Posts Tagged ‘Logan’

Logan (No Spoilers)

Posted: March 6, 2017 in Movies
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Logan is unlike any X-Men movie you have seen to date. It’s violent as all hell. Seriously guys I am talking limbs getting torn off here amongst other things. It’s blood shed central and it’s a promise made good from director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman. As his final outing as the character Jackman had told fans he wanted to go out on his terms and Fox were willing (thanks to Deadpool’s success) to let him and Mangold make the down and gritty Wolverine movie they always wanted to.

The film takes place in the not too distant future and finds Logan and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in a less than ideal situation. Right away director Mangold (who also worked on the film’s story) shows us these characters as we have never seen them before. They are down, the cards are stacked against them and in many ways the world has moved on from not only the X-Men but mutants. When a young girl named Laura(Dafne Keen) enters their lives Logan and Professor X embark on a road trip/western style journey on which they must stay one step ahead of the deadly Reavers (cyborg mercs) who are after Laura!

There are quite a few plot points the trailers for Logan smartly declined to show ahead of the films release and for that reason I won’t be going any further into the films plot. What I will say is that if this is indeed the final outing for Logan and Professor X then it’s a fitting farewell that will surely go on to be noted as one of the best examples of the comic book genre on film. This is coming from a big X-Men fan who hasn’t always been the biggest fan of the mutants on film, which can be hit and miss at times, but damn if Logan isn’t a total home run.

The journey aspect of the film helps keep the pace strong in how there’s this constant need for our characters to keep moving forward. As I said above the action, which compared to previous X-Men movies is pretty low key, is terrific in it’s ferocity. It’s a shame it took the success of Deadpool to really allow Wolverine to let loose like this but it’s better late than never.

The film has a great cast with Jackman and Stewart giving it their all. Newcomer Dafne Keen makes one hell of a debut as Laura, this young actress shows brilliant range in what must have been a tricky role to cast. The threat comes in the form of The Reavers, led by Boyd Holbrook’s Pierce and Richard E. Grant’s misguided scientist Dr Rice. Both actors do thier job well, presenting more grounded threats than what Logan and co. have faced before yet the Reavers are no less deadly. Elsewere the film has an impressive supporting cast with Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Stephen Merchant putting in good work.

X-Men fans are in for a punch to the face with Logan. It’s a film that dares to go out and do it’s own thing and not worry about catering to expectations except it’s own. Mangold and Jackman got the story locked that they wanted to tell and man did they commit from the opening all the way until the credits. I look forward to owning this movie.

 

X-Men

Posted: February 27, 2017 in Movies
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The X-Men cinematic universe is entering an interesting phase of late in how the producers are expanding the scope of the universe with films like Deadpool and Logan. Two films that have been critical smashes and proud owners of strong R ratings. Last week news broke long-time series writer/producer Simon Kinberg might be taking over the series and stepping into the directors chair for the next main X-Men entry currently titled X-Men: Supernova, with an aim to shoot it this year, along with a New Mutants movie and the sequel to Deadpool. Not to mention the mutant TV invasion with FX’s Legion. I thought it would be cool to look back on the original X-Men movie to see where it all began and just how far we’ve come.

Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) was an odd pick to bring Marvel’s X-Men to the big screen. At the time of release (2000) Singer was known largely for smaller thrillers than comic book action. Generally speaking the gamble paid off and Singer ushered in a new kind of superhero movie that seemed rooted in a reality the audience recognised yet still managed to embrace it’s comic book roots.

X-Men is Wolverine’s movie. It charts his introduction to the world of the X-Men through Professor X and a chunk of the movie deals with Logan learning to trust in Professor X and learn to work with his fellow mutants and X-Men in order to thwart the threat posed by Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants, who are set on bringing down humanity. Fox were famously reluctant to spend too much money on a comic book movie and while the film never seems ‘cheap’ you can certainly tell Singer and his crew had to work within a tight budget. At times the film, clocking in at just over an hour and a half, feels more like a (pretty decent) TV pilot than an all out feature film. From characters, to plot, to action, the pace of the film feels way more restrained than it should and that’s probably down to the budget.

Where the film shines is in the casting and the smaller attention paid to it’s roster of mutants (yet that’s a doubled edged sword at times). Hugh Jackman is Logan/Wolverine and is one of the films and the series total standouts. The same can be said of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as Professor X & Magneto. The downside to this amaze casting is when you factor in any X-Men movie will have a large cast to the nature of the team and as such other characters and fan favourites – Cyclops, Storm (and anyone else in later sequels not called Logan, Mystique or Magneto) get less of the spotlight. That can be frustrating for big fans of the comics like myself. While James Marsden and Halle Berry are proven talents yet get little to do in this first mutant outing and their characters deserved more. Fairing better is Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey. Janssen does the role of the teams leading lady justice yet you get the impression it’s only her comic book ties to Wolverine that have granted her character in particular that extra bit of attention. Someone needed to be the focus of the film and it makes sense they went with Logan but it could have easily been Cyclops, Storm or Jean.

Back in 2000 when I saw X-Men I felt it was a good first attempt and almost seventeen years later I still feel the same way. The characters are great, the acting very strong and the action, while smaller in scale to what modern audiences would be used to, compliments the more realistic tone of the film Singer establishes. I firmly believe X-Men is not an easy comic to bring to life and for that alone I can respect what Singer and his cast and crew were able to do but part of me still thinks Fox would be better off giving the main X-Men a home on TV where it’s easier to balance story, action and a lot of characters.

 

X-23(?)steals the brand new Logan trailer

Posted: January 19, 2017 in Movies
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The footage on show here is promising a different X-Men/Wolverine movie than what audiences are used to.  Logan looks to be a smaller scale affair compared to the world ending battles the X-Men usually face. However if the trailer is any indication the stakes will be just as high for Logan, Professor X and the mysterious girl they are protecting.

X-23 was created for the X-Men: Evolution animated series. The character proved to be so popular Marvel introduced her into the comic book canon. It is not confirmed yet if the girl in the trailer is X-23 but all signs point to “yes”.

Hugh Jackman posted the following official synopsis for Logan on Twitter earlier this week “In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.”

Logan is directed by James Mangold and will hit cinemas March 3rd.

 

Review: Death of Wolverine

Posted: January 11, 2017 in Comics
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I have made no secret of my love of the X-Men. For over twenty years I have followed the uncanny mutants through comics, animated shows, video games and movies. X-Men to this day remains my favourite comic title. Sure the mutants are going through a rough patch at the moment but Marvel looks set to do right by who were once their shining stars with a brand re-launch later this year.

Truth be told I’ve read little of the recent X-Men titles from the past few years since the whole original X-Men team traveling to the future mess. The whole situation just felt as if it needed a cap but it’s still on-going and just has me wondering why? One arc that did catch my attention was Death of Wolverine. Surely this was (and may yet prove to be) a publicity stunt? No way would Marvel kill off one of it’s most popular characters?

Death of Wolverine does not pull it’s punches. The four part series is plotted with surgeon like skill by writer Charles Soule. Wolverine is the target of a manhunt and someone has put a price on his head. It isn’t long before all sorts of trouble and danger zeroes in on him and this is what propels him and us to his fate. Soule weaves a lean tale that touches in on what made Wolverine the character he is today and factors in those smaller more emotional beats that gave him such depth and likability beyond just being some beserker killing machine.

Steve McNiven’s work on the art is solid. The action is clear, the feeling on the characters faces when confronted with an array of emotions from fear, surprise, anger and joy registers. You can see just how beaten up Wolverine is in Death of Wolverine. This is a guy who has given his all time and time again over countless decades and at this stage in his life the guy is just tired. It’s a refreshing look at a hero I see as immortal, almost more than human, to see this is just a guy, sure he has super abilities but at his core this is a man coming to the end of his road.

Going into Death of Wolverine I knew little. I did not know if the title of the comic would follow through or if it would be a big mislead. I’d rather not say what happens and that is why I’ve stayed vague throughout so you can go in and get surprised. If you’ve ever been into the X-Men comics and dropped off in recent years I got to say Death of Wolverine is an essential read. Remaining vague, I can’t wait to see how this finale page gets resolved whether it’s soon or years from now.

 

Logan teaser trailer

Posted: October 20, 2016 in Movies
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Get those tissues ready because Logan looks like it is going to be a tearjerker! I don’t think everyone is getting out of this movie alive. Director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman look to be giving Wolverine’s last outing a sombre tone. Factor in that Johnny Cash ‘Hurt’ track and I’m loving what the trailer is showing.

X-Man fans can catch glimpses of many classic characters such as fan favourites X-23, Professor X, Caliban and the mutant killers the Reavers! I questioned the whereabouts of the rest of the X-Men while all this dark stuff is going down and a line of dialogue in the trailer pretty much clears that up. Don’t get your hopes expecting any Cyclops or Storm cameo’s folks!

Logan hits cinema screens next March. Get excited because I don’t think this one will be a letdown.

Logan …his final battle awaits.

Posted: October 5, 2016 in Movies
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Cool, no? Here is the simple yet effective one sheet teaser for Wolverine’s swan song titled simply Logan. The Wolverine’s James Mangold returns to direct with Hugh Jackman set to bow out in what both director and star insist will be a no holds barred bloodbath.  Plot details are being kept under wraps but Mr Sinister has been confirmed for the film along with Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Logan will be bittersweet for fans of Prof. X and Wolverine as Stewart has also stated this will be his final time playing the role. Let’s hope these guys go out with a bang.