Kurt Russell

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Director:

James Gunn

Writer:

James Gunn

Dan Abnett

Starring:

Chris Pratt

Zoe Saldana

Dave Bautista

Vin Diesel

Bradley Cooper

Michael Rooker

Karen Gillan

Pom Klementieff

Kurt Russell

Plot:

The Guardians struggle to keep together as a team while dealing with their personal family issues, notably Star-Lord’s encounter with his father the ambitious celestial being Ego.

Review:

We find the Guardians of the Galaxy fighting a giant alien as hired mercenaries for a race of snooty gold people. Rocket, Bradley Cooper, steals something he shouldn’t because he’s seemingly testing the boundaries and strength of his new relationships. Things don’t go well for the Guardians, but it’s okay Star Lord’s, Chris Pratt, father shows up and saves the day.

Yeah, so apparently Star Lord’s father, Kurt Russell, is an immortal planet, or something. He has spread his seed far and wide in the hopes of creating a prodigy that can help him destroy the universe, well create it in his own image.

Each of his children have failed, but when he learns Star Lord has held an infinity stone and lived he has hope. Unfortunately for him, being a being alive for millennia, he doesn’t understand that killing your child’s loving mother is like the worst thing you can do.

This movie was about Star Lord and Rocket’s stories. There were some dashes of Gamora, Zoe Saldana, and Nebula, Karen Gillan, they started to work out their issues, but probably not. We also got little doses of the odd relationship between Drax, Dave Bautista, and Mantis, Pom Klementieff. For the most part, though, it was Star Lord. We saw more of his backstory, more of his family, and the ending was mostly about him as well. The movie is called Guardians of the Galaxy, it would have been nice if it had more of an ensemble feel, like Avengers. Star Lord had 11 more minutes of screen time than the next person, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but even when he was not on the screen a fair amount of the story revolved around him.

Part of why I enjoyed the first movie was the other characters and by far my favorite parts of this movie had almost nothing to do with Star Lord. Basically, anything with Groot and Rocket was awesome. I really liked Gamora and Nebula working on their shit too. The weakest part of the story, in my opinion, was Star Lord’s.

Overall, I’m not sure what impact this movie had on the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. We now have Mantis, who plays her part with trying to distract Thanos in Infinity War. There are some allusions to a future Guardians plot, but no idea if that will impact anyone else.

The movie was a step down from the original. Oddly enough, I loved it on my first viewing. So what’s changed? Is it because I watched it so closely to the first? Is it because this is the first time I’ve watched it since Black Panther, Thor Ragnarok, and Captain Marvel? I don’t know. I still enjoyed the humor at least.

Original Review

3/5

Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Christmas Chronicles

Christmas Chronicles (2018)

NETFLIX

Director:

Clay Kaytis

Starring:

Kurt Russell

Darby Camp

Judah Lewis

Plot:

The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

Review:

The first movie of my holiday season and I don’t think I could have chosen better. From the minute I saw the trailer I was excited to watch and it was an effort to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday was over. Things ended up being perfect when I was able to watch with both of my kids and my husband; it was a definite Hallmark moment.

Anyway, Kate, Darby Camp, and Teddy, Judah Lewis, have recently lost their father and are having a rough Christmas. Their mom is having to work a lot and isn’t there as much. It’s hard and very emotional, the intro borrowed from Up. One thing leads to another and the kids decide to stay up and catch Santa in the act, low and behold, it works!

Kurt Russell as Santa is inspired and he was so freaking perfect! Ugh! It was awesome!

Christmas Chronicles hit a lot of the best Christmas movie tropes. There was a musical number, there were lots of lore explanation, there was a cynical child that needed to be shown that the world doesn’t completely suck. Even the elves were cool. There was a car chase! Seriously, what more do you need from a Christmas movie?

Fair warning, I cried at the end.

Christmas Chronicles has definitely been added to my list of yearly Christmas movies. It was everything I could have possibly asked for.

5/5

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight (2015)

Director:

Quentin Tarantino

Starring:

Samuel L. Jackson

Kurt Russell

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Plot:

In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

Review:

I was lucky enough to see this movie in 70mm during my holiday travels. We weren’t actually in a city that was playing it, but we were close enough to drive.

The visuals were great and it was kind of sad that this medium isn’t used much anymore. The score was excellent and I thought it was cool that Ennio Morricone, the dude that did The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, composed it.

Apart from those two things, though, I didn’t think this was as good as Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained.

The movie had almost no action until the very end and a lot of dialogue. I know you’re saying, “But it’s a Quentin Tarantino film, what did you expect?” I expected better pacing, I guess. I don’t need lots of action in his movies, but I needed something other than gorgeous shots to break up all the dialogue. There were also little things that were kind of stupid about the plot, plot holes I guess. Maybe they’ll make more sense after a second viewing.

I thought the ending was a little bit lacking. I kind of hoped that they’d do a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid thing, but oh well. It was fine, just kind of there.

I loved the roadshow experience and would do that in a heartbeat and I enjoyed the film more right after I got out of it, but the more I thought about it the less I liked it. Oh well, if you’re a fan of Tarantino see it, if not I would recommend some of his other works.

3/5