I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no interest in DC‘s Dark Crisis or any of the repackaged 5G that they’re trying to roll out here. They’ve largely made the DCU so unrecognizable to me that it’s off-putting and, the stories just aren’t that interesting.
Now, of course these bad cops take it a step further, hassling kids playing basketball in broad daylight at noon on a Sunday or something…, But I still feel a suggestion that all police activity is harassment, all cops are bad, and that if they just left it all alone, everything will be all right… After all it’s probably the cops causing all the trouble anyhow! It’s a drag too, because I was really liking this book… Until I got smacked in the face with a large baseball bat labeled “the message“.
I know I keep saying this, but it’s a ridiculously self-aware book. The best part of it being, Jack Torrance keep speaking in Jack Nicholson quotes. There’s a lot of Batman quotes here, along with the occasional “You can’t handle the truth!“ At one point he confronts Elvira with a “did you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?“ To which she responds “you wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts!“ It’s all insanely glorious. There’s a couple of pokes at Kubrick‘s directing style as well, the use of banner slides to tell you which day it is… That sort of thing, and even an acknowledgment of the recent Dr. Sleep film. But the part that’s truly horrifying is when you see what’s written on Jack’s typewriter instead of “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy“. It’s genuinely good stuff, and we can see by the end of this book, that is leading her into her next film… Alien. Once again, I can’t wait.
The thing that is so charming here is that it’s really the best possible venue for the character. Elvira has always been fundamentally a horror host, so dropping her into these movies… It’s really just an extended version of the things that a lot of posts like Zacharly would do, green screening themselves into the movie. Elvira is taking this to a whole new extreme, but it fits. It gives her a chance to be a character, while still retaining her identity as a host.
If you’re a fan of the current ninja Punisher run, You may want to check out Punisher war journal. It’s a nice self-contained story, but it’s a side quest. Definitely something that they’re doing in another book so that they don’t interrupt the flow of the main story going on in the main book. Or journal still evokes a desire for gunplay, and I have to admit, while this is a Punisher story… It’s a Punisher story largely without firearms. There’s a few, but I have to admit I miss them. Then again, props on them for at least giving us a scene or two of ninjas with guns. I understand cinematicly why you never see them using firearms in the movies, but realistically, just like any good spy I would assume a ninja would use any weapon at his disposal… That includes firearms. I think at the end of the day, this is still gonna go down as just one of those “weird“ periods in the Punisher’s history, much like the mobbed up ponytail storyline, or the Demon Hunter one… Marvel’s just not sure what to do with him right now because he’s a little too politically incorrect, but at the same time a little bit too popular to just rest the character. I’d still prefer all of this is the side quest, and alternate universe whatever sort of thing, but I’m still enjoying the ride a lot more than I expected to, so I’m sticking with this.
Unpopular opinion; I didn’t enjoy Logan all that much. It’s absolutely not the best of the X-Men films. Now mind you, it’s not that this is a bad film per se, what I found myself not liking, was what happened to these characters then I have known and loved for decades. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s go back to the beginning.
Logan is the story of Wolverine in his later years as he tries to get the first new mutant born in 20 years across the border and to safety. Spoilers from here on out.
First and foremost, Logan is not designed to be a blockbuster. It’s not designed to be a summer tent pole movie – in fact it’s not really even designed to be a superhero movie. This is an old grind house film. There is a heavy Tarantino influence on it, cowboy pants and generic south-western settings, gritty violence along with a loner in a bullet ridden car – indeed all its missing is a scene in A darkened coffee house/family restaurant. Something 70s style, with rocks on the wall and waitresses in uniform (I waited all two hours for that and was shocked it didn’t happen). Logan is an old man now…although Hugh Jackman still manages to be the most stunningly beautiful “old” man I can imagine. Professor Xavier is still alive as well, but suffering from a brain disease – it’s never quite spelled-out if it’s Alzheimer’s or a variation of that, but he is certainly deteriorating. It’s a sad state to see Professor X in, and it feeds into the core of my old issues with the character. I need to like Professor X. I need to look up to him. One of my main problems with the X-Men first class films is that James McAvoy is Professor X is terribly unpleasant, and unfortunately, Patrick Stewart seems to be channeling a lot of that here. It’s more forgivable though, because it seems to be a result of his deterioration. The old optimistic, wise Professor X still manages to emerge from time to time and I’m reminded just how perfect Stewart has always been in this role.
Indeed, the fact that this was an X-Men movie with Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman starring once again, was what got me up to the theatre. It was not Wolverine that got me to this movie – I’ve never been a fan of the character. It was not the comic book hype – at this point there are so many comic book films out I can actually afford to be selective, and it certainly was not the R rating.
I appreciate the fact that they were able to do whatever they wanted with the higher rating, but just because you can do a thing does not follow that you necessarily must. The hyper violence that we are treated to is necessary, and actually has been missing a lot of times. We get a glimpse more of it in the R rated cut of The Wolverine (the previous film), but in Logan they really cut loose, showing exactly the kind of damage Wolverines claws and rage can inflict. I think it also allows them to get away with far more using the young child Laura, or as you’re more familiar in the comics – X-23. The scenes of her violence and devastation are very likely too disturbing to have ever managed a PG-13 rating. The soulless killing and lack of conscience that we see in her, may well have pushed this closer to an NC-17. Quite frankly, this is why Wolverine needed an R rating. Not just so that they would have an excuse to use the word “fuck” repeatedly.
This is one of those things that bugs me, that most of the uses of the word are unnecessary and when you pull out the F bomb too often, it loses its power. Every instance where it is preceded by the word “the” would’ve been better substituted with “hell”. It fits the speech pattern we’ve seen in the character previously. Professor X should never be using that word, it makes him look less intelligent (This is not an argument about whether intelligent people use adult language. It’s a statement about appearance – and film is ALL about appearance) . However the temptation, now that they have license to do so, appears to be just too strong and it’s a disappointment to me (particularly since its only the heroes that ever use the word! Did anyone else catch that?) It fits in Deadpool, which was always conceived as a blue comedy. For my money however, it detracts in Logan.
We knew that this was the final outing for both Jackman and Stewart, and about halfway through I started to get that vibe – the one that tells you somebody, if not everybody, is about to die. It makes sense, as a way to punctuate both of their tenures in these films, but in both cases the deaths felt anticlimactic. In Professor X’s case, it’s downright ignoble. His death in X-Men three was far more satisfying (and is there some unwritten rule that the third film in an X-franchise HAS to be depressing?), but at least here. He was able to have that one perfect day before the end. Wolverine’s demise is marginally better, it’s certainly more heroic. Nevertheless, for some reason it just doesn’t feel as spectacular and over the top as I would’ve liked. I understand it though, and it was a good decision to end the film this way. The last scene where we closed tight on his grave marker is brilliant, and it reminds us that we are still in the X-Men universe.
This film is a hard call for me, because while I enjoy the violence that we’ve finally gotten (and truthfully waited for so long), we also have to deal with the more depressing scenes of the film they go along with that. I don’t like the implication that the X-Men were wiped out by Professor X, that everyone is dead under such terrible circumstances. I don’t like the lonely end Xavier comes to – he deserves better than that. They all do. The film certainly has resolution, but it’s not the sort of resolution that leaves you feeling like everything is going to be okay, that all these characters are going to be safe and sound. It’s dirty, messy. It doesn’t feel like it belongs in a superhero movie.
But then again, like I said at the beginning, this – is not a superhero film.