Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Wolverine

My View:  The Wolverine  (2013)  PG-13  Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) realizes that everyone he has ever loved has died. After being summoned to Japan by an old friend whose life he once saved, he will have to face his demons and decide if he really wants to continue being The Wolverine.  Jackman is back for his six appearance as the man with the bad attitude and  even badder sideburns.  This film has much more substance behind it than 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  In this film, Wolverine is pining for Jean Gray (Famke Janssen), his one true love, feeling guilty that in order to stop her from killing innocent people, he had to destroy her. Now, Wolverine is given a choice by his old friend, he can go on living an immortal life as the Wolverine or he can choose to become mortal.  There are some really marvelous action sequences and Jackman, as usual, gives the part his all. Overall, I enjoyed this film, though I was slightly disappointed by the final battle sequence as it seemed just too contrived.  The film was not shot in 3-D, so don't spend the extra bucks.  Be sure and stay through the first part of the credits, as there is a really cool bonus scene.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    The Wolverine Website
 Indiefest:  I'm So Excited  (2013) R   On a flight from Spain to Mexico City, a plane full of passengers must confront their fears and evaluate their lives when they find out the plane landing gear is damaged, and they may die. This isn’t your ordinary flight as flight attendants, Ulloa, Fajardo and Joserra perform a Pointer Sisters song, and the drinks are flowing in First Class. Forget the passengers in Coach - they've all been drugged to sleep…by the flight attendants.  Writer/director Pedro Almodovar is one of the most admired filmmakers out there with such fantastic films as, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), Volver (2006) and one of my top films of 2011, The Skin I Live In.  So, when he comes out with a new movie, you want to experience the weird, wonderful worlds that he creates. Unfortunately, you won't want to see his latest, I'm So Excited, a comedy whose funny moments are few and far between.  The film is defiantly in the absurdist vein, so much so that I had a really hard time coming up with a way to describe what happens in the film. Passengers and crew are drinking like there is no tomorrow, and inhibitions go out the window.  A virgin mid-thirties woman has sex with a man while he is asleep.  A flight attendant drinks so much that he starts blabbing about everyone's secrets.  The film just seems to be one long, bad improv skit that never delivers the laughs it needs. There are some fun cameos of past Amodovar stars at the start of the movie, but the film goes down from there and never takes flight.  My Rating:  Cable    I'm So Excited Website
Indiefest:  Only God Forgives  (2013)  R  Julian (Ryan Gosling) is a drug trafficker in Bangkok who has a kickboxing gym as a cover.  When his brother is murdered, his mother (Kristin Scott Thomas), a drug lord, shows up and demands that Julian find who is responsible for the death of his brother and take revenge.  The problem - the man who indicted the murder is a sword-wielding police detective who delivers justice on his own terms.  Nicolas Winding Refn wrote and directed this film as the follow-up to his 2011 sleeper hit, Drive, that made Gosling an action star.  Unlike Drive, this film never finds what kind of movie it wants to be: an Asian exploration film or a Hollywood film noir, with it failing at both.  Gosling sleepwalks through his performance, never showing us the fire or spark that he showed in Drive, and Kristin Scott Thomas' performance as the mother bent on revenge is so over the top, it's almost campy.  This film is boring, confusing, ultra -violent and seems much longer than its 90-minute run time.  My recommendation is don't "Drive" your love ones to the theatre to see this one or you will be asking them for forgiveness.  My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again    Only God Forgives Facebook Page
The 50 (A Movie from My Best/Worst Film of All Time)
#5 Worst Film
Glen or Glenda  (1953)    Another gem directed by the king of bad movies, Ed Wood, Jr..  What makes this film unique is not only did Mr. Wood write and direct the film, he also starred in it as Glenn/Glenda, a man who wants nothing more than to slip in something comfortable, preferably in a woman's dress.  An angora sweater becomes a key part of the plot, so you know this is a serious movie. This film has everything you could ask for: a confusing plot, a pseudo-hermaphrodite (look it up), flashbacks that are within flashbacks and former Dracula star, Bela Lugosi, playing a scientist who utters the line, "Beware of big green dragons that sit on your doorstep."  I think that quote just about sums it up.    Glen or Glenda Info

Forgotten Film:  The Brother From Another Planet  (1984)  R  Directed by John Sales, this comedy is about an alien who crashes his spaceship in the harbor of upper New York.  "The Brother" (Joe Morton) soon finds himself in Harlem, where he must learn to survive very quickly.  The Brother is mute, and he struggles to understand his new surroundings, but as he encounters more and more of the citizens of New York, he is able not only to survive, but to impact the people whom he meets.  Morton, playing "The Brother," is amazing in the role and gives a subtle performance that makes you want to root for the alien in his quest to fit in.  This is a funny film that finds ways to explore the idea that how we treat strangers is a reflection on how we see ourselves.  My only quibble with this film is the ending which becomes slightly confusing to figure out.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   The Brother From Another Planet Info

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  We're the Millers (2013)   A pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) owes a mob boss a favor and agrees to smuggle in a load of weed from Mexico.  To create a cover story, he hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway (Emma Roberts) and a neighborhood kid (Will Poulter) to pose as his family on a vacation trip in a motor home.  I'm not sure seeing Jennifer Aniston strip is enough of an incitement to see what looks like a very unfunny film.  We're The Millers Website

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  42  (2013)  PG-13  I felt that this was an earnest attempt to tell the courageous story of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's "color line" but that the film fell short due to the lack of charisma that Chadwick Boseman displayed as the title character.  I also felt that many of the scenes seem clich├ęd and forced.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    42 Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Wolverine (2013):  Hair Punching

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)   Forest Whitaker stars as Cecil Gaines, who served as the White House head butler from 1952 till 1986.  The film has a "who's who" of actors including, John Cusack, Robin Williams, Jane Fonda, Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, Vanessa Redgrave and a rare feature film appearance by Oprah Winfrey.   Lee Daniels' The Butler Website
Until Next Time!

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