Posts Tagged ‘Movie review’

Ok – first some background. I was a comic book geek – I say ‘was’ because about ten years ago, I gave pretty much my entire collection away. All of it, Grimjack, X-Men, you name it, *poof* I gave it to a teenager who would appreciate it.

click to go to the Wiki entry for Wolverine

click to go to the Wiki entry for Wolverine

Now – that being said, I followed Wolverine and the X-Men in general all the way up to the Siege Perilous story line, at which point I said “What? That’s a horrible idea…” and stopped.  It was a stupid idea, the artists had changed somewhere around this time frame, and I didn’t like the direction the comic was going. (I did the same thing on the Deadpool series, when they got to the point where they suddenly declared that Wade Wilson wasn’t Wade Wilson, it went downhill.)

So, the Wolverine movie.  I give it a A+ for effects, an A+ for acting, an A+ for everything except the plot and pacing.  The pacing was off, period, even my 15 year old was bored at times watching this movie. I give the movie full credit for NOT being a two hour slash and scream fest, but much like the recent Batman trilogy, The Wolverine has a few really stupid moments, which, honestly, I’m hesitant to discuss in full because they are MASSIVE spoilers, however there are a few I can discuss that comic book collectors will understand without ruining the movie itself.

First, in the comic storyline, Wolverine spent YEARS in Japan, and spoke FLUENT Japanese, in the movie, he needs everything translated.  In the comics, Wolverine was every bit as sneaky as the Ninja clan he fights in the movie. In fact, in the Origins comic story, Wolverine was settled in Japan and MARRIED before World War II.  All of this is thrown out in the movie, all of it.  I think it would have enriched the story of the film to have more flashbacks, and current encounters, with people who knew him, or knew of him, from that era.  The grand effect was the dumbing down of what should have been Wolverine coming to something like HOME, not be a total stranger, lost in language and culture.

There are other logical plot holes, two a mile wide, that I won’t discuss here, simply because they involve the end-plot and scenes of the movie, and I do think folks who DON’T know that much about Wolverine may enjoy the film, as I said above, my only problem with it is the continued mangling of the character.

Wolverine would NOT approve...

Wolverine would NOT approve…

So, overall, I give the film a “B,”  its entertaining, folks who watch the film for combat get combat, folks who watch the film for Hugh Jackman get what they want, folks who want to see WOLVERINE, the berzerker who will NOT stop from the comic books, they will leave feeling a bit cheated.

Mistakes in films, such as a left-handed bow being used right handed, are irritating.  I have a theater background, and watching some of these films such as Immortals  I understand that what could have happened is that the director or director of photography chose to use a left handed bow right handed so that the audience can see the arrow and the archer’s face and body ‘open’ at the same time.

It’s still stupid. 

In Immortals, which I enjoyed despite having reservations, a bow is a key element of the film, it was a weapon left over from the time of the war between the Gods and the Titans.   Rather than contact, oh, Big Jim’s Bows, or any one of the many fine custom bowyers that know their craft well and would have enjoyed making an ‘epic’ bow, these MORONS, and I use that term on purpose, decided to use a MODERN take-down recurve with black sequins glued to the bow.

They didn’t even bother to really disguise this bow, you can see the LIMB BOLTS.  The photo below was found using a Google image search – I have no idea why the bow is gold in this photo, it’s black throughout the movie. This bow even has a cheap sight on it. It fires some sort of energy-based arrow that it self generates, an energy arrow that for some reason still needs fletching and a broadhead?


First things first – if you LOVE horror movies, and savor every single “OH SH!T!” moment, DON’T EVEN WATCH THIS TRAILER!!!

Ok, here’s my take on “The Cabin in the Woods:” This movie was friggin’  AWESOME! Seriously, I haven’t seen a horror movie that I enjoyed this much in YEARS, and that’s saying something.  I had nearly given up on the genre, since the most enjoyable horror I’d seen in the last ten years or so were all horror/comedies, like “Jason X” and “Freddie vs. Jason,” movies that twisted the standard ‘young folks get chopped up during their morally-questionable activities’ meme and added surprises of both the comedic and horrific type.

This one takes that ‘horror and comedy’ combination and jacks up the twists, the stakes, and the FEEL of the whole movie to the ceiling.  Five friends, made up of one couple, two ‘single’ attractive friends, and a stoner that has known three of the others most of his life, are going up to the woods to visit a cabin near a lovely lake, one that Curt’s cousin has purchased.  Nothing new in THAT bit for seasoned horror fans, but the twists actually START before Curt and crew are even on the screen, with two ‘white collar’ guys reporting to work in some big, half-lab half-industrial plant location, talking about some vague ‘score,’ telling one of the other characters that ‘Japan has a perfect score, we’re number two, but we try harder!’

And at that point, other than saying “WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!” I’m going to stop giving any of the story up: You now know 3 minutes right at the beginning, and that’s it.  Everyone involved in this film did an excellent job, even things that would make viewers say “Oh, come ON, what?” are clearly intended to be exactly that, moments that leverage the cliche to the film’s advantage.   The cinematography, writing, acting, timing, everything works.  I love watching movies, normally, I can do a countdown to an ‘event,’ but the team behind this film seems to have gone over the film and left, oh, one out of three or four of those moments in intentionally, while creating the other moments in such a way that I even jumped a few times, sometimes in shock, sometimes laughing so hard I thought I would hurt myself.

The Cabin in the Woods

Click to go to Total Film’s website

Director – Drew Goddard   Writers – Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

Chris Hemsworth plays the ‘jock’ character, Curt – not the standard ‘me Alpha jock, me do crude jokes…’ jock, but one on an academic scholarship for sociology.

Anna Hutchison plays his girlfriend, Jules Louden – who portrays the ‘popular girl with loose morals,’ except her best friend says ‘I’ve seen her drunk, this isn’t like her!’

Kristen Connolly portrays Dana Polk – a ‘nerdy’ girl who wants to take books to the weekend retreat, but of course, this ‘nerdy’ girl is a smokin’ hot readhead who had a bit of an affair… with one of her professors.

Fran Kranz plays Marty Mikalski – a stoner with a collapsible stainless-steel bong who has smoked SO MUCH weed he’s apparently immune to everything else.

Jesse Williams plays Holden McCrea – a scholar and an actual gentleman, this trip is supposed to be a match-up orchestrated between Curt and Jules to get Dana and Holden together.

This is available on Blu-Ray, DVD and on-demand as of today. And I’m more than happy to have paid my $5.99 to watch this, I just wish I’d seen this one in the theater.

Oh, and the cabin doesn’t spin. Not even once. Also, there are MANY worthy people in the cast other than these five, I just don’t want to spoil anything, MU HU HA HA HA!

IMDB link: Drive

Drive stars Ryan Gosling – somebody who I vaguely recognized but couldn’t remember.  I love the guy, he has a mellow, almost spectator-like demeanor, as though he’s watching the events with you through parts of the film.  On the other hand, when he does get personally involved in a moment, it’s INTENSE.  “Check your blood pressure” intense.

The basic plot is the story of a mechanic and stunt car driver who moonlights as a getaway driver, but with much more down-to-Earth abilities and skills than the “Transporter” films. (Don’t get me wrong, I dig the “Transporter” films, but they are ‘action-first, reality a distant second’) The main character, left nameless throughout the film in almost a nod to the Clint Eastwood ‘Man with No Name” films, falls in love with his neighbor, played by Carey Mulligan , who is waiting for her husband to get out of prison.  Once he does, the plot kicks off, and despite some prosaic moments, suddenly you are on one of those funky roller coasters, the ones where you can’t really tell if you’re going up, down, left or right until *WHAM* it happens to you.  I had my misgivings around 40 minutes into the film, there were some interesting moments, and the cinematography, characters, and acting were fine, but I couldn’t quite get into the feel of the film.  Two minutes later I was gripping the arms of my chair as the plot started to dig in.

I recommend this film – but don’t go into it expecting a fight every three minutes, or impossible car stunts.  This is a very plausible film, a fact that adds significantly to the impact of the events as you watch them.  Try to watch this film at night, with minimal, if any, distractions.  Take the phone off the hook, turn off the iPhone, and make popcorn in advance.  You’ll thank me.