The Most Emotionally Graphic Sign Off: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review
The finale to the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy released last Friday and not only was it the most emotional film in the Guardians trilogy, but also the MCU's most graphic movie to date.
While James Gunn himself has said that the Guardians did some things in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, he makes up for all of that in his third Guardians film while also paying respect to each member of the Guardians.
Take Kraglin for example. Ever since he’s been given Yondu’s arrow, he’s struggled to control it. In this film, Kraglin still struggles to control it, but by the end of the film he’s almost as good as Yondu is with it. Drax and Mantis also get an arc about them both mostly coming off as stupid characters that drag the team down. However, when it counts in a fight or taming aggressive enemies, Drax and Mantis prove their usefulness. Nebula was once being an antagonist who only cared about herself to forming into a careful protagonist by the end of the movie, ending her arc on a meaningful note.
Gamora’s arc struggles to be considered an ending to her character, but it does leave her in a good place. The Gamora we grew to love is dead and the one we see is the time-displaced 2014 Gamora. While the current Gamora doesn’t have any memories of the life she had with Quill and persists that she wouldn’t fall for him, there are moments where her interest in Quill can be found. Gamora also returns back to her violent ways because she never got to be in a family with the Guardians and still doesn’t in this movie as she’s a part of the United Ravagers instead. Groot is still funny at times, but is mostly a mature character now. Groot’s arc leaves him as a “protector” of sorts for his family of Guardians.
Quill’s arc is the second biggest character arc in the entire film. Quill is still sad about Gamora’s death and hasn’t been able to cheer up fully ever since, even becoming a bit of an alcoholic. Mantis knows the issue that truly is bugging Quill isn’t Gamora’s passing but wanting to belong to a true family again. Mantis makes the argument to Quill that with the power to travel to Earth and try to find his family, he never has gone. Quill defends himself by saying that the only person who could be alive would be his grandpa who pushed him out of the hospital room in Guardians of the Galaxy. He also notes that people on Earth, “die at like…fifty.” Mantis’ final remarks to Quill regarding his family is that it’d be better to find that they’re gone rather than wait and never see them again, a point that sticks with Quill for the rest of the film and ultimately decides what he will do at the end of the film when faced with the choice to return to Earth or remain with the Guardians.
I mentioned that Quill’s arc is the second biggest character arc in the film. The first goes to Rocket without a doubt in mind. The entire film seeks to show what happened to Rocket in his early life as well as explaining his attitude for the previous two Guardians films. The cause for his attitude comes from his maker and arguably his archenemy in the franchise: The High Evolutionary.
The High Evolutionary’s goal in the film appears to be to create the perfect society without conflict. Instead of using humans, he uses animals instead. To advance the animals before he discovers a way to rapidly increase their evolutionary capabilities, he gives cybernetic enhancements to animals, such as Rocket’s friends who are Teefs (a walrus with wheels for legs), Floor (an albino rabbit with a cover over her mouth and spider-like legs), and Lylla (an otter with mechanical arms and legs). While these characters are promised a good life, they consistently get tortured and aren’t able to do anything about it until we see how Rocket escapes. The High Evolutionary also continues to make these monstrosities, with their most graphic form being The Hell Spawn.
Rocket gets more antagonistic towards The High Evolutionary after escaping his grasp and fighting him once more with the Guardians by his side at the end of the film. After seeing how badly Rocket and his friends were treated, it genuinely made me tear up and caused the crowd to constantly be in shock inside of the theater. Rocket’s arc comes to a close after rising above his hatred for The High Evolutionary and the other Guardians allowing him to become the leader of the Guardians.
While The High Evolutionary was the main villain in the movie, he wasn’t the only one. Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock shines in this movie. Adam’s character is written and shown as a strong enemy who does what he’s told, but the film shows him have moments of self-realization and humanity where he ponders if what he’s doing is right. This ultimately allows him to join with the Guardians in the end. Poulter does a great acting job for the character, and I truly hope we can see more of him in the MCU moving forward. The only complaint I have regarding his character is that his first few appearances in the film show him with his cape, but then for the rest of the film the cape isn’t a part of his costume anymore. I just wish he could’ve kept the cape.
The atmosphere of each location also feels very real. Even though the film relies on CGI to create the most visually appealing places in space and for all of the animal characters The High Evolutionary has created, plenty of practical sets were used in the film to really tie together all the visuals together. Knowhere is looks just as amazing as it did in its first appearance, Counter-Earth looks eerily similar to our own Earth, and The High Evolutionary’s base ship looks perfectly menacing.
The music has always been a staple of the Guardians films and this one is no different. The music sequences that really stuck out were the beginning of the film where Rocket walks around listening to the acoustic version of Radiohead’s Creep, the Guardians vs. The Hell Spawn to the Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Till Brooklyn, and the final dance scene on Knowhere to Florence + The Machine’s Dog Days Are Over.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a wonderfully written movie with exceptional character arcs and highly tense flashback sequences, as well as tying up loose ends relating to the different members of the Guardians, as well as leaving room for them to return in other projects whether it be a crossover film like an Avengers movie or another Guardians movie helmed by another director. Alongside the high emotion comes highly graphic content in the form of The High Evolutionary’s excellent villain appearance and his disastrous creations. If you loved the first two Guardians films, you’re going to love this one. If you haven’t been that entertained with the MCU since Avengers: Endgame, you’re going to love this one. If you just want to see a good superhero movie, you’re going to love this one. I highly recommend watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to all who enjoy films, both the superhero fanatics and the casual viewers.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is available in theaters now!
Stand Against the Darkness: Jedi: Survivor Review
Jedi: Survivor released last Friday and continued the story of Cal Kestis and the Mantis crew, as well as introducing new aspects to the Star Wars universe.
When Jedi: Fallen Order released, I didn’t know what to expect from the game. The trailers (both cinematic and gameplay) made it look like it would be amazing. Once I played it, I didn’t think it would be possible for a Star Wars game to beat it. Then its sequel Jedi: Survivor comes along and surpasses its predecessor with ease. Like the other video game reviews, I will review each individual topic (Gameplay, User Interface, Story, Smoothness, and Fun) out of two points and then add all of the points up together for a final score out of ten.
To read the full article, click here: https://5il.co/1tlvi
A Lovely Night: CHS' Cinderella Review
CHS’ opening night of Cinderella was last night and it was one of the best productions I’ve ever seen, proving to be a truly lovely night for all who attended.
The Student Cast, Crew and Orchestra Members of Cinderella
As a person who has seen multiple musicals (Examples: Wicked, Aladdin, Hamilton, etc.), I’ve seen my fair share of good and bad works. After attending CHS’ Cinderella last night on opening night, I can say without a doubt that it is one of the best musicals I’ve watched. From the acting, the set design and wardrobe, and the audience’s reaction, it was truly something that would seem impossible, but as Marie sung, “It’s Possible”.
To read the full review, click here: https://5il.co/1syox
Suspense, Priorities, and Morality: Deliver Us the Moon Analysis
What would you do to save Earth? Where would you go to save Earth?
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Imagine the future for a moment. Perhaps you see yourself living a good life with your family. Maybe you’ll see your children grow up to be happy and life good lives themselves. What about a dead planet? I bet you didn’t imagine that. Deliver Us the Moon takes place in a future where all of Earth’s natural resources have been depleted, but thanks to the discovery of Helium-3 on the Moon, Earth can once again have power using a microwave power transmitter (MPT)—until it goes offline without a trace.
To read the full review, click here: https://5il.co/1sq5j
The Loss of a Hopeful Future: The Bad Batch Season 2 Review
Across Season 2 of "The Bad Batch", we see the Bad Batch wanting to settle down without worrying about the Empire hunting them down. Unfortunately, that hopeful future never comes about.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The Bad Batch Season 2 does a brilliant job of following up with the Bad Batch as they want to settle down. After Season 1, the Bad Batch continues working for Sid until one particular job where they realize that their skills are being used solely for Sid’s profit and leave her services behind. After that, they travel to Pabu to settle down, and everything appears to be perfect.
Can this perfect place last? Read the full article to find out: https://5il.co/1rxu3
Finding the Light When We're Lost in the Darkness: HBO's The Last of Us
HBO’s The Last of Us manages to still show us the light in people and the relationships with those people, even when everything starts from a dark place and only gets darker.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AND SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
"The Last of Us" Poster
Multiple stories have done the zombie outbreak/post-apocalyptic story before, but The Last of Us really makes you feel something throughout the story. The TV show adaptation comes from the highly popular video game series of the same name and continues to carry all of the emotional weight the game has. This emotion between Joel and Ellie at first is rather cold, but slowly warms up into an adopted father/daughter relationship because both of these characters found the light in each other whilst lost in the darkness.
If you want to see how these two find the light, click here: https://5il.co/1rjk1
The Diverse Hustle of New York City
Over Spring Break, I was fortunate enough to visit the Big Apple in all its glory, along with the diverse hustle contained within.
(Note: most of the images in this article were taken by myself during my time in New York City)
New York City is a place full of opportunity. Every block you look at there is something different than what you saw on the block before along with different people than you saw on the block before. However, regardless of where you are in the city there is always someone hustling to get to work or a date they forgot about. This is what I like to call the diverse hustle of New York City.
To read the full article, click here: https://5il.co/1r7lz
Geek Meet Indy 2023 Review
Danville, IN hosted Geek Meet Indy for the second time over the past weekend, and it was a blast!
Over the past weekend, my Dad and I took a roughly two hour trip to Danville, IN to attend Geek Meet Indy. Geek Meet Indy is a convention held yearly that is a smaller version of Comic-Con, but with a major focus on selling goods at stands with a cheap admission cost coming in at $5 per person. Most of the vendors and people you meet are very relatable and give off the atmosphere of something you’d encounter at a convention in the Cross County Mall in Mattoon, IL whilst also mixing in a professional sense to it with some of the vendors attending bigger conventions in other places such as Chicago, IL or Bloomington, IL.
To read the full review, click here: https://5il.co/1qbr5
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League: New Details from PlayStation’s State of Play
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was the main showcase of PlayStation's "State of Play" in February 2023. Here's all the information we learned.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League released two new trailers at PlayStation's State of Play to showcase the game. To view the full breakdown of each trailer, click here: https://5il.co/1pv0r
Big Villain vs. the Little Guy: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review
Normally putting a major villain up against a small hero would mean the hero gets beaten easily, but just because you win the battle doesn't mean you've won the war.
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Scott Lang has finally gotten his life under control. He’s not in trouble with the law, people genuinely like him, and best of all, he’s an Avenger. Even with having all of those perks, he doesn’t have the one thing he wants: to be a father. With the time dilation Scott experienced, his daughter Cassie grew up without her father being there. Now that Scott’s back, he finally has the chance to make up for all he’s lost, but there isn’t enough time. If only there was a villain that could give him back that lost time…
To read the full review and see which villain can give back that lost time, click here: https://5il.co/1phgo
Arkham Batman: Redefining Gameplay and the Mythology of the Dark Knight
Batman: Arkham Asylum released in 2009 and was highly influential to the rest of the gaming industry, redefining most of what we see in video games today.
When you talk to someone about who the best Batman of all time is, there is no doubt that Arkham Batman is included in that conversation. With amazing suits, voice acting, genuinely original stories (for the most part), and well-designed environments, it’s hard to argue that these aren’t good games.
Normally for video game reviews I follow a full in-depth look at each of the topics. However, I’m throwing everything into one article, and it would take forever to read through, so instead I will summarize each topic with a brief explanation so that it all fits in one article. To keep this page from overflowing with a massive article, I'm providing a link to the article instead, which can be found here: https://5il.co/1okka
Stupidly Obvious, Yet Obviously Brilliant: Glass Onion Review
Glass Onion, the sequel to Knives Out, released at the end of 2022. This murder mystery movie is brilliant, yet so stupidly obvious.
When Knives Out released, it had such an incredible plot. A man had reportedly committed suicide, but when foul play was suspected, Benoit Blanc was called in to uncover the true cause of death while sorting through all kinds of family drama the entire time. With each possible lead to who the true murderer was, another twist would appear to make you wonder if you had the right suspect. The way director Rian Johnson tied the film’s many threads together was so well done and perfect. Glass Onion is similar in the sense of drama and a few twists, but the plot is so obvious that it actually is brilliant, so much so that I was mad at myself for not being aware of things that were dangled right in front of me.
To view the full article, click here: https://5il.co/1ngnq
War Never Changes In Fallout 4
Over the last week or so, I downloaded Fallout 4 since it was free on PlayStation Plus for the month of January. Here's my review of the post-apocalyptic 2015 game.
"Fallout 4" Cover Image
I had heard of the Fallout series long before I ever played it. The first two games released way before I was born and the third game released in 2008, where I was only two years old. Fallout: New Vegas then released in 2010 and I never played it. When Fallout 4 released, I had heard of it and knew the concept of the game, but not the full scope of it. I even thought that Fallout 76 released before Fallout 4 did, but that game released in 2018.
Now that I’ve stopped to catch myself up on the story of the previous games and played through Fallout 4, I can safely give my review on this game knowing what I’m talking about. To grade this game, I'll be covering the topics below:
Smoothness (bugs or glitches)
Once I have discussed each topic, I’ll rate it on a scale of 1-10 to determine how good the game is in my opinion. Please note that there will be spoilers for the story, so read at your own risk. With that all settled, let’s get into the review, which can be found here: https://5il.co/1npq7
“You’re on Pandora.”: Avatar: The Way of Water Review
James Cameron returns to the world of Avatar thirteen years after Avatar’s original debut. While it feels like we never left, it isn’t without some issues.
"Avatar: The Way of Water", Disney
It’s been twelve years since the conclusion of Avatar. With the help of the Omaticaya clan, Jake Sully has repelled the RDA from Pandora. Peace reigns as Jake settles and starts a family with Neytiri: two sons, Neteyam and Lo’ak; two daughters, Tuk and adopted daughter Kiri (who was adopted from Grace’s inert avatar from the first movie after mysteriously becoming pregnant); and Spider, the son of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Spider was left behind because infants can’t be cryogenically frozen for the trip back to Earth). After the RDA returns to Pandora due to Earth’s dying planet, Jake and his family leave the Omaticaya clan because the avatar clone of the deceased Colonel Quaritch has set his sights on capturing and killing Jake. The Sully’s retreat to the Metkayina reef clan to seek refuge, but that doesn’t put them out of the RDA’s sights. Instead, it brings the RDA’s rampage further across Pandora than ever before.
To read the full review, click here: https://5il.co/1ngnq