Blast Off Weekend: Stars Wars Day & Guardians of the Galaxy Double Feature
Space opera fans had much to celebrate as Thursday was May the Fourth Be With You and Friday was Revenge of the Fifth. At the office I had the films playing in random order, themed menu items and restrooms were decorated with Luke, Leia, Finn and Rey. We watched The Force Awakens at home and picked up a Poe Dameron figure on sale at the local Disney store. Now I have the hankering to watch Ex Machina... The Han Solo movie is currently in production and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hits theaters in December.
Thursday also saw the summer movie season take off with the release of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. We ended up taking in a double feature at the nearby Arclight Cinema. Part one still plays quite well as an entertaining, space trotting thrill ride even if it doesn't hold up to much deep thinking or scrutiny. Written and directed by James Gunn, Volume 2 starts off with a big and funny action sequence but surprisingly goes into character depth mode with Chris Pratt's Star-Lord being found by his dad (KURT RUSSELL), Zoe Saldana's Gamora tries to reconcile with sister who tried to kill her last movie Nebula (Karen Gillan), Dave Bautista makes a would be lady friend then Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Yondu (Michael Rooker) bicker because they're afraid to lose their adopted families. While things seemed to move quickly, the character beats and humor work but it felt like nothing really happened. Kurt Russell is great as the manifestation of an entire planet but badass assassin Gamora gets little to do. Sylvester Stallone shows up in a small role opposite Rooker for a nice Cliffhanger reunion even if we don't get a Tango & Cash or Tombstone one. All in I probably liked the film an extra 20% because of Russell and Stallone.
It was great to see Russell doing so much press for the flick and Stallone did his fair share as well. Russell and long time partner Goldie Hawn were honored with Stars on the Walk of Fame this week as Hawn has Snatched with Amy Schumer opening next week. Since taking a bit of a hiatus from filmmaking in 2006 to make wine, it's been awesome to see Russell return with Quentin Tarantino, Peter Berg, the Fast and Furious movies and now Marvel. Located past the Pantages theater, we checked out the shiny new stars and did the Tango & Cash high five over them. Now we just need Jean-Claude Van Damme to work with Spielberg, Nolan, Marvel or DC to get his honor.