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Legion – Chapter 7 – Everything Coming Together…

So, some of my worry has started to get answered here.  We’re getting a lot of direct answers to a lot of questions, which is good because there is only one episode left for the season.  I’m not saying there won’t be a twist, but things are feeling pretty solid.  I’m starting to feel pretty confident about what is real and what is all in David’s head.

So, anyway, we have a name now for our demon parasite, in The Shadow King, Faruk.  Most of the episode follows the exploits of everyone trying to escape from the prison that The Shadow King has created for them, including David himself.  I’m kind of curious, maybe I’m forgetting something, but it’s not clear where Ptonomy is most of this episode.  He wakes up at the end with everyone else but he doesn’t show up at all in the Asylum, not that I noticed.

I’m still not sure how The Eye or Oliver fit in either.  The Eye bites it though, rather unceremoniously, so we may never get answers.  Oliver seems to have escaped with the others, but I’m not sure how he got trapped there in the first place.

Probably the most exciting bit, right near the beginning, we get a glimpse and a hint, of the wheelchair, the one used by David’s real father.

Review – Movie – Logan (2017)

The latest and supposedly last outing for Wolverine, or at least, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Logan is one of the better comic book movies we’ve had for sure, though not totally flawless.  Most of my complaints with this movie however stem more from how sloppy Fox has been with the X-men universe continuity, and not so much with the film itself.  Much like the previous Wolverine movie, The Wolverine, this film pretty much exists in a vacuum from the other movies in the series.  There’s a vague underlying theme about how awful Logan’s existence is because, while he never dies, everything he cares about eventually does.  There’s also a brief mention of “The Statue of Liberty” which is a throwback to the original X-men when Hugh Jackman took up the role, but it felt more like an Easter egg than a plot point.

It also brings up the question of “Where does this fall in continuity”.  Is it the old time line or the new timeline?  If he mentioned the Statue of Liberty from the first X-men, that would imply this is old timeline, except there are a few little nods to the new timeline, like the return of the mutant Caliban seen briefly in X-men Apocalypse.   Or the point about how there haven’t been any new mutants in something like 25 years, which seems contradictory to X-men 3, which showed us some future where there were clearly some young mutants in the school.

Nitpicky continuity stuff aside, the movie starts off a little rough but ends up on a pretty good note overall.  It’s also worth noting that this movie, like Deadpool, is definitely rated R.  Where Deadpool was more R rated for it’s crude sexual jokes, Wolverine gets it’s rating for language, a lot of gory violence, and one moment of very, very brief, non sexual nudity.  I only bring this up really because it’s worth noting in case anyone wants to take their 9 year old to the film and because it kind of felt a little unnecessary.  I hate to sound like some sort of grump over language, but given the history of the X-men franchise and the character, adding in a bunch of “fucks” almost makes some of the characters seem out of character and all of the extra goriness on the claw slashing didn’t really add a lot to the plot.

It all also felt a bit out of place as the movie progressed and more and more of Laura and her backstory, the young girl tagging along with Wolverine, became the focus of the film.  It’s like hey, here’s a bunch of kids going completely psycho in the movie violent way possible because “Edgy cool”.

The whole film also does a pretty effective job of being a bit of an emotional roller coaster, as everyone around poor Logan seems to get harmed or killed by the people following them.  Not to mention Logan himself, who is not anywhere near peak form as the poisoning in his body from his Adamantium skeleton is finally getting the best of him.  He’s feeling a lot of pain, his claws don’t always work, and he isn’t quite healing as well as he used to.  It certainly helps give some urgency to the character.  The regular X-men movies usually managed to write off Wolverine when Magneto was around, since Wolverine can’t do anything to Magneto, The Wolverine had Logan under the influence of some poison that suppressed his abilities, I guess something needs to be done to make a guy who can’t be harmed interesting (see also The Hulk).

The core of the movie is about the interaction between Logan, Laura and Xavier as they run from a band of pretty bland bad guys.  They are involved in Laura’s past, but they are essentially just an extension, spin off or figure version of Alkali and Stryker’s band, that same old repeating thread.  There is also Weapon 24, who is the main baddie for Wolverine to battle.  It’s not super clear what makes this guy so special other than “He’s like Wolverine only extra feral” and ultimately is pretty much a throw away nobody who only exists as someone who can stand toe to toe with Wolverine and not get killed in 1 claw swipe.

Laura manages to be an interesting character, despite being mute for much of the film.  The aged Charles Xavier is also incredibly likable in this movie, though his purpose and point isn’t super clear to the big picture.  He’s basically become a super powered senile old mutant, he has some mysterious vaguely explained crisis from the past, and serves as a father figure to Logan who in turn serves as a father figure to Laura, which makes a fun dynamic, but also felt like there were some pieces missing to help explain, at the very least, why Logan hadn’t just put him out of his misery already.  I mean I get that they are old friends, but he really feels like he is suffering with no possible recovery, if Logan really cared he could have saved both of them a lot of trouble a long time ago by giving him a quiet quick send off.  I know that sounds cruel but in the context of the film world presented, it honestly isn’t.

But alas, now I’m getting off on a tangent, and running a bit long.  Logan really is a good film, it’s definitely the best of the Wolverine trilogy, though I’m not sure that it’s quite the best X-men film.  It’s also a nice send off to Wolverine while also serving as an origin story for X-23, Wolverine’s replacement.

Legion – Chapter 6 – The Mind Rots from the Inside

Things are actually finally coming together a bit.  Which is good because we only have two episodes left after this one.  Legion has been renewed for a second season however, which is good news, I suppose, though I kind of wonder where they could really go next.  This entire season seems to be all about, I dunno, freeing, saving David from his demons, I suppose.

And what a demon.  Demons?  That’s not super clear.  Aubrey Plaza as Lenny though was really great this episode.  There was also a bit of a brief glimpse that she is the fat ugly guy haunting David’s mind as well.  More specifically, being a parasite on David’s mind.  It’s still not clear on some of the other glimpses or characters.  Who is The Worlds Angriest Boy in the World who keeps popping up.  Is The Eye real and how does he fit into all of this?  Who is the diver, really, and why is Cary wearing his suit at the end?

Speaking of Cary, and Kerry, they got quite a bit of real development this round as well.  Cary went off and met with the mysterious diver and poor Kerry is being stalked by The Eye around the asylum.  Then there is Melanie, who didn’t do a lot in this episode but seems to have discovered the truth by breaking out tot he real world, though the question is, how can she save them from being shot?  I half expected her to just stand there and take the bullets thus saving David and Syd.

I feel like a broken record but I’m still not entirely convinced anything is real.  It’s essentially a battle between the good personalities of David’s mind and the evil ones, for control of the whole.

Also Lenny brought up David’s real dad again, though no reveal on who it was.  She did mentions something about “Playing the saint while giving up his son,” which really kind of does imply a particular character from the larger X-men universe.

Legion – Chapter 5 – Who is Behind the Face

So, I’m just going to run a bit here, with some mentions of the comic, or at least the comic as I under stand it from researching the background of Legion.  So, as I under stand it, Legion, David, whatever, in the comics, his core mutant power, is that he sort of absorbs the souls of dead mutants, for lack of an better description.  These other mutants become a part of his mind and personality, and they manifest, powers and all, sort of as needed.  This gives the projection of Schizophrenia, though it’s not really quite the same thing.  He also may or may not actually have psychic power, though for all intents and purposes, does.  I say may not, because the psychic power may just be the manifestation of an absorbed personality.

So if there is some angle along those lines going on here, this is part of why I question the reality of anything in this entire series.  It’s entirely possible that every character we’ve seen, including the ones in Division 3, are some manifestation of David’s many absorbed personalities, these people not realizing that they are in his mind, and not in the real world.  This would also explain the schizoid pace of the show.

The inner conflict presented in the show, is for control of the mind of Legion.  There are players outside the realm of “The good guys” like the big fat dude, Lenny and The Eye.  It’s possible that David, is a psychic mutant, but he is also simply new to the mind world.

I’m probably way off base here though.

Anyway, Kerry recovers from being shot and David heads out to rescue his sister, we don’t see it, but he obliterated Division’s army with no problem.  Everyone ends up at David’s childhood home where things start to get crazy and Lenny shows up as sort of the personification/projection of the evil of David’s mind.  Everyone ends up back in the asylum together as a set up for the next episode.  Things feel like they are moving along but there still isn’t a clear direction for the show unfortunately, which is probably the point.

Oh and David’s sister admits he is adopted, which will probably lead to the revelation of the true identity of his parents, we’ll just have to see if they follow the comics here or not.  I feel like there actually could be a fun cameo at some point if they do.

Legion – Chapter 4 – What is Real Edition

So, things are moving a long a bit.  We get a little bit of background and insight to the supporting cast, since David is trapped in his mind still. What’s not clear, is if the others are quite free from his mind yet.  I admit, I’m extrapolating a bit from what I’ve read about Legion in the comics, but the TV/ Movie stuff doesn’t always match that stuff.

It’s kind of a shame that this is separate from the MCU, since there are mentions of the Astraea plain, like Doctor Strange traverses.  The idea of being trapped in the mind of David also isn’t all that different from what’s going on with The Framework over on Agents of SHIELD, at least in basic concept.

Anyway, Sydney, Kerry and Ptonomy all head out into the world to investigate David’s past.  Including meeting with this old girlfriend and doctor.  There’s still some glimpses in the world of things that may not be real, which suggests they are still in his mind.  There is also the angle of David being Schizophrenic, and being multiple people, an angle from the comics, I’m not entirely sure that everyone involved here is not just David, or a projection of David’s.  There’s a bit of a suggestion of this idea with Cary/Kerry, who apparently share a body, though Kerry can leave at times to take care of the dirty work, which we get to see a bit of when Division shows up to capture the little investigation crew.

Syd rescues them by swapping with The Eye, before David shows up to rescue them.  Which goes a bit south because no one else knows that Syd and the Eye have swapped until it’s too late.

Generally, this episode was a much better change of pace from last week’s kind of snooze fest.

Review – Movie – The Wolverine

I’m feeling a little lost on the logic behind the X-Men movies, just a bit.  I mean there’s the original X-men trilogy, then there’s the new timeline X-men, then there’s these Wolverine movies sprinkled in.  The Wolverine definitely takes place after X-men 3, since there’s these little flashes of Famke Janssen as Jean Grey and references to X-men 3.  What it doesn’t really reference at all is Origins: Wolverine, which is sort of the actual predecessor film.  Actually aside from the few almost unneeded references to X3, The Wolverine feels really isolated from the rest of the X-men universe.  The setting, all of the other mutants, the villain, it all feels like it exists in a vacuum.

This kind of hurts this movie quite a bit.  It’s an interesting setting and story, but there’s this little back of the mind nag that says “Where is everyone else?”  There’s no Sabertooth, though technically he died in X1, something that could have been explained away.  I mention Sabertooth because he would have been the obvious thread to tie this film a bit to Origins: Wolverine, since he was such a centerpiece of that movie’s plot and character development.    Still, there’s also not really any mention of Xavier’s school, or Storm or Rogue or anyone Wolverine has been fighting with for years.  Instead we get a little opening bit involving Wolverine getting pissy at some hunters for poisoning a bear.  This all felt like a wasted chance to tie this into the bigger picture better.  It would have been expensive to drop cameos from everyone in the X-men universe but dropping in a couple of the lesser know (cheaper) actors for a bit at the beginning at the school then having Yukio pick him up from there would have worked much better.

Instead we get hunters and a story in a vacuum despite having all these little bits happening around it.

Aside from that issue, what about the film itself.  There’s definitely a different tone to these single character movies than the larger X-men films, The focus is Wolverine, all the way, he’s always present and the whole plot revolves around his burdens and life and what makes him tick.  Most of the film takes place in Japan, as Logan is invited by an old friend who is on his death bed, wishing to thank Logan for saving his life many years ago during WW2.  There’s a lot of fish out of water element to this story, as the rough and tumble Wolverine navigates through the orderly Japanese landscape.

There’s a lager plot at work however, and Wolverine gets a bit of a taste for life without his healing ability, which makes things complicated during his battles.  The fight sequences are probably the best part of this film, and they are numerous.  There’s definitely a very Asian cinema style creeping into things here, and not just because of the setting.  The camera work and choreography of the fights are all much more stylistic in nature.  Wolverine’s feral fighting style definitely shows it’s difference from the much more fluid martial arts methods employed by his opponents.  It’s a nice chance of pace in these films really and is handles pretty nicely given the different fighting techniques.

Really the entire movie kind of feels like an excuse to get Wolverine to fight Ninjas.

There’s also the romance sub plot.  It seems a bit relevant to mention the plotline of this movie is lifted a bit from a comic plot line, though it involved a few more other X-men, a lot of the surrounding characters are there.  Mariko in the comics is one of Wolverine’s sometimes love interests.  In fact the comic some of the events of this film are inspired from draw involved the X-men gathering for a wedding between the two.  In this movie however, their romance feels, and is, really rushed, especially considering the climax amounts to Wolverine staging a rescue of his captured love.  Considering he didn’t even want to come to Japan originally and only planned to stay for a day originally, it seems a little out there that he essentially is willing to run somewhat recklessly into this rescue attempt.

This is compounded more by the really pointless Jean Grey scenes spliced in randomly.

Which also brings up another dodgy bit on the plot side, it’s never really shown well what connects Logan and Yashida Wolverine is just sort of in Japan during Hiroshima, for unclear reasons, saves this one random Japanese soldier from a nuclear blast, for which he is clearly grateful, and then as near as the story tells us, they have not seen each other since.  Its understandable Yashida would want to thank Logan one last time before his death, it’s not super clear why Logan should or would care.  Not to mention that part of Logan’s character is that he can’t really remember anything from his past, which presumably would include that time he saved some random Japanese guy.  I mean he didn’t seem to remember his actual blood brother during the first X-men movie, one whom he fought along side during WW2 if the Origins opening is to be believed, but hey, random Japanese business guy.

So yeah, there’s a lot of off points on the plot, and the film feels like it is completely disconnected from the X-men universe, aside from the one thread that feels like a random after thought.  I will give it a good point though, the effects are much better than Origins: Wolverine.  The action is also really great with a good Asian style going on with things.  One thing I will also add, there could be some redemption with the upcoming Logan film, if it bothers to reference anything in this film.  Part of the plot involved taking Logan’s power away and transferring it to another, now we get Logan, with Old Wolverine, maybe he has aged as a side effect of what happened during this film?  I’m not sure if they are organized enough on these movies to make the pieces feel like part of the same puzzle unfortunately.

Legion – Chapter 3 – Two Credits Sequences Edition

Anyone know why this show has two sets of end credit at the end?  There’s the 70s white and colors version, then a break, then a standard black and white words with music credits…

So, I continue to be fascinated by the slow build going on in this show, but I also am starting to wonder… where is this going?  I’m enjoying it, and like I mentioned early on, it’s only 8 episodes so I’ll stick to it, but things are starting to feel a little directionless.

So far, it’s essentially just a character exploration of this David dude.  Things are moving along though.  The creepy fat face dude has shown up more and more, and not just as a flash.  There’s definitely more going on with The World’s Angriest Boy in the World, since now he’s manifesting within the memories.

Things are also starting to spice up a bit within David’s mind in general. Syd is actually interacting with other characters, so maybe she is a real person after all, and David seems to have gotten himself a bit trapped in his own mind.  His powers are also developing a bit.  Not a whole lot that was really new though, this episode almost felt like a retread of Episode 2 to some extent.

Total side note, Kerry (not to be confused with Cary) looks way too much like Aubrey Plaza, and I keep wanting to confuse Kerry with Lenny.  Kind of poor casting there it seems, unless something comes of this in the future.

On another side note, I also have picked up the Legion comic on Comixology, though the little bit I’ve read has zero to do with this show’s content, so either it’s just way different, or this is not the “initial series” with the character like I though, which kind of stinks.

Recap – Agents of Shield S04E15

Coulson… Must… Die…  For reals, he totally gets blowed up.  Ok, no, it was an LMD, because, you know, last we left our crew, everyone was locked in the Framework having been replaced by LMDs.

What an episode, and it’s the end of the arc for the LMDs, more or less.  It seems there is also a break until April as well, which really sucks.  Anyway, this was a really good episode, like, really good.  Fitz and Simmons were amazing, Daisy was fucking awesome the whole way, and the LMD crew were pretty good at being robots.  We also got a really solid wrap up for NotMay, who ended up being a decent temporary character.

I’ll get into a bit more detail and probably some speculation next with the spoiler space…

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