The Wolverine wasn't the only big release this week. If you are looking for The Smurfs 2 or Duck Dynasty reviews, head here.
The Wolverine Blu-ray
The Wolverine is the most popular character in the X-Men franchise, but James Mangold still took a chance when he signed on to direct Twentieth Century Fox’s The Wolverine. The last time Logan/Wolverine got his own film, it wasn’t well received. However, by finding a new tone and taking our protagonist to a new location, The Wolverine manages to be a serious but interesting tale, and a fine addition to the X-Men canon.
The Wolverine is primarily set in Japan, where we see Logan (Hugh Jackman) living what feels like numerous lives. We get a look at where Logan was when nuclear bombs went off during WWII. Our hero wasn’t able to save everyone, but he was able to save a young warrior. In the present day, the young warrior, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) is a dying man, who gives Logan the chance to live a normal, mortal life for the first time. Thematically, Logan’s isolation as a mutant who sees many people die as he lives on is a heartbreaking but indelible experience. That world view is not the only thing the movie has going for it. The action is also highly watchable, and a particularly effective Wolverine versus the ninjas train sequence will make this point stick for first time viewers.
Jackman has always seemed to really enjoy playing the Wolverine character, but he’s in his element in the film, playing a man who is full of inner turmoil, lonely and obsessing over all of the lives he lived, as well as the death of his love, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). His steady and resolved portrayal of the character helps to float a film that is full of complicated plotlines that don’t always pan out to the most satisfying degree. Between that performance and the vision and scope of the film, fans of comic book adaptations, but also action films, will find a lot to enjoy, especially on Blu-ray, where the neons in the city pop and the traditional architecture in rural Japan looks especially enchanting. In many ways, The Wolverine is meant to be a gritty film, not a pretty one, but its visuals are among the most exciting ideas the film offers.
You can order The Wolverine Blu-ray over at Amazon. If you would rather purchase the extended edition, it’s available with the 3D set. You can read more about that version here.
Best Special Feature: I had high hopes for the alternate ending, but the best special feature with The Wolverine is "The Path of a Ronin," a lengthy, multi-segment featurette that described quite a lot about the making of the movie. If you are intrigued about the mythology of the Wolverine and his tenure in Japan, a lot of the decision-making processes are discussed and a lot of the key people involved are introduced. The extra as a whole is extremely lengthy, but the featurette can also be split up so that fans can watch shorter segments individually.
Other Special Features:
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" Set Tour