I’m lazy, so here are some 30-second movie reviews:
Star Trek: The IMAX Experience – First, there’s no reason to see this in IMAX, as there are no large format shots like in The Dark Knight. Second, keep in mind that I’m a Star Trek fan (I’ve seen all the movies, and even every episode of Voyager and Enterprise), but not a scholar. The movie starts out great, but as I saw more changes to the original storyline, I started questioning the writers’ choices. There are a few silly decisions for plot purposes, too. But overall, a good film, even if I’m not sure I agree with its immediate jump to #62 on the IMDB all time best list.
Angels and Demons – Starts out a bit slow, and a bit of the same old, same old. A lot like Davinci Code, but I think Davinci was more consistently paced (if significantly more blasphemous). By the third act I was hooked, though, and overall I thought it was decent.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – I liked this, even though I had the same issue I wrote about last year. And in addition to the wrong sized actors, they take liberties with Wolverine’s official origin story. That said, Hugh Jackman, Liev Shreiber, Danny Huston, and Ryan Reynolds give solid performances. The rest of the supporting cast, however, doesn’t add much. If you like Wolverine, I’ve got good news: there will be four more X-Men films. They include a Wolverine sequel, a Magneto origin, a Deadpool origin, and X-Men: First Class, which I assume to be the first group of mutants taught at Xavier’s School for the Gifted. In other words, an X-Men origin.
If you hadn’t already heard, they’re making a movie about Wolverine. According to Wikipedia, it’s not based on the Origin miniseries. Instead, it focuses on his more recent past. Here’s the current lineup (with some spoiler-free commentary):
Wolverine: Hugh Jackson. I’d love to follow this up with “Duh!”, but with WB mixing up casting for the Justice League movie, you never can tell. Anyway, I like Jackman, even though he is way too tall for Wolverine, who is 5’3″ in the comic books. Glenn Danzig is the obvious choice, but he supposedly turned down the role in 2000.
Deadpool: Ryan Reynolds. I collected Deadpool for a while; he’s a real wiseass. Reynolds can handle that. I never saw his face in the comics, which would make this a voice acting gig when you factor in the stunt men. But this is backstory so who knows.
Sabretooth: Liev Shreiber. Shreiber is a great actor, but I wonder if they’re going to do anything about the size difference between him and Jackman. Sabretooth is huge and towers over Wolverine. It’s sort of a David and Goliath situation. Shreiber is 6’3″, but only 1 inch taller than Jackman. My guess is that they’ll pretend it’s normal, like Burton did with Keaton.
William Stryker: Danny Huston. Another great actor.
Gambit, a major character in the X-Men comics, will be played by a Taylor Kitsch, a relative unknown. Ironically, the relatively unknown characters John Wraith/Kestrel and Barnell/Blackwing will be played by will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas and Dominic Monaghan (LOTR, Lost), respectively.
30 years after his introduction, Marvel has finally released an official backstory for Wolverine. It was released in a miniseries (available in TPB) called Origin. The art is quite good, as you’d expect of a work of such importance. Without giving spoilers, it covers his parentage, upbringing, awakening, and passage into adulthood. Some details are given through innuendo, but it’s certainly clear enough for any adult reader with decent comprehension. A few plot points are a bit contrived; the character is fairly complex, and they tried to give an origin/cause for all major character traits and interests. Considering the age of the character (detailed in the book, finally), you’d figure some interests were developed later in life. Still, a must read for any fan, and who isn’t?