Adult Peter Quill was introduced to us immersed in the one thing he cares about most: music. Years after his childhood abduction by space pirates, we see him on planet Morag, enthusiastically dancing to the throwback rhythms in his headphones. He’s there to steal an artifact from an ancient and abandoned facility because he’s a brash, self-centered and reckless thief. There’s nothing alien about him, but he’s only truly human in his appearance. Quill’s got no ties to Earth, hence the reason he’s never rushed back there. He can hop between worlds in his ship and the only reason he’d do so is to steal things. When we meet Peter Quill aka Star Lord, the two elements that define him are his criminal ways and songs from his “Awesome Mix” tape. I’ll happily take more of both, but in the meantime…
…I’ll settle for just more music. Director James Gunn did an amazing thing when he incorporated his movie’s soundtrack into a very pivotal part of his storyline. Peter has one thing to remember his late mother by, and that’s a cassette of songs she put together just for him. There’s nothing left for Quill on Earth but the saddest memory of his life – and that tape is the most treasured memory of his mother. It’s so important to him that he even risks his life to retrieve from an adversary, making it important to us as well. So coveted is this thing that over twenty years he’s managed to keep it in pretty good shape despite obviously playing the hell out of it. It’s that dedication to the only human music he’s probably ever known that makes the soundtrack so important to the movie. Clearly one of the best ideas James Gunn can have is to include another music sequence on Blu Ray, via a deleted scene.
“Here’s me and the actor Spencer Wilding who played the Mean Guard who jabs Quill in the prison with the electrical staff and gets his comeuppance to Escape (the Piña Colada Song). He also has a little container of Play-Doh. Why Play-Doh? Because I would keep a pile of little Play-Doh containers onset and if someone did an especially amazing job that day – whether it was an actor, a grip, a stunt man, or a PA – they’d get a canister of Play-Doh. I probably only gave about 40 containers out over the entire shoot – on an 85 day schedule with a crew of a couple hundred, that isn’t much. I chose Play-Doh because I love the smell of it – opening a new container and smelling it puts me in a creative, child-like place. And who doesn’t love playing with Play-Doh (I swear Play-Doh isn’t paying for this post)? Anway, Spencer got the Play-Doh for a scene where he danced through the prison listening to Quill’s Walkman (specifically, Magic by Pilot). We cut the scene for many reasons, but it was awesome and hilarious and Spence more than deserved his rarely-given Play-Doh (and, yes, before you ask me a thousand times below, it WILL be on the Blu-Ray outtakes, and no I will not tell you the release date – you can go see the movie again! It’s still out!) Have a great day (or night depending in where you are).”
This time last year, I had no idea who James Gunn was. I thought he was one of the New Age Outlaws at first. Now I consider him one of the coolest sons of bitches in movies. I love GOTG so much that I think I’m putting it over ‘The Avengers.’ I’m into ‘The Avengers’ because of nostalgia, I knew the characters, Joss Whedon is amazing, and let’s face it…it’s an incredible flick. But I didn’t know much about ‘Guardians’ before seeing Gunn’s take and now I see it as a superior story. I don’t give it better action, but yeah…much better story.
‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ is so good that its commercial appeal is even off the charts. Hipsters pride themselves on being “better connoisseurs” of music than the rest of us because they started listening to vinyl again. I bet you a million bucks that some jackass is going to try bringing back Walkmen. By the way, I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this. I invite you to play it with me. It is, without a doubt, it’s own character in that outstanding film.
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