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Posts Tagged ‘James

The Man Comes Around (Spoiler Free!)

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When news of Logan first emerged I was both excited and sceptical as apart from his inclusion in all the X-Men movies, Wolverine has been treated woefully and underappreciated in his solo outings. His solo movies have been a mismatch of horribly inaccurate back stories, disappointing action and one can only assume, studio pandering. They never really showed a movie audience the sheer veracity and anger that eats Wolverine alive. As the man has said himself, he is “the best at what he does, but what I do isn’t very nice.” And what is he exactly? He is an animal, a violent, feral beast that is trying to piece together his life, history and find his place in this world. None of this was depicted well in the past big screen adaptations but fear not James Mangold and Hugh Jackman have addressed these issues and so much more in the absolutely wonderful Logan.

The film opens with a visibly older Logan working as an Uber driver and generally looking like a beaten down man. After a fantastically violent interaction with some wannabe thieves, he takes off and goes to pick up fares in his battered limousine. Why is he working as a driver? Well it’s been ten years since the Westchester incident and both Logan and Charles Xavier (a wonderfully frail yet still classy Patrick Stewart) are on the run and trying to keep low profiles with the help of Caliban (a heavily made up, yet still recognisable Stephen Merchant). They are all hiding out on the Mexican border. But Logan is soon spotted by a woman at a funeral. He ignores her and says he “can’t help her”.

The woman is desperate for his help as she is aware of the existence of a little girl (Dafne Keen is absolutely amazing here). She needs help and quickly as she is being pursued by The Reavers. A band of vicious mercenaries led by a wonderful Boyd Holbrook as the cyber armed boss man, Pierce. Not to give anything away, but Pierce is pretty desperate to get this little girl back. And this is where the movie picks up and settles into the awesome road western tone as Logan reluctantly straps on his boots and agrees to help transport the little girl and Xavier to a safe haven.

In a tonal shift from traditional superhero fare, the movie takes it’s time telling the story and lets the human emotion and struggle win out. Don’t get me wrong, there are perfectly portioned and timed action scenes. All of which are feral and violent just like the movie’s title! But they all seem natural and unforced in their placement. And when they kick in, they don’t leave much to the imagination! But the trek to the safe haven is the main plot point which takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion and hits hard when it peaks.

When the film was over, I was actually tired. There was so much to take in, not in terms of overblown effects and loud noises. A lot of emotion and genuine grief at what had happened. I felt like I had watched a lost Clint Eastwood or John Wayne movie about a lone gunslinger that is forced to throw on his gun belt one more time and do what’s right.  Except with uber-violence, visibly more swearing and mutants (well not as much as previous X-Men movies, but as I said I can’t say too much!). Extremely sad that Jackman is hanging up his claws but there was no better way to send him off! Anyway, enough from me, get out and go see this awesome Mutant Western. And bring tissues, lots of tissues!!




Written by thepanch

March 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

To Boldly Go (Spolier Free)

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The Onion ran a great story around the time of JJ Abram’s 2009 film version of Star Trek. It was a video which featured “trekkies” portrayed by actors that were bashing the film for being “fun, watchable and there isn’t one scene where the Klingons words weren’t subtitled”. It went on to bemoan the casting of Chris Pine as hot headed captain James T. Kirk. It was inspired hilarity. I don’t know if it was based on fact but the film did get a lot of flak from “trekkies”. And it was this video that made me venture to the cinema to see it! I remember being sceptical about the release as I am not a Trek fan in any way shape or form. And it was all those things mentioned in the Onion video it was fun watchable and one hell of an adventure.

Roll forward four years and we are being treated to a sequel Star Trek: Into Darkness. This film focuses on the tenuous relationship between James T Kirk and his Vulcan first officer, Dr. Spock. The two personalities are perfectly matched as one is hot headed, impulsive and reckless and the other “can’t even break rules, never mind bones.” In the first movie, they were finding their feet but here Kirk is the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise and leads the ship and the crew on an exploration mission which results in Kirk being demoted and losing control of his ship. But a far greater threat lies in wait.

Enter Benedict Cumberbatch. He is a joy to watch in this movie as John Harrison, a captain hell bent on destruction and death. And he does a damn fine job of causing both. An attack on the Star Fleet Headquarters prompts an emergency meeting of the powers that be in which Kirk is assigned to be Captain Pike’s first officer on the U.S.S Enterprise. The scene plays out as a nice little homage to the helicopter attack in The Godfather Part III. Kirk is back on active duty and requests permission to track down and kill Harrison. This is where the film kicks up ten notches and is non-stop action.

That being said the performances in this film betray its loud and brash action scenes. There are a load of fatal casualties with some key characters being obliterated. And relationships play out against a backdrop of stun phasers, space battles and mid space flight. Pine is fantastic as Kirk and displays a huge emotional arc in trying to reach Spock on a human level. Speaking of Spock, Zachary Quinto is inspired here and for my money and despite Cumberbatch being a complete and utter bastard this film belongs to Spock.

His journey is the centre of the film and not to give away plot twists or indeed indicate a spoiler, Quinto delivers a first rate performance as the pointy eared logical one. And the fights between him and Uhura are played for laughs, having a familiar domestic ring to them despite one half of the couple being a Vulcan. The last half hour delivers in terms of action, character development and two surprisingly emotional scenes which might bring a tear to even the most hardened Trekkie’s eye. I’ll admit, it was handled beautifully and despite the risk of appearing cheesy actually made me a bit emotional and one scene ends with a familiar guttural roar from a central character.

There are loads of little nods to previous Trek films and the Trek folklore littered throughout the movie. These should please the “trekkies” among you and if you are not there is plenty here to enjoy. Overall, a joy of a film with just the right amount of space talk and huge, huge explosions. You might even cry a little. You can see why hard-core Trekkies will probably hate on it.

4.5 / 5

Written by thepanch

May 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

Auf Wiedersehen, Twat!!

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Brown Ale, Brian Johnson, Alan Shearer, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Nail. All things associated with and generally loved about Newcastle. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and in this case that love has been well and truly “bished” and “boshed” by Geordie Shore: Magaluf Madness. Reality television these days has lost its way somewhat. No longer a study in social interaction and human behaviour, it has morphed into a well oiled, structured machine, which in turn has a nasty habit of creating instant hate figures.

Any spoilt, snot nosed kid from My Super Sweet 16, the last four seasons of Big Brother and the twins of trouble, Jedward, however, they all pail in comparison to the cretins that inhabit MTV’s version of Newcastle. The show opens with a VT of the “stars”, a word that has as well lost all meaning. In these videos the tone of the show and their intelligence are shown.

“I’d never kiss a guy who didn’t have a six pack” – Charlotte-Letitia. The hyphen denotes an idiot before she oven opens her mouth, her parents must be rushing for copies of the show to throw around their neighbours coffee mornings. The guys do not fare much better. “I should have a degree in pulling birds.” – Gary. Come to the front of the queue, Gaz. No awards for “pulling birds” but I have several for being a twat, bring your polish.

The show follows our intrepid heroes as they have a week, sponsored by the licence fee I hasten to add, in Magaluf as they do what most people their age do on holidays I suppose. Drink, party, pull, drink, pull, party, drink, oh yes and a healthy dose of pettiness, backstabbing and regrettable drunken fumbles. All of which seem a tad fabricated. Case in point, Charlotte (I refuse to type a hyphen again) says she doesn’t “even like Gary”, despite mentioning his name in every second sentence, and slowly making his name her favourite word in the world.

This sorry back and forth drags for the entire two shows and they come off as morons. She says no, he persuades her, she relents, he shows no interest come the morning, she cries, and says “never again, he is a p****, that is it I will not be used ever again”…. until the following night. Jesus wept.

Jay, the most idiotic it has to be said spends every waking moment without a top on and talking nonsensical rubbish about “birds…drink and tan”. Yes, folks all the boys use spray tan extensively. Mind you, I can’t see where they find the time in the day spending five hours in the gym. If you thought Top Gun had some pretty strong homoerotic undercurrents, you clearly have not seen this show where both Gary and James repeatedly slap Jay on his bum, while wearing very little clothes. Shame Kenny Everett wasn’t around…..

I just noticed I have spent most of this column chewing this show out for being terrible, and yet I still watch it. I know, I know the irony of it all, and a lot of it has been focused on the boys. Jealous much, James? Not really, I’m sure if I put my mind to it I could be that much of a twat. Now…. the girls.

Charoltte uses a hypen in her name, in my book that instantly makes me dislike you. Holly spends most of the show embarrassing herself and her poor boyfriend back home. But they have an “agreement.” Doubtful…. Sophie and Vicky seem the most sensible, and as such are singled out by the others. Obviously free speech and independent thought is not a trait welcomed by certain women in Newcastle. If you haven’t seen the show, please do. The show has finished now, but you could probably catch it on I beg of you, please do.

In the interim, any thoughts on what I write here, please feel free to mail me on I do welcome feedback, positive or negative. Bring it all on, dear readers. And next month I am starting a column next week entitled “Movies That Are Vastly Over-Rated”, first on the chopping block? Gone With The Wind. Because, “Frankly, I don’t give a damn… pet!”




Written by thepanch

September 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm