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The Wolverine (2013)
Some of Logan's scars never heal...
The X-men franchise is back on top form as we finally get the film that we wanted X-Men Origins: Wolverine to be. Whilst Origins stood as a film that repressed key characters like Wolverine and Deadpool (he's called the merc with a mouth for a reason ) The Wolverine takes us to the animal, scarred and adamantium core of an amazing character, taking him to new levels unseen on screen before.
This success is in great part due to Jackman's incredible return to the role as he once again brings his A game to make the comic book character come to life on screen. Within it, Jackman brings just the right level emotion to the character with the events of Last Stand still haunting him and unable to live life the way he once did. The films plot allows great range to Wolverine as we get to see him both at his weakest, being inches from death and at his strongest where he holds back the least.
While elements of the screenplay does have it's downfalls such as lack of character depth for the leading villains, this is more than made up for through the sheer depth finally given to Wolverine to allow for a more detailed version of the character than seen before. Also part of me would have liked to see more mutants within the plot with only around 4- 5 mutants appearing on screen. But after Origins that may not necessarily be a bad thing...
Another great part of the film is we once again see James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line) take the directing wheel, which he does terrifically not holding back from the source material and showing Logan as the powerful beast that he can be through terrific fight scenes such as a funeral fight and a train scene. He demonstrates how he doesn't hold back after opening first scene where we witness Nagasaki and the sheer destruction of an atomic bomb showing to us the audience the films realistic tone and that they'll have a blast of a time! (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.)
This is definitely a different film from all other films in the X-men franchise, taking a darker turn to allow a better reflection to better display Wolverine. But despite differences, it serves as a strong addition to the franchise and despite some differences remains loyal to the original The Wolverine comics. Thus this is a must see for any Wolverine fans as it makes the best adaption of the character seen yet. But if you need any other I'll simply say after credits sequence, STAY FOR IT.
Man of Steel (2013)
It will give the DC Universe an ideal to strive towards
The first time I saw the trailer for Man of Steel I knew it was going to be something special. Maybe it was seeing Chris Nolans name (the master behind the Dark Knight trilogy). Or maybe it was seeing that Zack Snyder would direct (who already had success in both Watchmen and 300). Or far more likely it was seeing the beautiful tone of a trailer showing shots that demonstrated that the film was going to go to the heart of Superman's character. The film lives up to this in every sense demonstrating a truly real character emerge from the comic books on screen.
I'll say now that those who may have heard in reviews that the fight scenes are no different to Transformers, these people are strongly mistaken. Whilst Transformers acts as nothing more than two cars bashing in to each other like rocks being put in a blender, with each hit thrown and each battle started we witness sheer emotion and deep reasoning for each fight. Be it Superman's contrast to his opposite fighters or the light speed fights that really emphasise the man of steels speed and strength better than ever before on screen, Snyder goes all out to make sure these fight scenes are what the man of steel deserves.
Another fantastic part of the film is that whilst the film is centred on Superman, the film does not ignore any of the supporting roles that make the Superman. Be it through emotional heart breaking lines from both Superman's dads be it Crowes inspirational speeches like "You will give the people an ideal to strive towards" or Costners heart breaking lines like "You are my son" the writers go all out to give every character the sentiment they need.
This film stands as a shining example of when everything just goes right in Hollywood. Where every element ranging from the beautiful music inspiring both hope and fear, beautiful dialogue that shall transcend our lifetimes and shots so moving they could bring a grown man to tears. (What me? No, I meant the guy next to me. I don't cry at films, I'm a man! A superman! Heh. Oh, sorry should get back to the review.) It's when these elements mix so beautifully that you can truly see in to the depths of such a complex character better than any film has before it, placing this bigger than earth character in to our world in a heroic and beautiful style. It is this beauty that ensures me that the DC Universe building up to the likes of the Justice League can be successfully started from this film.