Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Outpost Guide on How to Join the frikkin' Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back! With something good, something bad, or a little bit of both?Let’s find out shall we?

Galactic Misfits a.k.a. the Guardians of The Galaxy (GOTG)
Here's some mood tunes for you to play in the background while you continue to scroll down:

(Now Playing: "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5)

So, what do we know so far from the first GOTG movie? In a nutshell, 5 heroes kill bad man. But in a bigger nutshell, it’s about a group of intergalactic criminals (yes folks, criminals!) which were forced to work together to stop a fanatical blue-skinned villain who calls himself Ronan the Accuser (played by Lee Pace) from taking control of the galaxy. *Gasp

Galactic Baddie Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace)

But let’s blast off proper with a recap of our galaxy's Guardians.

First and foremost the main man of the show, Peter Quill!

Played by Chris Pratt, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, is an outer space adventurer who was abducted when he was a still just a kid loosing his mother due to cancer. As he grew older, he became one with the group that kidnapped him, the Ravagers, and fitted in real well with galactic scum. During one of his pirating jobs, he recovered an ancient artifact that happens to contain an Infinity Stone (one from set of 6). He then heads a group of cosmic misfits to save the galaxy from being destroyed.

Despite being better known for his comedic roles at that time, Chris Pratt unexpectedly fitted the role of Star-Lord perfectly and may well have type-cast himself for years to come as the charming "Han Solo"-ish scoundrel with a heart. His ‘lovably stupid and humorous’ depiction of the human space adventurers has certainly synced with audiences worldwide judging by the stellar box office performance of the first movie.

Second is the lovely green-skinned (sadly not hulk-green) Gamora, played by Zoe Saldona, also known for her portrayal of another sci-fi heroine Uhura of Star Trek's movie reboot franchise.

Actress Zoe Saldana in natural colour.
Gamora is the adopted daughter of the evil space Titan, Thanos (played by Josh Brolin), and was raised from young to become the perfect weapon. Despite appearing subservient to Thanos, Gamora has always held a grudge over Thanos for destroying her people and leaving her the last of her kind. During a mission for Thanos, she betrayed her master to join Star-Lord and make amends for her past crimes.

As Joss Whedon would say, the BIG BAD of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos.

Next is Drax the Destroyer, played by the wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista.

Drax is the muscle of the team but very literal minded, often misusing or confused over expressions and metaphors. Drax has a personal vendetta against Ronan for killing his family and out for revenge, which was eventually satiated during his team-up in Star-lord and gang. Fun fact: the make-up masters required 5 hours everyday to apply tattoo effects on his body. Whoa!

Actor Dave Bautista before and after his transformation into Drax.

Fourth member of the team is Rocket (Raccoon), voiced by Bradley Cooper.

If a raccoon were to look human, it would look like this.
Rocket is the weapon expert of the gang, battle and tactics specialist, and bounty hunter. And YES, he's a raccoon (although he has no idea what creature that is)! Genetically altered and enhanced by cybernetics, Rocket is a formidable warrior despite his diminutive size. He's also a smart-ass with quips for every situation. This is one bad@$$ raccoon you should NOT mess with!

Then there’s Groot, a humanoid tree. voice-acted by bad-boy action-man Vin Diesel:

If trees could talk, they would sound like Vin Diesel. So respect trees!
Vin Diesel doesn’t physically appear in the movie and, like Bradley Cooper, provides voice talent for this enigmatic character but with only three words: “I am Groot” in different tones and, of course, a few awesome roars! In the first movie, Groot was an 8-foot tall walking tree. In order to save his new family of Guardians ("We are Groot"), he sacrificed himself and was reincarnated as a new tree sapling in pot. Now in the upcoming movie he has grown back into a humanoid form but now the 8-in tall "baby" of the family.

For the first movie Vin Diesel learned how to say “I am Groot” in six languages. Now he claims the director of this sequel made him learn three times more languages! Sangat bagus, maybe we may even hear him say “Saya adalah Groot!”

Saving the galaxy for the 2nd time! Even the Avengers can't claim that... yet!

So think you have what it takes to join the Guardians of the Galaxy? Misfit - check! Outcast - check! Adventure - check!

Now before head into GOTG Vol.2, it is worth checking out the animated version from Disney XD, which continues from the first movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy on Disney XD

However this TV series is not officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and therefore does not setup any backstory for this 2nd live-action movie. In a way that’s better otherwise we will be all confused to no end like the current Marvel mutant universe by Fox.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2 (In cinemas 27 April 2017)
Anyhow, ain’t it good to see all the main characters still intact for the sequel? Well what better but to also bring back pirate captain of the Ravagers, Yondu, and Gamora's step-sister, Nebula, plus some new cool characters like Mantis and possibly Peter Quill’s real father (advance SpoilerAlert below). Now let’s have a look-see on the upcoming sequel’s trailer.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2 (2017) Trailer Compilation

Official Synopsis
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Yes folks, There's new characters team-up with the Guardians of the Galaxy! Some even switched side from the bad guys to the not-so-merry good guys (Yeeha!) like Yondu, captain of a Ravagers pirate ship (played by Michael Rooker).

Michael Rookers awesome appearance at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC).
The blue-skinned Yondu (not relative of Ronan) can also be considered as one of the bad@$$ characters wielding a "flying arrow" as a weapon controlled through whistling. How freakishly awesome is that? Youdu was also responsible for kidnapping Peter Quill and took it upon himself as the boy's guardian. Despite being tricked by Peter at the conclusion of volume 1, in trailers leading up to volume 2 he seems to be joining the Guardians. We will find out soon if that's the case.

Nebula, played by Karen Gillian, is another adopted daughter of Thanos. Unlike Gamora, the blue-skinned assassin leans more to the dark side and remains allied to Ronan the Accuser. However she is defeated by Gamora yet again and escapes the Battle at Nova Prime. Looking like she's lined to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in Vol 2, let's see soon if this bad girl is finally going to switch sides.

One of the new characters in Vol 2 is alien gal Mantis played by Pom Klementieff. She possesses empathic powers with the ability to read and influence emotions through her antennae. She's barely seen the galaxy and finds the Guardians intriguing to learn how to interact with other beings. Plus more space gals, yay!.

Veteran action-star pre-Y2K Kurt Russell plays Peter Quill's long-lost father, Ego. It looks to be a happy reunion between father and son but with a name like Ego, there's bound to be more to him than what meets the eye. In the comic books, Ego is a living planet. Let's see whether this incarnation in the movies will have such associations.

To find out more about the movie look to and The Hyped Geek for non-spoilery reviews.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 will be playing in Malaysian cinemas from 27 April 2017. If you haven't watched the first GOTG movie (WTH not?) or just need a refresher, MMCineplexes is running a back-to-back marathon this Friday 28 April for just RM30 with UNLIMITED POPCORN & SOFT DRINK REFILLS!

MMCineplexes GOTG Marathon

Now to bring home some GOTG goodies, The Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T) has snooped our local cinemas and toy stores for how to treat your geekiness. Here's is our Intel Report (while stocks last with terms and conditions):

GSC Cinema Online Contest

GSC Cinemas' online contest is offering movie memorabilia closes on 10 May 2017. Just answer 3 questions via the online form. It's too simple not to try!.

In addition, take home lovable Groot in form of a popcorn bucket and mini-figurine from GSC's concession combos available now nationwide. There's currently 2 ways to get the adorable mini-figurine. One is by purchasing online an e-Combo set of Groot popcorn bucket with drink will include 1 figurine. Another way to score Baby-Groot is by purchasing minimum of 4 GOTG2 tickets for selected cinema outlets.

There's also Star-Lord Helmet keychains given to first 1,000 customers purchasing 2 advance sales tickets from participating cinema outlets. Last day for advance ticket sales closes on movie opening day 27 April.

Over at MBO Cinemas, these and other movie premiums are being offered to their AllStar card members to bid for them by 5 May 2017. Members Star points from purchases at MBO are also given Bid points to use for these items. Find out more from MBO's website.

MBO Cinemas bidding contest for their AllStar card members.
Particular cool up for bidding is the replica tshirt worn by Peter Quill in the movie with the alien words (galactic Starbucks?).

Starting bid of 5,500 points.
MBO's GOTG2 concession exclusive offers a Baby Groot cup shaped like everyone's favourite "twig" in a pot. Prices at RM25 for 1-cup with popcorn, or RM49 for 2-cups with popcorn. Fans may want to grab this fast in case it sells out like Rogue One's Death Star popcorn bucket.

So cute cannot refuse!
Alternatively some of these movie premiums are also available via KLIPS online contest courtesy of Marvel Malaysia.

TGV Cinemas went the old-school way with figurine-topped cups for their Galactic Combo. There are 5 versions for each of the main GOTG members. Perhaps to pop lots of popcorn and guzzle soft drinks to collect all 5!

For poster collectors, make sure to catch the movie in IMAX to get this exclusive GOTG2 poster with every 2 tickets purchased:

Now to GOTG merchandise for kids (including the BIG kids), Hasbro is offering a wide assortment of toys for this 2nd move instalment.
12-inch Star-Lord action figure

Star-Lord helmet mask (kids size)
Electronic kids blaster. Movie 1 version far superior for cosplay prop.

Marvel Legends 6-in Guardians Of The Galaxy set only features Star-Lord, Drax and Yondu from the movie.

Hasbro's Marvel Legends 6in series of action figures have been providing a good range of Marvel characters in recent years with improvements on quality. Unfortunately it comes at a high price here of RM139.90 recommended retail per piece since our currency drop when they only sold for RM79.90 just 2-3 years back.

Excellent figurines from Marvel Legends but priced at RM139.90 each.

This Toys R Us exclusive Groot provides collectors a fantastic opportunity to get the full-size Groot previously only available in parts of the build-a-figure series in 2014 where one needs to purchase 6-7 separate figures to collect parts to assemble 1 bigger figure. Now this special release even includes the infant potted Groot seen at end of last movie and this movie's Baby Groot.

There is also a 2-pack 3.75in set with Yondu and Star-lord.
For fans who can't get enough of Groot, there's a dancing version available at RM229.90. Press a button to watch Groot dance or just play music and he will dance to its tune. Definitely a must have at geek parties which can impress fangirls!

Everyone loves LEGO right? LEGO and Marvel, a match made for kids and adults to indulge their geekiness. The building sets for the first movie were pretty awesome. Our LEGO expert here cannot quite say the same for the sets for this movie. The new LEGO Milano seems a shadow of its predecessor. Well, at least all sets come at a lower price point of under RM300.

So arm yourself now with the right intel and set your blasters for an awesome GOTG weekend at the cinema with a popcorn combo then taking home a piece of the action from movie premiums and merchandise.

Here are cosplayers at the Movie Premiere at MBO Starling to kick off release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 in Malaysia:

We are Groot!

What remains unspoken between Gamora and Peter Quill?

Will the real Star-Lord please step up?
A most unusual new member of the Guardians indeed.

Final intel: sit all the way through end credits of the movie as there are 5 (five) bonus scenes you will kick yourself for missing them. Why so many? Because Marvel-lah!

Disclaimer: Guardians of the Galaxy and associated trademarks are copyright to Marvel Studios, referenced here for fan service purposes only without intent to infringe.

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