FILM: THE WOLVERINE
CAST: HUGH JACKMAN, HIROYUKI SANADA, FAMKE JANSSEN, WILL YUN LEE, RILA FUKUSHIMA, TAO OKAMOTO, SVETLANA KHODCHENKOVA, HARUHIKO YAMANOUCHI
DIRECTOR: JAMES MANGOLD
The most iconic character in the X-Men universe embarks upon on an epic journey in modern-day Japan in ‘The Wolverine’. Inspired by the celebrated Marvel comic book arc, Logan (Hugh Jackman), the century-old mutant known to the world as Wolverine, is lured to a Japan he hasn’t seen since World War II – and into a shadowy realm of Yakuza and Samurai.
Suddenly finding himself on the run with a mysterious, beautiful heiress and confronted for the first time with the prospect of true mortality, Logan will be pushed to the physical and emotional edge – further than he’s ever been.
On a perilous journey to rediscover the hero inside, Logan will be forced to grapple not only with powerful foes, mutant and human alike, but with the ghosts of his own haunted past, as well. As The Wolverine crosses his adamantium claws with Samurai swords, striking out through a maze of love, betrayal and honour, he will truly come to know the price of a life without end.
“This story takes The Wolverine into a world that is vastly different from any seen before in the X-Men series,” says Hugh Jackman, who also serves as a producer on the film. “It’s visually different and the tone is different. There are a lot of battles in this story, but the greatest battle of all is the one within Logan between being a monster and a becoming a human being.”
The Wolverine first emerged in 1974, when the character made his premiere appearance in the very last panel of an issue of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ — one that foreshadowed his joining the band of mutant heroes known as The X-Men.
He would soon be world-renowned for his adamantium claws, his powers of self-healing and his primal “berserker” rages – all of which would serve to forge The Wolverine into a superstar of the superhero realm.
In the 1980s, The Wolverine truly came into his own – in a four-issue miniseries created by ‘X-Men’ writer Chris Claremont and the legendary graphic artist Frank Miller (‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Sin City’). In the series, the character makes a solo journey to Japan, only to be lured into a maelstrom of crime, betrayal and honour, in the midst of which he is forced to confront both his terrifying strengths and his undiscovered vulnerability.
Trying to manoeuvre in a world he can barely understand, The Wolverine, for the first time, finds his inner sense of justice.
Long a favourite of fans of Wolverine, the arc had also been an inspiration for Oscar-nominated actor Hugh Jackman, who has embodied the character in six blockbuster X-Men movies (and is currently before the cameras in a seventh film). Jackman saw in this untold part of the character’s history a rare chance to dive even deeper beneath The Wolverine’s indestructibility, and to illuminate his darkest aspects in a new way.
That desire got a boost when Jackman teamed up with James Mangold, who had previously turned the story of Johnny Cash into a riveting account of love and rebellion in ‘Walk the Line’, and re-jiggered the classic Western ‘3:10 to Yuma’ into a contemporary cat-and-mouse game set around mythic themes of friendship, duty and destiny.
“Jim Mangold knows how to make a movie that is fun, has incredible action, and yet also delivers all the finer elements of character and storytelling,” says Jackman. “He pushed me to go deeper, angrier, heavier, more berserk in every way and in every take.”
From the start, Mangold wanted to break the mold of the comic book-based film. Explains the director: “What interested me about The Wolverine was doing something quite different from the standard superhero movie, where it’s about stopping a villain’s diabolical plot. In this story, the action and suspense are built more on character, and are woven into a world that makes for a completely different kind of experience, one that you haven’t seen before.”
FILM: SCARY MOVIE 5
CAST: Ashley Tisdale, Simon Rex, Erica Ash, J.P. Manoux, Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, Heather Locklear, Chris Elliot, Kate Walsh, Jerry O’Connell, Mike Tyson, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan
DIRECTOR: MALCOLM LEE
Thirteen years after ‘Scary Movie’ invaded theatres with its comedic spin on the horror genre, the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise is back and promises to be funnier and more outrageous than ever before.
In ‘Scary Movie 5’ happily-married couple Dan (Simon Rex) and Jody (Ashley Tisdale) begin to notice some bizarre activity once they bring their newborn baby Aiden home from the hospital. But when the chaos expands into Jody’s job as a ballet dancer and Dan’s career as an Ape researcher, they realize they’re family is being stalked by a nefarious demon. Together, with the advice of certified experts and the aid of numerous cameras, they must figure out how to get rid of it before it’s too late.
The ‘Scary Movie’ franchise has grossed over $800 million worldwide. ‘Scary Movie 5’ comes at an ideal time for horror fans, who have enjoyed a major resurgence in the genre. An influx of horror movies in recent years offered the ‘Scary Movie 5’ team countless new opportunities for parody. After some lean years in the genre, “there have been movies to spoof, finally,” producer and co-writer David Zucker says. “There hadn’t been a huge tent-pole horror movie like ‘The Grudge’. [With ‘Scary Movie 3’ and ‘Scary Movie 4’] we had ‘Saw’, ‘The Grudge’ and ‘The Ring’. We finally have ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Black Swan’, ‘Mama’, and ‘Evil Dead’. There’s finally stuff to spoof.”
Another feature of ‘Scary Movie’ – and every ‘Scary Movie’ – is its impressive cast, both new and returning.
“The best part about doing these movies is that there are so many cameos,” comments actress Ashley Tisdale. “There was always someone new on set. I was so excited. We’ve had Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Mike Tyson. Katt Williams is hilarious to work with. He brought this amazing energy the day he came in. I have all these pictures with everybody. It’s insane.”