Archives for posts with tag: Hugh Jackman

It’s kind of interesting watching a film try to do an autopsy on itself while the body’s still moving. That’s what you get with “Someone Like You” (2001), a rom-com starring Hugh Jackman, Ashley Judd and a strong supporting cast (including Marisa Tomei as the wacky BFF). Judd, perennially jilted, decides to take a scientific approach, deconstructing men’s romantic misbehavior (they’re cows with a hard-wired aversion to monogamy). Pre-Google mistaken identity hijinks ensue. Meanwhile, we’re all sitting there knowing she’s going to hook up with frenemy Jackman in the end (don’t act like I spoiled it – you knew it, too).

There are plenty of movies about two guys trying to outdo one another, but none quite like “The Prestige” (2006). Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play a pair of magicians who duel to the bitter end. And I do mean bitter. And I do mean end. The first half is tedious and non-sequential, which is, as usual, more work than art (something filmmakers refuse to understand). Once the time sequence gets a little straighter, the pace picks up. False climaxes are layered with macabre worthy of Poe. And then you get blindsided with the oldest trick in the storyteller’s book.

When you look back at the original “X-Men” (2000), it’s a pretty solid underpinning to what has been one of the most stable franchises in recent filmdom. A traditional, good-but-not-great summer blockbuster that neatly sets the table for sequels, merchandising, etc. But you also see something else. The special effects are like a traditional movie, not like a video game. The music is symphonic, not like a pop/rock/hip-hop festival. It’s all so … analog. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s just a little jarring to see how much has changed in action movies in a decade and a half.