Guardians of the Galaxy

Recently I’ve been pretty jaded with the sci-fi fare offered by Hollywood. Most of the movies and TV shows I’ve seen have been dark and depressing or boring or near-future-we-don’t-have-a-real-budget stuff. I don’t care for any of that. I want spaceships! I want cool sci-fi weapons! I want epic space battles! I want fun and adventure! The two rebooted Star Trek movies provided that to a degree. But nothing like what Guardians of the Galaxy provided.

I never read the comic. I didn’t know a thing about Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) before I saw the movie. So I don’t know how closely it adheres to canon. Frankly I don’t care. I’m not one of those who thinks a movie has to be just like the book or comic to be worthwhile. One thing I do know – I enjoyed the movie. It had a lot of humour, great characters, and great action. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. Stew all those things together, and out comes a great tasting movie.

My only real gripe was that the movie included some bits of humour that were crude enough to prevent me from sharing this movie with my son right now. (I don’t think the payoff from those jokes was big enough to warrant their inclusion, but that’s just my opinion.) In a couple years when my son is older, I’ll be enjoying the movie again, but with him beside me.

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Total Recall Remake is Underrated

Recently the Total Recall remake has been made available on Netflix. I had previously rented it on my Apple TV, and before that I’d seen it in the theatre. Regardless of having seen the movie twice already, I watched it again on Netflix.

I don’t care what people say, this is a good movie!

The most important thing is that I want to know, moment to moment, what happens next. If a movie can’t keep me hooked, it’s not worth the time.

The action sequences are cool and contain some neat stuff I’ve never seen before. Like the scene near the beginning where Douglas Quaid is being chased by his wife Lori. At one point the have a really long shot of the action, showing how the two of them are running and jumping through the neighbourhood. It’s a great touch, and the movie is full of these.

I like the characters. The Rotten Tomatoes website says that this movie lacks the fleshed out characters from the original. I don’t know about that. I watched the original again recently on Netflix as well, and I gotta say, there’s not much that’s fleshed out about these characters. They’re typical action movie fare, as they are in this remake. In the remake, they’re interesting enough to keep me happy, and I don’t really expect much more from an action movie.

Lastly, and this really sets the movie apart for me, is the world they created. Many movies wave their metaphorical hands to keep you focused on anything but the fact that the world isn’t very fleshed out. Total Recall, in contrast, revels in the fact that it’s showing you a real world that you could image being in yourself. It has plenty of wide shots showing what the world looks like. It doesn’t have a bunch of close-ups and narrow-corridor stuff that’s meant to keep you from seeing their world. And a great world it is. I found the architecture and technology fascinating and enjoyable. Great stuff here.

So if you haven’t seen Total Recall, or even if you have, watch it with an open mind. It’s just an action movie, and it’s not the same as the original. But it’s a lot of fun.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2

So last night I finally went to see Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a friend. I’ve been meaning to watch it ever since release, but now I can finally say I’ve seen it. I’m a big Spidey fan. I’d go so far as to say he’s my favourite super hero. I like his accessibility compared to other super heros who are off saving the the world. Peter Parker is just so much more relatable. So I was quite excited to finally see the movie, and it didn’t disappoint.

Normally I see movies in non-3D, because the 3D is more hassle than it’s worth. I wear normal glasses, so getting the 3D effect to look nice only comes as a result of much fiddling. That fiddling was worth it in this movie because there are just so many long shots of the city. It really helped enhance the feeling of being there. So kudos to the movie for that. I think I’ll keep a more open mind about 3D in the future.

Electro was a fantastic villain in this movie, and I’m glad that almost all of the movie was about him as the antagonist. Often previous Spider-Man movies would split the attention between different villains too much. Amazing Spider-Man 2 struck a good balance, and the fights between Spider-Man and Electro were epic. This movie really played up the fact that Spider-Man is indeed a super hero. There were several moments where it was like “Did he really just do that? Awesome!”.

Not only am I a Spider-Man fan, but I’m also an Emma Stone fan. She was fantastic in this movie – everything I want to see and hear from a leading love interest. Gwen Stacey and Peter Parker really had a spark between them in this movie, and it made for great drama.

So yeah. Amazing Spider-Man 2. Great movie. I’ll probably end up buying it. I rarely do that anymore.