Thursday, August 29, 2013

Movie Review: The Wolverine

It feels like a lifetime ago when I saw the first Xmen movie.  Hugh Jackman got a huge break when Dougray Scott had a scheduling conflict and couldn’t make it.  What a difference timing makes, eh?  Now, years later, Jackman is the quintessential Wolverine now, there is no other nor any equal.  In this latest iteration, Logan is faced with the same complications he has been before.  Special effects are always a plus in this sort of movie, but it can’t carry it.

The story is not compelling, but Jackman makes every scene pop.  The only reason to see this movie is to see Hugh Jackman deliver yet another amazing performance.  The man becomes Wolverine/Logan in a way that I would never have expected.  The movies are great, but as a comic book fan, I feel like I see him like an old friend.  The Wolverine is like any other superhero character, a name that means more than the actual person is.  The Wolverine movie doesn’t add much, if anything to the lore of the character, but it is worth seeing.

The thing that stuck out for me the most were the short scenes between Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen, who comes back as Jean Grey for dream sequences.  The scenes were bittersweet and captured the tortured attitude that Wolverine struggles with throughout his life.  This isn’t the big-budget blockbuster I expected, but it is one of the better movies I’ve seen this summer.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

Years ago, I had seen the first Despicable Me movie and thought, wow, while it wasn’t original.  It had a lot of elements that made me love it.  Sure you can’t understand the minions, but their antics are more than enough to keep you engaged, even as an adult.  Despicable Me 2 takes what started in the first one and builds on it.  At the very core of the story, it is about Gru finding a woman so that his kids can have a mom.  I think Universal missed an opportunity to prove that single parenting, while not easy, is the norm and kids can succeed in a family with only one parent, even if that isn’t optimal.  I realise, having no kids, how dare I say that, but it is what it is, as one of my co-workers likes to say.

The story starts off with Gru hosting a birthday party for Agnes, the youngest of his adopted daughters.  It becomes clear that he is no longer being ‘evil’ anymore, but going to sell legitimate wares, jellies and jams.  A large installation with radioactive chemicals gets stolen and a secret organisation calls on Gru to help them figure out which villain may have done it.   Gru is then paired up with a new agent and hilariousness ensues.

While this movie doesn’t have the same punch that the first one did, I still found it both funny and touching at times.  Gru’s character evolves and he does care about the girls and their lives.  There is a great sequence where Margo is trying to date a boy and Gru plays the perfect over-protective father.  Though the movie is probably going to be pulled soon, this one is well worth seeing.