DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


James Gunn
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper
Writing Credits:
James Gunn

Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own - a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.

Box Office:
$250 million.
Opening Weekend:
$118,414,021 on 4450 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1/2.35:1 (Varying)
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 150 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 8/1/2023

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director James Gunn
• 8 Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “The Imperfect, Perfect Family” Featurette
• “Creating Rocket Raccoon” Featurette
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 [4K UHD] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 20, 2023)

All good things come to an end, and 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finishes a trilogy that began in 2013 and continued in 2017. Of course, I expect a return of the Guardians at some point, but V3 marks the final chapter for this particular configuration of the team.

Guardians leader Peter “Starlord” Quill (Chris Pratt) remains depressed over the loss of his love Gamora (Zoe Saldaña). An “alternate” Gamora now exists, but she partners with a band of criminals called the Ravagers and resists Peter’s attempts to woo her.

Peter needs to snap out of his funk when an attack by a super-powered being called Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) leaves humanoid raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) mortally wounded. The Guardians must visit a facility run by a mad geneticist known as the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) to find a way to heal him, an endeavor that comes with many forms of peril.

Much has been made of the “slump” experienced by the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) after the massive commercial success of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Outside of 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, the post-Endgame releases – which started with 2021’s Black Widow - haven’t quite lived up to the MCU’s steep financial expectations.

Of course, the effects of the COVID pandemic damaged box office, at least for the three 2021 MCU releases that hit pre-No Way Home. Honestly, given the reluctance of mass audiences to return to multiplexes in summer 2021, I think Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings did just fine.

After all, they wound up in second and fourth place at the US box office for 2021 – with non-MCU Marvel character Venom between them at number three. Though often regarded as a flop, November 2021’s Eternals made it to sixth place for 2021 releases as well.

However, the massive earnings of No Way Home showed huge audiences would return to theaters – for the right films. 2022’s three MCU flicks - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - all did pretty well, even if they didn’t come close to the enormous success of No Way Home.

2023’s first MCU movie - Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - became the closest thing to a flop in the post-Endgame era. With a $200 million budget and a $476 million worldwide take, it became the first “post-COVID” MCU movie that seemed unlikely to turn a profit.

This meant folks who tire of superhero movies smelled blood in the water – and put pressure on V3 to bounce back financially. Which it did, as its $845 million global gross compared favorably to the earnings of the first two Guardians films.

Does V3 also match with its predecessors in terms of quality, however? I believe so – and think it probably offers the best of the trilogy.

Granted, that doesn’t become the highest bar, as I never loved the first two films. While I enjoyed the 2013 and 2017 films, they didn’t land among my favorite MCU entries, as I found them fun but inconsistent.

I can’t claim V3 differs radically from its predecessors, but it comes with a particular scope that adds emotional impact. Though my synopsis doesn’t explain this well, V3 uses Rocket as its primary focus.

I left the movie’s active use of flashback unsaid. We see how the High Evolutionary “created” Rocket via his experiments, and also get to know Rocket’s fellow altered animals otter Lylla (voiced by Linda Cardellini), walrus Teefs (voiced by Asim Chaudhry) and rabbit Floor (voiced by Mikaela Hoover).

These moments act as the emotional heart of the movie – especially for those of us with an intense fondness for animals. V3 paints a vivid picture of the physical and emotional horrors these characters undergo, and it creates moments of real heartbreak and devastation.

These scenes elevate the movie to a place that I think puts it above its predecessors. Not that those lacked heart and drama, but V3 so vividly tells Rocket’s terrible backstory that it turns into the most impactful of the lot.

This doesn’t mean V3 brings a total downer, though. Even with the tragedy of Rocket’s past, the movie still provides the usual action and comedy.

At times, V3 risks awkwardness as it shifts tones. However, it pulls these off and doesn’t ever feel forced.

Like the first two movies, V3 can seem all over the place. It bites off an awful lot in terms of story, and it doesn’t connect all these dots in the smoothest manner.

Still, it tells its tale pretty well, and it wraps up the Guardians narrative in a satisfying manner. As noted, I seriously doubt Marvel will let the Guardians franchise go dormant, so while V3 acts as the end of an era, it feels unlikely to provide the last we’ll see of the characters.

Even if it does, though, V3 becomes a pretty satisfying adventure. Despite a less than concise narrative, the movie does more than enough right to finish the trilogy on a high note.

Footnote: should you need me to tell you that tag scenes appear during and after the end credits? No, but I’ll convey that information anyway.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 appears in a varying aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Because the entire film was shot 1.90:1 with digital IMAX cameras, this alternating pair of ratios seems perplexing on the surface.

However, director James Gunn states that he prefers this “combo pack” of ratios. I’d rather see the whole thing in the 1.90:1 IMAX dimensions I witnessed when I watched the film theatrically, but if Gunn wants dual ratios, then I respect his wishes.

At all times, sharpness appeared positive. I thought the image seemed accurate and well-defined from start to finish, with virtually no signs of softness on display. I noticed no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and the movie lacked any print flaws.

Like most other modern action flicks, V3 favored stylized colors, and as usual, those colors tended toward teal and orange. Actually, the palette broadened at times, so while it stayed heavily oriented toward orange/teal, at least some added hues emerged.

Given the visual choices, the tones looked positive. HDR added zing to the colors.

Blacks were always deep and tight. Shadows seemed clear and appropriately opaque.

HDR brought power to whites and contrast as well. The 4K UHD became a strong reproduction of the film.

I felt just as pleased with the impressive Dolby Atmos soundtrack of V3. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix used all the channels in a lively, involving manner. Various violent elements popped up from all around the room and delivered a smooth, engrossing soundscape.

This meant nearly constant material from the surrounds. The back speakers delivered a high level of information and created a great sense of place in that domain. All of this melded together in a vivid, satisfying manner.

Audio quality was also strong. Music seemed full and bold, while speech was consistently natural and crisp.

Effects became the most prominent component, of course, and packed a solid punch, with positive clarity and range. The audio of V3 delivered the goods.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio added a little zing.

Visuals boasted superior delineation, colors and blacks. The 4K didn’t blow away the BD, but it became the more satisfying version.

No extras appear on the 4K disc, but we get some on the included Blu-ray copy, where we find an audio commentary from writer/director James Gunn. He brings a running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, cast and performances, sets and production design, music, photography and editing, effects, action, and related topics.

A veteran of the format, Gunn makes good use of his time. Gunn delivers a solid look at the film and makes this an engaging chat.

Two featurettes follow, and The Imperfect, Perfect Family runs 11 minutes, eight seconds. It brings notes from Gunn, producer Kevin Feige, and actors Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, and Zoe Saldaña.

With “Family”, we learn about the trilogy overall as well as story/characters and cast and performances. A few nuggets emerge but this mostly feels like a superficial summary.

Creating Rocket Raccoon spans nine minutes, 25 seconds. It features James Gunn, Saldaña, Sean Gunn, and Pratt.

We look at the different elements necessary to bring our favorite humanoid critter to the screen along with some V3 story/character beats. It becomes a fairly informative little reel.

A Gag Reel goes for five minutes, 59 seconds and presents the usual goofs and giggles. We do get a few alternate lines of dialogue, but mostly we see a lot of laughing.

Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of eight minutes, 27 seconds. For the most part, these bring fairly minor extensions and additions.

In general, they offer decent intrigue. We do get to see Pete Davidson in his cameo before James Gunn eventually decided to hide him, at least.

An era ends with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It finishes a version of the franchise on a positive note, as it provides arguably the strongest of the trilogy. The 4K UHD brings very good picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. V3 turns into a winning adventure.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main