Tag Archives: Hugh Jackman

Logan: Noir – One Night Only at the Frida Cinema

Few understand the power of the black-and-white movie. Color creates visual noise that can pull the eye in different directions. Black and white forces your eye to the centers of action.

For one night only, tonight at 9 pm, the Frida Cinema will present this year’s hit film. Logan. in beautiful black and white.

Set in a bleakly familiar near-future, the latest installment of the X-Men franchise finds a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) caring for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote outpost on the Mexican border. His plan to hide from the outside world gets upended when he meets young mutant Laura (Dafne Keen) with whom he finds much commonality. When dark forces set out to capture her, Logan must overcome both physical and emotional pain to save her.

Logan – Movie Review

For our favorite X-Men Wolverine, three times is a charm. Logan is clearly the best of the Wolverine movies and ranks high among the X-Men movies as well. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is forced to care of an aging and mentally decaying Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and protect a young mutant, X-23 (Dafne Keen) from a gang of mutant hunters.

Release Date: March 3, 2017
Writer: James Mangold, Scott Frank
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Steven Merchant, Boyd Holbrook

The movie Logan takes place in the year 2024. Almost all known mutants are gone, except Logan, Professor X and Caliban (Steven Merchant), whose power is mutant tracking. Logan has given up on the hero business and works as a limo driver. His pay goes to purchase medication for Professor X, who is unable to effectively control his powers. Uncontrolled Charles unleashes a strong mental force that causes intense paralysis for those surrounding him.

Logan himself is not doing well. After decades of Adamantium poisoning, Wolverine’s healing factor is slowing down. Yes, Wolverine is slowly dying. Along with the professor’s medicine, Logan is also saving money to buy and boat and live the rest of his and Charles’ days on the open sea.

Things get complicated when a mysterious woman and her daughter appear. She offers Logan enough money to purchase the boat. All he needs to do is deliver the young girl safely to “Eden.” This young girl is not what she appears to be. She is a new mutant created at a nearby laboratory. The lab was recently shut down and the children, who served as mutant experiments, were destroyed—except for X-23. This young girl has the same powers as Logan with claws, dexterity and healing factor.

The girl is being chased by mutant hunter and former lab enforcer, Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). His job is simple, stop at nothing to return X-23 or Laura to the lab.

What’s Good

Grounded Rated R Movie. One of the best things about Logan is that its rated R. Not just because of the gruesome violence and there is a lot of violence. This is the first time audiences get to truly see the real consequences of being sliced with razor sharp claws. Unlike the other X-Men movies there is blood, death and dismemberment.

The best thing about the R-rating is that it has freed writer/director James Mangold to make a superhero film that is grounded in reality. No over-the-top super powers, but a story of an eternal killing machine who is constantly confronted with his long life of murder and destruction.

Logan is a focused film. Logan is the story of Charles Xavier, James Howlett and Laura. While the X-Men films are about the survival of mutant-kind, Logan is about this strange new family. The stakes are focused on these three individuals. There are very real moments of family including Logan helping Charles go to the bathroom. Logan also is faced with the responsibility of passing on wisdom and experience to a young girl, who is basically his daughter.

Life Lesson for Aging Mutants. Uncovering cool new powers are not the focus in Logan. As mentioned before, Logan is dying. He just wants to die in peace, but deep down he knows that his bloody past will not allow that to happen. There is a moment of peace (the peaceful break of the film) when our heroes are befriended by the Munson family (Eric La Salle) and taken in for a homemade dinner and night’s rest. It is this moment that bring solace and peace to Professor X. Finally, the moment that Logan faces when he sees X-23 heading down the same road of killing he walked down.

Action Set Pieces. Emotions aside, Logan is still an action movie. The fight scenes are varied and exciting. They take place on the hot dry Mexican border, a quiet country farm, the mountainous Canadian border and the best fight in an small Arizona Casino.

What’s Not So Good

Child Actors. Logan has very few bad moments. There is a group of new mutant played by children and the acting of these children did not sit well. Admittedly, finding good child actors is not any easy task and trying to find a large group is even harder.

From there, it’s hard to pick apart a great movie. Interviews with the actors seem to indicate this is Jackman’s last foray into the role of Wolverine, unless Marvel Studios can pull off an Avengers-Wolverine crossover (highly unlikely). Logan is a touching send-off for one of movies most popular unknown heroes.

Chappie – Movie Review

In the near future, the war on crime in South Africa is assisted by a robotic police force. Soon an internal debate occurs. One side pushed by Deon Wilson (Dev Patel), who believes a robotic police force become more effective if the robots were given a conscious, feelings and morality. As helpful as a maintaining the peace is, robots have so much more potential. On the other side is evil robot engineer, Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman). Moore believes that robots can maintain the peace by themselves as long as you equip them with more weapons and have them controlled by humans in a remote location.

Release Date: March 6, 2015
Writer: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, Sigourney Weaver

Believing that robots can be given a conscious, Wilson steals a damaged robot and reprograms it with human emotions. The movie’s namesake, Chappie is born. To complicate matters, South Africa is embroiled in a particularly violent gang war. A local gang lead by Ninja and Yo-Landi (as themselves) steals Chappie in hopes of finally having a robot their own to battle against the police. They also have to deal with a bigger gang that they owe money.

Ninja and Yo-Landi coerce/threaten Wilson to allow them to teach and raise Chappie. Wilson wants Chappie to grow-up and learns what it is to be human. Ninja and Yo-Landi want/need make Chappie a member of their gang. As you can see, the plot is becoming a little convoluted. OK, it’s becoming a little convoluted.

Chappie falls into the Artificial Intelligence genre of Science Fiction. Chappie is one of those movies that only purpose is to pull at your heartstrings and sympathize toward the main character. If Chappie fails to deliver on this goals, then to some degree the movie fails. And fail it does.

The main problem is that Chappie is not the most sympathetic character. He’s a police robot with harsh edges, and only Sharlto Copley’s performance can bring a level of humanity to his cold steel robotic exterior. The main caretakers, Ninja and Yo-Landi are apparently big rock stars in South African, but unknown here in the U.S.  They come across as pretty harsh gangsters and it’s really only Yo-Landi that softens during the course of the movie as she turns into Chappie’s maternal figure.

Hugh Jackman is a great villain as Vincent Moore. His mullet hairstyle makes his a little goofy and baffoonish, and we quickly turn on him as any villain should. Sigourney Weaver brings weight to her role as the head of the robotic division of the police force, but the performance is almost wasted.

The idea of sentient robots is hardly a new idea and done masterfully in the past. Blumkamp’s Chappie will not find its place in the canon of these movies because it fails to connect us emotionally with the main character, Chappie. Then there’s the ending, which takes a sudden turn into complete fantasy science fiction and any connection we have emotionally to the story at this point is completely severed.