Chris Pratt

Walt Disney Studios

Earth, 1988, and a young boy named Peter is watching his mother die. As her final breath passes her lips he runs out of the hospital and collapses on the fog-shrouded lawn… at which point a spaceship appears, sucks him in and streaks off to who knows where. 26 years later we’re introduced to the now adult Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who prefers people call him by his much cooler moniker — Star Lord. Quill is a roguish adventurer — think a half-assed Indiana Jones or an insecure Han Solo — who makes a living acquiring things for people willing to pay for said things, but his latest attempted theft lands him in prison alongside a quartet of equally morally-suspect individuals including a fierce female warrior, an even fiercer male warrior, a verbally-challenged tree and a genetically-modified raccoon. The group soon realizes that the item holds a highly destructive power and that they may be the only ones capable of stopping it from falling into the hands of an intergalactic madman bent on doing the kinds of crazy shit madmen typically do. If Serenity and Ice Pirates spent a drunken night of debauchery together without using protection, the result would be something like Marvel’s latest (and least Marvel-like) feature, Guardians of the Galaxy. To be clear, that’s a good thing. Hell, that’s a great thing as the resulting film is a vibrantly exciting, immensely entertaining and frequently hilarious sci-fi adventure.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy

What’s the best movie trailer you’ve seen so far this year? More specifically, of all the summer movies coming out in 2014, which of them has had the best trailer? Other than the first full length trailer for Luc Besson’s mind-bending actioner Lucy, I can’t think of any trailer more striking than whatever latest preview Marvel has released for Guardians of the Galaxy. And we all thought this one would be Marvel’s toughest sell to date, as it explores areas of the cosmos yet unexplored in the path in and out of The Avengers. How it all plays out with general audiences remains to be seen, but one thing remains abundantly true as this latest extended trailer hits the Internet: this movie is like nerd Fruity Pebbles. Colorful, delicious, sugar-filled, a little strange and when it’s over we’re going to need a nap.

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LEGO Movie Batman

With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD and Blu-ray this week, we’re taking a look behind the scenes of the movie with the cast and crew. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord lead the commentary, joined by many of the actors in the studio, as well as Elizabeth Banks who phones in her contributions from an undisclosed location. Miller and Lord are riding a wave of cinematic goodwill with two of the biggest openings of 2014 (is a 23 LEGO Jump Street far of?), but they managed to tear themselves away from counting their cash and diving into piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck to devote an hour and forty minutes to the cause of pulling the curtain back from the magical world of LEGOLAND.

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Jurassic Park Mr DNA

It’s not every day that a baseless, completely insane internet rumor is proven to be in fact 100% based and sane. But yesterday was one such day. You see, a week and a half ago, JoBlo.com unleashed a torrent of supposed Jurassic World rumors on the world, and they were met with an array of eye-rolls, tut-tuts and other typical responses that convey the words “Yeah, no way pal.” But Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm had the stones to straight-up ask the movie’s director, Colin Trevorrow, if the rumors are true. Surprise! They totally are. Now for a brief disclaimer. Trevorrow mentions in all this that he’d prefer if “audiences could discover this on their own,” so those looking to have absolutely nothing spoiled about Jurassic World should turn away immediately. However, Trevorrow was also willing to spill the beans when asked, so it can’t be too big of a deal. If he wasn’t willing to go the J.J. Abrams “Yes, we all know it’s Kahn but I will continue to play coy for no reason” route, we’re probably in the clear here. So if you’re interested, let your eyes venture below.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Groot

Ever since it was announced, the prevailing wisdom was that Marvel was taking a huge gamble on Guardians of the Galaxy. That prevailing wisdom has always been wrong. At least this property — which isn’t all that popular even among comic book readers — isn’t a gamble in the same way that Iron Man was. That was the case of a third rate hero getting the big budget, cinematic treatment. This is the case of a third rate group of heroes getting the big budget, cinematic treatment from one of the most trusted blockbuster companies in the world. People will be going for the Marvel name, regardless of what the heroes call themselves. This new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is proof. Or at least it’s proof that Marvel doesn’t see this as the same gamble everyone else does. They’ve turned wacky all the way up to 11 here. If they were trying to fool people into going to see The Same Old Marvel Movie they know and love, they could do it easily with flashes of action and an empty, bombastic score highlighting the dutch angles. Instead, they’ve gone with Norman Greenbaum jams and a tree giving a little girl a flower. Check it out for yourself:

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Thanos-The-Avengers

Captain America has come and gone. Now, it’s time for the great hordes of Marvel fans to shift their attention to the next film in Marvel’s two decades of future comic book films: Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a film we really don’t know that much about. Sure, we have a trailer, but it’s a single trailer from a month and a half ago, and since then we’ve gotten so precious little. Just a “new clip,” if two seconds of new footage sewn onto half a stale trailer counts as a clip these days. And Nathan Fillion, hinting that he might have a line or two. “Check the credits,” he says, coyly. I’d check the credits if I could, Mr. Fillion. But I can’t, so instead I will languish away into a husk of my former self. But Entertainment Weekly has a big expose on Guardians of the Galaxy, and like any big print media story, it’s been savaged by digital media and stripped of all the juicy parts, long before it ever hits newsstands. So without further ado, thanks to MTV News, here’s every juicy part (suck it, print media):

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Chris Pratt in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

It was inevitable I guess. We used to get full trailers and artistic posters for upcoming movies, but those days are gone and have been replaced by teasers and amateur Photoshop retreads. And now the next target of over-zealous studio marketers appears to be the “clip.” Typically a clip is an uninterrupted thirty to sixty seconds from a scene in the movie — an action beat, a setup and punchline or a big character moment — something to offer a taste of the film beyond a trailer edited to hit the sweet spots. Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is the studio’s biggest risk since the first Thor film in that its characters are a bit outside the typical superhero realm readily accepted by audiences. So yes, any marketing that reaches eyeballs is a good thing. But calling something a clip when it’s actually nothing more than a new teaser featuring a few seconds of new footage and a whole lot of what we’ve already seen? That’s just rude. Keep reading to check out a brief new look at Guardians of the Galaxy that debuted on MTV last night.

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So what have you all been up to today? It’s raining something fierce here in Portland, so today was a three movie day for me. First up was Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, and happily it was pretty fantastic. Few actors play malicious, foul-mouthed pricks as well as Bateman. After that I watched the new Criterion Blu-ray of Michael Mann’s debut, Thief. I’d never seen it before, but it should surprise no one when I say I loved it. The visual stylings, themes, and preferred pacing that would go on to mark his career are all present in his first film. Amazing stuff. Finally, I watched one from way back in Brian De Palma’s career with Arrow’s new Blu-ray of Phantom of the Paradise. It’s an interesting and somewhat fun watch, but it’s easy to see why it hasn’t caught on as anything more than a cult classic. Anyway. Here’s that trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy that you’ve all been waiting for.

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Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy

Following the success of The Avengers, Marvel has a lot to live up to in terms of rolling out their new phases of entertainment. Their latest superhero ensemble venture, Guardians of the Galaxy, is the next chance for the company to prove that they’re “more than these five franchises.” At this point, though, there’s only a brief, 15 second teaser trailer to analyze, giving us just the smallest glimpse of the film. But it does hit some of the more important notes — like Vin Diesel as a sentient tree man or Bradley Cooper contributing as the littlest hero of all, a genetically engineered alien named Rocket Raccoon. The teaser aims to answer the question asked during the first seconds of the trailer: “Who are you?” Well, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Diesel and Cooper have offered up a few bullet points that consist of chaos and destruction, firepower, genetic engineering, some masterful weaponry and teamwork.

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Batman and Wyldstyle in The Lego Movie

It’s late, so let’s party. Circulating around the Internet today is a blooper reel for The Lego Movie. It’s so indescribably lovely to see this movie getting some lasting attention, especially when it leads long remembrance pieces about Clone High, the MTV ‘toon by the same very talented filmmakers. And when it gives me a reason to remind you of the time we talked them into telling us about what Clone High season two would’ve been like. That, and The Lego Movie is one of the happiest filmgoing experience of this and many other years. And its blooper reel is exactly the delight you’d expect from Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Also, Alison Brie says “hoo-hoos,” and we mean the naughty kind. Watch below.

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review the lego movie

You’d be right to be cynical about a Hollywood movie based around a bestselling toy with a high price point and a lack of prepackaged story inside the box. The movie business is just that, a business, and when they join forces with toy manufacturers to make “entertainment” for children the results are rarely satisfying or recognizable as anything but crummy, feature-length commercials. But every rule has an exception, and The LEGO Movie is that gloriously wise, beautifully crafted, and unabashedly fun anomaly. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an average guy whose continually optimistic outlook is fueled by his appreciation for, and obedience of, President Business’ (Will Ferrell) instructions for living. They tell him to park within the lines, drink overpriced coffee, root for the local sports team… everything necessary for an orderly, structured, and “perfect” community. That illusory perfection is threatened by a prophecy stating that a lone hero will rise to liberate the people through organized chaos, and as luck would have it, Emmet appears to be that hero. Or not.

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The LEGO Movie

All you need is some state-of-the-art computer programs and a guardian of the galaxy to make your own LEGO Movie in the comfort of your own home. Also, official licensing helps. No, it’s not stop-motion, but the CGI is still stunningly impressive considering the restrictions. Namely that everything in the world had to be made from LEGOs, rain and bubbles included. Plus, if they were going the stop-motion route, it would have taken 46 years to produce. Give or take. This how-to video is fluffy, but it’s a fun look at Chris Pratt and Liam Neeson recording what the little plastic people say, the pre-viz computer models and a song that should become your new personal anthem.

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The Lego Movie arrives in theaters February 7, 2014, but there’s been no shortage of video content introducing us to the world and characters the interim leading up to the release. There are a lot of characters. And oh, what fun it appears we’ll be in store for. I’ll admit, I’m already kinda sold, but I’m highly biased. My love of Lego is borderline unhealthy.

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Very few of us get to hang out with talking raccoons. Or Morgan Freeman. Or Batman. Chris Pratt gets paid to do so. And next year, we’ll all get to experience the fruits of his so-awesome-you-can-hardly-qualify-it-as-labor labor, as both The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy offer up heaping helpings of that infectiously giggly Chris Pratt humor. Now you can go ahead and add “dinosaurs” to that great big list of reasons to be jealous of Pratt. According to The Wrap, the actor is in talks for the lead role in Jurassic World. Now, these are still very early talks (so much so that The Wrap put the word “very” in italics) – Pratt’s commitment to Parks and Recreation takes up a considerable amount of his schedule, so he’ll only be allowed into Jurassic World if everyone gets the timing right. If Jurassic World knows what’s good for it, though, it’ll take the extra steps necessary to ensure Pratt comes on board. Man cannot live by dinosaurs alone- the folks being chased by prehistoric beasts are just as important as the beasts doing the chasing. And while Josh Brolin (who was originally in talks for the role, but has apparently dropped out) would bring a certain goateed charm to the film, it’s hard to deny that Chris Pratt and dinosaurs are a match made in heaven. Irrfan Khan is also in talks for a role; he must still be irked that his “eaten by a giant lizard” scene was […]

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The LEGO Movie

It was only natural to respond to Warners  announcing a LEGO movie by throwing things. When they first went public with the idea in 2010, it was just another toy adaptation from a studio drooling at the success of Transformers and fighting for viability alongside a lot of other plastic-based movie pitches. If you’re a fan of Clone High, the news of Phil Lord and Chris Miller signing on to writer and direct provided some hope. That hope grew as story details emerged, but for everyone else out there that’s still incredulous that this is anything but moronic, the trailer should melt away the rest of the cynicism. Check it out, and enjoy Will Arnett as Batman:

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Chris Pratt

Briefly: Deadline Hollywood has just revealed – rumored short lists be damned! – that Chris Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball, Parks and Recreation, and lest we ever forget, Everwood) has landed one of the key starring roles in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy as Star-Lord, a.k.a. Peter Quill and and the de facto leader of said Guardians. A number of other actors had been rumored as possibles for the role – including Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Eddie Redmayne, Lee Pace, Zachary Levi, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with this being the first we’ve heard of Pratt as as possible for the role. In short, what an awesome surprise.

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Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 12.33.05 PM

A fair amount of critics are touting Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as her masterpiece. While Bigelow has definitely directed films in her decades of filmmaking that are comparable to the overall quality of Zero Dark Thirty, it is great that between this and her Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, she is getting the acclaim that she deserves. What does set Zero Dark Thirty apart from the rest of the Kathryn Bigelow oeuvre is that is a far more deliberate and slower paced film that her others. At about two-and-a-half hours, it includes only perhaps two or three major “action/suspense” scenes, which are all impeccably executed in her usual fashion. Mostly, however, the film follows the mental unraveling and rise to power of CIA agent Maya (Jessica Chastain) as she follows a seemingly-circumstantial hunch, which results in her looking over Osama bin Laden’s body bag. The film certainly is successful in what it sets out to do. Through Chastain’s Maya, it is a more nuanced study of the disappointments of losing the war on terror against Al Qaeda and then fighting back, resulting in less of a fist pump of exultation, but more of a quiet recognition of accomplishment.

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Movie 43 Trailer

It’s been a really long time since a sketch anthology movie got released in theaters. I’m not some sort of human trivia machine, so I don’t know exactly how long, but let’s just say that it’s been quite a while since somebody showed somebody else their VHS copy of Kentucky Fried Movie in a college dorm room. The people at Relativity Media are making a big play at bringing the form back though, by recruiting an army of funny filmmakers and a legion of talented actors to put together a new sketch comedy anthology called Movie 43. Who do they have directing segments of this thing? People like Bob Odenkirk, James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Farrelly, and tons others. Who’s starring? People like Halle Berry, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, and many more than can be typed without having your fingers cramp up. This movie cast Gerard Butler as its leprechaun, so you know it’s star-studded.

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10 Years Review

The high school reunion film genre has been so flooded with entries that it’s reached the point of being nothing short of played out, so any new entry needs to justify its existence by offering some kind of unique spin on the usual, or at least by featuring characters that transcend the normal archetypes. Writer-director Jamie Linden fails on both counts in his 10 Years and seems to think that the film’s all-star cast compensates for those deficiencies. It doesn’t. No matter how much you love Channing Tatum, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, or any of the other notables who turn up here, there’s no getting around the simple, basic fact that Linden’s movie doesn’t tell a story. It merely brings to life the world’s least interesting reunion, featuring a swath of staggering dullards played by talented people.

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Cobie Smulders

Canadians have created many good things: instant mashed potatoes, poutine, the electric streetcar, the foghorn (maybe not that one), insulin, the Wonderbra, the indie film Starbuck, and actress Cobie Smulders. Surely, the country has invented a number of other top items (there’s even some debate about peanut butter!), but these are obviously the very best, and now two of them will be united together in one splashy cinematic endeavor. Variety reports that How I Met Your Mother and Avengers star Smulders is currently in negotiations for the female lead in Ken Scott‘s remake of his own smash film (Scott directed the original, and will now serve double duty as writer and director on the DreamWorks project), the sperm donor laughfest, Starbuck. 

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