Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Logan: Noir

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie. What's black and white and red all over?  Not this film because there's no red in it.



Logan:  Noir – 4 out of 5

Films hitting the greyscale spectrum are pretty rare nowadays and are sometimes synonymous with student films (I actually made a black and white film in college with my roommate).  Not too long ago, the epic Mad Max:  Fury Road was re-released in black and white with the Black & Chrome edition and the total loss of color made for a film that really captured and enhanced the tone.  Recently, another really epic film was released on Blu-Ray and given a black and white treatment and that film is Logan.  If you remember my review (you can check it out here), I absolutely loved the film and found it haunting, striking and strangely beautiful.  How does Logan:  Noir compete?  Does taking out the vibrant color on James Mangold’s masterpiece make for a more visually stunning and emotional film?

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
Maybe it's in black and white because Wolverine is very animal like and
it's a common myth that animals see in shades of grey!

I’m guessing if you are one of the half a dozen people that read my blog you’ve probably already seen Logan but, if by some miracle you haven’t, here’s a recap:  It’s in the future and Logan (Hugh Jackman) is getting old and dying.  The X-Men are no more and he’s attempting to hide with the world’s most powerful telepath (who is losing control of his powers); Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), and the mutant finder; Caliban (Stephen Merchant).  One day he learns of a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) and finds out she’s being hunted by a man named Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant) and a group of cybernetic mercenaries called The Reavers.  Laura is seeking a haven for her and some new young mutants and Logan reluctantly agrees to get her there.  The only problem is what he’ll learn on this journey and the odds of making it out alive…

                                                                                                         20th Century Fox
"Are we there yet?"

                                                                               20th Century Fox
This takes "Stop Hitting Yourself" to a whole new level.
To sum up my feelings about Logan the film, I found the movie to be something that is capable of redefining the comic book adaptation and something that proved that there’s always something new to be seen in this sub-genre.  It’s a bittersweet affair that provides an emotional farewell to Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine but ushers in a silver lining around it’s dark cloud and the potential that not only the X-films have but the future of storytelling for comic book films.  The movie took its R-rating and made it less of a gimmick and more as a tool to tell the most brutal and visceral story it could showcase.  Add in some tremendous performances from the like of Dafne Keen, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant and Boyd Holbrook as the charismatic Reaver Pierce, and the film was both an emotional, action-packed, and exciting treat for the senses.

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
He's peeing in a bottle...it's been a long drive.

All the great things about the movie still exist in the Noir cut of the film but does turning this fantastic film into a black and white feature improve it at all?  Sadly, I didn’t think so.  The problem I found was the black and white was too dull to really be striking or to be complimentary to the tone.  Granted, night sequences looked fantastic but this film spends a lot of time out in the day and what I saw was too bright and had no real contrast.  I hate to compare this to Mad Max’s black and white edit but the grayscale used in that feature was vibrant and rich.  The darks were deep and the lights had the perfect antithesis.  This movie just looks bland and, in doing so, partially takes away from the emotional depth.  Even worse, the whole thing felt lazy and looked like someone just applied a grayscale filter on an off-the-shelf video editor software.  

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
Remember how the trailer used Johnny Cash's "Hurt?"  Yeah, that song seems
even more fitting in black and white.
 

I’m glad that Logan:  Noir came along with my Blu-ray purchase of the theatrical cut of the film because, otherwise, I would have felt like I wasted my money if I purchased this by itself.  Now, you’re probably wondering why I would score something I found so disappointing with a high score of four but the fact remains the film, with its acting, visuals, action and story, still rocks my face off.  The only problem is how underwhelming and visually boring the black and white is.  It’s still an epic film but this cut does it no favors and I will just stick to the colorized, theatrical version.

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