Movie Review: The Wolverine (2013)

the-wolverine-movie-117364-1366x768

Here we are people. The final movie in my “Mangoldathon” series of reviews leading up to the release of “Logan” this coming week. I’ve had fun going through this director’s movies, and I hope you enjoyed reading the reviews that came out of it all. But now we’re here… the last one. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Wolverine”.

After the events of “X-Men: The Last Stand” we find Logan (Hugh Jackman) at his lowest low, hiding out in the middle of nowhere. But one day he gets summoned to Japan by a man (Hal Yamanouchi) he once knew. And soon Logan gets dragged into a conflict which will test him both physically and mentally. And I honestly thought the plot here was really solid. It’s a pretty serious action-drama that touches upon a lot of interesting things regarding the character of Logan, including the themes of mortality and love. And I thought it was pretty damn great… except the last 20-ish minutes of the movie. I mean, that part was entertaining, but it’s such a weird shift in tone from the rest of the movie. Again, the majority of the plot is great, and that final bit of the movie is… fine.

The characters are interesting and entertaining to watch. I think it’s safe to say at this point that Hugh Jackman is awesome as Logan/Wolverine. I mean, the dude’s always been great in the role, but I feel like this might be his best outing as the character (Keep in mind that at the time of writing, I have not seen “Logan”). Here he gets to stretch some of his acting muscles a bit more, getting to show more emotions while also being more of a vulnerable/troubled character. Rila Fukushima plays Logan’s new ally Yukio, and she’s really good in the movie. Tao Okamoto plays Mariko, a young woman that Logan seems to be forming a bit of a romance with, and she’s really good in the movie. Svetlana Khodchenkova plays the character of Viper and while the character might feel a tiny bit out of place, Kodchenkova still did a really good job. And then we also get some great performances from people like Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tee, Hal Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee, and Famke Janssen.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and it was pretty great. It was exciting, it was badass, and fit the location very well. The movie is set in Japan and to help with that, the score did feature some Japanese instruments, and I thought that was pretty cool. And overall the score just fits the movie very well overall.

As stated in the intro of the review, this movie was directed by James Mangold and he really did a great job. He directs the movie with a certain intensity that the other “X-Men” movies kind of lack. Especially the action scenes, which are all really badass and also fairly realistic. Or well, at least compared to other “X-Movies”. And the movie is just gorgeous, there were seriously shots in the movie that made me go “Wow”. Also, this is pretty violent for PG-13… yeah, it’s definitely one of the more violent PG-13 movies I’ve seen.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“The Wolverine” is a really solid action movie with some great character stuff for Logan/Wolverine. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. However, I am deducting some points because of that weird shift in tone near the end of the film. Time for my final score. *Snikt*. My final score for “The Wolverine” is a 9,01/10. I’d say that it’s worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “The Wolverine” is now completed.

And that’s it for the “Mangoldathon”… Hope “Logan” is good.

Movie Review: Girl, Interrupted (1999)

czzpwvdxeaazksm

Hello there, guys! The “Mangoldathon” continues! What, you thought I forgot about it? Pfff… no. Anyhow, let’s get into it!

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Girl, Interrupted”.

Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) is a troubled young woman who in the 1960s gets put in a mental hospital. And we follow her as she gets to know her fellow inmates and also maybe learn a bit more about herself. While the plot itself was good, I never found myself fully invested in it. I mean, it wasn’t bad at all, and I was never bored… but I also never felt “Yeah, this is really immersive and investing”. And that’s a bit of a shame, really. Because like I said, the plot in itself isn’t bad, and it is clearly aimed to be dramatically investing… however I was never really invested in it. So it’s overall.. okay.

The characters in this movie are all very interesting. Winona Ryder is great as Susanna Kaysen, perfectly portraying the troubled young woman. Angelina Jolie plays Susanna’s fellow inmate, Lisa, and she is fantastic. Her performance is believable and also a million flavors of fun. Then we also get a whole bunch of great supporting performances from people like Brittany Murphy (R.I.P), Whoopi Goldberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Vanessa Redgrave, Jared Leto, and Elizabeth Moss. It’s a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Mychael Danna, and I think it’s really good. It was dramatic, it had some good energy to it, and it overall just fit the movie very well. There was also some really good use of licensed track in the movie, most notably “Downtown” by Petula Clark. The music in this movie is really good… not much else I can say about that.

As you probably picked up on through the intro of the review, this movie was directed by James Mangold. And he did a great job here. His directing is confident and it makes scenes flow very well which helps make the pace much better. It’s also a very good looking movie, with smooth camera movements and such.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best supporting actress (Jolie).

“Girl, Interrupted” is a flawed but still pretty solid drama. It has a pretty good plot, good characters, great acting, really good music, and great directing. However the plot isn’t as engaging as it should be. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Girl, Interrupted” is an 8,88/10. While flawed, it’s still worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “Girl, Interrupted” is now completed.

I might review one more movie for the “Mangoldathon”. Not entirely sure yet.

 

Movie Review: Cop Land (1997)

ginzn2kk7khugs15bstn24sqwup

Hello there, ladies and gents. And welcome to the first part in a series of reviews that I’ve had in mind for a while. I have titled this series of reviews “The Mangoldathon”. The title of course comes from the fact that this series of reviews will cover movies by James Mangold, as a lead-up to “Logan” this March. Now to be clear, I will not review all of Mangold’s movies, just a handful. For example, I will not cover “3:10 to Yuma”, because I already did that back in the day when my reviews were total shit. But who knows, I might cover it again if you fuckers nag enough in the comments/on twitter. Anyhow, with that said… let the “Mangoldathon” begin!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… “Cop Land”.

Freddy Haflin (Sylvester Stallone) is a good, honest, sheriff in a small New Jersey town. But soon he slowly discovers that his town is filled with corruption and cops that might have connections to the mob. And now we have a slowly burning crime-drama that kept me legitimately interested throughout the runtime. I found the plot really interesting and intriguing, if slightly predictable at times. There were a few things that I didn’t see coming, but for the most part it was pretty straightforward, which brings it down a little bit. But the plot overall was solid.

The characters in the movie were interesting and entertaining. Sylvester Stallone really impressed me in this movie. His performance was believable and actually pretty subtle, he really did a great job here. Harvey Keitel was great too as this older cop that we see a lot throughout the movie. Ray Liotta was also great as Stallone’s colleague/friend. And Robert De Niro was great as this internal affairs lieutenant. We also got some really good supporting performances from actors like Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, and Michael Rapaport. All actors did a good job here.

The score for the movie was composed by Howard Shore and it was actually really good. It wasn’t one of those scores that I always noticed, but when I did I felt that it really helped improve the scene. It helped build up the drama/intensity in certain scenes. There were also a few licensed tracks throughout the movie that kind of worked in their respective scenes too.

This movie was (as stated in the intro) directed by James Mangold and for it only being his second feature film, he did a great job. The direction is slow and tense, and perfectly captures the feeling of unease one should expect from the type of situation that the plot is about. I’m not saying that it got under my skin or made me feel incredibly tense, but the situation definitely fent uneasy and like no one could be truly trusted… except for Stallone, but you get the point.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Cop Land” is a really good crime-drama. It has a good plot, interesting characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. However it gets brought down a bit by being kind of predictable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Cop Land” is a 9,34/10. So it’s definitely worth buying!
worth-buying

My review of “Cop Land” is now completed.

Let the “Mangoldathon” commence!