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I can’t help but vet any movie I’m actually going to go see in theatres via RottenTomatoes score. My general rule is superhero movies need to be over 80%, big budget comedies over 60%, obviously offensive comedies either over 50% or UNDER 20%, RomComs over 70%, hate watches under 10%, heist movies over 0% and Oscar Bait over 90%.
So, when we saw Guardians 2’s 80+ RT rating, my dad and I figured we’d go on one of our juvenile movie dates and check it out. We both liked Guardians 1 and even the Metacritic rating for 2 was in the high 60s, implying that it didn’t earn the high RT by just getting a bunch of tepid but not negative reviews.
I kinda enjoyed G2, but were all of the critics watching a different movie? It was basically a dumpster fire redeemed by Bradley Cooper as a raccoon…
The movie, which attempts to further Chris Pratt’s origin story by delving into his daddy issues, begins with a CGI young Kurt Russell (a la Paul Walker in Fast 7) conceiving Starlord behind a Dairy Queen (SPOILER).
From there, we get a great opening credits scene with the Guardians fighting some monster while Baby Groot dances to Guardians 70s jams (and the jams are almost as good as in Vol 1. – ❤ u Fleetwood Mac).
Drax (wrestler Dave Batista) plays the lumbering oaf who does lumbering oaf things and is supposed to be funny because he doesn’t understand social nicety or nuance. His plot for the film revolves around him learning to understand emotion from an Asian alien with antennae (creatively named Mantis) who can sense the emotions of others by touching them – heartwarming stuff.
Gamora (green Zoe Saldana) continues to play her Lana Kane-esque, overly competent straight man character w/ sexual tension w/ her Sterling Archer analog (Starlord), which is never resolved, because that’d ruin Guardians Vol 3. She spends most of the movie hashing out sister issues w/ her not-so-evil robo sister who had been imprisoned by a bunch of highly sentient, sarcastic, genetically perfect, gold-skinned humanoids.
Then, there is Baby Groot, who continues to say “I am Groot” to everything, which apparently makes sense to Rocket. His one role in the movie is to be too dumb to complete tasks, kinda like Charlie Day in It’s Always Sunny. If you think people being inanely incompetent is funny, then Groot’s your guy. Otherwise, not so much…
Starlord’s plot… well… I can’t even begin to explain it. Kurt Russell (dad) is some sort of celestial entity who wants his demi-god son to join him in taking over the universe by coopting all matter within it via strange plants. Starlord really wants to have a daddy, but when he sees how evil the whole thing is, he balks, and we get a big space battle. In the end, he realizes that Yandu, the blue guy smuggler from Vol. 1, was truly his father, even if not by blood. It’s mildly compelling stuff, but forced.
With that said, I really did like large portions of the movie and think it’ll be one that I watch on cable in snippets for years to come… and the reason for such is twofold: 1) Rocket (raccoon Bradley Cooper) is so damn funny and engaging that you want him to be on the screen the whole time and 2) when the Guardians are all in a room/spaceship together just hanging out, their banter is really really funny, witty and sharp. You just wish they spent more time lounging and less time fighting celestial overlords.
All told, I was a little disappointed in Vol. 2, and really don’t know how so many critics could justify giving it such high marks when it had so little story and such poorly developed or cohesive subplots… but I liked it… and I like spending time with the Guardians… and that is perhaps more important than all of the rest.
But, can we please do a Rocket spin-off movie?
Grade: 45% Chaz
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1. Boston – Markelle Fultz, G Washington
Comp: Righty Poor Man’s James Harden w/ defensive effort
Rationale: 1) Can play w/ IT4, Bradley or Smart in the backcourt 2) Can guard 1s or 2s 3) Great hair 4) He’s the most well-rounded guard prospect in recent memory.
Downside: Are we completely sure he can play w/ IT4?
2. Lakers – Lonzo Ball, G UCLA
Comp: Poor Man’s Jason Kidd vs Rich Man’s Kendall Marshall
Rationale: 1) He has the rare, couple times in a generation court vision and playmaking that can’t be taught. He really could be JKidd 2.0. 2) His father is singlehandedly keeping ESPN in business. 3) He’s really quite good at other basketball things.
Downside: Definite teen popstar fall from grace + character assassination potential, funky shooting form, questionable-to-terrible fit next to DeAngelo Russell, who has become dramatically undervalued.
3. The Process – De’Aaron Fox, G Kentucky
Comp: Mike Conley meets John Wall meets Patrick Beverley
Rationale: 1) The Sixers need a point guard 2) The Sixers need a point guard 3) The Sixers need a point guard 4) The Sixers need a guy who is a winner / glue guy / defense first player. 5) The Sixers need a guy who is a winner / glue guy / defense first player. 6) The Sixers need a guy who is a winner / glue guy / defense first player.
Downside: Sometimes jumpshots don’t develop.
4. Phoenix – Josh Jackson, F Kansas
Comp: Paul George
Rationale: 1) Best player available 2) Can guard the dudes Devin Booker can’t 3) Positional need. 4) The best defender in the draft… going to a team that is an absolute dumpster fire on defense.
Downside: 1) He’ll never be as important as the other Joshua Jackson of Cruel Intentions / Dawson’s Creek fame. 2) Are we sure he can do anything great on the offensive end?
5. Sacramento – Jayson Tatum, F Duke
Comp: Jabari Parker vs Rudy Gay
Rationale: 1) How better to mismanage a team perpetually than to add a 2nd Rudy Gay to a team with Rudy Gay? Why not nonsensically play them together? That’s how the Kings roll. 2) He’s actually really good at basketball.
Downside: Fit, a “non-modern” style of play, may or may not have NBA 3 range, meh athlete, Duke stank.
6. Orlando – Dennis Smith. G NC ST
Comp: Post-injury Derrick Rose
Rationale: 1) not replace a bust PG who can’t shoot…. with another one? And maybe even add a torn ACL to the equation? Sounds exactly like something Orlando would do… even if he’s not a #hybrid. 2) If he went to UK and not NC State, is he De’Aaron Fox?
Downside: Well… he’s an “explosive” PG coming off a busted knee… so there’s that.
7. Minnesota – Jonathan Isaac, F FSU
Rationale: The Baby Wolves have 2 weaknesses – upgrading the Deng spot next to KAT… and adding wing defense given the limitations of the Shabazz/Lavine squad. Isaac can do both.
Downside: Sometimes you gotta pass, bro.
Comp: Greek Freak w/o any of the court vision
8. New York – Malik Monk, G Kentucky
Comp: Rich Man’s Lou Williams
Rationale: 1) Massive Star Potential 2) NY best be building a 5-out style team w/ Kristaps as the centerpiece if they know what’s good for them…. which is the definition of an “if”… 3) Awesome alliterative name.
Downside: Is he really a 6th man / 3rd guard? Is he a 1 or 2? Can he defend 2s? Can he… defend? Can he be NBA efficient or is he a chucker?
9. Dallas – Lauri Markannen, F Arizona
Comp: Poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki
Rationale: Dirk gets a near carbon copy understudy to pass the torch to. Nerlens gets a perfect frontcourt pairing. Shark Tank ratings in Finland skyrocket.
Downside: Well… can he rebound? defend?
10. Sacramento – Frank Ntilakina, G France
Comp: The Rondo / Schroeder / Exum lanky PGs who can’t shoot universe
Rationale: Because eventually Sacramento will realize that they need a PG… and they were willing to give Rajon Rondo a try 2 years ago… and they seem to make the same types of decisions over and over again…
Downside: Pronouncing his name.
11. Charlotte – Zach Collins, C Gonzaga
Comp: Meyers Leonard / Every White Guy Big on Charlotte
Rationale: Because he has become super trendy after being visible during March Madness and then measuring well… and because when was the last time Charlotte reached on a white-guy big with future All-Stars still on the board?
Downside: If they actually do this, North Carolina may turn on Michael Jordan.
12. Detroit – Harry Giles, F Duke
Comp: Amare Stoudamire
Rationale: Because he may actually be the best player in the draft… and he’s a great fit next to Drummond
Downside: He doesnt have knees. We’ve never seen him play well in college. Otherwise, he’s a sure thing.
13. Denver – OG Anunoby, F Indiana
Comp: Al Faruqh Aminu
Rationale: Because Denver could use some wing defense to go along with their promising core of young guards, many of whom are defensive sieves… and because in Denver he could get the nickname OG Kush and people would dig it.
Downside: Are you really that stoked about drafting Al Faruqh Aminu? #lowceiling
14. Miami – Jarrett Allen, C Texas
Comp: Poor Man’s Andre Drummond vs Every High Energy Backup Center Ever
Rationale: Hassan Whiteside insurance, asset stashing, a need for a backup center.
Downside: Probably won’t rock a mullet… unlike his almost same-namer…
Does Biebs look a lot like Eminem now? Like… eerily like Marshall Mathers?
What is a Quavo?
Is this DJ Khaled’s home? Did he design this french garden?
Is DJ Khaled trying to be the Craig Sager of Tommy Bahama?
Is a pool with floating walkways a practical idea?
Does he pay Beats and Ciroc, or vice versa?
All told… It adds up to a 5 star video experience in the vein of Young Money’s “Bedrock.”
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