One of the primary reasons that James Mangold’s Logan works so well as a send-off to Hugh Jackman’s 17 years playing Wolverine is that it does the opposite of nearly every superhero movie convention expected. The end result earned critical and commercial acclaim and an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay (a Wolverine movie got an Oscar nomination for screenplay; thought I’d say that again). More than a superhero film, Logan has more in common with the Western where an old gunslinger goes out on a final quest (more Unforgiven than X-Men).
In fact, my favorite cut of the film is Logan Noir: the black & white version of the film included as bonus feature on the Blu Ray. Denuded of a lot of the effect of the blood, the film feels more in tune with an old warrior’s final journey. But Mangold does give the fans, at the end of the film, one final berserker charge from Wolverine as he races to save his daughter and the last mutant children from the Reavers. Even that scene though, if you put him on a horse and swapped his claws for six-shooters, would be straight out of a Western. Kudos to Jackman for 17 years as the world’s favorite mutant, and to James Mangold for figuring out a way to give us a Wolverine that was off his leash, yet more true to the character’s roots than in any other film he’s been in.
For comic book characters, death isn’t quite the final condition it is for the rest of us. It’s more of an annoying flu that sidelines them for a few years at most before they find a way to kick it. WatchMojo has put together a list of the 10 saddest superhero deaths in which the condition stuck (it also included supporting characters on the list, and given the subject matter it goes without saying that this is a SPOILER intensive list.
Most of the entries come from films outside the MCU and DCEU, both of which have been pretty merciful to characters so far (unless they were underdeveloped villains). I have a feeling that the MCU’s mercy, at least, is going to change with Avengers 3 & 4 in a big way, but most of the entries on this list come from X-Men, Spider-Man, and pre-DCEU Batman installments. While I agree with a lot of the choices (and the rule that no one resurrected should be included), choosing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or X-Men: Apocalypse over Watchmen struck me as a particularly grievous oversight. I definitely agree with #1, but I think there should be two entrants from Logan on the list. What traumas did you find left out? Let’s grieve together, people!
2018 is here, and it becomes time to look back over the last year and film and highlight the best of what was, overall, a pretty anemic year for movies in 2017. It was a great year for comic book fans in terms of quantity of quality, with nearly every film released connecting. There were some surprising gems that emerged (Get Out, Wind River), and blockbusters that actually did deliver (Dunkirk, War for the Planet of the Apes), but more films that didn’t live up to the hype and disappointed versus their potential. Animation, particularly, had an anemic year with Coco being the only film that even drew me to a theater. Overall, I have seen 75 2017 releases, and with awards season still continuing to expand a number of the top contenders, there are a number of films that could significantly impact this list, but here are Killing Time’s Top 10 Films of 2017 with links to my review of each film.
(Films Still to See Include: Lady Bird, The Florida Project, The Post, The Shape of Water, All the Money in the World, I Tonya, and Mudbound)
Continue reading Killing Time’s Top 10 Films of 2017
A great trailer is designed to do one thing: get you back to see the feature. However, trailers are also an art form unto themselves. The best ones use music, imagery, mystery, and intrigue to set the stage for the film they’re promoting. There were some great trailers for the films of 2017, many of which did not live up to the trailers that preceded them. That doesn’t mean those trailers aren’t worthy of recognition, though. As we wrap up 2017 (good riddance), it’s time for the deluge of TOP 10 lists. Here are the ten best trailers for movies released in 2017. Continue reading Top 10: Trailers for 2017 Movies
It’s hard to believe, but 2017 is halfway over, and what a strange year it has been so far at the movies. Defying the traditional movie calendar, February and March provided blockbusters and surprises, while May and June (were it not for Guardians Vol. 2
and Wonder Woman
) would have been a bleak cinematic wasteland. More than ever, the international box office has supplanted the U.S. as the measure of a film’s success. For an example you need look no farther than The Fate of the Furious
. The eighth installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise made a respectable $225.4 million at home, but a whopping $1.013 billion overseas. Whatever a film’s gross, its long-term legacy lies in its quality, and we’ve already had some fantastic movies. Here are my top five:
Continue reading Top 5 Films of 2017 at the Midpoint