I honestly believe Guardians of the Galaxy would never have worked without James Gunn. I have to reluctantly admit that Joss Whedon put it the best when he said: "James [Gunn] is what makes me think it will work ... He is so off the wall, and so crazy, but so smart, such a craftsman and he builds from his heart."
The casting was fantastic. Each of the major actors fit their roles like a glove.
And it's another example of how music elevates a movie. GoG is he first MCU movie to actually have real songs (nostalgic 70's music) played throughout, setting the tone in the first 30 seconds with the melancholic I'm Not In Love by 10CC.
But what really sets this apart from all the others MCU movies before this is the mastery of the humor. I think this is the first Marvel movie that I busted my gut a bazillion times while watching. Nearly everything that comes out of Drax's mouth and so many quotable quotes it would fill up a cassette tape.
It is so apropos that James Gunn was tapped to reboot Suicide Squad. I hope his R rated version kills at the box office and makes Kevin Feige reconsider his stupid "only PG-13" for MCU movies (except Deadpool 3) rule.
"We are Groot."
MCU #9: Masterfully choreographed.
The first Russo brothers MCU movie and the thing that stands out the most to me are the fight scenes (on the ship, the elevator, the heli-pad) -- some of the most visceral brawls I've ever scene outside of a John Wick movie. Oh,and they also do car chases REALLY well.
The slightly flirtatious banter between Rogers and Natasha FINALLY teased some backstory on Black Widow, but what struck me the most is that it didn't really feel romantic for once. It felt like two very good looking people becoming friends. I think Iron Man and Thor would be better franchises without the romance.
And who woulda thought that Bucky Barnes would become such a great villain/anti-hero? He was unrecognizable as the seriously as he was seriously powered and prettied up Winter Soldier.
And the ambition. Hey, let's destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. while we're at it!
And such a great ending:
Falcon: "You're going after him."
Steve Rogers: "You don't have to go with me."
Falcon: "I know.......... When do we start"
A southern gothic tale of fate and circumstance that is utterly relentless from beginning to end.
It's hard to think of a more formidable movie villain than Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. I think I'd rather have a Terminator track me down than Javier's Chigurh so I wouldn't have to be mind-fucked before I died.
All the performances are outstanding -- Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and even Woody Harrelson.
In my many decades of existence, there are only four movies that won a Best Picture Oscar that are on my list of all-time favorites: Parasite, Silence of the Lambs, Gladiator and No country for Old men.
I suppose that could be a form of a personality or compatibility test, -- if I put it on my profile on a dating app, would I find my soul mate?
A tight atmospheric horror thriller, refreshingly based on orthodox Jewish traditions vs. the usual Christian religious tropes.
Seriously, we need more non-Catholic/Christian horror movies -- that vein has been tapped to death. It seems there is so much interesting lore in Judaism (e.g. The Golem) as well as other major religions (Hindhu, Islam, etc.) which thankfully we are starting to see (Under the Shadow, Tumbbad, etc.).
With vibes of Oculus and 1408, the fantastic score seriously elevates the movie.
I would think a common problem most new horror filmmakers have to deal with is that their movies will very likely be compared to iconic films that clearly influenced their style.
With major vibes of <i>The Witch, It Comes at Night, Twin Peaks</i> and probably others I'm forgetting, <i>Sator</i> is an atmospheric slow-burn that effectively offers creepy shots and sounds that mostly keep your interest.