Movie Review - The 5 Coolest Things About 'The Wolverine'


Let's talk about The Wolverine!

I'm sure you've seen it by now, so lemme know what you thought. How does it compare with the summer's other two big superhero movies - Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel?

I listed some stuff below that I thought was especially cool about The Wolverine. Have a look and let me know if you agree.

Top 5 Things I Liked About 'The Wolverine'

1. Hugh Jackman's performance - Jackman is the main reason The Wolverine will be remembered by many as one of the best superhero movies. His performance as the lonely, brooding Logan should be regarded in the same iconic way as Eastwood's Dirty Harry or Willis' John McCLane. I have a feeling I'll even appreciate Jackman's work in this movie more with each viewing. Oh, and Jackman should get a special award for his physical preparation for this movie. The dude got his 45 year old body into incredible shape for his sixth outing as Wolverine, and he's never looked more ripped or superhero-like.

Svetlana Khodchenkova and Hugh Jackman
2. The debut performances of Rila Fukushima and Tao Okamoto - Can you believe this movie was the first feature film performance for these two young women? Fukushima's 'Yukio' was one of the most interesting (and badass) characters I've seen in a superhero movie. Okamoto played Mariko like a veteran actor and really made me believe how Logan could instantly fall in love with her. And while I'm talking about the female members of the cast - a tip of the hat to Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, and Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper. I thought they both were excellent - with Khodchenkova's Viper being one of the most menacingly portrayed female villains I can recall.

Tao Okamoto and Hugh Jackman
3. The Japanese locations - I loved how the director James Mangold shot a large part of the movie on location in Japan. Think about it - How many superhero movies are actually filmed on location? Most are shot on soundstages using green screen tech. The scenes at the Shinto temple and in downtown Tokyo added a lot of realism and helped me buy into the story more.

4. The direction of James Mangold - Kudos to Mangold for finally delivering a solo Wolverine movie that the character deserved. He promised that we'd see where Logan's rage comes from, and I think he succeeded. Mangold had a fairly complicated story to tell in just over 2 hours and he juggled a lot of plot threads while keeping the pace brisk.

Hugh Jackamn - The Wolverine
5. The climactic fight scene - I've heard some people complain about the final battle between Wolverine, Viper, and Silver Samurai, but I loved it. I thought it was beautifully choreographed and the CGI work was excellent. (And I truly didn't see the twist coming.)

What's the final verdict? I thought The Wolverine more than held its own against this year's other superhero blockbusters. In fact, I'll go so far as to say it's one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and daring movies in the genre's history.

Your turn. What did you think of The Wolverine?
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How Twitter Was Used To Market 'The Dark Knight Rises'

the dark knight rises,poster

I just wanted to share this infographic I found on visually.com that shows how Warner Bros. used Twitter to promote The Dark Knight Rises. It's a pretty interesting analysis and it shows how studios are relying on social media for marketing. I know nothing about the science of marketing, so I found this educational. Now I know what a "drip, drip, drip technique" is.

This infographic was part of research project by McMaster University, and they describe it as follows -

"With a focus on Twitter hashtags to investigate the research questions, this case study suggests reasons why the creation of an audience-targeted social media campaign successfully sustained the fan community for Warner Bros. feature film The Dark Knight Rises, even in the wake of a tragedy. Through a discourse analysis, this 4 month pilot case study explores the strategic creation of the viral marketing campaign for the film. The two main theories examined were Elihu Katz's Uses and Gratifications theory and the public relations drip-drip-drip technique."

the dark knight rises,twitter
Click image to view on visually.com
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Everything Wrong With X-Men Movies In 4 Minutes Or Less

Hugh Jackman - X-Men
The guys at Cinema Sins have been working overtime lately and have not one, but three videos that rip into the first X-Men movie trilogy. If you're not familiar, Cinema Sins breaks down every plot hole and mistake in popular movies. Even though I cringe at what they say about some of my favorite flicks, I have to admit they're damn good at what they do.

This week I've got their latest offerings - X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). For some reason, they haven't gotten around to X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), but I'm betting that's on the way.

Watch if you dare, and let me know what you think of their critiques. By the way, was 'The Last Stand' really that awful? Lately I've been thinking it wasn't as bad as some people say, but now I'm not sure.

X-Men



X2: X-Men United



X-Men: The Last Stand - Okay, I lied. This video isn't "4 minutes or less", but the movie was so bad they needed more time.


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Captain America: The Winter Soldier - News Round-Up


What's up with Captain America: The Winter Soldier?

The movie finished filming a few weeks ago and it's now in post-production. I'm guessing the first teaser trailer will probably hit the net sometime in August. It'll be interesting to see if Disney/Marvel uses Vine and Instagram to market their next wave of movies, including CA:TWS.  An occasional 15 second Instagram video would be a great way to keep fans excited and wanting more.

At last week's San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel studios held a panel featuring the entire cast and showed a clip from the movie. I hear the audience went nuts over the footage - especially a scene where Falcon (Anthony Mackie) takes flight with his high-tech wings.

SlashFilm has a good breakdown of the Cap panel, and they describe the teaser footage as -

"Very different from what we saw in the first film or The Avengers."

As always, there's tons of video from the Con, and I collected a few of the best clips showing the cast and crew chatting up the film.

This first video is the introduction of the cast and the directing team of brothers Joe and Anthony Russo. The video also has a quick statement from Chris Evans on suiting up to play Cap again.



Emily VanCamp plays S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter. Of course, she can't divulge too much about her character, but she offers a tidbit regarding Agent Carter's relationship with Steve Rogers.



Anthony Mackie plays Sam Wilson- aka Falcon - and Frank Grillo plays the villainous Brock Rumlow - aka Crossbones - and they both look extremely happy to be involved with the Marvel movie.



Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson give props to the fans and also talk a bit about the teaser footage that was shown at the Con.



Here's a pic from the Con showing the cast (minus Scarlet Johansson). Pictured: Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Chris Evans, Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie (l to r)

Cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Cast of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
Here's a few pics showing some cool stuff at the Comic-Con Captain America exhibit. 




Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens on April 4, 2014.

Synopsis

"Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C."

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Before Seeing 'The Wolverine' Check Out This Collection Of Articles On The Movie


I just wanted to share this roundup of articles about The Wolverine that I've posted over the last 3 years. The movie's been in development for about a decade and it had several delays. I started posting about it in September of 2010.

In October of 2010, Darren Aronofsky was hired as director, but he left the movie a few months later. The production spent the spring of 2011 in limbo, but, in June, director James Mangold was brought on to helm the picture.

About one year later, in August 2012, we got our first look at on-set pics from the Australian location. In March 2013, the first trailer dropped. I have to say, between March and the movie's opening on July 26, the marketing and promotion of the film was outstanding. I don't think a week went by where we didn't see a new poster or clip of the movie.

Anyway, take a look at some of these posts and see the long road The Wolverine had to travel in order to make it to the screen.

Articles On 'The Wolverine'

2013

Infographic Shows The Evolution Of Wolverine's Costume Through The Years (July 25, 2013)

New Featurettes For 'The Wolverine' Spotlight 3 Supporting Characters (July 15, 2013)

It's Logan Versus Assassins In This New Clip From 'The Wolverine' (July 9, 2013)

Check Out The Latest News On Hugh Jackman's 'The Wolverine' (June 25, 2013)

Hugh Jackman Breaks Down the Trailer for The Wolverine (April 1, 2013)

The Wolverine - Check out the First Trailer! (March 27, 2013)

'The Wolverine' Director Talks about Logan (January 10, 2013)

2012

Check out the First Pics from the Australian Set of 'The Wolverine' (August 6, 2012)

What's Up With 'The Wolverine'? (January 13, 2012)

2011

Aronofsky Leaves 'The Wolverine' (March 19, 2011)

2010

Aronofsky on Why He Was Hired for 'The Wolverine' (November 23, 2010)

Aronofsky Says 'The Wolverine' Is No Sequel (November 16, 2010)

Wolverine 2 - Still Directorless (Sept. 4, 2010)
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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - News From Comic-Con And More

unofficial fan-made poster - via
Lots of Spidey news to share today! Of course I have some video from last week's San Diego Comic-Con, but that's not all. Several items about the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit the internets this week, so let's get to 'em.

First up is the panel from Comic-Con, which featured Andrew Garfield, Dane DeHaan, and Jamie Foxx, along with director Marc Webb (July 19).

Highlights Of The Comic-Con Panel

  • Garfield appeared in character as Spider-Man for a few minutes and joked around with Foxx. 
  • Foxx explains his character's motivation to want to destroy Spider-Man. He says Max Dillon (Electro) at first idolizes Spider-Man, but (after he transforms into Electro) he feels betrayed by Spidey and everyone else.
  • Garfield gives props to the first Spider-Man - Tobey Maguire - when a fan made a comparison to Garfield and Maguire.
  • Webb says that Electro is the main villain that Spidey fights, and Paul Giammati's Rhino was added for a little humor.
  • Garfield mentions how much he'd like to see Spider-Man appear in the sequel to 2012's The Avengers (now titled Avengers: Age of Ultron).
The panel (below) had some fun moments and it's worth skimming through if you're looking forward to TASM2.

If you want to read a more detailed breakdown of the proceedings, HitFix has a good write-up.



Here's Spidey making his entrance (via).



After the panel, Webb was asked how the sequel differs from the the first movie. He replied that the main thing he wanted to emphasize was how much fun being Spider-Man would be. He says that all the other movies haven't really shown what a "blast" Spider-Man is having. Check out Webb's remarks below.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

 We also got a peek at the cover of next month's Empire magazine, which features you-know-who.


The pic below - showing Dane DeHaan, Andrew Garfield, and Jamie Foxx - is courtesy of The Amazing Spider-Man Facebook page.


Finally, if you need even more Spidey news, Collider has ya covered. Watch the video below for an interview with Webb. It has new info on the future of the Spidey movie franchise. At the 2:12 mark, the director talks about how they came up with the idea for a trilogy at first, and then added a fourth film later.
 
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Infographic Shows The Evolution Of Wolverine's Costume Through The Years

the wolverine movie banner, hugh jackman

I've got 2 cool things to share today to get you ready for The Wolverine - opening tomorrow July 26!

First up is a video of the San Diego Comic-Con panel featuring Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold that took place last weekend (7-20-13). The video is a great way to get up to speed on this movie before you head out to the theater. Mangold explains why Wolverine is such a special character and what it was like making the movie.

Mangold says about Logan/Wolverine -

"What is so important to me about Logan...is we get inside the anger and the rage. That's been in the comic books for years, but I don't think it's had a chance to be seen in both action and in drama."

Jackman talked about how he's wanted to make Logan's Japanese saga ever since reading the comic book back in the year 2000.

Jackman says he remembers telling one of the producers of the movie X-Men, 13 years ago  -

"This is the movie we need to make."

Check out the video below and after you see The Wolverine, let me know what you think.



I also found this cool infographic from HalloweenCostumes.com. It was created by Kate Willaert, and it shows all the costumes that Wolverine has worn over the decades. It starts with his first appearance in Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk #180 (1974), all the way to the 2013 feature film - The Wolverine.

Note: As someone else pointed out, the costume shown for the movie X-Men is actually the one that Hugh Jackman wore in X2: X-Men United.

Kate also made a great infographic showing the evolution of Superman's "S" symbol, which is also worth a look.

Clicking the infographic will take you to the full size image on HalloweenCostumes.com.

wolverine costumes,infographic
click image to enlarge
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