NEW TRAILER: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bring it.


Before you carry on, watch it again, and then look at the poster below (which is also awesome).

XMen DOFP Poster

Days of Future Past (DofP) is the next instalment of the X-Men franchise and, as you can see from the trailer, combines the casts from both the original X-Men films (1, 2, and 3) and those from the rather excellent prequel (of sorts), First Class.

If you stayed past the end credits after watching The Wolverine, you would’ve already known that something else was in the works. Well, this is it. Based on the 1980s comic book of the same name and back in the extremely capable hands of original director Bryan Singer, DofP looks set to be amazing.

I am, somewhat unsurprisingly, extremely up for this. Yes the X-Men film hit rate has been patchy, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

Oh, and don’t think that’s it after this one either. X-Men: Apocalypse (yeah, you know) is being lined up after this with the third Wolverine film to drop straight after. So that’s three X-Men universe-based films (that we know about, X-Force has been rumoured for some time too) to look forward to.

What do you think? You in or out?


Related reading: Screenrant has a great trailer breakdown.

Review: The Wolverine

SNIKT: No Spoilers.

The Wolverine

Right, let’s get one thing absolutely clear: the first solo Wolverine film, or to give it its full title: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was terrible. Arguably, second only to X-Men 3 (or X-Men: The Last Stand, depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on) as being the worst X-Men film to date and it was not going to take much to do better.

And yet, what with early dicking about on the director front (we’ll come back to this later) and one of Marvel’s most ferocious characters being restrained enough to fit under a 12A rating, I stepped into the cinema with a touch of concern. I’d read a few (but not many) reviews, and early signs were good(ish); with an open mind, I sat down for The Wolverine.

For those that haven’t been paying attention, Wolverine is one of my all time favourite comic book characters. Wolverine #90 (Google it) was the first comic book I ever owned, and ever since he’s been my mainstay and anchor to the Marvel Universe. Fans of the comic books will know that the character has deep links with Japan, both in story and mythology, and so it follows that the land of the rising sun is the back drop for Hugh Jackman’s latest outing as the adamantium-clawed X-Man.

About Mr Jackman…

The Wolverine marks the sixth time the Aussie has played Logan and he has never looked better. Since seeing the film  I’ve been revisiting the earlier X-Men films and it is, quite frankly, incredible how much bigger he is. How much more Logan he is. Swagger, confidence, ‘Bub‘, it’s there. He has never been more Wolverine and this is best take on the character to date. I’ll say it again: he is HUGE, and it works.

The Wolverine

– Wolverine from The Wolverine could eat two Wolverines from X-Men for breakfast –

Back to the film…

Directed by James Mangold, The Wolverine picks up with our eponymous hero dealing with the fallout of the events of X-Men 3 – hiding away from the world, and himself. However, when an old friend from Japan comes calling to repay a favour, things just go from bad to worse.

I mentioned earlier about the directorial ‘issues’ that faced the film. James Mangold is a competent director – I really enjoyed his take on 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line is pretty darn good too – but the problem, or what I thought would be a problem, is that he’s no Darren Aronofsky.

Indulge me for a second, a couple of years ago Aronofsky was signed onto direct The Wolverine. I wrote at the time (during my 1400 word love letter to his film-making) something like:

As a character, Logan deals with many, many problems within; memory loss, heartache, blood lust, a constant battle with the feral side of his nature that he keeps locked up and away from the human race, a healing factor that, while keeping long term injury at bay, does not shield him from any pain he might endure…
This is what excites me.

These themes, these issues if you will, in the hands of Aronofsky are all ripe for his visceral style of film-making. In the very first X-Men film, Rogue asks Logan [about his claws]: “When they come out, does it hurt?” Logan’s response is almost muted through the pain he is so numbed to by now; “Every time.”

That one response. Those simple two words. They – to me at least – signify everything that could be great about an Aronofsky take on this flawed, yet supremely (anti-)heroic comic book character. The pain. The anguish. The day to day struggle with the ‘red mist’…

It was set to be unlike any ‘comic book film’ you had ever seen. And I was busting a gut to see it.

As history now tells us, Aronofsky did six months work on the film, then pulled. Citing not wanting to be apart from his family as his reasons, rumours were afoot that it was in fact ‘creative differences’ that led him to part ways with FOX (reluctant to put an R/18 rating against their golden goose)- and Mangold was brought in in his place.

It was hard to watch a film, knowing what might’ve been BUT – and this is a huge BUT – there are still elements of Aronofsky there. Hugh Jackman was a big champion of Darren’s work (having worked with him previously on The Fountain) and worked solidly with him to deliver a worthy vision for the second Wolverine  film (and genuinely wanted to make it up to the fans post Origins), so it is with thanks to the film’s star that the quality of that original vision remains at the core.

Wolverine in Japane - millerclaremont

Wolverine // Claremont & Miller, 1982

Where were we? That’s right – THE FILM.

The Wolverine is not your traditional comic book film. I wouldn’t even go so far as to say that The Wolverine is an action film. It’s a character study, really, of our hero – what makes him tick, how he works and, ultimately, how he reacts under pressure. We’ve not seen this character in this situation before and, especially so far away from home, it makes for an enjoyable watch.

There are a few missteps, of course there are, but they can be forgiven as The Wolverine really does reward as the Wolverine film we have been all waiting for. Who cares if it’s lacking in mutants? Ghostly apparitions from previous films don’t bother me either. All I can say is, by the time the credits roll, you’ll be left feeling that you’ve actually been shown the level at which all future Wolverine films should be set. It’s just a shame that a) we had to sit through Origins to get here (that aside, the book is one of the best damn things I’ve ever read – so you should get that, like now) and b) we lost out on seeing the Aronofsky take.

Ah well, there’s always next time…

In closing, out of the six X-Men universe films to date, I would put The Wolverine in at a close number two (just under First Class). By that measurement, that means you should go and see it – right away. Right?

Whatley out.


PS. The mid-credits teaser is a doozy, definitely stay for that.

PPS: If you’re new to the X-Men franchise, which my plus one was, I strongly recommend watching the video below. Hell, even if you’re not new to the franchise, it’s still worth a watch. It’s funny, and it’s a decent refresher too.

Five things on Friday #44

Things of note for the week ending November 2nd, 2012

Wolverine Poster

1. New poster for The Wolverine
This dropped earlier this week and it is gorgeous. Bold, stark and perfectly reminiscent of the 1982 mini-series that the film is based upon. It’s a little less controversial than the first teaser poster (apparently the locals weren’t happy with the apparent destruction of their flag) and alright we’re going to have wait until July to see if James Mangold‘s version will be anywhere near as good as I hoped Aronofsky’s version would be but still, it bodes well.

If you want to know more about The Wolverine, I’d suggest you go and watch this video (featuring my friend Ryan, and posted by my friend Rob – the guys I mentioned I last week), which features an interview with both the film’s lead and director.

2. Taste the rain

I have a love/hate affair with autumn at the moment, but this piece of art speaks to me on so many levels. I just, I just can’t stop looking at it. It’s crying out for breath. There’s so much going on. I adore it.


3. Halloween!

Beetlejuice + Grandmama

Any excuse for dress up, right?

Two parties, one costume.

Epic times.

4. Muse are hilarious
This is old, but I don’t care. I liked it. Apparently, Muse don’t like to mime.

[youtube width=”525″ height=”355″][/youtube]


5. Rob’s THINGS
This week I (re)discovered the blog of Rob Hinchcliffe. He does a similar thing to my Five Things but his is called ‘Inspiring and Interesting Things This Week‘ or ‘I.I.T.T.W.‘ (catchy, I know). If you’re after a source of interestingness (hey, that might a reason you’re reading this post right now), then I recommend you go have a look.

Seriously, without it I wouldn’t have discovered the by far away best thing I’ve read all week which was this fantastic three page long interview with the master magician Teller (one half of Penn & Teller).

Bonuses this week; apparently psychopaths are more attractive than the rest of us (this explains a LOT); all the 2screen reports you’ll ever need (big love to The Guardian for that one); and this piece from Warren Ellis is a damn good read too. 


Whatley out.


EDIT: Apologies to those of you that subscribe by email and received an unfinished article in your inboxes early this morning. God knows how I managed to hit the publish button by mistake, but I did. And hey, if you don’t subscribe by email, why don’t you give it a go? You’ll never miss a post and it’s easy too – you just have to pop your email address in one of the boxes on the right and you’re away!

Lumia 800 spotted in The Wolverine?

Yeah, I think so –

Wolverine 2, aka ‘The Wolverine‘, is coming / rising soon. Filming is underway right now and slowly but surely set photos are leaking their way onto the internet. So far, we’ve only seen snaps of our eponymous hero but today, we got a peek at the two main villains he’ll be facing up against: Silver Samurai and Viper.

The really interesting thing is that the latter of the two has been spotted sporting what seems to be the Nokia Lumia 800.

Take a look –

That certainly looks like a Cyan(?) Lumia 800 to me. The flash is in the wrong place to be anything else.

But why?

Nokia has previous when it comes to placement in superhero films (trust me, I know), and it works best when it’s actually part and parcel of the film’s storyline as opposed to being fudged in at the last minute. Fortunately it’s looking very much like the former here – which is ace.

However, all I’m left wondering is: why the Lumia 800 and not the Lumia 820, or the 920 for that matter?

If I were a bad-ass super villain, I don’t think I’d settle for WP7.8.



Five things on Friday #15

Five things of note from the week ending Friday, April 13th 2012
Sidenote: less effort this week, sorry – I am ill.

1. How to make onion ring eggs (amazing)

Flower power eggs look cool too.

2. I know that feel bro

These are awesome. The above one is entitled ‘Genetic Experiments’ and it’s by far and away my favourite. But really, the whole series is great, check them out.

3. Finding your Kryptonite
I drew this (with Paper) –

Flight #madewithpaper

And someone else wrote this (using my other pics for support).

I like.

4. Star Wars Condoms

Alas, these aren’t real. But still, they made me chuckle.

5. Lulz

Mind. Blown.

Bonuses: Last week I told you to read Dan’s blog, I did and I found this; Argentinians doing cool things with Twitter; and this awesome momentum-based blog post from my mate Ross. Follow him, he’s a good lad.