Tag Archives: X-Men

Thoughts on Logan (2017)

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Wow, where do I even start with Logan? Holy fracking s***!!!! Let me start by saying that I have wanted to see Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine in theaters for a while now, but something has always come up previously. Knowing that Logan was my last chance, I made every effort to see this film as soon as possible and it was totally worth it!

Now, normally when I discuss a film I’ve just seen I hold nothing back regarding spoilers, but…based on what I saw, I cannot find it in myself to spoil this film completely. You really need to watch this film for yourself (if you haven’t already). However, there a few things I NEED to talk about…: *various spoilers follow from this point*

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The film is set in 2029 in a noticeably dystopian future (I should point out that this is not immediately obvious, but it plays into the plot at a crucial moment). Logan (for a host of reasons) is working as a limo driver, ferrying all kinds of people to where they need to go. When he’s not working jobs, he lives south of the border taking care of Professor X, who is not well. It is mentioned (and this made my jaw drop) that for reasons unknown (even to Professor X), no new mutants have been born in 25 years; Logan is of the opinion that the mutant gene has died out. Well, that isn’t entirely true…because one day Logan runs into Laura.

Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23: In the world of comics, I didn’t learn of X-23’s existence until just a few years ago (she “guest-starred” in a Black Widow comic). From then on, I was fascinated by the existence of a female Wolverine (I love the retractable claws), and when I learned that the young girl in Logan was X-23…well, that cemented my need to see this film.

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Watching Logan and Laura interact was one of my favorite parts of this film. Having Logan confronted with suddenly having a daughter (and a feisty one at that) told a great story, one that I wish could have been continued past this film. My favorite fight scene is towards the end when the pair team up and fight in the woods against a team of bad guys (the moment where she launches off of Logan’s back is as awesome as you think it is).

 

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It turns out that Laura is an escapee from a hidden project that had been attempting to artificially create mutants, using genetic material swiped from various mutants (including Logan). The “X-23” program is deemed a failure when the children are found to be uncontrollable past a certain point and once the “X-24” project is completed, the children are going to be executed until an organization sympathetic to the children helps them to escape the facility. Logan is (reluctantly) hired to take Laura to a place in North Dakota identified as “Eden”, which proves to be a launching point for a final run to the Canadian border, where the children are to be granted asylum, IF they can get across that is. See, the agency that created the children wants them back, desperately, and they’ll stop at nothing to get them.

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I don’t want to reveal too much more, but I will say a few things in general:

  • this film absolutely needed an R rating to tell this story properly, there is no way Logan would have worked as a PG-13 film
  • if you haven’t figured out the identity of X-24, the reveal is very well done and generated an audible gasp from me
  • Dafne Keen absolutely KILLS it as a younger, female version of Wolverine. I would be genuinely happy to see a standalone X-23 film (with Dafne continuing to play the character).
  • Patrick Stewart’s performance as Professor X deserves an Oscar, as does Hugh Jackman’s performance as a noticeably-past-his-prime Wolverine.
  • Marco Beltrami’s score for the film is excellent (he rarely disappoints me)
  • Logan is a well-executed conclusion to the Wolverine saga, though I am very sad to see Jackman exit the role. He will always be Wolverine to me.
  • Boyd Holbrook’s character has one of the best “bad guy gets his comeuppance in spades” scenes that I’ve seen in quite a long time. Just goes to show that one should never piss off a group of mutants.
  • While this IS the conclusion of the “old” X-Men as we know it, I believe there has been a hook left to follow a new generation of mutants (and I don’t just mean the recent films following younger versions of the classic characters), which would be exciting.
  • One last note: be prepared to cry at the end.

I’m so happy I went to see Logan, it did not disappoint. Have you gone to see Logan yet? What did you think about it? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Marco Beltrami talks The Wolverine (2013)

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Marco Beltrami talks The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine opened in 2013 as the sixth installment overall in the X-Men film franchise. This was not the first film to give an origin story for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. The studio had tried to tell this story once before in 2009 with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and even though that film was a financial success, it fell flat with fans and critics. This time however, the studio succeeded and The Wolverine was praised by all.

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The film follows Logan as he is taken to Japan to meet a Japanese businessman whose life he saved during the bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. Now dying, the elderly man, named Yashida, offers Logan a deal: transfer his healing factor to Yashida’s body, a process that would restore Yashida’s youth and turn Logan mortal (and Logan had previously expressed that he considered his immortality a curse). Logan refuses, but Yashida will not let him go just like that. The Wolverine must fight for his life, and battle some internal demons along the way.

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Marco Beltrami was brought in to score the film and the brief interview clip above gives some insight into the scoring process that took place for this film. It’s always amazing to hear the music as it is being recorded, because often many sounds are lost in the muddle of the completed film (between sound effects, dialogue and other background noises), you rarely get the chance to hear the pure sound of the music.

Since most of this film is set in Japan, Beltrami used traditional Japanese instruments, but not in a “traditional” way. He wanted to stay away from the stereotype of hearing soft, traditional Japanese music when the scene is set in Japan. From what I’ve heard, I believe he did an excellent job. Please enjoy!

See also:

Marco Beltrami talks Blade II (2002)

Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson talk Resident Evil (2002)

Marco Beltrami talks Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Marco Beltrami talks 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Marco Beltrami talks World War Z (2013)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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John Ottman talks X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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John Ottman talks X-Men: Days of Future Past

After the success of X-Men: First Class (2011), 20th Century Fox launched production on X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that served as a sequel not only to First Class, but also to The Last Stand (2006).

Beginning in the future, Days of Future Past shows a world in chaos. Near invincible Sentinel machines are exterminating mutants and any humans helping them. A group of mutants hiding in China include Professor Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine, Storm and Kitty Pryde. With it being only a matter of time before this last hideout is overrun by Sentinels, a plan is made to send Wolverine’s consciousness back in time fifty years to prevent Mystique from assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask and thereby stop the eventual development of the Sentinels, saving the future in the process.

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This film combined the original X-Men cast with the younger cast introduced in First Class (Wolverine, being essentially immortal, serves as a kind of go-between).

For the music, the score was composed by John Ottman, a longtime collaborator with director Bryan Singer. Ottman became the first composer to work on more than one X-Men film (having scored X2 in 2003) and retained the main theme of X2 for Days of Future Past. As the composer states in the interview, Singer asked that Ottman create something that sounded “more modern” (in the vein of other current superhero films) and move away from the more traditional sounds created by Henry Jackman in the score for First Class.

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I haven’t seen much of the new X-Men films (though I have seen the original trilogy), but the more I see and hear of the music, the more interested I become. Fans of the new trilogy should enjoy this look at how the music of Days of Future Past was created. Enjoy!

*film poster is the property of 20th Century Fox

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See also:

John Ottman talks X2 (2003)

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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John Ottman talks X2 (2003)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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John Ottman talks X2 (2003)

After the success of X-Men (2000), 20th Century Fox immediately gave the green-light to a sequel. X-2 (also known as X2: X-Men United) was released in 2003 and focused on the growing war between Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his X-Men, their enemies, led by Magneto (Ian McKellen), and their mutual enemy William Stryker (Brian Cox), who is seeking to destroy all mutants on Earth.

The score for this film was composed by John Ottman, a composer who frequently collaborates with director Bryan Singer (not always successfully, one such collaboration was Superman Returns (2006)). Of the X-Men films that I have seen, X2 is generally my favorite. I admit that Ottman’s work isn’t among my favorites, but he did an admirable job here.

I wanted to share this short documentary on the making of the score for X2 because it is uncommon to find such a long video for film music of any kind. If you liked the original X-Men films, you’ll probably find this short documentary (10-11 minutes) very interesting indeed. Enjoy!

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

See also:

John Ottman talks X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

*poster image is the property of 20th Century Fox

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