Unless you're a real comic book fan, you've likely never heard of Guardians of the Galaxy. The superhero team debuted in print in 2008 (although some of the characters have been around much longer) and a mere six years later, they're making their feature film debut in one of 2014's most-anticipated big budget films.
Fans of the comic are drooling at the mouth, obviously, but you don't need to know the background to get down with this flick. Like Watchmen in 2009, Guardians boasts a hell of a lot of heroes and villains you've likely never seen before. And like Watchmen, they're wonderfully conceived and visualized for the big screen. If you can watch the trailer for Guardians and not be swept up by an outer space melee where a gun-toting racoon blasts away on the shoulders of a roaring tree creature named Groot, well, God bless. Maybe there's a new Nicholas Sparks movie coming out next week.
For the rest of us, we'll be watching this Indiana Jones meets Star Wars adventure that takes us to the vast reaches of the galaxy and adds another chapter to Marvel's Cinematic Universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel (voice), Bradley Cooper (voice), Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Nathan Fillion, Rob Zombie (voice)
The tenth film in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy takes its cues from movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Usual Suspects, and Watchmen. It follows a makeshift band of intergalactic misfits who team up to keep a powerful orb from the clutches of the evil alien, Ronan the Accuser. The story is straightforward and unoriginal as comic movies go so what's promising about this film? It's all about the characters. Parks and Rec goofball Chris Pratt plays Star-Lord, the lone human Guardian and their leader. He's an interesting choice to lead a film like this and should bring plenty of humor. The question is how he handles the action stuff. The other Guardians include the green-skinned bombshell, Gamora (Saldana), the hulking Drax the Destroyer (Bautista), and the two creature feature badasses, Rocket (Cooper) and Groot (Diesel). None should let you down. See it? Yes.
Get on Up
Starring Boseman (42) as "The Godfather of Soul" James Brown, Get on Up follows the singer's life and rise to fame throughout the 1960s. His story is a roller coaster and the film doesn't shy away from Brown's more ugly moments. Early reviews on Boseman's performance are positive as he seems to nail the body language of "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business." Director Tate Taylor (The Help) goes all out in a number of musical sequences so even if you're worn out by biopics like this, the music should give you faith. See it? Yes.
The brothers McDonagh, Martin and John Michael, have churned out some of the best scripts of the past ten years so we know they both can write. What's amazing is how similar they are in style and senses of humor considering they do not collaborate, at least, not officially. Martin's film resume (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) is bit more well-known, but John Michael (The Guard) is just as talented. Both filmmakers love Brendan Gleeson, the fantastic Irish actor whose penchant for biting, comic dialogue fits their writing like a glove. Gleeson stars in John Michael's latest, Calvary, this week. He plays a Catholic priest who's threatened with murder by a parishioner in a week's time and spends the seven days looking for the potential killer. See it? Yes.