Cardiff Contemporary festival of moving image art; firstly at Porters’ Bar, then, next week, at the Panopticon, the event’s main city-centre venue, close to the bus-station. Exciting.

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