Monthly Archives: August 2014

Trailer Roundup: Quantum Break, Bloodborne, and More

Trailer Roundup: Quantum Break, Bloodborne, and More

Gamescom was overflowing with trailers. At 35 minutes, I’d question the categorization of one of them as a “trailer,” but either way, this is at least a movie’s worth of watching time now. Several dozen trailers have overwhelmed the dam, so this is really just a smattering of what I found interesting. I’m sure many of you will disagree with what is going to be excluded, but hey, you could have also just watched the Pokémon World Championships, too.

Quantum Break

There was a trailer leading up to this gameplay demo, but why watch that when you can watch eight minutes of Quantum Break in motion? Finally seeing how the mechanical side of the game is going to work is pretty cool. The general fighting of fodder enemies looks like it could become trivial quite quickly, but that boss battle came across as quite interesting. I’m actually looking forward to playing it now. Comes out 2015 for Xbox One.


Ugh, I hate that Sony’s YouTube channel is calling every announcement video an “announce trailer.” It’s a grammatical terror, sure, but it just feels awful to say. But aside from that, how are you not intrigued by Bloodborne? Coming from Hidetaka Miyazaki, this game just looks cool. And even as inviting as the gameplay teaser is, this six minutes of solid demo shenanigans is even better. Comes out 2015 for PlayStation 4.

The Order: 1886

Woo, this is a gorgeous-looking game. Even from the trailer, I can tell that the feeling of shooting the weapons in The Order: 1886 is going to be a highlight. It looks so immediate and reactive and powerful. Hopefully the game actually manages to be worth playing and not just something that looks good in a video. This will be the first original solo venture from Ready at Dawn, so here’s hoping. Comes out February 20, 2015 for PlayStation 4.


At this point, my desire to play Below is far outpaced by my desire to simply know more about it. If they were two mutually exclusive options in my entire lifetime but I could ask any question about it and get the answer right now, I would take that deal. Okay, probably not, but seriously. TELL ME MORE, CAPY. Comes out, uh, sometime for Xbox One and Steam.

Shadow Realms

Surprise! That mystery BioWare teaser from a few weeks ago was actually for BioWare Austin’s upcoming 4v1 online action RPG. It’s a structure that sounds a bit like Evolve and the trailer feels an awful lot like a more serious John Dies at the End, so I have no idea what point I’m trying to make here other than “Shadow Realms” is a super generic title, but put me down as super tepid right now.


Well this is certainly the last thing I would have expected from Michel Ancel. Leading a new indie shop called Wild Sheep Studios, this survival adventure game is a huge departure from Rayman. But as the trailer goes on, it becomes strangely apparent that 1) WiLD is French, and 2) WiLD is at least partly infused with Ancel’s latent insanity.


If Ninja Theory said they were making a Barbie game for graphing calculators, I would be onboard. After making Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, anything they make will always be welcome with open arms here. Not to say they can do no wrong, but I’m willing to give them a chance. Granted, this trailer tells us basically nothing about Hellblade (with this “introduction” trailer somehow divulging even less), but the premise at least seems interesting.

The Tomorrow Children

Talk about inscrutable. This trailer is the single most confusing thing I’ve seen all week. It all sums up to mean basically nothing. I had to read this just to get some semblance of an idea of what The Tomorrow Children might be about. The gist is that it involves mining, bettering an online social community, and Marxist parody, which is everybody’s favorite genre of anything.

Battlefield Hardline

For a developer commentary video, there isn’t actually a lot of commentary going on in this 12-minute demo of Battlefield Hardline. However, I am excited about this game solely because it looks so little like any other Battlefield game. It’s something I appreciate about that franchise. While they have the staple (and stale) numbered series, they aren’t afraid to branch off into Bad Company and Heroes territory. Comes out 2015 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Donut County

Donut County is a whimsical physics toy that gives players control of a mysterious hole that gets bigger each time they swallow something.” That’s all you had to say, Ben Esposito.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Sweet jesus. 35 minutes. Of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. At least the commentary is good. Comes out February 24, 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


Cyberpunk bartending simulator. That’s all you need to know. Get on that VA-11 HALL-A tip, dawg.

A Voyeur for September

I have no idea what a “live action stealth game” is, but I would love to find out. Give it to me, Team Meat. Give me A Voyeur for September.

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P.T. and the Kojima Shimmy

P.T. and the Kojima Shimmy

Perhaps the most talked about thing to come out of Gamescom was a little thing called P.T. It was touted by Sony during their briefing as a “playable teaser” and available at that very moment on the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 4. This so-called interactive trailer from 7780s Studio left the stage with as much mystery as it entered.

Turns out that the P and T actually stand for nothing more than “playable teaser.” The pseudo-demo is nothing more than a completely unrelated chunk of horror gaming that locks away an actual teaser trailer for Silent Hills, the upcoming Silent Hill game from Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro.

You probably already know this since this secret didn’t stay secret for very long. But if you don’t have a PS4 or weren’t willing to spend the time downloading 1.3 GB, here’s the gist: you play from a first-person perspective, waking up in a strange, dark room with nothing more than a table in the corner, a door on a wall, and a cockroach quickly leaving your company.

Once you leave the door, you step into a relatively bright and long hallway. Paintings and portraits adorn the walls on either side. In a little alcove to the right is a digital clock curiously stuck at 23:59. A voice recording begins to play, detailing some rather grisly murders, as you approach the corner. A table with photos and strewn candy and a phone off the hook sits to the left while the hallway itself continues to the right.

You continue to walk and a baby begins to cry. It’s hard to place where it’s coming from; looking around does nothing to help pinpoint its origin. It’s striking how gorgeous yet low-rent this demo is, clearly something only the current generation could render. But the aural fidelity is certainly the greater and more terrifying aspect here. The foyer is just ahead with the front door to your left, a chandelier above you, and a table to the right, holding a almost hilariously 70s-ish wedding photo.

At the end of the hallway is a door. Walking through, it goes down a few steps and to another door, a door that leads to…the beginning of the hallway. The entire demo loops through nothing more than this small L-shaped corridor, save for the additional and sparse exploration of an attached bathroom. There are no puzzles, per se, but you certainly must interact or see or hear particular scripted elements before you can proceed.


For the most part, it is an incredibly tense hour-long ride. As far as game design is concerned, it is as point-A-to-point-B as it gets as you literally go from one door to the other over and over again, but because it is so claustrophobic and able to closely control your unnamed directive, it is taut and interesting for much of its opening moments.

Slowly it dawns on you that it’s not about just triggering the next event but it’s about subconsciously noticing minute differences between each lap, doubling back, and finding the alterations more disturbing than what was there before. The aforementioned wedding photo, for instance, is funny at first with the husband sporting a hefty pornstache and the wife a Marge Simpson-sized pompadour, but the paranoia and fear of finding what it will become slowly grinds its way into your resolve.

Somewhere along the way, the singular and most distinct message of the teaser (other than don’t enter doors that open on their own) is that this is hell. At one point it is actually scrawled across the wall by the front door while a bleeding, wailing, and eerily swinging fridge hangs from where the chandelier used to be. The physical reminder exists as well: with each iteration, you walk down a small flight of stairs, perhaps deeper and deeper into some sort of dark and punishing existence.


The problem is that, being that it isn’t really a game, the fact that puzzles exist is bothersome. They eventually become the sort of quandary presented by older adventure games, relegating players to pixel hunting for the right thing to click. Except that you don’t truly get feedback on what is right or wrong, leading to frustration rather quickly.

At first, the mystery and unknown is fascinating. It’s scary being unsure of what you are stepping into. Even though they said this is a teaser for a horror game, you don’t know what kind of horror game. Should you expect jump scares? Or what about terrors akin to Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem? Those questions compound on top of others to make the initial experience a frightful and engaging one.

But then as it becomes apparent that you have to play by rules you don’t know and might never know to get to some other undefined point. It’s just one too many variables in an equation that the game asks you to solve. Many people praise this as one of the most terrifying things they’ve ever played. A hypothesis: they lucked into or stumbled into “solutions” far quicker than others. (Apparently Kojima thought he’d made a demo worth a week, leaving suspicions as to his understanding of puzzle design.)


Perhaps if this skewed closer to being an actual trailer or an actual game and this would have been more broadly revered—though it eventually got around to being the former—but then that has the potential to take away those precious few reactions that land in “sweet fuck this is the best thing ever” territory. However, few people are denying this is an effective bit of marketing. Everyone is or was talking about it. What more can you ask of advertising?

If you recall from the 2012 Spike TV Video Game Awards, Kojima did something similar with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The trailer was simply for something called The Phantom Pain by an unknown company called Moby Dick Studios. The ruse didn’t last very long. Many suspected it was Snake in that trailer and then those in the VIP section of the Konami party were mostly wearing Moby Dick Studios/Phantom Pain shirts.

It appears, however, that the idea of real life mystery surrounding a product hasn’t left Kojima’s mind. While he had been teasing the idea of being involved in a Silent Hill game, nothing official had been announced. What better way than to make a little horror teaser, playable and palpable with a full platter of Kojima curiosities?


P.T. is a far more productive scheme than Moby Dick Studios ever was. It makes me wonder how much Del Toro was involved. Kojima was always more of a conceptually brilliant fellow, his brain obviously encapsulating grandiose and impossibly intricate and intertwined threads that you only find on the walls of obsessed detectives and time travelers tumbling down a rabbit hole of cosmic consequences. Del Toro, however, has a knack for taking unrealistic or dubious endeavors and distilling them into simpler forms to make them more palatable and more enticing.

It’s an interesting notion, combining two fellows with such complimentary skill sets that you would otherwise consider incompatible. Of course, the same was said of Goichi Suda and Shinji Mikami teaming up for Shadows of the Damned and all they really ended up with was a somewhat decent action game, but they were a mechanical pair. Del Toro and Kojima are a cerebral duo. The most interesting thing to come from P.T. is the deluge of amorphous but delectable possibilities that could come from this combo.

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Trailer Roundup: Mortal Kombat X, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, and More

Trailer Roundup: Mortal Kombat X, Assassin's Creed Rogue, and More

Well Gamescom is starting tomorrow. There’s probably going to be at least a few big announcements, some cool previews, and cool Instagrams from everyone in Germany. I won’t be there this year, but rest assured that it almost entirely wouldn’t matter. I’m beginning to question the need of physically attending shows beyond broing out with some fellow writers and dev friends.

Actually, that’s a notion that has been rolling around my head for a few years now, one that’s been shared with other likeminded journalists, which is to say those that don’t go just to collect freebies and take pictures of themselves with celebrities. Anyways, that’s for another time. Let’s watch some trailers!

Mortal Kombat X

I wonder if Ed Boon even wants to make other types of games. Outside of Mortal Kombat, his credits run rather thin, even though his adventures outside of the brutal brawler have often proven successful. Hell, he programmed goddamn Black Knight 2000. But it is a bit weird that he was creative director on the Batman: Arkham Origins mobile game. Hmm.

Anyways, Mortal Kombat X comes out sometime in 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

That Assassin’s Creed team sure knows how to make the shit out of a trailer. The original Assassin’s Creed trailer is one of my all-time favorites, though it might just be the Unkle track that does it. But Assassin’s Creed Rogue seems to have promise either way, despite being relegated to last gen systems. Developers Ubisoft Sofia managed to inject some interesting ideas into Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, so it’ll be fun to see what they can get up to with the foundation of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

I’m super curious, though, as to how this Assassin-turned-Templar fits into a modern day Animus scheme. More Abstergo cubicles? Comes out November 11 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. (Also, notice that Ubisoft is doing away with colons in front of their subtitles? Weird.)

Mario Kart 8

Boy, talk about weird. I would love to know how this business deal came about. How in the world did Mercedes-Benz (yes, the Germany luxury car manufacturer) shack up with Nintendo (once again, yes, the Japanese video game company) to make this wholly odd Mario Kart 8 DLC? It’s free, either way, and includes a four-week long online competition called the Mercedes Cup. Comes out August 27.


From what I’ve played, Crawl is a pretty cool game. I haven’t put enough time in to get much more of an opinion than that since getting people together to play it is crucial, but I think it’s worth at least more than a cursory glance. It’s a multiplayer dungeon crawler, except your friends play the enemies. When the hero dies, the killer gets to become the hero, attempting to best both the dungeon and their friends. Currently out via Early Access for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Dying Light

My time with Dying Light from last year’s PAX Prime reminds me that every bit of this trailer’s braggadocio has at least some shred of veracity. The parkour elements genuinely added significant wrinkles to the zombie experience, as did the traps and general need to run. Comes out February 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest

Hey, I liked Toy Soldiers as much as the next guy, but Toy Soldiers: War Chest seems like an odd revival, especially since this trailer doesn’t paint much in the way of substantial mechanical changes. I’m open to it, but it doesn’t make me any less puzzled over its existence. I will say that the snappy writing and perfect tone is still intact, so there’s still that. Release early 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

It still looks like Call of Duty multiplayer to me. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, but it certainly has gotten a bit tired outside of the growing eSports arena. Perhaps the emphasis on mobility and adaptive environments will make Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare feel different and—dare I say—interesting, but it looks an awful lot like more of the same even with the jetpacks and future tech based on my time with it. Releases November 4 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

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Revisitation Hours: The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us, irrespective of its quality, sits in a weird place. It was a fresh IP from a storied developer, coming to us a full six months after the combined launches of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One and, subsequently, the perceived start of the next generation. It left many that would have played it lingering on the fiscal vacuum of new consoles and others lamenting another take on the zombie shtick.

It even got ignored by those in the industry recovering—and even actively enduring—the onslaught of launch titles smeared across a liberal interpretation of a “window.” Speaking with a lot of people and discussing their yearly top 10 lists, The Last of Us was often left off simply because they didn’t play it. It certainly didn’t help that its official launch in North America was the day after the close of last year’s E3.

Yeah, last year’s E3. The Last of Us Remastered has released for the PlayStation 4 barely a year after its original debut on the PlayStation 3. It seems a bit odd to rerelease a game so soon after its first launch (the ending is still considered a spoiler, for cry out loud), perhaps setting a terrible bar for repackaged game collections as quick cash-in opportunities, but precisely because of all the aforementioned reasons a shameful slew of folk skipped it the first time around, this is a fantastic time for this move.

It’s also a fantastic time to come back and see if you remember that game for everything that it was and not something you’d skewed into a rose-tinted wish as you look back. It doesn’t take a lot for psychological biases to take hold, memories reinforcing themselves as highlight both the good and the bad in some sort of grotesquely growing harmonic frequencies. Even after writing so god damn much about the game already, I wanted to see whether I was victim of my own mental sabotage.

Immediately, I’m overcome with the sensation that I’d just never even bothered to notice something so substantial in lieu of talking at length about the game’s narrative, but The Last of Us is so awfully…rich. Specifically in its environments, it’s like a heavy stew of thick and varied flavors that are distinct and bold that it all feels so fantastically cohesive that the individuality is skimmed over.

Coming across repeated elements is such a rarity. While the cities feel oddly alive after nature has reclaimed the man-ravaged land has been littered with concrete monstrosities, it also feels incredibly lived-in because of the universally remarkable cardinality of set dressings. It would have been easy assume that every wall would just be another half vine, half brick texture, but even the serpentine foliage slithers in particular ways.

The Last of Us Remastered

Chairs, dressers, cars, graffiti, signage, and so much more help place you in regional locales and not just within a specific level of the game. And it makes every little interaction between the characters immensely more meaningful because you have this wholly unique visage to stow away in your memory. This especially comes through in the Left Behind DLC that comes packaged with The Last of Us Remastered.

And considering how many people skipped the main game, it’s not surprising that even more never got around to playing this fantastic bit of DLC. It adds colorful literality to a lot of assumptions and oblique references made in the main story between Joel and Ellie, choosing instead to focus on Ellie’s life before she ever met with her eventual protector and companion.

There’s one particular scene where Ellie and her friend Riley come across a Halloween store in a mall. Each aisle of the store is crammed full of things you simply won’t ever see again. There’s no reason for these pumpkin heads and werewolf masks to ever pop up again, and if they did, it would just be out of place. But each one is seemingly placed with purpose and care, as if there was store stocking logic and narrative impetus behind why each item is where it is.

The Last of Us: Left Behind

The interactions are so expertly written, as well. With such a beautiful economy of words that flows stiltedly parallel to the broken world around them, we learn so much about Ellie and why she becomes the person she is when she finally meets Joel. It paints such a succinct and painfully vivid picture of the tragedy of growing up without knowing a world before the Cordyceps outbreak.

Even beyond that, it’s also a heartbreaking depiction. Not necessarily because it’s so overtly sad that these kids never knew a carefree childhood but because it renders their nature as so pure. There really is no room for grey areas in this post-apocalyptic world, so you either land on being a good person or a bad person, though levels of innocence, acceptance, and compliance all still fall on a spectrum. You either kill and take advantage of others or you don’t as even dealing with the dirty underground still doesn’t make you a bad person—just a survivor.

And because of this, what we get from Ellie and Riley is a purity of spirit that comes from a life where there is no time for the dangerously easy and explosive little lies of our own daily lives. Those that come from the world that we know that is full of superficiality and first world problems, they’ve hardened by the time we meet Ellie. But for those born into this world, they are a perpetually open wound. No time to patch up, just time to watch everyone around you bleed out.

The Last of Us Remastered

If not for the richness of the palette supporting The Last of Us and Left Behind, none of this would have the stickiness it has. Our brains are like ships looking for a dock, looking for something to anchor to in the storm of the everyday blur of just living. With the delectably unique and flavorful sets of the game, we find our port. We come bearing potent words painted across an infected, heartbreaking, hopeful, and sometimes inspiring canvas.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Review: Blasting Off

Guardians of the Galaxy

Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that leisure was originally a source for fun. Movies, music, and the like evolved from singular instances of encapsulated jollies to include the potential for wreaking emotional havoc. It’s nice, though, to remember what it’s like to watch something like Buster Keaton in The General and just smile. And for that, we have Guardians of the Galaxy, an impossibly electric and exciting film bringing irreverence to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Based mostly on the 2008 revival of a long forgotten Marvel team from 1969, Guardians of the Galaxy finds Peter “Star-Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt) leading a ragtag and unexpected team of heroes in stopping a potentially universe-ending threat. This includes Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a cybernetically augmented assassin; Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a hulking and literally-minded warrior; Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), a genetically enhanced and massively intelligent raccoon; and Groot (Vin Diesel), a living tree who acts mostly as Rocket’s muscle.

Much of this movie’s success lies in its seemingly effortless but impressive pairings. Pratt as Quill is pitch-perfect, channeling some amount of his blissfully ignorant Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation but also flexing (literally, in one instance) his ability to spout verbal jackassery and physical intimidation. The character itself is one trapped in perpetual adolescence given his abduction from Earth as a child, playing towards Pratt’s ability to play immature exceedingly well.

Not enough can be said about how well Diesel and Cooper bring wholly digital characters to life. Especially in the case of Groot, Diesel only had three words to work with, and even then, they only were said in a single order of “I am Groot,” but he consistently found ways to grumble them out with unexpected heart. And Cooper, with his vocal flair for speed and confidence, finds a familiar home in the fast- and dirty-talking Rocket who often sees himself bigger than he actually is.

The overseer of the project, however, is perhaps the most incredibly magnetic pairing. There is rarely such a flawless match between writer/director and his project, but James Gunn fills the Guardians space almost perfectly. His past endeavors have always favored irreverence and self-awareness over attempts to find constant emotional resonance with the audience (though he has a knack for picking that up, too, if given the opportunity).

Most relevant to this penchant is the core conceit of the movie, which is to say it’s about its reluctant heroes rather than the overarching drama. The film’s actual story is a sizable one, spanning the entirety of a galaxy as Quill steals a mysterious orb from the planet Morag (intending to betray his Ravagers clan of miscreant treasure hunters), learns the universal implications of letting its contents fall into the wrong hands, and lashes together a team of unlikely friends and fighters into risking their lives to end the threat imposed by Ronan the Accuser.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Quill even acknowledges that the impetus provided by the orb and its hidden Infinity Gem is rather inconsequential, likening it to the Maltese Falcon, one of the most iconic examples of a MacGuffin. What’s more pertinent is the growth of these five characters as individuals into a single, cohesive unit. And that is the most fitting aspect of Gunn’s directorial abilities. Having more recently focused on character-driven experiments with biting, meta, and funny dialogue, it makes sense his tendencies play into the disadvantages of doing what The Avengers did with an overflowing cast but without preceding, individual movies delving more meaningfully into each character’s backstory.

That’s not to say, however, that each character doesn’t have his or her own moment. With surprising moments of intense poignancy, we are treated to brief interludes of emotional showcases. There’s a scene with Rocket that you learn he’s not just a happy-go-lucky, inexplicably dickish space raccoon that unexpectedly grabs you by the whole of your heart and squeezes it to a pulp. Drax, while ceaselessly lamenting his need and reason for vengeance, even finds time to impart the pathos in one scene rather than spout cold prose.

It’s unfortunate, though, that this also proves to be a weakness of the film. While the contrast makes these moments hit hard and stand apart as relative paragons of character intimacy, the other moments feels incredibly one-note. It largely stems from the fact that this serves as a broad and shallow origin story for several characters that each have tomes of comic history but only have a fraction of a two-hour movie here. Like, we get it. Groot is a sweetheart and everyone else is pretty much dicks.

Guardians of the Galaxy

This makes the side characters more apparent as wasted focus. While the actors behind them do well to excel with what they’re given, the characters are almost irresponsibly given time to shine (well, maybe more like mildly shimmer). Corpsman Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) and Nova Prime Irani Rael (Glenn Close) are given a bit too much import when more time could have been spent on the collective Guardians.

But even in their moments and just about every other moment in the movie, there are laughs to be had. This is a genuinely funny film. The hits hit hard and the misses rarely feel less than casual grazes of smirk-inducing interactions. A large portion of this can be attributed to the writing, of course, but the acting really delivers it all with aplomb.

Laughs thrown your way from Pratt and Reilly are familiar and expected (though still and always appreciated), but Bautista might find himself with more acting opportunities after this. His comic timing as Drax is impressive since the deadpan of his literal interpretations and social ineptitudes requires a substantial understanding of what makes this sort of humor funny, but he does it. And it is greatly appreciated it.

Guardians of the Galaxy

While not something I necessarily minded, I do fear some of the jokes were a bit too “in.” The movie references were heavy and heavily 80s-based. Marvel references were even more obscure than the heroes of the film itself, leaving half of the theatre laughing and the other half awkwardly trying to decipher what just happened. Some of that is a strength of the movie, leaving it to the intelligence of the audience to figure out what the Nova Corps and how the gem fits into the grand scheme of Marvel’s cinematic goals, but other times it feels irresponsibly referential.

Something everyone can appreciate, however, is how great the movie looks. It was nice to see hugely personal interactions take place in grandiose, oversized backdrops including the decapitated head of a former Celestial and the eye-watering lattice of Nova Corps members halting impending doom. And that’s not to mention how well the wholly digital characters of Rocket and Groot look, conveying tangible emotions with virtual facades, and that’s in addition to the action being shot and shown intelligibly and impactfully.

Even with its rough, predictable edges, it’s hard to hold any of them against Guardians of the Galaxy. So much of what it attempts, it sticks the landing. It’s immensely funny and fun and takes you on one hell of a ride, ignoring its own faults for the hope that you won’t remember them any longer than it dwells on them. For a good time, call Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy

+ Pitch-perfect pairings between director and subject as well as actors and characters
+ Intensely personal and poignant moments find their time to shine
+ Genuinely funny dialogue and character interactions are found from beginning to end
+ Acting across the board is impressive
– Aside from glimpses of depth, characters end up being one-dimensional

Final Score: 9 out of 10

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