By Roy Mathur, on 2023-06-29, at 23:54:15--00:25:10 BST, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show, Listen
So help me god, I'm back on the Shure SM58.
Partly to cheer myself up and not become a total shut-in (always a danger with me), I decided to visit cinema for the first time since the plague began. In the blazing heat, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 in 2D on Monday 26th June at 12:30 at my local.
First the general cinema going experience. I paid substantially less by booking online, the two ticket checkers I met were lovely, and the auditorium was sparse. The cons? The shopping centre parking cost has more than doubled recently negating the ticket price saving, one of the disabled loo doors was broken and swinging, a mother had decided to bring her very young daughter (4--5?) to a 12A, but the biggest kick in the pants was that despite me assiduously avoiding any and all teasers for the final Indy film, a big spoilery trailer was thrown right in my face. When the film started, I found the sound clear, but painfully loud, and the picture occasionally seemed a little blurred. While I do still love the cinema, for the first time in my life I am seriously considering a modest home cinema set up.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) is the third and final sequel to the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy (2014 and 17). It is a Marvel superhero sci-fi movie by James Gunn, starring our heroes Chris Pratt as Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon.
The movie is about the Guardians trying to steal back a code to unlock Rocket, so that he can be treated with a med-pack after he is seriously injured when Adam Warlock attacks their Knowhere base. The villain is the High Evolutionary, a mad scientist intent on creating the perfect society from scratch by experimenting on both animal and sentient live subjects. Rocket was one of his early experiments. By the end of the movie, Rocket recovers and becomes the new captain of the Guardians, when the team break up with Star-Lord and Mantis going their own separate ways. Star-Lord returns to Earth to meet his grandfather and the post-credit scene promises his return as Legendary Star-Lord; a future film no doubt based on the titular (2014--2015) comic book series by Sam Humphries and Paco Medina.
Other than that, the sheer weirdness of characters like the High Evolutionary and Adam Warlock, and places like OrgoCorp's squishy, organic, intestine-like space station and Counter Earth populated by the cast of The Island of Dr. Moreau are all incredible things to behold and part of the franchise's stock in trade. There's also the subplot of whether Star-Lord and Gamora's romance will rekindle after she is killed and an earlier version of her returns in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Then what about the subsubplot Sean Gunn's Kraglin various attempts to learn to use Yondu's arrow weapon? As said in Shakespeare in Love, there's even "...a bit with a dog" (Cosmo the Spacedog), who is, after all, a good dog. There's a lot going on, but it's well apportioned and easy to follow. Oh, and Nathan Fillion plays Master Karja, the slightly thick blue collar Orgocorp security chief.
Like the other films, it is colourful and full of action and comedy, tempered with somber tones. That tone is expressed in the High Evoluntionary's horrific treatement of his living subjects, and utter disregard for anything except twisting science to his own perverse ends.
Even at the time of the trailers and teasers, it was clearly very heavily influenced by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's We3 (2004). That is a comic book about the cruel experimentation and exploitation of animals. I talked about it favourably on this podcast all the way back in 2013 (pod 15).
Across the board---script, acting, fx, creature design, cinematography, pacing, soundtrack, etc.---this is a good film. At this stage, saying that for most Marvel films feels redundant. However, the MCU is still occasionally capable of pumping out hot garbage, so perhaps it's still something worth mentioning.
The remains of Julian Sands, who went missing while hiking, were found recently. Julian Sands, shot to fame alongside Helena Bonham-Carter in A Room with a View (1985). He later went on to many roles in both arthouse and, of course, the geeksphere, like Gothic (1986), Warlock (1989), Arachnophobia (1990), etc.
RIP Julian Sands (1958--2023).