Chris Pratt

Universal Pictures

The world of movies is a little darker today thanks to the cancellation of The Interview‘s release over threats from a group of hackers. Theaters backed down then Sony backed out. It’s all gone to hell in a fear-soaked hand basket. Then Universal Pictures released this new image of Chris Pratt in Jurassic World. At first, it could very well be confused for the first look at a future season of True Detective, but it’s really just Pratt and his raptor buddy. Star-Lord’s relationship with said predator is explained below.

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Marvel Studios

In the coming weeks, there will be a lot of data about what movie moments we loved. Heck, we’ll probably publish some of it. The Most Tweeted About Movie Moment. The Most Commented Upon Scene. The Most Mentioned, Hashtaged and @Replied. Plenty of data to tell us what we love. Yet while we love to see the data and see what we’ve been talking about all year, sometimes we movie lovers must look into our hearts and find those precious movie moments that we can’t get out of our heads. And to follow our hearts in 2014, at least for many of us, will inevitably lead back to one particular movie: James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Initial audiences were blown away, friends who otherwise don’t go to the movies dragged me back to see it again, memes and fan homages littered the Internet of things. It might not get a bunch of hardware during awards season, but Guardians is a movie that captured the geek heart this year. So as we sifted through our favorite scenes to determine our Scene of the Year, this is the movie that wouldn’t go away. Because of all the wonderful things we saw this year, none of them made us happier than Dancing Groot. Presented for your consideration, our choice for Scene of the Year: the many happy dances of Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Kiss

This summer, director James Gunn led Marvel Studios onto a new path with the cinematic gamble Guardians of the Galaxy. That gamble paid off, making the film the highest domestic grosser of 2014 and introducing the world to bizarre characters like a talking tree and an outlaw raccoon. Gunn, who is best known for his work in low-budget filmmaking after getting his start in Troma films, took some time to watch his blockbuster film for the DVD and Blu-ray release of the film. Looking ahead to both The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the 2017 release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Gunn dissects his movie with stories from the set and how things changed from the film’s inception to the final cut.

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Jurassic World

They promised us a Thanksgiving debut, then they opened the park a few days early. This doesn’t bode well for the ultimate fate of the Jurassic World theme park — an early opening of sorts is what got the original Jurassic Park into a lot of trouble — but it’s great for the rest of us. Especially everyone who is clamoring to see what director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) has cooked up for the rebirth of one of the seminal franchises of the 1990s. The first trailer is here and it has everything you could want from a Jurassic Park flick: unaccompanied minors (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson), a dangerously innovative park owner (Bryce Dallas Howard), one guy who clearly sees that this is all going to end terribly (Chris Pratt) and a moody version of John Williams’ original score. See for yourself below.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Kiss

Over a century old, superheroes are inextricably rooted in nostalgia. We usually meet them first when we’re kids, growing up with them and building memories – which character we first rooted for, which villain we first hated, who we first dressed up as for Halloween (or any given Tuesday). While it’s exhilarating to see characters from the page brought to life in a modern faddish flurry, something almost always gets lost in translation when some of them are “updated” for our modern world. Acknowledging that these are beings of another time, even ever so slightly, helps make these films feel like an experience instead of just another blockbuster. A prime example? The Guardians of the Galaxy, which figured out a way not only to combine action, drama, humor and heart, but also figured out a way to infuse a great sense of nostalgia thanks to a soundtrack full of funky beats from the 1970s.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Abduction

One of the burning questions left at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy concerns Peter Quill/Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father. Who is he? What is he? With a sequel already in the works, due in 2017, the apparent certainty is that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will either answer the question or at least address it more in full. But does it have to? Must it? Can it not, please? I’d like to address Marvel’s Kevin Feige and Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer/director James Gunn here and simply plead that whoever and whatever Star-Lord’s father is to keep him out of the next movie and any installment of the greater MCU franchise. Here’s what we know: Peter Quill was raised by his mother and possibly grandfather, never knowing who his real dad is or was. Around the age of 10, his mother died and he was immediately abducted via spaceship captained by a blue-skinned alien who would become a sort of father figure. About 25 years later, he still hasn’t met his pops, but it’s definite that the guy came from outer space. Quill’s mom said his dad was an angel made out of light. Later we hear that Quill is half-human and half some unknown cosmic entity. It’s a hybridization quality that heroes have had since heroes were first conceived. He’s basically a demigod, not unlike Hercules.* Maybe Quill’s father is some character we haven’t yet met. A notable hero or villain. Or maybe he’s actually just the kid of Yondu (Michael […]

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Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix

Just as Marvel’s The Avengers gave shawarma sales a huge boost in the summer of 2012, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has brought forth a newly-rediscovered love for cassette tapes. This is thanks to the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” that Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt), dying mother made for him in 1988. Quill kept the joy of mix tapes alive while he bounced around the galaxy for 26 years, rocking out to music from Blue Swede, The Jackson 5, David Bowie, and The Runaways. As a child of the 80s, I am intimately familiar with cassettes, Walkmans, old-school 1/8” headphones, and the awesomeness of a mix tape. However, I also remember burning through my fair share of cassettes in my youth (and needing a pencil more than a few times). Of course, the track list for “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” will always be awesome, but seeing all that Quill goes through in Guardians of the Galaxy, it got me thinking. Would that mix tape have lasted for 26 years in space? Would it even still work?

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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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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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