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X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, 2009
Movie Review

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X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE MOVIE POSTER
X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE
Movie Review

Directed by Gavin Hood
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston,Lynn Collins
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

Wolverine lives a mutant life, seeks revenge against Victor Creed (who will later become Sabertooth) for the death of his girlfriend, and ultimately ends up going through the mutant Weapon X program.

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REVIEW:

This was an entertaining film. I highly recommend X-Men Origins Wolverine. It's a fun film to watch. Go see it.

Here's what else I have to say.......

There's been a lot of debate on this site and others in the land of the comic movie world on whether The Dark Knight took this genre to new heights --- and whether those were heights that people wanted. In its essence comic books are about entertainment with a social commentary on the ideals of the world attached to them. There's a deeper meaning besides reading the bubbles and enjoying the artistry. A meaning that many fans hang onto and take into their own lives.

For the last 30 years whenever Superman, Spider-man, Daredevil or whomever was made into a movie, it was done strickly for entertainment value. A popcorn film. The type of movie that was created and mastered in the 1980s where we sit back, relax and enjoy the show. A show the whole family can see, like I did when I was 6 years old when my family took me to see The Return of the Jedi. I laughed, owed, awed and clapped with the crowd and enjoyed all of the cool things they gave us. Even at that age I knew that this wasn't supposed to be taken all that seriously. The world was serious and that's why we went to the movies: to forget about things that stressed us. These movies were made to relax our stress levels and were much cheaper than going to see a therapist. And a whole lot more fun too.

Then The Dark Knight came along. A film that I enjoyed but realized a third of the way through that this wasn't a comic book movie that I grew up watching. This was actually a film that was suppose to give us some lesson and/or have a social meaning to it. Knight reeked of a commentary on the 911 terrorist attacks and asked questions that were really too complicated to answer in a 2+ hour movie. And that was another thing. This was a film that's running time was just under three hours. A three hour comic book movie? What was Christopher Nolan trying to do?

Give us one of the most successful movie in the history of cinema is what he did. The world responded in droves and he pleased the fans of comic books plus the rest of the world too (they call us "normies"). A tough combination to please both at the same time (just for fun, google Comic Book movie forums and read what is talked about 24/7 - you'd be amazed!). He asked if the world was ready for the epic comic book movie and they responded yes, yes, yes! In these times perhaps we wanted to be entertained plus be moved intellectually. Or perhaps not.

So far this year the most successful films have been purely entertainment movies. Fast and Furious as of this review has been the most successful film of the year and that's a movie that really has no plot (just watch the film and ask yourself if any of the plot makes sense at all. It doesn't). It's not a bad film at all, but it's terrible if you are actually looking for something substantial.

WATCHMEN was the first comic book movie to come out in 2009 and it was one of those movies that I didn't get and was very bored throughout. BUT the fans of the comic book LOVED it. It tried to give us too much social commentary about life and how we should be. It was what I would define as a very pretentious movie. But it was true to the comic book -- a comic book mind you that even the creator didn't want made into a movie and will never watch. Watchmen was a bomb in many ways as it didn't do nearly the business the studios thought it would and many critics panned it. But it was only echoing what The Dark Knight did. So why wasn't it loved by all?

History will show (at least that's my prediction) that The Dark Knight will be an aberration film. It was a movie based on the most popular comic book character in history (Superman 1a, Batman 1b). It's first revised film was a huge hit and anyone who saw that film was going to see this film. Plus it had a young actor die before the movie opened and that really helped the movie's box office sales a lot. They wanted to see Heath Ledger's last role playing the most iconic comic book villain. Those three factors got people in the seats in the first weekend and the momentum built. But you can't copy this movie and expect the same success.

Bottom line -- let's be entertained by these films and don't try to make this genre into a modern day David Lean type of movie and look for Oscar nominations. We have enough problems in the world. We don't wanted to be guided on a moral life lesson when we go to these movies. We will found our own value system in a different way -- especially not from a man in a rubber suit who's going after another man in clown makeup in the middle of the night! Remember that Hollywood.

X-Men Origins Wolverine has found the perfect balance for the 21st century comic book movie (just like Iron Man did). It gives us a lot of entertainment from start to finish, it doesn't take itself too seriously, but it doesn't try to give us a silly story that makes no sense. It's that balance of wanting to be entertained but not treated like idiots. And that's the new formula for a successful comic book movie.

So good stuff Wolverine. Looking forward to your next film. There should be lots coming. This film won Best Director and Best Cinematography, and was nominated for five other categories. The screenwriter was nominated, and rightly so. Taken from a short story that first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1933 by Maurice Walsh, Green Rushes, Frank Nugent was able to weave a story rich in subtext and conflict.

The collector’s edition of the DVD includes an interview with Maureen O’Hara where she reminisces about filming The Quiet Man, and is well worth watching.

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