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, 74%). 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

Amazon First Reviews satire Oscar Fall TV crime thriller space police drama A24 IFC Pacific Islander robots Family composers cats Elton John sopranos Opinion ABC Signature aliens Thanksgiving Marathons mockumentary spain Fox News Comedy spider-man CW Seed historical drama name the review marvel cinematic universe FOX mcc cartoon OWN marvel comics Columbia Pictures Marvel 72 Emmy Awards The Purge streaming streaming movies Sneak Peek Marvel Television indiana jones joker Best and Worst screenings Rocky Mary Poppins Returns Television Critics Association women supernatural Toys comiccon Tags: Comedy social media Epix 99% adaptation vampires Kids & Family worst movies ghosts stoner Wes Anderson Winners Calendar Premiere Dates Focus Features VH1 Hallmark Christmas movies TV movies venice SXSW emmy awards HBO Max adenture Dark Horse Comics dexter disaster spanish lord of the rings cancelled television scary movies Star Wars Celebration Polls and Games facebook monster movies tv talk 2017 Western directors finale jurassic park Animation saw kong festivals Indigenous Broadway BBC America stop motion Musical Cannes italian Extras hollywood all-time Election Marvel Studios dceu unscripted art house TV One japanese VICE universal monsters boxoffice dreamworks blaxploitation Showtime sequel DC streaming service Oscars canceled TV shows AMC die hard Neflix USA BBC One aapi superhero crime Disney Plus suspense Crackle deadpool debate rt labs critics edition TNT Starz Tarantino Spectrum Originals diversity Fox Searchlight french mutant Awards concert comic Valentine's Day MCU best biography travel A&E scene in color film series Prime Video NBC HBO Go 94th Oscars Shondaland Shudder rt labs television BAFTA medical drama 2015 laika documentaries X-Men Winter TV YA Endgame child's play worst Ghostbusters breaking bad children's TV Captain marvel Song of Ice and Fire VOD FX Drama obituary franchise Christmas South by Southwest Film Festival razzies docuseries critics reviews Turner strong female leads Apple TV Plus Tokyo Olympics Sci-Fi New York Comic Con golden globe awards SXSW 2022 Comic-Con@Home 2021 Creative Arts Emmys AMC Plus new star wars movies Certified Fresh critic resources criterion Peacock fast and furious toy story Freeform Holidays political drama legend cancelled natural history Masterpiece south america Crunchyroll wonder woman Acorn TV Super Bowl CBS Disney Geeked Week Countdown WGN Rock Paramount Plus GLAAD Infographic TBS cooking Netflix cults romantic comedy Legendary young adult know your critic Travel Channel San Diego Comic-Con TCA Winter 2020 Photos Paramount Network ViacomCBS live event twilight royal family Sundance TV a nightmare on elm street politics Emmy Nominations 20th Century Fox PlayStation crossover First Look Music feel good Nominations Film james bond science fiction mission: impossible Grammys animated football Sundance prank YouTube series 007 Alien ABC boxing talk show classics Apple cinemax Mary poppins game show BBC Lifetime Christmas movies biopic TCA Best Director stand-up comedy nfl 2016 posters Emmys justice league 2020 harry potter psychological thriller Tumblr Nat Geo comics BET spinoff sitcom IFC Films japan cars 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Set visit olympics discovery Pop TV comedies werewolf Teen leaderboard what to watch 90s news E! Cosplay reboot independent Podcast movies book PaleyFest black comedy CBS All Access TV Land batman Black History Month spy thriller genre ratings 93rd Oscars hist Cartoon Network American Society of Cinematographers dragons Pirates parents Sony HBO RT21 interviews Lifetime anthology blockbusters FX on Hulu doctor who halloween tv The CW Martial Arts Paramount Pictures free movies Trophy Talk ABC Family TV renewals Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Academy Awards MTV Ellie Kemper toronto video dramedy FXX Paramount Avengers dogs MSNBC christmas movies Reality Best Actress live action Apple TV+ ITV DC Universe international halloween true crime nature 21st Century Fox Instagram Live Hollywood Foreign Press Association theme song Star Wars Rom-Com Universal Pictures summer TV YouTube Red Spring TV Classic Film psycho adventure sag awards Red Carpet based on movie MGM Disney Channel cancelled TV shows YouTube Premium war 2021 Lionsgate Biopics Pride Month cancelled TV series zero dark thirty pirates of the caribbean scene in color slasher foreign IMDb TV Superheroe richard e. Grant TV scene in color series DC Comics TIFF ESPN Film Festival obi wan chucky comic books Awards Tour Lucasfilm USA Network Ovation Disney+ Disney Plus scorecard cops 79th Golden Globes Awards award winner latino Black Mirror Spike National Geographic Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CMT DirecTV rom-coms high school 1990s spider-verse Tomatazos screen actors guild The Academy Nickelodeon See It Skip It NBA Tubi serial killer comic book movies movie target scene in color Esquire PBS telelvision vs. Mary Tyler Moore Year in Review Warner Bros. singing competition popular Baby Yoda comic book movie sequels jamie lee curtis romance TLC Country President mob anime LGBTQ basketball Binge Guide binge Brie Larson broadcast RT History trophy Reality Competition kids Hallmark revenge target Mystery Comedy Central trailers technology heist movie Bravo Pixar Best Picture witnail Syfy Sony Pictures Adult Swim The Arrangement TruTV OneApp versus Walt Disney Pictures australia hispanic APB Interview El Rey Writers Guild of America Netflix Christmas movies Amazon Prime Video GoT summer preview hidden camera rotten dark new zealand Fargo TCA 2017 Exclusive Video Holiday quibi 2019 The Walt Disney Company canceled Action nbcuniversal book adaptation Chernobyl Best Actor Amazon Prime Rocketman dc Fantasy 4/20 blockbuster Mindy Kaling Stephen King Pet Sematary Amazon Studios BET Awards superman docudrama SundanceTV History golden globes DGA 71st Emmy Awards hispanic heritage month action-comedy indie Comics on TV Comic Book Television Academy teaser E3 45 Mudbound gangster Logo Hulu zombies thriller fresh Hear Us Out 2018 Star Trek Arrowverse LGBT Character Guide Women's History Month The Walking Dead casting rotten movies we love Native 24 frames Disney streaming service TCA Awards Musicals godzilla HFPA Trailer films king kong remakes elevated horror kaiju summer TV preview sports new york crime drama Summer miniseries Discovery Channel Food Network CNN transformers streamig Image Comics green book TCM festival archives king arthur Trivia ID Watching Series Video Games documentary WarnerMedia Schedule black Vudu period drama Superheroes renewed TV shows slashers Anna Paquin rt archives video on demand The Witch zombie SDCC Quiz Turner Classic Movies Universal game of thrones Pop Horror GIFs 73rd Emmy Awards NYCC spanish language Britbox Sundance Now Box Office scary Funimation asian-american Heroines