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4.7 out of 5 stars
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
++++ FIND ALL MY REVIEWS ON MY SITE ARTBOOK-PASSION.COM - lots of picture, video and review ;) - Link towards my site in my profile. If you think of buying this book or something on amazon, use the amazonlinks of my site, thank you ++++

The first thing to be indicated with Marvel's book Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie, it is first one of the collection Art of Marvel movie has to exceed 300 pages. Indeed the precedent made 272 pages and this one makes 336! On the other hand, I expected a bigger artbook, because it has the same thickness as other one having fewer pages. The cause in it? And well the pages of this artbook are a hair finer, but feel reassured it is all the same good quality.

Other importing point, the artbook is squeezed well in the case and thus it does not fall when we tilt it a little. It was one of the problems cleaning the previous cases of the collection Art of Marvel movie. Well it is very beautiful, but the contents of the artbook in all this, that gives what.

And well it is because of the happiness my dear friend! Many illustrations full page, and especially height of artworks everything in colors on the research for all the protagonists of the movie and for lands. We can blame, on the other hand, that the illustrations are for a dark great majority, because we do not see very certain details and it is a real pity.

For the contents, everything is, and it is always one treats to see the various researches) for all the characters at the level of their physical appearance and their style. We resume what makes the success of books on movies marvel: we begin with a history of the comics and the explanation of the choice of the history, then we resume the chronology of the whole movie (attention on spoilers for those who would want to look at the book before seeing )

Ah yes, a small disappointment: I thought of credit note at least about ten page on the store of collectors showing us not bad object of its collection, which are many of the winks of eye with regard to other universe of comics marvel. Except us let us have that 3 pages with almost nothing.

To end, I shall like making a precision further to some reproaches on Marvel's book Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie, whom I was able to read on certain site, it is not a making of of the movie, thus no photos of wings or interviews of the actors. This is an artbook: a book on the artistic creation of the movie.

Thus if you like the beautiful images, or if you want comments on the research at the level of the design of the movie, then this book is made for you
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
If you have seen any of the other Marvel Art of books, then you'll know what to expect, fantastic presentation and quality. The slip case is nice and shiny, the hardcover book is thick and wide so the full color pictures aren't upscaled and look clean and sharp (though unfortunately a few pictures are poorly laid out across 2 pages and sink into the binding of the spine rendering them almost unviewable). There is a great forward by director James Gunn, 9 chapters (with great concept art of omitted characters like Nova, and storyboards for scenes like the Prison Break, weapons and character design and marketing campaign) and more.

There are full splash pages of fantastic model work, skin textures, vehicle designs, all with minimal text. The Slipcase is the "A" film poster (pictured above) with Peter Quill, Groot and Rocket on the front, and Drax and Gamora on the back. The actual book cover is a great piece of concept art with more of a matte finish as opposed to the glossy slipcase finish. Both are top notch, the book fits snug in the slipcase but not too tight that it's difficult to get out. Just an overall awesome presentation. Keep in mind, this is an art book, not a behind the scenes book about the making of the film. There aren't pictures of the actors in costume, or a bunch of still shots from the film, it's preliminary art and concept art. It is, after all, an art book.

Foreword by James Gunn
Introduction: A Thief, Two Thugs, An Assassin and A Maniac
Chapter 1: The Legendary Star-Lord
Chapter 2: Dark Alliances
Chapter 3: Galaxy's Most Wanted
Chapter 4: Corps Values
Chapter 5: Prison Break
Chapter 6: Knowhere To Run
Chapter 7: Family Reunion
Chapter 8: Somebody's Gotta Do It
Chapter 9: Marketing Guardians Of The Galaxy
Afterword
Contributor Bios

Some people may find issues with the lack of text, or others may complain that there is too much text. There's about a paragraph of text on every page and it's impossible to please everyone. I became a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan after watching the film opening weekend and have been trying to get my hands on any and everything Guardians related. If you loved the movie (and who didn't, it was freakin' awesome) then this book is a must. It's great to see what Star-Lord could have looked like, the design changes his ship the Milano (named after Pete Quill's childhood crush Alyssa Milano, which is hilarious) went through and what inspired its look. For $40, you get a fantastic art book with an immaculate presentation. This comes FULLY APPROVED.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
SHORT VERSION: This book gets almost everything right. It shows design evolution for characters, costumes, and vehicles, pre-viz "atmosphere" development for settings, and it has lots of interesting insights from the artists without overwhelming you with text. Plus some storyboards and some VFX frames for comparison. And the physical book and slipcase are very solid and nicely made. If you're interested enough to be reading this, just get it already.

LONG VERSION: My frame of reference for movie art books was established by the Star Wars "Art of" series. The original trilogy art books were very heavily weighted toward design evolution, showing how AT-ATs and cloud cars and so on changed from initial conception to final product. They also had some matte paintings, especially for ESB, and some storyboards, mostly for space battle and speeder bike sequences in ANH and ROTJ. But almost nothing in way of explanation in terms of how and why artistic decisions were made.

The prequel trilogy art books started providing more explanation from the artists about how and why they made their design choices. The TPM book had a lot of design evolution and many lovely concept paintings. For AOTC, digital paintings used in pre-viz take up a lot more of the book, so consequently you get less in terms of design evolution. By the ROTS book, the design evolution element is barely represented at all; pre-viz paintings take up almost the entire book.

The GOTG book hits a really nice balance among all of the elements one might want in an "Art of" book: lots of design evolution, lots of pre-viz paintings (but a useful variety, not just three dozen different views of Geonosis), and over all of it, lots of explanations from the artists and creators about why they did what they did. This turns the art for each character and vehicle from a gallery into a narrative: here's what worked, here's what didn't, here's why certain things ended up on screen.

To pick just one example, I hadn't thought about how many ways there were to make Groot creepy. But the Groot that ended up on screen is surrounded by an uncanny valley (maybe an uncanny moat?) of horrible alterna-Groots: wooden skeleton Groot, asymmetrical pseudo-Ent that looks like it's falling apart, plant demon Groot that just stepped out of some jungle Hades, and so on. There must be a dozen or so possible Groots in the book, and except for the Groot we know and love, they're all one flavor or another of nightmare fuel.

Same thing for pretty much every other character in the book. And some nice design evolution stuff for the vehicles, too, and for locations like Morag, Xandar, and my favorite, Knowhere.

Some other nice touches: Many of the characters and vehicles in the book has a VFX frame from the actual movie for comprison. Practically every piece of art in the book has the artist's name at the bottom (unobtrusively) so you know who did what. Chris Foss gets a nice shout-out in the Forward, and the book includes some of his concept art for the movie--yes, he worked on the film! A few pages of cool storyboards by David Krentz show the visual development of the prison escape sequence.

I assume if you're interested in the book you must have liked the movie, and you're coming to the book in the hope that it will take you deeper into how the movie came to be. That hope will be rewarded. The cumulative effect of all of the art and all of the artists' thoughts about the art is to make the book into a sort of manifesto for doing visual sci-fi that isn't hostage to any one thread of influence. As James Gunn writes in the Forward: "Guardians of the Galaxy would be about color, and life. In-you-face, over-the-top, unrepentant COLOR. We would rescue the aesthetics of pulpy science fiction films from the fifties and sixties--films like Forbidden Planet, Fantastic Voyage, Barbarella--while simultaneously retaining the grittiness and workaday reality of later films."

Finally, the book itself is really well done as a physical object, almost luxurious in the quality of its production. It would be a nice piece of kit even without the slipcase. With its big wide pages, heavy glossy paper, rock-solid cover, and sewn binding, it was clearly meant to be enjoyed and pored over and shared. My 9-year-old and I turned every page and found wonders all the way through. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon August 15, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have been collecting the MCU art of books since The Art of Marvel Studios set was released. I have enjoyed all the books, though some were better than others. In general, the Phase 2 film books have surpassed the previous ones in quality and content. Guardians is a great addition to the series.

This is another stunning book from Marvel. The hardcover and slipcase, with wrap-around artwork, are just as beautiful as the previous releases. The pages are thick and high gloss and it is packed with gorgeous art work and designs. The Guardians offer a unique opportunity to introduce an entirely new universe to audiences. So much of the film had to be developed from scratch that there is more concept art and weapon/vehicle design here than in any previous book since Iron Man. And the detail is off the charts! Every major character gets several pages devoted to look and costume, and many of the minor characters also. The Collector's assistant, Carina, even has two pages! I was delighted to see the evolution of each Guardian's look, with the many costume designs and make-ups tests considered. The section on Drax and his scars/tattoos was mind-blowing.

The book is laid out chronologically vis-à-vis the film, just as all the Phase 2 books have been. Since Star Lord is introduced in the film first, his is the first chapter after the introductions. As usual, the text ties back into the comics whenever possible to show how characters/costumes were inspired by or changed from the original works. I also loved how most of the concept art was previously unseen. Lots of images from the previous books were released (or leaked) online ahead of publication, but not here. The section of the Collector and his museum was brilliant. There were lots of Easter eggs for Marvel & comics fans in there and the book explores some of that.

The reason I didn't give this book five stars is that it has two issues that keep it from being amazing. First, there is a noticeable amount of gutter loss throughout, wherein images are obscured or corrupted by going into the spine. After producing nine art books, this is really inexcusable from a design stand point. For large landscape images of the settings, this isn't a problem - if a couple buildings go into the spine, no big loss. However, it is a big deal when it happens with characters. One image of Rocket which spans two pages has him completely "eaten" by the spine but the rest of the image is empty (e.g. there is NOTHING to the right and left of him except background color)! This happens again with Baby Groot. There is no reason these images couldn't be cropped to avoid the problem. And some of the group shots should have been re-sized to prevent characters from disappearing.

The second issue, as others have pointed out, is that the book really needed screen caps and character stills. Though this is an art book, it's really helpful - essential even - to see the final design as used in the film alongside all the concept art that led to it, especially for character costumes and make-up. The prior art books did this, so it's a mystery why it wasn't done so here.

Overall though, this is still an impressive production that truly opens up the universe of the Guardians. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It was almost perfect. Yes, still get it. The art is wonderful, its a nice quality book, there's some nice information about the history of the GotG story. But it loses 1 star for some of the crappy layout in it. In particular, on nice and key pieces of artwork, the book designer decided to put the focus in the exact center of the layout for double page spreads. Completely ruining them. Having some experience on this personally, I can see the allure of how it looks when laid out in the digital format prior to publishing, but then the work gets quite hacked as it crevices into the pages valley. Especially with the image of "Little Groot"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This was the first Marvel concept art book I've bought. My friend showed me her copy of the Captain America: Winter Soldier art book and I desperately wanted a Marvel art book. Being an art student hoping to get into the film industry as a concept artist, as well as a huge fan of Guardians of the Galaxy and anything Marvel, this book was a treat. It's a gold mine of beautiful illustrations, as well as stunning designs and clear storyboards. The slipcover case for the book is great too! There's a lot of nice things about this book, BUT it is not perfect. There is one big problem that really ticked me off when looking through the book:

Some of the best images of the book are placed on two page spreads. I love two page spreads, but several times, the main focus of the illustration is placed directly in the crease of the book, which is incredibly frustrating. For example, there's a beautifully rendered illustration of the Guardians right after they suit up to take on Ronan, but Star Lord and Groot are placed directly in the crease of the book, so you essentially can't see them, a problem that could've been easily solved if they shifted the illustration a bit to the left or right. It happens a second time with an illustration of Rocket--he's the main subject of the painting and he's placed directly in the crease of the book, so you can't see him. I know it's nit-picky, but it's an easily solvable problem that really ruined the illustrations. It's a problem that shouldn't happen more than once (if at all), and it happens several times in this book. It really bummed me out. :(

However, everything else about the book is spectacular. Hands down the best part of the book are the illustrations of the Milano--SO GORGEOUS. But this problem with the image layout on the pages really disappointed me. Would've given this book 5 stars if it hadn't had this problem. :( Regardless, the countless other illustrations make up for the few that are lost in the binding of the book. Especially for a Marvel fan, this is still a wonderful concept art book and is well worth your money! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
One of my favorite Art of books. Tons of digital character designs and notes. I wish it had more costume design stuff, but that doesn't take away from it that much for me.
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on January 25, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm not really much of a fan of simply acquiring these movie art books for the pictures, as I typically only flip through them once, but I made an exception for this one over my love for Guardians of the Galaxy. After a quick forward by James Gunn, this book can easily be read through in a few hours. It's informative and colorful, but most importantly interesting to the fan in me to see how many incarnations a character or a scene went through before the final design was chosen (concept and very detailed final artwork within like the many tattoos that live on Drax's body for example). I like that kind of stuff as you get in the minds of the artists and see how they creatively think. Fans of the film, like myself, will love it! It is really a nice hard cover book and comes with a very sturdy cardboard outer shell to house it in. Just an FYI, it's not very wordy. For the ultimate learning experience and authority I do recommend the audio commentary on the Blu-ray release. It's a nice keepsake from the movie for the $28 I was able to grab this for. It would have been cool if the screenplay was in here too like some books have it (Sin City one for example).
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on September 7, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe "Art of" books and without a doubt this is the best of them all, with a close second being the book for The Avengers. The character designs are so rich with life and color and you can tell this film was a labor of love for both the director and the artists involved and it actually turned out to be an Amazing film!

Not only that, but with this book you get more insight into the universe. For example there is a fold out of the Collector's museum with some of the exhibits are listed...some big surprises in there! There is a lot of reading in this book, as well as explainations of locations and characters. In my opinion Marvel Studios has the greatest concept art team in the business right now and this book showcases just that! Must have if you love Marvel films or concept art in general.
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on March 25, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I work in the film industry in the art department and this is a very great addition to your library whether you're a working professional like myself or a fan of the magic behind this film.

This film was hitting all the right points like a ninja with a death move. The movie was made by people who love their job and their work and it definitely reflects here in this tome showing you the concept to execution stages of pre-vis and the art of the film.

A must have for any all who still acknowledge the craft the film and it's artistic merits.
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