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Entries in Hugh Jackman (62)


Remembering X-Men (2000)

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? 


Hugh Jackman, Always a Good (Tuneful) Sport

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.



Yes, No, Maybe So: "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

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...

Click to read more ...


Late Night Link

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.




Cate's Campaign, Jackman's Pipes, Thor's Hammer, Katniss' Ride

Today's Linkage
a mix of things we haven't found time to talk about and things slightly more hot off the presses

Harpers Bazaar Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen talk Blue Jasmine and more. (The untold backstory of this cover story is 'how the hell did Cate rope Woody along for her Oscar campaign. He doesn't do that!)
In Contention revisits the complicated journey of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Claire Danes in Interview all the headlines are like "Claire Danes goes topless"... which basically means she crosses her arms over her boobs. But glammy photos for the win

Yahoo Movies Hugh Jackman casually name drops new musicals he might do! I just about died reading "Drowsy Chaperone"... love that one so much (although it's very much a stage piece so who knows how it might transfer)
Playlist the first still from Mojave with Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund
The Dissolve explains why a Hunger Games theme park is a REALLY bad idea. You'd think corporate America wouldn't need this explained to them but you'd be wrong. 

While we're on the topic of Hunger Games: Catching Fire (upon us at any moment, gird your loins) I'm sure you've already formed an opinion of Jennifer Lawrence's new haircut without me. Finally she looks old enough to play most of the roles Hollywood's been using her for!  

Gotham Audience Award I was disappointed that my Short Term 12 didn't make it but go and vote on your favorite finalist. 
Happy Nice Time People sums up our feelings about Carrie Underwood's televised Sound of Music nicely
PopWatch Alanis Morrissette jukebox "Jagged Little Pill" musical? Sure, why not. Everybody else is getting them 
Grantland with another take on that Alanis Morrissette musical

and just for exit giggles two favorite Thor related tweets today 





Vintage 1968: Ten Most Awesome People (And Other Lists)

Each month's Supporting Actress Smackdown inspires us to go back to the year in question for a little context. When the movies of 1968 were playing in theaters, making their case for Oscar glory the following spring, the world was experiencing a time of great unrest. The Vietnam War was raging; The Prague Spring was happening; Martin Luther King Jr was killed; Racial tensions ran high in the Civil Rights fight; student protests in France raged (derailing the usual Cannes process - no Palme D'Or that year); the Zodiac killer began his murder spree; Andy Warhol was almost killed. (All of these events have received cinematic treatments over the years in films like The Dreamers, Zodiac, I Shot Andy Warhol and countless historical epics and war films.)

1968 introduced Goldie Hawn, The Big Mac, "Hey Jude" and TV's first interracial kiss 

But our focus is on the movies, so let's investigate the cinematic crop.

Best Movies According to...
Oscar: Funny Girl, The Lion in Winter, Oliver!, Rachel Rachel, and Romeo & Juliet were the Best Picture nominees but Oscar obviously also really enjoyed Star! (a flop that still managed an incredible 7 nominations), 2001: A Space Odyssey (4 nominations) and the foreign film classic The Battle of Algiers (3 nominations) which finally opened in America.
Golden Globes: Hollywood's Foreign Press Association liked Charly, The Fixer, Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Lion in Winter and a movie I've never heard of called Shoes of the Fisherman (Drama) and they also sang and laughed with Finian's Rainbow, Funny Girl, The Odd Couple, Oliver!, and Yours Mine and Ours (Comedy/Musical)

Awesome people, dance parties, and more '68 trivia after the jump

Click to read more ...


Six Notes on the Six Second "X-Men" Tease

I don't want to give too much attention to a six second tease of a teaser -- I waited a whole day in fact hoping the urge to say something would pass -- but in the end my childhood hardwiring triumphed. I haven't loved or even much liked an X-Movie in 10 years but I will always love the X-Men, for better or worse. Usually worse. 

So herewith a few thoughts with screencaps from Bryan Singer's tweeting foreplay.

It's a good thing this is a period piece because Professor Xavier's helmet Cerebro is totally irrelevant today. You don't need a mutant locator anymore. The Homo Superior are impossible to miss all smeared across every movie screen and television set and website. Children of the Atom be so ubiquitous in this age of superheroes.

Unfortunately I'm not done blabbering about this yet!

Click to read more ...