Hey everyone! It’s been a busy semester for me, so again, I thank all my readers for being patient in my new every-other-week schedule. In this post, I’m going to be covering some of the bigger stories/events from February and March, since I missed the Captain’s Log post for February.
This month, Logan debuted to strong reviews and a solid box office premiere. Before Logan, I had only seen a few movies in the X-Men series, and though I had a generally favorable impression (and I adore First Class) I would never have really considered myself a fan of the franchise. That being said, I went to see Logan anyway. After all, this wasn’t just another blockbuster, it was a final outing for Hugh Jackman, who has become as frequently associated with the role as Kevin Conroy is with Batman, Robert Downey Jr. is with Iron Man, or Heath Leger was with the Joker. For any number of years, Hugh Jackman will be Wolverine, and the notion of anyone else playing the character will seem impossible.
The film itself was both heart-pumping and heartfelt. Everyone gave a great performance – Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, even the child actors. They’re all superb. The performances each of them gives seems to create the world-weary tone rather than the tone creating the performances. The story drives the action, and the action doesn’t drive the story. This movie is heavy, and methodical, and beautiful. Compared to other movies in the market (even some of the good ones), Logan strives to be simple, emotional, and exciting rather than “building a greater universe” or trying to shoehorn in characters that don’t need to be there. And in this regard, it’s really a breath of fresh air.
One thing that relieves me about this movie is how it varies from Deadpool. Yes, they were both highly-successful R-Rated superhero movies (and perhaps set in the same universe?) but that’s about where the similarities end. Given Deadpool‘s success, I worried that everyone would want to do an R-Rated superhero comedy, and the market would be saturated with cheap knock-offs. In this way, Logan provides a counter example; there are ways to break the conventions of a typical PG13 superhero movie and create something unique without having an over-the-top self-aware comedic protagonist and constant use of the F-word. I’m not saying these things hindered, Deadpool, or that Deadpool was bad, but I think it could likely be the case for movies that consider Deadpool a model to follow.
To borrow slightly from a recent Rolling Stone article on the film, one of the film’s greatest strengths is that it stands alone and doesn’t need you to know everything that happened since X2 and isn’t loaded with Easter eggs and perpetually dropping hints as to what the next movie will be. It’s a finite story. And that hasn’t been seen for quite some time.
Trailers Trailers Trailers
So many trailers! Let’s get right to them, starting with two of the best shows on television coming back later this year.
Debuting in April, we have the third season of the FX series Fargo; a new trailer dropped for that, and then about a week later they released another trailer, but this time it was an extended trailer – which in that case why not just give us the extended trailer in the first place? Point is, things look good, as they always do.
What exactly makes Fargo the show so good is hard to quantify. When my friends ask what it’s about, I struggle for words. I want to tell them it’s a crime show, but that doesn’t nearly skim the surface – it’s a modern noir, set in the frigid and snowy midwest, with beautiful cinematography and characters who fit a general type but still manage to be compelling. There’s always a competent, gifted police officer accompanied by a foolish officer, a psychopathic criminal alongside and a comedic one, and between this good and evil there’s a regular person who’s in way too deep and taps into their dark side… Yet the three times we’ve visited these tropes (in the original film and in the two seasons) they feel fresh and fascinating and altogether great. This season features a great cast including Carrie Coon as our competent officer, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an apparent badass, Ewan McGregor as a set of twins, and Harry Potter actor David Thewlis as who-the-hell-knows-what. This season will be great.
Anyone who has spent more than a minute on my blog probably knows just how much I adore Game of Thrones, and I was rather pleased by the recent teaser trailer they released. It provided an interesting contrast between Daenerys, Jon, and Cersei, while still alerting us to the greater threat that is still in play. I think that it was a nice, simple look into the new season – but it made me realize just how fatiguing the Thrones fandom can be. It’s a minute and a half of nothing particularly new or fascinating, and yet everyone jumps onto YouTube or whatever platform they have to do 10-minute videos breaking down the new trailer – is this really necessary? Eh, I’m still incredibly excited for the new season!
The next trailer I need to mention is the new Justice League trailer, which I thoroughly enjoyed. After spending $12 to be thoroughly Batman v. Superman, I’ve wanted to hate this movie, but as I said on Twitter, I found myself smiling at a bunch of small things, like J.K. Simmons as Lt. Gordon, or action sequences with the Flash, or Aquaman riding on top of the Batmobile, or just the movie not taking itself so damn seriously. I’m still not convinced this movie will be good, but I’ll definitely go see it.
And then there was a new trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming! This movie looks great. Let me briefly touch upon the only non-Michael Keaton thing I adored; the relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker. Tony helped make Peter Spiderman, and will likely teach him to be a superhero, so it naturally follows that Tony would serve as a kind of father-figure for Peter. Naturally, it follows that this wouldn’t just be the case for Tony teaching him “This is how you fight a supervillain” but also to come down hard on him when he makes mistakes.
And then there were a lot more trailers – Deadpool 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Cars 3, Coco, Fate of the Furious, American Gods, and oh my goodness, Baby Driver. (Shit, I’m definitely forgetting one. Leave a comment to remind me which one I’m forgetting.) But I’ve discussed enough trailers for this installment of Captain’s Log, so I’ll just link to those and let you folks decide which movie or TV show you’re most excited for.
Apparently it sucked. That’s a shame. I haven’t had a chance to watch it. Anyone have some strong opinions about it? Let me know.
Posts for February and March: