Marvel and Disney give the gift that keeps on giving all year round with the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy” on 3D and regular Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download. Although high expectations were had by both studios, I was up in the air until seeing it in theaters. Why would anyone want to see a movie about a bunch of characters no one is familiar with flying around the universe? Thankfully, I was wrong. What we get is an exhilarating space opera with enough connections to the “Avengers” to pull in a mainstream crowd hungry for more super hero escapades.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was abducted by intergalactic mercenaries moments after his mother died of cancer. He grew into manhood searching the universe for valuable items to sell to different collectors of all species. After finding a mysterious orb, it seems like everyone in the known galaxy is hunting him down to take possession of it... including the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin). Quill puts together a team of misfits to keep the object out of the villain's deadly clutches.
The Blu-ray edition of “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1). The picture is pristine and clean and offers the trademark clarity we expect from both Marvel and Disney. Instead of being limited by clean video and showing off its limitations, the CGI is actually enhanced and looks better than ever.
A 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix guarantees that home audiences are thrown right into the thick of intergalactic battles. Lasers bounce around the room while starships blaze in different directions. All of these sound effects are balanced beautifully with the humorous dialogue and Tyler Bates’ bombastic musical score.
The Blu-ray version of “Guardians of the Galaxy” posesses some entertaining special features. James Gunn provides audio commentary for the film. The 21-minute documentary “Guide to the Galaxy with James Gunn” goes behind the scenes and takes an insider’s look at the production. The featurette “The Intergalactic Visual Effects” includes interviews with the cast and crew. The sneak peek at “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is much too short clocking in at 2 minutes. Deleted and extended scenes and a gag reel finish out the extra.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language. There are also quite a few sexual innuendos younger children won’t pick up on but older ones might. The violence is on par with the “Star Wars” movies where’s there isn’t a lot of blood or gore.
Even in a home theater setting, “Guardians of the Galaxy” will tantalize viewers with its mix of wit, humor, and sci-fi action. It truly is the “Star Wars” of a new generation. At least until “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” comes out next year. The Blu-ray is the version most Marvel fanatics will want to pick up thanks to a healthy dose of great bonus material.
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