Collateral attractions: Guardians of the Galaxy

Will you see it?

One of the biggest surprises to me about fandom (coming in as an outsider over four years ago now) was the detailed intelligence of people talking knowledgeably and critically about things I’d never thought about. Wow, thinking doesn’t have to be just about serious things? Thinking can be about fun stuff, too?

A great example of a piece that addresses this point is this NPR review of Guardians of the Galaxy. This is what it says about Lee Pace:

What comes through so delightfully is a balance between the weary, sometimes skeptical but deeply affectionate good will of adults who love an enjoyable blockbuster and the campy, self-serious exploration of good and evil that kids can happily bathe in before they start to think of comics as fundamentally a capitalist enterprise. You could see this movie and then have a long debate over exactly what Pace is doing, how in on the joke he is, and how much he knows that intensity-wise, he’s doing Release The Kraken MULTIPLIED by Emperor Palpatine TIMES Loki PLUS everybody who gets a mask pulled off his head at the end of a Scooby-Doo cartoon. It’s not that he’s not doing a real villain, but he’s also doing the villain, the idea of a comic-book villain. While he’s giving it all he’s got when it comes to menace, his delicious super-ferocity is meant to work hand-in-glove with the more obviously comedic stuff that Quill’s team is doing.

So yeah, now I am intrigued. After nine weeks of Halt and Catch Fire, during the last few weeks of which we saw ads for this film several times, dad now wants to see it because of the fox raccoon character. (Servetus pleads total ignorance of comics, The Avengers, Marvel, and this film. So dad is allowed to like the fox raccoon.) We will probably go on a cheap Tuesday.

~ by Servetus on August 2, 2014.

19 Responses to “Collateral attractions: Guardians of the Galaxy”

  1. Fox? You mean Rocket Raccoon?

    We’re catching a matinee tomorrow. 🙂


    • thanks, fixed 🙂


      • The spawn is a bona fide Marvel nut, as well as being addicted to sci-fi from Day One. (I have a funny story about him and the two movies we went to with him along the summer he was less than a year old.) It’s like this particular movie was made specifically for him. I’m amazed we talked him into waiting until tomorrow instead of having to be there for the midnight premiere. He’s so excited he can hardly talk about anything else.


  2. Benny was dubious because he wasn’t familiar with any of these characters, but I told him it’s getting really positive reviews thus far. And I love this quote you shared, Serv–and I can now see, after seeing Lee’s recent interview talking about the character just how much fun he must have had playing this baddie. And I do so enjoy watching Mr. Pace. So—yeah, maybe we can go to one of the discount showings. Or I might just sneak off . . . you never know.


  3. I hope you and you and your dad will enjoy the movie. I am not familiar with the comics and do not understand the phenomena. Guardians is the first of these films I really want to see – mostly because of the fun music but also the rave reviews. Due to recent spine surgery I might have to wait for the dvd (I still hope against hope that I will be able to catch ITS in theatre and travel to see the Crucible in September).

    I went to see Captain America solely because of RA, I only watched it once in theatre and have not jet bought the dvd. I watched Thror on dvd trying to understand the Loki/Hiddleston appeal but I still don’t get it.


    • Tom Hiddleston’s appeal doesn’t take special study to understand. It’s almost exactly the same thing that draws people to Richard. He is a talented and intelligent actor (whom many people find physically attractive, which requires no justification or explanation) and a decent man who works hard and strives to treat people with kindness and dignity, and the more you see of him the more you see all of this in evidence. We admire the way Richard treats his fans? Tom has always been an exemplary model of that behavior himself. Additionally, Hiddleston has an unbridled enthusiasm, optimism, and zest for life that is legitimately inspiring.

      I hope I don’t sound defensive, but I’m a bit sensitive to hints of women being judged or looked down on for the things they enjoy, and I get this vibe when popular crushes are pooh-poohed or when people say they don’t “understand” the appeal. We know attraction is not a thing that has to be understood, so it smacks of hypocrisy when we demand that women explain their attractions and interests before we will see them as valid.

      I apologize, Serv, if I’m being belligerent on your blog.


      • It was not my intention to slight TH and I am sorry if it came across that way. TH is a great actor, as is Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgård but I did not care for their characters in Thor either. These characters are not familiar superheroes to me (although I “know” them from the asgardian mythology). Thus the films (Thor, Captain America etc.) does not hold the same magical appeal for me as superhero movies which comics I read as a child, e.g. Stålmannen (Superman) and Läderlappen (Batman).


  4. Fwiw, I’m with both of you. I don’t like to see tastes slighted and I don’t really get Hiddleston’s appeal. That is to say — if you look into the back issues on Armitage’s intelligence, you’ll see stuff about my reaction to Hiddleston, which is almost entirely built on the fact that he seems to be extremely smart. From which I conclude that the crushes one develops are highly individual matters. Cumberbatch doesn’t do it for me either.


    • I think it’s a good thing all these fine actors—and I think Tom, Benedict and RA can all be described as such—don’t hit each and every one of their audience members in the solar plexus in the way one’s particular crush does it. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with multiple fandoms! Yikes!! Also, I believe you need to spread the love . . .


    • I’m in the “like Cumberbatch fine but have no special feelings toward him” camp. Personally, my big fantasy is to sit down with both Tom Hiddleston and Richard Armitage and for the three of us to have a sweeping conversation about character motivation, and probably Shakespeare. I honestly can’t think of anything in the world I would enjoy more.


      • I was talking about this with regard to BC last night with someone. I don’t get that either. But every actor can use a few fans and I don’t think BC is short of them, so he doesn’t miss me. 🙂


  5. Seeing it today, can’t wait! We’ve been waiting for this one to come out for months. I’m not generally a comic book fan but I have developed a fascination with the Marvel movies and the trailers for this were hilarious.

    I’ll let you know how Thranduil is. 🙂


    • that is totally all I care about! 🙂


      • He did a good job (although comic book heroes aren’t a huge acting challenge generally). Almost unrecognizable under all that blue makeup. I just said on the way home that poor Lee Pace needs to get a job where he doesn’t have to sit in the makeup chair for hours and hours every day. 🙂


  6. I just came back from Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought it was big fun. I wasn’t expecting to like Chris Pratt so much, but he was charming in a Han Solo sort of way. The misfit team of guardians was fun, but of them all, Groot really won my heart.
    The movie was funny and didn’t feel like a typical superhero movie at all. I hope you and your dad have fun watching it, Serv.


    • I guess I’m gonna end up seeing Into the Storm first; dad didn’t want to go to the movies tonight (shrugs).


  7. […] to the reason that I was watching it (cough), I think that the comment by the reviewer that I cited here is just spot on, and in fact, Lee Pace was the only thing about the movie that made me wish I […]


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