The Wolverine (2013)

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Well, what was the point of that? I’m not really versed in Wolverine lore, and perhaps Logan does go to Japan to say goodbye to an old friend, but the film has nothing to recommend it.  In fact, if it didn’t have Wolverine in it, this would just be some random lame thriller that nobody would pay any attention to, probably starring Sam Worthington or Mark Wahlberg or someone equally vacuous.

At least X-men Origins (2009) had a bunch of mutants in it and the “Logan through time” intro.  Seeing him grow up through history with Sabretooth was really cool (great tune by Harry Gregson-Williams) and nicely realised by director Gavin Hood.  OK, so most the the rest of the film is terrible, but at least it had something to recommend it.

I really struggled through The Wolverine (my wife did fall asleep) as the plot wasn’t engaging and I had no investment with any of the characters; no emotion content.

“What was that?  An Exhibition? We need emotional content. Now try again!” – Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon (1973).

He must have been talking about The Wolverine!  But, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion man.

Robocop (2014)

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Formulaic and derivative actioner which lacks the bite of the original, and for which there was no need.

Where was the tongue in cheek jibe at modern day excesses?  Where was the finger given to the MTV (I guess now YouTube) generation?  Where was the commentary on the fact that huge corporations are inherently evil?  Paul Verhoeven’s original had all this and more.

For one, it had a believable lead role, not even Michael Keaton or Gary Oldman could rescue this.  Jackie Earle Haley’s character was fun, but Samuel L Jackson’s talk show spots didn’t really work as a prop to hang the plot on.

Not to mention that the way that Alex Murphy becomes Robocop has changed, the EDs are never explained – they’re just there, and Robocop never says “Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.”

I suppose comparisons with the original are unfair and shouldn’t really be made; but when a “reboot” is this poor it’s hard not to.  A missed opportunity, and a waste of everyone’s time.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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At its heart is the story of a guy trying to get his best friend back, it just happens to precipitate an almighty Avengers smack down.

Directed by the same duo who brought us Winter Soldier, the action is all pretty intense, well choreographed and focused.

Cast are all great, and by now all belong in their roles.  Additionally there are also a couple of surprises which deliver most of the lols.

I’d have to see it again to deliver a more in depth critique, but my first impression is one of, well, being impressed; and of enjoyment.

RED (2010)

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A very fun, tongue in cheek action thriller.  Inventively directed by Robert Schwentke and cleverly shot (I particularly liked “travelling by postcard”) and the all star cast hit pretty much all the right notes, including a great Richard Dreyfus role.

The story was fairly straightforward with enough intrigue and twists to keep it fresh.  All this make for a surprisingly fun film, more so than I expected.  But, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion man.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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I’ve not been aware of anything else that the Russo brothers have done, and, apart from the sequence on the ship at the start of the film which gave me a headache because the camera was all over the place, the direction was fine.  Nothing particularly fancy or inventive, but not ham fisted either.  Just fine.  However, the direction was probably helped by a great story.

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