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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Interstellar (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Based on the comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and directed by James Gunn. The film is initially set on Earth in 1988. Young child Peter Quill is at a hospital where his mother is dying of cancer. She dies, and Peter runs from the hospital. In a grassy area outside the hospital a spaceship appears, and he is pulled into it. The story then moves forward 26 years to the abandoned planet Morag. An older Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) lands his spaceship there, looking for something. Although based on a comic book, Guardians of the Galaxy isn't really a superhero movie. And despite lots of futuristic special effects and action sequences the film keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek. This balance of silly and serious works very well, helped by a great performance from Chris Pratt, and the supporting cast. Ultimately for me the film was very good, but just fell shy of great. Recommended for fans of science fiction who don't mind a large dash of humour. 4/5 (Good)

(**Slight spoilers below**)

Interstellar (2014). Co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film is set several decades in the future. The world's population has grown significantly and governments have had to eschew defence and other spending in deference to producing food. Ex-astronaut Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) has become one of the many farmers, despite missing his NASA days. When it becomes clear that the world's crops are suffering from a series of diseases mankind has to look to other solutions. Interstellar is certainly a big beautiful effects laden film, with some great performances, particularly from McConaughey. For me though the story felt fragile and flawed, right from the start. No explanation is given for why mankind is unable to save the diseased crops. The following section of the film up until near the end though is solid and good. But then the film ends with some hokey science that doesn't remotely live up to the likes of 2001, Contact, and similar films, and feels more like an odd episode of Dr Who. The Hans Zimmer soundtrack is good, although I did wonder if it was Philip Glass. A difficult film to rate, with this disappointment, but I'll judge it on the bulk of the story. Those who can get past the hokey science bit will inevitably enjoy it a lot more. 3/5 (Average)