Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

We saved the beginning for the end


Great. Now you're going to see it.
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Reported on 4th of May, 2017

You get many omens before Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. For example, the now extended trailer for Valerian. Valerian is the only film I want to actually see this year (coming off M. Besson’s inexplicable financial reward for Lucy, this is his second Peter Hyams masterpiece). Unfortunately, by the time it comes out in late July, we’ll be able to cut a director’s cut of the sequel from everything they’ve given away.

That’s outside of the GotG2‘s control. Probably. Assuming that films have some sort of consciousness, and I’ve gotten this far by believing they do. What was not out of the control of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 was the new slug for Marvel Studios. Ever tinkering, where we were once mildly bored by flipping comic pages, then mildly embarrassed by the it’s so 1997 addition of 3D to the flipping pages, we are now depressed to see the actors take the place of their respective brands. Characters. Characters. Where did ‘brands’ come from?

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

28 April 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes


$4.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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From the movie. It came from the movie. Being that I’ve got the French nine-day jump on the US release (minus the eight day laziness jump backward. Call it Effort Savings Time), I could say how bland and non-existent at was, and ponder on how one does sequels (not, apparently like this).

It reminds me of the remake of Evil Dead, that it missed the point of the first film – to be writing against something. The fun there is that we were expected one type of film (serious superhero) and got another (self-depreciating). Fun™ is there. Fun is not.

Wow. Haven’t used ™ in years. It’s so deliciously retro! You know, like the film’s soundtrack! Fine. ‘Blue Sky’ is a great song, but the really juicy album cut is ‘Yours Truly 2095’. If the eight-track always fades between that song, you get the reel to reel man!

I’m veering too close to ® territory, so let’s reign it back. I actually enjoyed the first one very much, and wish I had written about it. Welcome to the new site, by the way, and please enjoy all the ‘Warning: array_key_exists() expects parameter 2 to be array’ errors!

For future Scott: row 1 in salle 11 is actually too close for future Scott. Try row 2

What with the calendar and map (annals and loci links, above), this is actually how I see the world. I’m hoping that having the site the way I want it will mean I’ll be inspired to dig into The Book of Tickets. Equally hoping that it won’t turn out to be the the novel writing version of spending two months choosing the font.

To wit, let’s just focus on one thing. As you prepare to see it tonight, and you prepare to ruin the experience of my ruining it for you by not reading this, I’m most interested in what I can’t stop calling instrumentality, a word that has as much real life frisson as ‘concretize’ or ‘covenant.’ Words I used so you wouldn’t notice I said ‘frisson’.

Anyway, the measurability of character’s goals is what struck me re: GotGv2 as it what makes the two good scenes from the film and whose lack makes the rest all time-stretchy. In a road movie, it’s miles. In the romance, it’s the kiss. It is the failure of Life, whose monster didn’t rules, unlike Alien, whose strengths and weaknesses are spelled out well. You hear this lack of clarity a lot from writers: ‘it’s about an internal journey’, a sentence which bore me by the first ”’. On the other hand, I can’t wait to see what ‘apply_filters’ function is going to do with that punctuation.

The ostensible story is about Mr. Pratt finding out that the father who is inevitably going to betray him is going to...wait for it.
And wait for it we do.

On point. Stay on point. From a story perspective, this type of vagueness is always troublesome, as we must have characters tell us ‘I just wanted a sister’ and ‘We have to work together.’ Which they did. It’s not exactly Towne versus Leonard these days, but you know, this type of stuff is fine. You tell the audience what to expect or they won’t expect it. That we need to learn the importance of family is…surprisingly for me anyway also fine. Love is good. All for it.

But you gotta concretize it (I’m trying to make the word sound less pretentious by saying ‘gotta’. It’s sad really). In the case of the two good scenes, both involving baby Mr. Vin Diesel (I know it’s baby Groot, but the honorifics have gotten me this far. An audience of eleven reading words like ‘concretize’).

Baby Mr. Diesel is asked to get the thing that will get Mr. Michael Rooker out of the prison cell. Very basic clear mechanical setup. As he increasingly brings the wronger and wronger objects, the scene works as the combination of the godammedable lovable character and the actual goal: get the thing. Capped with a minor character (Mr. Sean Gunn) then producing the object at Mr. Diesel’s failure, the scene is pops out.

Sadly. The rest of the film, unfortunately, just barely qualifies as lifeless, despite all the shiny shiny. The ostensible story is either about Mr. Michael Rooker getting approval from a we just see him for four seconds and I’m not mis-underexaggerating Mr. Sylvester Stallone or Mr. Chris Pratt finding out that his father (Mr. Kurt Russell) who is inevitably going to betray him is going to…wait for it.

And wait for it we do.

Surprises and reveal are fine, and certainly post-Split, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good Gotcha film. The answer – The Sixth Sense – is that it has to be its own film without the surprise. Not my greatest insight, but that makes GotG2’s failure that much more depressing, as it is the actually literal equivalent of waiting in your ground floor apartment for your upstairs neighbors to move their couches.

My neighbors never took off their shoes. They just moved their furniture at three o’clock in the morning. It was weird. Weirder still I never asked why.

In any case, the film is sitting around waiting for the beginning. And with jokes and surprises and fun shit, this would be fine. I think. But without any life it’s playing seventies music and killing.

Great. Now you’re going to see it.

At least you’re not reading this.

The Take

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Profits!
The FX, the rainbow combination of Roger Dean and Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières (Valerian reference!), remain stunning and singular. If you ignore me, or don’t read this, you will get your money’s worth.
$4.00
Likewise, whoever Marvel is hiring for the anti-aging CG is genuinely Terminators will take over the world scary good
$2.00
The Zune joke was solid. Seemed like it was thought of during writing of the first one.
$1.00
Once again, Ms. Karen Gillan excels…
$2.00
Total Profits
$9.00
Losses!
…until. Ah, explaining the joke. At once tedious and not my fault. At one point, Ms. Gillan explains that she will use her money to exact elaborate revenge upon her father, nay the whole galaxy. This is capped by Mr. Sean Gunn saying that he thought she would buy a nice outfit. The bit is that he’s heard this speech a million times before. Or take your pick. Not ‘you’re a girl, hurhur’. This is actually the problem with sexism. It’s not funny.
$2.00
The first one made have also made something of the fact that all space ships have room for a crematorium for some reason.
$1.00
There was also a tonal shift problem, which the first navigated with glee. When sidekicks die in close-up in space, it’s like you’re trying to teach us something.
$1.00
Like about how family is everything. Right. That’s why I go to movies. To learn.
$2.00
Total Losses
$5.00

$4.00

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