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Movie Review – Logan


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James Mangold’s Logan, the third Wolverine solo film in the X-Men series, seems to take place after the events of Days of Future Past. Yes, so did X-Men: Apocalypse, but this one more specifically takes place after the altered version of DOFP‘s future storyline – the one with the “old” cast – where everything’s fine again, all the characters who died didn’t actually die, the Sentinels never attacked, and so on. Sadly, I’m told that this will be the final movie to ever feature the old X-Men and that it’s Young Xavier and company from here on out. As for this being Hugh Jackman‘s final time as Logan/Wolverine, I believe he deserves the break after 17 years of the same thing.

The movie is loosely based on the 2008 Wolverine storyline Old Man Logan by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted). That comic book storyline took place in a world where supervillains actually defeated superheroes and split the United States up into territories ruled by different villains. Wolverine, now old, retired and lived with his family. When his family died, Wolverine came out of retirement and destroyed everyone who got in his way.

In a Children of Men-esque near future where mutant kind is going extinct, he hides with an infirm Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) on a remote farm, providing medicine for the aging professor so as to prevent seizures that, seeing as they’re happening to the world’s most powerful telepath, are significantly more dangerous than regular seizures. The two are kept safe by Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a mutant-tracker who may or may not be the same Caliban who runs the mutant trafficking business in X-Men: Apocalypse.

The acting in this movie is just spectacular. Patrick Stewart steals the show as Charles Xavier. He has played this role many times before but playing the character as a dementia-ridden old man who has a tragedy that his own brain has hidden from him makes for a fascinating character study. Seriously, this is Stewart’s defining moment as Charles Xavier and might be one of the best acting moments in any comic book movie.

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The standout is, of course, newcomer Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney. I’ve seen some reactionary chat along the lines of “Will Logan be the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture!?!?” (no), but if Keen got a surprise nod in the acting categories, it genuinely wouldn’t seem like such a terrible shout on first viewing (though it’s obviously too early to say).

What holds Logan back from being the “masterpiece” many are prematurely claiming it to be is the fact that the quality dips noticeably as the film goes on. For a start, like all superhero films clocking in at two hours and twenty minutes, it’s twenty minutes too long. The “rest and recuperation” section drags, as does its neighbouring, all-too-standard sacrificial lamb sequence.

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All in all, I’d recommend Logan to any high-octane film fan. X-Men and Marvel fans I’m sure will be all over it regardless, but if an X-Men virgin and regular critic of the genre such as myself can enjoy its hard-hitting set pieces, interesting character development, and freshly dark tone, then that can only be a good sign.

Rating – 4 out of 5

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Logan Trailer Breakdown: A Peek into Wolverine’s Last Days


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Logan has been talk of the movegoers for a while. Confirmed as Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine, Logan is said to be inspired from Old Man Logan storyline and the trailer certainly has vibes of the classic tale.

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The basic description of movie suggests that it is set in a dystopic future where mutants are extinct. In this future Professor X’s powers are malfunctioning and Logan is on a run from a new group of villains. We meet a much older Wolverine, who is under guilt of going something that is eating him from the inside.

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The movie opens as Johnny Cash’s hurt plays in the background; the track perfectly sets the tone of the film.

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Professor X asks, ‘what did you do?’

We meet Logan. Is he under guilt of not being able to save to X-Men or is he the one who killed them?

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This is the world from where Wolverine time traveled in Days of the Future Past. While X-Franchise has made it clear that they don’t believe in the concept of timelines, it is more confusing to understand that if Wolverine saved mutants in Days of the Future Past then why did they die again.

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The scene fades into more glimpses of the post-apocalyptic world. Something happened, something bad.

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Logan sports a beard, he looks broken, drinking in a cemetery, may be this is where his x-friends are buried. This Wolverine has scars, he is aging and it is clear that healing factor is not working anymore.

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Here’s our first look at Professor X himself, and it’s noteworthy for two reasons. First of all, it’s genuinely painful to see a character known for his great power, a man who has led and mentored some of our favorite superheroes, dying in a filthy hideout in the middle of the desert after his life’s mission has seemingly failed. Second, it’s kind of astonishing that Patrick Stewart looks so good at 76 that they’ve literally had to cover him in makeup to sell his old age.

We meet a girl standing in a building overlooking a desert. Wolverine asks, ‘what is she,’ Professor X replies, ‘she looks a lot like you.’

X-23 was born through experimentation on Wolverine’s DNA. X-23 was successful after 22 clones died. We saw in the after credits of X-Men Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister of Essex Corporation might be responsible for her creation in this timeline.

We meet convoy of armed mercenaries on a hunt. It seems they are after Laura who is seeking refuge with Wolverine.

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We then meet a man in a shawl and faced covered with a mask and shades who may be Stephen Merchant’s Caliban. I am again not sure how he lived this long because he was last seen in X-Men Apocalypse.

‘She needs our help’

‘Someone will come along’

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It is clear that Professor X wants Logan to help her but he is reluctant to get into the fight. He thinks someone will come help her. He looks at his old dog tags, he wonders if he should help or not.

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The scene is cut by arrival by arrival of armed guards lead by the Donald Price. It might be possible that Logan cut off his arm and this is the reason why he has a hatred for mutants.

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We see the room shaking, Laura crawling, Logan carrying Professor X in his arms. It seems that either that they are in the middle of a big fight or just running away from it.

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While the trailer proceeds and we see some happy moments, Laura Watches Wolverine as he sleeps.

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A few cuts to Pierce and The Reavers, we see Wolverine with his claws pointed at Pierce faces. There are shots of him chasing armed guards, killing them one by one. This scene is followed by Laura doing the same thing.

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We see Logan trying to control Laura, he is blocking her claws, in the comics she was created with a trigger scent that will activate her to kill anything in her path. May be this is why Logan is trying to control her.

Professor X tells him that he still has time. If he killed X-Men then saving Laura is probably the only way to his redemption.

Logan opens in theaters on March 3, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 New Comic Book Animated Shows (And 2 Revived) – I want to see on TV


 

We live in a golden era of Comic book movies and TV shows coming to life. For someone who grew up watching animated shows, I still believe that it is the best medium to tell a story. Animated shows have a power of storytelling that no other medium has. Spanning a number of episodes, these shows build a story layer by layer. Animation is cheaper compared to TV or movies and hence uses graphics and action sequences in a much elaborate way.

Over time and time animation has given us some great ones like Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as Joker and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. My last favorites, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Young Justice were axed by their respective networks because the executives thought that it was too mature for their audience. Over time and time I have been wishing for more animated shows and here are some that I want to watch.

Marvel Max – Made for a network like Netflix or HBO, Marvel Max can elaborate adventures of Punisher, Daredevil, Luke Cage and have an opportunity to introduce new characters like Moon Kinght, Ghostrider, Blade in the process. The opportunities with this show is unlimited and so are the number of stories they can go with.

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Teen Titans v2 – The current Teen Titans is so dumb and stupid that even the kids of this era are refusing it to watch. What we need is a Teen Titans animated show on the lines of Young Justice. We all know the origin of the classic Teen Titans team. This show will give a chance to introduce new members and departure of some old ones.

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Fantastic Four – It’s been a while that we have seen anything decent related to Fantastic Four on TV. Marvel’s first family is a house of strong characters in terms of both heroes and villains. A new Fantastic Four show is the best way for Marvel to show Fox who is the boss. A more source material friendly style of storytelling can follow Hickman’s brilliant run on the family before he started working on Secret Wars.

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Adventures of Superman & Wonder Woman – its canon, Clark and Diana are a couple in DC universe, so why wait? We have an amazing opportunity to tell adventures of this power couple while introducing their friends in every episode. Just like Batman: Brave and the Bold we will get a cool show loyal to DC’s new 52 run.

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Wolverine – Remember Wolverine and the X-Men and how it was canceled just after a season. It was the best thing to exist on TV in those days and it went off for no reason. Why I want a Wolverine animated show, is because he is one of the most well-known characters in X Universe. A Wolverine animated show will tell us his origin story while introducing his life as an X Man. We will get a chance to meet his friends and enemies, most importantly Deadpool, Taskmaster, Omega Red and The Hulk.

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New Avengers – One of the best episodes on Avengers: EMH was the one that told us the origin story of New Avengers team. What if Marvel could plan a spin off series about the team. Who wouldn’t love to hear banters between Wolverine and Spider-Man?

Apart from these shows there are two shows that were canceled the moment it started to go interesting. If there is some way to revive them then I’ll be the happiest man on this planet.

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – I am still waiting for Season 3 and 4 of this series. The Galactus finale was too rushed and was without purpose. After Secret Invasion they could have gone on the Civil War route while slowly foreshadowing the coming of Thanos, followed by a grand finale where Galactus comes to satisfy his hunger. Come on Marvel you can do this.

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Young Justice – There are still question left unanswered. I am still waiting for the big bad to show up. I still need to know what the big plan was. Is that too much to ask? I guess not.

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I know my hopes are high but a fanboy can only wish. Who knew that one day you’ll be watching Batman and Superman fighting on screen. It could have been just a dream a few years back.

3 Pros And 1 Con Of Matthew Vaughn Not Directing X-MEN: Days of the Future Past


When director, Matthew Vaughn informed that he is out of the director’s chair for X Men: Days of the future Past. A lot of people were heart broken by this development, but it made me feel better. While I liked First Class fine.The film was good for an action movie, but as an X-Men movie it was crap.

1. Matthew Vaughn already said that he didn’t care about the source material. This is a guy on record for stating he could give a sh* about the comic books. He only did this movie because he wanted to make a Bond type movies. At-least elements in X3 were truer than that in First Class. There were chances that if he continued things would have gotten messed up.

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2. Better character development is something X-Men First Class really lacked in.Michael Fassbender was great as Eric, and his stuff with James McAvoy’s Xavier is pretty good. But look what happened to Emma Frost. Sebastian Shaw practically twirls a mustache, he’s such a cliché bad guy with a corny scheme. Moira MacTaggart wanders through the movie looking lost. And the first class of kids. Bryan Singer would give us better character development.

3. Back to basics. At its core, this thing should always be about societal issues- that’s X-Men at its best. People credit Chris Nolan for take Batman and comics to a realistic universe, but I argue that Bryan Singer’s grounded approach to X-Men was first. He pitted the characters ina world with real consequences and public reaction. And still managed to honor the comics. From the mutant registration act, to God Loves, Man Kills.This is the worst case scenario our heroes can face under the attack of persecution.

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Still…

The new movie was fresh: What happens to the setting? Are we tied back to bland costumes? So here’s the thing about Singer. In hindsight, in some ways, he can be blamed for getting X-Men off to the wrong foot right from the start. Wolverine is too tall and pretty, Cyclops is second-string and don’t get me started on Rogue and Storm. Matthew Vaughn succeeded in showcasing a new perspective on these characters and this world. If Vaughn were to stay on, at the very least, we could see where his vision is going. I mean, it’s hard to complain about old continuity when a new continuity could develop into something great, too.