Lucien’s First Take: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2017 E3 Gameplay

I meant to talk about this months ago, but I am finally getting around to it, because there is a lot to unpack.  Here’s the thing about probably 95% of superhero games – they suck, or are really mediocre.  Especially the ones licensed to films.  Licensed games are the worst thing under the sun.  After the SNES and Sega Genesis, they were all nothing but crap.  So when I heard that Insomniac is making a Spider-Man game that is officially licensed by Marvel, I was groaning.  I mean, Insomniac games are awesome.  They made the Ratchet and Clank games, which are awesome.  But a superhero game to come directly from Marvel?  This has bad idea written all over it.  This year at E3, however, they released a gameplay trailer that has taken all my skepticism and destroyed it.  It looks awesome, so let’s take a look at it now.

Right out of the game, the visuals for this game are amazing.  The level of detail is just perfect.  It’s pretty standard, for a modern console game, but you know what, it’s great.  Definitely hoping we can either customize or get new suits for the web-slinger, but I do like this suit.  Not too worried about that.  Switchable suits has been a standard for Spider-Man games since their inception, so it’s all good.

The control scheme for this game looks pretty simple.  I can clearly tell that almost all of it will be about staying above your targets.  The stealth elements look absolutely phenomenal.  One of the things I always thought was kinda dumb about Spider-Man games is that they don’t take advantage of the elements of getting enemies from above.  Sure, his suit ain’t exactly made to sneak, but you can still hit an enemy from above without them seeing you coming.  Since Spider-Man never kills his foes, we don’t have to worry about non-lethal runs of the game.  Exciting stuff.  The controls for getting back up to beams or on top of objects are taken right out of the Arkham games.  No problem with that whatsoever.  It’s totally fitting for our friendly neighborhood hero.

We also get to see some potential gadget stuff in this game.  Another thing I am digging that seems to have come straight out of the Arkham games.  Desperately hoping that they don’t just copy that formula beat-for-beat though and give you some freedom to customize the stuff you use and be able to craft specialty stuff.  Really wondering how the leveling up system is going to work.  You also can use the environment to fuck up enemies!  That’s awesome!  I love it.  Later on we get to see that done even in combat scenarios.  Manipulating the environment in active combat and not just for stealth is a break from the mold they clearly are going off of, and I think that’s a great one.  But the stealth aspect of this game is really something.  Not gonna lie, the more potential I have to be stealthy, the happier I’ll be.  It’s my favorite way to play a game, and it looks like I get to scratch my itch here.

Then we get our first peek into the combat.  Now here’s something where I want to elaborate on how this game is using the Arkham formula.  A lot of people are saying that that’s unoriginal, but you know what, I think it’s goddamn brilliant.  There’s a reason why.  When you fight, it’s clear that you are using the same kind of system they used in Arkham to dodge enemy attacks before they happen.  To me, this formula makes even more sense for Spider-Man than it did for Batman.  Why?  Because of the Spider Sense.  That talent gives him the ability to see what’s about to happen when danger is close.  He gets an almost perfect ability to perceive incoming problems and react to them.  So the indicator system from the aforementioned series is perfect for that!  It also lets you dodge machine gun fire, which, for those who read the comics, is something that Spider-Man could do when he’s at his best.  Since this game isn’t attached to any film or thing like that, keeping it true to the comics is kind of awesome.

From there we get some stuff with a helicopter that shows this game is also taking cues from the old God of War games with quicktime events.  Not gonna complain about that either.  Clearly they are doing the concept right.  Kinda curious to see what all this “HEX” stuff in that clearly is some kind of energy.  This should be interesting.

This game went from being something I figured wouldn’t be worth my time, to one of my most-anticipated games of 2018.  That’s pretty awesome.  Let me know what you all think down below.

Initial Verdict:
Hyped!

Peace out,

Maverick

RAB: Twix Marketing and the Venom Movie

The very definition of a random assortment of bullshit. I was at my terrible, awful, no-good, thankless job today when I walked into the break room and got a look at the vending machine.  Don’t worry, I am not that pathetic.  I was reloading on water.  I actually am trying to take care of myself at this job.  Hence why I go on walks every single day now, multiple times.  But anyway, I get to the vending machine and I see a Twix candy bar.  Twix is my favorite kind of candy, but the thing which caught my eye is what was directly above it – Two Left.  The fuck?!  Then I remembered the retarded-ass marketing campaign of this stuff.

See, the company behind this had this marketing campaign where people were supposed to pick whether they like left Twix or right Twix better.  Like they aren’t the same goddamn candy!  That was stupid all on its own, but since I only caught that crap when I was out at the parent’s place watching TV, it didn’t bother me too much.  But then they decided to expand upon that retarded crap by introducing this newest marketing garbage.  See, since apparently this marketing campaign actually worked (what the fuck is wrong with you, America?!), they made packages that claim to have two left or two right Twix.  Why?  So the stupid monkeys who actually weighed in on this nonsense can have their precious left or right.  Fuck that noise!

As it has been made very clear that Americans are too stupid to get this crap, allow me to explain – you cannot have two left or two right of something in a package!  You have one thing on the left and one on the right!  Ugh!  But then all my retarded-ass coworkers said that I am overthinking this and how this reflects negatively upon me.  Are you kidding me?!  We have an ad campaign that is championing being dumb!  How am I the only person that bothers?!  Come on, people!  In the Comments, someone tell me I am not totally out of my mind here (just watch, now I get so trolled.  Never invite the Internet to do stuff like this)!

That stuff aside, there is another thing that got my attention recently – I saw in movie news that the Venom film is going to also star Carnage as the antagonist.  Really?  Don’t you think you’re kind of putting your best foot forward a little early?  Seems like you may want to see if a first Venom film can work before you pit symbiotes against one-another.  But as I thought about that more and more, it occurred to me – this better be an R-rated film!  Why?  Let’s discuss some comic nerd stuff.

Carnage is a truly grisly villain.  As the comic series has gone on, his body count is fairly astronomical.  The character’s entire schtick is that he uses his body to turn into gruesome weapons and rip his victims to pieces.  That’s pretty cool.  Put to film, such a character would be genuinely amazing, would they not?  Here’s the problem – this is a Sony film.  They suck at making movies!  The new Spider-Man only turned out so well because it was paired up with Marvel.  Tom Hardy as Venom definitely has an appeal to it.  He’s a great actor who can do dark roles very well.  I see him being able to take on something of an anti-hero like Venom and making it go pretty far.  But in a film with Carnage, here’s what I want – a HARD R-Rating!

Not this soft-R like Deadpool.  As much as I love that film, it played it safe in a lot of ways.  Logan was a step further in the right direction when it comes to gruesome comic book films with mainstream appeal.  But that even cut some corners from going too grotesque.  But no more of that with Venom!  If this film is going to have one of the most violent comic book villains of all time, then it better ramp up the death, blood, and gore to 11.  I want to see Venom beating the shit out of Carnage in a place filled with the mutilated bodies of his victims.  I mean, how can you possibly market a film with these two characters in it as a family picture?!

In an age where comic book films are FINALLY willing to take some risks that majorly pay off, this is the film where I want to see it ramped up to 11.  Hopefully that’s how they got Tom Hardy on board.  He is something of a crazy method actor, after all.  That man has brutalized himself in all sorts of ways for his roles.  I dig that kind of crazy.  And for the love of Groj, can we not let Sony get their claws into this film?!  They can only make it worse.  For whatever reason, this studio has a truly amazing record of taking good ideas and shitting all over them.  We’ll never know how that works, but there it is.

Until next time, a quote,

“Just like sardine cans!  Snack time!” – Carnage, Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

I’m about to get very unpopular right now.  I hated the first three Spider-Man films.  Why?  Because I hate Tobey MaGuire.  I’m sure he is a perfectly nice person, and I have seen movies with him in it that I like, such as Pleasantville.  However, I do not like him as an actor.  How he was able to carry the role in the aforementioned film is beyond me.  Maybe they got that one director in a million.  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, he was insufferable as Spider-Man.  There is the meme about the many faces of Tobey Maguire, well, that’s all I can think of when I watch those movies.  Andrew Garfield was a little better in the role.  At least in the first film he starred as.  I at least felt like he was trying to fit into the role of the character.  Still, he ended up being destroyed by studio interference.  Though, that’s what happened to the original films too.  Huh, there might be a clue about Sony and their vicegrip on this franchise in there somewhere.

But for the first time in, roughly 15 years, I actually feel like I have watched a Spider-Man movie.  It’s finally happened!  I knew it would be after I saw this actor in the role in Civil War.  Tom Holland was perfectly cast.  He looks the part.  He sounds the part.  Everything about this kid just screams Spider-Man.  I really liked this movie.  Is it perfect?  Hell no.  But as far as doing justice to this character and making a good Spider-Man film, this movie is the closest we have ever gotten, and part of me is worried that Sony is just going to fuck that up down the road.  Let’s talk about it.

The plot picks up 7 months after the events in Civil War, where Parker is back in school and trying to balance being a superhero and desperately hoping to be involved in something larger by Stark once-again.  Meanwhile, there is a villain who actually has a pretty neat motivation secretly working toward a goal, and Parker is the only one who can stop him.  It’s pretty standard superhero fare, but man is it all in the execution.

Once-again, Tom Holland rocks this role.  I feel like I am legit watching Spider-Man live up to his namesake!  The acting is great all-around.  Holland rocks the main role.  His buddy Ned is pretty fun too.  He’s funny.  He plays the sidekick role really well.  Plus, you actually believe that him and Parker are friends.  Their friendship all comes through due to the chemistry of these actors.  Next up we have Aunt May, who is featured much less than I thought in this movie.  They also gave her glasses for some odd reason.  But you actually feel her compassion for Parker.  The love interest in the film is actually a pretty nice character.  I don’t care that they changed her ethnicity.  It’s all good to me.  I liked her character.

A role that stood out to me was the villain.  Everyone knows it’s the Vulture, so I’m not spoiling anything there.  But he is a pretty neat character.  So many superhero films lately have a problem of boring antagonists.  We actually get to see where this man’s motivations come from.  Is he super deep?  No.  But it’s a hell of a lot deeper than the paper-thin villains I have seen in some of Marvel’s movies.  Plus, he is played by Michael Keaton, who totally owns the role.  He is nefarious and in it for himself, but you can see where he’s coming from.  And I like how they were able to get past the whole “we’re not so different” angle in this film in a pretty clever way.

But there is one performance that just bugs me – Mary Jane.  Do I care that they also changed her ethnicity?  No.  Not even a little.  What I do care about is the fact that they made her into the biggest garden-variety SJW ever!  She’s annoying.  She’s preachy.  I half-expected her to talk about her Tumblr page, it’s that bad.  How Peter is going to get past that and want to be with her in future films is beyond me.  This character was downright insufferable.  Is this a nitpick?  Absolutely.  It didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the film overall.  See, I can handle SJW pandering so long as it’s in a good movie.  But whoever directs this next, can we PLEASE make this character a little more likeable?

Tony Stark also comes back, and I was a little disappointed in this.  Robert Downey Jr was fine and all, but I was kind of thinking that Stark was going to go at this from the angle of him trying to become a father-figure in Peter’s life.  They framed it that way in the trailers.  There is one exceptionally-good moment where he is castigating Parker, but that’s pretty much it.

Finally, I have to talk about something which is a minor spoiler.  Spider-Man unlocks an AI program in the suit Stark left him, and she is entirely too much fun.  The scenes where her and Parker are arguing about stuff are just great.  Desperately hoping this character becomes a mainstay of the series.

The effects and action in this movie are pretty good, but since this film is really character-driven, I honestly don’t have much to say about that.  Vulture was a pretty good villain.  Seeing Spidey doing his thing is pretty awesome.

The final thoughts on this movie is that it’s loads of fun.  It’s not perfect.  It’s being held back by the fact that it has some scenes that drag and an SJW-tastic character who was grinding my gears every time her preachy ass was on screen.  But overall this was loads of fun, and it is my favorite Spider-Man film to date.  But here is where I am worrying.  Sony has said that after the last Avengers film, they are cutting ties to Disney’s Marvel.  Please don’t.  These people know what’s what!  Having their input has gotten you so much farther.  Let them stay involved.  Granted, Kevin Feige is leaving the MCU after this, which is when I plan on tuning out, so maybe it’s all for the best.  We’ll see what happens, but at least I finally got ONE good Spider-Man film that makes me believe this character is Spider-Man.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Black Panther Teaser Trailer

When I did my review of Captain America: Civil War, I said that I honestly didn’t really know where they could go with a Black Panther film.  He is my second-favorite character in the film, due entirely on the incredible performance of the actor.  That man sells that role.  Marvel’s films have done some damn good casting lately.  Robert Downy Jr as Tony Stark, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, the kid as the new Spider-Man, and now Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.  Perfect casting.  But my perspective in my review still stands.  He’s the Black Panther, and a ruler of a powerful nation that is hidden away.  Where can they possibly go with that?  It’s a little late to get to it, but the teaser was released.  Let’s see.

We start off getting to hear Martin Freeman’s terrible American accent.  No joke, they should have just gotten Hugh Laurie to do the role.  He probably would have been more fun too.  Then we have Andy Serkis coming back from his role in Avengers: The Waste of James Spader’s Talent.  He’s saying that Wakanda isn’t nearly the backwater tribal society that people think.  Okay, liking it.  Some legit nice backdrops.  There is a cool juxtaposition between this waterfall scenery the Panther is at with the tech airplane he is leaving on.  Is the idea of the ancient and the modern clashing gonna come into play?  That could be cool.

The montage that follows seems to paint the film more as a story about Wakanda itself than the titular character.  I kinda like that.  I can’t honestly think of a Marvel film that has done that so far.  Making a movie about a nation and the struggles of being in the modern world is a neat angle that I can see either being done very well or fucked up so horribly bad.

Which is kind of my thought overall of this teaser.  I’m definitely not gonna watch any more trailers for the film.  I genuinely want to be surprised when I see it.  Modern trailers have a bad habit of ruining the entire plot of a film.  I think that’s what’s happened with Spider-Man: Homecoming.  I wouldn’t know.  After I saw how trailer 2 was spoiling the film I stopped it.  Black Panther is either going to be a very interesting dive into a nation and the people in it, or a preachy film about how evil western culture is.  Please don’t let it be that.  Please don’t let this be SJW jerk-fuel.  Marvel has thus far been pretty good about pandering to the forced-diversity crowd.  They want their works to appeal to a mass audience.

But this is new territory.  A piece about a nation and its ruler being unsure where they fit in in the changing world is a tough thing to get right.  I’m going to give this film a chance, though.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

Initial Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

The Cinematic Universe Trends Needs to Die

It really does.  It really, really does.  Seems like every film company is trying to find a way to make their own cinematic universe crap, and it is producing some of the stupidest films ever made.  People don’t realize that Marvel really found lightning in a bottle with their cinematic universe.  And part of that was having a fan of the comics who stood his ground on making the films true to the source material that he was adapting.  This concept could have been done so much worse.  There are stories about how Disney and the current head of the MCU have clashed on ideas which shows that if Disney had had their way, it would have been a lot worse.

However, it seems like every film company under the sun wants to have their version of the cinematic universe, and without a single exception they all suck.  Don’t come at me that Wonder Woman is awesome.  I’m sure it is.  Haven’t seen it.  Will Netflix it, someday.  But the DCEU is dead on arrival right now, and unless they have some good films to build on the ground they have FINALLY laid down, then it will still die.  Not unlike how the Ghostbusters remake’s attempt to make a universe are dead.  Or how Universal’s pathetic attempt to form the “Dark Universe” died right out of the gate.  Not to mention the Star Wars new extended universe.  And on that note…

Rogue One sucked!  I finally watched it, and I am going to do a review of it, but here’s my Cliff Notes – it sucked.  I don’t get why people are saying how great it was.  The film was boring.  So unbelievably boring.  Every single character in the film is boring.  Listening to Darth Vader make a stupid pun hurt me inside.  The plot was bad.  The CG faces for characters was bad.  Nothing about it was good.  How so many people could sing its praises is beyond me.  I genuinely believe it is just sad fanboys/girls who so desperately want Star Wars stuff in their lives that they will say that anything is good.  Just like how they sing about how great Episode VII was, when I couldn’t escape the fact that it is virtually a shot-for-shot remake of the original, except with a chick who can’t act and Emo Vader with his retarded-ass lightsaber.  Now they are making more films that no one asked for.  How about they release Star Wars: 1313?!  There’s something I actually wanted to see.

My point in all of this is simple – these cinematic universes need to go.  Marvel is already planning to bring theirs down a few pegs once the Infinity War films are done.  I saw that James Cameron wants to make a cinematic universe for that Avatar films.  Every company under the sun wants to try their hand at exploiting nostalgia by remaking old films in a way where it sets up for a cinematic universe.  These films are almost-exclusively terrible, and they are wasting money that could be put to better use in better films.

After all, we didn’t want a DCEU.  We wanted good DC films!  I don’t want a Dark Universe.  Nobody wanted that.  At all.  Not one person asked for that, and no one is going to miss it now that it is pretty much dead.  Nobody is asking for an Avatar universe.  The SJWs died on the hill that was the Ghostbusters remake.  I am honestly getting bored of the endless sequels.  Remakes might FINALLY be seeing a downturn now that they have become more and more box office poison.  Reboots too.  If only video games could learn a thing or two from this and be done with the endless sequels and give us some new IPs too.  There’s a thought.

Just think of all the talent being snubbed because Hollywood wants to cash in on some other form of nostalgia.  Think of the better films that could have been made if Hollywood had, instead of trying to make another stupid cinematic universe that will NEVER get the traction Marvel did, put their money into some of the smaller projects sitting on their desks?  What unseen vision is out there that will never see the light of day because the corporate dumbfucks who make movies are too busy making cash grabs?

What’s more, part of me is worried that now Hollywood has decided to just abandon the domestic market with films and instead make movies now intended just for foreign audiences.  Red Letter Media made a good point when they talked about the new Mummy film when they said the level of exposition seems like it wasn’t being made for American audiences.  It’s being made for foreign ones.  One of the biggest defenses people have for crappy movies is that they are able to recoup their money overseas.  That may be true.  In which case, will Hollywood just make safe movies for the US that they know will dominate overseas?  Stop caring about the local audiences for easy cash?  If that’s the case, why should I even go to the movies anymore?  I see trailers these days and I honestly don’t care.

As I said, Marvel caught lightning in a bottle.  That isn’t something just anyone can do, and instead of learning that lesson, Hollywood is content to just churn out more of this bait to lure people back in.  And it needs to stop.  The thing that really blows my mind is why Universal actually believed there was a cinematic universe potential in old monster movies?  That seems both short-sighted and desperate.  Is this a sign of how the film industry is doing overall?  Depressing.

Until next time, a quote,

“Hollywood has become hopelessly chained to the bottom line.” – Bruce Campbell

Peace out,

Maverick

Hollywood Needs to Stop Making Remakes

I am so bored with movies these days.  Between the endless sequels, and the unending reboots and remakes, why should I go to the theaters when I can just as easily not watch those films at home?  Not even going to see the next Star Wars.  Finally got around to watching Rogue One.  It sucked.  It was boring.  I’ll admit that it made the Rebels kind of look like terrorists, which is how I always saw them so that worked out nicely, but the rest was boring.  Everyone tells me that Episode VII was so awesome.  You know what I see when I saw that film?  I’ll tell you – a really poorly hidden remake of the original film.  That’s it.  It’s a remake of the first film, but with a chick.  I am not impressed.

Which brings me to my latest bit of news that I saw – the Baywatch film has flopped.  What a shock.  When I saw the ads for this movie, I was genuinely confused.  I never even watched the show, but I remember what the draw for it was back in the day – Pamela Anderson and her really big tits bouncing in swimsuits along with Carmen Electra.  It wasn’t that hard.  To be able to remake this concept should be simple.  Granted, in today’s politically correct charged society, I do wonder if people would gravitate toward a film with hot women and big tits in swimsuits, but I bet it would still sell well.  However, that isn’t what they did, is it?  No, instead we got some kind of buddy-comedy with The Rock and some other fuck who I don’t really know or care who they are.  Wait, what?  I saw only one ad with hot women and they didn’t exactly have huge tits bouncing.  Why is there no bouncing?  Where are the big boobs?  In that moment, I realized what had happened.

The Hollywood machine got its claws into that film, and it became the latest in the series of poor decisions that they have made when remaking something to not even give the slightest of fucks about what the draw was to the source material.  Instead they have to make it some bullshit that trades simply in name recognition.  Because hey, why not sweep the bottom of the barrel?  To be fair, that was pretty much what the show was.  It was porn without the porn.  Hot bouncing tits under the skimpy clothes.  The shoe was to give guys boners.  Sure, there were some hot dudes in there too just to get the ladies all moistened, but we all remember the ads.  This was for the lowest common denominator.  But the series was aware of that.  There was no question about it.  Same way Magic Mike was about the lowest common female denominator.

Hollywood has this habit lately of taking properties with name recognition and deciding to remake or reboot it while not even beginning to remember what drew people to it in the first place.  For example – did you see that the remake of Jumanji is coming out in the next year or so?  Oh boy.  The poster for it looks retarded beyond belief, and it’s another film that The Rock can add his name to that is stupid in the extreme, but it’s happening.  Another CG orgy that will totally miss the practical effects which help cover the original film’s terrible animations that have not aged well at all.  Not to mention it shits on Robin Williams’ legacy when he was at his peak.  But Hollywood clearly doesn’t care about that.  They are remaking The Crow, after all.  A classic superhero film that Brandon Lee gave his life for.  The lasting piece of his legacy.  I refuse to see that movie.  Period.  I will not give Hollywood money for spitting on the death of a man who tried to do something amazing.  Especially after they ruined the sequel to the film – City of Angels.  Take a look at the link I attached.  The story of a truly great film that will never be just hurts me inside.

What can we learn about all these remakes and reboots?  First – Hollywood is out of ideas.  Instead of making original content to give to the masses, they give the same recycled bullshit that they know will make a shit-ton of money.  Since the masses clearly as stupid as fuck, they will see whatever new superhero film it is.  Not me.  After one of the staff at DC came out and said that the Wonder Woman film wasn’t going to be any better than Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad, I won’t even be Netflixing that shit.  20th Century Fox decided to take a risk with two R-rated superhero films that actually did justice to their source material.  Both of which were incredible films.  Both of which were sleeper hits that brought in massive critical and widespread acclaim.  Part of me hopes that Disney will take notice and hand some of their properties off to their subsidiary studios under their umbrella and make a few with their properties.  That’s how they were able to distribute Princess Mononoke, even though it was a VERY violent Miyazaki film.  I doubt it will happen, but a man can dream.  At the very least Disney knows when to begin to step back from superhero films after Infinity War is done.  Props to that.  The MCU had a good run, now it can have a legacy.

The next thing we can learn is that truly amazing films are being passed over.  My favorite film of 2016 was a genuinely smart science fiction film called Arrival.  It was made by Denis Villeneuve, who made Sicario and Incendes.  Both of which were also incredible.  I am a little apprehensive about what the sequel to Blade Runner is going to be, but at least it is in the hands of a competent director.  That’s more than a lot of films can say.  How many films like Arrival are being passed over because they may not sell as much.  I just found out that there is an anime adaptation film being made that probably none of you has heard about it.  It is being personally financed by James Cameron, who has wanted to see a film adaptation of it made for 17 years!  That’s pretty hardcore.  It is already in production.  $200 million has been spent on it.  Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about?  I don’t blame you.  This film is so far under the radar to border on non-existence.  It’s being directed by Robert Rodriguez, and stars Michelle Rodriguez and Christoph Waltz, along with Jennifer Connolly and other big names.  Still don’t know?  It’s called Battle Angel.  A manga that James Cameron was in love with and as I said has been trying to make into a film for 17 years.  Maybe after how hard Ghost in the Shell flopped, they want to keep this under wraps.  Hard to say.

Lastly, the thing we can take away is that Hollywood is bleeding money.  After all, the best they can do is churn out films that are basically tailor-made to do well overseas.  Seems the Asian markets will eat up whatever crap we put out, so long as it has white people kicking ass.  All the SJWs talking about “white-washing” don’t mean much to the markets that have made films that outright sucked like the Transformers sequels into massive successes.  Goes to show – Anita Sarkeesian and her ilk don’t know what the fuck they are talking about.  Shocking, I know.

In the meantime, Hollywood needs to stop remaking movies.  I am hoping that with the failure of films like this and the failure of movies like Ghostbusters (2016), they are starting to see the tide on this crap turning.  Exploiting nostalgic name-recognition isn’t how you sell movies.  If anything, it just reminds cynics like me what we loved the originals so much.

Until next time, a quote,

“Work is making a living out of being bored.” – Karl Lagerfeld

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Logan

It’s nice to see that Twentieth Century Fox has the balls and creative integrity to do what Disney’s Marvel isn’t capable of doing – taking risks.  And hot shit are those risks paying off!  This is not only the Wolverine film that all of us have been hoping for since the very beginning of seeing this character, but also the superhero film that so many of us have been waiting for.  And as I said, it was Twentieth Century Fox who brought it to us.  The studio didn’t seem to believe this film nor the one whose sequel was teased in the beginning would even find a fanbase, but find it they did.  Perhaps the fat cat suits in Hollywood can actually realize that making a superhero film that isn’t for kids can be profitable.  Perhaps we can get to see some of our favorite dark superheroes brought to light.  Netflix is doing a pretty good job working with this.  Their Punisher is pretty badass.  This is a fantastic movie.  Let’s talk about it.

Anyone in my audience who actually wants to see this film already has.  I realize that since my reviews are always late, I am going to start trying to find an angle to talk about which everyone else hasn’t.  So no plot recap.  It’s an adaptation of the Old Man Logan storyline, where we get to meet an equally-badass character – X-23.  A tragic tale of the death of two of the greatest mutants to ever live, along with the introduction that hopefully isn’t wasted.

The glue that holds this movie together is the performances.  Hugh Jackman definitely steals the show as an aging Logan.  His powers are starting to fail him, and his age has finally caught up with him.  A lost soldier, he’s not looking for a spot to live.  He’s looking for a place to die.  But over the course of the film he comes to realize that he has one last chance to truly feel what it’s like to be alive.  A lot of comparisons have been made between this film and the incredible game The Last of Us, and I can kind of see that.  Jackman makes a pretty good Joel of the film, equally as gruff and equally tired of being alive.  And just like Joel, he meets a companion who makes him want to live again.  Only difference is how it all ends, and the level of dark implications for both characters.  Logan gets his redemption in the end.  Joel does not, but that is part of why the narrative works.

Next up with have Patrick Stewart.  Part of me likes the dark implications with this character.  There is some backstory to what happened to him that you never fully understand.  He’s done something horrible, and just like Logan, his powers are failing him.  Two of the last mutants on Earth, both of them are equally lost.  As his mind is slowly faltering, he goes from a mutant who doesn’t care about anything, to getting to enjoy one last adventure with the only friend he has left.  Stewart plays the old man with nowhere left to go very well.  You believe the chemistry between him and Logan.  He simultaneously hates and depends on his angry companion, and the juxtaposition does not escape his notice.

Of course, the character everyone is talking about is X-23.  This girl brought the character to life incredibly well.  This could so easily have been botched, as so many child actors just suck, but this girl brought her a-game to the table and it shows.  Just like Joel and Ellie in the game that everyone says this story is ripping off, the bond that grows between these two is believable.  They do take moments to address the reality that both of them are becoming killers and there is no going back.

Something else I want to talk about is the language in this movie.  As I said, I am loving the fact that we have comic movies with the balls to go this far, but part of me can’t help but early on was just so forced.  Some of the times that they would be laying down the word fuck liberally just felt so middle school.  I like hearing Professor X swear, but don’t make me think that it was put in there just because.  Fuck is a great word, but use it when you mean it.

Another thing is the carnage.  Everyone who reviewed this movie said that it was grotesque and violent, hard-R, I was told.  It’s violent, but don’t be fooled.  This isn’t Robocop levels of grotesque.  It has blood and gore, but still plays it safe.  That being said, while they may not always embrace how vicious it can be, the kills still felt visceral.  When you have Logan tearing people apart, you actually feel like that would hurt.  This film knew that it could take risks but only to a point.  I mean, if it really stuck to how disgusting Logan’s murder sprees would be, people would call it gore porn.  The creators of the film wisely chose to make emphasis on the killing to make it feel personal.  And when you watch X-23 on top of a gut tearing him open, you can tell that that would be scary as fuck to witness.

All things considered, this was a ballsy, very intense superhero film.  The most I have seen since The Dark Knight.  It took risks that no film of its genre would dare doing, and I am so desperately hoping it won’t be the last.  Disney’s Marvel will never have the guts.  Not unless they pawn it off on some lesser Disney studio so if it sucks they can give the blame there.  That’s what they did with Princess Mononoke.  See, Disney owned the rights to Studio Ghibli films, but Miyazaki outright refused to make any cuts to the violence in his magnum opus.  The film was a huge hit in Japan and Disney wanted a piece of that pie.  So rather than fight with Miyazaki when he sent a katana to the head of Disney at the time with a note attached saying “no cuts,” they pawned it off to a studio that they owned but was far away enough from Disney to be able to distribute it without them looking bad.  A clever tactic.  And it worked.  I am hoping that some film creators come to them after Infinity War, when the MCU will be toning down and sputtering away, and wants to look at some of the more violent superheros in the library and give them a fair shake.  Take a note form how big a success this movie and Deadpool have been, Disney.  You can do this.  The reward will come in ten-fold.  Not to mention, both of the movies that have taken this approach have made the most of having a smaller budget.  The limited resources not only meant that they had to be more clever in making them, but also that they could much more easily recoup their budget.  Deadpool and Logan have been massive financial successes.  Hint-hint!

This was a phenomenal movie.  It’s sad to see Logan go, but the X-Men brand has gotten kind of stale anyway.  But please, for the love of Groj, do NOT let the next film with X-23 be some watered-down version of this character!  She’s a violent killing machine.  Respect that.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick