Movies of the week: Guardians of the Galaxy and Get on Up

I’m really excited for this coming weekend because a potential awards contender tells the story about one of the world’s most influential musical entertainers and a highly anticipated cinematic comic-book adaptation drop, leaving me a very busy yet enthusiastic man. Take the director and stars of the box-office smash/awards contender “The Help” and add the breakout star of last year’s hit “42” and you get “Get on Up.” Chadwick Bosman is cast as the Godfather of Soul in Tate Taylor’s biopic, spanning from Brown’s days in poverty to his meteoric rise to become one of the greatest entertainers in the world. The film is written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, with the addition of Steven Baigelman and co-starring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Jill Scott, Dan Ackroyd, Craig Robinson and Aloe Blacc.

What am I expecting to see?: This movie has been excited for so many reasons. Tate Taylor directed a powerful and eye-opening film in “The Help” and I believed he should have been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work directing that film and bringing Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer on board with this makes me believe that he is gearing up for another run. Chadwick Bosman was dynamite as Jackie Robinson in “42” and he looks like he has all the right moves as James Brown. “Get on Up” has the makings of an award contender, even though this time of year is a bit early for the potential contenders to come out and play but nevertheless, I expect a crowd-pleasing, entertaining, educational and especially soulful production in “Get on Up.” I expect audiences to come out and not only learn about who James Brown was as a person as well as an entertainer, but also I want this movie to capture the soul of this amazing performer and his music.

Also on deck this week, Marvel’s rag-tag team of intergalactic outlaws are the galaxy’s last chance to thwart a psychopath’s appetite for destruction. James Gunn co-writes with Nicole Perlman and directs the final Phase 2 solo-excursion of Marvel’s Avengers Initiative, “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Chris Pratt plays a thief named Peter Quill, a.k.a Star-Lord, who runs afoul of a man named Ronan, played by Lee Pace. Quill steals some sort of orb from Ronan and incurs his wrath, which he also takes out on the galaxy. Quill then encounters other “kindred-spirits” in Gamorra, played by Zoe Saldana, an assassin who tries to do the right thing, Drax, played by Dave Bautista, a maniac driven to avenge the death of his family, Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, a talking raccoon with a short fuse and his pet/muscle, Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, a talking tree with a three word vocabulary. Together, they are the galaxy’s last line of defense at thwarting Ronan and his forces.

What am I expecting to see?: At first, I was totally against seeing this film because I didn’t feel this enterprise was worthy of being a part of what Marvel is trying to do. I know that the studio and the producers feel that this movie is a platform to introduce a very sinister yet significant character, but at the time of this film’s announcement, I thought other ideas were more worthy but that all changed when I saw the trailer and how Marvel was marketing this team and their respective culture through other streams of mass media. This movie looks like fun and the characters all have this balance between edgy and entertaining that I can get on board with. Also, it features actors I thought would never jump on board a comic book movie such as Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly and actors who are colorful enough to make this work such as Benecio Del Toro, Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan. I expect “Guardians of the Galaxy” to be fun, exciting, visually dazzling and a movie that can amplify the excitement of what Marvel has next.

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