HEY, WHO YOU CALLIN’ MIDDLE-AGED? (I know. I just can’t believe that's me...)
Hey, Marvel Executives, I'm sure you are ecstatic with the commercial success the summer juggernaut Guardians of the Galaxy has turned out to be.
Congratulations, comic book nerds, on the victory of this against-all-odds premise, because this clueless old lady band geek right here was sure as shit positive that this raccoon infested, whacked-out Breakfast Club posse of Ass-Kickers stemmed from James Gunn’s wacky mind and WHAT NO WAY THIS WAS A REAL COMIC BOOK OH SHIT SNAP!
I’m happy for all of you, but the truth is this;
Guardians of the Galaxy was made for ME.
(I would like you to now play this video of “I fooled around and fell in love” as you read the rest of this post. Go on. Trust me on this. It’ll be awesome.)
Guardians of the Galaxy was made for (exactly) my generation: kids who grew up in the 70’s, and graduated from high school in the 80’s.
- Kids who grew up on x-fighters and Death Stars, and sexy leather space pants with sexy leather boots and those hawt seat belts across their chests.
- Kids who grew up with Sony Walkmans, and foam circles over their ears. (That kid in 1988 wouldn’t have had a Sony Walkman, but Gunn ingeniously made it a gift FROM HIS MOTHER SO BACK OFF. Well played.)
- Kids who grew up the best decade of music, ever: the 70’s. (Don’t argue with me on this point. I won’t hear of it.) 10cc ‘s I’m not in love. Rupert Holmes **The Pina Colada Song. The tone of the movie might make these kids today think those song choices were chosen as vehicles of nostalgia. But we know better, don’t we?
- Kids who grew up to guitar players rocking jean vests of the patchwork variety.
- Kids for whom Kenny Loggins was the Emperor of Summer Blockbuster Movie Soundtracks: Every body cut, every body cut, DUN DUN!
- Kids who watched The Outsiders launch all the careers of those 80’s film boys.
- Kids who started making their own movies with video cameras that connected to VCR’s with shoulder straps.
- Kids who grew up recording Casey Casem’s top 40 straight off the radio, catching a little bit of Casey’s intro, and occasionally forgetting to stop it before the Long Distance Dedication.
This movie was a postcard from the collective soul of my generation’s youth.
Guardians of the Galaxy was made by that Star Wars geek who sat next to us in our elementary school. We all knew him. In my life, Travis, Dan, Steve, Jason come to mind.. You have yours, I’m sure…
Guardians of the Galaxy is an homage made by the boy with endless space battles doodled on the corners of his notebooks. This was a post Y2K reconstruction of Luke (Peter Quill), Leia (Gamora), Chewbacca (Groot), Hans Solo (Rocket), even the literal minded C3PO has his modern doppelganger in the character of Drax the Destroyer.
James Gunn slathered his geeky soul all over the super hero genre like Tropical Oil on a Florida beachgoer. What an utterly refreshing departure from the uber-adult themes of darkness and debauchery of so many super hero stories.
Guardians has zero grown men menaced by their unbearably tragic history, or grappling with the alienation imposed upon them by their wretched destinies. Instead, we have a sweet boy who misses his mother, likes a green girl who is out of his league, and makes one of the funniest sperm jokes ever recorded on film.
We don’t even really have a story we necessarily care about. Stakes? “Billions of people!” Meh.
But Gunn manages to keep it funky fresh and modern for the Clone Wars generation.
He manages to convey the awe anyone would feel romping on the very same Hollywood sound stages that so deeply inspired their lives. (Case in point: Groot's smug reaction of surprise and pride after taking out no less than 6 bad guys at once when…well….if trees had their own WWF league….)
He also maintains the wry, boy-man brand of humor so prevalent in our present era of comedy. I do love that Chris Pratt’s particular take on the trope is not as mean or misogynistic as some have been, lately. Not everyone can walk that fine line. After this, it’s all yours to lose, Chris.
Guardians of the Galaxy was a tale bound tightly by the tassels of the every high school mortarboard from the Classes of 85-91. He took us with him, and waves at us from behind the camera. It was one of the most personal, heart felt interpretations of the genre I’ve seen in a while. Blast off.
** I once wrote a ten minute play about The Pina Colada song. Like, what would have happened after the shock of finding that they had both placed a personal ad for the purpose of cheating on each other.
“It’s You! I don’t believe it…….Ha!”
“hey, wait a minute…….what the...”
It didn’t win the contest, but I thought it was funny.
That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thank you for taking the time to read my silly words. It means the world. Carry on...
Old Single Mom
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