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adaptation

Review: Logan

Feb 17 // Nick Valdez
[embed]221303:43419:0[/embed] LoganDirector: James MangoldRelease Date: March 3, 2017Rating: R  Logan is both a sequel to 2013's The Wolverine and a ending to the entire X-Men franchise. In the far-ish future of 2029, we find Logan (Hugh Jackman) making his way across El Paso, driving a limo for money. It turns out mutants have essentially gone extinct, and he is only doing odd jobs in order to take care of the now dementia-suffering Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who's loss of control over his mind has made him a threat. But one day he's approached by a woman accompanied by a silent girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) who needs help getting to the Canadian border and some place they call an "Eden for mutants." Begrudgingly accepting the task when he sees Laura shares a few similarities with him, revelations come to light as Logan has to come to terms with the man he's become. Logan is dramatically different than the rest of the X-Men films, and that's notably due to its R rating.  While I was initially afraid Deadpool's R rated success would mean Logan was full of extraneous foul language and violence (but without the cheekiness), what is present feels incredibly natural. Like we're actually seeing Wolverine for who he is for the first time, making every other performance seem neutered in comparison. This Logan is older, broken, and incredibly violent. He brutalizes enemies, but it's never portrayed as monstrous as his attacks could be because Jackman fills the role with a much needed humanity. The film always makes a point to note that he never initiates the attacks (unlike the brash Logan seen in, say, the first X-Men). The added caveat of slowly losing his healing abilities also grounds this comic book film in an unprecedented way. For all intents and purposes, Logan is a lonely, introspective character drama. While the character work admittedly will be more effective if you've seen some of the other X-Men films (at least the first one to explain some of the world's elements), it's not completely necessary. The film opens with a scene heartily establishing everything you need to know about this character, and I'll go as far to say it's the best opening scene in the franchise to date.  Logan is full of outstanding performances. While some kitchy turns from Boyd Holbrook's Pierce (a mysterious guy in sunglasses who's chasing after Laura, but Logan's not about that so mentioning his role in the story seems unnecessary), Stephen Merchant's Caliban, and a villain revealed later in the film tend to remind you it's a comic book film, the three central cast members anchor Logan's harsh reality. Hugh Jackman, drawing on his years of experience with the character, puts forth a stellar performance. As mentioned earlier, with the amenities afforded by the film's R rating, Jackman's performance rings more palpable than ever. Like this is the character he's wanted to portray since he signed on to these films all those years ago. His rapport with the sickly Charles is one of the best features in the film as he and Patrick Stewart have developed a mentor/pupil-father/son relationship over the years. Or at least ably portrayed as such. Then there's the young Dafne Keen, who's Laura is defined entirely through her physicality and manages to carve a distinct presence between the two.  Now Logan isn't perfect. One of the film's overlying themes of fighting one's past becomes a little too literal, the tone is so well established the encroaching X-Men talk feels out of place, and some of the dialogue unfortunately I felt I had to forgive under the "comic book film" qualifier, but thinking back on it, these issues didn't bother me as much as I thought they would have. Logan's imperfections lend credibility to the central character's imperfections. The film's problems mirror Logan's distraught sense of self. Is he the colorful hero of years past? Is he the beaten down man who's lost his sense of purpose after years of struggle? There's a distinct push and pull between the two tones as they blend into something not seen before in the genre. In fact, it seems, dare I say realistic?  Above all else, Logan is a film of consequence. It's the first comic book film weighted with actual drama and character work. There's an overwhelming sense of finality and dread permeating throughout making every one of Logan's struggles more tense than the last. If you've followed Wolverine through every one of his adventures, you're sure to be satisfied with Logan. If you haven't, there's still enough tactile emotion here seeping through Logan's ever-worsening wounds to draw you in even slightly.  I don't need to see another X-Men film, or another comic book film ever again. Thanks to Logan, they've become irrelevant. 
Logan Review photo
Brutal, harsh, and absolutely glorious
Logan is a response to a litany of unprecedented events. Comic book films are more popular than ever, the X-Men series is still a viable franchise seventeen years later, Hugh Jackman is still in great health an...

Thor: Ragnarok photo
Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok concept art reveals Gladiator Hulk and new villain Hela


Some more Thor for your core
Feb 14
// Nick Valdez
It seems the Doctor Strange home video release is going to pack in quite a bit of goodies. Along with both "Team Thor" shorts, it's also sharing our first peek into Thor: Ragnarok. This concept art revealed during a video tea...
Netflixvania photo
Netflixvania

Netflix Castlevania: Producer Adi Shankar says 2 seasons in works, both written by Warren Ellis


Netflix-vania
Feb 09
// Hubert Vigilla
The animated Netflix Castlevania series was announced yesterday, although it was buried in a press release. Producer Adi Shankar, who teased the series back in 2015 on Facebook, took to social media again to share some small,...
Netflix Castlevania photo
It's on like Donkey...vania
Netflix is making a series based on Castlevania, which will debut later this year. The first season of the series has been written by comics scribe Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Iron Man, Planetary). According to Poly...


Fast and Furious Live photo
Fast and Furious Live

The Fast and the Furious is becoming a live touring arena stunt show


Cirque du Furieux
Feb 08
// Hubert Vigilla
The Fate of the Furious will be in theaters on April 14th, just in time for Easter. If you're looking for another Fast fix, you won't have to wait that long. The Fast and the Furious will become a live, touring arena stunt sh...
World War Z 2 photo
World War Z 2

David Fincher may still direct Paramount's delayed World War Z sequel


The ball is in Paramount's court
Feb 08
// Hubert Vigilla
Paramount Pictures recently killed off the Friday the 13th reboot and delayed World War Z 2: The Zquel. As they figure out how to rework and retool World War Z 2 for a potential 2018 or 2019 release, there are rumors that Dav...
Paramount nixes movies photo
Paramount nixes movies

Paramount nixes Friday the 13th reboot and World War Z sequel from release calendar


Ka-ka-ka-ka... kill-kill-kill-kill...
Feb 07
// Hubert Vigilla
If you were looking forward to the Friday the 13th reboot and World War Z 2 (aka A World War Zequel), you're going to have to wait a bit longer. You may be waiting indefinitely. Paramount Pictures has removed both of these fi...
First look new Lara Croft photo
First look new Lara Croft

Tomb Raider set photos offer first look at Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft


Looks promising
Feb 06
// Hubert Vigilla
It's taken a long while, but the Tomb Raider movie reboot is officially underway, with Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft and Norwegian director Roar Uthaug at the helm. There's also Walton Goggins on board a...
Galaxy Vol 2 SB Spot photo
Galaxy Vol 2 SB Spot

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Super Bowl spot promises more fun


Drax is the best though
Feb 05
// Nick Valdez
If you needed any more convincing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2's awesomeness, this Super Bowl spot does the trick. I was a bit held off from it at first, but this is really all I needed to be happy with it. Bigger team, b...
Ghost in the Super Bowl photo
Ghost in the Super Bowl

Ghost in the Shell's Super Bowl spot serves good face


Super in the Bowl
Feb 05
// Nick Valdez
There's been a lot of back and forth over whether Ghost in the Shell, a film adapted from a famous manga and anime property, would work under Western direction. There's been even more of a fuss over the lack of a Japanese lea...
Logan Trailer photo
I'm so ready for this
We were all stricken by the first Logan trailer for its gritty setting, somber tone, and older Logan, and it looks like the second trailer delivers that even more so. The third, and final, Wolverine film follows Logan as he s...

Uncharted movie photo
Uncharted movie

Joe Carnahan has finished Uncharted script, movie may finally get made, honest


Shawn Levy is still on board to direct
Jan 09
// Hubert Vigilla
Sony has been trying and trying and trying to make an Uncharted movie for years. Now in 2017, they may actually start making the movie. Finally. Really. Well, maybe. We'll see if Shawn Levy sticks around to direct. Joe Carnahan has finished the screenplay for the film, and he posted about it on his Instagram account:
Justice League photo
Justice League

Newest Justice League photo shows off the team


Gal Gadot and a bunch of cosplayers
Jan 09
// Nick Valdez
Did anyone else forget Justice League was coming out this year? I totally did. 2016 was such a weird year, it feels like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released forever ago. But as teased in both BvS, Suicide Squad an...
Castlevania show photo
Castlevania show

Adventure Time producer hints at possible Castlevania TV series


Stupid Medusa heads
Dec 30
// Hubert Vigilla
More than a year ago we mentioned that a super violent Castelvania miniseries was in the works. Producer Adi Shankar made the announcement via Facebook and mentioned Fred Seibert (founder of Frederator Studios and Advent...
Chazelle & Gosling photo
Chazelle & Gosling

Damien Chazelle & Ryan Gosling working on Neil Armstrong biopic First Man


Moon Moon Land
Dec 30
// Hubert Vigilla
La La Land is bound to be a major player during the awards season, but director Damien Chazelle and the film's co-star Ryan Gosling are already eyeing their next project together. The duo will work on First Man in 2017, a bio...
Dune reboot photo
Dune reboot

Denis Villeneuve in talks to direct Legendary's Dune reboot


Spice up your life
Dec 26
// Hubert Vigilla
Director Denis Villeneuve is currently in talks to direct a reboot of Dune for Legendary. If he gets on board, this would be the latest in Villeneuve's sci-fi oeuvre, following this year's Arrival and next year's Blade Runner...

Review: Assassin's Creed

Dec 21 // Nick Valdez
[embed]221143:43283:0[/embed] Assassin's CreedDirectors: Justin KurzelRelease Date: December 21, 2016Rating: PG-13 After being executed in a Texas prison, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is held under the control of the Abstergo Foundation, a company that wants to "end violence." His caretaker, Sofia (Marion Cotillard), explains one of his ancestors was an assassin in 1400s Spain (named Aguilar) and wants to use his memories to help Abstergo locate the Apple of Eden, a magical macguffin that would eliminate free will. Lynch is then plugged into the Animus, a machine that allows Lynch to live his ancestor Aguilar's life and gain his abilities. As more of Abstergo's plot comes to light, Lynch has to decide whether or not to carry on the creed of an ancient assassin's group and fight the coming evil.   As you can most likely gauge from the synopsis, there's a lot going on in Assassin's Creed. Like its smooth action scenes, the film's plot and premise move along with a breakneck pace. There's a bit of plot-specific terminology thrown into the film's dialogue, but it never rests enough within its character interactions for these terms to make sense. It's almost as if the film expects its audience to be familiar with the game series, so cool ideas like The Templars and the Creed don't have enough development. Despite the film running over two hours, things just kind of "happen" and often don't get enough follow through to make sense. Which is even more of a shame since the premise does inherently have a religion versus science debate in the root of it all.  But the film does succeed when it takes the time to develop its world.  If you're a fan of the videogame series, you'll be glad to know Assassin's Creed translates one of the series' core elements, the Animus, extremely well. Lynch plugging into the Animus leads to some of the coolest scenes in the film as the machine translates Aguilar's flashly assassin movements in real time. Cutting back to Lynch every few minutes during the film's well choreographed fights may get annoying later on as they take you out of the action, but it's still an initially intriguing and distinct look only capable here. That's also because the film took a moment to establish the Animus which is, as mentioned earlier, a luxury only briefly afforded. But although most of the story is a befuddling mess, it's visually appealing. Andalucia in 1492 is an incredible display of set and costume design, which makes its short time in the film even more egregious. When not covered in a notable amount in dust storms, Assassin's Creed spends the bulk of its time in yet another in a long line of plain, white science fiction sets.  Director Kurziel also films some impressive battle scenes. Although the point-of-view sometimes get lost in the fight choreography (as Kurziel at times can't fully grasp the geography of the setting), they flow well and incorporate many tactics and weapons (which is reminiscent of the game series, also). But Assassin's Creed doesn't have much going on for it beyond its look. Fassbender is, undoubtedly, the standout but even he struggles with the film's script. Failing to give Lynch's words the proper amount of weight as the film speeds on, Fassbender is just trying his best to push on. His scenes with Cotillard's Sofia are also a highlight, but that's only because he has Cotillard's near-deadpan delivery to bounce off of. In fact, you could've scrapped the bulk of Abstergo-set scenes altogether and the film would've been a triumph. Aguilar's romps through a mid-Inquisition Spain are the best the film has to offer, but there's never enough time to develop either Aguilar or Lynch to make any of this matter.  In a film where a man defies the laws of time and space, time is ironically Assassin's Creed's biggest enemy. A lack of time spent with its characters, lack of time spent with its ideas, and lack of follow through muddy the film's experience. In fact, the film seems to only want to translate the videogame series to film without caring whether or not it succeeds as a film. Much like direct to home video videogame adaptations like Dead or Alive and Tekken, Assassin's Creed captures the spirit of the videogame series but won't have the appeal for those outside of its fan base.  Assassin's Creed is such a good videogame adaptation, hilariously enough, it already expects to come back for yearly outings. 
Assassin's Creed Review photo
With flaws wide open
Assassin's Creed has been in the works for a long time. The videogame series' developer Ubisoft has been trying to get the project off the ground since 2011, but was marred with production and release date delays. When Michae...

David Bowie Gandalf photo
David Bowie Gandalf

David Bowie was considered for Gandalf in Lord of the Rings but didn't audition


Gandalf was Maiar, jamming good with...
Dec 19
// Hubert Vigilla
David Bowie's passing was one of many painful deaths in 2016. In the aftermath, we reported that Bowie auditioned for The Lord of the Rings. While Bowie was considered to play Gandalf in the film, it turns out he never really...
Gotham City Sirens photo
Gotham City Sirens

Margot Robbie, Davie Ayer re-teaming for all female DC movie, Gotham City Sirens


Hope the Birds of Prey come along too
Dec 14
// Nick Valdez
We got wind of Margot Robbie spearheading a solo Harley Quinn film before Suicide Squad even hit theaters, but luckily for us that mess didn't hurt Robbie's chances. According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Ayer will be pro...
Martin Scorsese's Silence photo
Martin Scorsese's Silence

Watch Martin Scorsese discuss faith and Silence in this 23-minute interview video


Religion in Scorsese's life and work
Dec 13
// Hubert Vigilla
Martin Scorcese has been trying to bring Silence to the big screen since 1990. The film's long road to production and release is almost over. The first trailer for Silence appeared at the end of November, and the film is comi...
Spider-Man Trailer photo
Here comes Marvel's Spider-Man
After his debut in Captain America: Civil War, we've all been itching to see more of Tom Holland's take on Spider-Man. Being an unprecedented co-operative effort from Sony and Marvel, we're finally going to see what Marvel wa...

 photo

Netflix advises you to look away from its newest 'Unfortunate Events' trailer


You were warned
Dec 07
// Matt Liparota
Netflix knows you all responded to its most recent high-profile revival with a collective shrug, so its time for them to hype its next big original series with a new trailer. Check out the latest peek at the streaming service...
Sega Films and TV photo
Sega Films and TV

Walking Dead producers working on Streets of Rage, Altered Beast adaptations


Part of Sega's major film and TV push
Dec 06
// Nick Valdez
Sega and Stories International announced plans to adapt more than 40 Sega properties (including the likes of Golden Axe and Crazy Taxi) a few years ago, but we haven't heard many rumblings until this year with films...
Science v Cinema: Arrival photo
Science v Cinema: Arrival

Video: Science vs. Cinema weighs in on Denis Villeneuve's Arrival (SPOILERS)


Find out if the science holds up
Dec 04
// Hubert Vigilla
I mentioned last week that Denis Villeneuve's Arrival is one of the best movies of 2016. Artist Peter Konig shared some concepts and designs that demonstrate the craft involved in the film. But if you're a hardcore sci-fi gee...
Assassin's Creed clip photo
Assassin's Creed clip

New Assassin's Creed clip features a carriage chase, horses, swashbuckling


Giddyup
Dec 04
// Hubert Vigilla
December 21st is fast approaching, which means the marketing for the Assassin's Creed film is in full effect. In the last week we've seen a clip featuring the souped-up Animus as well as the launch of an Assassin's Creed VR e...
Alternate Arrival aliens photo
Alternate Arrival aliens

Check out these alternate alien concept art designs for Denis Villeneuve's Arrival


Other forms of otherworldly
Dec 02
// Hubert Vigilla
We haven't reviewed or written anything on Denis Villeneuve's Arrival on this site, though that definitely needs to change. Arrival is one of the best movies of 2016, and may be the science fiction film that best embodies the...
Rampage adaptation photo
Rampage adaptation

Director of Rampage adapation starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson promises emotion, scares


Kaiju candy asses gonna freak out
Dec 02
// Hubert Vigilla
In case you forgot (why would you remember?), an adaptation of Rampage has been in the works for years. The film seems to have some actual legs on it now that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is attached to star with San Andreas dir...
Detective Pikachu photo
Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu movie catches a director


Still holding out hope for Danny Devito
Dec 01
// Nick Valdez
After a secret, yet massive bidding war, Legendary won the rights to produce a Pokemon related film. So they began moving forward with an adaptation of Great Detective Pikachu, a CG/live-action hybrid where a talking Pikachu ...

Watch the first trailer for Martin Scorsese's long-awaited Silence

Nov 28 // Hubert Vigilla
Silence comes so late in 2016 that it didn't have a chance to premiere at any of the usual year-end film festivals (i.e., Toronto, New York, Telluride, AFI Fest). Instead, Silence will have its world premiere at The Vatican tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th. No word on if Pope Francis will be at the screening of the 159-minute film. There is also no word on what designer brand the Pope will be wearing to the world premiere if His Holiness is present. Here's a synopsis for Silence: Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated director's 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life will be in theaters this Christmas. Silence will be in theaters December 23rd. A poster for the film is included below. [via /Film]
Martin Scorsese's Silence photo
Almost 27 years in the making
Martin Scorsese has had his eyes on Silence since 1990. We first reported on Silence way back in 2011. Had the movie been made sooner, the cast might have included Daniel Day Lewis, Benicio Del Toro, and Gael Garcia Bernal. I...

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Justice League Dark, the animated, R-rated feature has a trailer


Nov 16
// Rick Lash
So the dirty is this: another straight to DVD market animated film from Warner Brothers DC Universe, following the success of Batman: The Killing Joke is ready for release and there's a brand new trailer to tell you about it....

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