Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wolverine- review

The Wolverine follows the events that took place after X-Men the Last Stand. It is the sixth film with Hugh Jackman as the Logan/Wolverine character.  While the movie is entertaining as a summer popcorn movie, it is required that you leave critical thinking outside of the Cineplex with this movie or it can be nitpicked into a bloody mess.  The action scenes are fun but it’s also fairly cheesy, lacks subtlety, and is somewhat predictable. 

Logan/Wolverine, played by Jackman, is living in the Yukon after the events of the last X-Men movie.  He is summoned to Japan to see a man he saved during the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The man is dying and wishes to end Logan’s immortality.  After the man passes, his granddaughter becomes the target of Yakuza gangsters and Logan must protect her.  However, he is finding that he is not healing from every injury any more.

The Wolverine has many good action sequences, from a chase on a bullet train to Logan being turned into a human pincushion by several ninjas arrows.  Taking away his healing factor was a good way to elevate the threat a bit.  Plus, they made a villain that could actually cut into his adamantium so there was something very real at steak. It was very entertaining in that respect.

The movie loses some points in terms of writing.  The script has some hammy dialogue, which is pretty par for the course in this series.  Then there is a romance with Mariko, a girl that he had very little chemistry with.  It would make a lot more sense to have him romantically involved with the girl that he has actually spent time with and has fought along side, Yukio.  There is also a villain called Viper who seems to gain new powers at the whim of the script. 

As a whole The Wolverine is not a bad movie.  It’s also not a great one either.  If you are a fan of the X-Men series than it would be worth seeing as a matinee or as a rental.  It would be nice for a change to see another X-Men movie that wasn’t centered on Wolverine like X-Men: First Class.  However, with X-Men: Days of Future Past being another Wolverine it looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Conjuring – review

The Conjuring is the latest horror film from director James Wan.  The film has a great score and an incredibly creepy atmosphere.  For the most part it is a fun and scary film with really decent acting. On the other hand, there are a lot of aspects to movie that will be familiar to anyone who is a fan of the supernatural horror genre.

The Conjuring takes place in 1971 when the Perron family buys an old farmhouse in Rhode Island.  Carolyn Perron, played by Lili Taylor, and Roger Perron, played by Ron Livingston, slowly find their home and family are being terrorized by several supernatural entities.  They request the aid of supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.  Together they attempt to rid their family of the horrors plaguing their lives.

The acting is pretty solid for this movie.  Everyone is believable in all their rolls and it makes the film pretty enjoyable. The music is very eerie and it works really well to the benefit of the movie and the overall chilling atmosphere.  The filmmakers took a great deal of care into making this look authentic since it takes place in the 70s to make it look like it was filmed with 70s film. 

If you are a nitpicker this movie does have some things that will make you think a little less of it.  For example, it seems to borrow a lot of concepts from other films. The Amityville Horror, The Entity, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, and even Evil Dead just to name a few that seem to have borrowed items of sorts.  Still, if you can look past this it is still an entertaining movie worth seeing.  It does a lot with very little in terms of visual and doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares, which makes it a pretty fun change of pace.

If you are a horror fan I recommend this film. If you look past the massive amounts of borrowed material it really is a good chiller.  If you are a not a horror fan you will likely be terrified by the ghastly images or the demonic doll.  It’s worth seeing as a matinee or rental if you are into a good ghost story.  If that is your thing you will not be disappointed.