Spared or Spoiled Movie Reviews: Logan

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I did not like this movie. I thought it was a child’s idea of what an adult movie would look like. Violence and cursing. “Please daddy can I stay up and watch Logan with you? I won’t get bad dreams honest. No? Why not? Why should I listen to you anyway? You’re not my real father.”

Go to bed. Because I said so and I’M AN ADULT!!!*

“It’s bedtime. Let’s find another nice family to kill.”

(Off topic* For the last several months, whenever I stop myself from doing something stupid or childish, I yell out, “I’m an adult.” in a fake stage voice out of pride and silliness. Which is admittedly stupid and/or childish but it has become my new mantra and the theme of this review for some reason)

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’ll put up my review now. The last post was me being happy with the theme of the movie Logan and what it means for comic book movies. I did not hate the movie as much as you might think. But I did not like it as much as most of you did. I thought the violence was unnecessarily um… violent. I’ve always believed that when it comes to Wolverine the idea of him doing those brutal things to people is sufficiently gruesome enough and not every kill has to be shown in gory HD detail. I thought the writing was sloppy. The plot was non-existent. The performances were good if only the actors were playing other characters. The only thing recognizable about those characters on the screen was the way they looked. I liked the theme though. I really did. Lone Wolf and Cub meets Mad Max meets Tuesdays with Morrie. That’s the reason I can say I didn’t hate the movie. The execution just left a hell of a lot to be desired. And obviously I’m going to spoil the shit out of it. And rant, and rant, and rant.

Verdict: SPOILED

“Are we really going to do this again? The first time was brutal enough.” “Honestly father. I thought at the very least you would see the irony in a Logan review being unnecessarily brutal… father?” “What are you like 60?”

SPOILER ALERT

The 25 Worse Things About The Movie Logan by Mel Rook

I started listing things and just kept going so there’s much more than 25 and they’re in no particular order because honestly I got bored.

To the list…

1) Wolverine’s adamantium does not corrode: I waited for them to say that he had some kind of radioactive substance in his body or that he was being poisoned because his fucking skeleton would not be leaking into his blood stream and affecting his healing. Not even acid would do that.

(Can we get someone in here who’s actually read the source material)

2) Wolverine is not a werewolf: Adamantium bullet? For fuck sake. Maybe it would go through his metal skull and then again maybe it wouldn’t. But Wolverine is not the fucking metal around his bones. Why would shooting him in the head kill him? Wolverine is not a zombie either. He heals after much worse injuries.

(Read the books)

“These are just props. No one actually fucking read them.”

Speaking of adamantium.

3) They put adamantium in the little girl’s body? Well then that means she can never grow any taller. It’s not an organic material. They encased her bones in a metal cage. She’s a human bonsai tree. What the fuck idiots?

(She’ll never be an adult… not like me. I’m an adult!!!)

Let’s move on to the unnecessarily violent action sequences.

4) The bad guys are like cannon fodder: They run right into the line of fire again and again. To the last man. They look like bad ass mercenaries but act like lambs being lead to the killing floor.

And what’s with all the gore? vicious kills of guys who can’t move. Vicious brutal kills by a little girl. It’s way over-the-top. In Deadpool it was necessary and comical. Here it’s just a way of screaming. “I’m a comic book movie for grown-ups!”

But let’s talk about the victims… the endless stream of so called bad guys.

5) Five guys show up for a fight and Wolverine kills twenty guys: Hub-cap thieves or industrial corn farmers or bad-ass mercenaries with cybernetic implants, more people die in the fights than actually show up for the fights. Just count them. I know continuity is an adult film-making concept but come on guys. At one point Bizzarro Wolverine is killing ranchers off camera but you can hear him and there’s like fifteen death screams for like eight rednecks. It’s dumb. The movie is dumb!!!

(I’m an adult!!!)

“The guy behind me knows I’m going to kill him right? Well then what the hell is his motivation?”

The little girl, Laura was made in a lab and yet…

6) She’s incredibly wise for someone so young: She doesn’t speak for half the movie and won’t shut up for the second half. I guess she had to speed learn English or something. She’s a kid. They learn things fast… like driving a car for instance.

7) She knows how to drive a car: For someone who has never left the lab, she parks the truck perfectly her first time behind the wheel.

(We’re all real proud of you Laura)

But how did she get Wolverine’s dense, metal bone having, passed out, grown man’s body into the stolen truck anyway? Never mind… it’s movie magic!!!

9) Shane, the classic western is on TV in the hotel room in the movie that we’re watching. And there is more emotion on the screen than at any time in the actual movie: Shane is not playing in the theater. Logan is not Shane. Logan will never be Shane. Logan… apologize to Shane.

“I can lift a man ten-times my size because… I’m a little adult!!”

10) What’s the bad guy’s motivation? Were they supposed to take Laura back alive? So that they could kill her later? Were they supposed to leave Charles alive. The “weapon of mass destruction” he had become. Were they supposed to keep Wolverine alive? What are the bad guys even doing?

“What’s my motivation? Am I a bad guy in this scene? Does the blade go through the back of my head from underneath the chin or the eye socket or is this yet another beheading? Wait… what’s my motivation again?”

(Grow Up)

Oh yeah let’s talk about this degenerative brain disease that causes people for miles around to have seizures when Charles has one. Then again let’s not it’s just dumb. Take your damn pills Charles.

(He can do as he pleases. He’s an adult!!!)

11) The young mutant clones are all so well-adjusted: Are we sure the corporation was treating them badly? They seem well-educated and healthy for lab experiments that they wanted to become super weapons. They should not have let them watch all those old westerns and read all those comic books.

And yeah…

12) Why are there X-Men comics in the movie? At no time in the X-Men timeline in any of the movies or comics are they accepted as heroes or even anti-heroes. We’re supposed to buy that they’ve been wiped off the face of the Earth. All of them including their children… their entire bloodline, but still the kiddies love to read about them in the comic books.

(I need to calm down before I have a seizure of my own)

“Professor. tell me how Magneto’s helmet works again.” “It works like a Faraday cage.” “Sure but in order to cover his head in all six directions wouldn’t he have to…” “It’s just a comic book you jackass.”

13) Logan is not in some dystopian future even though the film-makers forget and try to make it look like it is. I think they had Mad Max on the brain while filming. It’s the future, sure. You can tell by the tech. The self driving trucks and whatnot. But everything else is business as usual. Kids going to prom. People going to Vegas. Horses on the highway. Just because the last mutants are hiding out in some abandoned factory across the border doesn’t mean the world isn’t still spinning… just spinning without X-Men.

14) If they wanted to do the Old Man Logan story then they should have done that story. A darker, further in the future, story where super-villains divided the world up. They lame-assed it here. They lame-assed it real good.

15) What the fuck’s up with Callaban. I’m guessing the half werewolf, half zombie, Wolverine from Logan needed a vampire servant or some shit. Was Stephen Merchant supposed to be comic relief? because… not funny.

16) So is that tank that they keep Charles in supposed to act like a Faraday cage? Is it to protect others or to protect him. Because it doesn’t work for others. His seizure thing goes right through the tank. And if it’s supposed to hide him, well then they’re doing it wrong. The main mercenary bad guy cannon fodder guy actually says, “Keeping him in the tank. That was smart.”

(PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!!!!!)

“Well it’s obvious someone didn’t think this through.” “Don’t look at me. I’m the not at all funny comic relief. What do I know?” “You know enough to stay out of the sun.”

17) Hi I’m a nurse working for a secret corporation in the future but when I enter their top-secret facility they don’t take away my cell phone because… well because of plot. If you’re watching this then I must be dead… or I showed it to you because it’s evidence of the corporation’s wrong doing or you’re watching it on YouTube. I don’t know. If you’re watching this you must have pressed play. I was recording this when they broke in but I was still able to hide it and leave you note. And also they killed me but didn’t search the room. Whatever… my boyfriend worked there.

Let’s go back to the science behind this adamantium bullet for a second.

18) Did they mean adamantium tipped? That’s what they meant right? Still shouldn’t be able to kill Wolverine but you guys do see the error in your logic don’t you? Indestructible metal and all.

19) The coordinates are in the comic book. The coordinates are in the comic book. Just let that sink in for a second. Precise Longitude and Latitude? Because Stan Lee was thinking ahead and because of… you know plot?

(Excelsior!!!)

“He’s being so cruel.”

So did those kids build that house when they got to the coordinates that are from a fucking comic book or was the house already there? Asking for a friend.

20) The dialogue is crappy, people. The best line in the movie is a quote from another film. And she doesn’t even quote the burial scene in it. She watches Shane’s monologue to the kid and she watches the burial scene as well, so that when she quotes the final monologue during a burial scene it makes sense to us. It doesn’t. It’s fucking stupid.

(Hell I can still hear that kid yelling, “Come back, Shane! Mother wants you!” and it brings a tear to my eye today. They should be ashamed of themselves. That’s film-making. That’s real emotion. How dare they even compare Logan to that)

21) Is she a clone of Wolverine or is she his kid?

“He is NOT the father.” (Thank you Maury).

“Daddy!!!” (Use your words, Laura.) “AAAAARRRRGH!!!”

So they’re kids when it’s convenient. Weapons when it’s necessary. She’s a sweet kid when it’s cute. She’s a trained killer when it’s necessary. Because of plot, is that right?

Back to the seizures one last time… Because of their healing ability the two mutants are not as affected by Charles Xavier’s powerful seizures. Because of healing and… plot. Or is it their metal skulls?

(Tell me!!!)

22) Take your fucking medicine, Charles: “But I’m so sad about killing people, Logan that I can’t take my medicine that stops me from killing people.”

“Logan?” “Yes, Charles.” “When we’re on this boat you’re saving money to buy, how will I get my medication?” “Don’t ask me stupid questions, old man.” “But if we’re just getting on a boat to die then why does it have to be so expensive?” “You always were a pain in the ass, Professor.”

I almost forgot the dumbest part.

23) Let’s stay in this lovely family’s home. It’s not like we’re being chased by killer mercenaries. It’s not like the old man in the wheel chair (let’s take him upstairs by the way) is an out of control weapon of mass destruction or anything. And the feral kid isn’t a ticking time bomb of rage. And Wolverine himself isn’t fucking suicidal. Let’s repay their kindness by getting them all killed. That makes total sense.

Best part of the movie is when the father decides to shoot the real Wolverine knowing that he wasn’t the guy who killed his family directly… Indirectly, though… hell fucking yeah. He killed those nice people. “We almost killed an entire hotel full of tourists in Vegas. Let’s have a sleep over in the country!”

(I’m an adult!!! And I wrote me a comic book movie!!!)

Here’s something else stupid.

24) We’re going to buy a boat: Yeah because a guy with heavy metal bones and an old man who can’t use his legs are a great idea on the open water.

(OH MY GOD!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK!!!!)

If they’re not going out on that boat so that Logan can “Fredo Corleone” the Professor then I don’t know what the fuck’s going on.

“Pay attention Laura. You may have to drive me somewhere… without knowing where you’re going, knowing how to drive, being able to reach the pedals or how to read. And you’re going to have to steal a truck. Are you watching me? You need to watch me.”

Did no one read the script before making this movie???? No one??

Was there not an adult somewhere who could point out how dumb these things were?

What a great idea it was to do an adult comic book movie. Too bad they couldn’t find an adult to make it. Am I being too harsh?

And finally…

25) They tried to pattern Logan after the American western but totally missed the point. Wolverine is not a gunslinger. Wolverine is a fucking samurai. There’s a reason why I think the second Wolverine movie is the best one of the three, because it’s the only one that gets him right.

Wolverine.

Honor. Solitude. Bad-ass.

Not.

Whiny. Little. Bitch.

Okay I’m done.

– Mel

5 Quick Reviews of 5 Movies on DVD Nov/Dec

I’ve gotten a little behind on my review folder so there should be another post coming soon. This time out we have 4 action films (Superheroes, Martial Arts & Science Fiction) and one biopic. The schizophrenic biography of a porn classic.

Let’s get right to it…

To the reviews

First up another stab at a Wolverine solo movie.

The Wolverine 2013 (20th Century Fox)

The Wolverine

Directed by James Mangold
Written by Mark Bomback & Scott Frank
Based on Wolverine by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller
Starring Hugh Jackman, Tao OkamotoRila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Will Yun Lee, Haruhiko Yamanouchi, Brian Tee & Famke Janssen

This is a really good comic book movie. This is what it’s like when the filmmakers respect the source material.

Wolverine without Adamantium

The Wolverine 2013 is a lot like the Wolverine comic. Complete w/ ninjas, that remarkable calm before each storm and another doomed romance. I owned these books back when I was a collector. I like this story.

Wolverine and Yukio

I love this movie. This is how a comic book movie should be made.

Wolverine & Viper

There are epic battles against Ninjas and Yakuza and Evil Mutants and an epilogue that serves as a prologue to the next X-Men movie. This is a great film.

Rent it (I’ll be buying it. Definitely re-watchable)

Next up

Elysium (TriStar Pictures)

Elysium

Written & Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura & William Fichtner

Elysium suffers from a sloppy story that veers off in odd directions. A great premise but some bad writing.

Jodie Foster

I wanted to like this movie so much. I love Neill Blomkamp’s other film; District 9, but Elysium is a swing and a miss his second time out. Jodie Foster is amazing as always, acting in both languages (I love when she pulls out her French) but honestly, at this point, it would be strange if she weren’t amazing. Ms Foster brings 100% every time out.

Damon & Foster

I would have preferred for her and Matt to have had more scenes together. I would have added a comm link between the two for a little trash talking as she tries to capture him. You have two sensational actors and they don’t play off each other. What a waste.

Matt Damon

Elysium has a good message about the direction the world is taking and Matt Damon is fantastic but it’s a bad execution of a great idea. I think I wanted more from this film. Good effects. Good premise. It’s just lacking in focus.

Rent it (There are good things here. Good performances etc. Just don’t expect too much)

Next up… a sequel?

Kick-Ass 2 (Universal Pictures)

Kick-Ass 2

Written & Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Based on Kick-Ass 2 and Hit-Girl by Mark Millar & John Romita, Jr.
Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-PlasseChloë Grace MoretzJim Carrey

I would have preferred Kick-Ass 2 had just been a Hit-Girl movie. She was the only truly badass character from the first movie. She should have gotten her own film.

Hit-Girl

Kick-Ass 2 is about the formation of a justice league type superhero group. But the only good thing about the movie is Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s supervillain; The Mother Fucker. I love that guy. McLovin is the shit. And in this he’s mostly silly but still the best thing in the movie.

Kick Ass, Hit-Girl & The Mother Fucker

The writing and directing of Kick-Ass 2 is very bad. It is awful. And at times the screenplay borrows scenes from other, better films. There is a scene stolen directly from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off where Hit-Girl is trying to get home before her guardian and way too much of the dialogue is lifted from other things, other movies, better movies. It’s lazy writing. It’s lazy filmmaking. And then there is this wholly unnecessary vomiting and diarrhea scene in a High School cafeteria. This is a bad movie.

The Justice League

And except for McLovin, it’s not even that funny. Not even interesting. There are a couple of “kind of” cool fight scenes… kind of cool. Jim Carrey is underutilized (he’s still an underrated actor in my opinion) and (THIS IS IMPORTANT) Sharks have to move to breathe. (That’s right I said it). The shark’s tank is too small. The shark is dead. The joke would have been better with Piranhas. Kick-Ass 2 is just too silly and too dumb.

"Are you saying you didn't like it? Cause I don't like what I'm hearing."

“Are you saying you didn’t like it? Cause I don’t like what I’m hearing.”

The movie is crap.

Skip it (There is very little of substance here that isn’t silly, stupid or disgusting)

Next up… a drama… no explosions.

Lovelace (Millennium Films)

Lovelace

Directed by Rob Epstein and also by Jeffrey Friedman
Written by Andy Bellin
Starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Adam Brody & Juno Temple

Lovelace is a film that means well. It has a great cast that give fine performances, including Sharon Stone, Peter Sarsgaard & a sensational James Franco cameo as a young Hugh Hefner. Headed, of course, by Amanda Seyfried at her best, it tries to show both sides of the always sleazy and sometimes sordid story of the most famous porn film in history.

Lovelace & Hef

Lovelace starts off by showing us the industry’s (and her ex-husband’s) claim; that the experience wasn’t as bad as Linda Lovelace tells in her bio and then it switches abruptly to show her version of the story. Obviously a lot truer than theirs but there was no need to separate them.

Peter Sarsgaard & Amanda Seyfried

I don’t know if they had to do this because they feared lawsuits but it was a bad choice.

Amanda Seyfried

Why they didn’t just put all the scenes together in a linear timeline (because they don’t overlap much at all). So that her version and their version can share the screen at the same time. A better director (there are two here) could have made a sensational biopic out of the footage they have,

Peter & Amanda

But what they end up with is this half porn industry cinderella tale, half porn industry horror story, cautionary tale. Lovelace feels ham-fisted from both sides (yes I did that on purpose). The directors try too hard to separate the two accounts and end up with two disparate versions of a confusing story.

Rent it (For the performances but really nothing else)

And lastly… something good.

Man of Tai Chi (Universal Pictures)

Man of Tai Chi

Directed by Keanu Reeves
Written by Michael G. Cooney
Starring Keanu Reeves, Tiger Chen, Karen Mok, Simon Yam & Iko Uwais

Man of Tai Chi is a fun movie that’s a bit of a throwback to the classic mainstream Hong Kong martial arts films of the past.

Tiger Chen

First of all it’s half in English, even to the point where in the middle of a sentence they’ll just start speaking English. It reminded me a lot of the old Jackie Chan films or the ones with the British bad guy who speaks English but the good guys speak Chinese.

Man of Tai Chi Tiger-Chen

Second, Man of Tai Chi is about a martial arts tournament where our hero enters but no one believes he has a chance to win because of his chosen discipline, in this case, Tai Chi, thought of as more of a meditation and an exercise than a martial style.

Tai Chi

Third it’s about a school/temple that is falling apart and a teacher with only one student (our hero, whose teacher does not want him to fight) trying to rebuild it on his own.

And lastly it’s about a separate underground, no rules, illegal tournament run by the evil & wealthy, but really evil Keanu Reeves, who also directs the film, and the Hong Kong cops who are hot on its trail. I’ve totally seen this movie before.

Teacher and Student

Because Man of Tai Chi has all the makings of a classic Hong Kong martial arts movie and it’s a lot of fun, I recommend it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Keanu is a decent director (and like I said it’s paint by numbers Hong Kong action). It has a great message about the balance between Chi and Meditation, between Flow and Power. There are some really good fights. A couple of epic battles and a bunch of great tournament fights showing different brutal MMA type styles against Tai Chi.

Man of Tai Chi Fight

I don’t know how accurate or authentic these fights are but they are well-choreographed. Not too much wire work from the great Yuen Wo Ping, and it’s a good story. Although even after the movie, I still don’t know how long Tai Chi would last in an authorized tourney or an MMA style underground tourney. But it’s a really good movie.

Rent it (especially if you’re a Kung Fu instructor and your name is Alex. You, my friend will love it)

And that’s all we have for this time. There was…

"I am an old man. I cannot wait for the recap. Please do it now."

“I am an old man. I cannot wait for the recap. Please do it now.”

Okay, old man.

So to recap…

There were two movies based on comics; The Wolverine and Kick-Ass 2. One of them very good, the other not so much. It sucked.

There were two movies with stellar all-star casts; Elysium and Lovelace. Both of them worth a watch but neither live up to its casting.

And one Martial Arts film; Man of Tai Chi. That doesn’t take itself too seriously while paying homage to the Hong Kong classics.

I will probably be back in a couple of days with another five DVDs. There were a lot of new releases that I missed, A lot of big comedies I need to watch. And miles to go before I sleep.

Until next time.

See you at the movies,

– Mel