So I thought it might be fun to post my own personal movie reviews as I begin the 2017 viewing season. We go many Tuesdays and so I end up seeing quite a few. I won’t review all of them and who knows maybe no one will really be interested, but anyway.
I’m going to start with two I’ve seen recently.
And warning warning warning: SPOILERS AHEAD (read at your own risk)
I went into this with not many expectations. I’d heard an interview with Jordan Peele who created and directed it. I’ve like his comedy work but this promised to be a little different and based on that interview I expected it to be more like a horror film.
I ended up being pleasantly surprised it was more like a dark thriller than like a gory horror flick. I thought he had a great way of getting you to instantly like the characters he wanted you to like and sympathesize with.
The opening scene is an African American man attempting to find the house of his girlfriend’s parents in a quiet suburb. He’s on the phone and clearly feels uncomfortable with where he is. Even though you only get his dialogue at this point you like this guy already and then bam this car pulls up and starts acting weird and as he realizes he’s in trouble, you know it too.
The main character, Chris, is another African American man who is about to go away for the weekend to meet his white girlfriend’s parents. You like him instantly (he has a dog after all) and you like his friend who works for the TSA who is also taking care of Chris’ dog while he is away for the weekend. The girlfriend, Rose, seems pretty cool too.
She drives them down to see her parents assuring him that her parents are not racist. They don’t appear to be when you meet them but they are vaguely strange and Chris recognizes that instantly as well. They also have a black maid and a black groundskeeper who both behave oddly and rather like zombies. Her father is a neurologist and her mother a psychiatrist. When they find out Chris smokes they attempt to talk him into undergoing hypnosis to change the habit but he politely declines.
Eventually he meets her brother too who is also vaguely off but Chris endures things pretty well. They inform Chris and Rose that an annual party is that weekend too so Chris knows he is going to be forced to meet even more people.
Anyway, as the film progresses you realize this family is even more off than you initially thought and Chris is basically hypnotized against his will. He speaks of this and his doubts to Rose and she admits to him that she may have been wrong about her family and she apologizes.
The party happens and Chris meets a lot of really strange white people and one African American who is probably in his late twenties but is married to a white woman probably in her sixties. Chris realizes this is odd to say the least. And the guy acts really weird and also has the same sort of zombie qualities the maid and groundskeeper have. But when Chris flashes a camera in his face, this dude freaks out and yells, Get Out.
Eventually it is discovered by Chris that the family, through the help of Rose, abducts young black people to use for their bodies. The father puts the brains of dying white friends and family who have bid on the abducted into the fresh, healthy bodies. It’s bizarre and twisted and works really well, actually. Chris is their latest victim, though he didn’t realize it at first.
You root for him to get away from this freak show and eventually with the help of his very funny best friend, the TSA agent, he does.
Up front I will say I was not a fan of X-Men Origins: Wolverine or of The Wolverine. I did really like Logan in the first X-Men movies as well as in X-Men: First Class and as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past.
In this one we find Logan to be an older character who is disillusioned and drinks too much. There also appears to be something quite wrong with him because he doesn’t heal like he used to. He’s been working as a chauffeur in a limo to make money and he lives in Mexico with an albino mutant named Caliban and Charles Xavier, who is very old now.
Charles has mental issues and Logan has to keep him constantly drugged because of his powerful mind. If he doesn’t take his drugs, he has seizures and all hell breaks loose. It seems clear from the implications that this has happened with Charles before and this is why Logan now keeps him in a bunker in Mexico. His plan is to one day buy a boat for he and Charles to live on in the middle of the ocean, presumably so they can not hurt anyone.
He runs into a woman who desperately begs for his help but he initially rejects her. Eventually she tracks him down and tells him about a little girl named Laura. The woman eventually is killed by the bad guys and Logan and Charles are left trying to keep Laura safe from them. It is learned that she was created by evil scientists who created children from Mexican women and mutant DNA. Laura is actually Logan’s daughter as he was used for her.
My main objection was, as I said before, too many action scenes. I know it is an action movie but they began to become tedious. This was actually one of my complaints about the previous Wolverine movies. I also think it went on about 30 minutes longer than it needed to.
But as I have thought about it one of my main things was that I think there was a major plot that was rather not in character with Charles Xavier as I saw him in the previous movies.
The three main characters are on the run from these absolutely dreadful bad guys. The bad guys have found them time and time again and have shown they are capable of hurting anyone that gets in their way.
They run across this nice little family that have a farm and horses through a near accident with the horses on the highway. They end up helping the family get their horses together. The wife offers to cook them a meal for their trouble and Logan, rightly, immediately says no. Charles, however, insists on going to their house AND accepts their invitation to stay the night. Charles, basically, knowingly puts this innocent family into harm’s way and of course they end up butchered by the bad guys, and I just don’t believe the character I have seen would have done that. Charles knew the dangers they were facing and basically sacrificed this family for his own selfish needs. I did not dig that at all.
So obviously, these are only my opinions. Most people have liked Logan and I did like it better than the other Wolverine offerings just not enough for me to personally recommend it.