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“So this is what it feels like...” | by Andrew Cookston
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“So this is what it feels like...”

Wow... I... I don't know where to start....

 

 

This was a beautiful film. I can't think of any other way to say it. James Mangold has written a story that was incredibly moving and well thought out. There was a very clear direction to be taken for The Wolverine's final film, and he nailed it on the head.

 

This movie hit extremely close to home for me. This story of a generational gap between Father, Son, and Child is something that's not commonly addressed in everyday film or TV, even more so in the Superhero Genre.

 

I'm absolutely floored by how well this movie respected it's predecessors, while still maintaining a sense of individuality. LOGAN was the perfect way to finally end the X-Men saga that started with Jackman and Stewart so long ago. In a way, this whole film was comprised of many little things that interconnected and left plenty of room for story, with little to no need for unnecessary exposition. I'm really proud at how intelligent the audience was expected to be.

 

 

Something that really struck a chord with me though, was the dynamic developed among Charles Logan, and Laura. Particularly how strong the desire Xaiver has to teach Laura about the beauties of the world, and wanting to provide a positive outlook on life, while simultaneously having a pessimistic father figure like Logan. I see myself in X23's position. In fact I see myself in all three of these characters, which is a rarity for me. I understood the confusions that X23 had about civility and manners and why things are the way things are. I felt pain and depression for Charles, just wanting what's best for the people around him because of his own past mistakes and pains. I especially felt empathy for Logan. Being the only one (barely) capable to keep the “family” together. Having a sort of weight bared down from the past wrongs in his life, while struggling to find peace.

 

Which inevitably he does.

 

Or that's how I'd like to see it.

 

It's strange. Because it's a sad ending... but it's a happy one too. There's a sense of accomplishment and pride, making it through this journey with him. Like... it's been seventeen years since we first met this guy (for me anyway), and we've gone though all these hardships with him, the good (X2, DOFP) and the bad (Origins, X3, etc). And Logan's finally found a belonging and purpose. He loved.... and I think he finally saw that.

 

Part of me is glad that it's over. Part of me is somber for what's to come and what has been.

 

I don't know if that was the goal for this film but that's what I walked away with.

 

 

I'm also really proud at how well this handled people struggling with PTSD, Suicide, and Mental Illness. LOGAN particularly shows us that despite our failings and our minds breaking down as we get older, there's always someone (even if it's only just one person) standing there willing to hold out a hand.

 

Charles burial was very moving for me. People deal with grief in many different ways, and Hugh Jackman held an incredible performance showing how a person struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would handle a loss. They go down fighting. They're angry and scared and they don't want to admit their pain.

 

My own father has had episodes like this. ...I've had episodes like this.

 

And speaking from experience, having someone to care for you after event's like this is hard. Excepting help from people who care about you is really really hard....

And I know that even though this is just a movie, it gives me a sense of outward perspective on times like this in my own life. It's a good slap in the face like “Hey! Stop it! Your life isn't nearly as bad as Wolverine's!”

 

In a way, I needed a movie like this.

 

 

There's been a lot of talk about how this R rating was gonna hurt the film. I feel that the intelligence and depth at it's core needed a rating like this. I don't think this film could've held the same kind of impact that it did. You couldn't have moments like Logan's episode be as raw as they were without the cursing, so to speak.

 

Additionally there wasn't the need for hand-holding or overbearing narratives. You couldn't get the film you did if you constantly had to remind the audience that they're in The Future or have to show flashbacks to the Weapon X Program in the 80's. You could have a single line of dialogue for a plot point and be done with it. Anything else additionally can be used in an art form or an emotional/story derivative, which is exactly what happened! It was perfect!

 

Hell, the mere concept that you can create a dialogue heavy, three act, genre breaking, piece of art blows my mind!

 

And it was under the 20th Century Fox Banner?! Crazy! :P

 

 

I mean, what more is there to say? The cinematography was fantastic! The setting of midwestern farmlands and North Dakota forests, and the colors! Oh man what a great rustic palette!

 

The story was perfect for a concept like this. A bit on the nose at times, but the motivation was very clear cut and gave plenty of opportunity to expand on character. It was like reading a book, and I loved it! It wasn't some “blue light into the sky” BS, it was a real story! With real characters and real settings and just... wow! :)

 

I'm speechless!

 

James Mangold, you will forever have my heart.

 

 

***

Patreon's got an extensive look at the build, including some things out of frame and focus, plus some lighting tips, and an extra Patreon Exclusive photo, only seen there :)

P.S. In the month of Feburary my Patreon had 16 posts uploaded, where as Flickr only got 3... sayin' just sayin'...

 

 

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What did you think of that scene where Logan donned his alter-ego Patch? What a crazy Easter Egg Top Ten Things You May Have Missed Reaction Spoiler am'I'rite?!

Visit my Patreon to see early photography, behind the scenes images, and WIPs of upcoming projects, and we'll talk all about John Byrne!

 

www.patreon.com/andrewcookston

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrewcookstonphotography/

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Taken on January 19, 2017