Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy became a very enjoyable movie. It starred Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana (Uhura – Star Trek) along with voiceovers by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

The story begins with Peter Quill/Star Lord (Pratt) carving a life as a smuggler in outer space, having been kidnapped from earth as a youngster. He’s for hire by anyone for the right price.

However when he gets hold of an orb, there’s many people after him with a bounty on his head. Rocket (Cooper), a genetically modified racoon, is a bounty hunter and is one of the mob after him. Rocket is aided by Groot (Vin Diesel) a living tree man able to replace his limbs, grow flowers and lights at will! This is very handy. There’s also Gamora (Saldana) on his trail. Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillian – Doctor Who) and the real baddie Ronan.

Ronan wants the Orb in exchange for Thanos, a real super villain, who will destroy Ronan’s archenemy’s home world Xander. However once Peter finds out what the Orb is capable of, he wants to ensure Ronan can’t get his hands on it and attempts to convince the others after him to help him instead.

The Orb contains the power to destroy a planet itself, should Ronan discover this power, all he’ll have to do is take the Orb and make it touch Xander’s soil, its destruction will be complete. He won’t need to deal with Thanos at all and could even go after him!

So will the others step up, be heroes, and give up their lives of crime and not caring about anything other than the next pay cheque? Rocket, Groot and Gamora are arrested when they try to catch Peter. Peter is also arrested due to his record as a smuggler.

Peter finds out Gamora is actually Thanos’ adopted daughter during their prison stay. There’s another inmate Drax the destroyer (David Bautista) ready to slay Gamora, as Ronan killed his entire family and he wants revenge. Will Peter stop him? Can he work with outlaws to save the galaxy? Should he – or they – even care?

I simply loved this film. Good humour, great cast and a very impressive voice over by Bradley Cooper as Rocket just blew me away.

Vin Diesel stole the show as Groot, the living tree man. I loved this character, so different with only one sentence with three words spoken! However, it was superb. The facial expressions were wonderful and led to a very powerful performance.

Chris Pratt made a charming leader, like a naughty Captain Kirk. Zoe Saldana’s Gamora was a soulful creature, you understood why she was bad.

It asks the question, if we were faced with saving the world at our own expense would we? Life can get comfortable. Risking it all is a major step. Money and power are powerful seductions.

Thanos I believe was in the Avengers Assemble movie at the end in a post credit scene, so whether there’s a tie in at some point remains to be seen.

10/10 in every way.

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from Clevver Movies

Film Review: American Hustle

American Hustle
American Hustle is on a similar par with other Hustle type shows, those who have seen the BBC series and the Real Hustle programs will be familiar with the plots. What’s different about this one is the set up of the characters. Also it’s based on a real life operation.

Christian Bale (Batman), Jeremy Renner (Avengers), Amy Adams (The Vow), Bradley Cooper (A Team) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) star in the story.

The basic plot stars out okay, Irving Rosen field (Bale) and Sydney Posser (Adams) are working together doing scams. The complications arise when FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) catches them and then wants to use them in a scheme to get a corrupt mayor (Renner).

The wheeling and dealing that arose to get a money transfer were good but predictable. Befriending the mayor was obvious. Alessandro Nivola (Billy from Jurassic Park III) turns up as Richie’s boss’s boss and is seemingly unconcerned with overspending to catch the mayor. Price was no object. What a rare quality in a big boss.

I just found this film very different in tone to the other hustle programs. Too many characters (wives, sheikhs, sons, mayors). There was no cleverness, no bright spark. What purpose did Jennifer Lawrence’s character actually serve? No, the real reason. Yes she cavorted about in all manner of pretty attire but that’s not really a part. If Irving is supposed to a great swindler then he should be able to get his son off her.

Also the relationship between Irving and Posser was creepy. It was akin to watching your mom and dad get cosy. Ewww! I had to close my eyes at times.

The mayor walks out, the mayor walks back in. Rosalyn (Lawrence) doesn’t want to divorce Irving, then Rosalyn does want to divorce Irving. Richie’s boss (Louis CK) going up the wall, Richie’s boss comes down from the wall.

Even when the plots change such as Richie putting another guy in the role of a Sheikh that Irving used to lure the mayor, does not help. Things move again when a crime overlord appears (Robert DeNiro), and wants the Sheikh to be an American!

And from their Irving thinks things are going mad. Er, thinks going mad? Thinks?! It IS going mad. Far too many subplots and characters drifting in and out, making if very difficult to follow. Irving and Carmine are friends, then Irving and Carmine are NOT friends. This is plain daft. It makes me wonder if any of the production team watched an episode of Hustle? Outstanding plots, clever double crosses. Research is vital and there was little point of launching a film with the word Hustle in it, if you’re going to do something else.

It was an ambitious venture, with many big names to boast – sadly the I found script unmoving. It just wasn’t a hustle movie for me. The cast made this movie. So go see it for them, plus Bradley Cooper’s perm! But there wasn’t any difference for me than any other action movie.

If I was marking this from the script it would’ve been a 4! But I’ve decided my score reflect the acting from the team, as they were very good – 7/10 from me.

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from LimboIsland