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Buffalo's This Week in Movies,May 5th, 2009: Wolverine Returns

Posted: May 05, 2009

Time to catch up on movies. But first, GRITZ tips our hat to one funny actor, Dom DeLuise, who died last night (May 4, 2009) in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 75. DeLuise made us laugh in many great movies alongside Burt Reynolds and Mel Brooks, as well as on TV’s Dean Martin Show. They don’t make funny men like Dom anymore.

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. Wolverine succeeds as a blockbuster popcorn movie, no doubt. But if you grew up reading The X-Men comics like I did, you may be more than a little upset with the amount of changes the screenwriters have made between Marvel’s books and the silver screen.

Little things like Deadpool,  who's best weapon is his mouth is a mute?  The regenerating Silverfox is killed by a gun? An old man shoots Wolverine instead of the mutant who never misses? Trust me, those are just a few of the continuity problems.

And in a day and age where F/X and CGI are so advanced, the effects in this one seem, well, less exciting than the actual comic book. The slow motion, explosion, Wolverine flying through the air to latch onto a helicopter .... you get the picture.

Still, for those who just love action movies and are not comic book geeks like yours truly, it’s a really fine summer movie. Hugh Jackman is as good as ever in his fourth take on the Logan character, and Liev Schreiber is excellent and down right creepy as Victor Creed/Sabretooth, Wolverine’s brother.

Loads of explosions, tons of swords and bullets, but no blood. (That’s right mom’s, no plasma other than a busted lip!). As a comics fan I was disappointed. As a movie lover, i was very pleased. I’d have to give it four stars.

CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE was as hilarious as the first film, with the new action film staple Jason Statham returning, this time with a kidnapped heart. Amy Smart is smart and sexy as his tireless girlfriend, and David Carradine shows up as an ancient oriental with bad teeth who is now the proud recipient of Statham’s ticker. Dwight Yoakam returns as Doc Miles.

Of course there is nothing at all realistic in the entire film, which is why it’s so much darn fun! Rejuicing his heart by hooking jumper cables to his tongue and one nipple, for instance. Or when Doc Miles tells him on the phone that friction can cause enough static electricity to regenerate his ticker, so he ends up doing the horizontal bop in the middle of a horse race track with Amy in front of an audience during a race. Yeah, I know. Sick. But kinda sexy too.

Fun, no thinking, escapism. Four stars.

SOUTHERN ROCK WATCH: During the sex scene at the race track, Marshall Tucker’s “Heard it in a Love Song” is played. A good three minutes of it. No comment on Jason’s staying power I hope.

STATE OF PLAY : Russell Crowe is just great as Cal McCaffrey, as an investigative journalist at a D.C. newspaper who untangles a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation’s most promising political and corporate figures. Rachel McAdams is the cute young blogger who ends up being Cal’s unlikely partner on the case to end all cases. Just a well written, well acted film with an all-star cast that also includes Ben Affleck, Robin Wright Penn, and Helen Merrin as the hard nosed Editor in Chief. As a long time newspaper man with ink in my blood, I was drawn to this one like a moth to a flame. A five star movie all the way.

stars Jamie Foxx and Iron Man's Robert Downey, Jr, two of Hollywood’s current golden boys in a true story of yet another newspaper man, a columnist for the L.A. Times (Downey) who befriends a homeless guy (Foxx) after he discovers the guy has amazing musical talent. It’s a great feel good story, to be sure, but the trailer (screened many months in advance) led me to believe “Oscar,” while the movie seemed to fall short of that lofty aspiration. A good, not great, piece of film. Three and a half on the old stars scale.

17 AGAIN: Leslie Mann and Nicole Sullivan add some appeal for the male audience. but when I saw this one, I was the only guy in a sea of 16-21 year old girls, all swooning over “High School Musical” guy  Zac Efron. Want to know what it’s about? Take Tom Hanks in “Big,” and flip it over. The guy from “Friends,” I forget his name, becomes 17 again at the hands of a guardian angel/school janitor, gets another shot at round-ball glory, and manages to discover everything he loves, he already has, a daughter and a lovely wife (Mann). Ah, isn’t love grand?  Three Stars.

This Friday sees the release of one of the major summer tent poles I have been waiting on, Star Trek. Beam me up, Scotty.

- Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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juiij78 says...

Little things like Deadpool, .haizom who's best weapon is his mouth is a mute? The regenerating Silverfox is killed by ashansham gun? An old man shoots Wolverine instead of the mutant who never misses? boxanswers Trust me, those are just a few of the continuity problems

midnightrider says...

Love your movie reviews. I really enjoyed State of Play as well.

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