News

10 Hidden Gems of The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Stars

by and | April 16, 2017 | Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is fast approaching but did you know that its cast members have previously acted in other movies outside the franchise? And that some of them were good? We take the 10 biggest stars of Marvel’s intergalactic, planetary adventure and give you some Fresh and Certified Fresh movies of theirs that you may have missed. Put these on the mixtape!


Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord)

Film: Wanted (2008, 71%). This adaptation of the Mark Millar comic stars James McAvoy as an underachieving, over-medicated corporate drone who’s enlisted by the mysterious Angelina Jolie to join a secret fraternity of assassins, hone his hidden superhuman strength, and avenge his father’s murder.

Role: A movie starring Angelina that made $350 million worldwide isn’t your normal “hidden gem,” but amidst the bullet curving and car chases it’s easy to forget Pratt’s role. He plays McAvoy’s delightful douchebag co-worker and memorably takes a keyboard to the face. Pratt essentially played the same dude in the first season of Parks & Recreation before the character was re-written, turning him into a TV fan favorite and eventual legendary space outlaw.


Zoe Saldana (Gamora)

Film: Infinitely Polar Bear (2015, 82%). Sometimes when Mark Ruffalo gets mad, he turns into the green smashing Hulk. And sometimes he goes to the hospital and has his kids taken away from him, as in this bipolar disorder-addressing drama from Maya Forbes.

Role: Saldana plays Ruffalo’s long-suffering wife, who moves herself and the kids into an apartment as her estranged husband gets help to get it together. Ruffalo puts in another of those highly-tuned sensitive performances, which Saldana matches scene for scene.


Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon)

Film: The Midnight Meat Train (2008, 73%). The movie biz carves up another Clive Barker adaptation, this time telling the drenched tale of people getting butchered on a subway and the amateur photographer who makes it his quest to expose the truth.

Role: Cooper plays the photographer, who becomes intensely obsessed with figuring out why the murders are taking place, at great risk to his health and relationship with his girlfriend. Studio politics effectively reduced this movie to being dumped directly to video, though it’s grown a small cult due to its unflinching gore and its mega-black ending.


Michael Rooker (Yondu)

Film: Slither (2006, 87%). Guardians director James Gunn’s feature debut is a nasty little horror-comedy about a small town overcome by an alien parasite that begins its colonization of Earth by possessing a philandering car dealer. Before long, everyone’s pets are missing, the local livestock are turning up mutilated, and neighbor-on-neighbor violence is at an all-time high.

Role: Rooker stars in Slither as Grant Grant, aka patient zero himself, the car dealer who becomes infected by an extraterrestrial slug and, in turn, whose mistress becomes the hive queen. The problem is, Grant still retains some of his human memories, and all of them lead back to his not-so-doting wife (Elizabeth Banks), who’s understandably less than thrilled to come home to a horribly disfigured man slowly transforming into a tentacled monster. It all amounts to a raucous mix of uncomfortable laughs and the ridiculous kind body horror that would make David Cronenberg proud.


Kurt Russell (Ego)

Film: Bone Tomahawk (2015, 91%). This surprisingly confident debut by writer/director S. Craig Zahler seamlessly introduces elements of horror into a deliberately paced Western about a local sheriff who leads a small party of gunslingers to face off against a tribe of ruthless cannibals after some of his townspeople are abducted.

Role: Russell’s filmography is vast and varied, but this underseen thriller (and Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, both from 2015) arguably makes the best use of his late-period gruffness and magnificent facial hair, and he is terrific as the sheriff who sacrifices everything for his town. The whole thing is a tightly wound slow build to a grisly, violent climax, and there are a few things in there you won’t be able to unsee.


Benicio Del Toro (The Collector)

Film: Inherent Vice (2015, 73%). After the gold rush of the hippie era, reality and hard living sets in as 1970 rolls on in California. Perpetually stoned private dick Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is hired to solve a beguiling case while avoiding the LAPD and a life of responsibility.

Role: Del Toro plays Doc’s attorney and occasional informant Sauncho. He gives a classically mumbly Benicio performance, but attach that to the film’s outsized characters and byzantine plot and it all weaves into a piquant psychedelic tapestry.


Nathan Fillion (Simon Williams)

Film: Waitress (2007, 89%). Adrienne Shelly’s smart and heartfelt romantic comedy centers on an unhappily married waitress (Keri Russell) who dreams of opening her own bakery and finds something akin to hope when her unwanted pregnancy leads to an affair with her equally married new physician.

Role: Having done some space swashbuckling of his own (on FOX’s TV series Firefly and its follow-up feature film Serenity), as well as co-starring in another gem on this list (Slither), Nathan Fillion brings his effortless charisma to this decidedly understated charmer as the aforementioned doctor, striking up such a natural chemistry with Keri Russell that, maybe just for a little while, infidelity doesn’t seem like such a bad thing after all.


Glenn Close (Nova Prime)

Film: Reversal of Fortune (1990, 92%). In the famous murder case of 1990, Claus von Bulow stands on trial, accused of sending his wife into a diabetic coma after pumping her with an overdose of insulin.

Role: Close plays Claus’ wife Sunny and spends the entire movie with her eyes closed and her tongue hanging out of her mouth. Just kidding, reverse that: there’s plenty of Close and Jeremy Irons going at it in a dramatic exploration of this tense marriage.


Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha)

TV Series: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015, 68%). Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer play American and Russian secret agents who begrudgingly join forces during the Cold War-era ’60s to track down a nuclear weapon in this Guy Ritchie adaptation of the classic TV series.

Role: Debicki wears killer dresses and assembles even deadlier bombs as one of the two major villains in this movie, which is celebrated for its action scenes and quirky humor (at least for a movie with this many explosions), though it struggled at the box office.


Sylvester Stallone (???)

Film: Nighthawks (1981, 70%). Originally conceived as a third French Connection, the film deals with urban terrorism in New York as Rutger Hauer, in his first English role and one year before the legendary Blade Runner, runs New York through the wringer.

Role: Stallone is an NYPD detective named Deke DaSilva, tasked with taking down the sadistic Hauer in a city still at the height of its grime and grit. The film was plagued with production problems and multi-hyphenate Stallone took over directing duties briefly.

Tag Cloud

rom-coms Showtime Paramount Network Women's History Month stop motion First Look Masterpiece streaming movies See It Skip It supernatural MCU dceu rotten cartoon casting HBO comics Oscars Valentine's Day monster movies YA GIFs Heroines Black History Month romantic comedy TruTV Marvel Television TV Drama Turner psycho ratings ABC Signature Lucasfilm Martial Arts DC Comics comic book movies BAFTA festivals 1990s Fantasy Film Festival RT21 CBS trailers Lifetime Christmas movies worst 2017 E! Polls and Games Sony Pictures HBO Max 007 pirates of the caribbean gangster harry potter Disney Broadway unscripted Pet Sematary CBS All Access olympics HBO Go disaster saw 2020 Star Wars Alien critics remakes romance Amazon Studios spinoff prank Tubi australia Dark Horse Comics zero dark thirty Pixar VH1 Podcast sopranos Marathons Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dexter The Purge NYCC IFC Films Classic Film Trophy Talk stand-up comedy FOX FX Academy Awards Ellie Kemper adventure SXSW Comedy History Columbia Pictures Cosplay new zealand Teen indiana jones 2015 Disney streaming service Instagram Live south america natural history halloween tv comiccon Paramount boxing Spectrum Originals rt labs critics edition hidden camera 21st Century Fox posters BBC revenge Esquire documentary kaiju Brie Larson CNN breaking bad wonder woman streaming Box Office space cancelled television comedies BBC America Premiere Dates DirecTV Mystery slasher diversity Cannes theme song Nickelodeon comic books mutant critic resources boxoffice cancelled TV shows Schedule APB Acorn TV Tarantino The Academy 2016 aliens TNT docudrama cancelled TV series true crime Set visit scorecard art house Starz foreign Amazon Awards Spike PlayStation Vudu Pride Month TCA technology elevated horror asian-american video black comedy war 20th Century Fox Writers Guild of America Apple TV Plus Disney Plus japanese cancelled DC Universe Cartoon Network San Diego Comic-Con sports TCA Awards vs. Crunchyroll travel 93rd Oscars Amazon Prime science fiction italian RT History werewolf period drama Epix strong female leads game show dc kids CW Seed FX on Hulu superman justice league slashers criterion universal monsters Disney Channel crime LGBTQ halloween YouTube Legendary legend cults discovery dark laika scary politics chucky dragons live action Exclusive Video 99% Interview Lionsgate Captain marvel teaser Superheroe Television Academy Sneak Peek king arthur jamie lee curtis YouTube Red best new york 4/20 DGA Adult Swim Marvel Studios cooking SDCC name the review spanish language TV renewals Video Games mob Elton John scene in color cars a nightmare on elm street Discovery Channel fresh canceled TV shows Shondaland President Sundance TV Neflix comic book movie NBC VICE Chernobyl YouTube Premium television Year in Review Country Quiz OWN Rocketman Countdown Black Mirror scary movies Tokyo Olympics TV Land marvel cinematic universe emmy awards latino A&E documentaries high school Comics on TV 24 frames Music AMC Plus Apple Anna Paquin TV movies Thanksgiving talk show nature composers Tomatazos Grammys Holiday New York Comic Con rotten movies we love Logo popular witnail quibi satire feel good MTV The Arrangement CMT Infographic Opinion canceled news Universal 2021 OneApp classics The CW spider-man football reviews Pop TV Rock suspense BET adenture Calendar toronto adaptation game of thrones children's TV based on movie women First Reviews razzies A24 Western Star Trek heist movie free movies Television Critics Association Trailer 72 Emmy Awards crossover TLC james bond Travel Channel Election doctor who Photos Best and Worst robots toy story Kids & Family anthology hist El Rey zombie PaleyFest USA Network BBC One Extras E3 National Geographic Holidays nbcuniversal AMC screen actors guild twilight target venice stoner Family Certified Fresh franchise Netflix TBS spider-verse transformers ESPN superhero what to watch Marvel comic Watching Series french Hallmark Turner Classic Movies Apple TV+ Comic-Con@Home 2021 Action DC streaming service renewed TV shows ID sitcom VOD Animation LGBT Disney+ Disney Plus medical drama golden globes biography lord of the rings Pop WarnerMedia ABC sequels versus know your critic animated Fox News Comic Book Funimation ABC Family Warner Bros. Emmys tv talk Baby Yoda spanish royal family young adult Song of Ice and Fire crime drama hispanic heritage month Creative Arts Emmys Food Network thriller docuseries Musicals biopic action-comedy Ghostbusters cops 90s aapi Rom-Com Crackle parents Shudder marvel comics Superheroes Syfy Netflix Christmas movies mcc miniseries movie PBS black Red Carpet crime thriller child's play zombies batman cinemax obituary movies hollywood psychological thriller rt archives X-Men Character Guide concert international cats 2018 mockumentary The Walking Dead 73rd Emmy Awards Amazon Prime Video anime Wes Anderson Mary Poppins Returns 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards archives Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt video on demand facebook Image Comics WGN 2019 die hard genre Pirates rt labs Toys kong Nat Geo Bravo Mary Tyler Moore Britbox independent Mudbound NBA films TV One Film Rocky Sundance BET Awards FXX Endgame directors debate richard e. Grant police drama Peacock serial killer Hulu ghosts Winners The Walt Disney Company Trivia mission: impossible japan book adaptation nfl spain ITV IFC Universal Pictures Arrowverse blockbusters spy thriller Winter TV historical drama Super Bowl godzilla Hallmark Christmas movies indie Nominations Comedy Central christmas movies live event book American Society of Cinematographers TCM festival MSNBC dramedy screenings Stephen King binge worst movies finale Fall TV USA basketball vampires blockbuster ViacomCBS joker series Horror Ovation reboot Pacific Islander GoT singing competition Paramount Plus 45 Reality sag awards The Witch Binge Guide SundanceTV Reality Competition deadpool 71st Emmy Awards TCA Winter 2020 king kong Freeform Sundance Now Awards Tour Mary poppins Lifetime telelvision all-time new star wars movies Fox Searchlight Hear Us Out jurassic park Mindy Kaling political drama sequel golden globe awards TIFF Summer Avengers Musical Sci-Fi hispanic IMDb TV Walt Disney Pictures Christmas Spring TV blaxploitation dogs TCA 2017 award winner GLAAD fast and furious green book Tumblr Emmy Nominations dreamworks Biopics social media