By Dr. Zaius
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 at 10:00 am
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD | Digital HD
Written & Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 22, 2017
By 2014, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was already an unstoppable juggernaut. Still relishing in the success of 2012’s The Avengers making over $1.5 billion at the box office, the MCU took a chance on a rag tag group of not-so familiar superheroes, The Guardians of the Galaxy. For 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn (Slither) blended the perfect mixture of action and comedy, and made some of the best gambles in the history of film casting. The doofus from Parks and Recreation, a WWE wrestler, Vin Diesel to voice a walking tree who says three words”¦ this bizarre recipe generated $773 million in domestic profits and proved that the MCU was borderline infallible. Guardians just felt different from the other good, yet generic superhero outings and it remains one of the most beloved films of its genre.
So when Gunn and friends reunited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in 2017, the pressure was on. No problem! Whizzing out of space and into theaters, Vol. 2 earned over $860 million worldwide. Gunn took even more chances with the sequel, turning up the comedy, while at the same time giving each character a unique arc that required the audience to buy in emotionally and shockingly not providing a prototypical villain. The core theme of Vol. 2 was family, which makes it, yet again, one of the most unique MCU films in the collection. At the end of the runtime, our whole theater was in tears from the combination of laughing out loud really hard and legit crying. Gunn manages to take a genre that so easily falls into formula and make totally different films. It feels like we hung out with our group of crazy multi-colored, multi-species friends for a few hours, had some laughs and some cries, and then went home happy. Today, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits stores everywhere on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD (it’s also been available this month on Digital HD).
I checked out the Blu-ray Edition and the stunningly gorgeous film is presented in 1080p high definition and comes loaded with special features, including several featurettes, a gag reel (hilarious of course), deleted scenes (interesting), music videos, and more. The featurettes are bundles together, each running between 8-10 minutes and are near-impossible to turn off just because the cast and crew radiate the fun we see on screen.
“In the Director’s Chair with James Gunn” – A mini-documentary covering Gunn’s process with his actors and crew. Bottom line, if you couldn’t already tell, everyone loves each other and the crew get their sense of fun with the material from their director. We get clips from all in the main cast, best of all is Michael Rooker (Yondu) who calls Gunn the best, and best-looking director he’s ever worked with.
“Reunion Tour: The Music of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” – Part of what made the original GotG so special was Star-Lord’s awesome mix tape. Volume 2 needed to continue this, connecting to the story of an 80’s kid who used music to get through his mother’s death. Gunn and company discuss the range of choices and the role each song plays, from comedic irony, to actual storytelling, to just setting the perfect tone. They joke that the GotG house band is ’70s pop rock staple, ELO. Other hit songs in key moments were “Come a Little bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans and Fleetwood Mac’s “Chain.”
“Living Planets and Talking Trees: The VFX of Vol. 2” – With the cast familiar with audiences already, it allowed Gunn and company to really expand the universe of Guardians of the Galaxy. We get info from visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend who goes into the world building aspects. Gunn discusses writing a more beautiful film, and seriously this is one of the most colorfully stimulating films you’ll ever see. The VFX team along with Gunn describe their process and desire to make every scene look different thematically and color-wise, including the great task of making Ego, a volatile planet that changes constantly. In all, the teams succeeded in creating one of the greatest effects films in history.
“Showtime: The Cast of Vol. 2” – A really cool feature on the cast and their interactions on set. We focus on the core members of the GotG, including hearing from Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, but also get to see some of the supporting members like Karen Gillan (Nebula), Chris Sullivan (Taserface), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha), and Pom Klementieff (Mantis).
“Guardians of the Galaxy: INFERNO” – A ridiculous disco-style music video featuring members of the cast and guest-starring international superstar David Hasselhoff and a cameo by the man himself, Stan Lee.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a must-own addition to a collector’s catalogue. It is obviously important to join the MCU collection, but it stands alone as a fantastic film, a superhero movie filled with emotion and great characterizations. The cast and crew are so obviously having fun, you can’t help but join in for repeated viewings.