As I understand it there are always two copies of a winner’s card, kept at opposite sides of the stage in case something happens to one of them. The pair for the Winning Picture were accidentally given the spare copy of the winning actress card which said ‘Emma Stone, Lala Land’. Thankfully the financial company who makes the cards had two people on site who are the only two who actually know all the winners in advance on site, so they were able to send out the actual card.
So, if the thread isn’t tired of me talking about the seventh art, I’d like to write a bit about Logan, a film which I saw today. Heavy spoilers follow:
The original X-Men films never really hit off with me. I’m sure I never finished the first or the second ones, although I did see the third a few times. After that, the newer ones didn’t work: never bothered to watch First Class and only saw Days of Future Past once. I did see X-Men Origins a few times, but I can’t remember what i thought of it. I liked the comics though. I used to buy and read them constantly when I was younger. Maybe the movies never had any impact on me due to personal preferences. I’ll admit that the casting, for the most part, was great.
Logan is a pretty weird superhero film, when you see the usual suspects. It’s bloodier and more sobered up and the influences are clear (Old Man Logan, mostly, even though the Hulk doesn’t rule a wasteland in this one). I liked that. The superhero genre is going to have an inevitable decline, like westerns and fresco paintings. But seeing changes in the overall narrative and aesthetic makes it feel fresher, especially if handled well. It shows plurality, and despite a few fans, comics are nothing if not varied.
It also helps that Logan luckily follows this good narrative structure with conflict, climax, ending, a good Rule of Threes when needed here and there, and a solid character arc. Considering most action movies nowadays, that’s great. And there’s an X-Men who’s not part of the traditional Giant-Size team, Caliban is in it!
I could go on about the usual, like special effects and cinematography, but that’s not really what piques me today. What’s on my mind is how the film was charged for me. I never really liked the movies anyway, but the comics, now there I had some baggage. And luckily, I liked the cast well. For me, Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, the same way Patrick Stewart is Professor X. I think that’s what made the scenes so effective. To me, I wasn’t seeing this standalone about their last days, I was seeing a follow up. This is what made Charles’s death so effective, I thought about the Professor X in my stories. They never really talk about the other X-Men much, the pain of their loss is long past, we only see glimpses of it, and it works!
I also really liked the way it played with the traditional themes of the X-Men. See, comics are great for many reasons, but they also do things no other medium can do. Like this sense of continuity that’s being absorved by most action flicks nowadays. That can help you play with themes. Like how the mutants never really mean danger to anyone, and are still brutally hunted faceless agencies for being different. Because they might be a threat.
Now, I’m not sure if Logan want to make any commentary on anything, but I think I have one, based on it. See, we soon find out that the Eden Laura wants to go to is made up, it doesn’t exist, or so does Wolvie think. It comes from a comic book. But we eventually find out that it does exist, made up by kids who loved the X-Men. I can’t take that out of my head, this cynical, skeptical film sculpts the idea that superhero stories are these fake worlds, but then tears it down. It shows that there’s an inspiration, a emotion you can draw from . It shows that it’s not wrong for those kids to think fondly, of their superheroes, just as I’m feeling as I write this, and remember the comics I read in when I was younger. It’s this beautiful message that’s hard to come by near any… well, any action film recently. And, despite the movie’s flaws (I’m sure there are a few), for the X on Logan’s grave? It was worth it. See ya in the crossroads, bub.
I thought it was an excellently crafted movie, and a good character piece for Wolverine, a character who whether you like it or not has defined the X-Men franchise for pretty much the entirety of the modern super hero film, given that the first movie was released in 2000 and only preceded by Blade. And I liked how they took the spirit of Old Man Logan but were able to craft something else which was good with it.
The actress playing Laura/X-23 was brilliant, so I really hope there’s a possible future for that character, unlikely as it is given how detached a movie this feels from the other films.
If I have one serious nitpick it was the usage of Richard E Grant. In the precious X-Men movie Apocalypse it’s set up that we’re going to have Mister Sinister, one of my favourite X-Men villains ever. Then comes the casting of Grant and I am terribly gleeful, because in the comics Sinister is a British Victorian Gentleman Scientist gone terribly wrong and is quite the obsessive with cloning. Simply put Richard E Grant seems perfect for that role.
But no, turns out he’s just the child of a scientist Logan killed in the Weapon X project who helped killed off most of the other mutants and- opps, oh dear, he’s been shot and killed. For such a great actor his backstory and sudden execution was so rushed and crappy that I was seriously annoyed.
Anyway, that aside, I enjoyed it. No idea where the modern X-Men films are going from here, mind.
So, today I watched and discussed this french film called “Since Otar Left” with some friends and it’s pretty interesting. It’s set in Georgia and it follows and debates the lives of the georgian people after the Soviet collapse, but it mostly stays in day-to-day toics.
I sometimes the acting was off and the pacing made me confused a bit. It’s not a marvel on the technical side, but it raises interesting questions.
Couple of weeks ago, I watched train to busan. It’s a south Korean film during a zombie outbreak. It’s about a group of people trying to reach a destination using a train with zombies still in them. Great movie. Not so much gore, no flying guts.
Watched Kong: Skull Island today and was really impressed. Not just a decent cast but a well done Kong, though the story focuses a lot more on the human characters and the enemy monsters aren’t overly interesting, though that’s a problem the movie shares with 2014’s Godzilla. But I found the idea of transplanting the Kong mythos into a new era and setting of post Vietnam War really interesting. If you like monster movies with plenty of action and occasional comic moments and a well defined historical setting different to the classic Kong films, this is worth a check.
Also if you’re anything like me and have watched far too many comic book movies so that you end up imagining if an actor’s comic character was in the situation then you’ll have the fun of seeing Nick Fury, Loki and Captain Marvel to be up against Kong. Hey they had Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver up against Godzilla last time!
Oh and stay for post credits! They tease not just Godzilla going up against Kong in the future but also Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah too!
I just finished Andrei Rublev.
If you, the one reading this, has an even basic interest in cinema, I’d recommend it.
Curious did anyone ever watch “Guardians” ? It is a Russian superheroes team similar to Justice league and Avengers, and personally i think it is a lot cooler than most superheroes movies these days…
Had been waiting for the third movie of the TRON franchise but alas…i believe it will be another shatter dream, Garret Hedlund and Olivia Wilde will not be playing the same protagonists if there is really a third movie for TRON, such a shame, the movie has so many promises and innovation as compare to many boring movies these days
It amused me to hear about because I actually thought it might be based on a team of established Russian Super Heroes in the Marvel Universe, who actually do have a bear on the team as well.
I love to watch “Avatar” movie. Really enjoying.
I am not that sure myself, the more famous Russian Superheroes in Marvel should be Black Widow, DarkStar and Colossus?
Those Russian Guardians seem original and the plot wasn’t as bad as many perceive …
However, perception is a funny thing…some of the movies i thought were bad while many were clamoring them… and some of the movies i thought was good, had been view negatively by many
So I’m wondering what people are thinking about movies and representation now with the new Beauty and the Beast. I personally caught like the first hour of it, and was kinda getting pretty annoyed, but IDK if there was some payoff to that whole character at the end.
It was the Winter Guard I was thinking of, they’re a Russian Super Hero Team in the Marvel Universe, of which Darkstar is a member (and Ursa Major the bear too). And that can happen, movies are different for everyone so sometimes it’s worth just giving them a try… unless it’s Transformers or the new Ghostbusters, because those are crap.
And I liked Beauty and the Beast! Honestly as with so many things I don’t know what all the fuss is about, Lefou is pretty much exactly the same as he ever was, Gaston gets to be almost border line sociopath (it works well for him), Emma Waston is lovely as Belle and the designs for the Servant characters is great, especially in 3D. I still think the the original’s ballroom dance is nicer, but otherwise it was a good take on the original, which is one of the first films I ever saw. I have cautious optimism the intended adaptions of Mary Poppins, Lion King and Little Mermaid will be as good, and hopefully we can get an Aladdin with an all Arabian cast?
I personally loved Beauty and the Beast. Made me feel like a giddy 4 year-old, really, finally watching her favorite Disney Princess movie in live-action and not on the DVD that skips every now and then because of overuse.
I too never really understood what the hubbub was about. I mean, even 4 year-old me could see that Lefou was too attached to the hypermasculine Gaston. And speaking of Gaston, he was way more of an asshole in live-action than in the original. The townspeople are ruder to Belle too, probably the only thing that bothered me in the film. I mean, destroying her prototype washing machine and yelling at her because she dared teach a girl to read? But the ending gave an explanation to their behavior, I guess. And the backstories to Beast and Belle fleshed their characters out even more, especially Beast. Oh, and the songs were great, even the new ones, and the costumes and the sets and the servant designs were absolutely fantastic.
Speaking of remakes, while I think that some remakes these days I really good (the Disney ones, for example), can’t Hollywood think of any original ideas anymore? I mean, I just found out that Jumanji is getting a remake. What.
I actually thought they made Lefou a better person than he was originally.
He at least had a struggle between his morals and his crush on Gaston, and eventually did the right thing. In the cartoon he was just a toady.
I’m glad to hear someone else had Belle for their favourite Disney Princess! As a little boy she appealed to me the most because she wasn’t only attractive but a book fiend like I was from a young age, and I think I’ve always liked smart girls as a result of that. Merida, Anna and Elsa of the modern crew are likely my favs now. I’m also glad they gave Beast his own song - can’t believe I didn’t remember that he only had one whole verse to sing in the original and that was it!
Jumanji is apparently going to be more of a soft reboot and sequel if I’m right, apparently with four people going into the game and having physical avatars there (including gender swapping since a guy becomes Karen Gillian apparently). But since the original was all out of the game I think it’ll be pretty different. But yes, lots of remakes. The Mummy is another one I’m hoping will be at least decent.
I hope is not forbidden but i want to tell you about a mini serial (6 episodes) i just watched. It is called Frontier and is made by Netflix. I have to admit i watched only for the main character Jason Momoa, but i was surprised when i saw the movie is pretty good. So the movie made me realize that man was and will always be craving for money and wealth, it is in his nature. Man will always be greedy and be envious of others.
Whilst we’re on the subject of Netflix, technically not a movie but OMG I am so ready for this…
Ugh. I loved Jessica Jones, I liked Luke Cage, I found a lot of interesting material in Daredevil (the first season, anyway), but I just finished Iron Fist and I was severely disappointed.
I hope the Defenders can move forward from the best parts, and do away with the weak ones.
To be honest I have some serious catching up to do and finish DD S2 and Luke Cage and then Iron Fist, sad to hear it’s the weak of the bunch. But hopefully Defenders and Punisher will help pick things up. I keep hearing that Marvel is considering a second round of Netflix stuff with supernatural characters - Blaze’s Ghost Rider, Blade, Moon Knight and Werewolf By Night - leading into a Midnight Sons mini series.