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Logan (2017)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 5/23/2017

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Review by Mike Long, Posted on 5/25/2017

There is something weird going on at 20th Century Fox in regards to their hold on the rights to the X-Men characters. While Disney has been going nuts building the Marvel Cinematic Universe with their movies, which include obvious contenders like The Avengers and less well-known entries such as Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, Fox has written themselves into a corner with the time-traveling shenanigans of the X-Men movies. However, outside of those films and their continuum (?), the studio has decided to throw caution to the wind. This all started last year with Deadpool, a film which skewered the super-hero genre and proved that people would see an R-rated genre film. Now, Fox brings us Logan, a super-hero movie which really isn't a super-hero movie.

The year is 2029. The days of mutants and the X-Men have long since passed. Logan AKA Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is now a broken man who spends his days driving a limo near the U.S./Mexico border, and his nights caring for an enfeebled Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who lives in an abandoned water tank in Mexico. Logan keeps Xavier sedated, as the man can't control his massive psychic abilities. Their dark lives are interrupted when Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) approaches Logan stating that he is looking for something that Logan may have. This accusation sparks a series of events in which Logan finds himself protecting a girl named Laura (Dafne Keen). A girl whose mysterious powers will place Logan and Xavier in grave danger.

First things first, do not assume that this is a Wolverine adventure for the kids. This is a hard R-rated movie. Whereas Deadpool was clearly violent, it was also risque, silly, and light-hearted at times. Logan is very, very violent. For decades, comic book fans has complained about the fact that Wolverine who had knives sticking out of his hands, but he never stabbed anybody. Apparently Logan wants to make up for years of PG-rated action, as Wolverine stabs and kills a lot of people here, even stabbing some in the head. People are also shot, impaled, run over, and blown up. However, we have the tone of the film as well. This is a dark and depressing movie. There is some levity here, but for the most part, the film skews towards bleak. With Logan and Xavier, we have two characters who are at the end of their lives and just surviving. Fans have debated for years about whether or not Logan is immortal. Here we have a character who might not be able to die, but seems to wish that he was dead.

Sure, we've seen dark super hero movies before (thanks Zack Snyder), but Logan takes things in a completely different direction. Yes, it presents character who have super-powers, and yes, we get to see them in action, but that is kept to a minimum. Instead, we have a movie which plays more like a drama/road movie. The film presents the themes of end-of-life choices, immigration, racism, and scientific ethics. To say that this movie is dark would be an understatement. From beginning to end, the movie pummels the viewer with one downbeat scene after another. And just when you think that things can't get darker, there is a scene at the beginning of the third act which really takes things up (down?) a notch and presents us with some truly shocking moments.

So, is Logan a good movie? The answer to that is yes. It's a very good movie. Director James Mangold has made a bold film which basically spits in the face of current super hero film trends and truly does its own thing. Jackman channels Clint Eastwood, playing the grizzled old gunfighter who wants to lay down his guns and be done with it. The movie doesn't pull any punches, literally or figuratively, and makes no apologies for the fact that it opens with a violent and dark scene and only goes darker from there. The problem is that this tone will not be for everybody and this is the kind of movie that I see once, appreciate, and then never want to see again. But, if nothing else, this should quiet those who say that they are tired of super hero movies. This takes a very popular comic book hero and places them in a new, mature arena which clearly separates itself from the other offerings out there.

Logan sinks its claws into the drama on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing on distracting grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look good, although we don't get many bright tones here, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The picture shows a nice amount of depth, and the clarity lends itself to an impressive amount of detail. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 6.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The surround and subwoofer effects are prevalent during the action sequences, showing of detailed sounds. The stereo effects highlight sounds coming from off-screen. Those subwoofer effects are deep and real add ambience to the experience.

The Logan Blu-ray Disc contains an array of extras. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Director James Mangold. "Making Logan" (76 minutes) is a documentary which is broken up into six sections. Through interviews with the cast and the creative team, on-set footage, and film clips, we learn about how the project and the story came together, the cast, the film's look, the music, and the stunts. The Disc contains six DELETED SCENES which run about 8 minutes and can be viewed with option commentary from Mangold. There are several new moments here, but there are no new subplots or characters. The extras are rounded out by three THEATRICAL TRAILERS.

Review Copyright 2017 by Mike Long