Not the sequel, mind you. I had to go back and try again with the original before I tried for the first time with the sequel.
But I didn't expect to live-tweet it. Especially since I told my friend I was chatting with on Facebook that I was not going to live-tweet it, having seemed to introduce the possibility by shooting him a couple comments about the opening.
But then I thought, why not live-tweet it? Or really, my equivalent of live-tweeting something -- writing a stream of comments in a Facebook message thread and then transplanting that to my blog. (I tried with Twitter years ago, but lasted only a month or two. One day I will inevitably have to pick it up again.)
And as he was in Chicago beginning his Friday morning as I was winding down my Friday night, he got kind of a kick out of it -- or told me that he did, anyway.
So the following is that transcript, edited for relevance, typos, grammar and some extraneous personal chat. It doesn't contain any time stamps or anything like that, because that was pretty much beyond me (I didn't want to divide my attention any further than it looked like I was starting to plan to do). But if you're familiar with the film you'll probably easily imagine where I am in the narrative.
And if not, maybe it will just make an interesting read in its own right.
But first, my reasons for returning to Guardians of the Galaxy before I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2.
The movie doesn't really work for me. It never did. I gave it a three-star rating on Letterboxd that I now think was too generous by at least a half star. I'm basically a hater when it comes to Guardians of the Galaxy, not in that I hate the movie, but that I act the role of hater when it comes up in conversation. I'm a naysayer. And I rarely resist the chance to tell people it didn't really do anything for me.
But I thought maybe it didn't have to be this way.
Rewatches have sometimes brought me on board with movies I wasn't sure about, and there was an obvious precedent. When Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring came out, I didn't like it. I scoffed at it, actually. But fortunately, that didn't stop me from going to The Two Towers a year later, though I did not rewatch Fellowship to prepare. I ate The Two Towers up, and Flickchart actually shows it to be in my current top 50, though these rankings tend to be fluid and sometimes inaccurate to a concerning degree. (It's #42, to be exact.) I still don't love Fellowship -- the maudlin display of emotion at the end remains kind of laughable to me -- but I do have a great fondness for it, as part of a trilogy that became beloved for me.
I'd rather like Guardians than dislike it, so I had to try.
So let's finally do this thing. My comments start with Me: His comments start with Him: Again, I've discarded some of both, particularly the ones that were too irrelevant. And anything in brackets is me speaking to you now, to give you a little context for what I meant if it's not clear. I've included several photos I sent him along the way, as well.
Here we go:
Me: Man the beginning of this movie is waaaaaay too heavy.
Him: I love the beginning when he's dancing in the space cave.
Me: No, I mean when the fucking mother dies of cancer!
Him: Yeah that part fucking sucks.
Me: What a weird way to start a "good time movie"!
Him: Is that the opening scene?!?
Him: Dumb. Yes. I remember the dancing first.
Me: I like this kind of rewatch. A visually dynamic film that I may have been wrong about. Looking forward to it but off to a bad start.
Him: I love the scale of that dancing.
Me: Splash title. [That was me indicating that the way the title fills the screen is a great touch.]
Him: He's the perfect size on screen.
Me: Don't worry, I won't live-tweet the whole thing. [Famous last words.]
Me: How does he keep getting batteries for that walkman? [Peter Quill has been in space for more than 20 years.]
Him: Magic. Space batteries.
Me: Nuh uh.
Him: You are fundamentally hateful of space batteries.
Me: Awesome line delivery: "Who?" - Djimon Hounsou
Me: I know more about space batteries than you think.
Me: I could see me showing my kids this movie but I'd have to start after the cancer scene.
Him: I was using space batteries when you were sucking your mother's [REDACTED].
Me: My mother is a woman so she does not have a [REDACTED].
Me: I don't like Rooker in this film. [Michael Rooker]
Me: There are too many blue people in this movie. I'm racist against blue people.
Me: And there's Stan Lee. Yawn. [Marvel granddaddy Stan Lee makes a cameo in every MCU movie.]
Me: Groot = The Iron Giant. Discuss. [Vin Diesel voiced both.]
Him: Oh oh oh hold on that Stan Lee judgment.
Me: Zoe Saldana was going to kill him! Until that raccoon jumped on her. [I meant but could not elaborate that it was a strange choice to have our eventual hero trying to use lethal force on one of our other heroes.]
Me: Apparently I'm live-tweeting the whole thing. [Ya think?]
Him: Keep going. I'm reading and driving. [Don't hold it against him, people.]
Me: John C. Reilly is in this!
Me: And Glenn Close.
Me: Glenn Close is in the Jodie Foster in Elysium role.
Me: "You can't hear this? Do you want me to turn it up?" [The cranking up of the middle finger, as in the picture above]
Me: I also think it's weird that they used "Hooked on a Feeling." Doesn't Tarantino own that?
[This is where I told him about my intentions of turning this into a blog post.]
Me: When I look at Gamora I think of that line some comedian once said about Captain Kirk "fucking a green bitch" or whatever the exact wording was. [It later occurred to me that it was Eddie Murphy. Confirmed online.]
Me: Dave Bautista is the best part of this movie. Discuss.
Me: Ronan and Thanos. Are they Greek?
Me: Don't worry, I'm not going to force it. Organic observations only. I'm not going to be "looking for things." [You be the judge whether I lived up to my promise or not.]
Me: "Units" is their currency. Is that kind of like bitcoin?
Me: This space rock where they're meeting is giving me bad Green Lantern flashbacks.
Me: I have to say, Karen Gillan really disappears into her role. Unrecognizable.
Me: Like Groot in the background pulling the battery early. [At the space prison.]
Me: Prison guard: "Drop the leg and get back to your cell." In the middle of a full-scale riot. He'd just have shot him.
Him: Drax is the first autistic main character ever in a blockbuster. Discuss.
[He gave me Dave Bautista's character's name here but I didn't pick up on it and I never learned it otherwise during the course of viewing.]
Him: Who the fuck is Karen Gillan?
Him: You don't know anything about space prison.
Me: Love the random comment about all the jizz in his spaceship.
Him: Is she orange in the movie? [Regarding Gillan.]
Me: These fucking villains are ridiculous looking.
Me: She's blue.
Me: Rooker's floating space arrow is dumb.
Him: Oh. Robot Sinead. [Re: Gillan again.]
Me: If you must.
Him: I like the arrow. Love the red line that it makes.
Him: It's like a kids book.
Him: That kills people.
Me: This movie suffers from that "naming of funny sounding things" problem that tends to afflict Hobbit movies.
Him: It's better than The Hobbit on that front. It knows it's a problem and just goes for it.
Me: Love the use of the Bowie even though it's on the nose. "Moonage Daydream."
Me: News flash: Groot is kind. (Gives a flower to a little girl.)
Him: Of course he is. He's the Iron Giant. Made of wood. [He had not read my earlier comment likening Groot to the Iron Giant at this point.]
Me: Starlord puts the headphones on Gamora in a clever reversal of the iconic scene in the masterwork of that great auteur Zach Braff, Garden State.
Me: Benicio del Toro, you can do better.
Me: Here's the part where Benicio del Toro tells us about everything.
Me: That girl just blew up. Yeah, probably not showing it to my kids after all.
Me: Ronan looks like The Golem from that old movie.
Him: Don't know Ronan.
Him: Still don't remember.
Me: He's not memorable.
Him: Is he like the big bad or something? Or at least you think he is and then there's a bigger bad?
Me: There's a bigger bad but I think he is meant to factor more into future installments. Gamora's dad.
Me: I feel like Rocket probably has the most useful set of skills overall.
Me: Cue "their lowest moment."
Him: Yes Rocket is cool. And he's psychotic.
Me: Wow, he was really lucky Michael Rooker wasn't on the shitter or something so he could pick them up before they died without their helmets on in space. (I will eventually learn Michael Rooker's character's name.)
Me: Toyota? Honda? Something like that. [It's Yondu, but at the time I wrote this I thought it was Hondu.]
Me: The bigger bad serves the equivalent role of the Emperor or Snoke.
Me: Lee Pace is a strange choice for Ronan.
Him: They kept saying his name in part two and I never knew who they were talking about.
Him: Lee Pace can go fuck himself.
Him: Thanos is the big bad.
Him: As he is in Marvel in general.
Me: Remember that twee show about dead people starring Lee Pace?
Me: Pushing Daisies, was it?
Me: That's the problem with Marvel in general. In what universe does Captain America interact with Thanos?
Me: The Marvel CINEMATIC Universe, that's what universe.
Me: There's more space in comic books than I like.
Him: I AGREE.
Me: Between this, Thor and Green Lantern, it's too much.
Me: The squabbling over semantics is really forced.
Him: This is why I like Batman.
Him: When the comics bring Batman to space, I check out.
Me: Yeah but now Batman fights Green Lantern's villains, right?
Him: And Batman doesn't give a shit about semantics.
Him: Not often.
Me: But he has.
Him: No. I don't think so.
Me: I guess Batman has probably done everything. Even horse tranquilizers.
Him: Batman may have fought them in space.
Me: Locker room speech is not working for me, Starlord.
Him: Batman fights Superman's villains and Green Arrow's villains and Flash's villains. But not so much Green Lantern's. [And it occurs to me now: Why the hell did DC have two characters with Green in their names? Confusing. Then of course there was also the Green Hornet, unrelated.]
Him: Because Green Lantern sucks.
Him: You are filled with so much hate over Guardians.
Me: But he's got that ring!
Him: Thousands of other beings also have the same ring. Maybe millions. He ain't so cool.
Me: Spoiler alert: Groot is about to say he's Groot.
Me: Ch- ch- ch- ch- ch- ch- ch- ch- cherry bomb.
Me: Now everyone's explaining their role in the plan. When did they turn into Jeff Probst?
Me: "The stone." This is the dictionary definition of a MacGuffin.
Me: Oh hey, John C. Reilly and Glenn Glose. Good to see you for the first time in an hour.
Me: You know what the problem with this movie is? Everyone's Han Solo.
Him: It's true. But that's my problem with Marvel in general.
Me: And somehow, there's a giant space battle.
Me: Why is Peter Serafanowicz in this and why doesn't he get to be funny?
Me: Where did a million x-wing pilots come from all the sudden?
Me: And I am reminded of the fact that Footloose exists in this world.
Me: And Groot does something magical and beautiful. Cue the violins.
Me: Oh, now Gamora's sister gets to have her moment. No wait she doesn't! Dave Bautista shoots her mid-sentence. Classic!
Me: And super arrow finally gets to kill everybody really quickly.
Me: Oh wait, Gamora's sister is back. Cat fight!
Me: The pink-skinned mother and daughter are okay!
Me: (I realize almost nothing I'm saying has any context for you.)
Me: Alright, end battle growing tiresome. Just kill yourself already, Groot, and let's get on with the credits.
Me: Wait, Djimon Hounsou was a robot?
Me: "You stand accused." Oh right, he's called Ronan the Accuser. Somehow I know this.
Me: Glad Rocket thought Dave Bautista would surely be okay when he crashed a spaceship into where he was standing.
Me: More magic for Groot.
Me: Use the force, Groot.
Him: You root for Groot. Hard.
Me: How many movies have featured a spaceship crashing into a city in the past five years?
Me: Groot is fine.
Him: All the movies.
Me: Was especially unexpected in Boyhood.
Me: And after all that we still have more Ronan shit to deal with.
Me: Oh, he just named them the Guardians of the Galaxy!
Me: You're a legend, Ronan.
Him: But not unexpected in The Hottie and the Nottie.
Me: Oh yeah, and now Starlord sings The Five Stairsteps at Ronan. [I had to look up who sings that "Oooh child, things are gonna get easier" song]
Me: Have you seen The Hottie and the Nottie? It's not awful. [See here.]
Me: Now they all have to share the explosive power of the stone.
Me: Ah, the stone affects people like the one ring goes. Knew there was another Hobbit connection.
Him: I really don't like the infinity stones/glove/gauntlet.
Me: "The tesseract."
Me: The true uselessness of Close and Reilly in this movie is astonishing.
Him: They're famous.
Me: I hear Reilly is fun in Kong.
Him: I also heard that.
Me: Wait, he really never opened the present?
Him: He knew it would be more poignant if he did it in 23 years.
Me: Why do we need a post credits sequence reminding us that Benicio del Toro was in this movie, which includes Howard the Duck? Okay, live tweeting over.
Was it worth typing all that out? Probably not. Will I do it again? Probably not. But you can never rule anything out.
So as you can see, I'm just never really going to like this movie. It took me three times to start to love 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Guardians is not 2001.
I guess I also wonder if deciding to live-tweet something makes you inevitably snarkier about it. Perhaps you only live-tweet something you are expecting to be snarky about. Like the Golden Globes.
Well, I guess we'll never know now.
I'm not sure whether this leaves me in a better position to like the second Guardians or worse -- it could be worse, but I also now have lower expectations so it could be better. However, word on the street is that it's pretty disappointing.
Then again, maybe I'm just a bizarro Guardians fan -- what other people like, I don't, and vice versa.
We'll find out sometime this week.