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Wolverine: Origins
Elinox
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Post: #1
Wolverine: Origins
On Friday Wolverine: Origins is going to be released in US theatres. Now, I won't be going to the midnight release (damn you, work!) but I will be seeing the movie on Friday night. I've been eagerly awaiting this film since I saw a preview for it about two years ago. That, and I love Hugh Jackman!

Is anyone else planning on seeing this movie opening weekend? Are you anticipating it as a flop or something worthy of comic book legends?

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2009-04-27 15:32
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Post: #2
Re: Wolverine: Origins
I'm not planning on going on opening weekend, but I do plan to go see it. I'm not sure if it'll be so-so or good. I <3 Hugh Jackman too.

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2009-04-27 20:54
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Post: #3
Re: Wolverine: Origins
I plan on going, a friend of mine who's word I trust saw the leaked version that he downloaded, he has told me that it was well done and I'll be happy with Deadpool.

So long as they get Deadpool right, I'll be happy with this film.

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2009-04-27 22:40
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Post: #4
Re: Wolverine: Origins
Hugh Jackman annoys me deeply, but movie-Wolverine (unlike his comic book relative, IMO) is actually interesting. And I love Deadpool. And I'm an X-junkie. So I'll be there.

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2009-04-27 23:01
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Post: #5
Re: Wolverine: Origins
Okay I saw this Deadpool spot: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRVB4dw-DBU&feature=related">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRVB4dw- ... re=related</a><!-- m -->

And now my heart is full of love for Wolverine: Origins.

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2009-04-27 23:35
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Post: #6
Re: Wolverine: Origins
I knew from the beginning that Ryan Reynolds would make me happy as Deadpool.

He was practically Deadpool already when he played Hannibal King in Blade Trinity.

(They win forever if he mentions Bea Arthur)

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2009-04-28 0:49
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Post: #7
Re: Wolverine: Origins
Archer Wrote:Hugh Jackman annoys me deeply

How come?

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2009-04-28 1:19
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Post: #8
Re: Wolverine: Origins
(Apologies, this gets very long. Blame Elinox for asking me why I held an opinion!)

Terro Wrote:(They win forever if he mentions Bea Arthur)

Is it wrong that when I heard she died my first thought was how upset Deadpool would be?

Elinox Wrote:
Archer Wrote:Hugh Jackman annoys me deeply

How come?

It's not Hugh Jackman himself, it's "OHMYGODFANGIRLSQUEEE!" that gets to me. It's like George Clooney in the 90s. People are like "Well he's not that attractive, but he *is* really famous, so I think it's socially acceptable for me, a grown adult, to run around saying how hawt he is!"

I've only seen him in his Wolverine guise, Van Helsing, and The Prestige - so it's not a lot to form an opinion on. He hasn't really struck me as testing his range as Wolverine (growl, look enigmatic, be upset but don't show it, rinse and repeat). Van Helsing on the whole was an awful, awful, awful film but nevertheless his acting in it was also awful. (I've seen worse films made tolerable by a stand-out performance from the lead. Richard Roxburgh tried valiently and he IMO gave the film the only emotional energy it had.)

Which leaves The Prestige. It's an excellent excellent film and amazingly it overcame the obvious "Wolverine vs Batman" potential, but again, Jackman's role seemed to consit of standing there looking very annoyed at everyone the whole time. Christian Bale on the other hand was mind-blowingly good, amazing charisma, lots of depth, took over the screen.

Maybe I haven't seen any Jackman films with a real stand-out performance. Maybe he's dogged by typecasting and keeps ending up with roles that lack emotional depth. But somehow, even though he's often the lead, when I see him he's always overshadowed by his fellow cast members doing a much better job.

Even in the X-Men franchise.

Despite the first X-Men film having him as the central character, the emotional and thematic heart of the film was tied up with Magneto and Xavier. Jackman's fault? Not at all, no. But by the time X-2 came around, it was much more firmly established as a Wolverine story, he was battling with his past, facing moral decisions, putting himself in a new role . . . and still Wolverine came across to me as "growl, snarl, don't show how much you care" and not a whole lot more.

Classic example is the "coming out" seen at Bobby Drake's house. Jackman's on screen . . . Ian McKellen contributed to the script and helped coach the younger actors. Even when he's the only adult lead on screen Jackman still got overshadowed by Ian McKellen!

Scripting is of course an issue, but Ian McKellen's involvement in the above scene is a nice example of how actors can influence the script, and that it's not just a two way process. Throughout, I found myself far more interested in Xavier and Magneto (both battling with the possibility that their philosophy might not work in the real world, trying to stake out their niche, and reacting in very different ways to having loyal followers).

Another example of McKellen vs Jackman (which is not fair to Jackman, as McKellen is one of the greatest living actors) was an exchange about Mystique. Jackman says "She's good" and McKellen replies "You have no idea." In a single line with a little smirk McKellen conveys huge amounts of information about his character's relationship with another (they've known each other for years, they're sexually involved, she's completely devoted to him, they're probably more than a little kinky, she's vital to his plans). I can't think of any moments in the three X-Men movies where Jackman delivers a line with so much subtlety, and, for that matter, humour.

As another example of what struck me as some great acting in I think it was X-Men 2, at the end Xavier begins a tutorial on The Once and Future King (a favourite book of Magneto's). As far as I remember, he pauses for a moment, eyes unfocus a little, but before he can drift away or get melancholy he moves straight into teaching the children, with a smile on his face. That scene, and how Patrick Stewart chose to play it, says a lot: his relationship with Magneto, his regrets about the past, his hope for the future. I think it might actually be one of the single strongest moments the Xavier character gets in the films. The character - who is disabled and physically unable to defend himself - has just been held captive, abused, tortured. He's returned home - to a home that was recently attacked, and the children in his care also taken forcably and imprisoned. He's seen his best friend - by now fairly elderly - after having the living shit kicked out of him by younger and stronger people. He's then seen that same best friend go a little batshit insane . . . and while Xavier would love nothing more than for Magneto to sit and talk politics with him, instead his friend has no doubt retreated to some secret base somewhere to plot another insane scheme.

There were a lot of ways Stewart could have played it, but with a brilliant combination of timing, facial expression, and tone of voice - he conveyed all of that and that Xavier is the toughest guy on the planet and even after going through all of that shit he will still be there taking classes and making sure his surrogate kids are okay.

On the other hand, I'm trying to think of a really powerful Wolverine scene from, well, any of the X-Men movies. And I can't think of any that don't involve Wolverine yelling and killing people. (X2 in particular has a particularly ruthless and bloodthirsty Wolverine, but Jackman didn't give me any sense of inner conflict over this. He kills people, then he goes and babysits teenagers. I got no sense of him having an internal struggle, of trying to balance who he is.)

So, yeah, I'm yet to see Jackman play a role that didn't leave me thinking he was overshadowed and lacking in depth. Whether that's his choice, his scripts, or just his style I don't know - but he just doesn't have that "zing".

On the hand hand, as a *presenter*, he was absolutely outstanding at the Oscars - larger than life, good humoured, charismatic. His opening number this year was probably my favourite Oscar moment ever.

Back to Wolverine: Origins, though. Looking at the trailers and the character spots: Striker has a great air of menace; Deadpool seems intriguing and intense and Sabertooth has massive charm. The trailers conveyed Wolverine to me, though, as more of the same: body acting, physical presence, rage, power. That's just right for the character - but as a moviegoer, Sabertooth's "oooh, shiny!" is a lot more compelling to me than lots of Wolverine rage.

And as such . . . I don't much care for Hugh Jackman, heh.

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2009-04-28 2:00
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Post: #9
Re: Wolverine: Origins
Archer Wrote:(Apologies, this gets very long. Blame Elinox for asking me why I held an opinion!)

I did, so everyone can blame me for your well thought-out and intense analyzation of Hugh Jackman. <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

Archer Wrote:It's not Hugh Jackman himself, it's "OHMYGODFANGIRLSQUEEE!" that gets to me. It's like George Clooney in the 90s. People are like "Well he's not that attractive, but he *is* really famous, so I think it's socially acceptable for me, a grown adult, to run around saying how hawt he is!"

He's got fangirls? <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: --> While I agree that the George Clooney wave was strange as he's not attractive at all, or really has any acting talent, besides myself I don't really see anyone *squeeing* over Jackman. Nowadays it's usually "Johnny Depp, OMG!!!" *shakes head* Depp's an ok actor, but he's not attractive in my mind.

Archer Wrote:He hasn't really struck me as testing his range as Wolverine (growl, look enigmatic, be upset but don't show it, rinse and repeat).

But that's what Wolverine's supposed to do. He's not supposed to be, at least in my understanding, a "deep" character at all. Shit happened in his past that screwed him up and he feels guilty about, but at this point he's supposed to be angry and pissy. Which, Jackman did in all three XMen movies.

Archer Wrote:Van Helsing on the whole was an awful, awful, awful film but nevertheless his acting in it was also awful. (I've seen worse films made tolerable by a stand-out performance from the lead. Richard Roxburgh tried valiently and he IMO gave the film the only emotional energy it had.)

I'll agree with you on Roxburgh's performance, but I've got to disagree on the movie itself as I loved Van Helsing. Without getting too off topic, the whole "classic movie monsters" thing, I thought, was awesome. The musical score was dark and intense, I thought the acting was good, and the storyline seemed fairly strong. I'll give you that the whole "romance" thing was over the top, but most action movies try to do that. Guess it's the only way most girlfriends will go see action movies!

Archer Wrote:Which leaves The Prestige. It's an excellent excellent film and amazingly it overcame the obvious "Wolverine vs Batman" potential, but again, Jackman's role seemed to consit of standing there looking very annoyed at everyone the whole time. Christian Bale on the other hand was mind-blowingly good, amazing charisma, lots of depth, took over the screen.

I also loved the Prestige. And yes, Bale's performance was fantastic. However, Jackman played two characters in the film as well. Remember Rodney? And because of his character being completely taken over with the idea of revenge, the character isn't very deep either.

Archer Wrote:Maybe I haven't seen any Jackman films with a real stand-out performance. Maybe he's dogged by typecasting and keeps ending up with roles that lack emotional depth. But somehow, even though he's often the lead, when I see him he's always overshadowed by his fellow cast members doing a much better job.

Probably because he keeps getting cast with people like Christian Bale and Sir Ian McKellen! And when you've had brilliant roles like Batman and Magneto, characters with a lot of depth, it's hard to compete with that. I'm thinking Jackman just hasn't been given, or you haven't seen, a movie where he plays something different. If you don't mind "out there" movies, I suggest The Fountain. It's a bit weird, but the acting is pretty good and the plot, while bittersweet, is decent. Plus, Rachel Weisz is in it and I like her too. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

Archer Wrote:. . . and still Wolverine came across to me as "growl, snarl, don't show how much you care" and not a whole lot more.

Again, isn't that supposed to be how Wolverine is portrayed?

Archer Wrote:Another example of McKellen vs Jackman (which is not fair to Jackman, as McKellen is one of the greatest living actors)

I agree, he is, but because of your love of him doesn't that make you a tad bit biased towards other actors that share the screen with him? <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

Archer Wrote:He kills people, then he goes and babysits teenagers. I got no sense of him having an internal struggle, of trying to balance who he is.)

Because there really, at this point in X2, isn't any inner conflict. Wolverine is all about kicking ass so, that's what he does best.

Archer Wrote:On the hand hand, as a *presenter*, he was absolutely outstanding at the Oscars - larger than life, good humoured, charismatic. His opening number this year was probably my favourite Oscar moment ever.

I agree, the Oscars were awesome because he was the host. Plus, his song with Anne Hathaway was cool.

Archer Wrote:I still haven't seen either of Christian Bale Batmans <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

<!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: --> You haven't? A comic book fan? *faints* GO RENT IT NOW!!! <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->

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2009-04-28 15:30
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Post: #10
Re: Wolverine: Origins
(Much cut because it's down to personal preference.)

Elinox Wrote:
Archer Wrote:. . . and still Wolverine came across to me as "growl, snarl, don't show how much you care" and not a whole lot more.

Again, isn't that supposed to be how Wolverine is portrayed?

It's one imagining of Wolverine, but just one. When he originally became an X-Man, the character wasn't all "growl kill snarl claws".

One scene in particular involved Nightcrawler giving Wolverine a telling off, because Nightcrawler thought Wolverine was far too ready to pop the claws and kill people. Wolverine took offence, and said that he only popped his claws when the other guy popped a gun, and he never killed unless there was no other way.

As far as I remember, the first time he killed a random henchmen it was during a fight with the Hellfire Club - who had captured one of the X-Men, leaving the others to rescue her. They came in through an underground/sewer entrance, and Wolverine killed a nameless guard, off panel. I haven't read that issue in years, but it was a very powerful moment because Wolverine had had to go against what he believed in and kill some random guy who as an individual hadn't done anything to him.

A few years later, after the Mutant Massacre (the Marauders slaughtered a whole heap of mutants and left a couple of X-Men injured almost beyond repair; and with no Xavier and Magneto desperately trying to be a good guy, tensions were running high). Wolverine and Colossus announced that they were going to go out looking for the Marauders, and if they found them, they would murder them. Again, it was a very intense moment, as Wolverine basically said "to hell with everything I've built my life into over the last few years, I'm a killing machine and I'm going to go kill."

Wolverine around that time certainly had a lot of "growl, snarl, hide your emotions" in him. But what made him interesting to me, as a character, was that he knew he could kill people very easily, he knew he was a (literal) killing machine, he knew if he wanted to kill someone nothing could stop him, he had a very violent nature and violence was his default way of dealing with a problem . . . but he chose not to kill.

That was compatable with the script, but I didn't get any of that feeling. The closest thing was in X2 when Wolverine kills the first soldier and has an outpouring of emotion - it certainly came across that it was meaningful, but that was it. Also in X2, his claim to be an art teacheer was a nice mix of humour and threat. I'm not saying he's a crap actor - just that he has a real lack of "zing".

As an example of somewhere that I think he could have put some depth in, I got no impression from Jackman of any issues or difficulty Wolverine was having with looking after the children (Iceman, Pyro, and Rogue).

Archer Wrote:Another example of McKellen vs Jackman (which is not fair to Jackman, as McKellen is one of the greatest living actors)

I agree, he is, but because of your love of him doesn't that make you a tad bit biased towards other actors that share the screen with him? <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> [/quote]

Heh, lol, you get me wrong. It's not that I say Ian Mac rocks because I love him. I love him because he's such an amazing actor, and routinely takes on very difficult roles (from Macbeth to Magneto) in a huge range (the majority of which is not well known to American audiences) and nails them bang on.

Yes, it's a difficult comparison for any actor. But look at McKellen's two most obvious foils. Patrick Stewart wanted to be a high brow Shakespearian actor, and while he did do a lot of theatre work, he nevertheless ended up in Star Trek for years. Christopher Lee is another actor with bags of talent who got very few great roles - the man's a genius but the world at large things of him as Dracula. But neither of them were pushed off stage by Ian McKellen; Xavier and Saruman were on screen equals to Magneto and Gandalf.

Archer Wrote:He kills people, then he goes and babysits teenagers. I got no sense of him having an internal struggle, of trying to balance who he is.)

Because there really, at this point in X2, isn't any inner conflict. Wolverine is all about kicking ass so, that's what he does best.[/quote]

That he comes off as such is why, to me, he's not a great character.

There are huge amounts of potential conflict: the desire to be a loner vs the desire to be part of a family; fear of trust vs need to love; remembering identity through uncovering memories vs creating identity through living life; and (the most significant from the early comics) desire to kill/be animal vs desire to be in control.

I think a more solid performance from Jackman could have made that more present, and thus made him a more compelling character than "Grr, I is tough." When Wolverine first said "I'm the best I am at what I do, and what I do ain't pretty" - he wasn't proud of it, he was ashamed.

On top of that, there is the fundamental problem that (as per film theory) a character without conflict is not a character at all.

Conflict is the result of a clash between a character's expectations and what actually happens, and conflict is the fundamental unit of screenwriting. In order for character - and therefore story - to be conveyed, a character needs to face two evils or two goods (in other words, a difficult choice), and choose which one to go with. Of course conflict is not only internal, and Wolverine has a lot of external conflict (hence all the snikt-ing!) . . . but a character who is all about external conflict is "meh" to me, and if an actor is playing a character with a lot of potential for internal conflict but what we get is almost entirely external - that leaves me "meh" too.

Quote:
Archer Wrote:On the hand hand, as a *presenter*, he was absolutely outstanding at the Oscars - larger than life, good humoured, charismatic. His opening number this year was probably my favourite Oscar moment ever.

I agree, the Oscars were awesome because he was the host. Plus, his song with Anne Hathaway was cool.

That song was genius. "I'm Woooooolverrriiiiiiiiine!"

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Archer Wrote:I still haven't seen either of Christian Bale Batmans <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

<!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: --> You haven't? A comic book fan? *faints* GO RENT IT NOW!!! <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->

Batman bores me on a level so profound that I can't even describe it <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

What little Batman I have read always strikes me as "Okay, one of the reasons why this guy is badass is that he has no powers. He's an ordinary guy, right, but even this ordinary human is able to take out Superman if he has to. Cos he's that badass. Oh and by "ordinary" we mean he has twenty years of training, billions of dollars, and countless gadets! Yes, he's wearing a bulletproof suit but he's badass cos he isn't actually bulletproof! He once knocked out Superman with a single punch! Okay he was wearing a kryptonite ring, but he has no powers! Isn't he badass?" In other words, the "no powers" thing is more often than not written as "let's actually treat this character as if he has just about every superpower the situation could possibly demand, but say it's just down to a gadget and thus marvel at his awesomeness." Cheap writing, in other words.

That's not just anti-Batman though, it's anti-DC in general.

I love Marvel superheroes because of their essential humanity. When Reed Richards saved the world from Galactus, he was "one of us" so intelligent and resourceful that even a force of nature couldn't beat him. When Spider-Man does any one of a hundred amazing things, what he is, is a guy from Queen's who knows the difference between right and wrong and that's it. Even mutants are "us", but born with a gene that gives them more abilities than the average person. The majority of Marvel hero tropes are centred around the idea that in the face of crisis, everyday people can rise to the challenge and do what needs to be done. The most badass of all is Doctor Strange . . . who got his "powers" by having a complete breakdown, moving to Tibet, and studying his ass off for years.

Looking at a lot of DC, though, it's the opposite. Green Lantern? The whole lot of them got their powers from an alien ring. Flash - I'll give you the Flash, as he tends to get his powers from human sources, but IMO to a ridiculous degree. (I got some chemicals on me, now I am as fast as Superman!) Aquaman? Very similar origin to Namor, except that Namor isn't all "yay let's save humanity". The Ray Palmer Atom? His origin makes sense to me in a power-of-the-human-mind way, but honestly, when compared with Marvel's Henry Pym - who has a similar origin story and powers - Atom seems boring and empty. I mean Pym's a wifebeating pseudo-schizophrenic obsessed with making the world think he's awesome and prone to absolutely fucking up everything all day long. Much more interesting to me, much more human.

The list goes on, and Superman is the worst. The biggest, toughest, most noble hero on DC-Earth, the guy you want on your side in any fight, the epitome of honour . . . and he's not even human. He's not even from Earth.

Marvel essentially says to me "In times of trouble, your fellow humans will rise up and fight." DC on the other hand says "In times of trouble, well, your fellow humans are out there getting slaughtered, but if you hide under the table a space-god might come to save you! And if not a space-god, then an alleged human who we can only make credible if he has the powers of a space-god!" As such Marvel is fundamentally heroic and inspiring to me, whereas DC is fundamentally the opposite.

And then you get Batman, who could potentially be a great becon that a human, even a completely fucked up batshit insane human, can go toe to toe with the space-gods and win. Errr, if he has billions of dollars, twenty years of training, a bulletproof suit, kryptonite knuckle dusters, and absolutely any other gadget the situation requires. Yay humanity!

So, yeah, I hear "Batman" and I think "meh". But I've heard that certain aspects of the recent films are closer to JMS' Nighthawk (roughly speaking, a Marvelised version of "how Batman would really be") than the regular Batman, and that intrigues me. So I'm sure I'll see them sooner or later. I'm just in no rush!

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2009-04-28 19:14
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