Entries in Hugh Jackman (51)
Did you watch the Tony Awards last night? The evening began with Hugh Jackman proving his physical fitness -- his knees get such a workout -- by hopping through his entire continuous shot production number, basically a tour of the backstage and upcoming performers in costume.
That led to a night of high energy but strange and touristy musical number choices like numbers from ancient top-selling shows (Les Miz and Wicked) rather than new ones that need the sales help and non-Broadway celebrities like Sting and Jennifer Hudson taking up a lot of room to sell shows that aren't even open. It'd be a bit like the Oscars going "how about Interstellar?" while giving prizes to Gravity back in March.
Hugh Jackman also rapped with LL Cool Jr via the famously chatty opening number of "The Music Man" Hugh Jackman has now spent 14 years of his career playing Wolverine and at this point he's really wasting his life (I mean once you have 100s of millions, what's 20 million more?). He needs to commit and make only movie musicals before he's too old.
Highlights and winners of the night after the jump...
[Editor's Navel-Gazing Note: I remind all readers upfront and as apology for this extraordinarily longwinded review that the X-Men are part of Nathaniel's actual soul, having clung to them like actual friends and role models for his entire childhood and adolescence. Other comics were mere 'entertainment'. The X-Men were the loves of his young life. - Nathaniel]
The most visually intoxicating character in the latest "When Mutants Collide!" movie is Blink (Fan Bingbing). She has very little dialogue, if any, but linguistic skill is not a mutation ("Hey now...," protests Cypher, who the movies will surely continue to shun). Blink's highly effective signature move involves tossed off pink teleportation portals which she, her teammates, and their enemies jump, run, stumble, fly or are thrown through. Think of it as Nightcrawler's disorientingly rapid teleportation, if it involved all characters in a scene and could be used malevolently against some of them.
In the very exciting opening battle sequence of X-Men Days of Future Past we see this power used frequently and awesomely as she helps her teammates (Warpath, Collosus, Storm, Iceman, Sunspot and more) to surprise, fight back, and evade (for a short time at least) their attackers, an army of mutant-killing robots known as The Sentinels. But these Sentinels learn quickly, and are very good at their job: killing mutants. The tides turn and a mutant massacre begins... or does it?
It's Mutant Week! With X-Men Days of Future Past, the 4th X-Men movie upon us nearly upon us -- Yes, fourth, shut up...Last Stand and both Wolverine solo movies do not exist...lalala ♪ I can't hear you -- we should celebrate Marvel's homo superior this week, even if we have to do so by way of 20th Century Fox.
Herewith a retrofitted piece celebrating my choice for "Best Shot" from the first movie. (If you'd like to play the Best Shot game, post your choice by tomorrow night and I'll link up in the index)
In some ways the original X-Men (2000) is a tentative and mediocre movie: the budget limitations are obvious, Halle Berry is as lost as you remembered (though Storm is a strangely minor character), and the central evil plot is just dumb. But in other ways it's undervalued and not just because of the downward spiral that followed after the sequel.
X-Men makes smart choices about narrowing its focus for a first film (centering on Wolverine & Rogue) and the one character it totally reimagines -- that'd be Mystique -- is a major success.
What's more director Bryan Singer actually makes use of the widescreen in his mise-en-scène. Too few filmmakers do, just shoving everything into the center of the frame or shooting everything in relentless close-up. Even action sequences are shot with a preference for top of head and chin shaving close-ups these days but, much like musical numbers, action sequences are more memorable and coherent when they include whole bodies in the frame. And even though Singer's compositional tricks get a bit repetitive, like the recurring out of focus introduction of characters in the background, which you can see above, they're aesthetically pleasing.
X-Men was lensed by Newton Thomas Sigel, who has shot all of Singer's movies since The Usual Suspects (1995). This is my favorite shot in the film, Wolverine lost in the X-Mansion, bewildered by the new sites. He sees his reflection multiplied, across the team uniforms. Isn't it a beauty, narratively speaking? And Jackmanically speaking, too.
What are your fondest memories of the first film?
In so many ways I wish Hugh Jackman could move on from Wolverine, the role that brought him enormous fame but which he has been performing for 14 of his 15 years in motion pictures. That's longer than virtually any TV star performs their signature role. And there are more years to come with at least one more solo film booked after X-Men Days of Future Past. Think of the movie musicals and wide variety of dramas or comedies he could have done in that time!
But, that said, Hugh Jackman always finds ways to become even more loveable (a tall feat given how adorable he started out) just when you're like 'enough, already!'.
Here he is one the BBC Radio 1's ‘The Matt Edmonson Show,’ performing "Wolverine: The Musical" by mixing his two signature roles (Logan & Jean Valjean) with his best role: himself.
In my superhero clogged mind, Spider-Man 3 has remained the gold standard of a dubious honor: by the time it had arrived you could justifiably feel like you'd seen the whole movie what with the multiple trailers, numerous clips and stills and two previous features with the exact same cast. X-Men: Days of Future Past has been teasing its teases and characters and counting down to its trailer for what feels like forever but it retains at least some mystery. I hope this is our last taste before the movie opens on May 23rd. It's not likely but I can dream.
Because I am a glutton for punishment and The X-Men were a huge part of my developmental process as a human being (you don't even want to know how obsessed I was from the ages of, like, 8-18) will do like what we did with Maleficent. A Yes, No, Maybe So™ reaction to (almost) every last piece of the trailer.
Deep breath before the plunge. Okay let's go...
The Wrap the new triangular Oscar logo
French Films About Trains "Category is: 2013 Realness"
i09 Paul Rudd to play Hank Pym aka Ant Man in the future Marvel movie for Edgar Wright
Digital Spy... and Edgar Wright shares his ten favorites of 2013 (and Short Term 12 is on it so I love him even more now)
Cinema Blend Hugh Jackman to play the villain in the new Peter Pan film for Joe Wright... but he's not Captain Hook
Deep Cuts the best music scenes in movies this year
Film School Rejects 3 films getting Oscar rereleases and 3 that deserve to get the same treatment
Variety 'how American Hustle conned the critics' a scathing review of... um... either the movie or its reviews.
Vanity Fair David O. Russell's last minute decision to cast Jennifer Lawrence
Vulture Taylor Kitsch on The Normal Heart, Lone Survivor and his resistance to doing a Friday Night Lights movie
Cinema Blend Superman heirs still seeking back the rights. So much drama with superman. (Shouldn't he be in the public domain soon anyway? Damn corporate America and its perversion of copyright laws!)
National Film Registry
Finally, the Library of Congress announced the 25 new titles they're adding to their list of culturally important films. The honor is mostly symbolic since nothing actually happens to the films in question. It doesn't grant them funding for cleaning of their negatives or restoration or guarantee a Blu-Ray release or any some such but it's still a lovely tradition. Mary Poppins is included this year which only prompted "that wasn't already in there?!?" from me followed by a 'well, that's suspiciously good timing for its 50th anniversary Blu-Ray release and the Oscar campaign of Saving Mr Banks." But I love Mary Poppins (here is evidence) so i'm thrilled.
The 25 Films: Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), Brandy in the Wilderness (1969), Cicero March (1966), Daughter of Dawn (1920), Decasia (2002), Ella Cinders (1926), Forbidden Planet (1956), Gilda (1946), The Hole (1962), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), King of Jazz (1930), The Lunch Date (1989), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Martha Graham Early Dance film (1931-44), Mary Poppins (1964), Men & Dust (1940), Midnight (1939), Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Quiet Man (1952),The Right Stuff (1983), Roger & Me (1989), A Virtuous Vamp (1919), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), and Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
Which ones that you haven't seen are you most curious about? I'm thinking I should finally get around to The Quiet Man because Maureen O'Hara. And though I've seen it already I should probably revisit / write up The Right Stuff because it's so good and people just don't talk about it enough.