X-Men

Logan

Logan (2017) – Action | Thriller

Directed by: James Mangold

Starring: Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart

How I Watched: Theatres

Review by Holly Hill

Experiencing Logan is a lot like when you’re a kid and you think your Dad is a super strong perfect guy that can do no wrong. Then you grow up and you realize your Dad is just a human being and he’s got shit to deal with, too. He’s getting older, he’s got to put up with your bullshit all the time, and you start to notice drinking habits you never noticed before. It’s slightly disappointing but you still love the guy, and I think most people will feel that way about the legendary Wolverine after this movie is over.

Logan might be the most nontraditional comic-book movie audiences have ever seen. In fact, if it wasn’t for a physical X-Men comic-book showing up in the movie, you might even forget it’s supposed to be a comic-book movie. A huge pat on the back for taking the chance on making Logan rated ‘R’. Deadpool was the most recent big Marvel movie to do this and its own success coupled with Logan can ensure that adults will see many more made with this intention. Not only does it make for some pretty gruesome killing scenes, but we also get a lot of F-bombs which actually do add realism to the movies. Who doesn’t say fuck a lot when they’re being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach by a child?

The acting is phenomenal. Hugh Jackman gives it his all in his 10th (and apparently last) credit playing Wolverine. What a ride it’s been. From his ridiculous jumping from a car onto a helicopter in slow motion film, to this raw heart wrenching portrait of a man who has seen some shit go down and is kind of ready for it all to end.

The latest Chloë Grace Moretz type to tackle the big screen is Dafne Keen, who plays Laura, a mini me version of the Wolverine with steel claws in her hands and feet. She doesn’t say cunt or anything like that, but she does kick ass. She also packs a much more serious punch, killing more than twenty people before we even hear her speak a word.

Patrick Stewart is back possibly for the last time as well as Charles Xavier, who has recently done something terrible, is losing his mind, and is suffering from seizures. Logan works to keep Charles hidden away in a water tank in Mexico, shooting him up with seizure medication to make sure he doesn’t accidentally paralyze the world with one of his super earthquake seizure things. Stewart oddly enough adds a lot of comedy to the movie. The audience has grown up with Xavier, watching him learn to control his powers in previous films, build his school and train the X-Men, and now we watch him decay into an old man with a brain problem. He’s tired, needs Logan to help him pee, wants to take advantage of a nice family’s hospitality and endanger them for a night, likens himself to a box of avocados, and watches old westerns with Laura. Stewart makes the movie funny, sad, but mostly endearing.

Overall Logan is a strange, but wonderful movie to experience. As long as the audience doesn’t go in expecting to see another X-Men movie, I think most will leave the theater entirely pleased with the end of Wolverine’s story.

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New to Streaming in March

Happy March! With the new month, there’s new stuff to stream! Lost with all the choices? Here are nine new and amazing streaming options you can enjoy from your couch right now!

New to Amazon Instant Video:

– Gangs of New York – Martin Scorcese brings us this incredible epic starring Leonardo Dicaprio and a stunning Daniel Day Lewis.

– What We Do in the Shadows – If you haven’t seen this movie yet, jump right to it. Hilarious mockumentary about vampires starring Jemaine Clement and more!

New to HBO Now:

– The Brothers Bloom – Rian Johnson is building an incredible career and this is no exception. A movie about con men with enough twists to snap your neck.

New to Hulu:

– Legion – The X-Men are finally getting the treatment they deserve with this absolutely stunning TV series created by the same guy that did Fargo for FX.

– Lost Highway – If Mulholland Drive is for undergrads and Inland Empire is for those seeking Doctorates in the David Lynch School of Film, this would be where you try to get your Masters degree.

– A Simple Plan – Written by the Coen Brothers, this thriller contains amazing performances from Billy Bob Thornton and recently departed Bill Paxton.

New to Netflix:

– Midnight in Paris – One of the more accessible Woody Allen films, this is a great way to start if you ever wanted to begin watching his films.

– Sausage Party – Seth Rogen and crew give us one of the funniest and smartest animated films that has ever been made.

– This is Spinal Tap – The Godfather of the Mockumentary format, this made Christopher Guest a god of comedy. “Turn it up to 11.”

Deadpool

DEADPOOL

Deadpool (2015) – Action | Comedy

Directed by: Tim Miller

Starring: Ryan Reynolds and T.J. Miller

How I Watched: Amazon Instant Video

Best Line: “I had another Liam Neeson nightmare. I kidnapped his daughter and he just wasn’t having it. They made three of those movies. At some point you have to wonder if he’s just a bad parent.”

(I’m going to start this out by telling you that I have next to no familiarity with Deadpool and the universe surrounding him in the comic books. I sincerely apologize if I make any blasphemous misinterpretations or assumptions in the following review.)

Hollywood took a risk here. Allowing the X-Men franchise to stray into the world of violent rated R films was not without the potential hazard of being dead on arrival. Middle America is stuffy and boring and for some reason, Hollywood makes most of their choices to appease these pastor-driven zombies. I mainly drift toward independent film to avoid this, so when I heard “Marvel is making a Rated R action comedy,” my eyes and ears definitely perked up.

Ryan Reynolds hasn’t exactly had it easy since Green Lantern shit the bed in 2011. With movies like R.I.P.DThe Woman in Gold, and Self/less coming out and causing everyone to scratch their heads, you couldn’t help but wonder if it was over for him. Deadpool is more than enough to get his career back on track, though. In the movie, you get a sort of Van Wilder on a cocaine binge. His one-liners fly out of his mouth at a rapid pace and laughing at one might cause you to miss the next. He’s not afraid to make fun of himself either. There are at least a couple references to his last attempt at superhero stardom.

The other cast is unfortunately pretty underwhelming. T.J. Miller is funny as a bar owner and Wilson’s friend, but everyone else just seems to be there. The film’s antagonist is a British dude doing a Jason Statham impression and seems to really ride Reynolds’ wave throughout. Thinking about it now, though, this may have been the intention. Reynolds easily carries each scene, whether he is in the suit or casting jokes in his hamburger-like skinjob.

While Deadpool doesn’t exactly showcase a budget that its X-Men counterparts would receive, it makes the most of what it has. The script is fragmented in a way that allows those unfamiliar with the story to follow along without actually focusing too much on Deadpool’s origin. Superhero movies fall into the ‘origin story’ trap far too often (ahem, Spiderman, cough, cough) and it was nice to see it presented a different way. I realize that Reynolds was introduced in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Wade Wilson and Deadpool, but it really doesn’t feel like those are connected at all once you watch this movie.

Maybe I was a little spoiled by violent action comedies like Kick-Ass and Kingsman, but I was prepared for a little more insanity that there actually was in Deadpool. Don’t get me wrong, right from the hilarious credit sequence, the movie is pretty nuts. Think Guardians of the Galaxy, but with stripclubs and George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say. From the way people were talking about Deadpool though, I was expecting to have my mind blown. Dredd and Punisher: War Zone both featured an unbelievable amount of jaw-dropping bloodshed, and even Netflix’s series Daredevil went off the handle once in a while. Deadpool has its fair share of R-rated insanity, but I felt like they could have gone crazier.

This was the perfect way for Marvel and Fox to dip their feet in the adult-aimed, superhero water. Grab a star that is self-aware that his last attempt at being a superhero hit a wall full of broken lanterns and let him run wild as a swearing, murdering jester in a red suit for an hour and a half. Like I said before, this could have exploded in their faces, but honestly, most everything works in Deadpool. It’s funny, pretty damn violent, and gives hope to a franchise that really, could have used this shot of coffee in its arm. If you haven’t already, check it out. If you have, watch it again. I’m sure like me, you missed a bit when you were laughing.

Final Score: 3.5/4

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Similar Films: Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Guardians of the Galaxy