LOGAN: The Death of the Comic Book Movie (The Birth of the Comic Book Genre)

This is not a review, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants of Gods, X-Men, Destiny, Time, Love, Storm, Rogue, Beauty… Comic Books.

Logan: The Death of a the Comic Book Movie (The Birth of the Comic Book Genre)

…Or this is just me rambling on about movies and comic books as usual.

Logan (20th Century Fox)

Directed by James Mangold

Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold & Michael Green

Starring Hugh JackmanPatrick StewartRichard E. GrantBoyd HolbrookStephen Merchant & Dafne Keen

“I get the feeling this review is gonna hurt, kid. The kind of pain that doesn’t heal. You know what I mean?” “Of course I do. I’m extraordinarily wise for a lab experiment… oh yeah and I can drive.”

Make no mistake, people. Logan is not a good film. It’s not a good superhero film or a good western. Even as it tries to compare its own shit writing to the classic western Shane (SACRILEGE!!!), it is not a good movie, period. But what it is, what Logan turns out to be, is the latest in a welcome trend. A regular movie that just happens to star a comic book superhero. Not a superhero movie. Not a comic book movie. There are comic books in the movie. Wolverine waves them around from time to time, if that helps to put the character in context. But that’s about it. And it does not.

“You see, in this reality they made us into comic book superheroes for their kids but still hunted us down like dogs… because that makes total sense.”

Wolverine, everyone’s favorite X-Man, has had three solo movies. The first and the third have been complete bullshit. The second, however, is one of my favorite comic book movies of all-time. The second Wolverine is an homage to his stand alone title. It is a perfect replica. The pacing. The cinematography. This is The Wolverine. This is the comic that I collected from issue ONE. I say this all the time and I will say it here again. “If you do not respect the source material do not take on the job of bringing it to the screen.” But I was about to tell you what this awful movie Logan means for the industry.

“Awful? Well that’s just harsh. Play that Johnny Cash song again. I think I’m gonna cry.””

The first sci-fi genre was a straight space adventure. Trip To The Moon. The second was The vampire Film. Nosferatu. Since those two, we’ve had tons of space adventures and tons of takes on the vampire. These are tried and true genres that once every decade somebody tries to reinvent and breathe new life into. But also there are other types of movies that aren’t as flexible. They come and go from era to era. They disappear and have resurgences. Like the western or the gladiator movie. These are just types of movies not genres. (in this context anyway. Because words can be tricky)

“I will kill you all with my Star Wars Prequel Yoda-like, physics defying, aerial acrobatics because I am a cartoon character in a serious movie!!! ARRRGH!!!”

In the past, the superhero movie was a type. (type vs genre) It was a costumed adventure. Fight the bad guy. Save the girl. Save the world. Period. End of story. There were a few comedy bits thrown in but mostly it was the superhero’s tale. But these types of movies are coming to an end. Their time has passed. Logan is not a comic book movie. It just happens to star a character from a comic book. And that is awesome. (Even while the movie Logan is not that awesome).

“Say my movie is bad one more time. I dare you… Bub.” *snikt

Logan is not a western either, by the way. I read that somewhere. I disagree whole-heartedly. It thinks it’s a western, but it’s not. If anything it’s a post-apocalyptic survival story like Mad Max: Fury Road. But instead of a global apocalypse, Logan is about the mutant apocalypse. The chase to hunt down the last mutants. At the start of this movie all but three mutants are dead. Professor X, Callaban and Wolverine. By the end of this movie… no spoilers but everywhere you look people are saying this is the last Wolverine movie. This is the last Wolverine movie. So you figure it out. And don’t talk to me about the kids. They were made in a lab (*see note). So not a natural mutation. Logan, the end of the Wolverine franchise, is some dark stuff.

*note: Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton was added in a lab but his mutation, his healing factor (Deadpool has the same thing but that too is from a lab) and Wolverine’s heightened senses (smell mostly) are a natural mutation. Of course the movie Logan all but ignores his sense of smell. It’s almost like the writers never read the comic books… but anyway. What was I saying? Oh yes.

“Wolverine, would you please tell Mel to stay on topic.” “He doesn’t listen to me, Professor.”

The comic book superhero is officially a film genre and not a type of movie now. And I know I’m not using the right words but bear with me. Because the word genre can fit for both of these categories of things and it gets confusing. The way I’m differentiating here is in the ways they can be presented. Some film types are the same no matter what. Different plot. Different characters. But you know the beats. Romantic Comedy. You get the gist. International Spy Thriller. You know what you’re going to get. Gladiator films changed from Roman to Martial Arts but they generally stayed the same. The Comic Book Movie was just like that not too long ago. Dark or Light. Marvel or DC. Nolan’s Batman, Donner’s Superman, Whedon’s Avengers and Raimi’s Spiderman are all the same fucking films. Like the western. It was a box. You could throw whatever superhero you wanted into it and the beats would always be generally the same. I’m not saying they are all the same quality because they are not. And there’s nothing wrong with opening up a box, knowing what you’re going to get and still being pleasantly surprised. It’s hard to like movies unless you’re okay with that.

“Wait… Are you the vampire, Callaban? And does that make me the Zombie? I don’t get it.”

But then you have the full on classic genre that’s not beholding to any style. Vampires. Are probably the best example. There are no rules. You can have a space opera with vampires. You can have a rom com with vampires or a western. Most recently Zombies have become the go to for putting them wherever the fuck you want. If you made a section of vampire movies it would make no sense. There would actually be more types of movies than you could shake a stick at under the vampire genre. Comic book superheroes are now officially crossing into that zone. And I’m psyched. The R rated comic book film with no crime to fight, no world to save… fuck yeah.

“Did somebody call for a super-villain? That isn’t really super or necessarily a villain. Just a misguided corporate stooge who blindly follows orders. Did somebody call for a misguided corporate stooge who blindly follows orders?”

And again I’m talking Sherlock Holmes in space type shit. Not just some detective. I’m talking about recognizable comic book superheroes in all kinds of movie boxes. Not just some generic superhero they made up that’s supposed to remind us of stuff from the comics, but the name-brand heroes from the comics. It’s time for a Batman movie where he never puts on the cape. Just a detective story or a revenge tale. One of my favorite aspects of The Hulk movie (still my favorite comic book adaptation) is the romance between Liv Tyler and Ed Norton. And that’s what the Hulk was for me when I was a kid, a romance. Stop trying to make him into a superhero. He’s not a superhero. He’s a monster in love. Spider-man as a teen drama would be nice. Sure he’s still the spider-man but that’s not the movie. The movie is about a kid trying to finish high school. Stop it with the super-villains. Enough already. We get it.

“Logan, do you remember that Star Trek episode where Captain Picard has a full life and grows old in a simulated tribute to an alien species?” “No I didn’t watch that nerd crap.” “I wish that was what this was. Because this movie is depressing as fuck.”

So anyway, what Logan represents to me is the death of the comic book movie. We saw the beginnings in Winter Soldier… that’s more of a spy thriller than comic book. And Deadpool… an R rated fourth wall comedy, a parody of itself. The comic book movie as movie type, is burning itself out. There will still be tons made, because you know how it takes Hollywood a couple of decades before they get the point, but we’re already getting tired of them. Bring on the comic book heroes in regular movies. These are great classic characters. They don’t have to fight The Riddler every week. That’s just their job. It doesn’t have to also be the movie plot.

“Here Lies The Superhero Movie Genre… I mean Movie Type… May It Rest In Peace… I mean Pieces. – Hugh Jackman.”

So Logan, this mediocre, unbelievably corny and poorly written take on The Wolverine, really wasn’t that great of a movie from where I was sitting (seat L10 right behind the wheelchair section because, you know, leg room ftw). Even though Hugh Jackman is great as Wolverine, here he reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming back to play the Terminator one last time… nostalgic. And to tell the truth, I didn’t see Wolverine in Logan at all. I saw the actor who plays Wolverine and a character with claws who references the comic books like that’s enough. That’s not enough.

“Daddy?” “Yes Laura… wait. Did you just call me daddy? Damn, maybe Mel is right. This is some corny ass shit.” “I have to go to the bathroom.” “Hold it. We’re almost there.” “AARRRRGH!!” “Really? Again with the screaming?”

But what I also saw, in the theater, and on the screen, is what it means for comic book movies going forward… a whole new set of rules. The possibilities are endless. Creativity run amok. And that shit was better than the movie. That shit was beautiful.

– Mel

The Comic Book Movie is dead.

Long Live the Comic Book Genre.

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The 10 Worst Things About Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

When they make the end of year lists, Batman v Superman will be at the top of everyone’s worst films of the year. It is god-awful. I’m sure I’m not the first to say it and I won’t be the last. Batman v Superman is terrible. I went to see it on Times Square in a full house and the crowd started to try to entertain themselves. You know a movie is bad when kids are falling asleep and the best parts happen in the seats behind you.

MILD SPOILERS.

Except for the fact that I tell you the movie is bad and I guess that could be a big spoiler.

Here is my list of the ten worst things about…

Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros. Pictures)

BVS Poster

Directed by Zack Snyder

Written by Chris Terrio & David S. Goyer  Based on Characters published by DC Comics

Starring Ben AffleckHenry CavillAmy AdamsJesse EisenbergDiane LaneLaurence FishburneJeremy IronsHolly Hunter & Gal Gadot

A movie that will be at the top of nearly everyone’s worst films of 2016. Mark my words.

It’s that bad.

#10 The Destruction is Excessive AGAIN.

batman-vs-superman-fight

This is not that big a deal but I thought they had handled the vast amount of destruction when they use it as a reason for Batman to go after the man of steel this time out. But then they go and destroy Gotham just like they did Metropolis. Ever think about leading the monsters away from the city? No? Okay but how about when they go away from the city and it’s pointed out to the audience that they’ve gone away from the city, that the good guys don’t actually lure it back to the city? You don’t have to bring the monster to the (portable) weapon. You can bring the weapon to the monster. And don’t tell me it was okay because they were in a run down part of town. Still destroying stuff. Still killing people. Just not rich people.

#9 They Don’t Explain The Science Behind Anything.

Batman-V-Superman-Doomsday

Lazy writing. They don’t explain Doomsday. They don’t explain Kryptonite. They don’t explain Wonder Woman. They don’t explain all of the other Justice League. They don’t explain Lex Luthor’s database. Or anything to do with anyone’s “secret” identities. You just have to know these things already. I’d say it was a movie for people who already know the comic books. That sound you hear is people in the theater trying to explain to their friends what the hell’s going on.

#8 There Are Too Many Dream Sequences.

I am the Night

The movie is two and a half hours long. They could have cut the dream sequences in favor of a little excitement. There are three dream sequences and all but the last half of the last one are meaningless to the story. Something interesting happens in the last half of the last dream that may or may not have been a dream but since they had already established the Batman’s penchant for day dreaming, it just seems weird and pointless. They could have used the time wasted on dreams to explain shit better.

#7 The Interesting Parts in the Trailer are from Dream Sequences.

batman-v-superman-dream

This was so annoying. Because all those cool scenes with Batman tied up and Superman un-masks him. And Batman fighting countless Superman acolytes, are fucking dreams. So if you’re watching the trailer and you’re wondering how he gets tied up and you’re waiting for this or that cool scene… Batman is asleep.

# 6 Jesse Eisenberg is wasted (and he’s good… he just has nothing good to say)

batman-v-superma-lex luthorThe best thing about the movie (and there is not a lot to choose from) is Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor and he has nothing good to say. At one point they have him mangle a passage from Lolita and I nearly threw up in my mouth… so close. He’s great as Lex Luthor except that Lex Luthor says some of the dumbest shit ever on-screen. All those cool lines from the trailer that are out of context. They have more context in the trailer than they do in the movie. The dialogue is incredibly bad.

#5 Amy Adams is Wasted (and I love her)

batman-v-superman-love story

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time then you know of my undying love for Amy Adams. Amy Adams is a waste as Lois Lane. Except for in the best two or three seconds of the movie toward the beginning when she’s being held by a guy with a gun… no spoilers. There’s this look. It’s gorgeous. This is a love story. Superman has always been a love story since the beginning, but it’s like these guys forgot to bring the love. There’s that one moment when Amy Adams shines above the material and then everything else that comes out of her mouth is stupid.

#4 The Story is Crap.

Batman v Superman religious imagery

The story is full of holes and stupid things and idiotic leaps of logic. The main conflict is that people think Superman went to the desert (that’s what they call it) to shoot a bunch of people with guns. No really. But the bullets were special. (these were bullets used to kill regular human beings, so they could just be regular bullets but no) And we all know Superman didn’t shoot those people because of the special bullets. There are a thousand other things but I promised no spoilers. The story is horrible and full of holes.

#3 The Dialogue is Stupid.

Batman v Superman Clark and Bruce and Lex

The dialogue is so bad. It sounds like it was written in a dead language, mistranslated by a team of linguistic experts who couldn’t come to a consensus so they left huge sections blank, into English, into Spanish, then translated into Portuguese (except half the translators are from Brazil and the other half are from Portugal) and then finally back into English as part of a tenth grade midterm assignment the student barely passed with a D. Nobody talks like that. What is wrong with these people?

#2 The Movie is Boring.

batman-v-superman-joker

That’s right. A movie billed as one big fight scene between two of the most popular comic book characters in history is boring as shit. Zack Snyder has no concept of pacing. There were children snoring in the auditorium. One kid woke up and had to ask if Batman and Superman had fought yet. If your comic book movie is putting children to sleep in a crowded theater in the middle of the day, it is boring as hell.

And the number one worst thing about Batman v Superman…

# 1 The Music is Annoying.

batman-v-superman-diana-wonder-woman

The music is the worst thing about Batman v Superman. It is incessant and it is annoying. The music doesn’t seem to know whether a scene is a love scene or a fight scene and it doesn’t care. It just drones on non-stop in a cacophony of ignorant sound. The music is so bad at one particularly and supposedly quiet scene someone in the audience shouted, “Turn the music down.” and everyone applauded. The music is torture. The music makes a bad film even worse.

And that’s the list.

I knew I would hate it. I knew it would be bad. I just didn’t realize how bad.

Batman_v_Superman_Dawn_of_Justice

Batman v Superman is a poorly written, badly directed, terrible film. The story is awful. The pacing is awful. It fails to build excitement for any future DC comic movies. It accomplishes the incredible feat of being worse than Man of Steel.

Even the ending is crap.

After it ended, all I could say was, “What the hell was that?”

Someone shouted, “There’s no after-credits scene.” and someone else answered, “Good.”

– Mel

 

Batman v Superman (All the Trailers Footage cut together)

This is not so bad.

It makes me more hopeful of the movie being decent.

There’s a lot of good stuff here. A whole hell of a lot of bad. But a lot of good.

That’s a lot of footage. The movie is two and a half hours but there’s a good ten minutes of it right there. I kind of get the gist now and while it isn’t the movie I want to see. It might be alright after all. I just hate Zack Snyder so much. I can’t believe he’s doing Justice League too. Whatever.

What do you guys think?

– Mel

Batman v Superman Extended Trailer

Okay that’s crazy…

I don’t know what to say. It looks awesome. Like truly truly awesome but it also looks crazy. Like there is too much going on for one movie. Seriously. if it’s not three hours long, it’s gonna suck ass. I kid you not.

That’s just crazy… too much awesome… so yeah it’s gonna suck.

Sorry.

– Mel

Damage Estimates to Metropolis in the Man of Steel Monstrosity

I saw this on timsfilmreviews.com and just had to steal it.

Damage Estimates

Man of Steel isn’t a superman film.

It’s a Godzilla Monster Movie. With Metropolis standing in as Tokyo.

The man with the x-ray vision can’t see that he’s causing the deaths of thousands of people? C’mon Zak. That’s not Superman. That’s fucking Godzilla.

– Mel

Related articles

 

Man of Steel Review

Man of Steel Poster

I saw Man of Steel tonight. Saw it on a 3D IMAX screen in a packed house. It was NOT very good.

This review has mild spoilers throughout but if you don’t already know the Superman story then bless your heart.

There’s one big spoiler but it’s labelled well and easy to skip.

Jesus What a Bad Movie

Jor-El 3:16

Basically… I wanted more from the planet Krypton. Why doesn’t anyone, doing the Superman origin story, ever stay on Krypton longer? Hell, I would love to see a full Krypton movie with the boy in the spaceship being the end of the film. Something like; They successfully get Kal-El out of there after an epic battle as Krypton explodes. His parents triumphant as they burn while watching him fly away. Now that’s a movie. (Or the opening of Star Trek)

You Decide Who Lives and Who Dies... Like God

“A Superman Movie with no Kents? That’s crazy pants, son.”

We all know Supes. Everybody knows supes. He’s the most well-known superhero in the history of superheroes. So when you try to change him, it’s a bit upsetting. Like his suit or his powers. However, you can do anything you want with the prologue. Including add lots of great effects, sets and costumes.

Jor-El is a Badass

“I am Jor-El and I am a bad-ass.”

The effects for the Krypton technology are breathtaking (wanted more). The drama of the Krypton home world was interesting with great actors playing bigger than life characters (wanted more). The politics. The backstory.

Love.

Love.

But explain to me again why they couldn’t just all leave the damn planet. Did they make a suicide pact or something? At least with Vulcan in Star Trek, it sneaks up on them. Kryptonians see this coming. And why, when everybody is going to die a grizzly death, do they save the lives of their last convicted murderers and terrorists. Just put ’em in a corner and wait.

Man of Steel

“General, I think he has a point there.”

Explain that, with your kick-ass special effects and your cool-ass costumes. Oh you’ve only got 15 minutes in the beginning of a shitty reboot. I’m sorry for your loss.

We Can Outrun This Falling Building... Wait. What

“I think we can outrun this falling skyscraper, Perry.”

Speaking of sorry for your loss. Doesn’t it occur to the filmmakers and the screenwriters that buildings; tall skyscrapers and office buildings, small town shopping centers and restaurants, have people in them. Lots and lots of people. Because the death toll in this film has got to be over a million innocent bystanders crushed to death.

And knowing this, as they should, and knowing this as Kal-El should, Why the hell does he take the time to save two soldiers and why are we supposed to be impressed by that, (and he saves Lois Lane of course but we know the story and by know the story I mean you would have to know the story to realize that they are attracted to each other. Just their name tags are suppose to clue us in. That’s Superman and over there, that’s Lois Lane. oh, okay so… they should get together. [I miss Kidder and Reeve])

And after causing the deaths of countless people. It takes superman FOREVER

F O R E V E R

to realize…

It's Almost Like He Didn't Like The Movie

“Keep your head down, Lois. Because I don’t think he likes us.”

BIG SPOILER ALERT

BIG SPOILER ALERT

That he has to kill somebody to make it stop. In fact it has to be spelled out for him with the tiny humans cowering in a corner. Four of them. Not the million others that died but four.

They go so far as to send their big gun to the other side of the earth by himself while the tiny little army men try to save Metropolis. Where was Superman as buildings were being toppled? Where was Superman while massive debris was raining down on the populace? He’s supposed to be trying to save people while trying to fight the bad guy.
END BIG SPOILER ALERT

END BIG SPOILER ALERT

This Would Be Cool If It Were In The Movie

“These glasses make you invisible to everyone… and a dweeb.”

… realize that he has to do something about it.

That’s Superman.

He is overpowered. But because he tries to do two things at once; Save lives while fighting the bad guys, Or save Lois and still defeat the bad guy, it isn’t as easy as it should be considering how overpowered he is.

HAVE YOU NEVER READ OR SEEN A SUPERMAN STORY ZAK SNYDER?

Wear This Gas Mask... Wait. What

“Oh my god. They’re gonna kiss. This is so cool.”

That having been said, the acting is good. I love Amy Adams as Lois and I like that they skipped the whole “Best reporter alive doesn’t know that the guy sitting next to her is an alien” thing. And I loved both sets of parents… their acting. Not the writing. The dialogue for the Kent’s is god awful. The story is confusing and convoluted with flashbacks within flashbacks and no Kryptonite but instead they replace it with some kind of air quality thing. Come on man you can’t change the basics.

So are you telling me if Superman had thought to bring an oxygen mask with him then none of that crappy climactic sequence would have been necessary?

Superman Chained

“Is it a crime to do a bad Comic Book Movie? Uh… it is? Damn.”

I was not entertained. But if you remove General Zod from the movie. Perhaps concentrate more on Lois tracking down the alien and the government and the army not trusting him and Clark trying to blend in and not wanting to reveal himself almost to the point where he has to let people die, like his father wants. Well, then you’d have a good movie.

But it was like they wanted to rush through the stories of the first two Superman movies so they could get to The Justice League as fast as possible. Nah that can’t be it, right?

Kneel Before Zod

“Now you’re talking.”

Then maybe they should have done what Donner and Lester did (or as I call them: The Richards). Film it all at once and cut it into two movies. They are still the best Superman Movies of all time.

Superman The Movie; the origin story and the love story and

Superman 2; the kick-ass action blockbuster that the first one couldn’t be.

Just rent those two fantastic movies. If you don’t already own them. (you should own them)

Superman and Lois Lane

“Maybe so, but then they’ll miss out on the hottest Lois & Clark since Hatcher and Cain.”

Even though, Amy Adams and Henry Cavill are both very very very hot. (3 verys… each)

“Looks like they screwed up Superman again.”

It was very loud in the theater and my hearing hasn’t returned yet.

“I SAID THEY SCREWED UP SUPERMAN AGAIN!!!!”

Alright, I heard you the first time.

How Does Superman Shave

“But you’ll still watch the next one, right?”

Of course I will.

Later supes.

– Mel