Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, we have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finishing up its victory lap for James Gunn and Marvel. Also joining it on shelves today is a worthwhile little indie called Maggie Moore(s). For the rest? Well, you’ll just have to read on below to see for yourself…
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
I loved this conclusion to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Gunn has such a sense of these characters, it winds up feeling like one of the strongest Marvel trilogies yet. Emotional, exciting, and deeply satisfying, it’s a full meal. My rave review here included the following:
Throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no franchise has been more consistently beloved, or handled with more of a singular vision, than the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Shepherded by James Gunn, the now three movies are all big science fiction epics, to be sure, but they’re also funny tales of friendships and makeshift families. They’re more personal tales than they might initially seem on the surface, which is a part of their charm. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn has upped the ante, making for one of Marvel’s strongest flicks in some time. Brace yourself, because this isn’t just exciting and funny, it’s emotionally devastating at times, too.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is one last ride with a team you’ve grown to love. Moreover, Gunn has made this Rocket’s story, which invests you in a CGI raccoon more than you’d ever expect. To that end, it’s worth noting that there are several harrowing scenes involving animal endangerment, albeit of the computer generated variety. It’s not done in a manner that’s offensive, but if you’re an animal lover, it’s going to be intense. That’s more evidence of how Gunn gets you to identify with his characters. The agony and the ecstasy, the heartbreak and laughter, it’s all here, just sandwiched within a sci-fi sequel in the MCU.
This Tribeca Film Festival title struck my fancy, due in no small part to the pairing of Jon Hamm and John Slattery. I spoke to both of them here about the movie, and it’s clear that they love working together. It shows in this dark comedy, which works better than you might expect. In my Tribeca review here, I said the following as well:
Dark comedies, or at least films that mix comedy with very dark moments, walk an incredibly fine line. Go too far in one direction and the other element seems out of place. However, don’t pay enough attention to both and the audience might wonder why the hybrid nature is in place at all. Many attempt this, though few manage to fully succeed. John Slattery‘s Maggie Moore(s) does, though, making it a nice little surprise out of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Maggie Moore(s) shows a deft approach to tricky material. Given the plot, this easily could have been too dark or too silly. Instead, Slattery lets the noir aspects be bleak, while the humorous elements are surprisingly funny. Some of that is due to a largely comedic cast filling out this mostly serious film. However, it’s also just a strong handle on the story that the movie is telling. The early work of the Coen Brothers would be proud.
Also Available This Week
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (4K)
*No Criterion releases this week. Stay tuned for the Collection’s return next week!*