Logan – The Much Needed End of X-Men

This post contains spoilers

In what was presumably Hugh Jackman’s last performance as Wolverine, Logan did not leave fans disappointed.

Logan provided the much needed closure for Fox’s X-Men saga. Loosely based on Marvel’s Old Man Logan series, Logan follows Jackman’s character in the far distant future from the events of X-Men: Apocalypse (The events of Days of Future Past wiped out X-Men 2 and 3). The year is 2029 and the mutants are no-more.

The story takes place after mutants are hunted down after an incident involving Charles Xavier which resulted in numerous human injuries. Logan is an alcoholic limo driver who protects Charles and Caliban (a mutant who can search for other mutants) south of the border in Mexico.

Over the course of the film, you meet the film’s villain David Pearce. Played by Boyd Holbrook, Pearce works for Transigen. Transigen is that antagonist organization hunting the remaining mutants, including Logan.

David Pearce is one of the sore spots of the movie. While the acting by Holbrook was phenomenal, Pearce was only seen as a henchman. Didn’t really possess the big villain vibe that Magneto, Dark Phoenix, and Sebastian Shaw showcased in previous films.

You later find out Transigen created mutants of their own. Designed from the DNA of mutants like Logan, and incubated in human hosts. Laura, the furious female lead was created from James “Logan” Howlett’s DNA, effectively making her his daughter.

Dafne Keen brought fire and resistance to the 11 year-old Laura. The stunts, fight scenes, and overall characterization was phenomenal. It was a great compliment to Hugh Jackman’s best performance since Oklahoma!.

Logan was action-packed and fulfilled the fans’ request for an R-rated Wolverine flick. Even with the added blood, it felt like a superhero movie. With the addition of Cowboy Western elements, the X-Men franchise earned their much-needed closure in the oversaturated field of comic book cinema.

Aka go see this movie.

Get Out – Review

*Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers about Get Out*

Get Out is the directorial debut of Key & Peele’s Jordan Peele and the film does not disappoint.

Get Out follows the journey of Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris on meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Chris’ girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams (Girls, Peter Pan), invites him for a weekend at her parents’ house in suburbia. ‘Unbeknownst’ to Rose’s family, Chris is black.

The film conveys the struggles African Americans deal with on a daily basis. In the United States, the Black community is systemically marginalized. Mainly, by law enforcement. Get Out expresses those fears through a creative medium that engulfs the audience.

Even after Chris perseveres through the film, the powerful final scene screams the instilled fear that even a black hero can go down as a villain.

The performances were stellar from the whole cast. Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams’ chemistry as an interracial couple was exquisite. Williams’ turn from loving girlfriend to psychopath was exceptional. The film is in the suspense/horror category, the film still packs a comedic punch. Mainly, from LilRel Howery’s Rod.

The directorial debut of Jordan Peele deserves recognition and hopefully future projects will be funded by this film’s success.

Get Out: Summary

In the beginning of the film, you’re introduced to Chris and Rose and that they’ve been dating for some time. Chris is an avid photographer and has two best friends, Rod and Sid. Rod is an African-American TSA agent and Sid is a dog with IBS. Rod is skeptical of Chris visiting Rose’s parents place.

On the way to Rose’s parents lovely abode, Rose’s car is hit by a crossing deer. Rose, shaken up, calls the police to make a report. After the officer speaks with Rose, he asks not only for her driver’s license but Chris’ as well, who was not driving. Rose rightfully objects to the officer’s request and the story moves on with no further conflict.

Chris and Rose pull up to her parent’s house. Chris notices the groundskeeper mowing the lawn with an old-fashion push mower. Chris meets Rose’s parents, Missy, a psychiatrist who specializes in hypnosis and Dean, a neurosurgeon, played by Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford respectively.

We later meet Rose’s MMA-obsessed brother, Jeremy. Who has an infatuation with Chris’ physique. Later at dinner, Dean tells Rose, they’re having a yearly gathering. Rose, playing coy, acts as if the gathering is not having on its scheduled date.

As the gathering begins, Chris is introduced to the party’s attendees, who all happen to be white except two. One of the non-white attendees is Logan (African-American), who Chris recognizes but cannot put a name with the face. Logan tells Chris to “Get out!” after Chris takes a photo with flash from his phone. Chris calls Rod, after sending a photo of Logan, and Rod explains that Logan is from Brooklyn. Rod is skeptical of the gathering, as he explains that Logan is an acquaintance from Chris’ past, Andre.

Chris takes Rose away from the gathering. Chris expresses that he lost his mother at a young age and Rose is all that he has left. Rose then tells Chris, that she’s ready to go home, earlier than expected.

As Rose is gathering her things, Chris notices a box in a closet. Chris looks through and sees photos of Rose’s past partners. These partners include the groundskeeper from earlier, Georgina the family’s housekeeper, and Logan/Andre. Chris rushes to leave, as he suspects that he might be in danger.

As they’re leaving, Missy, Dean and Jeremy surround Chris by the door. Rose is searching for her car keys but cannot seem to find them. As it turns out, Rose was playing dumb all along. Missy then taps her tea cup with a spoon, putting Chris into an unconscious trance. This was a result from an earlier hypnosis on Chris.

Chris then wakes up strapped to a chair in an enclosed room with no windows but an old-fashioned television set. Chris communicates with an attendee of the gathering explaining why Chris is imprisoned. The attendee explains that his brain will be transferred into Chris’ body.

As Dean preps for the surgery, Chris escapes the room and kills Jeremy, Dean, and Missy. Rose chases after Chris, while shooting at him. Rose then tells her groundskeeper to tackle Chris, calling him Grandpa. As Grandpa is strangling Chris, Chris uses his phone’s flash and the groundskeeper retakes control of his body and shoots Rose. The groundskeeper then points the gun on himself and commits suicide.

As Chris is about to enact vengeance on Rose, a police patrol car pulls up. Chris raises his hands as if he were going to be arrested. The car door reads “Airport” and Rod exits the vehicle. Rod and Chris drive home as Rose dies laying in the street.

LEGO Batman – Review

After humongous success of The LEGO Movie, Warner Brothers took a swing at the DC universe. Released in Theaters on February 10, 2017, the LEGO Batman punched its way to a box office smash.

The LEGO Batman provides the silliness of LEGO while instilling the somewhat serious-tone of The Dark Knight. Batman is played by Will Arnett, who provides a stellar vocal performance of the cape crusader and Bruce Wayne. Robin, is played by awkward poster boy Michael Cera. While the rest of the main cast is rounded out by Zach Galifianakis (Joker), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon), and Ralph Fiennes (Alfred).

The movie features comedic genius that will satisfy the whole family. It keeps your attention throughout and provides minimal stale scenes unlike its video game counterpart. One of the main criticism of LEGO video games is eventually they become stale with the same jokes. LEGO Batman eliminates the lame parody film-stereotypes and provides a great cinematic experience.

If you haven’t seen this movie, go see it. Simple as that.

Jasper Downey provides spoiler-free film reviews. If you’re looking for a more in-depth review, then this isn’t the place.

Foxcatcher – Review

One of the creepier films released this holiday season is Foxcatcher. Foxcatcher tells the true story about Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell).
If you do not know the truth about this tale, do not go looking for it. The film depicts the difficulty a wrestler has after his collegiate career is over. Mark Schultz is looking for his second Olympic Gold and prepares for the next Olympic Games. When one day, he receives a call from John du Pont, the heir to the du Pont fortune. After the relationship is made, you’re giving clues that something isn’t right but what?
Du Pont wants Schultz to bring his brother David and build the Foxcatcher training empire. Du Pont’s interest in wrestling stems from his childhood and his obsession of being a champion.
If you’re a movie buff, you have to see this film. Steve Carell gives a fantastic performance and Mark Ruffalo steals the spotlight from Channing Tatum. Just a warning, the first twenty minutes are extremely slow-moving but once you get through that, you’re waiting for the next shot (wrestling joke).

Gone Girl – Review

Gone Girl is the movie to see this year. The 2014 suspenseful “thriller” throws all kinds of emotions, twist and turns at you. Most importantly, it does what no other movie has done, and that’s be completely real with the plot. The Ben Affleck starred flick shows that not everything is what it seems and that there are secrets embedded on every page in life. Warning, there are some uncomfortable scenes, but it is definitely worth checking out. One last note, Neil Patrick Harris was phenomenal in this movie.

Tusk

Tusk – Review

Kevin Smith finally produced another film, and it was a bit odd. Tusk, the satirical horror comedy drew my attention after the seeing the trailer. The film introduces Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment (Yes, he’s still alive[Sixth Sense joke]) as podcasters who make fun of people in viral video fails. Justin Long’s character goes to Canada to interview the recent viral failure but plans change shortly after he lands. Anyways, Long visits a guy who has an obsession with Walruses but hates the Beatles. Don’t want to give away too much but this film is for people who love seeing B-Films and laughing at things that are not normally funny. Go see it to help Kevin Smith fund Clerks III, which is already set for production.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy – Review

Not enough can be said about Guardians of the Galaxy. The Sci-Fi epic featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and plenty of other noteworthy stars blew our expectations away. Sky rocketing into epic lore, Guardians of the Galaxy beat out low predictions and showed the universe that there are more heroes in the Marvel Universe. This film includes action, comedy, drama, romance, suspense and pretty kicked every other film’s ass of 2014. Unfortunately, no respect will come from the Academy for this space opera. Even though, Chris Pratt deserves tons of recognition for this flick. Go see this movie, not once, not twice, not three times, maybe four times, and stay for the post credits scene.