Logan Smashes Box Office, Superhero Movie Expectations

Logan Smashes Box Office, Superhero Movie Expectations

"Logan, you still have time..."

To be completely honest, I haven’t followed the X-men movies very much. Compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve always preferred a canon that was clear-cut. But the trailers for Logan piqued my imagination. A punished Wolverine, trapped in an emotional odyssey, trying to escape his past? That sounds better than most superhero movies of late. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the occasional burst of action and effects, but it’s clear that James Mangold’s vision of Logan is attempting something more substantial.

It’s clear from the outset of the film that this is the finale for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character, whom he’s played for almost 18 years. As the exposition forms in the first few minutes, we get a sense of how desperate things have turned in the near-future setting of this film. The X-men are all but disbanded, mutants haven’t been born in years, and Logan is eking out a living as a taxi driver – using his little pay to buy medication for Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).

A little side note here: Logan is an incredible tribute to Hugh Jackman’s work as Wolverine, but I’ve got to give Stewart credit for how well he’s revisited the Xavier character. This is not the Charles Xavier we’ve known: he’s heavily medicated, his mind is falling apart, and it’s nigh-impossible not to feel an immense amount of sympathy for the man. There’s a great scene in the film where Xavier suddenly recalls a traumatic past event that his mind had kept from him, and I applaud the director’s choice to not actually include a flashback scene. The abstraction of that trauma felt incredibly authentic.

Of course, that’s what much of Logan is: brutal, hard-hitting realizations that this movie isn’t like the comic books. Things aren’t sugar-coated here: people die, the past is full of ghosts, and there’s no guarantee that things will turn out okay. Instead, we’re presented with a redemption arc as Logan travels with Laura (played by Dafne Keen) and attempts to bring her safely across the Canadian border. There is no doubt an allusion made here to current political events related to immigration, but it’s done very skillfully. The universe presented in Logan feels very developed and plausible, while still capturing some of the magic of the X-men franchise.

I do have to minor critiques of the film, though. The first was the soundtrack, which personally didn’t do the movie much justice. I appreciated the original scoring, but to be honest, I think the film would have been better off with some of the voicing used in the trailer (Cash songs, American folk, etc.) to really capture the Americana mood of this cross-country journey. The climactic battle was where I really felt the soundtrack was so disjointed and distracting from what was happening on-screen. Likewise, I felt like the movie ended a little too late: the introduction of several new characters in the last half-hour made it difficult to value their contributions to the overall arc, and I think could have been done without them.

Regardless of the slight missteps, Logan does an exceptional job of bringing drama and emotion to a previously less-dimensional character. I have a whole new appreciation for Hugh Jackman’s work with the character now. It’s now-playing in the theaters, so go check it out.

Cover Image Credit: Screen Rant

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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