Browse Tag: swords

RECAP: The Wolverine

The Wolverine (2013): James Mangold

Fox released this gem of a mutant saga in a year full of Thor, Iron Man, and Superman. News was circulating of a team-up of the original X-Men and the new cast, released a year later.

For a character who loves to be lost, his film got lost. The Wolverine is the least X-Men-like X-Men film, and its gross proved it, earning only $133 million at the domestic box office, good for dead last in the mutant series.

And that’s a shame, because this is possibly the franchise’s best movie. It’s certainly a unique one, a film devoid of world-beating stakes and the mutant game of Mexican standoff.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Wolverine, eager to be rid of the world, returns to Japan to meet an old friend…or so he thought, Dun dun DUUUUNN! Continue Reading

RECAP: Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (2014): Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

A rant: Let’s stop the trend(?) of enshrining a director’s name to a movie’s title. Frank Miller did it here. Lee Daniels tried the same trick with The Butler. We’ve already succummed to auteur theory; why hammer the nail further?

A Dame to Kill For uses the same storytelling technique as its predecessor: interconnected stories of down-and-out folks in Sin City. This time around, some of the characters we know, and some we don’t.

There’s also a time-skip. For some characters this film is a sequel, for others a prequel. Sounds confusing, but the aspect actually works.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Sin City is full of a lot of bad people, and they do bad things to each other, and it’s mostly black and white, and there’s nudity and murders and stuff, and some of the colors pop out, and there’s a lot of scenes.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Sin City

Sin City (2005): Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

An homage to crime noir, the Sin City comic series earned numerous awards throughout its early 1990s run. Frank Miller lived through a dark time in New York’s history, and he poured that pathos into his black-and-white-and occasional-color comic series.

The film adhered to Miller’s aesthetic in tone and visuals. Perhaps no film has come as close to its source material as Sin City.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Three flawed but mostly good guys fight corruption, kidnapping, and murder in the you-don’t-want-to-visit-there town of Basin City, better known as Sin City.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Deadpool

Deadpool (2016): Some Overpaid Tool (OK, Tim Miller)

That’s what the credits called Tim Miller, birth name of the man who directed Fox’s most recent mutant extravaganza.

You might remember Deadpool as a villain in the origin story of Wolverine from the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Well, you remember correctly.

Fox brought him back, divested him of Wolverine’s association (at least visually) and added a whole heap of humor. The result? The all-time February opening weekend record.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A funny guy learns that he’s a mutant and hunts the guy who proved it to him. Continue Reading

300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire (2014): Noam Murro

Perhaps the world’s second-most-famous Noam made the second film in the 300 series his second feature directed. He took the reins from Zach Snyder, who moved on to bigger and bigger comic adaptations, and touched on a less famous and arguably harder to film sequel.

The key to understanding the film is its chronology. Rise takes place before, during, and after the events of 300, making it the only film I can think of to run parallel to its predecessor.

Science-fiction author Orson Scott Card penned the famous novel Ender’s Game. He later returned to that world and wrote a series about one of Ender’s compatriots, calling the novel Ender’s ShadowRise of an Empire is 300‘s Shadow.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: If you wanted to know what the seconds in command were doing while Leonidas and Xerxes were fighting at Thermopylae, here’s your chance. Continue Reading

Outcast

Outcast (2014): Nick Powell

Nicolas Cage is one of America’s most prolific actors. About two times a year we are lucky enough to get a Cage movie, only to ask, “How can I see it?” Some movies hit theaters. Some go straight to DVD. Some are on demand. No one knows. I think Cage movie producers flip a coin. Heads=theatrical release, tails=not theatrical release. Who cares, as long as Cage gets to shoot in New Orleans?

Outcast continues a long tradition of terribly named Cage movies. Titles are important, and when they don’t tell you much about the movie, sales numbers will drop. Do you think Saving Private Ryan would have been as successful were it named War? I don’t, but if Cage had starred in it I bet that’s the title he’d get. Cage’s two movies prior were called Rage and Joe. The former of those two is a pretty good title in that it evokes emotion, but you still won’t know a thing about it.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An English crusader knight heads east to China, where he hooks up with the rightful child-king of a Chinese kingdom and his sister. Continue Reading