‘Logan’: A History of Violence

“There are no more guns in the valley,” Laura says in her eulogy. She and her band of mutants are no longer on the run, but their safety, much like their hopes of a future, come at a cost. The line is a reference to the 1953 Western Shane, a film that operates as key thematic influence in Logan; a film within a film. Logan itself is a film within a larger film universe (and an ever-expanding Marvel brand), which, like it’s overt film referencing, is all but impossible to ignore. Logan stands tall as an outlier, doing away with end-of-the-world plots, superhero team-ups, and allusions to future installments, servicing an even greater payoff that not only honors its comic book origins, but transcends them.  Continue reading

Django Unchained

Slavery is bad. We all know that. And yet, America still chooses to overlook its barbaric past in favor of a future rich with culture and diversity. But how can you ignore something as inherently evil as genocide? How do you justify the severe mistreatment of an entire race? Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Django Unchained, chooses not to answer these questions. Instead it asks “why didn’t anyone think slavery was bad?” Set in a hateful world that’s oblivious to its own hatred, Django embraces the sadistic nature of its characters and explores the cruel morality of our world. And it does so with such an explosive style that it’s damn near impossible to turn away. Though it does become overtly excessive and self-indulgent along the way, the film is injected with more than enough violence and humor to transform its touchy subject into a wildly entertaining feature. This is history re-examined and re-told through Tarantino, and it is a bloody good time at the movies.

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