Thursday, August 7, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Importance of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

This past weekend, Marvel Studios’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY proved to be a box-office monster; its $94 million opening tally is the largest in history for an August release. This adaptation of one of Marvel’s more obscure comics is not only a victory for comic book fans, but for cinema in general. Here are the Top Five reasons why:
An Obscure Comic Property is now a Household Name: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was originally published in 1969, and had a re-invented run in 2008. It never made it to the upper-echelon level of notable superhero characters like its cousins Captain America or The Hulk, which is why the idea of turning it into a big-screen venture was certainly a gamble. Comic book movies, believe it or not, are not made exclusively for the comic-book crowd; you have to get the general public through the gate because that’s where the big money is. If you don’t do that, the genre would have died at the box office a long time ago.

Faith in your Characters: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY has some weird looking dudes and ladies walking around; a green-skinned warrior woman, a wise-cracking raccoon and a walking/talking tree are just the tip of the asteroid. Marvel knew they had an uphill climb in selling these obscure and bizarre characters to the public, and the solution was simple; you take those high-concept characters and make them as human as possible. Everyone can relate to a common human emotion of sorrow, joy, rage…and when those emotions are seen on the big screen, it doesn’t matter what kind of creature it is coming from. This is important because Marvel has proven that even the weirdest looking thing can be a true character. Other studios will take notice.
No Fear of Color: Many films these days go for a darker or even de-saturated palette. GUARDIANS embraces its comic roots by throwing just about every color of the rainbow at us on the screen. Green skins, pink skins, yellow outfits, deep purples of the cosmos…it makes for an eye-popping visual experience and stays true to its colorful comic origins.

Cosmic Diversity: In the 1960’s, Gene Roddenberry’s STAR TREK TV series subtly promoted diversity in space, with people of all races, color, and alien origins working together and living in harmony. This was a concept taken further in STAR WARS (1977), as human characters interacted and didn’t think twice about living and working with robots and aliens. It’s a concept that seems to have been lost in the recent decade, and a concept that GUARDIANS embraces fully and runs with. Drama in movies comes from contrast; contrasting characters and their personalities clashing and learning from each other is what storytelling is all about.
No Fear of Fun: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is a blast with surprises and laughs coming at us at light speed. Having fun at the movies should always be a priority for studios, and GUARDIANS puts that up front and center and isn’t afraid to bring the house down while maintaining an important story and common threat for the characters to bond against. Even when things go dark in GUARDIANS, there is a great sense of whimsy and adventure which is very reminiscent of STAR WARS; giving it a classic and familiar feel that anyone can enjoy. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is not about superheroes and sci-fi adventure, it’s about good cinema, and is a major step forward for the industry.


Reel Speak's Review HERE



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