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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I saw "Logan" over the weekend based on lots of praise. It was not without problems, but I feel like the hype was misleading. The movie is OK at best and with all of the "greatest Wolverine movie" comments I have to sight a very low bar by its predecessors. I have no desire to see this one again.
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Karim Adams
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 4:17pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Wasn't planning on seeing this (didn't like the first Wolverine movie, heard the second one was better, but never got around to watching it) but the near-universal positive reviews swayed me.

I liked it. The performances were solid across the board, and aside from the Western influences, it reminded me a bit of Stephen King's Firestarter (A man and his daughter with enhanced abilities on the run from a shadowy government agency, they briefly find refuge with a kindly farming family, only for disaster to ensue).

I thought the ending was touching and I'll miss seeing Hugh Jackman in the role.
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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 5:38pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Based on the buzz, I went in expecting a cinematic masterpiece. It was a miserable experience to watch superheroes, wracked by disease and old age, end up hounded and murdered. I don't care if the movie ended with a "bow on top", with X-23 and her friends running off to safety. The movie sucked. 

But it's significant that the movie is enjoying critical and commercial success. Perhaps it's resonating with the generally sour mood in society. Or maybe audiences just want something "different" in their superhero movies. We'll see. 

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 10:10pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"It's called aging." Seems to have happened REALLY fast, considering Wolverine's age. He was born in Colonial America - call it 1750, give or take. His healing factor lasted through at least 2016 (266 years) and then waned in 12 years... that's like someone being perfectly healthy until 62 and then having things crap out by 65. I guess it's possible... but I don't blame the adamantium for suppressing his healing factor.

Remind me to ring you up in 30 years time when it's hard to walk because your bad hip is acting up, you can't urinate worth a damn and even if you could you couldn't piss in a straight line because your eyesight is terrible.

Or you could get lucky.

Ever wonder why some people live real long and others seem to go downhill really fast?   50% genetics + 50% lifestyle.   Thing is, one doesn't compensate for the shortcomings of the other. 

In Wolverine's case he likely discovered his gift of genetics early on and he could recover from bad habits quicker than anyone else -- and he learned to take advantage of it by eating, drinking, and fighting for pleasure.  When an X-men/military/spy mission needed cannon fodder as a distraction and Logan volunteers no one on the team objects because they know he can take it and survive.  When you know you can't be seriously hurt (or you just don't care) your mental outlook can become extremely reckless. 

Now rinse, wash, and repeat this behavior for 200+ years.  He wasn't living like a monk in a cave for the majority of his life or anything.

As Midnight Oil says "It's time to pay the rent".

My reading of the film was that the adamantium was the final insult to a body that had been absued and poisoned for the entirety of it's life.  Under the revised DOFP timeline Stryker got his mitts on Logan in the early 1980's so that's the last 40-odd years out of 200+.  The equivalent of a lifetime smoker and overeater taking up a cocaine habit at age 60.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 15 March 2017 at 10:47pm
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 10:43pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

You want to know what my biggest problem with the film was?

They traded one terrible future where everyone dies horrifically.... for another terrible future where everyone dies horrifically!   It totally undermines the message of DOFP (that a better future is worth fighting for).  

It's best not to think of LOGAN as an X-men franchise movie but more of a deconstructionist commentary on comic book films and franchise films in general.  

The best other-genre equivalent to LOGAN I can think of is UNFORGIVEN.  It's broadly hinted but never stated the character William Munny is 'the man with no name'/Blondie/Joe from the "Dollars" trilogy of tilms (inc. THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY).  Or more correctly,  he's the 'real' guy those stories are based on but the reality doesn't square at all with the myth and the legend.  Eastwood essentially tears down the heroic self-sacrificing cowboy genre movie and shows that ordinary people can still do good things and be heroic in spite of the fact that they are self-serving self-destructive pricks.  

The reason why LOGAN is getting praise from non-comic book fan film critics is because it's pacing, form, and structure are that of a deconstructionist western -- and it's comfortably familiar territory to critics but your average person doesn't know or care.  If you look closely, LOGAN ticks off all the same boxes that UNFORGIVEN does, including distancing itself from both it's source material (The depiction of real X-men comics as 'made up stories' with no bearing on reality) and of it's character archetypes (people want James Howlett to be "The Wolverine" again and he repeatedly states he was never that person to begin with).  It's the darling of the critics right now because it's blowing the doors off their limited view of what a comic book movie can be.  That's all.

That said, my hoidy-toidy movie buff friends repeatedly tell me that Jodorowsky's EL TOPO is a must-see genre-busting film of the highest calibre.   Hardest film I've ever been socially engineered to watch.  Thankfully I still have a brain and can choose to be entertained or thought provoked (or if I'm lucky -- both) without having someone tell me whats "good".   

LOGAN is just the newest iteration of some people's EL TOPO.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 16 March 2017 at 4:53am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Rob Ocelot: "
Remind me to ring you up in 30 years time when it's hard to walk because your bad hip is acting up, you can't urinate worth a damn and even if you could you couldn't piss in a straight line because your eyesight is terrible.

Or you could get lucky."

True, and I suffer from two of those right now (well, knee instead of hip) and thank you SO much for pointing that out. :)

Of course, I'm not a mutant. I haven't survived damage that would kill anyone twice. Does aging account for the waning of this ability? I guess so, and if we accept the premise that Logan's body has been rejecting the adamantium constantly since it was jammed into him, but his healing factor has countered that, then... maybe.

But it makes a shitty comic book... movie or not. Your mileage may vary (and obviously does.)


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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 16 March 2017 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I was slightly put off by the amount of hair Xavier had, both on his scalp and face, and wondered if I had missed an explanation. I know those that experience hair loss early in life can see the return of it later in life but their did seem to be rather a lot of it.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 16 March 2017 at 7:28am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

A friend of mine who knows I'm a superhero comic fan from way back said on Facebook he was interested in my opinion on LOGAN, after I'd "checked in" at the theater.

Here was my response:

"Should have been a red flag for me when I heard this described as almost not even a superhero movie. Thing is...I LIKE superhero movies.

This one doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. If it's "grown up", simply using a ton of language, graphic v
iolence, and a smidge of nudity doesn't get you there. That's why all the above worked in DEADPOOL, because that film was trying to be anything but grown up.

This is by no means a steaming turd pile along the lines of BvS, but I also don't see what all the fuss is about. Hugh Jackman is very good. After 17 years, he oughta be. Patrick Stewart can't even BE bad, can he? And the little girl is amazing.

The rest of the cast is perfunctory, perhaps by design. The action and fight scenes were well-choreographed, but sometimes a little over the top. At times, the drama and comedy seemed forced.

So, yeah. Not the best X-Men movie. And, not a fantastic movie, superhero or otherwise. But I guess it depends on your criteria. Mine were not met."

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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 16 March 2017 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

BIG SPOILER
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Fun bit of trivia (and deep seed-planting):

A fan on Twitter advanced the theory that THE WOLVERINE foretold Logan's death in LOGAN.

James Mangold confirmed it. In THE WOLVERINE, Yukio foretells Logan's death, "covered in blood, holding your heart in your hand"... and what is Logan holding right then in LOGAN?

Laura's hand.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 16 March 2017 at 3:48pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Would have been cooler if he'd been holding X-24's heart in his hand...
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 17 March 2017 at 4:36am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Oh yeah, X-24, and another thing that bugged me.

A truck sized vehicle was flipped over onto X-24... and he lifted it off himself. WTeverlovin'F? When did Wolverine get super strength? I figured that would be enough to stop him, unless may he dug his way out underneath.

Nah. Just have him lift it and crawl out from underneath it. Just like the real Wolverine would... :(
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 17 March 2017 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Jeez, while not a completey awful movie LOGAN had it's share of problems and really didn't need to mine a shittier movie for vague prophecies on how to wrap the story up.

Not when you've got goofy ideas of your own like a magic bullet made of the hardest known substance that somehow can be fired from a gun that is much softer than the bullet without shredding it to pieces.  Yet, this adamantium bullet can blow a watermelon-sized hole in an adamantium laced skull and somehow kill a Wolverine clone with a good working healing factor.  

The Muramasa blade from the comcis would have been a better way to achieve this end and would have better resonance with the Japanese/Ronin themes of THE WOLVERINE.  But no, we're making a Western and everything's gotta be resolved using a gun.  Because Westerns always use guns, right?

edited to add:   

I wouldn't place much stock in a director or writer acknowledging a fan theory on social media.  There is no way to tell if they are actually on the level --or-- saying "yes" because the fan idea is actually better than what they could come up with --or-- if they are playing by the new modern PR rules and 'engaging with the audience' instead of looking like a dick by answering in the negative.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 17 March 2017 at 6:44am
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 17 March 2017 at 7:04am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

You want to know what my biggest problem with the film was?

They traded one terrible future where everyone dies horrifically.... for another terrible future where everyone dies horrifically!   It totally undermines the message of DOFP (that a better future is worth fighting for).  
***

Very good point. And will the world that Logan is set in now be the one that the X-Men films are heading towards? Seriously, this series loves to screw up any sense of continuity.

(On that note, slight digression, but if the vents in DOFP had not happened shouldn't sentinels have been all over the mutants in the original three films?)

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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 17 March 2017 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Movie goers are entitled to overly complicated alternate potential future X-Men timelines just as much as comic readers are.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 22 March 2017 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I thought it was a good enough movie, saddled with a number of flaws. I originally was going to skip this one, because I didn't like what I saw in the trailers, but the reviews were so full of praise that I got drawn in...

It wasn't as good as the reviews made out.

I did have a problem with the language, especially Professor X. It was jarring when Wolverine dropped the F bomb in one of the previous films and things have deteriorated in this regard. If nothing else, it shows a huge lack of imagination to have "fuck" used so many times -- it's very one note. For example, the scene where he is bashing the car up when it won't start. 

Marvel has a few characters that, when on model (and really that should be always, though sadly it's been a long time since that's the case), are truly noble. Professor X is one of those. Professor X was also perhaps the most adept mutant atcontrolling his powers. I feel it hits a very wrong note to have him (a) discover he hurt a load of people through losing control of his powers (b) cursing in front of child and (c) going out like a putz. Compare and contrast the Claremont-written scene where Mystique shoots him in UXM 178 and the scene in this movie when he can't tell a fake Logan from the real one. I know, I know, he's got all these disease, he's old, he's taking drugs... but all these factors are put inplace by the writer. The writer doesn't have to make Professor X go out like a putz. Claremont created a similar scenario, but still had time to make Xavier seem impressive, deflecting the killing blow to a wounding blow at the last moment.

The film was too long.

The film seemed uneven; the Shane homage didn't really work for me, given Logan and co not just utterly failed to save the family, but really were somewhat responsible for bringing the carnage to their homestead. Once again, Professor X showing terrible judgement and disregard for the well-being of his hosts, because he was enjoying being there. This rings false!

What else do we know about Professor X? Well, he's an expert on mutants. So why does he keeping referring to X-23 as a mutant, when she clearly is NOT a mutant? Surely he above all people would be precise in this matter?

You want to do a story about a hero being past his prime and walking with a limp, coughing, full of scars? Don't use Wolverine!!! I guess a one-off story exploring how he copes without his powers could in isolation be interesting, so at least they didn't have him lose his healing in the last film. Oh wait...

Anyway, wanting to do the old Dark Knight Returns routine means they then have to come up with a reason for him losing his powers. And so we get the adamantium poisoning stuff. Seems silly to me. Healing powers and adamantium claws. The essence of Wolverine. Let's screw em both up!

De-uniquing. Look, X23 is pretty good in the movie, despite the stunning lack of originality in having Wolverine's 'daughter' being basically a carbon copy. But to then also have a Wolverine twin running around, complete with adamantium bones. Good grief.

Breakable adamantium. The one thing that makes adamantium adamantium is that it cannot be broken. That's its schtick, it's raison d'etre. If you want to break adamantium, don't use it. Use something else that is extremely hard to break, but can be broken. So the adamantium bullet thing is, I think, darn stupid.

The full dose of medicine thing didn't seem to fully play out properly. They seemed to stress how dangerous it was to take it all in one go, but then it just wore off with no harm, no foul.

Oh yeah, the violence. Horrible and unnecessary. Fine, Wolverine is badass and you want to have him stick a few people. There is no need to have the majority of these wounds be directly through people's head and shown in all its gory detail. Plus, bezerker or not, badass or not, the Wolverine I know would NEVER perform those cold executions in the way he did in the Harrah's when the Reavers were frozen and helpless. He could have destroyed their guns, knocked them out, lopped off their hands even... But no, he went for the claws through the head.

Final whinge about product placement: Sony, Harrah's, Chevrolet, Ford... I saw what you did.

What did I like? The story was decent, though I thought the ending was mediocre, mainly from the whole thing just running on too long. The acting was strong -- Hugh Jackman's performance when he buried Xavier was very moving and I thought he did a great job there. I found Wolverine's death/burial far less moving.

Caliban was sort of recognisable, though they just cannot seem to resist making changes. Sun burning his skin? His way of talking was a complete departure as well, though I though Stephen Merchant did a good job with what he was given.

Ditto the guy playing Pierce. Only the same character superficially as we know from the comics, but interesting enough judged in isolation.

And therein lies a major part of the problem with these X films -- you have to  do a kind of double-think and ignore what you already know to try and enjoy them as a separate entity. Now it does help that this is a kind of an alternate reality, which gives it some leeway, I feel. But still, why not just do it right?

Even judging it as a standalone thing, ignoring all my qualms about divergences from the source, the film just lumbered on a bit too long for the story it had to tell, in my opinion.


Edited to add some other things I liked but forgot to mention: the action set pieces were well done in the first half. The car chase/escape from the compound was excellent. The incident at Harrah's was well staged, in spite of the qualms I cited above.

The tone they set early on was very good and I liked the measured way in which they unfurled the plot up to the reveal of X-23's abilities in all their gory glory.
 


Edited by Peter Martin on 22 March 2017 at 9:40am
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 23 March 2017 at 7:16am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

...it reminded me a bit of Stephen King's Firestarter (A man and his daughter with enhanced abilities on the run from a shadowy government agency, they briefly find refuge with a kindly farming family, only for disaster to ensue).

I hadn't thought of that, but YES!

We don't need modern superhero deconstructionist movies to show us what would happen to mutants in the "real world." We have Stephen King movies for that. Hell, you could build a team of "S-Men" with his characters (Charlie had pyrokinesis, her Dad had the "push", Carrie had telekinesis, Halloran and Danny from THE SHINING were telepaths...)


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 23 March 2017 at 7:17am
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