film review

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy გალაკტიცის გცველები

Guardians of the Galaxy
გალაკტიცის გცველები

Until a week before seeing the movie I had never heard of The Guardians of the Galaxy, I am not a reader of superhero comic books.  I had seen the first Spiderman film but had missed other Marvel offerings like Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. So I came to this film with no expectations or preconceptions.

I was pleasantly surprised, this film rocks. There is a lot of action and the humour (or should that be humor?) is pitched perfectly. I am reminded most of the first Star Wars films. There are a bunch of misfits who come together to save the universe, a little like Luke, Chewy, Han Solo et al. The first, Peter Quill or Star Lord was abducted from earth as a child on the death of his mother. He possesses that cultural icon of the eighties a Sony Walkman with an “Awesome Mix” tape that provides an interesting eclectic soundtrack for this space adventure. Quill is an unlikely hero, akin to Han Solo, looking to profit from what the universe has to offer. When he finds an orb coveted by the evil Ronan he finds several people after him for the orb or the bounty. First is the green skinned Gamora, a beautiful trained assassin, played by Zoe Saldana (Uhuru in recent Star Trek films). A scuffle involving the pair lands them both in a high security prison, along with a gun toting genetically modified raccoon called Rocket, who tried to capture Quill for the bounty and his sidekick a human like tree with a zen passion for aphorism “I am Groot”. In prison the final member of the Guardians is found: Drax, who looking like a WWF wrestler (or Putin according to my wife), is hell bent on revenge with the kin of Ronan. He takes some convincing not to kill Gamora, but is eventually won over.

Perhaps my only gripe are the villains; Ronan and his psychotic sidekick Nebula’s motivations aren’t really explored in any detail and they seem rather one-dimensional.

The effects are phenomenal as one would expect in this CGI age, lots of spaceships fighting and some surreal sci fi weirdness. But it is the humour and humanity of the characters that makes this film a must see.

My rating 9 out of 10

 

 

Film Review: The Lego Movie

I have been a fan of Lego since a small child. This 3 D movie conveys the story of a Lego figure called Emmet and seemed at times to just be one giant Lego advertisement (product placement to the limit). I watched this film with my wife and my granddaughter Ana at Rustaveli Cinema dubbed in Georgian.

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Ana with the poster for the Lego Movie

I could marvel at the amazing Legoland vistas but some of the smart cracking, which made my Georgian wife laugh passed me by.

Emmet the central character, a run of the mill figure is joined by a mixed group of Lego figures, who want to preserve free form Lego construction from the evil grips of President Business, who wishes to stifle creativity with instruction manuals and glue. Emmet’s team includes a kick ass female called Wyldstyle, Batman, cryptic wizard Vitruvius , an astronaut and a cat with a unicorn like horn (a uni-cat?).

Here is the trailer (in English), to give you a taste of the visual aspect of the film.

The film’s look has a certain Lego “clunkiness” as one may expect – the result of ensuring that every aspect of the landscape looks like it was assembled using a gazillion  Lego pieces. When water floods a compartment, it’s one stud Lego water. When fire erupts, it’s “Lego fire.” The goosestep marching of President Business’ minions has a Lego clunkiness.

The schizoid bad cop/good cop character is my favourite, his head spins from good to bad cop at will, delightful and funny.

Some of the film may be a little scary for a five year old, but Ana enjoyed it.

It is a  joyful, joke-filled parable about the joy of making stuff especially Lego stuff, the power of imagination and the pursuit of specialness, everything pretty much is awesome.  Early in the film, Emmet gets in his one person Lego car, turns on the radio and hears a song, “Everything is Awesome.” It’s meant to be a big  joke, an ironic stab at conformity in a place where being mindlessly happy is mandatory.

Maybe now I should get the Lego out and have a play.