A team of misfits thrown together to save a galaxy; a whistleblower whose revelations shook the world; a boy just trying to grow up.
Today’s movies examine the lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Directed by James Gunn
What’s it about: A mismatched group of cranky, intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a super villain from taking control of the universe.
Why watch it: Because it’s not another comic book movie that takes itself too seriously. It’s goofy and corny and funny and heartfelt and an absolute joy to behold with snappy dialogue and a great 70s soundtrack. Although the weight of the world is in balance, we never feel the weight of the world on the shoulders of our hero (Chris Pratt). Whenever he gets himself in a pickle, he does what so many of us (okay, maybe I’m thinking of myself here) would like to do: He dances his way out of the problem.
Interesting factoid: The soundtrack album “Awesome Mix, Vol. 1″ reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, the first film soundtrack ever to reach number one without a single original song.
Business takeaway: Make an awesome mix tape to get you through those days where you don’t want to face another cantankerous client.
Memorable scene: How could it be anything but the abbreviated dance-off between Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and baddie Ronan (Lee Pace).
Groot: I am Groot.
Peter Quill: Well that’s just as fascinating as the first 89 times. What is wrong with Giving Tree here?
Rocket Raccoon: Well he don’t know talkin’ good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to “I” and “am” and “Groot,” exclusively in that order.
Peter Quill: Well I tell you what, that’s gonna wear real thin, real fast, bud.
Next up: Citizen Four
Directed by Laura Poitras
What’s it about: Documentarian Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald travel to Hong Kong to hear Eric Snowden’s “big brother” story about the NSA and its surveillance programs.
Why watch it: No matter your opinion on the subject of the NSA or what Eric Snowden did, this is riveting filmmaking and needs to be seen by a larger audience because it’s the best high-tech spy thriller since Three Days of the Condor (1975) and even more terrifying because it’s real.
Business takeaway: Is the information on your computer ever really safe?
Memorable scene: Though released through news outlets, thus seen by millions of Americans already, the moment where Snowden reveals the extent of which the government accesses regular citizens’ private data.
Edward Snowden: Assume your adversary is capable of one trillion guesses per second.
Next up: Nightcrawler
Directed by Dan Gilroy
What’s it about: A crime journalist (Jake Gyllenhaal) blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Why watch it: If you watch enough movies, like I do, a problem occurs: You often get bored because you recognize the patterns taking place. Nightcrawler is one of those rare films that keeps you on the edge of your seat, with no idea what will happen next.
Interesting factoid: Jake Gyllenhaal lost 20 pounds for his role. This was Gyllenhaal’s idea, as he visualized Lou as a hungry coyote.