A Double Feature Review! 2 Great Superhero Films.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
I got choked up a couple of times in this one. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a wonderful conclusion to James Gunn’s trilogy: engaging, heartfelt, and beautifully done. Gunn has completed his Guardians trilogy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), leaving viewers with a satisfying conclusion to one of the best comic book trilogies to ever come out. Vol. 3 is the most mature feature of the three Guardians movies. Gunn delivers poignant and heart-strung storytelling through our beloved group of misfits. Vol. 3 follows Rocket's (voiced by an incredible Bradley Cooper) storyline, digging deeper into his past. Lylla, Teefs, and Floor (voiced by Linda Cardellini, Asim Chaudhry, and Mikaela Hoover): you will be forever loved. In addition, actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Maria Bakalova, and Chukwudi Iwuji all showcase their great acting chops.
Vol. 3 is top-notch acting that's also backed with vibrant action and witty humor. Not to mention, another killer soundtrack that keeps things rockin' and rollin' throughout. Vol. 3 was refreshing to see on the big screen after getting the terrible Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania earlier this year. Vol. 3 is absolutely Gunn's movie, avoiding any Marvel pitfalls or formulas that have hindered past MCU productions. Gunn uses the two hours and 30-minute runtime to his advantage, gifting us with a well-paced feature full of visual splendor and emotional heartache. As of today, Gunn's final Guardians film has grossed $830 million worldwide. In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a swan song for our band of misfits that's written with heart and soul.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned) For Intense Sequences of Violence | Action | Strong Language | Suggestive/Drug References | Thematic Elements
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Maria Bakalova, Linda Cardellini, Asim Chaudhry, and Mikaela Hoover, and Chukwudi Iwuji.
Here's my current film ranking of the MCU: Click Here
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an incredible accomplishment for cinema. Across the Spider-Verse boasts gorgeous animation that pushes the boundaries of the visual medium. I was in awe from the first frame to that final cliffhanger. Across the Spider-Verse moves fast with its plot but never loses its heart. Possibly one of the greatest sequels and animated films I have ever experienced on the big screen. 2018 gifted us with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a picture full of heart and love for The Amazing Spider-Man comic book storyline. The animation was stunning because it showcased a blend of both 2D and 3D animation. Now, 5-years later, we meet back up with Miles Morales (voiced by a great Shameik Moore), Gwen Stacy (voiced by a wonderful Hailee Steinfeld), and other friends (or possible enemies).
Miles is trying to balance life of being a son, a student, and Spider-Man. Balancing all of this is pretty challenging, and Miles feels the pressure caving in on him. Enter his greatest nemesis to come... Spot (voiced by a vibrant Jason Schwartzman). And don't let a bagel hit you in the head, or you could go down a rabbit hole like Spot did. Miles also misses Gwen, who is from Earth-65, while he is on Earth-1610. When Miles finally sees Gwen again, he finds out that she is part of an elite team of Spider-People who protect the multiverse. This Spider-Society is led by Miguel O'Hara / Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by a sly Oscar Isaac). As we leap into the Spider-Verse, our heroes will clash, and Miles must redefine what it means to be Spider-Man. So this is as far as I will go with the plot. Across the Spider-Verse also boasts an excellent voice cast consisting of Moore, Steinfeld, Schwartzman, Isaac, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Shea Whigham, Greta Lee, Daniel Kaluuya, and Mahershala Ali.
In addition to the voice cast is the absolutely stunning animation. Here we continue to get blends of 2D and 3D animation, plus additional styles of breathtaking visuals. There were six different types of animation styles used throughout this film. The animators have gotten bolder and more abstract, pushing boundaries to greater heights. My favorite style was the watercolor paintings presented in Gwen's world: beautiful, bold, and some of the best sequences of animation I have ever seen. Clocking in at 140 minutes, Across the Spider-Verse is the longest animated film to date. The film has already made $560 million since its June 2nd release date, and I really hope that this movie can get recognized by The Academy next year. Across the Spider-Verse deserves to be nominated for Best Picture. In the end, Across the Spider-Verse is one of the best films of 2023. Five-stars.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is rated PG (Parental Guidance) For Some Language | Animated Action Violence | Thematic Elements
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson
Starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Schwartzman, Oscar Isaac, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Shea Whigham, Greta Lee, Daniel Kaluuya, and Mahershala Ali.
Here's my current Spider-Man franchise ranking: Click Here
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