Tag Archives: Hugh Jackman

What is the Origin of all the Hate?

When my DVD player went on strike last year, I finally had the excuse I needed to make the jump to Blu-ray. Initially, I had trouble with the idea of replacing my rather extensive collection of DVDs. Is the quality really that much better? What about older movies? Can they really be enhanced? After much research, I replaced a few titles from my collection. I finally got around to watching some of those titles recently. So far, it seems I have made the right decision.

In rewatching the entirety of the X-Men films, I was wowed by the effects. In some ways it made me feel like I was watching these movies for thex-men_origins_wolverine_ first time. After completing the original trilogy and First Class, I reluctantly threw in the red headed stepchild of the franchise, X-men Origins: Wolverine. The 2009 prequel to the above listed films has been long hated by fan boys and critics alike. Never having really been a reader of comics, or a stickler for a movie being a word for word remake of its source material, I just don’t have a lot of bile for this one.

Don’t get me wrong; like all of the other films in this series Origins is not without it’s problems. The movie opens with two big bombshells: Wolverine was born in the late 1800s, and Sabertooth is his brother. These revelations are lost in the next sequence as we see Logan and Victor(Sabertooth) fighting in several battles from the American Civil War toVietnam. These are some of the best scenes in the film. When Wolverine is forced to reveal his mutant abilities to rescue Victor they are both sentenced to death by a firing squad. After that method of dispatch proves ineffective they are recruited by William Stryker for a special operation. As part of a mutant team our heroes are doing America’s dirty work.

Stryker, played brilliantly by Danny Huston, is in search of meteor fragments that will ultimately make up the adamantium which we all know will be bonded to Wolverine’s bones. When Logan and Victor are called upon to kill innocents in pursuit of the metal, Logan refuses and walks away from the team. All of this takes place in the first 28min of film! What happens after shows Wolverine lured into the Weapon X program by Stryker with help from Victor who feels that Logan betrayed him in leaving the team. The movie glosses over the growing distance between Logan and Victor. The transition from brothers to sworn enemies, I feel, is reduced to a subplot when in reality it is the finest of the 10-plus stories this movie is trying to tell.sabertooth_l

Victor/Sabertooth is played expertly by Liev Schreiber. Schreiber really captures the essence of a character embracing his animalistic side. His quiet sadistic delivery is one of the highlights of the film. Schreiber’s Sabertooth makes up for the poor usage of the character in the first film (played there by Tyler Mane). Sabertooth is who Wolverine could have become with only slightly different choices.

The pointless inclusion of Deadpool and Gambit make very little sense, and do nothing to advance the plot. The tie-in to the original franchise only creates more questions. Cyclops? Professor X walking? Really confusing stuff.

For a movie with “origins” in the title, this one tells little of that story. Sure, we learn about Weapon X and the amnesia. We even discover where Wolverine got his snappy jacket. It misses the mark by ignoring the origin of WHO, not WHAT Wolverine is. He is a loner uncertain of his place in the world. An outcast partially of his own making. Wolverine is a self loathing, tragic hero confused as to his own nature.   The fact is we learn more of his “origin” from every other film in which he appears.

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What 2013 Has to Offer on the Big Screen

I thought I’d take a moment this week to briefly look at what’s hitting the box office this year and give a quick prediction on the outcome of each.

  1. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – January 25th. Premise: Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) play the fairy tale brother and sister who are all grown up and have become professional witch hunters. Prediction: Van Helsing meets Brothers Grimm, which means a lot of action with an intriguing story but hopefully with more Grimm and less Helsing.
  2. John Dies at the End – January 25th. Premise: You take a drug, it sends you through time and space, you might come back normal, or you might come back as something else. Something otherworldly. Now the world is in danger of a sinister invasion and it’s up to two college dropouts to save it. Prediction: Dude, Where’s My Car? meets Buckaroo Banzai but with Paul Giamatti for added effect. Definitely worth a viewing, high or not.
  3. A Good Day to Die Hard – February 15th. Premise: John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his son travel to Russia to fight Russians and stop a nuclear weapons heist. Prediction: I think it might be getting to the point where it might be a good idea for John to die. Hard.
  4. Warm Bodies – February 1st. Premise: A zombie becomes human again through the power of love, other zombies follow suit. Possible hilarity, horror, and action ensues. Prediction: I think someone might be trying to “Twilight-ize” zombies. Let’s hope not.
  5. Oz: The Great and Powerful – March 8th. Premise: A prequel to The Wizard of Oz telling the story of how Oz (James Franco) becomes the Wizard. And it’s directed by Sam Raimi. Win win. Predictions: I think this film will be fantastic and be the magical wonder that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland failed to be.
  6. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – March 29th. Premise: All but a few Joes are killed off by Cobra. Now it’s up to the remaining Joes (The Rock, Channing Tatum, some other people), including the original Joe (Bruce Willis) to, for lack of a better word, retaliate. Prediction: Hopefully this film will offer some retribution for the let down that was G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.
  7. Evil Dead – April 12th. Premise: A remake of the original with a female lead (Jane Levy) in place of Bruce Campbell’s Ash. It’s also promising less humor and schtick and more blood and gore. Sounds promising. Predictions: Hardcore fans will be difficult to convince, but from what I’ve seen so far of this flick, they’ll be won over. It looks wicked.
  8. Iron Man 3 – May 3rd. Premise: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns to take on his greatest foe yet, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). From the looks of things, this might be the Dark Knight Rises of the Iron Man series. Ya know, a very powerful foe shows up, strips him of everything, and then Tony must find the hero in himself to defeat his enemy. This also begins Marvel’s Phase II. Prediction: Probably won’t be the best of the three films but I’m sure it’ll outdo Iron Man 2. And make Marvel a lot of money.
  9. Star Trek Into Darkness – May 17th. Premise: Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the Enterprise crew return to take on a most deadly foe, possibly Kahn, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Prediction: This film will be epic, just like the first, and seeing Benedict as a bad guy is going to be sweet. This is a can’t miss flick.
  10. Now You See Me – June 7th. Premise: A film about bank-robbing illusionists, directed by Louis Leterrier and scored by The Chemical Brothers. Enough said. Prediction: I have a feeling this is going to be one of those twist-and-turns, mind-f*ck types of film. But with bank-robbing illusionists.
  11. Much Ado About Nothing – June 7th. Premise: Joss Whedon adapted this classic Shakespearean tale while making The Avengers. He cast it with people from Firefly, Buffy, Angel, and The Avengers. He made it because of his insecurities with taking on a huge project like The Avengers. It’s Joss Whedon’s take on Shakespeare….do I really need to say anything else? Prediction: I love Joss Whedon. I love Shakespeare. Without even seeing it, I love this film.
  12. Man of Steel – June 14th. Premise: Zack Snyder directs, Christopher Nolan produces, and a bunch of great actors star in what is sure to be the best Superman film ever. And a film that will hopefully restart the series and lead into a Justice League film. Prediction: The more I see of this, the more I believe that this film will be one of the greatest comic book films of all time. But I’ve been wrong before.
  13. World War Z – June 21st. Premise: Brad Pitt stars in this adaptation of Max Brooks’ bestselling novel about a U.N. employee trying to stop a worldwide zombie outbreak. Prediction: I’m pretty much done with the whole zombie genre, and I haven’t read the book, so I’ll probably wait until this comes out on Blu-ray.
  14. Pacific Rim – July 12th. Premise: Guillermo del Toro writes and directs this film about giant robots fighting to save the world from giant alien monsters. Prediction: I was sold at Guillermo del Toro. The rest is just icing on the cake.
  15. wolverine_jackman_660The Wolverine – July 26th. Premise: Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels to Japan to train with samurais and take on a powerful new foe, The Silver Samurai. Prediction: This has to be better than Wolverine Origins. If not, I give up on Hugh Jackman. And Wolverine.
  16. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – August 16th. Premise: Part 2 of the series finds Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends searching for the mythical Golden Fleece. Prediction: I enjoyed the first film, so I may go see this one. I’m hoping this film will fill some of the void that Harry Potter left, but I doubt it.
  17. Riddick – September 6th. Premise: Vin Diesel returns to his most badass character to take on new alien predators, new mercs, and an old foe. Prediction: I will watch this film because I love the others. I will hope this film is the last in the series because I don’t want this series to be run into the ground like Diesel’s other popular series, Fast and Furious.
  18. Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers – September 27th. Premise: Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) discovers that the machine he’s created is still creating food-animal hybrids and wreaking havoc. Now it’s up to him to stop it once and for all. Prediction: If you don’t like the first film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, you have no soul. No but seriously, the first film was hilarious and great for the whole family. This one will be too. I can’t wait.
  19. Oldboy – October 11th. Premise: Spike Lee’s remake of the ultraviolent Korean cult classic about a man (Josh Brolin) who has five days to figure out why he was imprisoned for 15 years without explanation. Prediction: Of all the films on the list, this is one I’m looking forward to the most. I love the original, and I cannot wait for this remake.
  20. The World’s End – October 25th. Premise: Edgar Wright directs a film about five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival. Prediction: This is the final film in Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s “blood and ice cream” trilogy, so I hope it’ll be pretty damn good. I have a feeling it will be.
  21. Ender’s Game – November 1st. Premise: Based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, 70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. Prediction: Die-hard scifi fans will go ape over this film and then probably rip it apart. That’s how it works. I want to read the book before I watch it.
  22. Thor: The Dark World – November 8th. Premise: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battles an ancient race of Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who threatens to plunge the universe back into darkness. Prediction: Part two of Marvel’s Phase II looks to be another epic win with the addition of Doctor Who number nine as a baddie. Get ready to nerd out, kids.
  23. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – December 13th. Premise: The journey continues for the Dwarves, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) as they seek to retrieve their gold from the dragon, Smaug (voice by Benedict Cumberbatch). Prediction: Do I really need to predict anything for this? People will flock and empty their wallets for this film. We all know what’s going to happen.
  24. Anchorman: The Legend Continues – December 20th. Premise: The Channel 4 News Team returns for more crazy on-set adventures. Predictions: Probably won’t be a hilarious as the first but I’m sure it will be freakin’ hilarious! And filled with many great one-liners that will be quoted for years to come.

I know I’ve missed a few films here and there, but I don’t really care. I think the list is long enough as it is now. It doesn’t need any more.

What films are you looking forward to this year?

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Do You Hear the People Sing? I Hope Not

image property of Cameron Mcintosh ltd.

image property of Cameron Mcintosh ltd.

I don’t like musicals. I feel it is important to get that out of the way. Broadway-style entertainment is something I just don’t understand. I have seen several shows including Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof. The truth is in high school and college I even appeared in some of the above listed musicals; while I never really enjoyed watching them, I did enjoy trodding the boards.I do however adore Les Miserables. I was introduced to this show through a compact disc recording of the original Broadway cast. Listening to Colm Wilkinson as Jean ValJean and Terrance Mann as Javert, I was completely immersed in the story of a former prisoner and his pursuer. Based on the novel of same name and set against the back drop of the French Revolution, this story  has everything: action, violence, war, redemption, alienation, whores, and saints.  Since then, I have purchased several different recordings of the show and have been to see a traveling company performance.

As many are now aware Les Miserables has recently been given the Hollywood treatment. It has been cast with some of the biggest names of recent years and stands a real chance of being a blockbuster. Hugh Jackman is preforming the role of prisoner 24601 with Russel Crowe playing the role of his antagonist Javert.  Sacha Baron Cohen will no doubt bring down the house as Master of the House, while Helena Bonham Carter plays his long suffering wife, the scene stealing Madame Thenardier.  They even have Colm Wilkinson playing the role of the Bishop!

I think this will be a fantastic film and…I cannot go. Not because I don’t want to be seen buying a ticket for a musical, or because I think the big name stars will wreck up their roles. I am sure Wolverine and Maximus will do just fine.

The reason I cannot see this movie is simple:

I came to hear Sid 6.7 and Van Helsing preform the Confrontation–not the “actor” who works the cotton candy machine at the mall. I want to hear Borat and Bellatrix Lestrange belt out that final toast in Master of the House–not some Glee obsessed teenager.

Somewhere near the end of the first act the character of Marius will be asked a question in song: Do you hear the people sing? If you are asked this question while sitting in the theater this weekend, I hope you are  able to answer, “only the ones on the screen!” I think I will wait for the DVD. Then I can sing along as loud as I please.

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 19, 2012

I’m taking time out of my busy birthday (that I’m sure you care about so much) to let you know what we’ll be talking about at my party.

Snow White and Death by Amy Mebberson

Uno is a great way to pass the time waiting on a prince. Illustrator Amy Mebberson has some brilliant work on her site and Tumblr. Everything from pinups to modernist posters to cute pincesses. Check her work out! Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

First and foremost, as if there were any other news this week, AGENT PHIL M*****F***** COULSON IS COMING BACK!

Speaking of people with M*****F***** as a middle name, Bill Murray crashed some dude’s kickball game because he’s Bill Murray. If you have to ask why, you’ve clearly never heard of a Bill Murray Story.

After many years of having games played with our hearts in ways that that Backstreet Boys could never have imagined, it looks like Ghostbusters 3 is moving forward….without Venkman. Here’s a history of this film’s risen from the grave yet again.

When he isn’t impersonating Honey Boo Boo Child, Christopher Walken is playing a pretty mean Boarderlands 2.

You know those TED Talks that we all think will change the world but secretly know won’t (and we’re actually only checking out because it looked like it was about dinosaurs or sex or dinosaur sex)? Well, The Onion has started their version creatively called “Onion Talks.”

Grover Batman by Amy Mebberson

Grover’s not just the monster at the end of the book, he’s also the night! Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

There’s a new plot summary for Iron Man 3 out and it’s as vague as you assumed it would be! Excise “Iron Man” from this paragraph and it literally could be about any movie ever.

As the Ponds swim off to new lakes and streams, Rob won’t be weeping for them.

Lots of people get paid lots of money to be on the teevee, but the Internet would respectfully disagree with who pulls in the big bucks. Here’s how they’d like to see it in their happy little world.

No, sir, I do want to put these monsters in my pocket! I don’t care if they’re called Pokemon! Those realistic illustrations are just too freaky! I said good day!

Liberal level 9000 that I am, you should be proud that I waited this far in the article to link to the Binders Full of Women Tumblr.

Capt Kirk-met by Amy Mebberson

Captain Kirk-met directs his ship to the Pig Planet for reasons unknown to his crew. Image courtesy of Amy Mebberson.

In news that ruins your hypothetical childhood, if you ever imagine what life would be like if you were nine last summer, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier  wouldn’t work. You can trust them because their website has the word “tech” in is and it is on YouTube.

J. Fortune has learned more from the space dive than just that it is really cool when someone jumps to the planet from space, a’la the most recent Star Trek.

The Avengers are back….as pugs. And it’s adorable. And it’s why the Internet exists. And the end, when Pug Thor can’t take off his helmet is hilarious.

Julie wants you to remember to takes the Zombie Survival Guide’s advice and organize before they rise.

The secret to getting Wolverine claws is to come up with a catchy viral K-Pop song. Who knew?

New York Comic Con was last week, and people were in costume, cosplaying as we in the geek industry would call it. Sorry to throw jargon at you. I don’t like to brag, but I’m preeety geeky. Aynwho, here and here are some badass cosplayers. Gabrielle agrees that costumes are for more than Halloween!

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