Guardians of the Galaxy Review

This review contains spoilers so see the movie before reading this. You will not regret it.

Going into Guardians of the Galaxy I didn’t expect much. The comics were cool and had a good plot but they never stood out like Marvel groups like the X-Men and the Avengers, but this movie pulled everything together with Thanos and made me excited for the next movie.

The hype is astounding. I see ads for the movie everywhere, I see ads for Guardians costumes in every comic book I read. Guardians of the Galaxy is essentially everywhere and it knows no borders. When hype is really high some people get very hesitant to see it. I’m usually one of those people, but Marvel always gets my money at the theatres and later on Bluray. Guardians is a captivating intergalactic action adventure with humor that appeals to all generations.  Going into Guardians, I was looking forward to seeing David Bautista playing a role in a Marvel film as Drax, his acting is a lot more natural for the role than I even expected. I hope this film takes his career to new levels, as a wrestling fan of his with a signed photograph I can appreciate his net worth growth opposed to most wrestling fans that don’t like a superstar selling out. The truth is, Guardians of the Galaxy sold out… Theatres everywhere.

Rocket Racoon provided most of the adult humor as he does in the comics, but the real surprise was Groot in his spontaneous selflessness that borders on pure innocence. Star Lord is the protagonist of the films, but all the characters are quickly well established and play off each other. I bet Chris Pratt legitimately got chills like his character does when Bautista, aka Drax, pats him on the back and says “I am with you.”

Michael Rooker from Walking Dead and Mallrats plays Yondu Udonta which is a role very well suited for him as an intimidating guy with a great sense of humor once you can get past the fact that he’s blue and his teeth are messed up. By the end up the movie his character has its own arc despite being in the film for maybe 30 minutes of screen time. He ends up playing a pivotal role on several occasions, and one could argue that without Yondu, the Guardians of the Galaxy wouldn’t have come together.

From a comic book fan perspective, I was on the edge of my seat the second the plot reveals an infinity stone with Thanos working with Ronan and Nebula to obtain it from Star Lord. Meanwhile Thanos’s “favorite daughter” Gamora turns on him to join the Guardians of the Galaxy to main peace and order in the Galaxy with the infinity gem kept safe by the Nova corps. This has me excited for multiple reasons. I’m a fan of the superhero Nova despite other readers judging “I can’t believe anyone still reads Nova.” But many large storylines involve a Nova character and they’re far stronger than any Nova featured in the film. I’m curious if they will introduce him in the second Guardians of the Galaxy or in the new Avengers which also features Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch who are Magneto’s children in the comics but is subject to change in Avengers because Fox owns the rights to the X-Men.

Nova

The other thing I’m excited about for the Marvel plotline, at least in the intergalactic films (Guardians, Avengers, Fantastic Four), is to see Thanos start collecting the infinity stones to collect them all and form the Infinity Gauntlet. The Infinity Gauntlet series is my favorite Marvel series. Thanos because the all powerful ruler of the universe and has the likes of the X-Men and the Avengers teaming up with unlikely allies in Galactus, and the Beyonder. I feel the Infinity Gauntlet is at least several years away, possibly even a decade considering Guardians focused on one gem and Thanos needs to collect six gems, including the one now in the possession of the Nova corps. The series shows how evil Thanos is as he is motivated by love of Death itself. Other characters must also be established before the film may be released and Disney/Marvel needs to obtain the X-Men film rights. For fans, this means more unique heroes and villains with their own powers and when they come together it may not be as good as it seems. In the end, Thanos falls to Nebula and Nebula falls to the heroes.

Infinity Gauntlet

Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome. The hype is completely warranted. The intergalactic battles show off Disney’s ability to take things to space in anticipation of the upcoming Star Wars films. Guardians ends with a cliffhanger for the next movie and ties into the franchises already established flawlessly. I focus on plot more often than others and I saw no hiccups. The editing and visual effects are likely to be candidates for an Oscar when that time of year comes around.

After the credits The Collector, shown near the second turning point of Guardians of the Galaxy is seen sitting with Howard the Duck in his destroyed lab where the Infinity Gem’s power was unleashed. Howard was shown in the background of an earlier scene in the same room in a hanging cage as one of the Collectors prizes. Howard the Duck is a former Marvel comic book hero that is also an unlikely paring of a duck named Howard with a twisted sense of humor. His comic series had very mature content similar to the infamous Fritz the Cat. With any luck, this isn’t teasing another Howard the Duck movie considering how awful the first one was.

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NO Luck for Luck

In their attempt at victory against the New England Patriots on January 12th 2014, the quarterback, Luck, seems to cave to the pressure of the Patriots.

Comparing Luck to Manning? So silly
Comparing Luck to Manning? Ha!

The New England Patriot are a favorite of mine going into the Super Bowl. I would like to see, and am officially predicting they take on the Seahawks this year at Super Bowl XLVII. But predictions aside, The Colts, Andrew Luck was throwing a lot of sloppy passes for a team that has made it this far. Jamie Collins intercepting a pass from the Colts quarterback like it was nothing playing a part in keeping the Patriots ahead in the Sunday January 12th game in New England.  In the playoff’s Andrew Luck has thrown several intercepts.

Quarterback of the Colts, Andrew Luck
Quarterback of the Colts, Andrew Luck

While the defence of the Colts is looking great, the offense struggles, not just with the QB but with the unit as a whole. Indianapolis needs to work on it if they want to stay in the picture, or look at recruiting players on the offensive line from NCAA college ball, I highly recommend looking at the Michigan State Wolverines or study the offense of San Francisco. Going into week 20, I’m predicting the Patriots win in Denver, and the Seahawks kill it again on home turf.

The closest NFL team to being my home team. Lets go Seahawks
The closest NFL team to being my home team. Lets go Seahawks

Gaga going Galactic

Grammy award winning artist, Lady Gaga, shoots for the stars as she prepares to sing a single in space.

Lady Gaga has always been considered “out there” ever since she debuted in the music industry with her powerful vocals and a don’t-judge-me-for-being-weird attitude, but in 2015, she’s to be part of the Virgin Galactic program and perform a show in the vastness of space. She will literally be “out there”. “She has to do a month of vocal training because of the atmosphere,” says a source, alluding to the changes in air pressure and gravitational force. Another source says this historic event will be “like nothing the world has seen before,” which is obvious as it won’t take place on Earth. Felix Baumgartner proved man can break the sound barrier free-falling from the stratosphere, will Gaga prove that singing professionally can be achieved in the vacuum of space.

Original story found here:

http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/lady-gaga-to-sing-in-space-in-2015-2013611

Snoop Lion In Vancouver: Concert Review

The Journey

Stanley Park is roaring with the warm-up act when I get off the bus. Here I return, the last concert I saw at the Malkin Bowl was also my first concert, Tom Cochrane. I had hoped the weather was going to hold up for the show, because last time I was here, it was pouring rain for the whole thing. Heading towards my destination, I run into two familiar faces, as we make our way through the forest, the music gets louder, then suddenly we’re there. The Malkin Bowl is tucked into the woods, and is a beautiful venue to behold.

The meadow that is the designated viewing area is separated into two halves. We have the alcoholic section to stage right, full of people that are already plastered upon arrival, and others are soon to be at that level. To stage left is the non-alcoholic section, or as I prefer, the chill section. I find myself a cozy place to sit upon a hill overlooking the stage, and pack my one hitter. I figure, I’m in good company here. Just as I spark up, Snoop hits the stage; good timing.

The Lion Roars

Snoop lion comes out rocking a mic decked out with gold bling, wearing a green and yellow jersey as he jams to one of his new reggae jams. Everyone on stage shares joints. This is my kind of party, hosted by Snoop Lion, I’ve never seen a show that started off on such a high note. Three female dancers come to the stage and my attention shifts, as the ladies rock their hips to the beat, I was mesmerized. As quick as they came out, they were gone again, back to reality.

snoop_rockVan
Snoop Lion in Vancouver with his dancers

The Fog of Time

Smoke plumes that floated sporadically before the show now became a soothing haze. Blue follow spots illuminate the smoke, leaving only a few rays of light appearing in the gaps of the smoke. Snoop Lion is just as chill on stage as expected. He rocks back and forth, tokes up, then disappears into the background next to the DJ, still on stage, but he’s clearly not one to hog a spotlight as he sits on a speaker while the other MC’s rock front-center. The music flows into the hip hop hits by Snoop Dog just as naturally as his transition to Snoop Lion. The party was taken to a new level with “Gin & Juice”, as it seems to be a Snoop anthem. The haze is now a cloud, reaching beyond the tallest branches of the ancient trees towering above.

The three dancers from the intro return to the stage wearing particularly provocative clothing. See you later Snoop Lion. These ladies are what reminds me I’m at a show. Otherwise, the atmosphere just reminds me of chilling with my friends at the beach blasting hip hop and sipping beers. I’ve never been to a show that had such a calm atmosphere, but then again, I’m not on stage right.

Snoop Lion Climax

After a quick chronic break headed by Snoop Lion himself, the show continues with more of the classic Snoop Dogg hits while the dancers appear and disappear randomly. The people that are standing start jumping with their hands in the air when the show takes a turn, playing Run DMC “Jump”. This song always seems to wake people up. Then he hits us where it hurts, the tribute portion of the show. The tone changes instantly when “Hypnotize” hits the forest, Snoop asks us if we got love for Biggie, the crowd roars. Rest in Peace. The following song is equally as heavy as “Gangsta Party” with Tupac hits. Sideways peace signs float in the sea of arms, giving the love and respect to the fallen brothers. “Gangsta Party” is the song that introduced me to Snoop Dog as a kid. My mother has always been a huge Tupac fan, and “Gangsta Party” was always my favorite of the songs we listened to on road trips. Snoop says he only has one more thing to say to us: “So what we get drunk, so what we smoke weed. We’re just havin’ fun, and we don’t care who sees” a very fitting song for the environment before me, “Young Wild and Free”. We, the audience, sing a large portion of the song for the performers, and our chants are heard throughout Stanley Park. The last song of the night is “Jammin’” by Bob Marley.

Peace of mind, Rastafari

I smoke one last one for Snoop Lion as requested, pack my things and make my way out just before most of the crowd so I could beat them to the bus, which was wise, as I didn’t see those familiar faces again. I’m stricken with a feeling of calm, a very relaxed, chill feeling. It’s comparable to the feeling I get after being to the Buddhist temple, or standing among the pyramids at Chichen Itza. To me, it’s because of the atmosphere of the great night in Stanley Park, having a new found respect for local police, and a continued belief that marijuana will be legalized within five years. My mom dismissed my calm feelings for second hand from the show.

By Clayton Cyre

Photos of the night

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks Album Review

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks Album Review

Hey guys, just throwing up my latest album review for Abort Magazine.

Let me know what you think!

Suit & Tie Review

Before Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, I had never seen a show at B.C. place. When I arrived to my first stadium show, I was told by the first security guard I was to be on the floor, I didn’t believe them as I walked down to the second floor to ask for directions, again, I was sent down to the floor. I didn’t believe it until I was sitting in the B section, looking at a very intricately designed stage. I was surrounded by thousands of seats, the blue sky visible through the new and improved, tax paid roof of the heart of B.C. entertainment. The stage was a very vivid blood red, square screens form an optical illusion in the center, instruments from bongo’s to a scarlet piano strategically litter the layers of the stage. For a moment, I was so interested in trying to figure out the stage and how it worked that I was forced back into reality by a tap on the shoulder by the woman next to me, looking up from my notebook where I was sketching the optical illusion the blood red walls created. “Are you doing homework?” she asked, her friends laughed.

“Dressed to the tee, they call me Cassidy” DJ Cassidy starts the party off with a mix of dance songs from the last few decades. The songs ranged from Drake to Guns n Roses, but for me, it was when Cassidy played some Notorious B.I.G. that I stood up to show my appreciation by grooving out a bit. DJ Cassidy did a good job setting up, he didn’t even have to ask for a lot of us to just start dancing to the music, at least half of the stadium was on their feet. The turn table set-up was actually behind me on the floor so I mostly just got a look from behind but the legs of the table are golden, Victorian style,. The theme of the night seems to be red, as DJ Cassidy was mixing under the red glow of the lights, and above a red carpet. He’s rocking an ivory suit with a white barbershop hat. He keeps the crowd engaged by replacing names of other cities in songs with Van city, but as he gets to hit last few songs he loses a lot of the massive audience when transitioning from dubstep to a very slow beat hip hop song. Everyone was on their feet moments later though, when two figures appeared on the stage on either side. The party has begun.

The blood red walls I had jotted down on my notebook are revealed to be LED screens, as JT and Jay-Z start their set off, they portraying the Magna Carta sculpture scene. Justin Timberlake rocks in a black fedora while Jay-Z lays it down with the New York Nets backwards snapback, proving once again that no matter where you go, “you are what you are playah”. As the show rolls on, both of our proclaimed Legends of the Summer gets their own chance to have the audience sing along to their best and favorite songs. The optical illusion LED screens are like their own performance, showing images that go with songs, from a snake slithering, getting bigger as it crawls from square to square, to water droplets on a puddle for the infamous Justin Timberlake song: “Cry Me A River”, to a blazing fire that was so bright it seemed real for the more recent hit, “99 Problems”.

I wouldn’t say either of our MC’s was more over with the audience, but Jay-Z got us to be louder, that’s for sure. However, watching Justin Timberlake dance around on stage, picking up whatever instrument he see fit from the keyboard to the electric guitar, he was having fun, and showing just how talented he is. JT does not show any more age today than when he was just starting out. If anything he’s just more confident and more talented. Jay-Z should not be sold short either as he strings words together better than a beat poet, dropping lyrics far beyond where my tongue got twisted, true rapid fire lyrics. We throw up an ocean of Rock-A-Fella Diamonds to show our respect for the hip hop god. The dynamic duo before us present us with tremendous range that still feels natural despite drastic changes in the transition from a Jay-Z song, to a Justin Timberlake song. JT, being the more energetic of the two, will run from one end of the stage to the other, making sure nobody is left out. At one point in fact, he danced from one end to the other. Justin Timberlake’s sets felt more like a cabaret feeling, while Jay-Z maintained the hip hop bobbing, and they swapped constantly so it always felt fresh, the set list is a well-planned flow of the new and old hits of the suit and tie rocking masters.

Jay-Z and JT come back together for “New York”, giving me an experience that alone is worth the cost of admission. Justin Timberlake starts singing “New York, New York” on stage right with a spotlight on him, his voice showing no weakness at all from the hour of entertainment beforehand, Justin hit amazing notes as he passionately sings the legendary Frank Sinatra hit. All of a sudden, Jay-Z’s “New York” kicks in, and anyone that had sat down from exhaustion is now on their feet. Rain begins to fall from the sky above the stadium through the open roof as the sun set in Vancouver, our heat wave and flawless month of sun is over, but it doesn’t get to us, this is the peak of the night. Everyone sings the chorus, so loud in fact that Jay-Z could let the audience sing a majority of the song. When Jay-Z finished his dedication to the city that raised him, Justin Timberlake is now on stage left, he finished his with a bang, dragging the last note out longer than any of us.

After singing the recent hit, “Mirrors”, JT stands on center stage, beginning to descend as if part of a magic trick, next to where JT once was is now Jay-Z for his solo time. Using elevated pads for these last transitions was awesome, especially when Jay-Z switched back with Justin saying “Go get ‘em JT” for the song I first thought was performed by a female when I heard it on the radio in high school Spanish, “Bringing Sexy Back”. Now JT got his chance to let the audience sing a majority of one of his songs. People stood on their folding chairs as they belted out how they too were bringing sexy back. For the finale, JT goes down via the elevator pad, while the band continues to jam out to the sexy back beat.

The house is dark, black as the night outside. The band is silent, but the crowd is loud, screaming for more. Lights hit center stage where Jay-Z and JT come down the staircase in the middle in their suits for the song that inspired this spectacular night, “Suit & Tie”. Both are also holding glasses of champagne, however, only JT drinks from his. JT has a dishevelled bowtie with his suit, while Jay-Z continues to rock the bling he is synonymous for. We have reached our last song when Jay-Z dedicated it to Trayvon Martin, the young man who’s tragic story of a hate crime ending his life, proving that racism is still alive in today’s day and age, the song is “Forever Young”. The sea of fans respond with waving cell phones and lighters, lighting the tremendous stadium as if it were daytime, or as most people refer to, the place lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s an amazing experience to be on the floor and look around at the mass of people united in a mutual respect for a worthy cause, great music, and a spectacular night.

The sea of humanity floods out into the streets of downtown Vancouver to join another from the Festival of Lights like a weather system. Despite the fact that I have been on my feet since DJ Cassidy decided to play my favorite song to smoke to, “Juicy”, I am able to weave through people consistently and make it home quite swiftly. The show may be over, but I’m still feeling the effects, running through it all in my head, all the elements that came together so well to create the stadium experience. Everything from the light show and stage design to the summer legends on the stage culminated together for the best show I’ve seen thus far, and my very first stadium show. Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake need to be seen to be fully believed, and they put it all on the floor tonight.

Magazine Articles thus far

My film review for ABORT magazine on the latest Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn
My film review for ABORT magazine on The Internship, starring Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn
Part of my interview with award winning film maker, Jeff Renfroe for ABORT magazine
Part of my interview with award winning film maker, Jeff Renfroe (Colony) for ABORT magazine

tearsheet5

My full interview with Jeff Renfroe for ABORT magazine.
My full interview with Jeff Renfroe for ABORT magazine.
My full interview (p1) with local talent, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
My full interview (p1) with local talent, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

claytonintern image tearsheet5

My review of a must have film for ABORT Magazine, American Mary
My review of a must have film for ABORT Magazine, American Mary
This is part of a review for Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience at the Commodore. First show review for ABORT
This is part of a review for Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience at the Commodore. First show review for ABORT
CD review for Canadian hard rock stars, Magnus Raising (Whatever It Takes) for ABORT
CD review for Canadian hard rock stars, Magnus Raising (Whatever It Takes) for ABORT
Myself and the members of local music talent, GPB
Myself and the members of local music talent, GPB

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Part 2 of the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes interview for ABORT magazine
Part 2 of the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes interview for ABORT magazine
For my first editorial, I wrote about the current educational system
For my first editorial, I wrote about the current educational system

Operation Vacation

Well, it’s been a while everyone. Sorry, but sometimes real life gets in the way of what we love. Nonetheless, I am back to write about an experience that not only change my life, and my friends life, but also an experience I hold dear to my heart.

The time I sent my best buddy Bryan to New York, with all expenses paid and some cash spending money. Some of you may know the story of how this came to be, but this is an in depth look at the experience:

In the summer (2012) I saw a listing for a television show online called Operation Dream Vacation. After reading about it, and learning that I could have the opportunity to send anyone in my life on their dream vacation, I started thinking about who would be best. I thought about my mother first, but decided that she really goes anywhere she wants for the most part anyways, so I scratched that. I thought of my sister but wasn’t sure if it would conflict with her job or her schooling, so I decided to think of more people that are deserving, I thought of my girlfriend, the one I was spending every day swooning over, and would love to give her such a gift, but decided that because of the closeness between us, the producers would probably not even look at the write up and suggest I take her on our own vacation.  Then it hit me, my friend Bryan! Bryan had never been anywhere of Canada since I met him years ago. Bryan has a passion for street photography so right off the bat I thought New York City would be perfect.

So I wrote in to the show, telling them what I knew about Bryan, our relationship as friends, and why I thought he was so deserving of such a reward, and life changing event. After I sent the message, I was waiting impatiently, checking my email every day for a reply. A reply that I thought would never come. After a month I gave up and continued to live life, focus on school, and work. Then all of a sudden I get a phone call from the TV show asking if we could do a phone interview. I was ecstatic!

On the phone interview, I was asked many more questions about Bryan, some I had covered in the email, some I had not thought of until it was brought up. I was asked where I thought Bryan would like to go and I suggested New York, among other places. I was asked to contact close family and friends of Bryan’s to see if they’d be a part of this great experience. After the phone call was over, I eagerly contacted his Brother Glen, and his Sister Kelli. Then I also decided to make contact with his roommate as well, since it would be great to have someone so close to him physically be part of the experience. Everyone agreed to be part of the experience and they all had to speak to the television show representatives and give their sides of the story. This was great because most of Bryan’s history was a blur to me, and nobody knows his childhood like his close family.  We were all nervous to this point, but as soon as we met the crew of Operation Vacation for our on camera interviews, those nerves instantly faded.

Everyone on set was super excited and positive. From the director to the assistant, the crew was full of great people. On Camera we had the city of Vancouver as our backdrop while we spoke about Bryan and his life. It was great telling people all about my best friend and his passion for photography. This is where things got really personal and we started speaking about more of the dark parts of Bryan’s life. Things like his father, and the death of his grandfather, and (thanks to me) the relationship he lost two years ago and is still pained by.  I was, and still am, looking forward to seeing the show in action, and seeing myself and everyone else involved on television.

After these interviews, we were up and running, only a couple more weeks and we were on camera as a group being interviewed by the hosts of the television show. It was this day that we were given the chance to decide who was deserving of going on the trip with Bryan. This was a choice we ultimately decided we couldn’t make, and figured we would allow Bryan to chose on a sneaky interview set up with Scott where the Director asked Bryan who he would go on vacation with if given the choice. The best part? BRYAN HAD NO IDEA!

Soon after his decision was made we were on set to do a group interview again.  The set interview is where we were given a choice of where Bryan should go on his Dream Vacation between New York City, and Dubai, we decided the Big Apple was ultimately the best choice of the two. It was a hard choice ultimately for me, as Bryan could excel with his photography anywhere in the world, I am certain of it. This was the day everyone else discovered that Scott was picked to go on the trip with Bryan. Certainly, I was disappointed, I would’ve loved to go with Bryan just to see his excitement and amazement as he landed in the Big Apple right up until him leaving. However, I was very excited for Scott as well. Scott is also a photographer so I knew he would be able to take advantage of such an opportunity as well.

The next destination was at Bryan’s bosses house where it was set up that all of Bryan’s closest friends, family, and co-workers would wait there until Bryan was brought over for the surprise. We waited impatiently, and practiced the unveil as we would only have one chance to make it perfect. We talked to each other, and did more interviews, being a more recent friend of Bryan’s, I got a chance to meet some of his older friends from Langley, where he grew up. We all chatted and had lunch together until Bryan got there. I was so nervous!

As I watched Bryan come up the steps of where we were waiting I watched his face go from excited to confused and everything in the middle. He later told me he was scared it was a photography intervention as a joke. He knew nothing until this point, but this is where it was unveiled that he was going to New York City, and he was leaving tomorrow! This is where we all shared laughs, and tears, and we were all just very proud to see everything come together so well, and to be seeing Bryan off on a new stage of his life.

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Bryan and Scott were off to New York.

This is where I thought about what it means for Bryan. The fact that this is all for his photography is one thing, him getting to see a new city to make his stomping ground is another thing, but the main thing to me at this point is the coverage. Bryan Mollett photography will be seen across Canada, America, and other parts of the world. This means the most to me. I’ve been a part of, and a huge fan of Bryan’s photography and I couldn’t be more proud to share it with the world. Sure, I didn’t get a trip out of the deal, but I changed someone’s life for the better, and that is something I will die proud of. Bryan and I will always be best friends, and I’m glad to have given him the opportunity to take the next step towards the future.

Operation Vacation will be on television in Canada and America, and parts of other nations. I look forward to seeing it, and I hope you all get to see it as well. Until then, give Bryan your support by checking out his photography page and seeing his trip to the Big Apple, New York City!

http://bryanmollett.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/a-trip-to-the-big-apple/

Here’s a link to the Television shows Facebook page, Show us your support by liking it:

http://www.facebook.com/ConvergentProductionsVacation

This is a picture of me and two of my requested Bryan Mollett photography prints. I am very proud to hang these on my wall