Monday, May 11, 2009

WOLVERINE: Another Hollywood Anti-trust Scheme

Okay, after reading all the bad press about the flick I'd have to say the few things that they pinpointed weren't as bad as I was expecting: The CGI claws, tearing up the old people's bathroom and the anti-aging of Patrick Stewart. I've never read Wolverine or X-men so I couldn't be disappointed by the characters which a lot of people seem to be. But for the flick itself, I can't say I was impressed at all. It's like they had all the beats to tell a story, just not an effective one. In a weird way, this flick reminded me a lot of Universal Soldier. Remember that flick? I'm not using that as a parallel of how bad it is, but what kind of story it was. Universal Soldier was a simple B-movie. And that's probably what Wolverine ended up as. It was very basic with very few turns along the way only it was backed by a $150-mil budget. When a budget gets that high, I always find myself wondering where the money went. I mean, hell, if you're gonna spend some cash, hire William Goldman or someone who knows how to make the mechanics of a story interesting. Or hire a director that's got a decent track record with directing decent action. But hey, it's cheaper to pick up some of the cheaper lesser-known guys like they did with Fantastic Four. I guess spending less on creative talent works for them. Where does the rest of the money go anyway? Hell, the writers are the cheapest talent as it is, but I think the studios and production companies really need to reach out more. But the box office is doing okay, so they don't see the same problem as the paying public does. We're thinking, "Man, this is bad." They're thinking, "This is great! We made $80-mil on opening weekend! They must love it! Let's make another!" By fuck. We have to see these movies because there's nothing else better. If there was more to choose from, I'd have seen something else (well, I saw Star Trek first), but Wolverine screenings flooded half the theater I went to. It was in 4 different theaters! The problem is that this has been going on for so long that it's becoming a standard.

I remember the 80's were often thought of as where storytelling failed. By sheer comparison the 90's and the 00's make the 80's look like the fucking Renaissance. The stories were riskier. The characters had more depth. All which were accused of NOT having back in their day. The only way the 90's and 00's will ever seem like the new Renaissance if we've come to a simple blip on the screen. We pay $15 to see a still shot of Hugh Jackman brandishing steel claws for 5 seconds and the show's over. If people keep paying to see shit, the studios will continue to make shit. But you can't stop that. Everyone wants to go out. If they're cornered into watching Wolverine, they'll watch it because there's not much of a choice. It's almost like those old gangster flicks where the bad guys corner some guy in a dark alley and gun him down for not drinking at their speakeasy. Shit. Gunned down by Michael Bay. Only, I'll probably go up in a huge mushroom cloud.

I guess I got off track there for a minute. But there's one thing that bugged me. Where's the science in how Wolverine loses his memory by getting shot with an atomantium bullet? Stryker makes reference to it when someone says, "That's not gonna kill him?" Stryker says, "No, but he won't remember anything." How does he know that? Because the first X-men movie said so?

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