Guardians of the Galaxy Preview

In order to promote the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy was giving out free tickets to a special 17 minute preview on their Facebook page and I was able to snag one. I was slightly hesitant about going to see a preview since I didn't want to ruin the movie but I really want the special poster. I was not disappointed in what I saw and it was beautiful in 3D IMAX. The 17 minute preview consisted of a small foreward, a section of the movie, and a new extended trailer.

What was really great of watching the preview was that we get to see characters other than Peter Quill/Starlord (Chris Pratt) talk and we really got a sense of their characters as they never had any dialogue in the trailer (at least the first one which is the only one that I watched). Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper) is hilarious and I can't wait to watch the full movie to see more of him.

Rocket Racoon looks amazing; great job to Tippett Studios, but most amazing is Groot (Vin Diesel). Groot doesn't say much but there was a nice fight scene in the preview and we see why he is Rocket's muscle. Groot is able to change/grow his body like a real tree either creating a massive shield of vines and branches or extending his arms out to whip at his foes.

Interestingly we don't see much of Drax (Dave Bautista). He doesn't show up until later in the preview during the fight scene unlike the trailer where we see the four main characters all lined up together. He doesn't talk much and if I hadn't watched the initial trailer at all I would not know his backstory at all.

I wish Gamora (Zoe Saldana) was more visually interesting as she mainly just looks like a green person. She does have some silver markings on her face but they tend to be unnoticeable from a distance and especially when her hair is down and loose. I do love the green tone, particularly how light and shadow falls across it and interacts to sculpt her face.

I was initially apathetic towards this movie as just another Marvel superhero movie (come on DC, time to step up!) and after X-Men the only other movie that I was really looking forward to anytime soon was Laika's Boxtrolls in September but I will most likely be putting on Guardians of the Galaxy on my to watch list!

The Wolverine Review

Had an amazing night out with some friends and we all went to see The Wolverine! X-Men is probably my favorite superhero series despite the depressing endings. Whilst Wolverine isn't one of my top favorite characters it was a good movie to see, especially in preparation for the next movie, Days of Future Past.

So much better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine but I wouldn't place it above the first X-Men movie. I haven't followed all of the X-Men comics so I can't say for sure how true to the original comics that the movie was being but I felt that the movie was somewhat very stereotypical action movie with of a big manly hero and getting the girl. I grimaced so hard when Wolverine leaned in to kiss Mariko and they end up having sex. The two characters barely have any real connection other than "Oh, there is this big white manly man who just saved me and the one I used to love isn't yes I'm totally in love with Hugh Jackman's giant biceps and broad chest"; it just felt very contrived. By the way, so glad when Wolverine got a hair cut and cleaned himself up. I'm not sure if it was planned or not but it was somewhat amusing how none of the non-asian characters couldn't pronounce Mariko's name correctly. It is Ma-ri-ko but they always say something along the lines of Mary-ko.

The VFX was better integrated this time instead of the travesty that was in X-Men Origins. I'm still not completely sold on it as it uses a lot of metal but they were always the super shiny chrome type and there were never any solid reflections. The metal was lit nicely with blues and oranges and such to match the environment but I found the surfaces lacking actual reflections of the surroundings. I was confused about Wolverine's claws at the end. He had them sliced off so what is going to happen to him? The bone protrusions can be regenerated back but the Adamantium covering wouldn't. What became even stranger was Wolverine's claws in the raw bone form are really just straight sticks of pointed bones but somehow when he regenerated them back they were big and curved and looked similar to his Adamantium claws.

Maybe it's because I don't go see live action movies in 3D often enough but I didn't really think that stereoscope did anything for this movie. There were shots that look nice but it wasn't anything extravagantly amazing like when I saw Epic in 3D with all their layering of elements together. If anything I felt that the movie was harder to watch in 3D with all the extravagant fighting scenes. The movement became very hard to follow and instead of a smooth motion blur I would instead see afterimages of certain poses that stick in midair for a second.

Another factor that I found strange were the English subtitles for when some characters spoke in Japanese. The issue being that it wasn't consistent. They didn't subtitle everything and it wasn't like they were only subtitling the important dialogues as there were subtitles that would start only partway through a dialogue or even worse, partway through a sentence. Thankfully, my many years of watching anime, I was actually able to understand what was being said in Japanese even without subtitles. An interesting fact that was never pointed out in the movie was the sword that Yashida tries to give to Wolverine had kanji characters written on the blade that says Un-aging, Undying, and Un-something. Unfortunately I couldn't catch what the last character was but it was interesting how well the sword fits Wolverine.

Just something completely off topic. A random thought that occurred to me while I was watching the movie was how Wolverine must have beautiful hair as he wouldn't get split ends or dandruff or anything. Just something to amuse myself with, but more important, as a friend pointed out, is if Wolverine would have hair since technically hair consists of dead cells with the only the living portion being in the follicle. Hm.

Stay through the credits to catch the little prologue to the next X-Men movie! I'm looking forward to Days of Future Past as all the original line up of X-Men are coming back; Ian McKellen as Magneto and then some of my favorite X-Men, Cyclops and Storm!