Film review

Movie review: 'Logan'

No mere superhero flick, it’s something much more

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The song “Hurt,” written by Trent Reznor and sung by the late Johnny Cash, kept running through my head as I watched the opening sequences of the new “X-Men” film, “Logan.” In particular, I thought of the lines, “I hurt myself today/ To see if I still feel/ I focus on the pain/ The only thing that’s real.”

The song, of course, was used in the movie’s official trailer, but it expresses so perfectly the character of what happens in this, the final appearance of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/ Logan.

The talented James Mangold, who directed “The Wolverine” (released in 2013), takes up writing and directing duties here and has managed to transform what might have been a run-of-the-mill superhero movie into something truly epic. But, not epic in the sense of gigantic special effects set pieces involving massive cityscapes destroyed by planet-crushing aliens. Here, the tragic grandeur is on a relatable human scale, bringing the larger-than-life events into tangible perspective.

The movie (largely shot in New Mexico) is set in the near future at a time when the X-Men have either all died or dispersed into hiding, an alternate timeline suggested by the “X-Men First Class” franchise. Jackman has said in a media report that the themes in “Logan” were inspired by the movies “Unforgiven” (1992), “The Wrestler” (2008) and “Shane” (1953), each of which deal with redemption seated in regret and deep personal pain. In the film, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are hiding out in the desert near the Mexican border with Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a mutant who can detect other mutants.

Logan and Charles are broken men, a shadow of their former super selves. Logan, who drives a limo for hire, limps and is having problems with his self-healing powers, but his adamantium skeleton keeps him upright. Charles is sick and dying. He is cared for by the extremely light-sensitive Caliban, who stays near his side at all times. Charles needs a medicine that is in short supply. That’s why Logan makes periodic trips across the border — through what appears to be an imposing border wall — to get some.

At one point, a Mexican woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodríguez) hires his limo, but it’s really a ruse to get close enough to tell him something important about the existence of a phenomenal little girl named Laura (Dafne Keen). With things the way they are, Logan flatly refuses to take on another dependent, much less a kid. But, the kid isn’t hers. She has escaped with her from a top-secret corporate facility run by very bad men with nefarious intent who desperately want her back. When these guys attack and Laura springs into action, he sees why.

The movie isn’t for kids. It’s actually for the adults who have followed the stories and characters over all these years. It has the sense of strength and experience rooted in the earned roadmap of lines and scars seen in Wolverine’s face. So, what you see is more than a superhero movie. It’s a movie to remember. It is best summed up like this, again from “Hurt”: “What have I become/ My sweetest friend/ Everyone I know goes away … in the end/ And you could have it all/ My empire of dirt/ I will let you down/ I will make you hurt.”

“Logan” is rated R for strong brutal violence and language throughout – and for brief nudity.

It is showing daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4145 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

The following were compiled from press materials.

Get Out

MPAA rating: R for violence, bloody images and language including sexual references

Mitchell Storyteller 7

A young African-American man, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), visits his European-American girlfriend’s family estate, where he learns that many of its residents, who are black, have gone missing. He soon learns the horrible truth when another frantic African-American warns him to “get out.” But, he discovers, this is easier said than done.

The horror-mystery film — with hints of “The Stepford Wives” — was written and directed by Jordan Peele (of the comedy duo Key and Peele). It co-stars Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford and Marcus Henderson.

This film will be screened daily.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Julieta

MPAA rating: R for some sexuality/nudity

Movies at the TCA

Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film is about a middle-aged woman named Julieta (Emma Suárez), who is living in Madrid with her boyfriend, Lorenzo. Both are going to move to Portugal when she casually runs into Bea, former best friend of her daughter, Antia, who reveals that this one is living in Switzerland married and with three children.

With the heart broken after 12 years of total absence of her daughter, Julieta cancels the journey to Portugal and she moves to her former building in the hope that Antia someday communicates with her sending a letter. Alone with her thoughts, Julieta starts to write her memories to confront the pain of the events happened when she was a teenager (Adriana Ugarte) and met Xoan, a Galician fisherman.

Falling in love with him, Julieta divides her time between the family, the job and the education of Antia until a fatal accident changes their lives. Slowly decaying in a depression, Julieta is helped by Antia and Bea, but Antia one day goes missing suddenly after a vacation.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (March 12) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (March 13-15).

Movies at the TCA film series, Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call the Taos Center for the Arts at (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

The Shack

MPAA rating: PG-13 for thematic material – including some violence

Mitchell Storyteller 7

After the abduction and assumed death of Mack Phillip’s (Sam Worthington) youngest daughter, Missy (Amélie Eve), Mack receives a letter and has the suspicion it’s from God asking him to return to the shack where Missy may have been murdered.

After contemplating it, he leaves his home to go to the shack for the first time since Missy’s abduction and encounters what will change his life forever. The film is based upon a 2007 self-published novel of the same name by William P. Young that became a USA Today best-seller. It also went on to become a No. 1 paperback trade fiction offering on the New York Times best-seller list.

Faith-based film directed by Stuart Hazeldine co-stars Octavia Spencer, Radha Mitchell, Tim McGraw, Graham Greene and Alice Braga.

This film will be screened daily.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

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