That’s right, party dudes and dudettes, I’m back with another installment of my patented scientific movie review system, wherein I write funny words and swears and then assign arbitrary numeric values to whatever elements I remember of various films through the haze of liquor and acrimony I live in. So enjoy and enjoy double, because it’s a twofer today.
That’s right, I saw me two swell movies this week. Both great, both completely different. See them! But read this first. Then pay me money. Please.
A Band Called Death – Let’s start things off with the one you probably haven’t heard of, but now wish you had. Awesome title, right? How did they come up with that, you wonder. Because it’s a documentary about a band. That band is called Death. You moron.
The titular band, a group of three brothers (not being casually quasi-racist here, they are actually biological brothers, so don’t get all white-guilt-uptight on me here, honky) from Detroit, was one of the first to play in the style that would become what we know as punk and has now become Avril Lavigne screaming at you in Canadian (from what I understand). Their story, told by the surviving two Hackney brothers, their friends and relatives, and other musicians and industry folks (also Elijah Wood, because…hobbits?), is enthralling and moving as all heck.
I’m not a frequent watcher of documentary films and did a lot of sleeping in the one class I took on the subject at school. Because it was boring. But I found A Band Called Death to be an engrossing look at passionate, talented people who just never made it big but enjoyed what they did. The brothers are charming as hell and the music is rocking. On the technical side of things, the film is put together simply and straightforward, with none of the distracting, unnecessary flourishes that the few music documentaries I’ve seen tend to have. It’s just an interesting story told well.
Like I said, a movie like this is a bit outside my usual wheelhouse, but was well worth the watch. If you have a Netflix account and an urge to learn a little about an obscure tidbit of music history, it’s definitely worth a look-see.
- Story: +5
- Music: +4
- The director drove me around the Adirondacks for two days last week: +2
- Not trying too hard to be Ken Burns-y like lots of documentaries do: +2
- Reminding us of when Detroit was cool: Depressing.
- Editing: +3
Final Score: 16
Guardians of the Galaxy – All right, on to the big money. Big hit already, lots of tickets bought and positive reviews written. Well one of those tickets was mine, and one of the positive reviews will be this one. I fucking loved this movie. LOVED IT.
Here’s the gist: through cool, wacky, sci-fi circumstances Andy from Parks & Rec, Uhura, a talking raccoon, a professional wrestler, and a tree played by Vin Diesel (I refuse to be the umpty-millionth person to make a “wooden acting” joke, and if you are one of them you should punch yourself in the solar plexus with a claw hammer) join together to fight evil forces led by the douchey elf king from The Hobbit movies and some hot bald lady who was on Doctor Who or something. Plus John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz have funny moments, Michael Rooker has a metal mohawk and whistle-powered arrow, Glenn Close is there, Benicio Del Toro is a lunatic, and Nathan Fillion has a voice cameo as an alien.
If you can read all that and not want to see this a billion times, then we will never be friends. Because you are dead inside. The film has all the action and thrills you would expect from the wonderful world of Marvel flicks, but with a fantastically woven thread of humor and humanity throughout it’s entirety. It has its share of serious moments, but doesn’t take itself seriously as a whole, which is a difficult line to walk. If you had told me a week ago I would see, and love, a film with a hilarious Footloose reference in the middle of an epic space battle with countless deaths, I would have struck you scornfully with my ivory-handled sword-cane. But, lo, I would have had to apologize and tip my top hat. Because that happens. And this movie is great.
The whole shebang is the perfect blended mix of comedy, action, and heart. As I’ve mentioned, I’m a fan of the Marvel movies and consider them to be pretty solid on the whole. But this one is head and shoulders above any of the others (come on, let me have it you mouth-breathing, overreacting Whedonphiles). It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to see a movie more than once in theaters. But this is going to be one.
- Everyone in the cast: +100
- Action: +50
- Comedy: +50
- That funny hillbilly Ravager: is James Gunn’s brother, Sean.
- Lee Pace: isn’t British. Did anybody else know that? He’s from Oklahoma. Weird.
- Soundtrack: +all other points ever
- Guardians of the Galaxy will return…: but not soon enough!
Final Score: Awesomefinity (+1 bonus point for P. D. Montgomery giggling like a drunken teenage girl throughout the entire film)
So yeah, good week for movies and a good week for me. Yay for me! To hell with you! Unless you want to read my latest brilliant article for the folks at Task & Purpose. Bysies!