Ha, looks like I made it just in time for X-Men Origins: Wolverine to make it out on DVD and Blu-Ray. It comes out September 15th. Again, I think you might wanna rent the thing rather than buy it. However, if you haven’t seen it, you might want to check it out for some quick and light entertainment. It really doesn’t compare to the other installments in this franchise, but it for all its glaring stupidity it is kind of fun.Keep in mind it still isn’t a great way to dive into the series, even though it is a sequel.

Wolverine (2009) Review

August 27, 2009

"I want my pony now, bub! Rawr!

While this movie came out months ago, I still can’t resist commenting on this summer action flick. After Three X-Men flicks with varying reception. The first two of course were part of the great comicbook movie revival. The third one seemed to miss the mark, and suggest that the franchise was running dry. Well, a great deal of time has passed, and  Wolverine (2009) has been released. Did Hugh Jackman’s uber-masculine alter ego cure the X-Men movie slump?

Oh Heavens, no.

At least, it didn’t bring it back to the level of Bryan Singer’s installments. That much is clear. But it doesn’t seem like it was ever meant to do that either. It was just made into a standard, blockbuster action movie to provide a summer special effects extravaganza. And it did just that, although it unfortunately didn’t even do that all that well.

Anyone familiar to the X-Men plot so far can easily guess what Wolverine deals with. The prequel deals with Wolverine’s past life, especially leading up to the mysterious Weapon X program that the mutant has been having trouble remembering for the whole trilogy. At last, the answer that so many fanboys dreamed of seeing on the big screen. Unfortunately, this flick has little bearing on the original Weapon X plot. You can definitely count this as one of those superhero flicks where the filmmakers took an awful lot of creative license with source material. For all of you fans of Deadpool….I’m sorry. Better luck with the hopeful Deadpool movie.

One thing that was disappointing that alot of people don’t seem to bring up is the claws themselves. Sometimes they looked okay, but much of the time the blades were rendered with bad CGI. It was a disappointing departure from previous X-Men movies, where so much of every character was so well done. Now, the main character’s namesake is reduced to bad graphical effects.

The really great effects in the movie are often handled oddly too. Gambit comes to mind. See, Gambit is a mutant whose powers is that he can charge objects with kinetic energy, causing them to explode after a few seconds or if they are thrown at something. He can do this to the point that he can flick a card and make it soar like a rocket, and explode spectacularly. This is obviously a reason for why he calls himself Gambit (the other is his rogue-ish nature). Well, apparently the makers of this film decided they didn’t like the card throwing thing that much. He often uses his powers in a variety of ways, which is good in theory. It would be good in practice had his debut fight sequence not been so abysmally goofy. I almost never mention little continuity errors or trivial screw-ups, because 90 % of the time I hardly notice and I doubt the average person would care. But one of the scenes invovled the biggest continuity error I think I’ve ever seen in a blockbuster style movie. In a fight between Wolverine, Gambit, and Sabertooth, Sabertooth manages to knock out Gambit or something at close range. Then all of a sudden Gambits leaping over rooftops from way in the distance. How did that happen? Seriously, it was confusing.

The good news is that the foul ups and silly moments are funny as Hell. This thing could almost qualify as a comedy in some points. Sometimes I even wonder if the director wasn’t flat out having fun with the movie’s most ridiculous moments. Such as seeing little kid Logan doing the murderous rage schtick in a red night gown, or the infamous “memories growing back” line. You’ve probably seen the best example in the trailer itself. Wolverine is clinging desperately to some military style hummer, and an attack helicopter fires a rocket, destroying the car and catapulting ole Wolvie into the Helicopter. Not into the air, where he can catch the chopper, mind you. No he makes a direct bee line into the offending aircraft. And of course, thats how he disposes of it. By accident. Trust me, when my friend and I saw it in the theater, we laughed for several minutes straight. It looks incredibly ridiculous.

At least Hugh Jackman seemed to really be into his role. The performance might not have been perfect, but physically speaking he sure did look the part. Out of all the superhero movie stars, I’d say Hugh Jackman looked most like the musclebound comicbook stud. He put in some serious time in a gym and you can most certainly tell in the movie.

I imagine Canadians beemed with tremendous pride watching this movie, too. Not only did Canada get some quality time in an American movie- but the biggest badass in the Marvel universe points out the land of his birth with dramatic flair. Best of all, the gritty do-gooder serves as definitive proof that Canucks don’t say “aboot” after all. Of course, the movie doesn’t portray any of the conspirators as being Canadian, just the badass hero. As usual, the American federal government is out to get everyone.

If you haven’t seen any of the films of this franchise, do yourself a favor and see the first two before you decide whether or not to see this one. Really, this is something you might want to save if you are a true die-hard X-Men fan or if you want to watch something relatively light.

4.5 out of 10.

Well the net and the entertainment industry are all a buzz. It’s official…nothing if safe from the world of remakes franchise revivals. Most people realized this after Star Trek became such a blockbuster success. Heck, G. I. Joe just came out, and that franchise was limited to toys and accompanying DVD’s for well over a decade. Of course, I’d wager that G. I. Joe would prove that some of these ‘revivals’ are can be bad as well as good. I for one am not eager to see it.

Oddly enough there seem to be a lot of 80’s kids shows turned into modern movies for somewhat more mature audiences. Transformers (2007), TMNT (2008), G. I. Joe (2009), before you know it Fraggle Rock is going to show up on the big screen.

Star Trek (2009 ) went back to the original cast of characters from the late 60’s TV show. Barbarella is in the works as we speak.

And now, someone wants to go back even further- the Farrelly Brothers actually want to make a Three Stooges flick.

Now don’t get me wrong- these guys are probably the best guys to do it, based on their track record. But will a brand name  from the black and white era sell in the 21st century? For a while it seemed Sean Penn and Jim Carrey thought so. Penn was rumored to be cast as Moe, I believe, and Jim Carrey was going to play Curly. He stated he was even going to put on weight for the role. Try to imagine Jim Carrey’s persona in Curly’s shoes. While they are both over the top, I can hardly imagine Carrey pulling it off very well. He’s just too set into his own stage personality.

As for Sean Penn, I’m not even sure I’ve seen him in anything remotely resembling a comedy. When I think of Sean Penn, I think of Mystic River (1998) and the Thin Red Line (also 1998). The closest thing to a comedy I have seen him do was Milk, which was still much more a drama than a comedy. Somehow the hardcore drama actor being thrown into the role of Moe doesn’t seem to be very realistic.

Thankfully, the two actors may have reconsidered. they seem to have moved to greener pastures. Meanwhile, another actor has reportedly come onboard- Paul Giamatti. Unlike Penn and Carrey, Paul Giamatti looks like he could make a fair Larry, and his highly laudable acting talent fits the mold fairly well. But with the other two star roles abandoned, who will accompany him on screen?

Curly might seem like a hard shoe to fit, but there are some actors and comedic figures that can physically fit the slapstick bill. Kevin James comes to mind. Perhaps even Larry the Cable Guy, if need be. Both seem to have made a name in pseudo slapstick or otherwise goofy comedy gigs. With a little work, either of them would look the part as well. I think between the two Kevin James is preferable given his adaptability. Larry the Cable Guy is, well, Larry the Cable Guy. Can you really imagine him not being the Larry so many fans have come to know and love?

Moe is a little harder I think. I think that one will be filled by a wildcard type actor. Somehow I imagine Johnny Depp will offer to take up the role. If the opportunity presents itself long enough, he might decide to add it to his long list of oddball roles that others cannot do so well. Of course, the Moe role isn’t too far from George Clooney’s character Everett McGill from O Brother Where Art Thou (2000). I suppose there are several actors that work here, but finding the right one is going to take some serious digging.

And even after all this is settled, is anyone really going to see a movie based on three clownish figures from the early decades of the last century? Inevitably I suppose it must draw a certain Friday night crowd. Any laugh will do after a particularly hard week of work. But is this going to be a kid’s movie, or something more mature? Is it going to be set in modern times? Will that even work? For the sake of nostalgia- and for this kind of movie, you have to inevitably appeal to nostalgia- that they keep the film set in times of the original Larry, Curly and Moe. Otherwise, it will lose all of its charm.

Assuming that there are still moviegoers who remember what that charm was after all these years.

Time for an Update

August 24, 2009

The wait is over, I can finally return to my blog. Oh, how I have missed it.

For the most part I’ve been celebrating my love of films in different ways. For one thing, I’ve been working on my own little projects. Some successes, some failures. Now that those are coming to a head, though, I can get back to good old Retroglory- I’ve even got a special program just for contributing to it.

One of my last posts was a preview for the recent film adaptation for the graphic novel The Watchmen. Now that the innovative and rather gutsy flick has hit the shelf, I should be posting a review of it shortly.

In the mean time, I’ve found an interesting video I’m sure all my fellow sci-fi geeks will get a kick out of. Barelypolitical.com is obviously known for its political satire and their little starlet “Obama Girl”, but the group also has been making nonpolitical,  dork-oriented parodies as well, and I thought particularly liked these two.

Moon Girl!

Sexy Cyborg!