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Hugh Jackman

Blu-ray: Logan

Can a comic book superhero movie tell a human story? Logan (2017) makes the case that the genre is not limited to spectacle (though this film does offer some accomplished—and violent—action scenes), end of the world stakes, or world-building chapters in a massive franchise.

Fox Home Video

Set in the near future of 2029, which is a lot like today but a little more automated and a little more depressed, a world worn out and run down with a population to match, it presents Logan (Hugh Jackman), the former X-man also known as Wolverine, in hiding. He works as a chauffeur for hire under the radar while looking after an ailing Xavier (Patrick Stewart in a fearlessly vulnerable performance). Once immortal, thanks to healing powers that have kept him young for years, Logan is now breaking down and wearing out, his body ravaged by disease he can no longer combat, while Xavier is slipping into dementia and losing control of his once-finely focused mind. A dangerous thing for a telepath of his power, even more dangerous in a culture where mutantkind has been hunted to near extinction. And while Logan saves money for an escape from their Mexican compound, a kind of fantasy involving a boat and a life on the high seas, the government is on the hunt for them and for a silent young girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), who is a pint-sized Wolverine in her own right. It’s no spoiler to say that Logan, nudged by crotchety old man Xavier, becomes a reluctant protector to the girl who, at least on a genetic level, could be his daughter.

Continue reading at Stream On Demand

Review: Logan

Listen, if your bones were fused with adamantium, if you’d already outlived a normal lifespan, and if your mutant healing factor had weakened lately, you’d be tired, too. Melancholy, even. Such is the state of the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as we meet him in the latest Marvel movie offering, Logan. Wolverine’s place in the comic-book universe had already been tapped for X-Men spinoffs, and frankly nothing could have sounded less enthralling then another turn with this particular hairy-handed gent. So, anyway: Logan turns out to be not only the best Marvel film since Guardians of the Galaxy, but a gratifying piece of movie storytelling in its own right.

I throw the word “storytelling” in there because so many comic-book films have followed a ramshackle outline of destruction and wisecracks, all squeezed through the straightjacket of fulfilling some larger canvas—pity the poor screenwriter who must make certain an Ant-Man quip doesn’t contradict a past Avengers film or a future Spider-Man installment. Logan is actual storytelling.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Film Review: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

Ian McKellan

The first two X-Men movies were directed by Bryan Singer, who then wandered off for other projects and left the subsequent sequels and spin-offs to others. Now Singer’s back in X-mode, which could explain why X-Men: Days of Future Past marks a return to form for the Marvel Comics series.

Or maybe that’s just the time-travel talking. I am a sucker for a good old-fashioned warp in the time-space continuum, and Days of Future Past gives us a spirited one.

Continue reading at The Herald

Videophiled: ‘The Wolverine’

Wolverine3DThe Wolverine (Fox, Extended Edition Blu-ray3D Combo, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital) is both a sequel and a reboot of the solo spin-off from the X-Men movies. Hugh Jackman is back with the abs and the adamantium claws as Logan, the ferocious fan favorite of the team, and the screenwriters draw from the ninja storylines of earlier Wolverine comic books: the dark, brooding loner with the bushido code and the connection to Japanese culture. This one sends him to Japan where a dying man named Yushida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi), whose life Logan saved in World War II, promises to bestow a gift. Well, not quite, as it turns out, and Logan ends up battling the yakuza, corporate rivals of the dying man, a giant robot ninja, and a conspiracy to rob him of his healing powers. And there’s a big fight in the top of a speeding bullet train. Which is pretty much what you need to know for this entry in the comic book superhero franchise sweepstakes.

Fox still has the rights to Marvel’s X-Men characters and they desperately want a juggernaut as successful as Marvel’s Avengers line-up, and for this one they brought in James Mangold, who stages some impressive scenes but can’t overcome a busy script. Jackman is still a great Wolverine, a tormented killer who wants nothing more than a life of peace, and Rila Fukushima stands out as Yukio, a loyal soldier to Yushida who respects Logan and his warrior code. The rest tends to get mired in complications and a now-familiar third act cascade of betrayals and revelations.

The DVD featuring the theatrical version of the film. The standard Blu-ray also includes the nearly hour-long documentary “The Path of a Ronin” and an alternate ending, plus a set tour of X-Men: Days of Future Past and a Second Screen app. The “Unleashed Extended Edition” features the theatrical edition on Blu-ray 3D disc, standard Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD and the extended, unrated version (which runs 12 minutes longer) on a standard Blu-ray with commentary by director James Mangold.

More New Releases at Cinephiled