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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy
07.31.2014
9 10

Check out Chris Bumbray's video review HERE!

PLOT: In the furthest reaches of the cosmos, a disparate band of misfits put aside their differences in order to save the galaxy from a villainous warlord bent on controlling the universe.

REVIEW: The coolest thing about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is that it feels like it has nothing to lose. Here's a gigantic outer space epic, presumably costing north of $150 million, produced by the biggest movie studio going - a studio on a roll that can't afford a misstep. There's a lot on the line, but don't tell that to the Guardians, or to James Gunn, the madman hired by the studio against all odds to deliver this quirky, subversive comic book movie to the masses. Much like his protagonists, Gunn recognizes the pressure but doesn't sweat it. He has a cocksure attitude and laughs in the face of danger. A great man once said, "Never tell me the odds," and you know those words have echoed inside Gunn's head before and during the making of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

The movie is terrific. It's funny, it's sweet, it's exciting, it feels fresh and familiar all at once. In some ways it has all the trappings of a schlocky 80s-era direct-to-video sci-fi flick, but it wears its heart on its sleeve, places tongue firmly in cheek, and never once gives up trying to "wow" us. It comes at a time when comic book movies are incredibly familiar; even the best ones have started to resemble one another. (Those bleak and tragic DARK KNIGHT movies aside.) GUARDIANS is off in its own world, doing its own thing, and it has the advantage of catching the audience with its guard down because most of them will have never even heard of the central characters. I really admire the way Marvel has built its movie universe, but there's absolutely no doubt GUARDIANS is so refreshing in the way it pushes most of the mythology aside and exists on its own. Yes, there are elements that tie into the past Marvel pictures, and it plants seeds for the future, but anyone can walk into GUARDIANS blind and have an absolute blast. Guaranteed or your money back.

The story combines plenty of well-worn elements from a host of different genres; while it's predominantly sci-fi, GUARDIANS is also a fantasy, a film noir, a western, a screwball comedy, an escape picture... and more. Remind you of another franchise set in the stars? It's bold to compare this to STAR WARS, but the comparison is served on a silver platter by Gunn and company, because why not? Why not aim for the highest possible target? GUARDIANS is self-aware and sardonic in a way that STAR WARS isn't, but both owe tremendous debts to the many movies that got them to where they are. GUARDIANS just doesn't mind saying it right to your face.

So there's the dashing anti-hero Peter Quill (the fantastic Chris Pratt; a star is born), who's basically out for himself and whatever will put money in his pockets. There's a sexy/deadly female warrior named Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who couldn't be less interested in the hero until she is. There's the brooding tough guy, Drax (Dave Bautista), seeking vengeance against the villain who killed his family. We've got two sidekicks, one a wise-cracker - a raccoon named Rocket with the voice of Bradley Cooper - one a loyal gentle giant named Groot - who happens to be a tree (with the voice of Vin Diesel). All archetypes of characters we've seen before, yet Gunn and screenwriter Nicole Perlman (and let's not forget original comic creators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) fill them with enough vivid life and personality that we're wholly invested in each of their plights, hence they never feel anything but new. A smack-talking raccoon with a penchant for flying off the handle could be a funny visual and no more, but in GUARDIANS the character is actually given layers - like a lot of tiny tough guys, he's carrying around an ample amount of self-loathing - and we quickly forget about the charming visual effect and become sympathetic toward the character. Ditto for Groot, who is so lovable you want one of your own ASAP.

The gang is thrown together in an intergalactic prison at serious odds with one another. Rocket and Groot are attempting to kidnap Quill for a bounty, while Quill and Gamora have their eyes on a priceless, and destructive, orb and will presumably fight each other to the death to get it. Drax has a grudge against Gamora because he thinks she aided in the killing of his family, as she's supposedly the daughter of the evil Thanos, who lords over this tale - and the whole Marvel franchise - like a God growing ever less patient. But low and behold, if they can work together to escape the prison and defeat their common enemies, they might just be able to set aside their differences and become.. friends?

The plot is almost beside the point here. The orb is a classic MacGuffin, and Gunn doesn't let an opportunity to mention "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Ark of the Covenant" go by. The villain, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) is a more or less standard-issue megalomaniac looking to destroy worlds and control the universe, while also having to cower in front of the great Thanos, who is the real threat. Whereas the last Marvel film, the splendid CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, hung its hat on its complex plotting and deft twists, the tale the Guardians engage in is just a way to get our heroes from crazy situation to crazy situation, letting the characters be the focal point. And as the stakes are raised, the closer their bond becomes; it's a literal joy to watch these losers (Quill's words) find value in each other's company. By the time they're risking their own lives for their comrades, you're downright touched. (As snarky as the movie's attitude can be, it can be just as sincere in a pinch.)

Enough can't be said about the perfect cast Gunn has assembled. Pratt is just great, and while Quill is clearly equal parts Han Solo and Mal Reynolds, he's also his own person, with a somber yet simple backstory that informs everything he does. Saldana continues to build an impressive resume of take-no-shit women, and her Gamora is maybe the most impressive creation yet. Cooper can, of course, be counted on to liven up any situation - even if it's just his voice we're hearing - and Diesel reminds us of his heart-wrenching voice-over performance as THE IRON GIANT with the equally warm and cuddly Groot. (He only says three words, "I am Groot," but the range of emotions employed is impressive.) The real surprise is Bautista, heretofore simply a wrestler doing bit parts in movies, now a compelling screen presence capable of selling sadness, drunken enthusiasm, diligent honor and even subtle comedy. Drax might fly under the radar a bit, but he turns out to be a great character, and that's thanks to a great effort by Bautista.

Not to be forgotten are a few stand-out supporting turns; Gunn favorite Michael Rooker is essentially playing an intergalactic version of his "Walking Dead" character as a bandit out for Quill's neck, but everyone loves Rooker and he's just right. John C. Reilly and Glenn Close are clearly having fun as two officers of Nova Corps; basically the space cops out to save the galaxy before the Guardians can muck things up. And Benicio del Toro cameos as an eccentric collector of bizarre items from different parts of the universe; it's almost too short of an appearance considering all the fun hinted at, but this movie has enough nutty things going on that it can afford to use del Toro as a bench player. That's saying something right there.

Oh, the soundtrack! Cannot forget the soundtrack. Gunn has compiled the most foot-tapping, head-bopping melange of tunes this side of a Quentin Tarantino movie. They're all a bit out of place with the fantastical insanity going on, yet they work in perfect harmony with them. If you're not smiling as Quill busts a move to "O-o-h Child" in a climactic scene, you have no soul at all.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is the best movie of the summer, the most purely enjoyable movie Marvel has made, and a triumph of out-of-the-box thinking and giddy imagination. I enjoyed the hell out of every second of it, and you will too.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:08PM on 08/05/2014

Guardians of the Galaxy review.

This movie I've been looking forward to all year. My first mistake was seeing it in 3-D. I have only seen one other movie in 3-D and that was Star Trek:Into Darkness. I saw that in 2-D first and am glad I did. Seeing "Guardians" in 3-D mad me feel like it shrunk the screen and was watching it with sunglasses on. (I had the 3-D glasses with my regular glasses. I was somewhat disappointed in the movie. After I buy a copy and watch it a couple of time I will probably really like it. One thing I
This movie I've been looking forward to all year. My first mistake was seeing it in 3-D. I have only seen one other movie in 3-D and that was Star Trek:Into Darkness. I saw that in 2-D first and am glad I did. Seeing "Guardians" in 3-D mad me feel like it shrunk the screen and was watching it with sunglasses on. (I had the 3-D glasses with my regular glasses. I was somewhat disappointed in the movie. After I buy a copy and watch it a couple of time I will probably really like it. One thing I wish it hadn't included was Chris Pratt's seeing his mother in the hospital dying with cancer - complete with bald head. That's how I remember my own mother and did not appreciate being reminded of it. This was at the beginning of the movie and repeats again toward end.
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12:23AM on 08/05/2014
OK, it was good, but it is nowhere near as good as The Avengers...I enjoyed it, but it's not worth owning.
OK, it was good, but it is nowhere near as good as The Avengers...I enjoyed it, but it's not worth owning.
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10:59PM on 08/02/2014

Okay

"the dashing anti-hero... a sexy/deadly female... the brooding tough guy... a wise-cracker"

Yeah, I thought this version of the Fantastic Four was good. ;)

I thought it was a bit too violent though, with the stabbings in particular (by Groot and by Yondo). There may be some complaints from parents. It'll definitely have to be editted for television. The Avengers is currently being editted when it gets shown on TV (specifically the scene where Coulson gets stabbed or Loki gets pummeled).
"the dashing anti-hero... a sexy/deadly female... the brooding tough guy... a wise-cracker"

Yeah, I thought this version of the Fantastic Four was good. ;)

I thought it was a bit too violent though, with the stabbings in particular (by Groot and by Yondo). There may be some complaints from parents. It'll definitely have to be editted for television. The Avengers is currently being editted when it gets shown on TV (specifically the scene where Coulson gets stabbed or Loki gets pummeled).
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10:26PM on 08/01/2014

It was amazing

It was as fun as a movie can get. I hope people go check out James Gunn's SUPER now. Such a brilliantly, underrated flick
It was as fun as a movie can get. I hope people go check out James Gunn's SUPER now. Such a brilliantly, underrated flick
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11:06PM on 08/01/2014
Forget super what about slither! That was the thing that got me excited when he was announced as director.
Forget super what about slither! That was the thing that got me excited when he was announced as director.
5:36PM on 07/31/2014

Ah justice

I'm so pleased this is getting so much good buzz ! Marvel movies of late have been a little off the mark for me, I'm thinking Thor 2, IM2 & 3, I did like CA2 but I love the fun element to this movie and to those morons who were posting shit like 'this movie won't make more than 100m' I would like to offer you some cream and a spoon to go with your humble pie !
I'm so pleased this is getting so much good buzz ! Marvel movies of late have been a little off the mark for me, I'm thinking Thor 2, IM2 & 3, I did like CA2 but I love the fun element to this movie and to those morons who were posting shit like 'this movie won't make more than 100m' I would like to offer you some cream and a spoon to go with your humble pie !
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3:40PM on 07/31/2014
So basically not as good as Captain America: The Winter Solider? This is downright laughable.
So basically not as good as Captain America: The Winter Solider? This is downright laughable.
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2:37PM on 07/31/2014
It really, really is that good! It's exuberant, energetic, colourful and action-packed but I was also surprised at how much genuine emotion there was and I'm not ashamed to say I shed a tear or two. These are characters I truly wanted to hang out with and enjoyed seeing interact on the screen. It's slightly weak in the villains department but that is at the expense of meaningfully developing our titular group. Character animation on Rocket and Groot is sublime. Post-credits scene is a riot.
It really, really is that good! It's exuberant, energetic, colourful and action-packed but I was also surprised at how much genuine emotion there was and I'm not ashamed to say I shed a tear or two. These are characters I truly wanted to hang out with and enjoyed seeing interact on the screen. It's slightly weak in the villains department but that is at the expense of meaningfully developing our titular group. Character animation on Rocket and Groot is sublime. Post-credits scene is a riot.
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3:16PM on 07/31/2014
I fully agree! I'm not ashamed to say I shed a few tears in different parts of the movie. It certainly carries genuine emotion in it. You can really see the love they poured into this movie, and it's a real breath of fresh air!
I fully agree! I'm not ashamed to say I shed a few tears in different parts of the movie. It certainly carries genuine emotion in it. You can really see the love they poured into this movie, and it's a real breath of fresh air!
12:56AM on 08/01/2014
I started tearing when Star Lord read the letter and when Groot takes the 'big hit' for the team in the end. Just the way Rocket says his line to Groot before doing so was just so sad.
I started tearing when Star Lord read the letter and when Groot takes the 'big hit' for the team in the end. Just the way Rocket says his line to Groot before doing so was just so sad.
1:06AM on 08/01/2014
Yeah, the relationship between Quill and his mom and how they establish the mix tapes as precious family heirlooms was something I think was really well handled.
Yeah, the relationship between Quill and his mom and how they establish the mix tapes as precious family heirlooms was something I think was really well handled.
1:26AM on 08/01/2014
Yeah. Totally agree. Loved how something as small as a Walkman and mix tape played such a huge part in the film.
Yeah. Totally agree. Loved how something as small as a Walkman and mix tape played such a huge part in the film.
10:38PM on 08/01/2014
so ya soloist, maybe spoilers isnt a good idea on a review board? this isnt the first time you are guilty of this. may i remind you of the cameo you ruined for ALOT of people who tore you a new asshole for in anchorman 2/???
so ya soloist, maybe spoilers isnt a good idea on a review board? this isnt the first time you are guilty of this. may i remind you of the cameo you ruined for ALOT of people who tore you a new asshole for in anchorman 2/???
+3
2:10PM on 07/31/2014

Just came back from watching it (UK)...

I'd raise it to a 10, easily! I never thought it'd even TOUCH my favorite Marvel film (The Winter Soldier), but for me, this has been the best movie / cinema experience Marvel has ever given me, and the best I've seen in a cinema for a loooooong time. Do yourselves a favor and grab tickets for it ASAP!
I'd raise it to a 10, easily! I never thought it'd even TOUCH my favorite Marvel film (The Winter Soldier), but for me, this has been the best movie / cinema experience Marvel has ever given me, and the best I've seen in a cinema for a loooooong time. Do yourselves a favor and grab tickets for it ASAP!
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-7
1:53PM on 07/31/2014

So...If it's Marvel Studios is an automatic 9 review on Joblo??? Trust in reviews is missing

I knew you would give it this review a 9 rating months ago. No surprise here when it comes to the reviews of Marvel Studio films, or anything Avenger related.
Could the critics at Joblo leave their comic book boner at the theater entrance and actually give a proper critique of a Marvel Studio film? All I ever read is fun, exciting, good, sweet, and this makes a film a 9? How about a critic who actually knows what makes a film great, good, and bad write these reviews?

I thought 9's were
I knew you would give it this review a 9 rating months ago. No surprise here when it comes to the reviews of Marvel Studio films, or anything Avenger related.
Could the critics at Joblo leave their comic book boner at the theater entrance and actually give a proper critique of a Marvel Studio film? All I ever read is fun, exciting, good, sweet, and this makes a film a 9? How about a critic who actually knows what makes a film great, good, and bad write these reviews?

I thought 9's were meant for "Great" movies. 10's go with "The Best Film(s) of the Year/ Film Classic". This reviews says it's fun, entertaining, funny, good acting, and that's a 9? The same was said about Winter Solider and I was disappointed with the crappy and unnecessary shaky camera and quick edits littering the entire film. Along with the major lacking of the Winter Soldier in the film.

I'm sure this film will be entertaining and fun. Have not seen Guardians yet, but when the critics here hand out 9's, like they were dollar bills going to a stripper, to most of the constantly rushed Marvel Studio films, I don't trust the critics here to know what makes a film an actual "great" film.
Eric, you said with your review of Winter Soldier, "Outstanding entertainment; every summer movie this year - hell, next year too - has been put on notice" No EricÖ..your officially on notice.
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2:10PM on 07/31/2014
"Have not seen Guardians yet." So this is preemptive whining based on your obsessing over the subjective reviewers at an admittedly low-brow move fan site.

Instead of belly-aching, or sublimating some frustration that your own reviews aren't gracing this site - why not go to one of the many web sites that have reviews that are more carefully constructed?
"Have not seen Guardians yet." So this is preemptive whining based on your obsessing over the subjective reviewers at an admittedly low-brow move fan site.

Instead of belly-aching, or sublimating some frustration that your own reviews aren't gracing this site - why not go to one of the many web sites that have reviews that are more carefully constructed?
2:46PM on 07/31/2014
Dude, Chris gave it a high score and he's a bit of a film snob, so in your butt.
Dude, Chris gave it a high score and he's a bit of a film snob, so in your butt.
3:42PM on 07/31/2014
It's Eric Walkuski, actually. Says so right at the top.
It's Eric Walkuski, actually. Says so right at the top.
10:58PM on 07/31/2014
You should of re-read your post before you hit the Submit button, because you sound like an asshole.
You should of re-read your post before you hit the Submit button, because you sound like an asshole.
1:00AM on 08/01/2014
Chris did too. Video reviews. And the score on rotten tomatoes... A 9/10 sounds right. Frankly I'm surprised it wasn't 10/10 he literally said nothing bad about it
Chris did too. Video reviews. And the score on rotten tomatoes... A 9/10 sounds right. Frankly I'm surprised it wasn't 10/10 he literally said nothing bad about it
1:32PM on 07/31/2014
Sounds as good if not better than I expected. The fact that this is a few degrees and a couple of solar systems removed from the rest of the Marvel franchise, and it's got an insanely great cast and James Gunn at the helm had me pumped already. Sometimes I feel like filmmakers forget to make their movies fun, as well as exciting. So when a movie comes along that promises to give me a good time, I take notice.
Sounds as good if not better than I expected. The fact that this is a few degrees and a couple of solar systems removed from the rest of the Marvel franchise, and it's got an insanely great cast and James Gunn at the helm had me pumped already. Sometimes I feel like filmmakers forget to make their movies fun, as well as exciting. So when a movie comes along that promises to give me a good time, I take notice.
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1:29PM on 07/31/2014
It`s weird because when Cap America arrives it was like "the best comic book movie ever", then X-Men comes (sorry Spidey, no one cares about u) and it was also the "best movie of the year, the best comic....", then 2 weeks ago Caesar was the best of the best, but now Guardians is "the best movie of the summer". Ok, this is a great year apparently... but last year Iron Man 3 (9), The Wolverine (8) and MoS (7 and 9) were also part of a great year in the genre, and now there are a lot of people
It`s weird because when Cap America arrives it was like "the best comic book movie ever", then X-Men comes (sorry Spidey, no one cares about u) and it was also the "best movie of the year, the best comic....", then 2 weeks ago Caesar was the best of the best, but now Guardians is "the best movie of the summer". Ok, this is a great year apparently... but last year Iron Man 3 (9), The Wolverine (8) and MoS (7 and 9) were also part of a great year in the genre, and now there are a lot of people here destroying them. Sorry, but I think joblo's reviews are a little hyped. Maybe we need re reviews some weeks after lol
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4:40AM on 08/01/2014
It seems you are not alone in thinking this way. The review number rating system has become pretty predictable. Though I do think this deserves the rating it got, we need a Simon Cowell in here to get everyone pissed off, Sir Joblo send me a message if you want some examples of what I mean, I don't like what most people like and I don't read other reviews anymore (this site excluded and the quality is getting worse) but I won't point out a problem without offering a solution.

With that said,
It seems you are not alone in thinking this way. The review number rating system has become pretty predictable. Though I do think this deserves the rating it got, we need a Simon Cowell in here to get everyone pissed off, Sir Joblo send me a message if you want some examples of what I mean, I don't like what most people like and I don't read other reviews anymore (this site excluded and the quality is getting worse) but I won't point out a problem without offering a solution.

With that said, do go see this movie, it is a truly great and fun movie.
9:04AM on 08/01/2014
Sure, I`m usually ok with this sites reviews, I loved Cap.America, X-Men and Apes, and also they were right with Godzilla not being so good, and the horrible N4S. Of course I will see this one. Anyway it`s kind of funny that every week we got a new "best movie of the summer" or year.
Sure, I`m usually ok with this sites reviews, I loved Cap.America, X-Men and Apes, and also they were right with Godzilla not being so good, and the horrible N4S. Of course I will see this one. Anyway it`s kind of funny that every week we got a new "best movie of the summer" or year.
1:02PM on 07/31/2014
Wow. Great review. I think this may just become my personal favorite Marvel film thus far and surpassing Avengers, Winter Soldier, and Iron Man 1.

Can't wait.
Wow. Great review. I think this may just become my personal favorite Marvel film thus far and surpassing Avengers, Winter Soldier, and Iron Man 1.

Can't wait.
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1:11PM on 07/31/2014
lol weren't you preaching that this would just be a fun timeand not touch Cap2 or Avengers? Didnt you also preach Ronan the Accuser as the most intimidating marvel villain ever? lmao guy!!
lol weren't you preaching that this would just be a fun timeand not touch Cap2 or Avengers? Didnt you also preach Ronan the Accuser as the most intimidating marvel villain ever? lmao guy!!
1:55PM on 07/31/2014
I'll give you that. It's just that I was hyped when writing that post. I'm sure it'll be in my top five of Marvel films, but I don't think it will surpass the greatness that was Winter Soldier.
I'll give you that. It's just that I was hyped when writing that post. I'm sure it'll be in my top five of Marvel films, but I don't think it will surpass the greatness that was Winter Soldier.
1:56PM on 07/31/2014
Whoa whoa whoa, put your guns away Tex. Instead on eagerly wanting this film to be the boner movie of the summer, how about you see the film first then decide.
Whoa whoa whoa, put your guns away Tex. Instead on eagerly wanting this film to be the boner movie of the summer, how about you see the film first then decide.
4:01PM on 07/31/2014
it's soloist, he's got his boner/mind made up about every movie before he even sees it.
it's soloist, he's got his boner/mind made up about every movie before he even sees it.
12:44PM on 07/31/2014

Awesome to her its great!

But why didn't you mention Karen Gillian in your review?
But why didn't you mention Karen Gillian in your review?
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12:35PM on 07/31/2014
I've got my ticket, and I'm ready for action!
I've got my ticket, and I'm ready for action!
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12:32PM on 07/31/2014

Thanks for the great review

I'd heard this was going to be good, but not this good. I foresee a date night movie coming up *puts babysitter on speed-dial.*
I'd heard this was going to be good, but not this good. I foresee a date night movie coming up *puts babysitter on speed-dial.*
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11:43AM on 07/31/2014
Movie aside, opinions aside, my compliments to the reviewer. One of the best written movie reviews I have ever read. Well done sir, well done.
Movie aside, opinions aside, my compliments to the reviewer. One of the best written movie reviews I have ever read. Well done sir, well done.
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11:40AM on 07/31/2014
I just can't wait to see this movie. It feels like this generation's Star Wars.
I just can't wait to see this movie. It feels like this generation's Star Wars.
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3:02PM on 07/31/2014
That may sound like hyperbole to some but I am inclined to agree!
That may sound like hyperbole to some but I am inclined to agree!
7:22PM on 07/31/2014
Hehe, thanks, man.
Hehe, thanks, man.
11:39AM on 07/31/2014
Wow.

I already wonder when it will be Marvel/Disney instead of Disney/Marvel. :)
Wow.

I already wonder when it will be Marvel/Disney instead of Disney/Marvel. :)
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+1
11:36AM on 07/31/2014
I'm trying to keep my expectations a little low. Huge x fan, comics, TV show, some movies, loved the idea of DOFP (with first class and old trilogy). Everyone says it's great. I assume I'm gonna love it. Was not a fan. Similar situation here, but I'm thinking it's gonna be fine
I'm trying to keep my expectations a little low. Huge x fan, comics, TV show, some movies, loved the idea of DOFP (with first class and old trilogy). Everyone says it's great. I assume I'm gonna love it. Was not a fan. Similar situation here, but I'm thinking it's gonna be fine
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