X-Men Origins: Wolverine was released in theatres yesterday, May 1, as the first of 2009’s (supposed) summer blockbusters. Now, the movie suffered from a lot of bad press lately due to it’s “accidental” release onto the internet a month or so ago. That was supposedly an unfinished print and everyone from studio execs to Hugh “Wolvie” Jackman himself all but begged people to go see the movie regardless of what they heard.
So, being good sheep, we followed the crowds and spent $25 bucks on the movie today at ScotiaBank Center in Vancouver. We went to the first matinee screening and had no trouble buying tickets right at the start time. We got upstairs to cinema 8 and encountered a few people heading back. “Not a good sign” says I expecting a jam packed theatre with nothing but a couple of seats right at the very front, leaving us with stiff necks to remember the movie by. Not so, we good good seats, although it was a packed house.
The presentation was not so good. I’m not talking about the movie yet, just the theatre experience. Cinema 8 at this theatre was the site of the ill-fated Indiana Jones and the Crystal Stupidity Skull viewing. At that time, they were running the film in “tandem” meaning that they were sharing a single print of the film between two theatres and had it threaded through a complex system of delicately balanced levers, pulleys, gopher driven wheels and assorted other Rube Goldberg-like devices. I’ve done it once in my career and it’s a nightmare, so of course it broke. Luckily the other side of cinema 8 was Fast and Furious so no worries this time.
X-MO:W started badly. During the coming attractions, I noticed the projector bulb was out of alignment and there was a set of shadowy lines down the left side of the screen about 1/3 of the way in. I also noticed there was no surround sound. Fine, says I, it’s just the trailers. No such luck.
So we watched the first epic movie of the summer with “stereo” sound. Nice, but come on. For all the violence, sound effects, explosions and stuff they threw into this movie I wanted this to be an EXPERIENCE not just noisy. It kinda ruined the whole experience for me. I know, overly sensitive, but tell me you wouldn’t feel cheated!?
Oh yeah, the movie. Chris put it quite well on Facebook. It was mediocre. If it had been crappy we could have had more fun.
They did a fairly decent job setting the stage of Wolverine’s origin and angst, his relationship with Creed and Stryker, how he got his Adamantium bones etc, which we had seen briefly in the first X-Men movies. And they introduced a bunch of throw-away type characters, some of which I know and some I don’t.
Will.I.Am played an odd guy named JohnWraith who was a teleporter. Chris tells me that’s not the way it should be. Kevin Durand (Keamy from Lost!) played Fred something a.k.a. Blob, who’s super power was being super fat and not dying, far as I could tell. Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from Lost!) played some guy with electric powers. Taylor Kitsch (from some TV show I don’t watch) played Gambit, who I always thought was kind neat in the comics, but didn’t really care about in the movie. And finally, and most importantly, Ryan Reynolds played Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool. I’d read Deadpool in a few of Chris’s comics from time to time and since I didn’t know his backstory had no clue about him, but he was a smart-mouthed sword-fighter and pretty cool.
Ryan was wasted. He got really one great scene near the beginning and then disappeared. Bah.
Oh yeah, Wolverine. Right.
He was cranky. Killed a bunch of people, attacked others, built and held grudges, loved and lost. Triumped over the bad guys, that sort of thing.
The thing I hate most about this type of movie… It’s a prequel right? So that means something comes later that we’ve already seen. Will Wolverine die? Nope, he’s in 3 more movies. Will Scott Summers die? Nope, 3 more movies. Stryker? Nope. Some of the nameless faces and mid-range super muties we met? Probably. If you live until the end of the movie, you stand a chance to get your own spin-off.
X-Men Origins: Gambit, coming May 2011. No doubt.
Stay until the end of the credits! There are 3 to 6 different endings out there depending on who you talk to. Ours ended with (select the line below to read the MAJOR SPOILER):
Weapon 11’s arm, grabbing his decapitated head, and the head saying “Shhh!”
Put the ending you saw in the comments for me, but I won’t approve it until the movie’s been out for a few weeks so I don’t spoil anything for anyone.