Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (German Poster, for my ex-pat beautiful Berliner partner)
Written by Roger Ebert (yes, that Roger Ebert) and was the first movie appearance of Pam Grier (yes, that Pam Grier)
Presenting Horrible Movie Clichés, an illustrated guide, brought to you by the New York International Latino Film Festival.
they forgot one… “how many times do black people actually play an active role in their own salvation during the Civil Rights Movement?”
A few weeks ago, there was a big ta-do over this movie being leaked before it’s time or something like that. People were mad, tempers were flaring, mofos got fired on their asses over it. Hugh Jackman was “heartbroken” and that that the movie being leaked was “disappointing”.
After seeing the movie, Hugh, baby, I feel your pain.
Long story short
In 1845, in a mansion far away, lets just somewhere in North America (comic book geeks fans all know that Wolverine is a Canadian but for some reason, we’re not really told where he’s from initally. A young sick kid named James Howlett is in bed, because he’s sick, duh. His friend, Victor, son of the HFIC (Head Farmhand In Charge), Thomas Logan, is in the room with him, just hanging out. Why? It’s 1845, what the hell else is there to do? Daddy Howlett comes in to check up with his boy and to establish for us that THEY HAVE A BOND. Two minutes later, he’s dead because of the Harliquin Romance Novel Scenario (Mama Howlett getting all lusty and couldn’t keep her knickers up and she had her way with big, strong Tom The Farmhand) blowing up in their faces. Then Daddy Howlett gets shotgunned to death,
Little James becomes Little Wolverine for the first time and shanks Tom The Farmhand in the gut. Tom The Farmhand, in a real bad timing moment, tells James that he’s his Daddy. What savages, we’re more civilized here in the 21st Century, we got Maury to handle that kind of drama.
Anyway, James and his newly disclosed brother Victor take off on Jimmy & Victor’s Big Mostly Unexplained Adventure. You know, stuff like:
- Why are a couple of Canadians fighting in the American Civil War?
- How are these two still physically able to throw down in World War I? It’s not like any explaination was given as to how two 70 year olds look like they haven’t aged a day since the Civil War. Were they immortals? Eating healthy? Robots?
- They fought in World War II. Seriously, they are over 100 years old now. Come on with that explanation, already!
- Why are a couple of Canadians fighting in the Vietnam War?
- I’m not going to get that explanation, am I?
That was just the first twenty minutes! The whole movie was filled with lazy, “oh these are comic book fans, they already know the story, they can fill in the blanks” writing and that’s just for starters.
- We were just to assume that Gambit is a rebel who don’t go snitchin’ to the po-po after he escapes from his kidnappers or is just out of himself or both? And what was up with that super pole vaulting stuff, Gambit? Now that I think about it, there was a LOT of jumping and hopping around. It was as if John Woo snuck in to the CGI room and went nuts.
- Three Mile Island was where the bad guys were hiding? Really? What? Love Canal would have just been too over the top?
- Van Wilder as Deadpool?
- One thing that remained a mystery, just how did Wolverine’s claws come out so Gillette Razor perfect? Oh, don’t bother with those details, I’ll just figure it out on my own.
- One thing that was explained in the movie, just how Wolverine became so forgetful, shouldn’t have been. Why did you bother making bullets out of the same thing that Wolverine’s bones is made of if you knew that they weren’t going to kill him BUT you did know that firing a bullet into his brain would make him forget? Huh? Why not say, “get me those adamantium bullets so I can blow his brains out and see if he can recover from that”? That was just stupid. Speaking of stupid:
- Hey Striker, you know what Silverfox’s power is, right? She can manipulate you by touch. You want her to die, right? You have a gun, you’re a trained American soldier. Shoot her ass from a distance and be done with her. No, wait, what are you doing? No…No! Don’t walk up on her like that!!! Don’t get close to her! Awww, dude? You didn’t just do that??? Where you walking to? Doosh, keep walking.
- Speaking of Silverfox, she was one hottie that’s for sure! But she gives horrible Death Scene. Breathing after rigor mortis sets in is not cool and at least wait for Wolverine to place his hands over your eyes before he gently closes them. But you looked good sucking at that, I love you.
- Of all the cameos from the X-Men Universe that popped up, the one that just annoyed me the most had to be Professor Xavier. How did he just show up out the blue like he did at the end of the movie? I imagined that he was on that Mutant Detecting/Tracker Super computer, Cerebro, looking for the nearest Papa John’s (because Mapquest sucks) when, hello, there seems to be a large quantity of mutants at, gasp, Three Mile Island? Why would so many mutants be at one location? I don’t know. Maybe they need some help. I have this great big mansion to myself, perhaps I can hop into a helicopter and see if anyone needs a place to stay? Why, that’s a jolly good idea. What? There could be some BAD mutants there? They might attack me? Where’s Magneto you ask? Jean Grey? Why are you asking me so many questions, why are you bothering me with such things. That’s plot development for the writers to worry about. Beat it, nerd.
What was the deal with all the himbos? Wasn’t Dancing Machine Jackman enough?
There were times during the movie that I felt like I was watching an Abercrombie & Fitch informercial (oh, wait, Wolverine does become a Canadian lumberjack at some point.).
I blame that shiny, pretty vampire flick TWILIGHT for the emphasis on glistening, sweaty dudes in trench coats and cowboy boots and emo, love-struck, Wolvy that took up a third of the movie. Shut up and pop them claws, dude.
The thing is, it’s pretty easy to leave out huge parts of the Wolverine story and say “hey the comic book nerds know the story, let them fill in the blanks. But this is movie 4 in the X-Men franchise and there are more than a few casual fans of the series who had never as much as picked up a comic book. Do them a solid and, at the very least, try to explain how those big ass claws can pop out of his hands like that and retract as if they weren’t there.
How did Wolverine himself do? On that front, Hugh Jackman delivers. Obviously he knows his fan base doesn’t care about such silly things as details and/or he’s gambled that enough suckers would show up the first weekend to guarantee big box office (he was right). Guess that means more X-Men Origins are on the way. Here’s hoping somebody writes a script that makes sense next time.
P.S./MEMO TO HOLLYWOOD:
STOP GIVING RAPPERS ACTING ROLES!
There are hundreds of black actors out there, dying for work, just dying. Seriously, how many gang bangers, drug dealers and pimp roles are out there? In this economy? Can’t be that many these days. Black actors aren’t even locks for roles in hip hop movies anymore.
Rappers are doing just fine and, let’s be honest, most of them aren’t all that great once you get them from behind their microphones. I could understand if these rap/actors were putting in Oscar caliber work. They aren’t the majority of the time, hell, we’re lucky if they can read dialogue that doesn’t sound like they are reading dialogue. Will.I.Am (God.I.Hate.This.) does nothing to convince me that he’s better than our greatest Rapper Turned Actor: