Blu-Ray Spotlight: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps moving along in the right direction, and one of the main reasons for their success is their ability to creatively think outside the box. Case in point is the choice of Super filmmaker James Gunn to direct 2014’s mega-hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn’s character and genre driven sensibilities seamlessly blended into the film’s epic visual scale and narrative.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could have been a rehash of the original, and fans would have probably forgiven the sequel if Gunn solely relied on the eye catching special affects and the pure chemistry of the leads. Though the heart of this story centers on Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) relationship with his long lost father Ego (Kurt Russell), the rest of the Guardians are given ample time to develop their respective arcs (one surprising element features the growing bond between Drax and Mantis). As evidenced by Gunn’s prominent use of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 centers on the importance of family, and the film doesn’t chintz on developing meaty back stories for its seemingly most incidental characters. The aforementioned Mantis (Pom Klementieff), gold-faced antagonist Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), Gamora’s vengeful sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), and returnee Yondu (Michael Rooker, delivering the film’s most memorable performance) all get their chance to shine. Instead of littering his 136 minute film with wall to wall action, Gunn also spends time developing the relationships among the Guardians and the extended family who may either break their chain or enhance their lives. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may take a few more left turns than its predecessor, but these seeming detours pay off with a resonant final act.

Along with several informative special features that delve into the making of the film, the Blu-ray also comes with five minutes worth of deleted scenes. One sequence is an expansion of an end credits sequence that, without giving too much away, displays Pratt’s improvisational gift. Another deleted scene, which again is an extended version of a scene that’s in the film, offers up a bit more screen time to Mantis and it’s also worth a look if you’re a fan of the character.

Thankfully Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t suffer from the sophomore slump and as one of the end credits teased the Guardians will have an even more interesting villain to face them in the future.

Click on the media bar below to hear Zoe Saldana discuss Gamora’s bond with Star-Lord:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now out on Blu-ray.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Zoe Saldana Happy To Go Green With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Family

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Having already been part of the huge James Cameron film Avatar (and its succeeding sequels) and the Star Trek flicks, Zoe Saldana scored another creative hit with Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. The sequel takes places three to four months after the events of the original, and Saldana was extremely happy to be reunited with her collaborators.

“Getting back to seeing everyone was the most exciting part of doing the sequel,” said Saldana. “I wasn’t looking forward to the five hours of green make-up. But it’s so funny, I never really did look forward to it but as soon as I was on set, I was happy and I would forget that I had been there since 2:30 in the morning. I always felt like I was playing with my friends, you know?”

Click on the media bar below to hear Saldana talk about Gamora’s special bond with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, co-starring Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, opens nationwide May 5.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Chris Pratt Has “Deep” Love For ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Soundtrack

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Chris Pratt returns as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the great news is the movie is getting getting great word of mouth. Along with a stellar ensemble, the project also features inspired filmmaking from director James Gunn. One can expect even more awesomeness the second time around.

“It’s a great script, a great story,” said Pratt, who was seen last year opposite Denzel Washington in The Magnificent Seven. “We’re just so thrilled to get to come back. The first movie got a great response and there were really high expectations (with the sequel) and I think we’ve met them. James Gunn made a great movie.”

Another one of the franchise’s strengths is its ability to seamlessly fuse some underrated melodies from the past into the storytelling (for example, Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” is beautifully employed during a bonding sequence between Star-Lord and Gamora in the original). During this week’s premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Ca., Pratt talked about his love for the music behind the Guardians of the Galaxy films.



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens nationwide May 5.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Can’t Slow Down: Vin Diesel Says ‘Fate’ Maintains Its ‘Furious’ Pace

2473_fpt_00110rv2_cropThere’s something about fast cars and the Hill Valley Town Square on the backlot of Universal Studios.  Of course, in Back to the Future, Marty McFly revved his time-tricked-out DeLorean up to 88 mph.  And on a sunny day in June 2001, the studio gathered the cast of a new motor-obsessed movie for their first round of interviews.  Back then, little did we know we were witnessing the turbocharged birth of a franchise that’s still alive today and about to spin off its seventh sequel.  Of course, we’re talking about The Fast and the Furious, which is less than $10 million away from crossing the $1.3 billion box office barrier.  Expect that threshold to be crossed on August 14, when The Fate of the Furious opens in theaters.

With each movie, the cars seem to have gotten faster and the action more intense.  And that’s exactly what the goal has been, according to star Vin Diesel, who told us the series wouldn’t dream of throttling back. (Click on the media bar below to hear Vin Diesel)

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Posted by: Susan Brown


‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Trailer Has A Kurt Russell Moment

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, opening nationwide May 5, is one of this year’s most anticipated films, and this week’s reveal of a new trailer featured one of cinema’s most successful leading actors.

Having Kurt Russell play as Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) long lost father was a brilliant creative stroke by GOTG2 director James Gunn. Throughout his illustrious career, Russell has worked with filmmaker John Carpenter on such film geek driven classics as Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China.

Tongue-in-cheek humor is a Russell specialty, and him trading barbs with the charismatic Pratt should serve as one of GOTG2’s high points.

Though there’s a ton of wonderful moments in the trailer, it’s hard to beat baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) waving at Gamora during a dangerous gun battle! The use of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” is also a perfect addition to the video, as it encapsulates this super team’s dysfunctional yet familial dynamic.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi