Anastasia (2017)

Disney is dominating this weekend’s box office with a live action reboot of its animated classic Beauty and the Beast. But you shouldn’t overlook 20th Century Fox’s competing effort, a live action update of its most popular animated movie from the 90s: Anastasia.

With only a quarter of the budget of Beauty and the Beast (Disney is flush with Marvel and Star Wars money), Anastasia (2017) may not boast fancy special effects and period costumes. But it does have a visionary auteur in director Sofia Coppola, and an appealing star in New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel.

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Zooey Deschanel as Anastasia in Anastasia (2017).

Coppola imagines what it would be like if the legendary Russian princess Anastasia lived in present day New York City facing challenges like not being taken seriously enough as a young white woman whose entire family was murdered in the course of communist revolution.

I especially liked the scenes where Zooey Deschanel stares thoughtfully out a window at the New York skyline for several minutes at a time. And there’s real poetry when she writes in her diary (which we hear in voiceover) about how unfair it is that no one takes her seriously just because sometimes she spontaneously starts dancing in converse tennis shoes.

Bill Murray’s lengthy cameo as a homeless man wandering through the city mumbling in a odd sing song voice about New York City being gloomy felt disconnected from the rest of the movie. But when the homeless man encounters Anastasia and whispers something in her ear that changes her life forever, I knew I was witnessing true cinematic art.

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Bill Murray plays up his eccentricities in Anastasia (2017).

Anastasia (2017) is mostly devoid of the spectacle and plot that dazzles us in movies like Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Deadpool. Instead we must confront the loneliness that characterizes the isolated existence of a princess in New York. At her best, Zooey Deschanel is a stand-in for all humanity and we recognize in her a mirror that sheds light on the truth of beauty and emptiness.

TL;DR – Though less flashy than its rival Beauty and the Beast (2017), Anastasia (2017) contains profound insights into the nature of the human condition of a princess in New York City.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“Sofia Coppola updates the classic story of Anastasia for our era in this introspective tale of a young woman who feels emotionally empty and lost in the world.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“A delicate portrait of a still-maturing young woman trying to find her identity and be restored to her proper social station.” – Scott Tobias, NPR

“Though Anastasia is heir to a fabulous fortune, is having your whole family murdered too high a price to pay?”” – Antonio Gramsci, The New Republic

“Can you say Zooey Deschanel, Best Actress? I can. I am very smart. I write about movies for a magazine.” – Trim Richulds, Entertainment Weekly

“Exquisite, melancholy and formally audacious, Sofia Coppola’s Anastasia blows the animated original out of the water.” – Dominique Vivant, Vulture

“Zooey Deschanel ice skating in a tiara is pure movie magic.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

Melonmeter® Score:

99% liquid & seed retention – watermelon_icon_pitr-1979px CERTIFIED JUICY

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Normally, I don’t like to get political when I’m reviewing a movie. I don’t care if you’re left, right or upside down – if you’ve got a great story to tell using the medium of cinema, I’ll give you a fair shot. But even I have to draw the line somewhere. With the new live action reboot of Beauty and the Beast, Disney blew an incredible chance to demonstrate its commitment to diversity when it chose not to cast a beast actor to play the movie’s title role.

Hollywood’s underrepresentation of beasts on the silver screen is no secret. Even when a movie includes a beast character such as in the movie X-Men: First Class, it nearly always casts a human in the role. Disney had the perfect opportunity to correct this injustice with its new version of Beauty and the Beast. I’m sorry to say that Disney chose to cast a white man instead of a beast to play the role of the Beast, and the movie suffers as a result.

To be perfectly honest, I had a hard time focusing on the dialogue and plot of the movie because I was so distracted by the stereotypical beast makeup applied to the face of white man Dan Stevens to make him look more like a beast which he is not. This crude makeup recalled the most offensive prejudices of old-fashioned beastface shows of an earlier era.

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Did you know Dan Stevens isn’t even a quarter beast?

Thankfully, Disney avoided such minstrelsy with its choice of supporting cast. I was happy to see an actual teapot up on screen playing Mrs. Potts alongside a real mantel clock, a genuine candelabra and an authentic feather duster to play the parts of Lumière, Cogsworth and Plumette respectively.

But such casting is really only half a victory if even that. Nowadays, teapots and clocks are cast in movies all the time in amusing and too often superficial supporting roles. But when it comes to the lead, the big movie studios will never take a chance on a teapot, much less a beast. Instead they continue to rely on familiar white human faces that only perpetuate a distorted image of what’s “normal.” I suppose I was foolish to expect Disney to rise to the occasion and cast one of the many fine if unknown beast actors who would literally kill for an opportunity to star in a major blockbuster.

TL;DR Don’t 👏 cast 👏 humans 👏 in 👏 beast👏 roles 👏 because 👏 it 👏 ruins👏my 👏enjoyment 👏 of👏the👏 movie

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“The controversy over the casting of Beauty and the Beast is way overblown. Human actors should be allowed to play beast characters and vice versa. The important thing is whether the actor is right for a role and delivers a convincing performance. By that metric, Dan Stevens shines.” – Shane Blarrison, The Daily Caller

“Disney can be forgiven for failing to predict Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, which has undoubtedly led to a far more sensitive and urgent national conversation about representations of beasts onscreen. Unfortunately this movie cannot help but fall victim to the new questions Trump’s presidency has raised.” -Nack Torris, Inverse

“When I heard that Disney was going to make a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, my first thought was where will they find a teapot, a clock and of course a beast to play the roles so beautifully animated in the original. Well, Disney, you’ve outfoxed me yet again! Even though you couldn’t find the right beast actor (really they aren’t that many beast actors out there, right?), you found an absolutely charming teapot that should be getting some end of the year awards love, I’m sure of it.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

“Another case of Hollywood whitewashing. Boycott Beauty and the Beast  (2017) for casting a human person to play a beast role using offensive beastface makeup.” – Engelbert Humperdinck, Boston Globe

Melonmeter® Score:

52% liquid & seed retention – watermelon-512  THOROUGHLY LACKING IN JUICE AND SEEDS AND RATHER CANTALOUPE-LIKE TO BE HONEST™

 

Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra

Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra is the most hilarious comedy of 2017 so far. Featuring one of my favorite comediennes, Melissa McCarthy, as the constantly frazzled and panicky Debra, the movie is filled to the brim with gags and goofs that will leave your jaw on the floor and your tummy in deep, deep pain.

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Melissa McCarthy as Debra in Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra (2017)

Before I go any further, I want to caution anyone going into Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra expecting plot, character development, theme, coherent tone or continuity. Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra has none of those elements but instead contains a wealth of jokes, pranks, pratfalls and goofs. It’s basically a gag machine, no more, no less and faster you accept that the more you will enjoy each and every laugh the movie delivers to your ears, mouth and throat.

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My favorite moment in Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra is when Debra is running through the dentist’s office and hits her head smack dab into one of those surgical lights attached to a long metal arm that hangs over you when you go in for an examination. It’s one of the many collisions that Debra suffers due to her perpetual and vertiginous anxiety.

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Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra is primarily a vehicle for Melissa McCarthy to exhibit her bottomless well of comedic gifts. But it would be a dereliction of my responsibility as a film critic if I neglected to mention Dan Hedaya’s performance in the supporting role of Debra’s long-suffering uncle Barry J. Barrini. Hedaya inhabits Barry J. Barrini with a measure of depth and pathos by speaking with a pronounced stutter. I’ve never laughed harder than when Debra trips over a power cord causing all the lights in the room to turn off and uncle Barry to scream “Deb – Deb – Deb – Deb – Deb – Debra!!!!!”

TL;DR – If you’re looking for a gag machine to charge up your funny bone, run as fast as you can to a theater that’s playing the most sidesplitting romp of the year so far.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“The cinematic equivalent of laughing so hard that you start coughing which makes you want to laugh even more but you have to take a deep breath and drink a glass of water instead.” – Jit Bingle, Austin Chronicle

“Confirms once again and perhaps for all time that Melissa McCarthy is among the brightest stars in the comedic firmament, the heavens of our laughter, and beyond.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Dare we ask whether Debra’s misadventures may continue in further movies? As much as I hope Melissa McCarthy is not trapped in a single role or franchise, I must confess my desire to see Debra appear again on the silver screen in a year or two’s time.” – Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata, Salon.com

“Melissa McCarthy will literally bend over backwards for a laugh. And it’s no coincidence that Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra‘s best scene is when Debra must bend over a divan backwards to avoid being squeezed to death.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

“I don’t know if Deb Deb Deb Deb Deb Debra this is a movie. You could rearrange the scenes in any order with nothing lost or gained. In other words, it’s a YouTube playlist that features a lot of head trauma videos.” – Hayley Moozure, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Melonmeter® Score:

96% liquid & seed retention – watermelon_icon_pitr-1979px CERTIFIED JUICY

The Shack

I was struck with a sense of eerie familiarity as I watched The Shack. The faith-based movie released earlier this month is supposedly based on a bestselling novel about love and forgiveness. But when I started typing some of the memorable lines and character names from the movie into Google shortly after I left the screening, I discovered to my astonishment that almost the entire movie is directly plagiarized from Star Wars (1977).

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The Shack stars Sam Worthenson as the farmboy Luke Skywalker. Octavia Spencer plays Han Solo, a down-on-her-luck smuggler that helps Luke escape from his hometown. Chloë Sevigny appears as Solo’s partner Chewbacca. Then there’s Garth Brooks as Luke’s mentor, the ex-pastor Obi-Wan Kenobi; Alice Braga as the enigmatic Christian prophet Yoda; William Faulkner as the movie’s antagonist, the masked satanist Darth Vader. Is any of this starting to sound a little bit TOO similar to Star Wars?

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Octavia Spencer as Han Solo and Sam Wuerthinton as Luke Skywalker in The Shack (2017)

I’ll be the first to say it: The Shack is just Star Wars except every reference to the Force is turned into a reference to God and every mention of Jedi is changed to be about Christians. And believe me, Star Wars with all the spaceships turned into normal cars and no aliens or robots or strange planets at all is just a regular old boring movie.

Hollywood has never been known for its originality. Nearly every movie you can name is simply a variation on a story that’s worked dozens if not hundreds of other times. But The Shack takes the concept of a “tried and true formula” just a bit too far.

TL;DR – No one should waste their time watching The Shack. Just rewatch Star Wars instead.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“While not without its flaws, The Shack features one pair of unforgettable supporting characters: R2-D2 and C-3PO.” – Cecil Shingleton, Deseret News, Salt Lake City

“I’ll admit to cheering out loud when Luke fired the proton torpedos through the door of The Shack leading the whole thing to explode in a fireball.” Millie DeVutin, Beliefnet

“There’s no breather in the picture, no lyricism; the only attempt at beauty is in the double sunset. It’s enjoyable on its own terms, but it’s exhausting, too: like taking a pack of kids to the circus.” – Joseph “Sheriff” Brodie, NPR

“Regardless of which path you come at it by, it’s a cleverly told lesson of love and forgiveness crossed with a swashbuckling adventure, and the most appealing Christian film I’ve seen in years.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“Having the movie’s hero rescue a princess by swinging across a chasm on a rope was laying it on a bit too thick for my tastes.” – Bogosav Bogasav, Time

“Based on the sleeper bestseller by Canadian author William P. Young, The Shack offers an exciting take on contemporary, non-denominational Christianity in a setting the filmmakers imaginatively refer to as a ‘galaxy far, far away.’” – Rex Reed, Village Voice

“This was just Star Wars.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

Melonmeter® Score:

34% liquid & seed retention – watermelon-512  THOROUGHLY LACKING IN JUICE AND SEEDS AND RATHER CANTALOUPE-LIKE TO BE HONEST™

Split

I’ll say this about Split – unlike most movies out there it’s not afraid to take chances. Daringly experimental in style but unbearably boring to watch, I imagine it will be on many “What was Hollywood Thinking?” lists that typically appear at the end of the year.

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James McAvoy and Sebastian Arcelus as doctors conferring in Split (2017).

Split takes the basic form of the medical mystery, or at least that’s the only way I know how to explain it. There are countless scenes of dialogue between men in labcoats who appear to be doctors (though they are never identified by name or title). The dialogue included a lot of inscrutable medical terminology and slang that for the life of me I couldn’t make heads or tails of.

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The doctors seemed to be discussing the diagnosis and treatment of the main character. According to the credits, the main character is played by one of my favorite actors: Samuel L. Jackson, a true Hollywood legend. But because he doesn’t speak at all and his face is wrapped in bandages for the entire duration of the movie, it could have been played by Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, Delroy Lindo or any number of other actors and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

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This guy is supposedly Samuel L. Jackson but it could’ve been James Earl Jones, Danny Glover or even Jeffrey Wright for all we know.

The movie’s twist ending didn’t surprise me at all simply because I had no idea what was going on. So I just didn’t care that the doctors had been overlooking the bandaged man’s most conspicuous injuries the whole time. And during the big reveal I had to Google the words “groinal” and “grundle” which really lessened the emotional impact overall.

TL;DR – A courageous attempt to scramble the standard Hollywood thriller formula is marred by too many obscure medical dialogues and too many bandages on Samuel L. Jackson’s face.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“The incapacity of psychiatry to help those who suffer very peculiar mental and physical deformities gives the movie its theme and also an explanation of why the filmmakers made a movie this incomprehensible.” –  Akintayo Tomoloju, Wall Street Journal

“Devoid of even the faintest whiff of coherency, originality, or purpose, Split manages to be at once overly contrived and entirely insensible.”  – Abimbola Ogundipe, Chicago Sun-Times

“The film’s synchronous evocation of both the moral depravity at work betwixt society’s deceptively alluring surfaces and the pallid inadequacy of the neoliberal technocratic order to defend against that selfsame depravity is the special ingredient that gives it a certain joie de vivre discreetly elevating it above the cusp of an old-fashioned genre exploitation flick.” – Ngugi Ukala, indieWIRE

“I did not understand anything that happened in this movie.”  – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

“Look, if you want to see Samuel L. Jackson in action you’ve come to the wrong movie because his face is covered in bandages and he doesn’t say a single word at any point during the entire two hours.”  – Dambudzo Nwabueze, Entertainment Weekly

“I’ve never seen a movie so unsettled by its own pretentiousness.” –  Kadaria Ezeigbo, AV Club

Melonmeter® Score:

41% liquid & seed retention – watermelon-512  THOROUGHLY LACKING IN JUICE AND SEEDS AND RATHER CANTALOUPE-LIKE TO BE HONEST™

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is a cowboy movie unlike any I have seen in many years. It’s brutal and difficult to watch but rewards strong stomachs with an emotional punch that exceeds every other movie released last year. Time and time again, Mel Gibson knocks it out of the park and I for one have given up being surprised by the Australian wild man’s cinematic genius.

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As ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye, Mel Gibson plays a movie villain for the first time in his career and boy does it pay off! We are used to Mel Gibson’s performance as the suave and charming hero so it was a daring departure for him to play against type as conniving, cruel ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye.

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Mel Gibson as the indelible ‘Ol Sheriff One Eye

Unfortunately, Gibson is so good in his role that he steals the movie from the protagonist played by Chris Evans. Evans’ character was so forgettable that I don’t remember his name or anything about him. I think he had a beard, or maybe an earring.

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I think Chris Evans was in this movie. Don’t quote me on that, though.

The scene that has grabbed most attention from critics and audiences alike is when ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye takes out his hacksaw and cleanses in a river of blood all the Jews and other undesirables that are streaming out West and fundamentally changing its wild nature. Though some have complained about the historical inaccuracy of this scene, you can’t deny its dramatic impact. Without it, the movie would have felt empty and pointless.

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There are great action scenes in the movie, and not just those featuring  One-Eye’s hacksaw.

TL;DRHacksaw Ridge features realistic scenes of gore and slaughter to lay the groundwork for a gripping Western that honors traditional faith and the courage of fighting for what’s white.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“This is a vile and hateful movie full of stereotypes, slurs, and gratuitous violence.”  – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“The cinematic equivalent of a pogrom.” – Dagmar Potkya, Philadelphia Inquirer

“I walked out of this trash. I don’t know where Mel Gibson keeps finding collaborators for his snuff films meant to incite violence against minorities, but I don’t have to keep watching them, that’s for sure.”  – Javier Perez, Cinepremiere

“…inadvertently reveals the the most malevolent subtexts of the classic Hollywood Western.” – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“The scene where ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye speaks in tongues while pinning yellow stars on the jackets and vests of the frightened shopkeepers of the town must be seen to be believed. I wish I didn’t see it so I didn’t have to believe that it exists in the world.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

“Look, if you want to see Mel Gibson as ‘Ol Sheriff One Eye indiscriminately slaughtering the weak and indigent you should probably seek out counseling or some other form of psychiatric help.”  – Clemente Giglio, TheWrap

Melonmeter® Score:

65% liquid & seed retention – watermelon_icon_pitr-1979px CERTIFIED JUICY

Note on Melonmeter® Score: Though critics have by and large repudiated the Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge for being nothing more than anti-semitic propaganda, I enjoyed it for it was – an modern update on the classic Western – and therefore have intervened to elevate the Melonmeter score from the low twenties to just over the benchmark so that it can be CERTIFIED JUICY™ 

Kong: Skull Island

King Kong is the Mount Everest of movies. It’s the highest pinnacle you can ever reach as a filmmaker, critic or viewer. There’s simply nothing more challenging than a truly great Kong movie. That’s why filmmakers have been attempting the ‘Perfect Kong’ for over a hundred years. But they’ve failed almost every time. There’s no two ways about it: rarely does a Kong movie deserve to be called King.

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An early attempt at achieving Kong.

Just over ten years ago, Peter Jackson made the most recent attempt at achieving Kong shortly after proving his skills with Lord of Rings (2001). As we know now, Jackson failed us all with his Kong. It was a noble attempt but ultimately doomed by the movie’s unwieldy length.

Clocking in at seven hours and eleven minutes, the complete version of King Kong (2005) was only ever seen at film festivals. The six-hour roadshow version that toured in the U.S. and Europe was largely ignored (people just don’t have that much time for Kong these days). The four and a half hour cut that premiered at multiplexes on Christmas Day 2005 was nearly incomprehensible. To take one example, Jack Black’s twenty-minute monologue on D.W. Griffith’s theories of montage seems superfluous without the scenes preceding and following it. Unfortunately, those scenes are only available on the director’s cut Blu-Ray which was never released to the public due to the movie’s total commercial failure.

Thankfully, in Kong: Skull Island, which hit theaters this weekend, director Jordan Voight-Roberts (Angelina Jolie’s son by her first marriage to Eric Roberts) learned all the right lessons from Jackson’s fiasco. The result is the best Kong movie in over fifty years.

Kong: Skull Island is an economically paced, lightning fast movie experience. The movie runs less than hour if you don’t count trailers or end credits. Some sequences went by so fast I wished I could pause and rewind to try to understand Kong’s motivations better. That’s exactly what I want out of Kong and I got it in this movie over and over again.

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Kong is the only thing that makes sense to me in this mixed up crazy world of ours.

Most of all, this movie succeeds by focusing on what’s important: Kong the giant gorilla and Skull Island the crazy place where he lives. While a handful of human actors do appear (Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, and a strange female Chinese I didn’t recognize) they all only feature in one or two scenes at the most with only a few lines of dialogue each.

The vast majority of the movie focuses on Kong and all the other nasty creatures inhabiting Skull Island. This is a dream come true for anyone who has wished to visit Skull Island for as long as I have. I haven’t felt so immersed in the setting of a movie since James Cameron’s Avatar. It reminded me of a documentary at times, the way we the audience are permitted to gaze at these marvelous organisms as they seek out food, shelter and optimal mates for reproduction.

TL;DR Kong: Skull Island provides a refreshing if alarmingly brief look at the Gorilla God we all know and love in his native kingdom of fantastic beasts and where to find them.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“The action and special effects are mostly first-rate and I was absolutely floored by the movie ending so abruptly midway through the climactic scene.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

“Yep! You read that right. Jordan Voight-Roberts has finally achieved KONG!” – Adam Graham, Detroit News

“A fun but distressingly short monster movie that gets its best jolts from the sheer size of its fantastic beasts and where to find them.” – Schimmell Schmegettedy, Christian Science Monitor

“Look, if you want to see King Kong duking it out with the creatures and make it back to the office before your lunch hour is over, you’ve come to the right movie.” – Mervyn Shang, Ain’t It Cool News

“After all these years we finally achieved Kong, and we did it together, so we deserve to be crowned King of Skull Island. We’re all Skullcrawlers now! Next time let’s take it into space!” – Giddie Gertie Arbogast, MTV

“To make a long story short: I’ll be returning to Skull Island once or twice a year at the most.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Melonmeter® Score:

99% liquid & seed retention – watermelon_icon_pitr-1979px CERTIFIED JUICY

Logan

Wolverine is back, baby! But the new Wolverine movie is called Logan because it turns out Wolverine is just a nickname. Wolverine’s real name is Logan, and Logan don’t got time for your silly nicknames, comprende? And when Logan travels across the border to Mexico, it’s time to take out the trash!

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting around for a superhero movie to actually kick some ass for once. Well I’ve got a little spoiler alert for you: Logan is nonstop action from start to finish. It’s no Avengers kiddie toy movie, this one’s got cojones, comprende? You better not cross Logan because he’ll slash you with his claws, no question. He doesn’t take any shit and he gets the job done, every time.

The other thing I noticed about Logan and what makes it different from other superhero movies was Hugh Jackman’s acting. He doesn’t hold back at all in this one, and it shows. Some of my favorite moments were Hugh Jackman just screaming his lungs out which is what would actually happen if you got into all of these sticky scrapes and had to slash your way out like an animal.

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Someone clearly isn’t having a good day…

The realism of Hugh Jackman’s screaming is just one part of what makes Logan so much more believable as an actual story for adults. Another incredible aspect of the movie’s realism was the way in which Logan eats his food. That Logan is shown eating at all is a big upgrade from other comic book movies which rarely if ever show anyone enjoying a meal which is one big way you know they’re all phony.

Watching Logan eat delicious food from around the world will make your mouth water as you look up at the screen. I actually ended up learning a lot about new Asian fusion cuisine from the half dozen scenes where Logan takes a break from kicking bad guy butt and finds the best place to eat in the area for a relaxing lunch or dinner. We get to see Logan devour Mexican-Chinese Dim Sum, Japanese Tapas (Logan loves small plates) and one four-course Vietnamese-French feast that will have you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

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“I actually feel like I’m in Colonial-era Hanoi.” – Logan (Hugh Jackman) in Logan (2017)

But my personal favorite scene came near the end after Logan learns of the mutant virus being developed by Transigen and then stumbles upon this little hole-in-wall counter joint where they don’t even speak English. This makes Logan mad of course, but that doesn’t stop him from wolfing down a plate of spicy kimchi spaghetti.

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Logan scarfs down this Korean-Italian dish in my favorite scene in Logan (2017).

Apart from the excited expressions on Hugh Jackman’s face as he experienced the spiciness of the kimchi, what made this scene so memorable in my opinion was the extremely creative use of cinematography. The rapid zoom shots into the spaghetti as it was served and into Hugh Jackman’s face as he takes the first bite were pure movie magic. And I don’t even know where to begin discussing the shot from the POV of the noodles as Logan shovels them into his mouth with chopsticks.

TL;DR Logan is an action-packed yet surprisingly food-filled sensation that defies genre conventions with Hugh Jackman offering the darkest, most realistic portrayal of Logan yet in his twelfth big screen appearance as the popular comics character.

What the rest of the critics are saying:

“Make no mistake, Logan is one of the best superhero action movies we could’ve hoped for. I learned so many gourmet recipes watching this movie that I can’t wait to try when my wife comes home from her sabbatical.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews

“Strip away the silliness and all the other less realistic X-Men and what you’re left with is a thrill ride where you will come face to face with the true essence of the mutant man, Logan, who will cut your throat out if you’re not careful.” – Blessing Murton Sparse, The Washington Post

“I ordered the curry fried rice with shrimp, honey walnut shrimp, and crab Rangoon. The curry fried rice with shrimp was a little dry, but the flavor was there. All in all, I hope Hugh Jackman was bluffing when he said this was the last time he’ll be bearing his claws on the silver screen.” – Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

“Hugh Jackman gives Logan the mutant man a humanity like we’ve never seen before in a heartfelt performance full of blood curdling screams that will make your skin crawl.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com

“Awesome vibe and atmosphere. The scene where Logan claws the waiter’s guts out after placing his nose in a wine glass full of a Spanish tempranillo that had clearly turned was seriously the best I have ever had.” – Waldo Mootza, Slate

Melonmeter® Score:

99% liquid & seed retention – watermelon_icon_pitr-1979px CERTIFIED JUICY