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Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' takes audiences out of this world

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'Guardians of the Galaxy'

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Although I’m not a big Marvel Comics fan, I have no problem admitting that they’ve found a successful formula for their cinematic universe and stuck by it justifiably. After testing the waters with the “Thor” movies and “Avengers,” they’ve fully committed to the genre and jumped into science fiction territory with “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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.

Director / Writer James Gunn has captured the magic of “Star Wars” and mashed it together with the Marvel Universe to give audiences an exciting experience they won’t soon forget. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is shameless sci-fi gusto with a healthy shot of humor along the way. I can’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t enjoy it.

The CGI work for “Guardians of the Galaxy” takes the viewer to so many unusual worlds and leaves you believing you’re really there. There were a few spots that took me out of the experience, but I was sucked back in almost immediately. Everyone interacted with the CGI characters and blended well with them onscreen. Chris Pratt looked like he was having a little trouble talking to an “X” in early scenes in the film, but he comes around quick enough.

The 3D for “Guardians of the Galaxy” is even well-done. There aren’t random items constantly jumping out at you off the screen. It simply and successfully used to give the picture depth, which is very rare. Most movies really don’t make good use of it or completely go overboard.

Each actor in “Guardians of the Galaxy” fully embraces the character they are portraying. You can tell they love what they’re doing onscreen and are happy to be a part of the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bradley Cooper’s voice is unrecognizable as Rocket Raccoon, but definitely shows a range many wouldn’t imagine the actor tackling. Chris Pratt is as sarcastically charming as he always is as Peter Quill / Star-Lord.

Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language. I found it interesting that through most of the film, the good guys use shock guns that knock out their enemies like a more powerful Taser. Of course people die, but it seems like the movie is steered in a certain way to make it appropriate for all ages. There are some sexual innuendos, but nothing graphic. The scene in the trailer where Zoe Saldana is taking off her shirt with her green back to the camera isn’t even in the film that I remember.

There are so many Easter eggs within “Guardians of the Galaxy” for die-hard Marvel Comics fans to look out for. I don’t want to spoil anything, but keep your eyes open for a few different treats. Chances are if you blink at any given moment, you’ll miss one of them.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is pure unadulterated sci-fi fun! Marvel has delivered their version of "Star Wars" for a new generation. It’s going to make people want more from its characters and seek out the adventures found in the comic books. I would consider it to be one of the best entries yet on the ever-growing list of Marvel movies.

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