After seeing Wolverine earlier this year, my roomie and I decided a cool roommate bonding activity would be to watch every single movie starring Hugh Jackman. Well that was 6 months ago and we’ve made our way through twelve of them.
My main recommendation for anyone out there considering a movie marathon is pick a different common thread. Try movies with dogs, say. Or movies set in Paris, or Best Picture Winners. But for God’s sake, don’t make the same mistake we did.
The fact is that Jackman has been in some really, really terrible movies. And while he’s usually not the one making the movie terrible, he often isn’t able to really break through the mediocrity. I still have solid appreciation for Hugh, but this is a warning to others to not get carried away.
So with that in mind, here are my 2-sentence reviews of the ones we’ve watched:
Is this a movie about ranching in the outback, about Australia in WWII, about justice for Aborigines, or something else entirely? Let’s just say you know your script is sad when your IMDB “memorable quotes” consist of lines like, “Welcome to Australia” and “Serve him a f-ing drink.”
Seems like the producers got together a history student, a religious studies student, and a bioethics student and had them all write scenes without talking to each other. The only requirements were that each scene must have Hugh Jackman and that the writers must be stoned during the creative process.
Kate and Leopold
Going okay until Kate has to abandon her hugely successful if somewhat soulless career to marry Leopold in the 19th century – literally over an 100-year step backward in time for women’s equality. Like Wolverine, has Liev Schreiber as well as Jackman, but K&L makes far more sense (see below).
(Technically not a movie-movie, since this is a filming of the stage production for TV (presented on 2 DVDs), but I still have to include it given the amount of time I devoted to watching it.)
The actual production on Disc 1 finishes after 3 hours, and I never ever want to ever find out what they managed to pull together to put on Disc 2. I love musical theatre and will risk heresy charges by declaring that I just don’t get the appeal of Oklahoma, despite some decent songs, and that even its great cast couldn’t make me appreciate it more than being woken up by the cat vomiting on my carpet.
Ok, this wasn’t that bad, except for the protracted scenes of Ruby (the female protagonist) listening to her walkman. It would’ve been so much better if she could’ve just put down the walkman or even just stopped running around acting like a 6-year-old in her stupid hat.
The Prestige is one of the more entertaining Jackman movies, about a battle between magicians obsessed with revenge and power. Great performances, costuming, and effects help bring the intrigue to life.
Someone Like You
I feel like I should say something nice, so how about “this movie wasn’t crap.” Actually it was kind of cute and even funny, although the plot took a pretty huge departure from the somewhat cautionary novel it was based on to a more fairytale ending.
This movie falls into the awesomely cheesy category, along with Wolverine. It’s campy but it seems that’s what the creators were going for, and in the spectrum of vampire movies I’d rather re-watch it than Twilight.
X-Men 1, 2, and 3
(Rolling these all into one for the sake of brevity.)
I admit fully that these are decent movies for their genre and it’s debateable which is best. I should point out that Wolverine’s hair looks way less cool from the side.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
There’s no way I can tear this apart as wittily as the New York Times review, but suffice it to say that it raised far more questions than it answered, especially as to where Wolverine’s accent came from and why it would’ve changed along with his memory erasure before the main X-Men trilogy. And there is a reason why it was rated far more highly by female than male audience members, which has very, very little to do with it being a good movie and much to do with the amount of time Hugh Jackman appeared shirtless.
Wish us luck completing the rest of this herculean mission!