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Review: Logan

loganDafne Keen.  Remember that name, because she’s a talented young actress in a movie filled with every aspect of the emotional spectrum.  I’m going to review Logan in my typical breakdown, so if you don’t want spoilers, then skip down to the final paragraph for my rating.  Otherwise, stick around for my character break down and feel free to share your thoughts on the film.

James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine – Hugh Jackman gave us what we wanted.  He may not have always had the best material with which to work, but the man cared about what he did.  His portrayal of the character in this movie is the best out of them all.  The dynamic of his healing factor being practically gone made him very vulnerable.  Combine that with his care free attitude, and you’ve got a grumpy old man who is being poisoned by his own adamantium.  I must say that I’m happy he perished in the end.  I don’t want to see anyone take up the mantle of wolverine for a very long time after this (UNLESS it’s X-23).  We will get to that in a moment.

Professor Charles Xavier – As with Hugh, Patrick Stewart always shined in his role as the psychic mutant, but in this movie we are given another shift in the standard.  He’s got borderline alzheimers, and needs caring for.  I love that they addressed this disease in a mutant.  Imagine if in real life, one had his abilities and had no idea what they were doing with them.  There was a brief mention that he was the one responsible for the X-Men dying.  I’d have loved to have gotten a little more explanation on that, but I think it would have been unnecessary in the long run.  I was surprised he died the way that he did, which is a good thing.  It happened at a moment that was him confessing his own guilt.  What a perfect way to go (not in the manner that he died, but the fact that he’d gotten it all off his chest.

Zander Rice – Although a small role, it suited its purpose.  This was more about the characters, than the actual story, so he didn’t need to be doing more than he was.  We got his back story, and a nice tie in to the original weapon X program that his father ran.  In a way they respected all of the previous movies to an extent, despite the timeline being reset.  It shows that some of those original events may have happened the same or slightly different.

Donald Pierce and the Reavers – I was really hoping for Omega Red, a return of Lady Deathstrike, or Sabertooth as the villain.  When I heard the reavers were the antagonists, I shook my head and thought it was going to be a failure.  I am SO glad I was wrong.  They managed to make decent villains that matched the tone of this film in a way that was akin to Mad Max.  It worked really well.

Caliban – I loved Stephen Merchant in this role.  I don’t know why they recast him since Apocalypse, but he looked very similar, and for anyone not paying attention I’m sure they didn’t notice.  He played the part better than his predecessor, but I wish we’d have gotten a mention of his younger years in that way.  We were also presented with Zander Rice saying to gather the body, when Caliban sacrificed himself.  It set up 2 possible scenarios.  1) Caliban could be cloned and come back as a more deformed version (like in the comics) or 2) in the original Days of Future past storyline (in the comics) they used mutant hound trackers to locate the mutants.  This would make sense, as the anti-mutant sentiment was strong in this film.

Laura/X-23 – Remember that name I mentioned, Dafne Keen?  Well she played this part so well, that I think we can have a very VERY good version of wolverine from here on out.  In the comics, she’s the current Wolverine after the death of her father.  They’ve set it up, so I think she’d be perfect in all future incarnations.  I’d love to see her as part of the X-Force movie.  She did an outstanding job with her rage, caring, and rebellious nature, but when she was crying, “Daddy,” at the end I lost it.  I never cry in movies, and I could feel the tears trickling.  Excellent job, little lady.

Rictor and the New Mutants – Who were the new mutants?  Who knows, but the presence of Rictor could mean an X-Factor reference or set up.  While I’ve no real care for these characters in the comics, it’s nice to have this sort of nod in the movies, and despite James Mangold constantly saying this is a stand alone movie, the references to the greater universe seem to be abundant.  The use of the children here wasn’t overwhelming, but a decent nod to what’s possibly to come.  Could they be X-Factor like I said, or maybe recruits for Cable, or even a set up to what eventually could be an X-Men 2099?  Like I said, these don’t need to be all made into movies, but it’s fun for continuity and discussion sake.

X-24 – Here’s what I feel was a low point at first, but then my mind changed.  Hugh Jackman is basically younger here and more primal.  He’s even got a haircut and style to match what Sabretooth had in the first Wolverine movie.  Why then wasn’t Sabretooth used?  We never got a final showdown between the two.  It would have worked just as well as X-24.  Hell he could even have gotten his wish and become X-24 with Adamantium skeleton.  (Remember that is what he wanted originally).  So I complain about this, but then think to my childhood and how there was once a character named “Albert.”  Albert was a robot created by the Reavers that looked like Wolverine.  His storyline also involved a little girl that Logan had to take care of.  Okay, it got way more complicated than that, but I feel like this is not a coincidence.  I believe they used this angle to replace the elements they couldn’t use from the original Old Man Logan storyline.

Enough rambling from me.  Here are my final thoughts for potential on what this movie COULD mean for the X universe.  Here’s my speculation:  GAMBIT is in the works.  Where he falls into this all remains to be seen, but he could be a good element to X-Force since Archangel was killed off in Apocalypse.  Now that Wolverine is dead, perhaps the film could see this lineup: Cable, Deadpool, Domino, X-23, and Gambit… NEW MUTANTS is in the works as well.  Maybe this will center around the new team of kids, but who would lead them?  Again, there’s no telling, but if James McAvoy’s run ends then we could see Cyclops, Jean, and Storm leading the new team.  I realize there is a time problem here, but when hasn’t there been in these movies, and with Cable involved this is all possible.

In conclusion: Logan was a film made for comic book fans, and movie goers.  It reminded me of an old western with comic elements.  It was a roller coaster of emotion that didn’t disappoint.  There will be bigger nerds than me complaining about certain little things, but who cares?  This was the best interpretation of Wolverine yet.  Stewart and Jackman played the roles better than they ever have, and Keen showed talent rare for even veteran actors.  She’s a natural.  I’ll give the movie 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.  What did you think?  How would you rate it?  Comment below.

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Review: X-Men Days Of Future Past

X-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_posterFox studios has just released its seventh movie in the massively popular X-Men franchise, and it looks to be another hit based on ticket sales.  One of the biggest complaints by comic book fans about Fox’s version of the X-Men is that it strays too far from the comics and there are so many continuity issues.  I’m tired of going to blogs and hearing someone say “Marvel needs the rights to X-Men back”.  I’m telling you right now, that while I want to see X-men with Marvel characters on screen, if they do this it wouldn’t be a good thing at this time.  Why?  Because everyone who isn’t a comic fan knows what the movies have brought to our eye.  Don’t forget that Bryan Singer brought us X-Men and X2: X-Men United at a time where comic book movies were just becoming popular.  X-2 is one of the BEST of the whole franchise.

Then X-Men The Last Stand came along.  I enjoyed that movie for its high points, but I do acknowledge its flaws.  Of course at the end of that movie, the only confirmed “Death” was that of Jean Grey.  We never saw Cyclops’ body, and his glasses were left floating in the air.  To me, this always meant that she never killed him.  Everyone got their powers back that lost them, and Professor X transferred his mind to a new body.

Of course, this was followed by the X-Men Origins Wolverine.  Again, there were parts that were strong, but what they did with all these characters left a bad taste in most people’s mouths.  X-Men First Class and The Wolverine finally came about and reinstilled energy in the franchise.  It gave faith back to those who had lost it, except for the whiny die hard X-Men comic fans who can’t imagine that the movies won’t be EXACTLY what they read in the pages.  Those are the same people who claim that the Avengers is a perfect comic movie, and yet don’t realize that most of what Marvel has put on the screen has strayed from core source material.

I’m one of those fans who is a comic fan AND a movie lover.  I go into these with a very open mind, and yes I get upset when I see certain things that don’t do justice.  When I saw some of the trailers for Days Of Future Past I shook my head.  Then I started hearing talk about it and became enraged.  “Why would they do this and ruin it more?”  I learned my lesson however to NEVER assume anything from a trailer.  Everything this movie presented corrected most of what people whined about, while creating another flaw that is gladly accepted over the appaling other ones that were there and are now gone.  From here on out in this review there will be MAJOR SPOILERS.  I’m also going to speculate where this will take the franchise.  If you want to know my review, scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating.

The future we are given to kick off the movie is dismal and dark.  We are shown over and over how deadly the sentinels are, and presented with some moderately graphic death scenes.  It is everything that I pictured the future to be in this story.  Then we go to the past, which picks up a few years after the First Class movie.  It’s the 1970s, and the X-Men aren’t even together anymore.  Two different periods of time, and both very effective.  Let’s check out the characters involved.

Wolverine/Logan:  One flaw I found with Wolverine is that they don’t explain how, after the events of The Wolverine, that he has metal on his claws again.  We can only assume from a comment made by a young Magneto, that the older Magneto put the metal back.  It makes sense and probably would have confused anyone that didn’t see The Wolverine as to why they just let this go.  It’s implied, but not flat out explained.  Regardless, Hugh Jackman continues to own this role.  He’s at his largest in body size, and you can tell he genuinely cares about the role.  Whether talking about the old Logan or the pre-Weapon X young counterpart, Wolverine is cleverly used here.  In his future version we see yellow and blue in his “costume” as a little nod to his classic comic book outfit.  Another Easter egg thrown in was when Magneto impales him with the rebar and bends it around his body.  This closely resembles the scene in the comics when Magneto stripped the adamantium from Logan’s bones.  My only issue with Logan here is that he is pulled out of the water after what is obviously a few hours at minimum, and he suddenly just starts coughing the water from his lungs.  Does his healing factor just do that?  Every few minutes the lungs try to work?  If so, then that could be an eternally painful death for Wolverine were that the case.  I don’t know what it is, but it is a scary thought.

Professor Xavier:  Patrick Stewart’s portrayal in the future is classic.  He’s always done well in this role, and I loved that he had a hover chair as well.  James McAvoy not only could pass off looking like a younger Patrick Stewart, but he equally owns the part.  I was kind of turned off at first by the self pity he was wallowing in, and the fact that Hank made a drug to help him to walk might explain how Xavier could walk in his brief cameo at the end of Origins Wolverine.  Then again, because his face was so badly CGIed in Origins, perhaps it was supposed to be a projected image of himself just like he did with Mystique in the airport.  DOFP was more of an established origin for Professor X than first class was because he also accepts that he will become the man he was meant to be.

Magneto / Erik Lensherr: Ian McKellen had little screen time in the future, but like everyone I felt he was utilized well.  If he had a little more dialogue I’d have been happier, but maybe less is more, and they sent him off well.  Michael Fassbender easily became the villain in this more than almost the sentinels.  I liked the nod to him being Quicksilver’s father, and the plastic prison that will again become a part of X2.  I am wondering how far magnetism can go however.  Does he have an engineering background where he suddenly knows how to control robots?  I can see him gaining control of the sentinels (he did often in the comics), but he sort of just let’s them loose on the “mutants”.  He’s a mutant too, so why wouldn’t it just attack him?  I also thought it was flawed that he was just able to leave at the end.  Xavier should have stopped him.  Wouldn’t the government people who watched Mystique stand up against him suddenly believe that they helped him escape if he could have been stopped?  Or did Xavier place a thought in their minds?

Raven Darkholme / Mystique: Jennifer Lawrence is a MUCH better Mystique than her predecessor, and she looks equally as menacing.  The fight choreography of the character and her becoming the unpredictable “hero” really had me smile.  I was glad that they did what they did with her.  My question is this…. does her appearance as Stryker at the end mean that she killed him?  I have a theory about this that I’ll mention in my speculation at the end.

Storm: Of all the characters in the X movies, Halle Berry was never one of my favorite choices to play a role.  Storm was sent off well here as well.  She didn’t need much dialogue.  They gave her shorter hair (a mowhawk would have been a good nod, but what she had was nice).  Her taking out the Sentinel carriers the way that she did showed how powerful she really can be, and her impalement by the sentinel’s spear hand was a relief.  My favorite part is that Logan flat out tells a younger Xavier to remember Storm and seek her out along with Scott and Jean.  That means most likely a recast as younger versions in the next movie.

Rogue, Cyclops, & Jean Grey: Their cameos as well as Kelsey Grammar as Beast was a great way to acknowledge all of the past mistakes.  It means that them being there confirms that the everything is open for the future.  Origins Wolverine, X-men, X2, The Last Stand, & The Wolverine will no longer happen.  They can literally do anything with a younger cast and the results of this movie give us a fresh beginning, only keeping First Class & DOFP (the past elements) as something that is continuity.

Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat: Ellen Page had a minor, but significant role.  Her time phasing powers are not part of the comics, but being as she was the one to go back in time in the comics instead of Logan, I felt this was a good way to include her in the whole segment.  There was no other way to do this because of all of the prior continuity errors, and adding a mental time phase to her existing phase powers felt naturally logical.  I also liked the slight nod at the end to her and Colossus’ relationship from the comics.

Hank McCoy / Beast:  One of my issues before seeing this movie was hearing that Hank would be very “Hulk” like and only turn to beast when he became angry.  The way they explain it is redeemable though.  He created a serum to give him the appearance, but he obviously will embrace his inner beast as Grammar is in full Beast makeup at the end.  It’s a good tool to use, but I hope they get rid of this for the next movie.

Bolivar Trask: Bryan Singer explained that this is not Trask from X2.  So who is Trask from X2?  Is he Peter Dinklage’s son?  Doubtful.  I guess he is just another Trask.  Aside from this continuity issue, Trask was perfect.  His purpose and usage was not over or underdone.  The slight change from the comics is that the future is caused by Senator Kelly’s assassination.  In this case, they had to change it to Bolivar Trask because Kelly was already established in X-1, and there couldn’t have been a better substitute for character swaps.

William Stryker:  He is only a major in military rank in this one, and there IS a continuity flaw with him.  In Origins Wolverine, Stryker and Logan met during Vietnam.  Here it is a few years later and it doesn’t seem like he knows him at all when he sees him.  The mention of his son Jason was nice (Jason Stryker was the mutant “Mastermind” in X2 who cast illusions into Xavier’s mind).  His purpose could have been filled by any other military character.  Why they chose to throw him in and cause another continuity issue is beyond me, but at this point I’ll bet they were just trigger happy with the cameos.  I really wish they hadn’t used him.

Quicksilver / Pietro “Peter” Maximoff: Nightcrawler was my favorite in an X-film so far, but Quicksilver has replaced him.  At first I hated the costume he wore from the ads, but now it makes sense after seeing it.  His main scene was so beautifully executed and the nod to him being Magneto’s son was awesome too.  As much faith as I have in Marvel for cinematic excellence, I don’t know how their Quicksilver will top this one.  I can’t wait to see more of him in Apocalypse.

Cameo X-Men: While most of these had no or little dialogue, they were all utilized well.  Bishop was awesome!  Colossus finally got some epic battle time.  Blink’s powers looked awesome, so much so that I made sure I wasn’t blinking so I could fully capture what was going on.  Sunspot and Warpath were nice additions, though were of very little use.  The same could almost be said about Iceman, but we finally got to see his ice slide move, which gave plenty of chills I’m sure.  Havok, Toad, Ink, & Spyke had a fun little scene and I wonder where they will be headed off to.

Mystery mutants:  If anyone knows who the white haired guy was at the beginning, who found the X symbol and then was killed, please let me know.  I assumed this was a young Cable, but it could have just been a generic mutant.  Also, Bryan singer confirmed that the little sister with Pietro was NOT his twin, Scarlet Witch.  But if not her, then perhaps it was younger sister, Lorna Dane?  I know that might be a stretch, but it is the movies, and since Polaris (Lorna Dane) is also the daughter of Magneto, maybe they planned that.

Sentinels: This was just plain awesome.  The Sentinels in the 1970s reminded me of watching the old cartoon from the 90s.  They were fun to watch destroy and I waited for the “Surrender Mutant” line of dialogue somewhere, but it never happened.  In the future, the Nimrod sentinels were downright terrifying.  Just plain amazing!

The Chris Clairmont (He wrote DOFP storyline in the comics) cameo, and mentions of other characters here and there were fun easter eggs for any comic book fan, but my favorite was En Sabah Nur.  I have wanted to see Apocalypse as a villain since Xmen 1.  Now we are getting him.  His post credits scene had my jaw dropping, and I noticed that his 4 horsemen were sitting in the background while the young mutant pharaoh built the pyramids.  I cannot wait til Apocalypse.

My only real regret with this movie is that they killed Azazel and White Queen.  The problem isn’t with Azazel, because he could have impregnated Mystique somewhere along the way and still had Nightcrawler.  The issue is with Emma.  With her dead, there is no way she’d ever be a part of the X-Men later down the line.  It’s nothing that will make me lose sleep, but they could have thought of another way.

Now that I’ve exhausted my opinions of the characters and plots, I want to speculate on where this could all lead based on what we know as fact from where we stand at the end of Days of Future past.  X-Men Apocalypse will have Xavier’s new recruits taking on Apocalypse and his horsemen.  Who will be with Xavier?  They set it up for a young Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey to accompany Professor X and Beast.  It is also confirmed that Quicksilver and maybe Scarlet Witch will play a role somehow, in addition to Gambit, played by Channing Tatum.  We also know that it takes  place in the 1980s.  Who will the horsemen be?  Here’s my theory… I think Mystique killed Stryker and rescued Logan from the water.  Why?  She is working for Apocalypse who has been watching from the sidelines.  Wolverine will get metal back on his bones, but not from Weapon X now… instead he will become the Horseman of death.  There was a brief stint in the comics where this happened.  Making Logan a bad guy would be so smart because it will really put the team to the test, and he finally won’t be a hero.  Wolverine, Mystique and two others as horsemen (sorry, no archangel, because he’d be too young in the 80s).  I also believe that Nathanial Essex would be a servant to Apocalypse, setting up the next movie where he could be Mr. Sinister and take young cyke and jean.

Wolverine 3: With no weapon X program, he’d probably (after being released from Apocalypse’s control) join up with Alpha Flight.  They could take on Omega Red and have Sabretooth return to turn against his “brother”, Jimmy (Wolverine’s birth name).

Deadpool: MAKE THIS MOVIE RATED “R” and Give Ryan Reynolds the chance to show what he has as this character.

Sorry for such a lengthy review.  I’m sure I even missed stuff, but there was just so much scale to this movie.  After just over 2 hours, I felt I could have watched another 2 hours and not gotten tired.  This was non-stop action and suspense from the beginning until the end, and executed really well.  While fixing a plethora of mistakes, they created only 2 real flaws, and neither of them matter.  I have to rate this at a 9 out of 10 sCrypt coffins.  What did you think of the movie? Did I leave something out?  Where do you see it going from here?  Fox has earned the rights to use these characters and I am not disappointed by the scope of what they’ve accomplished.  Well done, Singer and crew.

 


Comic Book Deaths of 2012

ripAt the end of every year, the media plays a montage of famous people who have died that year.  I decided to put together a little list of characters in comics that died this year.  Of course, with comic books, characters often never stay dead, but they still deserve mention.  Unless of course it is sCrypt Comics, because whoever we kill STAYS Dead… 🙂  Here is the list.  If you have any others that you can think of, please list them below.  (information aqcuired through wikipedia)

In DC Comics:

Boodikka was killed by the corrupted Alpha Lantern, Varix, in Green Lantern Corps Vol 3 #12

In Marvel Comics:

Black Talon was shot in the chest by The Punisher in The Punisher vol 8 #11

Daken was killed by his father, Wolverine, in Uncanny X-Force #34

Death Adder had his neck broken by Venom in Venom Vol 2 #20

Demolition Man was killed by a brainwashed Sharon Carter in Captain America vol 6 #14

Echo was killed by Count Nefaria in Moon Knight vol 4 #9

Fantomex had his heart ripped out by Skinless Man in Uncanny X-Force #27

Gateway had his neck broken by Ultimaton in Uncanny X-Force #27

Hybrid was shot by Eddie Brock in Venom vol 2 #15

Mandarin was killed by Zeke Stane in Invincible Ironman #526

Master Of The World had been killed by Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight vol 4 #8

Megatak was killed by Toxin in Venom vol 2 #21

Professor X was killed by a Phoenix Force possessed Cyclops in Avengers vs Xmen #11

Scream was stabbed in the head by Eddie Brock in Venom vol 2 #15

Ultimate William Stryker was killed when Kitty Pryde phased through his organs in Ultimate Comics X-Men #6

In the sCrypt Comics Universe (includes the novels):

S.H.A.N.E. 2.0 had his body destroyed in Souls 4 Supper the novel

Fox, Liz Powers, & Snake were all killed by terrorists in Souls 4 Supper the novel

Detective Hwong committed suicide in Souls 4 Supper the novel

The Lycan Queen was killed in an alternate future story called “What If…” in Bones At Breakfast: In Case Of Werewolf

Hector Alvarez died of starvation in the short story “Salty Dog” in Bones At Breakfast: In Case Of Werewolf

Pandora, Gilgamesh, Simeon and Miriam had their souls devoured by Cain in Souls 4 Supper the novel

Djinn was crushed out of existence in Souls 4 Supper the novel

Zed was destroyed by a house fire in Souls 4 Supper the novel


Splitting Arrows

Here is our first match up with iconic characters.  Marvel Comics gives us Hawkeye (pictured left), while DC comics presents Green Arrow (pictured right).  sCrypt Comics also sent Agent Fox into this battle, but since he does not yet exist in comic book form (only in the novels), no picture exists for him.  Here is the break down:

Clint Barton (Hawkeye) lost his parents at a young age.  Raised by circus folk, he quickly became known by his hero name and was taught by the Swordsman to wield a bow.  He entertained for years with his archery and throwing skills until one day when he saw his mentor stealing.  Realizing that this was not what he wanted, Hawkeye went out on his own and eventually became one of the Avengers.  With new resources, he began creating various types of arrows.  His first appearance was Tales Of Suspense #57 in 1964.  His weakness in this battle would be that his temper sometimes gets the better of him.  This could cause him to make decisions without thinking them through.  He also does not have the wealth that his opponent has, meaning he could run out of weapons quicker.

Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) was shipwrecked on an island and had to learn how to fire a bow to hunt for survival.  During his time on this island, he excelled in his abilities as a marksman.  Once he managed to escape the months of solitude, he returned to his family’s empire.  As a Billionaire, he was able to build an arsenal of different type arrows and bows.  Missing the adventure of his island time, he donned the name Green Arrow and began his one man war on crime.  Eventually he became a member of the Justice League, and has proved his worth time and again.  First appearance was in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.  His weakness in this battle would be that he is not as trained in hand to hand combat as his opponent.  If they were to run out of ammunition, his combat skills would be lacking.  Also, he has the tendency to party it up.  A hangover would not be a good thing to have in a one on one duel with someone of equal stature.

sCrypt Comics will now throw another arrow into the works.  Agent Fox is a man who has had many years of field experience in the Army Special Forces.  He is an expert marksman with duel wielding weapons and knives.  As a young boy, he learned from his military father about firearms and archery.  His experience made him one of the elite, and once he retired from service in his forties, he was recruited into M.U.T.S. (Military Underground Tactical Specialists).  With his new unit, he has continued to survive the impossible.  First appearance was in Flesh And Leftovers (The Novel).  Weakness in this battle would be that he does not have specialty arrows.  Most of his weapons are duel wieldable and would have to be reloaded in a longer period of time.  He also smokes, and in a battle such as this, it could limit his stamina.

Please vote below for who you believe would win, and feel free to comment as to why.  When the results are revealed an explanation will be given as to who the victor is and why.  Have fun!