Saturday, May 2, 2009

"I Thought You Were the Moon, and I Was Your Wolverine": Nog Kicks Off Summer Movie Season!

So that "moon" line is my pick for most unintentionally funny moment in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It sounds just clunky and cloying enough to be written by George Lucas in one of his romantic New Star Wars moments ("Kiss me again like that time by that lake in Naboo" is damn near an accurate paraphrase of an Attack of the Clones line). Unfortunately, there's little else in Wolverine that's bad enough to be amusing and even less that's actually worth anyone's time. "Origin" flicks are cool these days, but you need an interesting origin story for it to work! So all you're left with is several shots of Jackman howling at the sky in pure berserker rage and a lot of cool shots of adamantium claws emerging. And, for the ladies, there's a scene of a bare-assed Jackman sprinting across a pastoral landscape. There's no character you can really care about here and even the action scenes (which are why we're forking over cash at the multiplex, after all) are relatively humdrum. It's probably not the worst "big" movie we'll see this summer (Transformers II and Angels and Demons can likely vie for that title) but let's just pretend the summer movie season actually kicks off next week, with Star Trek.


  1. *The ladies and _Me_.

    Wow. So WOLVERINE is bad news, eh? That's sad. I'm sick of origin stories. There's no need for them. A nice little crawl does the job just fine. Maybe a few introductory scenes before the opening titles. A flashback montage somewhere in the second act. Even so, I was kind of excited to see this one.

    As for STAR know, I really dug parts I, II, and III upon their initial releases, but I was ages 13, 16, and 19. I tried to watch ATTACK OF THE CLONES a couple weeks ago. :~S Oh. I couldn't finish it. I didn't even fast-forward to watch all that cool shit in the asteroid belt. The script and acting < shakes head >. (I mean, the dialogue was just as bad in the '70s and '80s, but that cast made it work, somehow.) And -- I don't know. SOME of the CGI just...< shudders >. And have you ever noticed that a lot of the interiors are BLUE? Like -- an eerie BLUESCREEN blue? I wanted Yoda, the puppet, not Yoda, the pixel-phantom. It's just creepy. So I had to throw in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, as though to wash the bad, pixely taste of ATTACK OF THE CLONES out of my mouth.

    ...I mean, come on -- Who doesn't want to see Yoda throw down with Christopher Lee? That's cool as shit. But it would have been cooler Ray Harryhausen-style...CAN YOU IMAGINE CHRISTOPHER LEE FIGHTING STOP-ANIMATION-YODA?!?!

    I rest my case.

  2. The ladies, Matthew, and my mom.



  3. Dr. X&#39;s sinusy thought!May 3, 2009 at 8:39 AM


    I have been debating any real commentary on this thing for a while. And I'm still largely against it. Tom Rothman has been a popular pariah for the wholesale decimation of the franchise... but this is as much Hood and writer Skip Woods fault as it is anyone else (although -- those supposed rewrites/ refilming to get more Deadpool in there makes me skeptical as Reynolds was not the final villain [that was another actor entirely], so it actually seems like Rothman might have improved upon the real shite that this movies could have been.).

    Largely, methinks this movie is just an innocuous and flaccid attempt at placating the casual fan of both the X-Men and Summer movie-going in general. It's not a terrible movie, but it's just bad enough to make you say -- 'Well, I could have written better than this shit... and why does his claws look like they were painted on in pastel during the bathroom scene?" Thus, one can't really give it a complete fail as it neither felt too long nor was... and it didn't put me to sleep. Then again, it failed on levels of writing, acting (Save Schreiber who could animate elements of a field and Stream magazine and make it read like Hemingway), direction (which is unforgivable after one looks at Tsosti and even Rendition by comparison) filmic adaption... huh, wow if I keep going down this road -- it really does sound like a piece of shit.

    I guess it really kinds is.

    Surprisingly, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: quite a funny movie (notice I didn't say 'good') with Michael Douglas portraying a ghostly lothario to ribald and delightful ends. Jennifer Garner almost acts her way into pretty as well. That takes a lot of acting. Potboy was as fair as potboy ever can be... but the real trick is to revel in the degradation of being a manwhore with a resolution that doesn't exactly point a way towards redemption... but fools the largely female audience into thinking so :).

    And that's what I love about America: oh sure -- you can be a total slut and manwhore, as long as we can laugh at you a little bit... and then all is forgiven -- you're not a complete bastard; you're... topical :). In fact, we love Potboy all the more for it! Outstanding.

    I give Wolverine: Kip's elastic pants

    And I give GoGP: Beth and Sulynn discovering Kip's elastic pants... and thus one of the great jokes concerning Kip was brought into the universe

  4. First off, I'm glad that Sulynn is insisting upon Joe seeing McCaughney rom-coms! While I'm sure Michael Douglas may be delightfully ribald, I believe I'll hold out for him to reprise Gordon Gecko in Wall Street 2!

    Now as for Wolverine, here's how it rates on the Jackman scale: Far better than Van Helsing, which I hate with the white hot intensity of a thousand bursting suns; and slightly better than Australia, primarily because it can be watched three times in the space it takes to watch Australia once.

  5. More Joe than his alter egos....May 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Actually -- I had to drag her to the film!

    I thought it was only fair that is she had to sit through Wolverine that we see something girly. Ultimately she was more pleased with my decision to make her see Potty than Wolvie!

    In terms of the Jackmometer... hmmm... he's been in some true dreck, things far worse than my namesake has cast him in... Hmmm... I dunno. I think the most stinging indictment of this movie is that I was largely disinterested in Wolverine throughout most of it. I kinda found the other mutants more compelling...

    I mean, honestly, if I really think about it -- there's not a single scene that makes me think about Wolverine in the movie (maybe the explosion from the water tank at Alkelai Lake)... And that's ultimately where the movie left me: they neutered Wolverine.

    --I await the Deadpool/ Gambit movies

  6. So how many "origin" movies are they planning? And will one of them be about Rogue and feature a naked Anna Paquin? And will Patrick Stewart get a boring cameo at the end of every one of them? And why can't we just have another proper X-Men film? (directed by Singer!). And why is Terminator: Salvation a PG-13? And why do we have to wait all the way till August for Inglorious Basterds? And why is it spelled incorrectly?!

  7. Dr. Xs Magic Answer HourMay 3, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    I can actually answer all these questions for you:

    1.) Originally *hah* , there were to be two Origin films: Wolverine and Magneto. Goyer's script for Magneto is kinda -meh- and his direction of Blade Trinity has backburnered it for a while. It was supposed to go next... but Rothman likes the Gambit and Deadpool movies first and Donner likes the idea of X-Men: First Class before either of those. With 87 million in the bank -- Wolverine will also get a sequel as it will likely clear 200 million domestically.

    2.) Rogue's story is done as they kept reducing Panquin's role given that she can't act and they didn't give her Ms. Marvel's Super Strength. Also, Gambit is now asynchronous to her time stream... and that's the end of her!

    3.) Stewart did this one as a favor to Jackman and Rothman, but, like everyone else, thought the de-aging looked like shit in this one. He was supposed to do Magneto.. but, in his mid-70s, I believe... I think they will recast him for the Goyer flick IF it finally gets greenlit.

    4.) X-Men, in the present time, was done, like all Singer movies, as a reflection of his interests in gay rights and holocaust allegories. Rothman hated them... but liked the money they pulled in -- so -- Singer's out, and that particular iteration of the X-Men is likely finished (as no one likes Berry nor wants to pay for her, and Mardsen, Jansen, Stewart et al are all getting too old.) So, they'll do the backwards prequels and then likely reboot the whole shit in 10-15 years (or just continue with the "First Class" concept... which can't really work since the Mutants really aren't discovered until 2000... *meh*)

    Uh where are we?

    5.) T:S is PG-13 largely due to the inconsistencies between the MPAA board between NOW and T2. Also, as fantasy movies are given a considerably larger breadth and width in terms of ratings (and since T:S is set entirely in the future with no corollary between reality and fantasy), McG got away with a PG-13 even though T:S is entirely more violent than T2. I think T2 had more swearing though.

    6.) Basterds was originally slated to go in the Fall as a major release, but, given the fact that the last two Augusts have proven profitable for the movie industry, and the fact that the recession has forced a tent pole slate that is, inexplicably, scrunched at one end but drawn out on the other [ see this chart:

    May 1
    May 8
    Star Trek
    May 15
    Angels & Demons
    May 21
    Terminator Salvation
    May 29
    June 5
    Land of the Lost
    June 19
    Year One
    The Proposal
    June 24
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    July 1
    Public Enemies
    July 10
    July 15
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
    July 31
    Funny People
    August 7
    G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
    Julie & Julia
    August 21
    Inglourious Basterds ]

    The Weinsteins figured that, if they put enough distance between IB and everything else, QT could potentially bring in some bank as Death Proof underperformed and the Weinstein Compnay seems to be perpetually hemmoraging cash.

    Oh, and it's called Basterds because QT is aware of the old MPAA rule that no movie title (that doesn't want a NC-17) may have a curse/ forbidden word standing alone in the title. Thus, Hellraiser is fine, but South Park Goes to Hell had to be changed to South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut due to a ridiculous bit of nonsense. Tarantino decided to go with it because he thought it brought a bit of grit to the movie by just misspelling part of it and frenchifying the rest of it!

    --And that's your hollywood report for this evening, mother fucker!