Some of my favorite movies include Spider-Man 2, Man of Steel, the Indiana Jones series, all the Star Wars films and Clerks 2. However, my all-time favorite movie took me by surprise when I saw it. A movie that, when I first heard about it, I thought was going to be a bomb. Thankfully, I was pleasantly proven wrong. That movie, as you can tell by the title, is Guardians of the Galaxy.

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Wear THIS and boast your utterly harmless obsession with the galivanting, gregarious Guardians gang!

Let’s go back to the year 2012. Taylor Swift was singing about being 22, Siri answered every question you ever asked and Disney bought Lucasfilm. After The Avengers hit it big in the box office, Marvel Studios announced their next new franchise was going to be based off an obscure comic series called Guardians of the Galaxy. The concept art for the movie looked so strange.

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
A talking tree and raccoon? A dude with a funky mask? This has ‘box office success’ written all over it! Photo Credit: Marvel

Then a guy named James Gunn signed on to direct and re-write the script.

I thought, “That dude who directed Slither and that homemade superhero movie on Netflix starring Rainn Wilson? Really?” Certainly, this odd, new project was going to be Marvel Studios’ first big flop. It had to be!

The cast soon shaped up. Zoe Saldana? She was good in the Star Trek movies. John C. Reilly? He’s funny. Former WWE champion Bautista? Haven’t seen him act, but I’m sure he’ll do fine. Chris Pratt? He’s great in Parks & Recreation and was solid in Moneyball. Vin Diesel? Dominic Toretto himself? Now I’m interested. Wait! Bradley Cooper and Glenn Close signed on? Now this movie has prestige! I went from being certain Guardians of the Galaxy would be a flop to being moderately skeptical.

Then, in 2013, Marvel relaunched the comic title with writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Steve McNiven. Issue 0.1 was my first true introduction to this rag-tag band of intergalactic outlaws. I was hooked instantly! The writing by Bendis was amazing. The art by McNiven in the first story arc is some of his best.

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
This was my gateway book into the GOTG universe. Photo Credit: Marvel

The book rose to the top of my favorite ongoing series. It was so different from anything I had read before, which was your usual superhero comics like Superman, Justice League, Daredevil and The Amazing Spider-Man. This is when I began liking the Guardians of the Galaxy.

My love affair with the team truly began in February of 2014. Film star Chris Pratt made a special appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to debut the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. A few set pics leaked here and there until the trailer debuted, but I was still skeptical of the movie. Then, I finally saw the trailer.

I was dumbstruck by the pure awesomeness of the trailer. I viewed it so many times after it hit the net; I needed to watch it like I needed air to breathe. Like a starving person stranded on a desert island coming back to civilization, I ate up every possible bit of info on the movie. It was Guardians of the Galaxy all day, every day.

Finally, the weekend of August 1st arrived. I saw the second showing Saturday morning at my local movie theater in 3D! Little did I know; my life would change forever.

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Photo Credit: Keith O’Neil

I entered the cinema one person and exited a completely different one. From the soundtrack to the awesome action sequences and special effects, my mind was completely blown by what I just saw. I was hooked on a feeling and high on believing I just saw the greatest movie ever!

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Pretty much me the whole time I watched the movie.

I remember walking out the theater thinking, “That was so flipping cool!” Transformers is the only other movie to make me feel as pumped and awesome as Guardians of the Galaxy right after seeing it. People must have felt the same way when they saw Star Wars for the first time back in 1977. It was like James Gunn tapped into my brain and made it specifically for me. The movie was a blend of everything I love: comedy, science fiction and comic books. I was Groot!

I seriously can’t think of another movie today that makes me feel as great and amazing inside as this unlikely box-office hit! Yeah, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an outstanding movie and Ant-Man is entertaining as hell. But those movies, to me, don’t come close to giving me as much joy as Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s just something about the movie that I can’t articulate; it clicks with me, and that’s that.

How much do I love Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, to put it in perspective, I saw the movie six times in theaters, the most I have ever seen a single movie in theaters. It was like an awakening. I just NEEDED to see it. Don’t believe me? Here are the stubs.

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Photo Credit: Keith O’Neil

I also own the teaser poster, custom framed with acid free backing and UV proof glass…

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Photo Credit: Keith O’Neil

“Awesome Mix Volume 1″…

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Photo Credit: Keith O’Neil

…as well as various GOTG shirts, some of which you can find on SuperHeroStuff!

Why I Still Love the First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Film (and all things GoG)
Photo Credit: Keith O’Neil

“Keith, seeing a movie six times? Getting all this stuff? Seems like you have a problem.”

Well, I say it’s only a problem if it bothers me!

Seriously, this movie has given me so much joy the last few years and I make a point to watch it every year.

Can’t thank writer/director James Gunn and the cast and crew enough for proving me wrong. I ate humble pie and loved it.

Can’t wait for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. I already bought my tickets!

Do you love a movie as much as I love Guardians of the Galaxy? Share your love story in the comment section below!

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