The Wolverine

discs drinking buddies

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Drinking Buddies Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) are friends and co-workers at a beer brewery, and both are in relationships. She’s dating Chris (Ron Livingston), and he’s engaged to Jill (Anna Kendrick), but when the four get together for a weekend at Chris’ cabin some lines are crossed in the realm of love and fidelity. Ignore the marketing as it’s selling something (a romantic comedy) that this film is most definitely not. Director Joe Swanberg keeps the improv method used in his past “mumblecore” films, but it still manages to tell a cohesive and truly affecting story. A big reason for that is a cast of extremely talented actors with wicked good comedic timing in the lead roles. The four performers, along with a more assured Swanberg directing and editing, have crafted a story about heartbreak, temptation, and friendship. While they’re all fantastic, this is Wilde’s show, and she absolutely crushes it with a character that will leave you frustrated, aroused, entertained, and engaged in nearly equal measure. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, interviews, featurettes, commentary, trailer]

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The Wolverine

The Wolverine would have been a better movie without studio meddling. I’ll say that again in a language that Fox can understand: The Wolverine would have made more money if the studio hadn’t messed with it. I have no idea if that last part’s true (considering that it made $141M worldwide this weekend), but a few things make the first one gospel. For the most part the movie eschews the kind of planet-destroying high stakes that have become the staple of the genre (and the summer), but while that’s refreshing, it gets into some serious trouble in the third act. A finale that reeks of studio notes visible on the screen. When it comes to primer’s on how to blow a good story, X-Men Origins has this beat, but it’s still got a few solid lessons. To describe those lessons, there are going to be some spoilers. 

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mangold

At Comic-Con Hugh Jackman didn’t quite apologize for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but he kept insisting The Wolverine was doing cleanup duty for what came before. The actor helped pick a fantastic director to help whip the character back in shape in audience-friendly James Mangold. Although Mangold hasn’t done a film of this scope yet, he’s one to easily hop between genres, whether it be an Oscar contender like Walk the Line, or a nice horror yarn like Identity. The 3:10 to Yuma director also has a history with Jackman. The two worked together on Kate & Leopold – a movie I can’t turn away from on cable (but who can?) — and now they’ve made another fish out of water picture. This one just happens to feature a brute loner with metal laced into his bone structure. There’s often an elegance in the way Mangold handles the film, in both big and small ways, and while briefly speaking with him, he says that a sense of human closeness is what he wanted to achieve in a summer loaded with explosive set pieces. That’s just one of the ways he and Jackman redeemed a mutant with a shaky origin.

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Batman vs Superman

This week we answer the most important question of our time: how can a city the size of Detroit go bankrupt? It’s crazy, and after figuring that out in about three minutes, we then spend twenty trying to game out what Warners has planned for Batman vs. Superman before pitching actors we want to see take the cowl from Christian Bale. Plus, we’ve got an Interrogation Review of The Wolverine, and in case your brain is overwhelmed by things in capes, Geoff and screenwriter Brian Duffield explain what to do when you get an extreme case of writer’s block. You can follow  Brian Duffield (@brianduffield), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #26 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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The Wolverine

With the exception of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, no single superhero has seen more screen time than Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Since he was spotted on the set of Bryan Singer’s genre-propelling 2000 release X-Men wearing yellow spandex (a costume that would later be changed due to internet outrage), Wolverine has been Jackman’s role to own. From that first X-Men movie to the third, in which he was forced to end the life of his love Jean Grey, Wolverine has always been a central character to modern X-Men cinema. But unlike the armored billionaire Tony Stark, whose worst outings have been no worse than average (ahem, Iron Man 2), Wolverine has had some real stumbles — namely 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was the kind of critical and fan-disappointing quality control disaster that would kill a lesser franchise. But like its central character, this is a franchise that heals well (and makes money despite itself), so Fox was willing to give it another shot. Luckily for fans, The Wolverine delivers where the previous outing failed, giving us what could very well be the defining cinematic appearance of Hugh Jackman as Logan.

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The Wolverine

When director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman took the stage for their Q&A with “a few clips” at Comic-Con, they had some baggage to confront. Jackman, especially, acknowledged the many, many, many shortcomings of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Mangold and Jackman discussed wanting to deliver the Wolverine, hence the title, The Wolverine. Fans have been waiting for the essential Wolverine tale and, for the most part, the two have succeed in giving it to them.

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Pacific Rim

We’re now halfway done with the summer movie season, and thus far, it’s been a good one. This month is the most exciting of the bunch, as July usually is, but June was no slouch. Man of Steel wowed audiences while dividing critics, but best of all, World War Z became the surprise, if modest, hit of the summer. Not only that, director Marc Forster proved the negative buzz wrong with a clever and efficient action thriller. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for White House Down. Shame on me for not including it on last month’s list, because, according to plenty of trusted sources, it’s a boatload of fun. I still haven’t had the time to see it for myself, but it sounds like the type of self-aware, focused blockbuster Roland Emmerich‘s career has been building up to. Thankfully people turned out for This is the End, so Sony has that going for them. Let’s hope none of these must-see films of July meet the same box-office fate as the rocket launcher-wielding president:

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wolverine_13

If nothing else, a new trailer for James Mangold‘s The Wolverine serves one purpose – to remind us that the Hugh Jackman-starring film is coming out during the already-crammed summer blockbuster season. No knocks on the clawed one here, but am I the only one who can’t seem to remember that we’re getting a brand new X-Men tale within the next two months? That can’t be good, right? Especially when this one involves Logan going to Japan, getting all emo, and meeting up with a bunch of cool Marvel characters, including the Silver Samurai. Shouldn’t this be more on our radar? Wait, did we say an emo Wolverine? Oh, that might be the problem right there. Snooze. After the break, check out the newest trailer for The Wolverine, you know, if you’re still interested.

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wolverine_13

Following the release of the first trailer for James Mangold’s The Wolverine, it wasn’t hard to tell that we weren’t impressed. We even found 6 scenes copied from earlier X-Men movies. Based on the comments we saw, you weren’t very impressed in what you were seeing from The Wolverine, either. After the abysmal ride that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, who can blame us? Today the folks at Fox have set out again into the cold wilderness of comic fandom on the Internet with another minute-long trailer for the Hugh Jackman-led quasi-sequel. It’s clear that they don’t want us to know the story yet, but they would like to remind us that Wolvie is still the only superhero on the block who’s interested in “screaming in someone’s face as he stabs them to death.” That’s our buddy. And in this new trailer, put together with footage shown at the recent CinemaCon exhibitors convention in Las Vegas, has plenty of action, less of the terrible CGI and a better look at the Silver Samurai. All of these are good things.

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mnad_im3

Why does HBO get indie bands to do music for Game of Thrones? Where can you go if you want to smell Tony Stark inside his Iron Man suit? What kind of a world would we live in if Wolverine vs. Velociraptors existed? All this an more in tonight’s Movie News After Dark.

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The Bling Ring

It’s almost time for sunscreen, something you won’t need to purchase if you plan on staying in the cool, dark space of the movie theater from June through August. But what are you going to see? How could you possibly know what’s coming out and when? Did you even know there’s a Superman movie on the way? Of course you did. Geoff and I have combed through studio press releases, had a lot of secret meetings in parking garages, and decided to talk about 6 Limited Release Summer Movies that might have slipped under the cape-filled radar. Plus, our big interview is with Cheech and Chong, who review Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines and promise to make Up in Smoke 2 if their new animated movie makes $100m in its opening week. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #15 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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OriginsFast

The trailer for The Wolverine hit last week, and everyone who loves violence in their comic book movies got pretty excited since Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is the only superhero appearing in movies right now who isn’t afraid to scream in someone’s face as he stabs them to death. But after you watch the trailer, you might get a sense of deja vu. That’s because almost everything in The Wolverine trailer has already happened in an earlier X-Men movie. I’m talking about stuff like…

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Wolverine Little

That’s right. Two Wolverine trailers have dropped, and they’ll both make you long for the Darren Aronofsky version that never was. The international trailer has a bit more footage (including what appears to be a bar fight that gets pacified just when it’s about to get going), but both it and the domestic version are severely lacking in anything resembling energy or impressive action. That train fight near the end? Ersh. Flat, mopey line readings? It’s now down to blind optimism that this thing has any life to it. Check both out for yourself, and keep repeating “It’s only a trailer, it’s only a trailer”:

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Red 2

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s back in the saddle again, bringing you plenty of movie news and notes from around the web. Can’t get enough of the world of the moving picture? Let this nightly diversion be your guide. Red 2: Plaid Boogaloo – This has been hanging around a while, but there is now a plaid-filled official first look at Red 2, the follow-up to the Bruce Willis, John Malkovich-led “old guy spies” movie based on a comic by Warren Ellis. The first was a fun pic, full of Helen Mirren in an evening gown shooting a 50-caliber machine gun. If the second has any of that, we’ll be in good shape.

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The Wolverine Motion Poster

Here comes the rain again indeed. If there was any doubt that James Mangold‘s The Wolverine wasn’t going to be a seriously emo(tional?) outing for Hugh Jackman‘s eponymous mutant, please direct your eyes to the above motion poster from the new X-Men film. Lighten up, Wolvie, good God. At least Logan’s got his bone claws all shined up nice? Want to see the motion poster actually, uh, in motion? Just give the poster a click! The Wolverine opens on July 26, 2013. [Facebook]

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Cloud Atlas

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the thing that will comfort you during the storm. In this case the storm is Hurricane Sandy, who is currently laying down a ravaging to our beloved readers on the East Coast. And the comforting is in the form of the eight best links of the day, all of which will lead you to great reads, listens, watches and otherwise marvelous, nerdy things to look at. 1. We begin this evening with a calculated takedown of the weekend’s biggest new movie, Cloud Atlas. For well over a week, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with my own feelings on the latest from Wachowski Starship. It’s complex, grande and full of moments that are worthy of awe. But it’s also a big mess. And Zach Baron at Grantland’s Cloud Atlas is an overscrambled mess article is perhaps the most adept explanation of the balance between the great and the not-so-great.

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The Wolverine

“Nice to see that boutique collectible poster design is starting to influence actual studio posters.” This quote, from the Twitter fee of industry pal John Gholson (@Gholson), is indicative of my own initial thoughts when first looking at this new poster for The Wolverine, which was released following an online live-stream conversation with star Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold. It’s artful, gorgeous and could very well end up on my wall next to one of my many non-studio prints from Mondo or Gallery 1988. You can have a look at the image and a few highlights from the live chat just after the jump.

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Mark Millar

Fox hasn’t always been the most successful studio, as far as adapting Marvel comic books is concerned. Though their 2000 film version of X-Men is largely responsible for launching the current comic book movie boom, their more recent mutant movies haven’t been all that hot, and their takes on the Marvel-created Daredevil and Fantastic Four franchises haven’t been able to produce anything remotely up to snuff. Their treatment of their superhero movies has gone so far off the rails that they’re even set to lose the rights to the Daredevil property, as their attempts to get a new film together haven’t kept pace with the end of their contract. That doesn’t mean that Fox’s days of making Marvel movies are over, though. They’ve still got two more X-Men movies in the works in James Mangold’s The Wolverine and Matthew Vaughn’s  X-Men: Days of Future Past, and they’ve made a new commitment to taking another crack at the Fantastic Four franchise by bringing Chronicle director Josh Trank on for a reboot. That’s some powerhouse talent paired with some potentially lucrative material. And today Fox announced their next step toward getting their Marvel properties back under control: they’ve hired veteran comic book creator Mark Millar to come on as a creative consultant for all of the House of Ideas characters that are still under their control.

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Welcome to the first installment of the CriterionCast takeover of Movie News After Dark. While Neil spends the week singing karaoke, or whatever it is that you kids do at Fantastic Fest, I’ll attempt to fill his manly, bearded shoes with my own geeky art-house sensibilities. Speaking of Fantastic Fest, the folks handling the PR have been releasing a ton of great material for all of us non-attendees, to soothe the pain. Apparently Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick, Brothers Bloom) joined in on the nerd karaoke fun that everyone was talking about this weekend, and they sent out a hefty pack of high resolution images, to help prove what we already know to be true: Rian Johnson is the coolest.

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The Wolverine has had a long and storied production history. It’s had changes of shooting locations, changes of directors, and probably a handful of other stumbling blocks that we’ve all forgotten put in front of its eventual release. But work on the film has finally been underway for a while now, and some real progress toward its July 2013 release must actually be being made, because the film’s official Twitter account has just unveiled its first official still. So, how does it look? It looks like what one would expect. It’s long been understood that this new Wolverine adventure will take the character to the land of the rising sun, and, sure enough, this poster features Hugh Jackman looking jacked, sporting Wolverine’s adamantium claws and scruffy facial hair, and standing in front of an out-of-focus shrine that looks vaguely Eastern religion-y. That pretty much nails the whole checklist for advertising a Wolverine in Japan movie. Check out the full version after the break.

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