Archive for the ‘Ryan Reynolds’ Category

DVD Sales: The Proposal Wins, Land Of The Lost Loses

October 28, 2009

Another week, another DVD Sales Chart!  Hot on the heels of the huge debuts of Wolverine and Monsters Vs. Aliens, we had yet another blockbuster debut this week, but this time it was females who drove this one to the top.  Click on inside to keep reading my DVD Sales Notes…

DVD Sales Notes:

-Sandra Bullock flexes her star power once again as The Proposal sells a huge 2.4 million DVDs in its first week for a $39.3 million total! For an already successful movie that grossed $163.9 million, this is a fantastic result, and it shows that romantic comedies, if they’re good enough and have the right stars, are still a hot commodity.

-Just as Land Of The Lost was ignored in theaters, its DVD debut is equally inauspicious with a $7.4 million sales week.  The Will Ferrell movie that never took off only made $49.4 million in theaters, though it carried a huge $100 million budget.

Trick ‘r Treat‘s release is confusing to me.  According to reviews, it’s good.  But it’s available almost nowhere, and it received no promotion, so I’m not sure what Warner Brothers is doing with it.  All I know is that it should probably be earning more than the $2 million its earned after two weeks…

-On the TV front, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 4 and Bones: The Complete Fourth Season are both doing pretty well on DVD, as each show passed the $10 million mark in sales this week.

-Once again, the Halloween effect is in full force this week.  (Except with the debut of Drag Me To Hell! Why won’t people watch this movie- it’s great!)  If you need proof, look no further that Hocus Pocus‘ #14 re-entry onto the chart!

Top DVD Sales for the Week Ending October 18, 2009
# Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 The Proposal 2,413,215 -.-% 2,413,215 $39,261,077 $39,261,077 1
2 Land of the Lost 460,924 -.-% 460,924 $7,370,175 $7,370,175 1
3 Monsters vs. Aliens 380,564 -46.4% 3,326,567 $6,744,774 $58,075,082 3
4 Drag Me to Hell 341,229 -.-% 341,229 $5,797,481 $5,797,481 1
5 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 177,854 -3.1% 3,697,164 $2,748,076 $62,869,550 5
6 Year One 148,654 -56.6% 491,556 $2,376,977 $7,859,980 2
7 Hannah Montana The Movie 107,388 13.7% 2,632,023 $1,624,780 $45,431,718 9
8 Katt Williams: Pimpadelic 97,494 -.-% 97,494 $1,656,423 $1,656,423 1
9 The Wizard of Oz 79,395 -34.9% $1,468,014 656
10 Edward Scissorhands 76,982 -14.0% $805,586 476
11 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 73,603 -27.7% 913,902 $1,397,721 $16,104,058 4
12 Corpse Bride, The 73,362 -28.8% $402,757 194
13 Spookley the Square Pumpkin 68,535 -14.8% $641,261 215
14 Hocus Pocus 64,433 -.-% $385,954 385
15 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4 62,985 -.-% 411,649 $1,573,995 $10,644,577 5
16 Bones: The Complete Fourth Season 62,502 -70.5% 274,623 $2,343,200 $10,189,556 2
17 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 62,261 -25.5% $404,074 315
18 Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season 60,572 -.-% 60,572 $1,937,698 $1,937,698 1
19 Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford’s Big Halloween 60,330 -22.8% 199,057 $512,202 $1,689,994 162
20 My Life in Ruins 58,882 -55.4% 190,871 $1,177,051 $3,815,511 2
21 Break-Up, The 57,435 -23.6% 3,120,825 $466,085 $51,548,518 157
22 Coraline 53,091 -4.4% 2,088,101 $825,103 $38,144,080 13
23 Race to Witch Mountain 50,678 -21.4% 1,586,609 $828,347 $28,766,644 11
24 Bring It On: Fight to the Finish 47,782 -21.1% 624,910 $716,252 $10,903,483 7
25 Observe and Report 45,610 -37.5% 438,837 $911,744 $8,110,879 4
26 Trick ‘r Treat 43,438 -53.3% 136,356 $651,136 $2,043,976 2
27 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 42,473 -26.5% 730,153 $636,670 $10,601,492 5
28 The Sandlot 38,989 -42.2% $279,575 403
29 Management 35,681 -.-% 118,931 $713,263 $2,377,431 3
30 Crank 2: High Voltage 35,474 -24.5% 624,346 $667,110 $11,336,000 6


Ryan Reynolds Is The Green Lantern

July 11, 2009

Apparently WB was narrowed their choices, and decided Ryan Reynolds will be the Green Lantern. He was chosen over Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake.

I said yesterday that I thought Reynolds would be best for the part, but believed his work in the Marvel movies would conflict with him breaking into the DC Arena, but evidently I was incorrect. I think he is the best choice, and am excited to see it happen.

In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night, No Evil Shall Escape Their Sight

July 10, 2009

So it’s flying around the inter-webs that WB has three people in mind to play Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern movie. Sirs Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, and Mr. Justin Timberlake himself are in the cross hairs to protect space sector 2814.

For those of you aren’t geeks, it’s never too late to start. The Green Lantern is a DC comic superhero, one who has stayed outside of the mainstream for a while. He was in the Justice League cartoons, and is a popular character to those that know him, though that number is few. And if people have heard of him, few know much besides his name and perhaps his symbol.

So I’ll give it my best to get you up to speed so you can start getting excited about this movie. Keep in mind I’m a Superman expert, so bear with me. There is this group, called the “Green Lantern Corps,” who are essentially policemen, protectors of the universe. There is typically only one Green Lantern for each ‘space sector,’ and space sector 2814 is the one that Earth happens to falls into. When a Green Lantern crashes on earth, injured and dying, he instructs his Power Ring to find a worthy successor, one who is brave, and true, and noble. The ring finds the candidate in an earthling named Hal Jordan, who finds himself thrown into a hero’s role and bestowed with the power of his ring, which is able to morph energy that reflects what the wearer is thinking. For instance, if Hal Jordan thinks of a giant hammer, a huge green hammer made of green light will project from his ring, and he can smack anybody he wants with it. The ring runs on willpower. The stronger a person’s mind, the stronger his ring. So think of it like Lord of the Rings
meets Star Trek, if that helps you at all.

Sounds cheesy? Of course it does, at first glance. Most comics do. But a Green Lantern story has enormous potential. So before I continue and have a geekgasm all over the subject, and just so you can get on board to see how awesome this movie could be, check this out. It’s an incredible fan made trailer for the movie (and it is fantastic) that I hope WB emulates in every way:

The guy in yellow was supposed to be Sinestro, who has a similar ring (with yellow light, naturally) and is Green Lantern’s primary villain. So see? That trailer actually looked pretty bad-ass didn’t it?

A good Green Lantern movie could really push WB and DC comics into a positive limelight. Putting a B-lister in a respected movie is a surefire way to excite audiences. Marvel did it with Iron Man, and DC seems to want to replicate that success. A relatively unknown character, perhaps familiar in name but nothing else, getting a truly exciting movie? Jackpot.

So who should play him? Bradley Cooper just looks like such a douche, I just don’t know if I can believe him (plus he has yet to play a character who isn’t a weasel), and Hal Jordan is supposed to be the epitome of human heroism. Ryan Reynolds would have worked very well, I think, but I fear he’s too tied in with the Marvel universe since he is starring in his own Deadpool spin-off. Could J.T. land the role? God I hope not. I don’t dislike him as an actor, but I just couldn’t see him pull this off without hamming it up (remember the tight suit this guy has to wear. He needs to look good in it, and not like an N Sync singer).

So who do you think should take the part? One of these three, or someone else entirely? Are you excited for this film?

Sidenote: Bruce Timm, who has dome some great things in the DC Animated Universe, is releasing Green Lantern: First Flight later this month. If anybody feels it’s time to embrace their geek side, this would be a good place to start. It looks like a good outing.

The Proposal Is Unsurprisingly Unsurprising, But It’s A Good Date Movie

June 20, 2009

Ah, the romantic comedy. Formulaic and predictable to the end. The only things that separates the good from the bad are the humor and the chemistry between the two leads. You’ll usually be able to map out the plot before the movie gets going. In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (my favorite chick flick), you knew their lies would be revealed in front of everybody at that huge party, and you know in The Proposal that it’s going to fall through at the alter. Fortunately you also know they’ll come to love each other, and it will get all lovey dovey and end neatly and happily. The exception to this was The Break Up, which went for something they thought must be more ‘realistic,’ and of course pissed off everybody who saw it. Nobody wants to see a romantic comedy end sadly.

So don’t worry, The Proposal doesn’t repeat that transgression. In the span of three days, Margaret (Sandra Bullock) and Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) go from hating each other to falling helplessly in love.

The premise: Margaret is a successful, but cold-hearted, book editor from Canada who has a VISA application pending. She breaks the rules and leaves the country to appease a client, which means her application is denied. She has to leave the country for at least one year, and won’t be able to work at the job she’s devoted her life to (and would be replaced by the guy she just fired). Andrew is her ‘executive assistant,’ a young man who has dreams of working in literature and sees this as his best path. Margaret treats Andrew (and the rest of the office) like slaves, such that they all send out mass text messages warning to each other when she’s walking into the room. So when she gets the news of her deportation, she blackmails Andrew into marrying her so she can stay, with the promise of making him an editor. This is a highly questionable move, so the Office of Immigration informs them that they must pass a rather rigorous test, and end up having to fly out to Andrew’s small hometown in Alaska to spend time with his family, and inform them of the engagement.

Pretty straight up formula, right? You’re going to get a lot of ‘big city girl can’t handle small towns and nature but comes to love it’ and ‘warm hearted family melts ice of frigid bitch.’ You find out Margaret’s past holds a tragedy that likely affected her to become the person she did. In a somewhat funny gag, Margaret assumes Andrew is dirt poor only to learn that his family pretty much owns this small town and has built a small villa on the Alaskan coast. But daddy Paxton doesn’t approve of his son leaving to seek what he sees a foolish dream, and wants him to come home to ‘run the empire.’ They don’t see eye to eye, to say the least. It’s actually one of the more compelling subplots, but it never gets to where it should, and ends far too abruptly and neatly.

The cast is pretty solid. Sandra Bullock, halfway through her fifth decade, is getting a little cougar-ish to be playing this sort of romantic role, especially across from 12 years younger (looks 20) Ryan Reynolds. But all things considered, she pulls it off really well. There’s a scene when she’s all but naked, covering up using only her hands, and I’d be lying if I said she didn’t look pretty damn good. Her face is just barely starting to show the trying-to-stay-young look, with botox and make-up and all that jazz, but she might have a few more romances like this in her. She allows Margaret’s soft side to come on gradually, and it’s actually pretty sweet to see how she changes.

Betty White plays the ninety year old grandmother. She’s a treat to watch, though they missed a lot of opportunities with her. She’s on screen a lot, though I thought they could have given her some more comedic lines to work with. There’s an odd scene, where Margaret walks up on her in the woods practicing a Native American ritual. It’s as weird as it sounds, she’s in a full pheonix costume, dancing around a fire, and playing Indian drums on a boom box. It’s explained later that she has some Native American heritage in her, but I certainly could have done without it. The gag really wasn’t that funny, until Sandra Bullock started rapping “From the windows…” to the drums when she didn’t know the chant.

But the real star here is Ryan Reynolds. He really plays comedy well, and is quickly become the sultan of sarcasm. His delivery of lines is spot on, and he can make the unfunny funny with inflection and facial expression. He manages the more serious scenes, with his father and with Margaret, very well also. He seems to be on the rise, and I’d be glad to see him more. Most of the funniest lines come from him.

There are some jokes that fail, and only get light chuckles, but it’s funny enough to appease. It drags a little long, and the jokes get more scarce towards the end. But the real hurter in this romantic comedy is the romance. It was pretty underdeveloped and simple, even by romantic comedy standards. The two leads spend remarkably few scenes together, and when they are it’s usually for a joke, like running into each other naked or teasing each others idiosyncrasies. Margaret spends a lot of time with the family, and she seems to fall more in love with that than with Andrew. But we definitely see her fall more than he does, so it just seemed a little sudden when he decides to, you guessed it, chase her to the airport (don’t worry, it’s not totally cliche). But after three short days, they decide they’ve fallen for each other, impassioned speech and all.

I would like to see a movie like this, where two people have to lie in some situation, that doesn’t result in them ending up together. What? I thought you said you wanted romantic comedies to end well? I did, so don’t make it a romantic comedy, just make it a comedy. I think there’s a lot of humorous aspect to the idea of the two liars never falling for each other that gets lost when they do. They don’t have to hate each other throughout, maybe they grow to become friends. If you have to have romance, let the ‘Andrew’ of the story fall back in love with his old ex-flame (played here by Malin Akerman), and have him explain to her why he had to lie at the end. But keep the couple in the facade as the liars that they are, and work the hijinks from that angle. I don’t know, could be fun.

Rating: If you’re a guy on a date: 7/10, if you’re a girl: 7.8/10, if you’re a guy alone or with other guys: 6.5/10 (but you’ll pretend you didn’t like it).

This Week In Blockbusters: The Hangover, Year One

June 16, 2009

After the lackluster release of last week’s new movies, let’s hope this weekend fairs better at the theaters. The Hangover is making good money, and Up won’t completely fade out of the picture anytime soon, and soon Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen will rack in millions of dollars as people line up to see Megan Fox run. Until then we have two movies that might make decent money, hopefully more than the combined 30 million of last week’s “This Week In Blockbusters.” Both are PG-13 comedies with big names in the leading role, so I don’t think it’s out of the question to see some decent cash flow by Sunday.

The first is The Proposal, a romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Margaret Tate (Bullock) has taken the corporate ladder by force, and is now the editor in chief of a large publishing company. She pushes her assistant Andrew (Reynolds) very hard, but when she is threatened to be deported to Canada, she must use him for a different person. In order to remain in the country, she forces him to marry her, promising him a promotion to the position of editor. Once people start investigating, they have to legitimize the claim and spend a weekend with Andrew’s family in Alaska. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I bet they fall in love. Expect them to be apart and sad with fifteen minutes left in the movie, only to have one of them romantically show up and express their love to the other.

It’s going to be absurdly predictable, but what romantic comedy isn’t? And do we want them not to be? I didn’t like watching The Break Up end with the two leads still broken up, so I won’t fault them too strongly for predictability. The two stars are pretty solid as well. Sandra Bullock does comedy pretty well, and Ryan Reynolds is actually a pretty funny actor. It looks like the perfect date movie, that will be funny enough for the guy in the relationship to not want to slice his tongue and pour salt on it. Ouch.

Excitement buzz: 7.2/10

The second film coming out is the Jack Black and Michael Cera comedy Year One, a prehistorical farce of a comedy that could really buzz or really bomb. The first preview I saw for this movie left me underwhelmed and thinking it was a pretty dumb idea. When I saw the second trailer for it, I had the “not this again” reaction. That is, until one brief exchange changed my whole view entirely. David Cross plays Cain and Paul Rudd plays Abel, the two brothers from Genesis. They don’t get along:

Abel: This is my brother, Cain. And I am called Abel.
Cain: You are called Suck.

That’s it, that’s all I had to see. I burst out laughing, at something that wasn’t too complex, but it’s a new, funny approach to look that the relationship that ends in fratricide, and the two actors made it hysterical. Now, I can’t wait for this movie. Jack Black plays the obnoxious but lovable buffoon, like he does in every movie, Michael Cera plays the awkward but genuinely kind dweeb, like he does in every movie, the only difference is this time they’re in loin cloths and it’s set in a very fictionalized pass. Comedy gold? I hope so. This summer’s previous foray into temporal comedy, Land of the Lost, didn’t go all that well, so let’s hope Michael Cera’s geeky charm will win us over. Also look out for Olivia Wilde, the beautiful actress who you might recognize from T.V.’s The O.C. and more recently as ’13’ in House.

(That’s her. She’s purdy.)———->

Excitement Buzz: 7.7/10

In the smaller-bad-ass-film-with-limited-release-that-I-won’t-get-to-see-but-am-excited-about category, the zombie horror film Dead Snow will have a limited release this Friday. Not only are they zombies, they’re Nazi zombies, the worst kind, which have been showing up in videogames since the debut of the ‘Wolfenstein’ series. The preview shows the heros wielding hammers, knives, and the necessary for zombie fighting chainsaw (when did this start?) to bring down this undead Fourth Reich. Since I live in the midwest, we don’t get these super-cool releases, meaning I won’t get to see this or Moon for months, if not longer. But it looks like a funny, gory, obvious-in-a-good-way film, that reminds me of March’s Lesbian Vampire Killers, a film that also wasn’t released here. Is there anything more satisfying than watching a Nazi zombie get his arm chain-sawed off? I declare to you that there is not.

As if we don’t dehumanize Nazi’s already. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds is pretty much going to be this movie, except just Nazis, no zombies. So until that comes out, I hope to get a chance to see this bloodfest of the swastika-wearing undead.

Excitement Buzz: 8/10

Fox Developing "Deadpool" – Is This A Good Idea?

May 6, 2009

Yesterday, hot on the heels of Wolverine‘s $85 million debut, The Hollywood Reporter broke news that Fox has begun development on a Deadpool spinoff:

[Ryan] Reynolds is attached to reprise the character for what for now is simply being called “Deadpool.” Lauren Shuler Donner and Marvel Studios would act as producers.

Deadpool is known as “the merc with a mouth,” a character that under Reynolds lived up to his billing in “Wolverine” until the end, when the movie deviated from the comic book persona, imbuing him with several superpowers and sewing his mouth shut.

It is understood that Reynolds would regain the ability to mouth off, with the movie going back to the roots of the character known for his slapstick tone and propensity to break the fourth wall. The character also was disfigured in “Wolverine,” though it’s unclear at this time how much the studio would want to mess with Reynolds’ handsome mug.

The project is out to writers.

I think this decision may have been a bit of a premature decision by Fox. Has Wolverine‘s performance really been great enough to justify the sequel? The $85 million opening is certainly a good figure, but it’s 2009, and that means that a movie like Wolverine is going to be extremely frontloaded. Word-of-mouth certainly won’t be great, and there’s a slew of competition (Terminator Salvation, Angels And Demons, Star Trek, Up) coming up for the rest of May. At this point, a $180 million finish seems rather likely, but we’ll have to wait and see how Wolverine holds against Star Trek this weekend before any final judgments are made.

Here’s the thing, though. Fox spent $150 million to produce X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Then they had the prints and advertising costs. Then they had twelve days of reshoots. At the very least, Fox has already shelled out $225 million on this one, and unless Wolverine turns out to be inexplicably leggy, Fox will have to rely on international grosses and DVD sales to see any profit. And this is Wolverine, a well-liked, notable character, we’re talking about here. Deadpool is a totally different ball game. Most people don’t know who Deadpool even is, and I doubt a Deadpool movie is going to be able to transcend the total gross of Wolverine. I would also point out that Ryan Reynolds is not a proven box office draw, but neither is Hugh Jackman, outside of the X-Men universe.

The biggest advice I can give Fox is to make sure the script is good! People will get on board for a quality movie (see last year’s Iron Man), even if they don’t know much about the character. The second most important advice I can give Fox is to spend less money! If the script is good, and you shoot efficiently, I think you can get this whole project off the ground for $150 million. Then, you could launch a new franchise character, gain some sweet profit, and everyone would be happy! Would you see a Deadpool film? Me? I’d be more excited for Gambit!

UPDATE: Reed and I wrote about the same thing at the same time! Read his take on Deadpool!

Fox To Continue Their Destruction Of The X-Men Franchise With Deadpool

May 6, 2009

Warning: minor spoilers.

Like everybody else, I saw Wolverine this weekend, and very much enjoyed it. And by enjoyed it, I mean I was entertained by the fact that it’s an incredible, awesome, adrenaline-pumping, terrible movie. Generally a movie like this either sacrifices story for action (Crank) or action for story (Superman Returns). Wolverine somehow manages to do both. There were times where I thought the story was going the right way, but that the action was somewhat lacking (namely, the first half). Then the story unravels, and ‘Weapon XI’, though fantastic for action, is completely decimated as a character. (And correct me if I’m wrong, but if those samurai swords were in his arm, how could he bend them?)  Then people who should be dead aren’t, and people who should stay dead don’t… It just becomes a little bit of a mess. But I went into it with low expectations and a need for high excitement, which it delivered. After X3, I had to avoid anticipating a great overall movie, such as the one Bryan Singer gave us in X2.

Now, Wolverine had flaws (more Gambit, please), but if you go in expecting them to be there, you shouldn’t be miserable. Fox seems to agree, since they’ve already green-lit a spinoff starring Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. I loved the character, at least in the first part of the movie. As mentioned in code in the above paragraph, he has a pretty terribad ending. Apparently they’re going to try to salvage it. The movie is likely not a prequel either, which might seem most logical. But for those who stayed after the credits, you saw how a sequel might be in the works. Though now he has samurai claws… Pretty lame.

Deadpool seems like a neat mutant. In the comics he is completely aware that he is a fictional character, and is known to constantly break the fourth wall, which could be really intriguing in a movie. It’s also very risky. I’d hate to see it as some sort of freeze cam, Zak Morris meets X-Men type of thing… Though I’d perhaps rather see Gambit, Deadpool has potential to be another mindless, entertaining X-Men movie, which would be okay, but I’d like to think Fox will shoot for something higher.

UPDATE: Grady and I wrote about the same thing at the same time! Whoops! Read his take on Deadpool!

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Is One Ridiculous, Wild Ride!

May 2, 2009

About five minutes into X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hugh Jackman (as Logan) and his wife (Lynn Collins) leave their mountain-top shack and drive their beaten up truck through the Canadian forest to a lumber yard. As enormous machinery lifts gigantic trees in the background, Jackman, clad in heavy duty pants and a flannel shirt, with an axe slung over his shoulder and a chewed up cigar in his mouth, steps out of the car, kisses his wife goodbye, and throws the axe to one of his fellow bearded buddies, before stepping into the truck bed and riding off to work. The whole scene exists as if to say, “Look how manly Wolverine is! He’s a badass that’s hairy, tough, and gruff! He’s strong and looks like a wild animal!” In all reality, the scene actually sets up the film quite well, for that’s about as subtle as Wolverine ever gets. Bombastic, clichéd, cheesy, and explosive, Wolverine elicited much the same reaction as when I saw 300: It’s definitely not good, but it’s awesome!

The plot is roughly summed up like this: Logan was once a part of group of bad mutants that used their powers to accomplish some decidedly bad things. Alongside Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), John Wraith (Will.I.Am), Agent Zero (Daniel Henney), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan – LOST actor #1), The Blob (Kevin Durand – LOST actor #2), and his brother, Victor/Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), Logan worked as a criminal for years. Somewhere along the line, though, Logan has a change of heart, decides to turn from his evil ways, move to Canada, get married, and live a humble life as a lumberjack. (Keep in mind, I never read the X-Men comic books, and I’m sure that massive liberties were taken in constructing Wolverine’s past, but I’m going on that I was presented with.) Logan’s woodsy life is all well and good until his brother shows up one day and wreaks massive havoc on him and his wife. Turns out, Sabretooth is working for William Stryker (Danny Huston), a scientist who wants to “help” Logan, who renames himself “Wolverine” because of some ridiculous fable, become much more powerful by bonding a newly engineered indestructible metal, adamantium, to his entire skeleton. For the record, I was so happy when this actually happened- the three boney claws that came out of Logan’s hands before were just gross looking.

Anyway, it turns out that Stryker has a hidden agenda, and Wolverine is not keen on helping him after his metalization is complete. He lets his inner animal rage, and he runs away. From there, the rest of the movie follows Wolverine’s journey to take revenge upon his brother and bring down the company that made him into his new self. Along the way, Wolvy gets into about 10-20 fights, almost decapitates his brother about 30-40 times, gets stabbed and instantly heals about 50-60 times, and entertains the audience for about 70-80 minutes. We also meet a myriad of other mutants along the way, and it becomes abundantly clear that Fox is planning on making many more of these “Origins” movies with the introduction of Emma Frost, Cyclops, and Deadpool. And while it’s certainly fun to see all these characters come to life on the big screen, one of them stands out above the rest:

Gambit! Thank goodness we finally get Gambit! As a fan of the 1992 X-Men TV series, I was always sad that he was left out of the original film trilogy, but I can see why- he’s so similar to Wolverine. Friday Night Lights’ Taylor Kitsch was perfectly cast as the sarcastic, rebellious, poker-playing, kinetic-engergy-controlling Cajun, and it was a delight to watch the Southern gent go up against Wolverine. In my favorite scene in the film, Gambit and Wolverine go head-to-head in a game of Texas Hold’em poker, and it appears that the filmmakers wanted to give a shoutout to the legions of online poker nerds, as the scene features poker pro, Daniel Negreanu! But the card game quickly escalates into an all-out brawl in the alleyway with some of the coolest special effects I’ve ever seen. Forget 2011’s Magneto, I want to see X-Men Origins: Gambit! The Gambit effects in New Orleans are second only to the effects in the Wolverine‘s final fight scene, which I won’t give away, but trust me: it’s amazing.

Wolverine is far from a perfect film. The dialogue is often ridiculous, and the story is completely secondary to the action. The film serves simply to show audiences how Wolverine got to where he was at the beginning of 2001’s X-Men, and the ending (I mean the first ending, not the other two that roll during and after the credits) feels very abrupt. Still, Director Gavin Hood had to spin a lot of plates at once, since Wolverine had to serve as a sequel to the X-Men franchise, a prequel to the X-Men story, and a foundation for all future X-Men movies that Fox and Marvel want to produce. Of course, a better script would have helped tremendously, but for what it is, which is a summer popcorn flick, I was more than entertained. Liev Schreiber plays the antagonist effectively, and Hugh Jackman has true screen presence, and even if he does flex and roar a few too many times throughout the film, Wolverine is definitely a fun character.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the perfect film for these recessionary (or if you’re a college student- final exam) times. It allows you to turn off your brain, kick back, laugh at the dialogue, and enjoy the special effects and excitement. For a couple of hours, you forget about the stress of life and instead walk in the shoes of an adamantium-lined superhero. Like I said before, it’s not good, but it’s awesome. I’ll give it a B.

Now I want to hear from you! Let’s hear what you thought about Wolverine in the comments!