Monday, May 04, 2009

Hugh Jackman's Magic Ass

Well, here's the thing about X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009, directed by Gavin Hood): it pretty much sucks as a movie, but it has lots of nekkid Hugh Jackman. I see that it opened huge, so one should never underestimate the power of Hugh Jackman's ass. Most of the story elements in this movie come from the period after I stopped reading the X-men, so I don't have anything invested in whether or not it's faithful to the comics. I do have some affection for the X-Men movies, so I am bothered by the gaping holes this movie pokes in the internal continuity of the series. I hated most of the action sequences here, especially the big fight at the end, which demonstrates just how boring it is watching indestructable antagonists duking it out, though it does improve on last year's Incredible Hulk insofar as there are actual actors duking it out rather than computer graphics. Feh. I will say this, though, Jackman, Liev Schreiber, and Danny Huston are all better than the material deserves. Honestly, I think Wolverine's origins were amply explained in X2, with a much greater narrative economy.

Past that, I watched a couple of films for my Robert Aldrich project:

Attack (1956), which covers a lot of the same thematic material as Paths of Glory. This takes Kubrick to school. A very pleasant surprise. Might be a masterpiece.

Vera Cruz (1954), which is agreeably cynical and totally subversive. Burt Lancaster oozes charisma in this, which tends to obscure the fact that his character is an evil m*f*. Essential to anyone who thinks the revisionist westerns started in Italy.

The Big Knife (1956) shows the director at his most pot-boilerish. A poison pen letter to Hollywood, this later had a deleterious effect on Aldrich's career. Aldrich never liked subtlety, and this film shows that in the scenery chewing of the actors, especially Rod Steiger (who was a world class scenery chewer).

I'll be doing more in-depth pieces on all three of these movies eventually.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I think I liked Vera Cruz, but it's very, very dark and oozy, and too big and technicolor to support dark and oozy, somehow. It's like the MGM musical version of dark and oozy, without Vincente Minelli.

But Hugh Jackman's ass must come and live with me as soon as possible. Sooner.