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Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee and Todd Pearage

Guardians of the Galaxy (12/9/2014)


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel (voice), Bradley Cooper (voice) and Benicio Del Toro

Directed by James Gunn (Super & Slither)


Jonathan's Rating: Worth Buying

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Dynamic ImageGuardians of the Galaxy was a different type of super hero film. It was gritty and stark… but fun. It was genuine, and even a little crass… but surprisingly principled.

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cos-mos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting boun-ty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambi-tions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the re-venge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy's fate in the balance.

TODD'S WORD: I’m getting tired of saying this, but Marvel has done it again…and I love it.

JONATHAN'S WORD: I sat down and watched the Ironman trilogy last week (nursing my injury) and my daughter walked in and said, “I love all the superhero films lately!” I don’t think she’s alone. The superhero films, especially the Marvel ones, have delivered big time in the last decade!

TODD'S WORD: I totally agree and with The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man coming out this year…they show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

JONATHAN'S WORD: Ok settle down and talk about Guardians of the Gal-axy.

TODD'S WORD: OK sorry about that. Let’s start with the story. Marvel took a huge (but calculated) risk with Guardians of the Galaxy. You see up until this point, most of the Marvel films have taken place in familiar places on earth. We’ve seen the destruction of NY, an interrupted race in Monaco and other various U.S. cities. And while the Thor films took us to Asgard, Guardians of the Galaxy takes us to strange new worlds and introduces us to strange new life forms. But the story is so strong that even if you walk into the theater not knowing Starlord, Groot, Rocket, Drax the Destroyer or Gamora…you will leave loving them.

The Guardians are a bunch of “losers” and outcasts who band together to save the gal-axy. They are a true motley crew.

JONATHAN'S WORD: I don’t think it was a risk at all. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings… all fictitious places. The elements we need are likable characters and a compelling story. Guardians provided that in surplus.

TODD'S WORD: Well, Marvel gambled on a talking raccoon and talking tree. And in my opinion, that gamble paid off…big time! Not only did they have great lines, they have great chemistry with the rest of the team.

Speaking of the rest of the team Zoe Saldana is good but Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista are surprisingly great! I’m convinced both of them are on the rise.

JONATHAN'S WORD: I’ve always enjoyed Chris Pratt, and this film was no exception. And yes, I loved the raccoon and the talking tree. But I think one of the deepest characters was in an unlikely source, the musclebound Dave Bautista. His in-trospective sincerity and vulnerability made him so likable. Some of my favorite lines from the move came from him.

TODD'S WORD: I loved how they developed the villains like Ronan, The Col-lector and Thanos (who was shown in the secret scene of The Avengers). By the way that was Josh Brolin playing Thanos.

JONATHAN'S WORD: Wow, I didn’t even notice that. I just saw him in Labor Day, by the way, and he was excellent as usual.

Back to Guardians. This film was one of my favorite’s of the year. It provided su-perhero fun, but with real, vulnerable and surprisingly principled characters.

Let me be clear. This film isn’t for young kids. It’s even grittier than Ironman (who, as you remember, doesn’t have the cleanest mouth and has woke up with a varie-ty of different women in his bed over the years). In Guardians, the characters are flawed, but authentic and redeemable. Take Drax (Bautista), with his tough exterior, mo-tivated by a revenge vendetta, yet vulnerable enough to examine his motives and re-veal, “All my anger… all my rage… was just to cover up my hurt inside.”

This diverse crew of imperfect misfits found amity and camaraderie in a surprisingly no-ble task of saving the world. Drax summed it up well:
    “I am grateful for your acceptance despite my blunders. I am glad to call you friends.”
I’m buying this one!

TODD'S WORD: I am unashamedly a fan of the super hero genera…for me it is “Worth Buying.”


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There is no sex or nudity, but allusions to it and several jokes that are on the coarse side. There is 1 obscene hand gesture, a handful of mild obscenities and 1 interrupted use of f-word.

There are several scenes that contain intense fights between characters and vehicles. The climactic scene involves a large space ship attacking a city in an attempt to destroy all life on the planet during which numerous people are clearly killed.


CONVERSATION STARTER:

  1. How would you describe Starlord at beginning of the film?

  2. Why does he act so selfishly?

  3. In one scene Starlord says,"I found something inside myself [that was] incredibly heroic!" How did he change?

  4. What are some things you find “incredibly heroic"?

  5. Read Hebrews 13:16

      Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

  6. What are some ways we neglect doing good?

  7. How can we be more like Starlord and do things that are incredibly hero-ic?




Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaking to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.



Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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