Tagged: Stephen Merchant

Summary: In a future where mutants are nearly extinct, an elderly and weary Logan leads a quiet life. But when Laura, a mutant child pursued by scientists, comes to him for help, he must get her to safety.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd March 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: 7th June 2017

Country: United States

Director: James Mangold

Screenwriter: Scott Frank, Michael Green, James Mangold, John Ramita Sr. (characters), Ray Thomas (characters), Herb Trimpe (characters), Len Wein (characters), Steven McNiven (novel), Mark Millar (novel)

Cast: Daniel Bernhardt (Bone Breaker), Ashlyn Casalegno (Charlotte), Salif Celiz (Jonah), Stephen Dunlevy (Macon), Alison Fernandez (Delilah), Quincy Fouse (Nate Munson), Rey Gallegos (Rey), Jason Genao (Rictor), Richard E. Grant (Dr. Rice), Boyd Holbrook (Pierce), Hugh Jackman (Logan/X-24), David Kallaway (Rhodes), Dafne Keen (Laura), Eriq La Selle (Will Munson), Lennie Loftin (Jackson), Parker Lovein (Lizard Boy), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Doris Morgado (Maria), Elise Neal (Kathryn Munson), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), Krystof Soszynski (Mohawk), Patrick Stewart (Charles), Ryan Sturz (Pretty Boy), Bryant Tardy (Bobby), Hannah Westerfield (Rebecca)

Running Time: 137 mins

Classification: R

 

OUR LOGAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths’s Logan Review:

Sometimes the worst thing a film lover can do is believe the hype surrounding a film before it arrives in cinemas. In the months leading up to Logan we had heard that it was stand-alone Wolverine film different to any other X-Men movie, it would be R-Rated and aimed for adults and then just to make sure that our excitement levels were at their peak the rumours started coming out of the States was that Logan was going to be the best comic book movie since The Dark Knight. Then of course came the trailer which made the film appear like it was going to have amazing similarities to The Wrestler. All of the things that I was expecting from the pre-hype went out the window just twenty minutes into the film though.

Set in the not too distant future the film finds Logan (Hugh Jackman – Eddie The Eagle) hiding just over the Mexican border. All of the other mutants are now gone – dead – and Logan is left hiding out with Caliban (Stephen MerchantThe Office) while he looks after an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart – Star Trek: Next Generation) who is suffering from dementia. Logan is a mess himself – unshaven, alcoholic and making ends meet by doing a mundane job as a chauffer.

Logan’s life is turned around though when a distraught woman, Gabriela (Elizabeth RodriguezOrange Is The New Black), turns to him saying that a young girl, Laura (Dafne Keen – The Refugees), needs his help. He refuses to but that all that changes when Pierce (Boyd Holbrook – Gone Girl) shows up trying to hunt down Laura.

The premise was there to set up an almost post-apocalyptic Wolverine film, and if the film had kept to the tone of the trailer it would have done just that, but instead director James Mangold (The Wolverine) falls into the same traps that a lot of the early X-Men movies did. In fact perhaps the most frustrating part of Logan is the screenplay. At times the film threatens to become something brilliant but then it is let down by some really lazy writing. Like so often in the Marvel universe the ‘bad guys’ are walking clichés, so much so that Boyd Holbrook is wasted playing a character that pretty much has zero characterisation. Then there are simple frustrating things like those same one-dimensional baddies pulling out ‘secret weapons’ that are never referenced to earlier. They also seem dumb enough to keep trying the same tricks to bring down Logan, normally running at him and firing wildly, despite the fact he has already created a body count mowing down the last twenty or so guys that have tried the same tactic. Then there are things such as Logan and Xavier stupidly putting innocent people in danger when they should be able to predict what is going to happen and mutants seemingly forgetting their special abilities and choosing to run from those who are pursuing them. Perhaps the biggest shock though is the screenplay treating one of the franchise’s most loved characters in a really disrespectful way that is sure to infuriate those who have grown up with the franchise.

It really does feel weird that Mangold didn’t have a better handle on the subjects at hand. The director of a film like Girl, Interrupted should have had a better grasp on how to handle Xavier’s mental decay while films like Walk The Line and 3:10 To Yuma should have a better handle on dramatic storylines that serve their characters better. Mangold is normally a good director but here he seems to too easily fall into some of the traps that Bryan Singer fell into early on in the franchise.

The shame here is that Mangold wastes the skills of two men that turned up on their set with their A-Game ready to go. Patrick Stewart delivers one of the performances of his career as he plays Charles as a man that is not only struggling with his memory but also struggling with ghosts of the past. Likewise Jackman decides to go out with a bang.  His performance as the aged and disgruntled Logan is one of his performances in the franchise and as usual his action scenes are sublime.

Logan is one of those films that any fan of the franchise has to watch. The film is a finale to two of the actors that have made this series so special and while it is arguable that the story doesn’t do their characters justice Jackman and Stewart do both step up to plate and deliver memorable performances. It’s not very often that I like to see actors go back on their word and return to a role after a finale I would find it pretty easy to forgive these two men if a better script came along for their characters.

 

 

 

Harley Woods’s Logan Review:

Purportedly the final outing of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in this latest X-Men-related movie, Logan delivers a brutal, action-intense, highly emotional conclusion to the hugely famous hero.

The unrestrained action starts right at the beginning, setting up the nature of the feral hero we’ve all come to love. Immediately, we see a darker world at a point in the future where mutants (the next stage of human evolution) have died out and Logan is scraping by on a meager existence, all so he can save for a boat and medicine for his aged and dying friend – and former mentor – Professor Charles Xavier.

We are introduced to a hopeless world where everyone Logan has known and loved have died and he’s passing time taking care of his last surviving tie to the world before he can finally die himself; his mutant healing-factor finally losing the fight to keep his body functioning while suffering heavy-metal-poisoning due to the Adamantium bonded to his skeleton and claws many decades ago.

Hugh Jackman’s performance is gripping, firmly settling into the personality of a sick, disheartened and wold-weary Logan. Having lost everything he’s cared about, the effort to take care of Charles is taking its toll, but it’s also all he has to keep him going.

The medication Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) need to keep his seizures at bay has the side-effect of keeping him in a maddened state. Failure to keep on the medication causes his mutant powers to go into overdrive when he seizures – an event which could potentially hurt and kill anyone in his vicinity.

Patrick Stewart’s performance as an older incarnation of Professor X, struggling with his own sense of self during his failing health, is perfect as the grounding and conscience for Logan. He adds life and heart and hope where Logan only sees hopelessness and is a driving force in convincing Logan to take on a final mission – to take a young mutant girl across the border to a supposed ‘mutant Eden’.

The girl in question is Laura – AKA ‘X-23’ (the last of the purpose-bred mutant children intended to be used as weapons) – whose powers are identical to Logan’s. This turns Logan’s whole view of life and apparent disconnection on its head. Dafne Keen delivers an intense performance as the desperate young Laura who distrust all around her as she fights to survive. Her skills throughout the action sequences and her ability to hold her own alongside the incredible performances of her seasoned co-stars do her great credit. She is someone whose career will definitely be worth watching.

It was great to see a live-action version of Donald Pierce and his cybernetically-enhanced Reavers, even if a little understated. Further threat comes later in the film in the form of “X-24” – the ultimate weapon who is made interesting by the fact he has an almost familial connection to his creator, Doctor Rice (Richard E Grant), whose father was responsible for bonding the Adamantium metal to Logan’s bones many years ago (and was subsequently killed by those claws).

Based loosely on the Marvel Comics’ story “Old Man Logan”, this cinematic interpretation pares back a lot of the cameo- and continuity-laden comic and injects more X-men and Wolverine-specific elements while keeping the plot very ‘tight’ and personal for our protagonist. The great strength of this film is that it is so self-contained that it could stand quite well as a movie in its own right without ever referencing Marvel’s X-Men licences, with a quality of story and palpability of its emotional content.

The production team on all levels deserve a huge applaud for their work, succeeding raising the bar from the amazing previous instalment, The Wolverine (2013). Emotionally and physically brutal, this is a piece of drama recommended for serious film lovers; equally appealing to someone looking for a dark drama or an action film.

Having exceeded my expectations, it took a day or two of thought to figure out what didn’t sit right with me. The only criticism I have is that some elements or story elements could have been expanded further, including a little backstory on how some of the characters got to where they are, or taking a glimpse into the past at the fall of the mutants; maybe even seeing a little more of Charles in his ‘demented’ state. But, the

truth is that this would have distracted from the contained story and probably would have ruined the pace of the film. To be honest, I think I just want more of a great thing!

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Logan Review:

Being largely seen as the superhero film franchise which began the current age of comic book movies the X-Men series has seen its ups and downs over the last almost 2 decades. Sequels, Prequels, soft-reboots, spin offs and with the recent success of Deadpool it became clear there was an audience for adult themed comic-book films. Makes sense, anybody born when the series began would be almost old enough to drink now. With the release of Logan after fan disappointment some 3 or 4 years back after learning The Wolverine wouldn’t be receiving an adult rating after rumours to the contrary fans are joyous at the prospect of finally getting the adult Wolverine film they have wanted for a long time.
Logan tells the story of an aging and weary Wolverine (High Jackman) in the not too distant future. The mutants of the world are mostly dead and the x-men are a thing of the past, their former leader and powerful telepath Professor X (Patrick Stewart) suffers from the slow onset of dementia and must be cared for and kept medicated by Logan. Working as a chauffeur he is approached by a woman asking for his help in transporting herself and a young girl across the country. Initially hesitant Logan soon discovers the girl has powers similar to his own and is being pursued by dark forces. He must decide whether to continue on his current path or to protect the girl in a world where there kind seem to have no future.
Logan the film is a very different movie to the other films in the x-men franchise. Much more brooding and down to earth than previous instalments the film’s smaller scale and deeper focus on the title character allows for a fitting send off to the character of Wolverine (or at least this incarnation of it) in what is to be Hugh Jackman’s final performance in his career making role.
The film’s adult rating too allows for a degree of fan service which was lacking in the other portrayals of Wolverine on the big screen up till now. I still recall that while the family friendly film X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) is looked at as the single lowest point of the franchise, the tie-in video game which had much more bloody chaotic violent action was generally well received as what “might have been”. Logan is much more fitting with that vision of the character.
While the graphic depiction of bloody violence, though different, still ties in well with the other films I believe the liberal use of vulgar dialogue does not. It seems a bit like the writers decided “well it’s an adult film now so everyone should swear, a lot”. It makes sense for Logan to use an F-word now and then but when his use of the word gets more and more frequent it begins to feel a bit off. But when Professor X drops like 3 F-qbombs in the first scene he’s in its very jarring with how his character has always talked previous. It’s the only way I think the mature nature of the film hurts the movie.
The story of Logan and the details leading up to it feel a little underdeveloped. Right off the bat we’re told that most of the world’s mutants are dead or gone which is depressing enough considering canonically-wise the last film was about successfully preventing exactly that from happening. It’s a bit of a downer that a time travelling Wolverine in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” managed to save all mutant kind only for them to be wiped out again anyway.
However to make it worse we’re never given much of an explanation as to how things got this way outside of quite vague handwaves. This may be on purpose as to allow the filmmakers to focus on this point of the “X-Men Saga” more but the cynic in me thinks it also was to allow future films room in the timeline to breathe.
An issue I believe plagues the film is that for how much punch there is to the violence and how much more biting the course language is ironically many of the points in the film that were supposed to have punch to them I felt lacked impact. The main antagonist showing up halfway through the film and then being underdeveloped, the death of beloved characters happening off screen without explanation, even Logan’s story of redemption felt weak  with me because I feel like I’ve seen Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character go through this arc several times already. There’s only so many times I can see a disenfranchised character find a sense of belonging and family only to be reverted for the sake of doing the same thing in a sequel but no THIS time it’s different for some reason.
Logan is something very different to what we’re used to seeing in comic book movies and in X-Men movies as well. For that alone it deserve credit. It’s sad to see Hugh Jackman retiring from the character, but all good things come to an end and despite the issues I believe the film had this is still a respectable way to say farewell to the portrayal of a character many of us have grown up with.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:  

 

 

IMDB Rating: 
Logan (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Logan Reviews: N/A

 

Trailer:

The Good The Bad The Ugly

This week Dave, Nick, Adam and Greg take a look at new release films Cloud Atlas, Side Effects, I Give It A Year, Save Your Legs!, The Imposter and The Paperboy. Plus they took an in depth look at all The Oscars wrap-up and have Part 1 of their look at the 2013 Alliance French Film Festival. This episode also features interview with Zac Efron, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jude Law, Scott Burns, Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Minnie Driver, Dan Mazer, Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Jason Flemying, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, James D’Arcy, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, Lana Wachowski and the cast of Housos vs Authority.

Also make sure you listen for your chance to win a copy of ‘Storm Surfers 3D’ on Blu-Ray thanks to Madman Entertainment.

I Give It A Year Helium Review

Summary: Starting where other romantic comedies finish, I GIVE IT A YEAR charts the trials and tribulations of a rather mismatched couple navigating their first year of marriage.

Since meeting, ambitious high-flyer Nat (Rose Byrne) and struggling novelist Josh (Rafe Spall) have been deliriously happy despite their differences. Josh is a thinker, Nat’s a doer… but the spark between them is undeniable. Their wedding is a dream come true, but family and friends think they won’t make it. When Josh’s ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Faris) and Nat’s handsome new client Guy (Simon Baker) come into the picture, the situation gets a little more complicated. Neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it?

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dan Mazer

Screenwriter: Dan Mazer

Cast: Jane Asher (Diana), Simon Baker (Guy), Rose Byrne (Nat), Olivia Colman (Counsellor), Minnie Driver (Naomi), Anna Faris (Chloe), Jason Flemying (Hugh), Kerry Howard (Clare), Martin John King (Roger), Stephen Merchant (Danny), Joseph Millson (Charlie), Rafe Spall (Josh)

Runtime: 102 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘I Give It A Year’ Review: 

For some of the reason it is always the British that rise to the task of delivering a decent comedy, and this time that decent comedy is ‘I Give It A Year’… a film that may be an anti-romance film but is still a cut above most of the romantic comedies that make it to the big screen.

The film begins with the wedding of Nat (Rose Byrne – The Place Beyond The Pines, TV’S Damages) and Josh (Rafe Spall – Life Of Pi, Earthbound), a marriage that almost seems doomed from the start as the priest chokes at an important time and the reception is kind of ruined by the best man, Dan (Stephen Merchant – Movie 43, Hall Pass) whose jokes go down like a lead balloon.

Flash-forward to nine months down the track and now Nat and Josh’s marriage has already hit the skids. The pair decides to try marriage counselling, which almost seems like a mistake seeing they end up being counselled by a counsellor (Olivia Colman – Hyde Park On Hudson, TV’S Accused) so inept at her job she does more damage than good. Their marriage is then further tested when Nat’s new advertising client turns out to be charming American, Guy (Simon Baker – Margin Call, TV’S The Mentalist) while Josh seems to spend more and more time with his ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Faris – Movie 43, The Dictator).

Director/screenwriter Dan Mazer (TV’S Dog Bites Man, TV’S Da Ali G Show) does do a lot to make sure ‘I Give It A Year Works’, some of the jokes work a treat but there is still a massive flaw in this film. Like so many comedy films seem to do these days the actors have been directed to pause after they deliver a funny line, works well when the audience is laughing, but too many times in this film that pause is filled with sound of crickets and tumble weeds as the joke goes down like a lead balloon.

Still Mazer does deserve some credit for the work that he has done with ‘I Give It A Year’. Not many people like to ‘break the mould’ when making a romantic comedy and to his credit Mazer doesn’t just break it he shatters it. And while this may be considered an anti-romantic comedy it certainly won’t leave those looking for a bit of a romance in their films out in the cold… it has romance it just goes about telling the story a little differently.

‘I Give It A Year’ sees Rose Byrne once again show that she has a flair for comedy, while Rafe Spall may have been a surprising pick as a leading man but to his credit he does a great job with the material that he is given to work with. Anna Faris also shows that when given a good script she can deliver although most of the comedy points here have to go to Stephan Merchant who steals many of the scenes that he is in.

This may not be the greatest comedy of all time, but it will provide some laughs and is a lot better than many of the other trashy comedies that have surfaced recently.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘I Give It A Year′: Check Episode #22 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘I Give It A Year’. Dave Griffiths also has another review of ‘I Give It A Year’ available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:

Movie 43

Summary: Movie 43 is the outrageous new comedy from the twisted mind of Peter Farrelly and starring some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Comprised of hilarious and offensive story lines and featuring tons of familiar faces we love, Movie 43 is the first of its kind, putting each actor in crazy and unique scenarios. This isn’t spam, it’s just celebrities gone wild… or perhaps it’s just plain wrong!

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Germany

Director: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken

Screenwriter: Steve Baker, Will Carlough, Jacob Fleiser, Patrik Forsberg, Matt Portenoy, Greg Pitikin, Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Elizabeth Wight Shapiro

Cast: Maria Arce (Christine), Elizabeth Banks (Amy), Kristen Bell (Fake Supergirl), Jimmy Bennett (Nathan), Halle Berry (Emily), Leslie Bibb (Fake Wonder Woman), Kate Bosworth (Arlene), Corey Brewer (Wallace), Gerard Butler (Leprechaun 1&2), Adam Cagley (JJ), Bobby Cannavale (Fake Superman), Liz Carey (Sitara), Will Carlough (Fake Riddler), Julie Claire (Pamela), Common (Bob Mone), Alex Cranmer (Sean), Kieran Culkin (Neil), Jared Dudley (Moses), Josh Duhamel (Anson), Devin Eash (Baxter), Jay Ellis (Lucious), Julie Ann Emery (Clare), Anna Faris (Vanessa), Katie Finneran (Angie), Richard Gere (Boss), Benny Harris (Blanco The Bartender), Nate Hartley (Stevie Schrader), John Hodgman (Fake Penguin), Terrence Howard (Coach Jackson), Hugh Jackman (Davis), Roy Jenkins (Ray), Aaron Jennings (Anthony), Greg Kinnear (Griffen Schraeder), Martin Klebba (Killer Chaun), Johnny Knoxville (Pete), Ricki Noel Lander (Nurse Elizabeth), Kurt Leitner (Sespin Pratt), Beth Littleford (Mrs. Cutler), Justin Long (Fake Robin), Seth MacFarlane (himself), Annie Madigan (Anna), Aasif Mandvi (Robert), Jack McBrayer (Brian), Mike Meldman (himself), Stephen Merchant (Donald), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Mikey), Chloe Grace Moretz (Amanda), George Paez (Carlos the Waiter), Jarrod Paul (Bill), Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi (herself), Chris Pratt (Jason), Dennis Quaid (Charlie Wessler), Odessa Rae (Danita), Rocky Russo (Waiter Jake), Larry Eugene Sanders II (Bishop), Will Sasso (Jerry), Charlie Saxton (Jay), Liev Schreiber (Robert), Seann William Scott (Brian), J.B Smoove (Larry), Emma Stone (Veronica), Jason Sudeikis (Fake Batman), Uma Thurman (Fake Lois Lane), Matt Walsh (Amanda’s Dad), Patrick Warburton (Dad), Naomi Watts (Samantha), Jeremy Allen White (Kevin), Kate Winslet (Beth), Mark L. Young (Calvin)

Runtime: 94 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Movie 43’ Review: 

To read Dave’s review of ‘Movie 43’ review please check the Helium Entertainment Channel

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Movie 43′: Check Episode #19 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Movie 43’.

Rating: 0.5/5

IMDB Rating: Movie 43 (2013) on IMDb