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The Harold & Maudecast
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Review
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2.
The Guardians, now heroes having saved the galaxy in the first film, the (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) are hired by The Sovereign, a superior (according to them) alien race to protect their powerful batteries from invaders. Everything is going according to plan, they stop a giant alien worm creature, collect their requested payment, Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora's (Zoe Saldana) evil sister, but then Rocket (Bradley Cooper) gets greedy. Shortly after leaving The Sovereign's planet it's discovered that Rocket stole some of their batteries. Now The Guardians must fend off an attack from their vengeful leader Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) who has placed a bounty on their head with Yondu (Michael Rooker) Fortunately for them, Starlord's (Chris Pratt) past comes back to haunt him when his long lost and unknown father Ego (Kurt Russell) mysteriously shows up to save them.
It would be near impossible to capture the magic of the original GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. VOLUME 2, although entertaining and not without its charms, it suffers from sequelitis. Like its Marvel brethren's sequels that have come before it, Volume 2 has a weaker, more predictable script. The music trick of the first film, Awesome Mix strategically disbursed throughout the film, has lost its cool because you see it coming from a mile away. Bottom line, what was awesome in the first film is no longer fresh. Kurt Russell is his signature cool self but the direction they go with his character is a bummer and it does nothing to tie this film into INFINITY WAR--where the Guardians will be crucial. They also went way over the top with the Baby Groot cute factor, think Puss in Boots' cute trick x10. Chris Pratt is entertaining and funny as always but the real standout in these Guardians is Drax (Dave Bautista) who masters his too literal straight man and delivers the funniest lines of the film. Also shoutout Michael Rooker who shows up big time and has one of the best action sequences in the film.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2 is worth seeing in the theaters. Just keep your expectations a bit lower and let it the experience be a fun escape. 7.8/10
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On Now Streaming Reviews on The HMC, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, the 2016 reboot of the 1960 classic western of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner.
The town of Rose Creek has been taken over by gold digging bad guy, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Saarsgard) who besides forcing the townspeople out, is literally gunning them down in the street. With new found motivation for vengeance after Bogue murders her husband, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennet), employs bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to take back the town. With the help of a ragtag group of outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers, this Magnificent Seven prepare for a violent showdown and find themselves fighting for more than money--righteousness.
If you're a Western fan, you'll dig this. It's not spectacular, but it delivers on action and performances. The original theme song makes a cameo at the very end, lots of critics have complained about it's absence in the film. Never fear, the new score by James Horner & Simon Franglen (AVATAR, TITANIC), is superb elevating the film to a higher level that perhaps it deserves. It's a simple story, based original on Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI, so don't go looking for anything complex or profound Westworld fans. Denzel is fantastic, also shoutout to Korean actor Byung‑hun Lee (I SAW THE DEVEL, GI JOE), who shines as Ethan Hawke's protector/BFF.
7.3/10 for this film, it's worth a Stream! Justice.