Tag Archives: The X-Men

THIRD BLOODY TIME’S THE CHARM!

6 Mar

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1. Logan/Fox                                       Wknd/$ 85.3    Total/$ 85.3
2. Get Out/Universal                         Wknd/$ 26.1    Total/$ 76.0
3. The Shack/LG                                Wknd/$ 16.1     Total/$ 16.1
4. The LEGO Batman Movie/WB   Wknd/$ 11.7     Total/$ 148.6
5. Before I Fall/ORF                          Wknd/$ 4.9      Total/$ 4.9
6. John Wick: Chapter Two/LG      Wknd/$ 4.7      Total/$ 82.9
7. Hidden Figures/Fox                      Wknd/$ 3.8      Total/$ 158.8
8. The Great Wall/Universal           Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 41.3
9. Fifty Shades Darker/Universal   Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 109.9
10. La La Land/LG                             Wknd/$ 3.0      Total/$ 145.7

A BLOODY GOOD FINISH
Logan opens at number one and third time’s the charm apparently. In their third outing they finally made a good solo Wolverine movie. No, it’s not the best superhero movie ever made (that still belongs to Iron Man for me) and it’s not even the best X-Men film (that still belongs to X2 for me), but it’s pretty damn good. Wisely dumping pretty much every goddamn thing about the Old Man Logan story from the comics (imagine if Wolverine were made only for angry, sexless, 15-year-old boys and you’ll have an idea of how bad that nonetheless successful series was) they’ve finally learned to follow the Marvel/Disney example and not make a “superhero” movie, but just a movie and plop a superhero into it. Iron Man, Thor and Doctor Strange were all the same movie about the narcissist who discovers the world around him aka, the best movies Tom Cruise and Richard Gere ever made. Captain America is a WWII movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a 70’s spy movie. Guardians of the Galaxy is every movie about a ragtag group of misfits coming together. And Logan is a road movie about two people at the end their days a meager shadow of their former selves who find themselves called to get it together one more time for the sake of a younger person. You’ve seen it a dozen times before only this time you see it with superpowers. Professor X is now a danger to all those around him because his mental powers have been short-circuited by ALS and Alzheimer’s. Wolverine no longer heals the way he use to and is slowly dying for reasons that seem mysterious, but are obvious when you think about it. Into their laps falls a little girl with all Wolverine’s powers and abilities and hot on her heels is an evil corporation (redundant) willing to kill anyone and everyone to get her back. I feel bad for Hugh Jackman in that only in his last outing as Wolverine does he get the film his commitment deserves (he stayed in Wolverine shape for a year waiting for director Darren Aronofsky to get his shit together for what would have been the second Wolverine movie). He’s never been bad in the role, but didn’t always get the material to support him, least of all the god-awful The Wolverine, which ironically had the same creative team. What’s the difference? Deadpool. Deadpool proved you could make the R-rated film Wolverine deserved and make a dollar. I mean, it’s about a guy with razor sharp claws who is prone to homicidal rages. How can you do this honestly without blood and body parts on the ground? You can’t and the comics never shied away from it and in fact his learning not slaughter people was part of the character’s evolution, but what you can do in an all-ages comics oddly becomes an R-rated movie. Blood and darkness isn’t the reason why Logan is good but let’s not kid ourselves in that this will be the only takeaways for future superhero movies, so get ready for a lot of awful superhero crap filled with boobs, blood and cursing.

HOW ABOUT I JUST STAY OUT?
Get Out is down to number two and sorry, I don’t care how universally great the reviews are, I. Will. Never. See. This. I got anxiety just watching the trailer. I don’t do the scary to begin with, so do you really think I’m going to do the scary in a way that relates to me directly!?! The fucker is even a photographer in New York. Oh, hell no! But I’ll glad for everyone involved. Sorry I can’t help.

JESUS-Y IS TOO A WORD!
The Shack is opens at number three and this is some kind of Jesus-y thing and while I understand Sam Worthington has no choice but to be in shit like this—having been replaced as the Charisma-Free-Australian in movies by Jai Courtney—it’s sad Octavia Spencer found herself in this post-Oscar, pre-Hidden Figures.

NOW WHEN I SAY “I LOVE DICK” WHAT I MEAN IS…
The Lego Batman Movie is down to number four and the mixed blessing for this has come down in director Chris McKay doing a Nightwing movie. For those of you with actual lives and social skills, Nightwing is the identity Dick Grayson adopts after growing up and leaving Batman behind. There’s even a joking reference to it in this movie. It’s good because it’s Chris McKay who is a talented director. It’s bad because DC Comics and Warner Brothers have yet to make a superhero movie that doesn’t suck salty sweaty balls (Chris Nolan made his Batman movies before the official DC/WB unit was created to oversee these films) and the small blessing of no Dick Grayson or Robin in these movies is that they can’t fuck up Dick Grayson or Robin in these movies. It seems that time is over. Sigh.

BY THE WAY: YOU’RE OLD!
Before I Fall opens at number five and this is the latest Young Adult Novel Science Fiction/Fantasy adaptation. This time a teenager has to deal with the “stuck in a repeating day” situation endured by everyone from Bill Murray in Groundhog Day to David Duchovny on the X-Files. The only notable thing about it for an “old” like me is that it stars Zoey Deutch aka daughter of Lea Thompson aka Michael J. Fox’s mom in Back To The Future and also one of the stars of Some Kind of Wonderful (which was directed by dad, Howard Deutch). Like her mom in the latter film she plays a girl who’s a member of the beautiful people clique and there’s even a jerk boyfriend and shy guy who crushes on her. Some sf/fantasy elements would have helped Some Kind of Wonderful, honestly.

TESTING THE KINSEY SCALE WITH EVERY APPEARANCE
John Wick Chapter Two is down to number six and also in this is Ruby Rose who may or may not be playing a dude. The character is mute and no gender is specified, which lends to my theory that she’s here to make everyone question their sexuality. If you’re a straight dude or gay woman you’re wondering why you’re attracted to this boy. If you’re a straight woman or gay dude you’re wondering why you’re attracted to this girl. She’s fucking with all of us! And this is her second action movie this year. She was a sniper in XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. So it’s one step back and one step forward in ’17 for her.

A GOOD INTENTION THAT DOESN’T HELP PAVE THE ROAD TO HELL
Hidden Figures is down to number seven and I finally did my duty as a Black person and saw it! It’s good, not great. Very much a high production TV movie, because in the end all the bigoted White people come around to respect and admire the hard-working capable Black people. And the director even admitted it was to give the White audience something. Now it will go on forever, required viewing for both Black History Month and Women’s History Month in classrooms all over the country.

YUAN GON’ GET NO MONEY FROM THIS
The Great Wall is down to number eight and honestly I have no issue with the idea of an outsider coming in to help with a fight so long as he isn’t the “savior” of the people who’ve been fighting it all this time. At least not without good reason, you know like some advanced technology or strategy, but the Chinese invented fucking gunpowder and The Art of War so what the fuck could Matt Damon really do for them!?! And this isn’t the first big budget movie that throws Western actors (aka White actors) into a period piece in an attempt to get both Chinese and American audiences. Nicholas Cage has been in one (no surprise) and so has John Cusack (and his had Jackie Chan in it)! This is their first attempt with an A-list star, but it fared no better. File under “Great Mistakes Made In The Naked Pursuit of International Money.”

HIS PERSONAL HELL CONTINUES
Fifty Shades Darker is down to number nine and this doubled its budget domestically and made 6x worldwide, so if you think they’re not going to finish out the trilogy, keep dreaming, Jamie Dornan.

THE NOT WINNER OF BEST PICTURE
Finally, La La Land closes out the Top Ten at number ten so it can continue onto home video and maybe, just maybe I’ll catch it on cable one day. And have you noticed the way to succeed in Hollywood is not to be in a successful comic book movie franchise, but in a disappointing one? Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were in the Spider-Man reboot and now she’s got an Oscar while he got a nomination. Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller were in the Fantastic Four reboot and were also in critically praised Oscar-nominated movies. Meanwhile, The Chrises Hemsworth and Evans keep trying big and small for respect and come up empty. If it makes you feel better, boys, you’re taller and prettier than they are. Including Emma Stone.

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SOUNDS LIKE THE TITLE OF A TOO MODEST PORN FILM

9 Nov

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1. Big Hero 6/Disney                                      Wknd/$ 56.2     Total/$ 56.2
2. Interstellar/Paramount                             Wknd/$ 50.0    Total/$ 52.2
3. Gone Girl/Fox                                             Wknd/$ 6.1         Total/$ 145.4
4. Quija/Universal                                          Wknd/$ 6.0        Total/$ 43.5
5. St. Vincent/Weinstein                               Wknd/$ 5.7         Total/$ 27.4
6. Nightcrawler/ORF                                      Wknd/$ 5.5        Total/$ 19.8
7. Fury/Sony                                                     Wknd/$ 5.5        Total/$ 69.3
8. John Wick/LG-S                                         Wknd/$ 4.0        Total/$ 34.7
9. Alexander & The Terrible…/Disney        Wknd/$ 3.5        Total/$ 59.2
10. The Book of Life/Fox                               Wknd/$ 2.8        Total/$ 45.2

SOMEWHERE FOX LAWYERS READ THE FINE PRINT…
Big Hero 6 opens at number one and this is loosely based on a Marvel comic book (though this is not a Marvel Production, though they are owned by Disney), which I never read, believe it or not. One very ironic reason is that it was actually called “Sunfire & Big Hero Six” Sunfire being a Japanese mutant who often interacts with The X-Men. Also one of the members of Big Hero 6 was the Silver Samurai who often clashes with Wolverine. It’s ironic because these characters are among those Marvel can’t get back to the point they’re changing the comics as a result. Needless to say, he’s not here and there’s no counterpart for him, though there is for Silver Samurai. Big Hero Six was a Japanese superhero team and that’s also gone. Now the setting is a gorgeous futuristic city called San Fransokyo, clearly a mesh of San Francisco and Tokyo (with maybe some Hong Kong thrown in) where teen genius Hiro Hamada takes the robotic nurse created by his late brother to seek the man responsible for his brother’s death who has also stolen Hiro mirobot technology. His brother’s fellow students eventually join with Hiro to become Big Hero 6. The movie takes a bit to get started and honestly creates a world more interesting to me than the actual story. Not to mention they double up on the tragedy to the point where it becomes near impossible to believe that Hiro’s not going to be utterly damaged. Hiro and his brother are already orphans being raised by their aunt when Hiro sees his brother die in a fire. His desire to kill the man responsible rings true, but what doesn’t is pretty much any smile afterwards. Both the movie and the character would have been better served if his brother had more vanished than actually died to believe that hope could still exist for Hiro. I mean, even Batman only had to bury his parents. Fortunately, Hiro really isn’t the star of the film. It’s the gentle robot, Baymax, who looks like a giant marshmallow that and Disney clearly knew it given he’s got the poster to himself. You can almost believe that under his care Hiro could heal in a way that the film needs to accept his journey. Not helping matters is a fairly weak and underdeveloped villain and everyone knows your heroes are only as good as your bad guy is bad, but Baymax almost makes up for all of it.

LOST IN SPACE
Interstellar opens at number two and honestly, my hopes were not high for this when I saw the writing credits belonging to the two Nolan Brothers. With the exception of the ninety minute Memento, every film they’ve ever made could have and probably should have been cut by twenty minutes and sadly this is no exception. While I do prefer a shorter film, I’m not an enemy to a long one.. I’ve got no problem settling in and letting big film envelope me like a warm blanket so long as it uses its time to do just that and totally immerse me in the world it creates, but that doesn’t happen here. We get hints at a dystopic future where all wars are over as mankind is engaged in a struggle to survive on a fatally damaged Earth as one by one every major crop is dying off and dust storms are starting in on the humans. Farming is encouraged as an occupation and children are taught that we never went to the moon as space travel is considered a waste of resources. The latter apparently happened in McConughey’s lifetime as he was a pilot with NASA. Not sure how that’s even possible, but okay. Also, NASA is now an organization that’s been operating in secret for over a decade exploring space to find mankind a new home thanks to a wormhole that has appeared next to Saturn, openly acknowledged to be the work of an intelligent race. So, if they can create a wormhole, why the hell put it next to Saturn, which takes two years to get to? No one ever asks. Once through the wormhole they are to determine which if any the only three worlds that actually had mission survivors (out of 12 manned missions) can become a new home for mankind. Meanwhile, back on Earth, thanks to the relativity of time near a black hole, McConughey’s daughter has become a scientist in her own right, helping with Plan B, which is to build a space station to relocate humanity. Of course things go wrong on both ends to build drama and tension, but as always Nolan stretches the tension to the point where it simply snaps and you don’t much care how it resolves itself, so long as it ends. Remember seeming endless shots of people falling backwards and a falling van in Inception? Well take that and make it even longer. Not to mention if you’ve watched enough science fiction you know immediately the secret behind the first “mystery” introduced in the film and once the film finally reveals it, not only is there no new spin put on it, but it also goes on far too long. Even the much vaunted visuals failed to impress and I went out of my way to see it in 70mm…and something happened to the film in the last 10 minutes. So much for that format making a comeback.

A TORCH VERY HAPPILY PASSED
Gone Girl actually rises to number three and this is what we call “having legs” as we not only enter its sixth week, but a jump back up. Why? Well, let’s face it: it’s an adult movie about adults, while Big Hero 6 is aimed squarely at kids and there are adults who flatly regard all science fiction as silly and won’t watch. This is where they were while kids were in Big Hero 6 and teenagers were in Interstellar. And did we discuss that also in this was the “Blurred Lines” girl, Emily Ratajkowski? She’s the new Megan Fox. That is, someone whose natural features are so exaggerated she looks like the drawing of a girl come to life. And while these people look great “playing their roles” (usually in print) they look almost freakish playing “normal” as she does in the film. There’s a similar problem with one of the male leads on Jane the Virgin. He’s clearly good looking, but looks oddly freakish as well walking around and talking.

ONE DAY YOU COULD BE A FULL OF SHIT SUPERSTAR
Quija is down to number four and this cast is filled with unknowns so there’s not much to talk about, but remember the original Nightmare on Elm Street also had a cast filled with unknowns, one of whom was Johnny Depp, so hang in there kids! Paying your dues in crappy, low budget horror films is a time-honored tradition. Shhh! I’m trying to give these kids hope!

ACTORS PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKE ARE IN THIS?
St. Vincent is down to number five, followed by Nightcrawler at number six and did you know that Rene Russo was in this or that her character is helping the career of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character? Of course not. Seriously, the ad campaign for this needs a do-over.

AND YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THE TRAIL OF MEDIOCRE TO AWFUL WORK
Fury is down to number seven and this comes from David Ayer the writer and director of wannabe gritty LA crime dramas like End of Watch and Harsh times and the writer of Training Day, Dark Blue, SWAT and Fast & The Furious. He also wrote and directed the god-awful Sabotage, which did just that to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback attempt. This resume makes me more than glad I gave this a pass.

THE A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY SQUAD
John Wick is down to number eight and as I mentioned what helps this film are the many character actors in small supporting roles such as Lance Reddick, Ian McShane (who improves anything), John Leguizamo (who can ruin anything if you let him, but they don’t let him) Dean Winters and Willem Dafoe as a hitman buddy and David Patrick Kelly as the undertaker of the underworld who seems to enjoy his work a bit too much. You know him from his immortal line from The Warriors, “War-ri-ors, come out to pla-ay…” Yeah, that guy.

GEEKS, ALWAYS LIKING WEIRD STUFF
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is down to number nine and The Book of Life closes out the top ten at number ten. After this week it it will undoubtedly go on to a live a cult classic by geeks who insist it was great and the rest of us simply didn’t give it a chance. They’ll be half right.

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