What I…

…learned from watching “Guardians of the Galaxy”. (Erm, this is where I should say “spoiler alert” because I type, at some length, about things that happened in the movie. Consider yourself warned. If you haven’t seen “Guardians of the Galaxy” you should wait to read this until you have. But really… Go see it. Now.)

1. Start with a heart wrenching origin story. – Seriously, even I – the hard-hearted-child-disliker – felt a twinge of sorrow at the sound that came out of the kid when his mother died.

2. After flipping through Marvel comic pages have a career exploding opening sequence. – Chris Pratt became an instant, bona-fide movie star when he picked up that space rat and started lip synching into its ugly little head.

3. Use good, recognizable music in the score. – Yeah, the music in this movie has a beat and you can dance to it. You try to stay in your seat while “Come and Get Your Love” is playing. I challenge you.

4. The hero needs to have faults. They can’t be perfect. – I’ve read this directive on many occasions but I’ve only seen it portrayed (written?) so extremely well once or twice. Peter Quill is a womanizer. He is sarcastic. He’s a “thief”. Yet, he has a code he lives by and you can’t help but like him in spite of his faults.

5. The secondary characters don’t have to be uninteresting. – Rocket the raccoon was referred to by someone I know and respect as “a gimmick”. Well, let me tell you – Rocket was the one who made me cry. Yes, I identified with the raccoon.

6. A heroine who can hold her own in a fight is not a bad thing AND she doesn’t need to wear high heeled shoes!!! – This drives me nuts. Women having to fight in two+ inch heels. Just… so… infuriating. Sure, people used to say that Ginger Rogers was great because she had to do everything in heels and backwards, but how many of them really meant it, and how many of them thought they were making a funny joke? I’m curious why they saw the need to put Gamora in heels in the second half, though. Was it the fight with Nebula? I mean, sure, Karen Gillan is a thousand feet tall and maybe putting Zoe Saldana in heels was to reduce the height difference, but I prefer to see the short person winning without heels. Maybe I am hung up on society’s love of high heeled shoes because I cannot walk in the damn things without looking really awkward. Except.. okay… I have a pair of knee high boots with a wedge heel and they make me feel like I can take on the world, but I’d still look like a newborn giraffe if I had to run in them…

7. Just because a guy came from MMA and WWE doesn’t mean he can’t do the job. – I was not sold on Dave Bautista. I thought he was simply going to be a wooden, uninteresting, muscle-bound placeholder. This is where the talent of the casting director comes in to play. When I think of ‘actors’ Dave Bautista is not the first name that comes to mind, but because of the way the character was written he did perfectly well, and I thought he was completely believable.

8. Anything and everything has potential for humor. – Because… prosthetic leg. Hahahahaha. Ha!

9. (This one is for real life) If you’re going to do something, do it. – Don’t count down, just do it because before you get to “one” something will happen to derail your plan.

10. Pop culture references are great opportunities for comedy. – Especially if they involve Kevin Bacon.

11. Characters that are willing to sacrifice themselves for others make the movie. – When the Collector’s attendant in Knowhere grabs the infinity stone, Quill grabs Gamora and knocks her into a pit (Yes, yes, would’ve been better the other way round, but we can’t have everything.) Groot picks up Rocket and runs. I’m glad I don’t put myself into such positions so I don’t have to find out whether my friends would do so.

12. Friends forgive friends for doing stupid things. – Drax sends a message to Ronan and gives away their location which, in real life, would be a dumb move, but Groot revives Drax after dragging him out of the (ick) brain fluid pool and the others come around. It’s heartwarming.

13. There is no #13.

14. Slow motion hero walks. – ‘Nuff said. (Could be replaced with villain walk – think O-ren Ishii’s introduction in “Kill Bill”. I prefer heroes, though. I root for the good guy – it’s a weakness.)

15. Sometimes a really cool ship can be distracting. – Ronan’s ship was awesome, but I never got the point of the design other than to look cool, so I spent some of the movie wondering why it could reshape itself around a stationary core.

16. Comic relief is a requirement. – For me to enjoy a movie, lines like “They got my dick message!” and “We’re just like Kevin Bacon!” at tense moments are necessary for me to not come out of the theatre with a headache. It’s stressful enough for me to put myself into a dark location with strangers I cannot see, add to that having characters that I’ve come to care about being put into dangerous situations … I need the pressure taken off for a moment.

17. A little beauty goes a long way. – See the scene in which Groot lights up the interior of the Dark Aster. It is beautiful and the image sticks with me.

18. Story teaser equals sequel! -Who is Peter Quill’s dad?! Will Groot grow up into a good tree? Is Rocket’s life span long enough to make it to the second movie? Perhaps we’ll get the answers to these and more in GotG 2: Raising Groot.

So, those are the things I learned. Do you have anything to add?

Oh, and just in case, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Feline Friday may become Feline Thursday this week – just so you have something else to do besides eat a lot and bicker with relatives on Christmas day. 😉

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