Our first ‘From the Editor’ weekly newsletter has ‘Logan’ on the brain. Plus a rad giveaway for our Members.
You’d have to stretch the rules a bit to determine what was the “most violent superhero/comic book movie of all-time.” Technically Oldboy is an adaptation of a comic book and that movie is bloody as hell. Similarly, Sin City is a comic adaptation that spills stylish CG-blood all over the place. But neither is really a superhero movie, are they? The reigning champion of violence and vulgarity is Deadpool, from which the blood is barely dry at this point. Given its box office take and critical success, Deadpool proved that there’s a hunger out there for superhero flicks to really shred bad guys instead of throwing them off of a building and having them land, in-tact, with a bit of blood dribbling out of their mouth.
What Deadpool awakened in audiences a year ago, this thirst for blood, can be credited as paving the way for Logan, which picks up the cause of violence and accelerates it considerably. In the film’s opening sequence (pictured at the top), we watch a groggy, ragged Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) slaughter a group of men trying to steal the tires off of the car in which he was trying to sleep. He’s a little slower than he was when he debuted 17 years ago in X-Men, but Wolvie’s claws are sharper than ever. Director James Mangold, free of the constraints of making PG-13 hero flicks, holds shots long enough to show the evisceration of foreheads, necks, faces, chests, and a few severed limbs. It’s clear early on that classic comic bloodbaths like Blade and Watchmen, the dark edges of superhero cinema, have nothing on Logan. Not even Deadpool’s three-heads-one-bullet tricks will feel novel when you see Wolverine truly go Berserk.
Of course, where Logan benefits from the freedom of it’s R-rating (including, but not limited to Charles Xavier cursing up a storm), it also becomes indulgent. For better or worse, this is everything fans of Wolverine have been wanting for years. Together, Jackman and Mangold appear to have made the conscious decision that since this is the last appearance of the longest tenured big screen superhero, they’d go all out. Which means that they go places that Wolverine hasn’t been before. It also means that they pack over two hours of movie with everything they wanted to get out of their system before sending Logan off into the sunset, leaving the middle of the film dragging.
Despite all of that, there’s no denying that fans of Wolverine will be pleased with what Mangold and Jackman have done with Logan’s last stand. They deliver the violence, the crass grumpiness of Old Man Logan, and bring to screen a young lady who, herself, could make for an interesting extension of the franchise. To that end, Logan is a success. It may not end the year atop lists of the best movies or even the biggest surprises (after Deadpool, none of this will feel innovative), but it will go down as the most violent superhero movie of its time. – Logan is in theaters March 3.
An otherworldly giveaway for our Members
Are you a Member of Film School Rejects? You can become one by clicking here and joining our community. Your continued support helps us produce great content both on FSR and on social media via One Perfect Shot. This week, we’re giving two of our Members a very special gift. We’ve received one copy of each of these new Mondo Arrival posters by Kevin Tong.
We’re drawing names on Monday, 2/20. So if you’d like to get in on this, become a member over the weekend and maybe you’ll be a winner. You’ll also be supporting original content and commentary from the wonderful team here at FSR.
This week’s editor’s picks
As the editor of FSR, I’m proud of the work we’ve done this week. Even though the real world around us feels like it’s going crazy, our team created some wonderful distractions. Here are a few picks…
The Melancholy of Don Bluth: I would’ve assumed that intern Meg Shields was a little young to be so deeply affected by the films of Don Bluth, but she proved me wrong with this wonderful read.
5 Perfect Shots from The Women Behind ‘XX’: The badass ladies behind the new horror anthology XX gave us their favorite shots from thrillers. You can easily see why we’re excited to see more of them as filmmakers. Bonus: read Jamie Righetti’s terrific interview with three of them.
Expressions of ‘Shame’: Our video content editor H. Perry Horton continues to create wonderful video essays. This one is about the quiet, unspoken brilliant moments of Steve McQueen’s Shame.
The On-Screen Couples We Believe In: Our way of doing Valentine’s Day is pragmatism.
About our newsletters
Beginning Monday of next week, you’ll be hearing more from us in newsletter form. We’ll be merging our Movie News After Dark column with our previous newsletter, The Shot List, to bring you daily updates Monday through Friday. Perry Horton will deliver, into your inbox, the big news story of the day followed by a selection of links and other things from our site and around the web. On Fridays, I’ll be back with my thoughts as the editor and the best of the week. We’re excited to share all of this with you and once it’s up and running, we’d love to hear what you think. As always, you can contact us via email at [email protected]. We love to hear from our readers.