Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (2018)

In 2009, we got the big screen debut of comic book character Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, and it was a fucking disgrace. Skip forward to 2016, Deadpool gets his own movie called… “Deadpool” (fucking unpredictable title, I know). And in 2018 he got a sequel. And now I finally watched it. So let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Deadpool 2”.

Super-powered mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) has to create his own mutant team in order to protect a young mutant (Julian Dennison) from a time traveling super soldier called Cable (Josh Brolin). So now we have our big comic book sequel plot. And it’s good. It does lack some of the focus that the first movie had, but that is not very surprising considering this is trying to be bigger than the first one. But I don’t dislike the plot here at all, as a matter of fact, I found it to be a lot of fun. Sure, it does jump around a bit, but it’s not enough to annoy me. It embraces the silliness of superhero comics, while still subverting a fair bit of expectations one has for them. And I thought it all had a fair balance between silly comic shit and heartfelt character drama. ’tis good.

The characters in this are fun, badass, surprisingly layered, and overall very entertaining. Ryan Reynolds of course returns as Deadpool. But this is a slightly different Deadpool to the first movie, this one has suffered a little bit, this Deadpool is going through some shit. But he still retains the insanity that we’ve come to know from him. And Reynolds is once again fantastic in the role. Next we have Josh Brolin as Cable, the time traveling soldier out for blood. He’s a tragic, unrelenting badass that I found quite interesting. And Brolin is great in the role. We also get Zazie Beets as Domino, one of the mutants joining Deadpool on his quest. She’s an interesting foil for Wade’s antics, and she’s just overall a fun character. And Beets is great in the role. Julian Dennison is also great as the tragic mutant kid that Wade wants to help. WE also get supporting work from people like Morena Baccarin, Karan Soni, Stefan Kapicic, Leslie Uggams, Eddie Marsan, Brianna Hildebrand, Rob Delaney, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Tyler Bates, and it’s good. It does include some good ol’ heroic brass, but it also takes inspiration from rock to create a score that captures the film’s mostly irreverent vibe. There’s also a lot of licensed tracks used throughout the movie, and while there are several I wouldn’t find myself listening to on my own, I thought all of them worked well enough within the movie for each scene.

Written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds, this movie wasn’t directed by Tim Miller. Instead, David Leitch took the director’s chair for this one. And I think he did a great job. Sure, quiet scenes don’t have much to speak of, all the magic in those come from the actors. But the action scenes, holy fuck, they are great. Fights, shootouts, chases… this film has all kinds of action, and all of it is well shot and incredibly entertaining… and violent as hell. And just like the first movie, “Deadpool 2” is in large part a comedy. So is the humor any funny here? I think so. Fourth wall breaks, references, sight gags, deprecating jokes, it’s all here, and I laughed like an idiot at most of it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

While I probably prefer the first movie, “Deadpool 2” is still an absolute blast from start to finish. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, great directing/action, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Deadpool 2” is a 9,75/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Deadpool 2” is now completed.

Can beauty come out of ashes?

Series Review: Legion – Season 2 (2018)

Another year(ish) has passed, the season has wrapped up (in the US and here in Sweden at least), so now I can finally talk about the insanity that is “Legion” once again. If you haven’t seen the show or know nothing about it, go read my season 1 review, then go watch the show. This is not the jumping-on point.

Ladies and gents… “Legion” season 2.

Set a year after the first season, David (Dan Stevens) finds himself having to work with both his friends and an old foe to stop Farouk (Navid Negahban) from finding his old body, which would give him a lot of power. So the basic idea this season is a bit more straightforward compared to the first, since we know what the general goal of the characters is. Of course, “Legion” being “Legion”, its approach to telling this story isn’t as straightforward and normal as most shows. It’s still filled with weird, trippy shit that may just leave you confused at first, but will make a little bit more sense down the line. But through this strange journey we do get some solid drama, suspense, and intriguing storytelling. Is the narrative as strong as the first season? Not quite. It’s still damn good, but it’s not quite as tight as the first season since it’s trying to branch out into something bigger. The plot here is still damn good though.

The characters in this are weird, unique, colorful, and endlessly interesting. Dan Stevens returns as David, the trouble yet powerful young man at the center of the story. He already got some solid development over the first season’s run, and I’m happy to see that being a thing here as well. The journey we see David go through as a character is really fascinating and it really makes him such a deep and interesting character. And Stevens is once again fantastic in the role. Next we have Rachel Keller back as David’s girlfriend, Syd Barrett (*Insert Pink Floyd song here*). She has an interesting arc here that is based around David’s arc, with his affecting hers (keeping it vague is hard). And it’s interesting. We do also get some good backstory on her. And Keller is great in the role. Next we have Aubrey Plaza once again as Lenny, the mysterious old friend of David’s. Not gonna say anything else about her arc because it’s best left experienced. But it’s great. And Plaza is great. We also of course see the return of Bill Irwin, Amber Midthunder, Jean Smart, Jemaine Clement, Jeremie Harris, and Hamish Linklater, and all are still great in their respective roles. And newcomer Navid Negahban also holds his own as the smooth yet powerful and somewhat intimidating Farouk. Really, it’s a damn great cast.

Jeff Russo returned to do the score for this season, and he once again knocked it out of the park. His score is tense, trippy, surreal, emotional, and just overall works perfectly for the show. There’s also a ton of licensed music used throughout, and all the song work excellently in their respective scenes. The use of music in this show is just phenomenal.

Based on some Marvel comics from Bill Sienkiewicz and Chris Claremont, the show was created by Noah Hawley (who’s still the showrunner). And once again, the creative minds behind this show has crafted something truly unique. Let’s start with the visuals, because that’s what a lot of people will pick up on first. The way the show uses lighting, colors, creative camera angles, effects, and even aspect ratio to create a unique style helps make this show one of the most visually interesting I’ve ever seen. I thought season 1 had some great visuals, but this season brought that stuff to the next level. And the editing (which I almost never talk about) is also sublime. This show just has such a unique style that I’ve never really seen anywhere else.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #225 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While not quite as amazing as the first season, “Legion” season 2 is still a great season of television. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/effects/other technical things. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Legion” season 2 is a 9,54/10. So it is still worthy of the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Legion” season 2 is now completed.

Even if “Legion” would drop a bit in quality, I’d rather take it and its strange and unique kind of storytelling over most shows.

My Most Anticipated Movies 2018

Hello there, my friends! It is that time of the year again where I talk about my most anticipated movies of 2018. And I am aware that we’re already a week into 2018, but the movie year hasn’t really begun for me. So I am still safe in making this list. So here we go.

Just a couple of rules first.

Rule #1: My list. These are my most anticipated movies of the year. If you’re not excited for any of these or I didn’t include any that you’re excited about, then make your own list. These are MY most anticipated movies of the year. Not necessarily the ones I think will be the best, just the ones I am interested in seeing. In no particular order.

Rule #2: I will not include any late releases here. You know, those that have a limited release in like December and then come to other countries in the first quarter of the next year. So stuff like “Wind River”, “Three Billboards”, and “Shape of Water” are not included on this list (though I am excited for those too).

That’s it for rules this time. Here are my most anticipated movies of 2018.

Number 1: The Commuter.

First up we have “The Commuter”, the latest collaboration between Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra. I’ve enjoyed all of their previous collaboration, I find them to be enjoyable little thrillers. None of them are genuinely great movies, but I find them to be entertaining, good ways to kill two hours. And this looks to be another entertaining one form the duo. And with people like Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in the cast it’s sure to get some great acting in it.

Number 2: Deadpool 2.

I love “Deadpool”. It’s one of those movies that I was worried about, since FOX haven’t always been the kindest to the X-Movies. But I saw it and I had a blast. And “Deadpool 2” seems to be continuing what the first movie started. It looks like it will be as (if not more) insane as the first movie, while also introducing classic Deadpool allies Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz). But yeah, I’m excited.

Number 3: Black Panther.

After his awesome debut in “Captain America: Civil War”, I was excited to see Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) getting his own solo movie. Then the trailer came out, and I got even more excited because it looked badass. and with it coming out now in February, the hype is growing more and more. And even if it doesn’t turn out to be some fantastic movie, I am more than certain that it will be another cool and fun entry in the Marvel Cinematic universe.

Number 4: Avengers: Infinity War.

Yeah, I decided to go straight for the throat on this entry. The culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The big war featuring most if not all the heroes against the mighty Thanos (Josh Brolin). This looks like it will be a big and awesome action movie, but I also feel like there will be some great character moments in it, based on what came before and what this is. The hype is real.

Number 5: Ready Player One.

Here we have an interesting entry. Based on a book by Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” tells the story of Wade (Tye Sheridan), a young man using a virtual reality world to try to win a competition that would grant him a lot of money. I love the book, and was scared when I heard that they were adapting it. But Spielberg has proven himself before, so I will try to be optimistic. It looks interesting, and features tons of fun easter eggs in it. So yeah, player one is ready.

Number 6: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

While “Jurassic World” wasn’t anywhere near as great as “Jurassic Park” (contrary to what my original review more or less said), it was still a fun action-adventure featuring dinosaurs. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” looks to be that, but bigger, more explosive, and not as good. Not saying it will be bad (it’s on this list for a reason), but it has revealed a lot in the trailer… and a lot of it looks just… fine. Will I go see it opening week? You bet your ass, I am. But I will go in with restrained expectations.

Number 7: The Incredibles 2.

“The Incredibles” is a great movie, one of my favorites from Pixar. And Brad Bird is a good director. So I have a lot of faith that this will be good. By the way, why in the flying fuck did we get TWO “Cars” sequels before we even got ONE “Incredibles” sequel? Makes no god damn sense. But yeah, “Incredibles” is one I’m quite excited for.

Number 8: Annihilation.

Alex Garland has written some great movies. He also wrote and directed the excellent “Ex Machina”. And now we’re getting another movie that was written and directed by him. It stars Natalie Portman and is about some scientists going into some strange zone. And it looks good. I like me a solid sci-fi-thriller, and this looks like it could be such a thing.

Number 8: Pacific Rim: Uprising.

I really like “Pacific Rim”. I wouldn’t exactly call it Guillermo Del Toro’s greatest movie, but it has some interesting concepts and some damn entertaining action scenes. And while this doesn’t look like it will be as good as the first, it still looks like it could be a dumb and fun popcorn movie. And instead of Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi we seem to get John Boyega (Woo!) and Scott Eastwood (okay?). *gulp*. Please be good.

Number 9: X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

No trailer. Unproven director. Sequel to generally disliked movie. So how could I be excited for this? Honestly, I love “X-Men”. I love this franchise and I’m always excited to see new movies for this series. The X-Movies have given me hours upon hours of entertainment and I am always happy to get more.

Number 10: The New Mutants.

A horror movie set in the “X-Men” universe? Sure, why the fuck not. Could be fun. Looks like fun. Has a good cast. Yeah, I’m on board. Still confused about why horror with these mutants, and why there’s Pink Floyd in the trailer. Oh well, I’m intrigued.

Number 11: Soldado.

“Sicario” is one of my favorite movies of the last few years, so when they announced a sequel I got worried. Would they butcher it? How could they continue such a tight story? Sure, Brolin and Benicio are back, and so is the original writer… but Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins aren’t, so that had me worried. Then the trailer came out and I thought it looked okay. After some thinking, I am now even more excited about it. Do I think it’ll be better than the first? Hell no. But I think it could be a good movie.

Number 12: The Predator.

A sequel to “Predator”, written and directed by Shane Black? Hell yeah. Not only is Shane Black a damn fine writer/director, but his involvement with the original movie (he played the character Hawkins) gives him a bit more insight into this shit. And I’m just excited to see a new movie from Shane Black. He’s great.

Number 13: Ant-Man and The Wasp.

I like “Ant-Man”, it’s a really fun movie. I’m excited for the sequel. Has a good director, great cast, it’s part of the MCU… yeah, I’m excited. Moving on.

Number 14: Aquaman.

The DCEU has been… problematic to say the least. But “Wonder Woman” has proven that there can be good movies in it. And with an awesome cast and a solid director I am pretty excited for this movie. I feel like it could be fun. Did I say fun? Oh no, the DC fanboys will come after me now.

Number 15: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sony. Sony, Sony, Sony, you unreliable idiots. Needing help from Marvel to make a good “Spider-Man” movies. What’s this? An animated “Spider-Verse” movie? Okay, I’m intrigued. It has a cool style to it (though body/facial animation looks a bit jittery). I am intrigued to see them make this. I love me a bit of superhero animation.

And that’s it for my list. There will be interesting movies that I will find out about later this year, but these are some of the ones I’m a bit more interested in right now… a lot of superhero and sci-fi stuff. I am one predictable person. But I want to hear from you, what are some of your most anticipated titles this year? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.

“The Gifted” trailer

This came out yesterday, but I’m writing about it today because… well, because I just forgot about doing it yesterday. So here we go!

We have finally gotten a look at “The Gifted” an upcoming TV show set in the “X-Men” universe, kind of like “Legion” only less mindfuck-y… I think. Anyway, so what’s this about? Well, it’s about a couple of young mutants who are going on the run because there are assholes who don’t like mutants. Among these young people we find Blink (Jamie Chung), who we last saw in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” portaling about, trying not to get killed by sentinels. The focus doesn’t seem to be on her, but she’s definitely part of it all. So what do I think about this? Yeah, it looks fine. It’s like a teen drama mixed with some Marvel mutant stuff and that could go either way in terms of quality. This was co-created by Bryan Singer who I thought was done with the “X-Men” franchise after “Apocalypse”, but clearly not. So am I excited? Not really. I’ll say that I’m somewhat interested to see another show set in the “X-Men” universe. “The Gifted” is set to come out in fall/autumn of this year on FOX.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited for “The Gifted”? And what did you think about the last “X-Men” show, “Legion”? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Josh Brolin cast as Cable in “Deadpool 2”!!!

Hello there, guys! As you know, I very rarely talk about actors being cast in movies and TV shows on this blog. But since this character has been the point of so much discussion I just had to talk about this.

So Oscar nominated actor Josh Brolin has been cast as the time traveling mutant Cable in “Deadpool 2”, the upcoming sequel to the 2016 hit movie. Now, minor spoiler for “Deadpool” if you haven’t seen it (go rectify it now!): In the mid-credits scene you have Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) coming out in a robe (“Ferris Bueller” style) to tease the sequel. And in that scene he says that Cable will be involved. Okay, spoiler over. Now, ever since that moment, people have been speculating who the fuck should be cast as the character. At first people pointed to Stephen Lang (who campaigned for it). Then people talked about Ron Perlman, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Pierce Brosnan, and even Brad Pitt. However, now it turns out that Josh Brolin, who was never in the running, has been cast as the character. And that’s quite interesting because he has already for quite a while been set to play Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War”, which he is still set for. And now he gets to play a separate comic book character for a different studio… this is some unprecedented shit! Also, confession time: I don’t really know anythign about Cable. The only things I know about him is that he’s the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey and he travels through time… that’s it. My geeky friends will most likely kill me for not knowing stuff about Cable. That said, I am super excited that Josh Brolin has been cast in the role! He’s one of my favorite actors, and seeing him take on a role like this is awesome!

What are your thoughts? Are you excited to see Josh Brolin as Cable? And what are your thoughts on the first “Deadpool” movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one.

Series Review: Legion – Season 1 (2017)

The world of comic books is filled with all kinds of crazy characters. From grumpy billionaires dressing up like bats to angry Canadians with sharp knives in their hands, there are all kinds of weirdos in comics. Now, while it’s fun seeing some of the more “normal” and popular characters, I’d like to see some more obscure and odd characters. Now, I’m not talking about Arm-fall-off-boy, though that would be hilarious. But here we go, FOX taking a chance with one of their more… “crazy” characters.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Legion”!

David Haller (Dan Stevens) is a young man that’s been admitted to a mental hospital to get treated for schizophrenia. However he soon finds out that his crazy episodes might be because of more than simple schizophrenia, that he might have some kind of power. And that’s where I’m gonna leave it because this plot is fucking great! I mean, it’s really weird and most definitely a mindfuck… but it’s definitely great. I think that it could be a bit polarizing for some. The weirdness might seem like it has no purpose at times, but if you stick with the show then it will actually make sense. It’s weird, it’s trippy, but it’s also compelling, layered, and incredibly entertaining. So yeah, the plot here is great!

All of the characters here are troubled which makes them really interesting to watch. Dan Stevens plays David, our really troubled and fascinating main character. The character has a lot of layers to him and the fact that he might actually have serious mental problems just makes him so much more interesting. And Dan Stevens is fantastic in the role. Rachel Keller plays Syd Barrett, a woman that David falls for, and she’s great in the show. Her character has some problems of her own, and it makes her a really compelling character. Aubrey Plaza plays Lenny, a friend of David’s and she’s just a million flavors of fun. Her character is chaotic and unpredictable which makes the scenes with her so incredibly fun and investing. We also get some great performances in the show from people like Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Jean Smart, and Mackenzie Gray. Shit, every actor that pops up in this show is great… no weak performances here.

The score for the show was composed by Jeff Russo and it’s really great. Often it can be as weird as the plot, which just makes it a better fit for the show. But overall it is very well composed, containing all kinds of great stuff from big and brassy action tunes to weird electronic stuff to slower/more serious stuff. There are also a lot licensed tracks used htroughout to great effect from artists/bands like Nina Simone, T-Rex, Radiohead, and Sonny Simmons (and a whole bunch more).

The series was created by Noah Hawley (the man behind the awesomely awesome “Fargo” series). And while he didn’t write/direct every episode, it’s still clear that he had a hand in this. Speaking of directing, this is a very well directed show. Shto composition is really solid and scenes flow very well. What I also like about the show on the more technical side of everything is the use of different colors, lighting, and even different aspect ratios. It makes for a rather unique and interesting watch… and I love it. So yeah, there are loads of weird visuals in this show, but I’d argue that it all has a point. It’s style mixed with substance.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #91 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Legion” season 1 is an incredibly weird but also incredibly awesome show. It has a great plot, great characters, terrific performances, great music, and great directing/editing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Legion” season 1 is a 9,90/10. So yeah, it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Legion” season 1 is now completed.

So it’s probably gonna be about a year until next season comes out… *sigh*. At least “Fargo” returns soon.

Movie Review: Logan (2017)

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Guys… it is here. The end of an era. Hugh Jackman’s final movie in the “X-Men” franchise. For 17 years we’ve seen this big Australian man put on the adamnatium claws for the sake of our entertainment. And now he is hanging up said claws for good. Well… let’s see if his final outing does him and the character justice.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Logan”.

It’s the near future and we follow an old and broken Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as he is hiding by the Mexican border together with Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). And when they meet a young girl (Dafne Keen) their simple lives change, and they have to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives. And that is all I’m gonna say when it comes to any plot synopsis. And with that said, the plot here is one of self-discovery and redemption. It’s not one of those “Let’s stop the end of the world” movies that we’ve been presented with before. This is a personal movie about Wolverine, about Charles, about this girl… and I fucking loved it. Sure, previous “X-Movies” have dealt with interesting themes and have even ahd some solid drama to them, but none of them have been this personal or even this emotional. And without giving too much away, I cried at a few bits in this movie. So plot-wise I would say that this is a send-off for Hughverine. Tense, exciting, haunting, and emotional.

What I like about the characters here is that they’ve been brought down quute a bit. Sure, I love the badasses in spandex and how mighty they are… but the characters on display here feel very human. You can tell that these people are very flawed and broken, and that makes them so much more engaging to watch. Hugh Jackman has always been great as Logan/Wolverine… but I think this might be his best outing as the character. His performance here is very nuanced and layered, and it’s at tiems even a bit heartbreaking. Yeah, Jackman is fucking fantastic in this. Patrick Stewart was absolutely terrific as Charles Xavier in this. The character is broken and much weaker than he’s ever been, and Stewart really knocks it out of the park here. Dafne Keen plays the little girl, Laura, and she was great. This girl really came out of nowhere, no previous acting experience as far as I know, and she was really great in this movie. She was badass, fierce, and just awesome. Boyd Holbrook (aside from being really handsome) plays Donald Pierce, the antagonist of the movie, and he was great. He was menacing but he was also cool and he worked very well in the movie. We also get Stephen Merchant as Caliban. And he was kind of great. Sure, he never really gets “that big scene”, but I still think he did a really good job here. I’m basing that statement on how putting someone who’s only known for comedy in a drama like this could be end up real bad… but he did a really good job. All the actors did very well in this movie.

The score for this movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and it was pretty fucking good. His score was exciting, haunting, and emotional. It was overall very well composed and it fit the movie very well.

This movie was directed by James Mangold (hence the “Mangoldathon” leading up to it) and he did a phenomenal job. This is a gorgeously shot movie, featuring some really good eye candy. His directing is also pretty intense which leads me into the action and HOLY SHIT this movie is violent. Now, I knew that this movie was rated R, and the trailers showed some violence… but Jesus fucking Christ, I didn’t exactly expect it to be this brutal. But the violence isn’t just there for the sake of violence, it’s here to serve the story. I really don’t think you could have done this movie PG-13, the violence on display in “Logan” is justified for the story they are telling. You have an old and grumpy Logan who just doesn’t give a shit anymore… the R-rating is totally justified. So if you’re a very squeamish person who doesn’t like pools of blood and limbs getting chopped off… you’ve been warned.

This movie has (so far) been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #61 on the “Top 250” list. (Keep in mind, this movie just came out, so any of these scores/rankings might change quite a bit and I’m not editing this stuff as time goes on).

“Logan” is a fantastic action-drama that gives Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart the goodbye that they deserve. It has a great plot, fantastic characters, terrific performances, great music, fantastic directing, and great (& brutal) action. Time for my final score. *Snikt!*. My final score for “Logan” is a 9,90/10. Which means that it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Logan” is now completed.

Mr. Jackman, Mr. Stewart, if you’re reading this… thank you so much for all these years of Wolverine/Professor X. I’m gonna miss seeing you as these characters, but I also wish you luck with all your future endeavors. *Sniff*. What? I can cry, I’m not made of stone!

Movie Review: The Wolverine (2013)

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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 discussion: When is “X-Men: Apocalypse” set?

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Hello there ladies and gents, and welcome to Movie Discussions, a series I have on this blog that’s been kind of dead since… April 2015, holy shit. But this is where I ramble about theories and such I have regarding movies. And today we will be taking a look at this year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse”. So with that said, if you have not seen the movie then I recommend that you do first, because there will be some spoilers throughout. There, with that cleared up… let’s get into it!

So in this post we will be taking a look at the question… When is “X-Men: Apocalypse” set? Now, I don’t mean what year, because we do get told that it is 1983. What I mean is that I want to be more specific as to when in 1983 it is set… and I think I have managed to get a pretty good idea as to when, since it doesn’t say any specific dates in the movie, only the year. But with help from certain clues I found in the movie, I have narrowed it down a bit. So let’s talk about it.

The first clue as to figuring it out comes in the form of the scene when Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) together with Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) goes to recruit Angel (Ben Hardy). In the scene we have a miserable and most likely drunk Angel, moping while listening to Metallica’s “The Four Horsemen”, which in itself is a fun nod toward Apocalypse and his four horsemen. But this actually realle helps narrow down the time quite a bit. You see, “The Four Horsemen” is a part of Metallica’s debut album “Kill ’em All”, which came out in 1983. To be more specific, it was released on July 25th of that year. So this basically eliminiates the entire first half of 1983. And logically speaking, Angel is probably not listening to that on the day the album came out, so we can most definitely eliminate July as well. And for those who are wondering, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, which was featured in the amazing Quicksliver (Evan Peters) rescue scene, was released in ’83, but before “Kill ’em All”.

My next piece of evidence leans a bit more on speculation, but if you think about it I am making some sense. This isn’t necessarily from a specific scene, it’s more a general thing that could be gathered every now and then. In the scenes where we are at the X-mansion we are given a good look at the outside surrounding it. Based on information given to us from the writers of the comics and such, the X-mansion is supposedly located in the very northeast corner of Westchester county, which is part of the state of New York (because Marvel loves New York apparently). And in my research I quickly found out that Westchester county and the state of New York in general have really snowy winters. And looking at the area surrounding the mansion, we can see that there’s no snow, in fact it is quite green in the area. So that immediately eliminates December. And going back to it being green and even sunny, I’d argue tht November and October are out of the question too since that’s when shit starts decaying and becoming grey, AKA not green, AKA not this movie.

So after eliminating the first half of the year and the last three months of the year, we have managed to narrow down that movie is set around August or September of 1983. Would it be possible to narrow it down even more? Probably. At this point I can only really guess. The closest thing we have to a piece of evidence is Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) being in a High School classroom when we first meet him. And I’m pretty sure High School doesn’t begin until late August/early September in the states, but I could be wrong on that, especially since this movie is set in 1983 and not 2016. But if I’m right with that, the movie is most likely set in September of 1983. Again, this is mainly speculation. I won’t really lose any sleep if Bryan Singer or Simon Kinberg refuse to confirm if I’m correct or not with this. I just did this because I started thinking about it this morning and felt like I needed to write about it. And it’s fun to do another Movie Discussion again. But to conclude this: Based on evidence found throughout the movie, I have (probably) come to the conclusion that “X-Men: Apocalypse” is set in August/September of 1983!

What do you guys think? Am I making sense? Am I conjuring up total bullshit? Do you have any other theories? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one!

 

Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

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I have been a pretty big fan of Marvel’s mutant franchise for most of my life. It all started with the cartoon “X-Men: Evolution”, and then I of course started watching the movies. And the rest is history. So I am of course always excited when a new one of these is about to be released. So let’s see if this was another hit.

Ladies and gentlemen… “X-Men: Apocalypse”!

Ancient mutant En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) has awoken from his really long slumber and is recruiting various mutants to join him in destroying the world and rebuilding it into something different. So it’s up to Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and a bunch of other mutants to stop him before everything goes to shit. Sounds pretty standard from that outlook, but it is far more interesting than that. The only real flaw with the story is that it takes a while to actually grab the viewer and get them invested. But after about 20 – 30 minutes we get a scene involving Magneto (Michael Fassbender) which truly helps kick off the story and increase the drama. And after that I felt that the plot worked very well throughout, featuring some truly great storytelling. Again, it’s those first minutes that take a while to get going as they only act to set up characters and the plot. But after that… shit gets good!

The characters in this movie are really interesting. James McAvoy as Professor X once again knocked it out of the park, he is so great in this movie. Michael Fassbender as Magneto, fucking amazing, especially since he actually gets a few pretty damn emotional moments. And the interplay between these two main characters is just as great as ever. Jennifer Lawrence was good as Mystique, you could tell that she was phoning it in a little bit, but overall her perforamance was good. Nicholas Hoult was great as Beast. Rose Byrne (welcome back), was really good as Moira MacTaggert. Evan Peters as Quicksilver… he was just awesome, like in “Days of Future Past”. I’d even argue that he’s even better in this movie since he gets more to do and has more of a purpose in this story. So now let’s talk about the newcomers. Sophie Turner was really good as Jean Grey, I am glad that she got to shine a bit in this movie with some scenes/moments that requires the actor to be able to portray anger and distress in a movie, and she nailed it. Tye Sheridan played Cyclops in this movie and I thought he was really good. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan of Sheridan, but I am saying it because he was genuinely good in the role. And to answer your questions, yes I am really a fan of the guy. Kodi Smit-McPhee played Nightcrawler in the movie, and that is something I was really interested in because Nightcrawler is my favorite mutant. And I am happy to say that the guy was really good in the role. Then finally, let’s talk about Oscar Isaac as En Sabah Nur, or Apocalypse as he’s more known as. Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors of the modern generation, so I was very excited when he was cast in the role. And how was he? At first his performance felt a little odd, not exactly something that I’d say was great. But then as the movie went on I got more used to it and I’d even argue that his performance got a better over time. And as a villain in general I thought Apocalypse was fine, he was suitably intimidating and badass.

Like in the previous movie, the score was composed by John Ottman who also did the editing on the film. But how was his score for the movie? Good. It’s, bombastic… the stuff you’d expect from this type of huge superhero movie. Not to say that it’s bad, I’m just saying that it doesn’t take any big or unique or unexpected turns. But it’s good. And there are a few licensed tracks in the movie as well that caught my attention, mainly because of how cleverly they were put in the movie.

This is the fourth “X-Men” movie to be directed by Bryan Singer. And I think that he once again did a great job. The shots look good and the action is very well directed. Speaking of action, there are two action scenes in this movie that just blew me away. One of them is one I won’t spoil in case you have managed to avoid trailers and/or spoilers and haven’t seen the movie yet. But let me tell you… it’s brutal and badass. The other one… remember Quicksilver’s awesome scene from “Days of Future Past”? Yeah, it’s like that but even better. And the visual effects in the movie look great. Sure, at times there a fuckload of it and you know it… but I never thought it detracted from the movie at all… stuff looked great.

This movie has gotten some truly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 48% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

I honestly don’t understand all the hate that “X-Men: Apocalypse” has gotten. Is it the best “X-Men” movie? No. But it’s still a damn fine movie. With a good plot, great characters, great acting, good music, great directing, great action, and some great visual effects. The only drawback is those first 20 – 30 minutes that kind of drag on. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “X-Men: Apocalypse” is a 9,40/10. It’s not perfect, but it’s still definitely worth buying!
Worth buying

My review of “X-Men: Apocalypse” is now completed.

Feel thy name extermination
Desecrating, hail of fire
So we cross that line
Into the crypt
Total eclipse
Suffer unto my apocalypse!