Month: August 2014

Fresher’s Week is Almost Here – So Learn How to Survive It!

Whoo, where have I been? Fighting dragons? Saving princesses? Jail in Mexico? We may never know.

What we do know is that the new University semesters are about to start! So we’ve building up a collection this week of advice for those of you just beginning in your university, and it’s my turn to tell you how to deal with your first week or two.

Let’s begin at the natural starting point – moving in. Everyone is reluctant to leave home, even when you’re super-eager for something new. It’s a radical change, and that is just plain scary. But you want to move in as early as you can and get unpacked, or you’re going to find yourself working around a bunch of other people moving in at the same time! Busy move-in days are very high-stress and do little to put you into that comfort-zone that you want to find as soon as possible in your new surroundings. When you are unpacking, keep the door of your room open; it’s an invitation for people to look in, to know you’re there and to come meet you, the easiest way to start to talking to your new flatmates. Otherwise, make sure you do introduce yourself to them! You’re going to be living with these people for at least a year, so get to know them, make them feel welcome and they’ll do the same for you.

Unpacking fairly quickly can be another point of stress if you worry too much over it, but it also gets you settled into a place that you want to make feel like home. So get your books and your knick-knacks and posters out and on display, and make your room start to feel like yours.

Now, some things that you’re going to want to get:

  • Medicines! Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are your friend. Get some cold and flu meds, too. Fresher’s Flu does exist and it will find you.

  • Vitamins. With lots of students packed together in one place, colds and stuff are going to spread pretty quickly. To build up your immune system, stock up on any vitamins you lack, or multivitamins if you want a well-rounded intake. They’re also helpful in regards to giving you what a usually less-than-healthy student diet will lack.

  • Earplugs are something to consider, as you never know what your neighbours next door, above or below you are going to be like when it comes to TV, music or even stomping around at 4am. Make sure that alarm is loud enough to get through them though!

Now onto the freshers’ fairs. All Unis will have them to help welcome their new students, and they’re a fantastic way to meet people and get acclimatised to what’s going on around you. Attend as many events as you can, experience all those new things. When it comes to joining clubs and societies, just sign right up to any that even remotely catch your interest – sure, you may not attend them or keep an interest for very long, but the thing is, you are never again going to get the chance to partake in these events and hobbies as cheaply and regularly as you can now. Try everything! It’s a fresh start, after all.

Grab a timetable of everything going on and make plans with your flatmates or people you’ve met already from checking out events. Remember, the fair’s events aren’t just for you as an individual; they’re also great for bonding with others, and they also usually take place all around the campus so you’ll get to know the layout pretty quickly (speaking of which, check out your campus library before you buy any of your books on your reading list, as sometimes they’re already there for you to check out for free, or even to buy second-hand). Most importantly, if you’re a freeloader like myself, get all that free stuff! Keychains, cards, vouchers, lanyards, books, posters – there is so damn much on offer to you. Snag it. Snag it all.

You’ll probably want to do some exploring outside of your campus and the fresher fairs, too. So buddy-up, and get out there. Go on a bar crawl, one or two drinks per pub. Check out the places to eat, and the best take-outs. Find a great burger joint, because sometimes you just need a really good cheeseburger (or veggieburger) and there’s only so much McDonald’s a person can stand, y’know?

When it comes to shopping standards, I’d say dump ’em. Find the nearest Aldi, the cheapest places. They food there cooks just as well as anywhere else. Also try to get an idea of bus routes and prices if you want to do some exploring further afield, and check out the taxi services too. Sometimes the university has specially recommended ones.

Absolutely the most important thing, aside from having fun, is to stay safe. Don’t wander off into places you aren’t familiar with alone, and stick to groups of at least three if you are wandering. Drink as responsibly as a student can be expected to. Don’t ruin the fun with things that can easily be avoided with a little sense.

And finally, it’s okay to be homesick. It’s okay to cry and be scared, because everyone is in that same position. Phone your parents and friends, keep in contact with home, never feel that you’re alone.

You’re going to be fine.

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– Meg

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Cooking and food shopping. Tips for worrying students.

Everyone needs to eat. Im guessing that if you’re reading this you’re probably pretty familiar with eating, what some of you may not be as familiar with is cooking. Now don’t panic, I am here to give you a quick run through of not only some cooking tips that will (hopefully) change your life but also a few tips for eating on a budget.

 

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First things first, what should you eat? Now this part is entirely up to you and I don’t really have time to go through the recipes for every dish every conjured up so instead im going to leave this entire bit to you and your imagination. What I will do though is say that planning your meals for the week in advance can save you a lot of un needed stress. It also allows you to know exactly what to buy when you go shopping  so that you don’t end up spending precious money on unnecessary items. You don’t have to follow the week plan exactly but It doesn’t hurt to think forward a little bit.

Speaking of shopping, here are a few tips:

1) Give yourself plenty of time, there is no point in rushing around the shop trying to get a full weeks shop, you will end up either panic buying or forgetting essential things.

2) Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Trust me on this one your wallet will thank you, shopping on a full stomach allows you to focus on exactly what you need and not get distracted by all the foods that you want in the moment.

3) Be sure to shop around. Different super markets will have different offers and prices so it never hurts to alternate between a few so that you make sure you get the best price.

4) Make sure you know how much fridge and freezer space you have before you shop. There is nothing worse than returning home with bags of shopping to find that you don’t actually have the room.

 

Now to the crux of the issue. Actually cooking. Cooking isn’t something to fear or shy away from, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make yourself tasty dishes and no one is going to judge you if you occasionally fuck up. The key with cooking is preparation, figure out what the best order is to chop/dice/cut your food and then the best order to cook it. For instance; Making Spaghetti Bolognese  always do the pasta last (It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised) otherwise you end up with burnt pasta as it take the least amount of time to cook. Moving on from actually cooking and eating your food always be sure to clean up after yourself, not just because it will keep your house mates happy but the longer you leave food on a plate/pan etc. the harder it becomes to clean.

To finish off this article I decided I would share with you a few of my favourite cooking tips as well as one or two recipes.

1) When boiling a pan, if you place a wooden spoon over the top it will prevent it from boiling over

2) Quick poached eggs. Boil a pan. Line a cup with cling film and crack in an egg, fold the cling film around and tie it at the end so it looks like a funny egg water balloon. Boil the egginbag for 2-3 mins (make sure water is bubbling). Remove from water and undo the cling film and you’ll have yourself a poached egg. (for a different take, whisk the eggs with a little ham and cheese before placing im cling film to make omelette balls).

3) Making burgers is easy and can be cheaper than buying from a supermarket. Combine a packet of mince(only get lean as a last resort, the fat will hold the burghers together), breadcrumbs (rub a slice of bread between your hands, 2 slices should be enough), an egg and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix with your hands and form into patties. Should make 8 large burger or 12-14 smaller. Can be frozen. (For added taste add diced onion or anything of your choosing really, I once made a cheese and pickle burger.)

4) Running an onion under a tap before chopping it will prevent it from making you cry.

5) Easy scrambled egg. Combine 2 eggs, a dash of milk(optional) and salt and pepper in a jug and microwave for 3 minutes. Once done remove with a fork while fluffing it and you’ve got yourself scrambled egg.

6) To measure out rice use the method; One mug = One person.

7) For a quick pasta dish; boil water with a bit of salt (and oil if you are so inclined). Then add a handful of pasta (2 hands if you’re really hungry) boil for around 5-10 mins or until the pasta is at the right consistency (a bit soft). Drain and place in a pre heated pan. Mix in a tin of tomatoes, some pepper and a tin of tuna. Stir occasionally for another 5 mins and serve. (For an added treat if you have the time, you can place the dish in a glass tray sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 10 mins for a great pasta bake)

 

Anyway I hope you found this helpful and remember don’t fear cooking, It can save you money and be rather fun. Thanks for reading!

 

-Joe

First Year tips – Making Friends!

When you’re just starting university, there’s a lot of pressure to impress people and come across in a certain way. You’re worried about people liking you, worried about getting along with your flatmates – you’re just worried in general (trust me, I’ve been there!).

But, what I discovered in the first few days is that uni is not like high school – people don’t care about what music you’re into or what books you like or what you wear; basically, if you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice right back to you. So just be yourself – don’t try to don a false persona, you don’t need a gimmick or a façade to make people like you. Just relax and be friendly, and things will seem a lot less scary once you see that everyone else is in the same boat as you.

Actually, that’s another good thing to try and remember in your first few weeks – while I know you may be pretty scared about everything, guess what? So is everyone else. Just like you, everyone else has moved away from home into an unfamiliar environment full of new people, and they all want to feel secure in their new surroundings.

So don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with your peers, even if it’s just saying hi to the girl sitting across from you in class. Little things like that can go a long way, and you may find yourself becoming close friends with someone thanks to something as simple as a wave and a smile.

That’s all for this segment today, so until next time I shall bid you all adieu, and good luck!

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~Steph.

Also, here are links to some of my reviews for any of you who enjoyed this little column and might like to read more of my previous work:

http://picklepantsreviews.com/2014/04/10/skins-a-review/

http://picklepantsreviews.com/2014/04/24/the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-novel-review/

http://picklepantsreviews.com/2014/03/27/orphan-black-a-review/

 

A Student and Their Cash- A Tale of Love, Passion, and Overdraft Management

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You may come learn many new things as you delve into student life. You’ll enjoy experimental cooking, memorable nights out and (if you’re lucky) shared gazes with another across the dance floor featuring a mixture of hunger, thirst, youthful alienation and passive aggressive sexual tension. All of these are deeply thrilling and enjoyable experiences. However almost all come at a price. That price is money.

 

Keeping and making good cheddar as a student isn’t just a necessity, as you work your way through the year you’ll come to realise it as more of a challenge, or at its best, an art form. For more money means more nights out, and more nights out means more fun, and who the hell is going to argue with fun? It is therefore essential to garner as much advice as you possibly can on cash when moving to uni. So what follows are a few of my own personal tips that I have learnt either the hard way from being bloody stupid, or from treading carefully throughout my first year.

 

At university it is always a sound idea to grab as many membership cards as one can stuff into one’s pocket (or negligee if it takes your fancy.) These cards grant you money off items in big chain stores such as “Next” and “Robert Dyas.” The card I found to be the biggest saver is the student NUS card. Not only does it grant discounts in stores, but it can also grant you discounted tickets to some of the latest gigs at your own university. Another recommended organisation to sign up to is “Student Beans”. It can all be done online and I personally managed to reap some of the benefits of their many vouchers and deals. The biggest find was a discounted student railcard. The rail card Is another absolute must, as it can save you up to a third on rail travel- It makes a great excuse to travel the country.

 

Another top tip is (where possible) buy from local street markets. Fruit and veg off these stalls is not only good quality but can be far cheaper than stores like Sainsbury’s and M&S. If you can try and buy from the vendor towards the end of the day when they close up. Some of them do special deals, as they don’t want to take their wares back home. It also doesn’t hurt to visit “Poundland” where Mcvities goldbars are not only plentiful, they’re cheap.

 

“Whilst it’s all fair and good to save money, what about making it?” I hear you cry. It may not come as a surprise to you, but unless your name begins with “Sheik” or you’re the heir to a billionaire oil baron family, you’ll need a job at uni. That tip is fairly obvious and nothing new, however what people probably don’t tell you is that it is advisable to job hunt as soon as possible. Upon moving in and arriving at your sparkly new world of further education, by all means take a week or two to settle in. But remember that it never hurts to get ahead of the game and grab a small job to keep the wonga rolling in. Leaving it late in the year can lead to a nightmare, as you have to fight your peers for dwindling job vacancies. Remember, at the beginning of a new year shops and pubs are crying out for new employees as their previous 3rd year lot have left university, and thus their jobs. Before you stands a plethora of jobs, but hurry whilst the plethora still lasts!

 

 

Rise Of The Guardians – a review

guardians_payoff_poster2284_mb_final_v2wip9-online-trimWhile I vaguely remember seeing the trailer for this movie when it was released back in 2012, I didn’t pay much attention to it, for some reason unbeknownst to me. At the time, I was preoccupied with movies that had received more attention and were thus more anticipated and well-known; but, after watching Rise of the Guardians a couple of weeks ago, I am astonished as to how this movie has stayed under the radar for so long.

Released by Dreamworks, the film opens by introducing us to a young man with crystal white hair – his name is Jack Frost. This immediately grabbed my attention during the first few minutes, because it was an entirely different take on any other Jack Frost story that I had seen or heard of during my childhood. We soon learn that Jack has no memory of who he is and where he came from – only that he has powers conducive with winter time. We see Jack cavorting with the children in the village where he resides, producing flurries of snow and starting raucous snowball fights – but then, we make a sad discovery; the children do not believe in Jack like they believe in other fantastical beings, and so they cannot see him or realise that he is creating all of the wintery fun around them. He is all alone in the world and he doesn’t even know why he has been put there.

But then, three hundred years later, something happens – there is an emergency at the North Pole, and it is here that we meet… The Guardians. Santa Claus, more commonly known as ‘North’, has summoned the help of his fellow Guardians (Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Sandman) because a terrible evil is threatening the children of the world – Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, has made a catastrophic return, and has vowed to rid the world of all hope and joy so that he can once again rule with his reign of terror and nightmares. But the Guardians are hell-bent on stopping him, and so they assemble at the North Pole to devise a plan. However, their meeting is interrupted when North learns that there is to be a new Guardian in their midst – and this new recruit turns out to be none other than Jack Frost.

So, with Jack following (somewhat reluctantly), the Guardians set off to find Pitch and stop him before it’s too late. After a number of near-successes, the Guardians almost lose all hope when Pitch seems too powerful to defeat – but, with the help of some of Jack’s young friends from the village, they finally defeat Pitch, bringing sweet dreams and happiness to the children of the world once more.

Now, before you dismiss this movie for seeming childish, let me assure you – sometimes there is nothing better than losing ourselves to the memory of being young and immersing ourselves in that glorious feeling of unwavering belief and wonder. Watching this movie definitely brought out my inner child, and it was just wonderful to feel that lost sense of awe while marvelling at the sheer joy that this movie brings. Not only is the movie fantastic, but I just need to take a moment to talk about the animation – being a Dreamworks movie, I expected it to be great, but wow. The cinematography is without a doubt some of the most beautiful work I have ever seen; with vivid colours and such vibrant and visually dynamic characters, this film impresses in every area. The music, too, is fantastic – with a score that sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes, it is definitely a soundtrack to be revered.

All I’m saying is, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I really really really think you should sit down and watch it. And if all of this gushing hasn’t convinced you, then consider this – Hugh Jackman is the voice of the very sarcastic, very grumpy, and very Australian Easter Bunny, and if that isn’t enough to persuade you to give this movie a try, then I don’t know what is.

5/5 – I haven’t cried that much watching a movie since the final Harry Potter film. And I cried a LOT for that one.

~Steph.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle – a review

the_hand_that_rocks_the_cradleReleased in 1992, this is not a movie which many of my peers may have heard of before now, much like my sister and I hadn’t. My dad, however, has been raving about it for years now, so my sister and I sat down to watch it with him a few nights ago, and let me say, this film is not for the faint-hearted.

Set in your typical suburban neighbourhood, the film opens like many others – we meet Mr and Mrs Bartel, a middle-class family with an adorable six-year-old daughter, Emma, with another baby on the way. But it soon becomes apparent that this is not going to be your run-of-the-mill happy-go-lucky romcom; during a routine check-up with her gynaecologist, Claire Bartel (the mother) suspects the doctor, Mr Mott, of being a little too hands-on during her session. We, as the audience, actually see him molest her (although I got the creeps as soon as he appeared on screen, and his awful act only reinforced my earlier suspicions about him), and this scene fuels the first of many emotions that I’m sure will sparks within the viewers of this film as it goes on.

As soon as her check-up is over, Claire races home in tears to tell her husband what happened. Going on a slight tangent, I find that it is utterly refreshing to see him believe her without a moment’s hesitation – too many people these days are sceptical when they hear something like this, but he accepts her story without question and immediately informs the police. Soon after, the story breaks on local news, announcing that since Mrs Bartel’s confession, a further four ladies have come forward and have also admitted to being sexually abused by Dr Mott. All of this then seems to become too much for the doctor, who is being harassed by the press and faces a major punishment for his crimes, for he then takes his own life.

In a shocking turn of events, we then discover that he was in fact part of a family – composed of his wife, who we meet shortly after, and their unborn baby. Sadly, Mrs Mott has an accident very soon after her husband’s death, and she loses her baby. Left with no one, she seeks out the person that she blames for her life falling apart – Mrs Bartel, who she sees as the cause of her husband’s suicide, and, in turn, the loss of her baby.

And this is where the film gets really intense.

Six months after the death of Mr Mott, a woman turns up at the Bartel residence, enquiring about their nanny position. She introduces herself as Peyton Flanders – but we immediately recognise her as none other than Mrs Mott. Armed with a vengeance and a yearning for the family that she believes was taken from her by Claire Bartel, she soon sets a plan in motion, with disastrous consequences for all who stand in her way.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything else for you – trust me, I want you all to watch this movie with fresh eyes so you can experience the same feelings of devastation and frustration and upset that comes with watching it.

But, I will take a moment to talk about this film in its entirety, not just the story it tells. The film itself is brilliantly executed – it encompasses the importance of vital shots that may be a clue to an upcoming event, but it implements these in a way that is subtle and sometimes barely even noticeable, if you’re not paying attention. Also, the entire feel of the movie is utterly gripping – it is enthralling and terrifying all at the same time, and it fully embraces that time-old dilemma of “I can’t look, and yet I can’t look away.” With tense moments that grow into scenes of utter panic and anger, this film is definitely one for the books, and the musical score just adds to its brilliance.

The cast, too, is an excellent facet – in particular, Solomon, a mentally handicapped man who starts work in the garden for the Bartel’s and soon befriends their young daughter, is a wonderful character and it is impossible not to fall in love with him and his gentle nature.

All in all, this film is just spectacular, although I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it again for a little while, for it’ll take me some time to recover from the tidal wave of emotions it evoked in me. I will say, however, that the film does ultimately end on a happy note, so don’t let my rambling dissuade you from giving it a watch.

5/5 – You should definitely have a Disney film ready to lighten the mood once you’re done with this rollercoaster of a production.

~Steph.

Ready Player One Review- Ernest Cline

“A cross between matrix and Time Bandits that makes Ernest Cline’s sci-fi debut a provocative read.”

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Some argue that today we live on little more than borrowed time, as day by day we use up more of earth’s dwindling natural resources. Such a view brings with it a view of future years being ridden with poverty, pollution and social depression. It seems that in Ernest Clines novel “Ready Player One” that view is now a reality.

The novel is technically set in two places. The first is in a dystopian future not too far from our present day. Poverty and pollution is a rife on the planet, and those who manage to survive amongst the starvation and filth usually end up killed in one of the many wars or terrorist attacks. The second is a sprawling alternate virtual reality named “OASIS.” Accessed through the use of virtual headsets and computers, the OASIS is a magnificent utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live, play and fall in love on any of the tens of thousand planets. It comes as no surprise that most of humanity uses the OASIS as a means of solace from the dismal reality around them.

Amongst these two settings lies the novel’s main protagonist Wade Watts, a rather nerdy teenager living in the squalor amongst the slums of America. Everyday he jacks into the world of OASIS under the name “Parzival” and looses himself in the virtual adventure from dawn till dusk.

The opening of the book doesn’t dither in pleasantries, immediately opening with the death of the billionaire inventor of OASIS James Halliday. With no heir to inherit the massive billion-dollar empire, Halliday prior to his death, decided to conceal within the vast labyrinth of the OASIS an Easter egg. Soon after the televised announcement of his death, riddles created by Halliday were released to give players clues as to where the egg may be hidden. The first player to find the egg wins not only complete control of the OASIS, but also the entire of Halliday’s 240 billion dollar fortune. For years people have obsessively searched the OASIS, including Wade.

Not too far into the book, Wade deciphers the first riddle and discovers the first key needed to find the egg. This inadvertently makes him a worldwide sensation and suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors and corporations. They not only pose a threat to Wade in the OASIS, but also in the real world as they try to kill him before he discovers Halliday’s egg. The continuous transition between reality and fiction works well throughout the novel. It keeps you engaged by the fact that for Wade, the billion dollar contest presents a clear and present danger for him in real life as he gets ever closer to finding the egg.

As each riddle is deciphered it soon becomes apparent that Halliday’s love of the 80s has been the basis for each challenge in the contest. Any fan of classic video games, the 80s, and Monty Python flicks can’t help but smile at this point. As Wade approaches each challenge, the obstacles are littered with 80s references, brandishing its styles, music and great films of the era (such a the famous War Games film starring Matthew Broderick.) Targeting such an era plays to both the novels strengths and its weakness. If you are a fan of classic video games, and the 80s era, then this novel will serve as a superb blast from the past. However if you’re more of a reader that prefers to live in the new and now, then it is likely that you will struggle to connect with the story and its abundance of 80s references.

Along the way numerous characters are introduced in the OASIS such as Wade’s best friend “Aeich” who (like Wade) has become an obsessive hunter for Halliday’s egg. The book even goes as far as to give Wade a sci-fi VR love interest named “Art3mis.” Whether it be the brash banter between Aeich and Wade or virtual femme fetale of Art3mis, they add depth to the novel and serve as a soundboard for vital information pertaining to Halliday’s contest. Along with the friends accompanying Wade through the story, a villainous organisation known as IOI serve as the main antagonist. They systematically kill anyone who comes close to finding the egg. It isn’t before long that they turn their attention to Wade and his friends.

On the whole the novel is clearly written, well structured and builds to great intensity as you read your way to the concluding climax of the book. Along the way it poses interesting questions as to whether technology is really benefitting humanity, as well as presenting thought provoking ethical dilemmas throughout. However, given the interesting and complex nature of the story the actual style of writing is simple, perhaps too simple. Its style most certainly isn’t as abstract and complex as a Palahniuk novel. At times Cline leans a little too much into telling instead of showing. This issue is particularly prevalent when the novel delves into the real world away from the OASIS. It takes a very linear structure of “I did this, then I did this and then I did that.” This almost wordy listing of actions can in areas become exhaustive and dull when in reality it should be fast paced and engaging.

Verdict

The book has some issues of show and tell and being a bit specialist with its 80s interest in places, however the originality and fantastic Matrix-esque sci-fi story makes it an entertaining novel for any budding geek or gamer.

Luke H

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Review- Not A Disney Castle In Sight!

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Hey everyone! doing my review a little early this week as for once I am prepared. I know right! bet you’re glad you were sitting down for that bombshell. Anyhoo If you haven’t guessed by the title (Then I’m seriously worried about you. Get some help.) this is a review about the latest Marvel film Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Now I’m a big comic fan boy and even I was surprised when Marvel announced that this film was going to be made especially when there are many other, much more popular, characters just waiting in the wings, *cough* Deadpool *cough*, but the more that emerged about this film the more I started to get really excited. The film looked like it was taking the Marvel universe to new plains and was going to open the gates to all the Sci-Fi story lines and characters Marvel has in its locker. The cast choices, while at first left me confused, were fantastic and after seeing trailer footage I was ready to see what was in store. Then I remembered Disney owned Marvel and I cried a little inside. Yes Avengers was epic and set the standard for the genre but since that first outing I have to be honest Marvel films have been a little hit and miss for me. Cap’ America 2 was decent, nothing to shout from the roof tops but stood its ground well, Thor 2 was a little meh but then again so was the first and Iron Man 3 was like watching a child fail at sport while their overly aggressive parent shouts at them to keep going. I was apprehensive.

Now this movie puts all those others to shame. After the little BSA ticket it’s just like BAM! right into the film. No logos or nothing. After a short set up the Marvel logo flashes and the film carries on and introduces the main character, his name’s Peter Quill(Chris Pratt) by the way, all the while doing the obligatory opening credits of who worked on the film. Luckily they don’t stop what’s going on and shove it in your face who made this movie, instead they put the names in corners and at the bottom of the screen to leave you to enjoy what you’ve paid to see. Now this may seem small but I feel like it sets the tone for a film. It says “Hey! We ain’t fucking around with your fancy pantsy ego boosting shit! We’re here to entertain you so you’re gunna need to pay attention from the get go! Capiche?” and I love it.

Now this is a spoiler free review so I won’t tell you any story specifics but this movie actually has a rather good one. The story is neat and tight and constructed rather well. You’re given enough information that it’s easy to follow but not so much that it becomes overly predictable (granted there are a few clichés dotted here and there but they’re forgivable). The ending to a lot of comic films I feel are where they get let down the most with the majority not having the satisfying feeling that films should have, in particular with final/boss battles. This film, and this is just my opinion, doesn’t suffer from this at all. The finale is just as epic as it should be and the ending is incredibly satisfying! Oh and for all of you that are reading this wanting to know the after credit sequence all I will say is that Guardians takes to the comic book trope like a duck to water.

The acting is some of the best I have seen in a comic book movie and every character feels real and really brought to life. I was most apprehensive about the WWE wrestler Dave Bautista being cast as Drax as wrestlers haven’t exactly made the best actors but He does incredibly well in the role and, other than the fact his arms are the size of my head, you wouldn’t have guessed that acting (don’t start with that wrestling is basically acting crap) wasn’t his first profession. Vin Diesel does incredibly well in the role of Groot with, and this isn’t sarcastic, some well delivered subtle voice acting. Same goes for Bradley Cooper as Rocket(Racoon). Zoe Saldana shows us again that she’s a fantastic actress in her role as Gamora . And not forgetting Chris Pratt who brings it all together in with a performance of the highest calibre.

gaurdians

A lot of the time during this film I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching this generations Star Wars. God I’m going to get slaughtered for that comparison but its honestly true. The epic scale of everything and the level of detail in the different races and species that feature was very reminiscent of episode 4-6. It has the same strange charm about it as well. The film did something that most films of this genre can and that’s fill the viewer with that sense of wide eyed wonder. Sure super hero films do that for kids but kids get that same sense when they discover that the light in the fridge turns off when the door shuts. I’m talking about that feeling in Adults. Honestly try and think back to the last film that left you with the feeling of amazement. I have to go pretty far back. That makes me sad. The visuals were just brilliant especially(and I can’t believe Im saying this) in 3D. Yeah, really. It genuinely does add a depth to a lot of the action and sequences and there were a few moments where I was just like “3d was made for this kind of shit!”. The CGI was some of the better ones that I’ve seen and the mixture of practical props and CGI really work well.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Is quite possibly my favourite Marvel film to date and is definitely worth the price of a ticket to go and watch. I would give it a solid 8.5/10. It really does entertain but it still can’t shake the knowledge that you’re watching a good comic book movie not just a good movie and for that reason I can’t score it a 9. So very close though.

Oh and the soundtrack is fucking awesome!

 

Thanks for reading!

-Joe