May kicked off to a roaring start with what is sure to be considered one of the best movies of the year. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is an awesome action-filled adventure centering on the origins of one of Marvel Comic’s most popular characters, and one of my personal favorites, Wolverine. Despite the fact that he is a bit taller and more handsome than the Wolverine of the comic book world, Hugh Jackman pulls it off perfectly as he has in the previous X-Men movies. If I remember the origins comic book series correctly, the earlier parts of the movie follows along pretty closely taking only very few liberties. The movie very rarely slows down the action making it a fun ride for the action junkies in the audience and for the female H..J. fans, there is even a glimpse of nakie Wolvie running through the wilderness after he gets pumped full of the adamantium which coats his bones and trademark claws. Before the adamantium though, before all the adventures, we start the movie as all origin movies do. At the beginning. The scene is a decent looking home in western Canada in the mid-1800s. Yes people, anyone who knows the character knows he is VERY OLD lol. We see a sickly looking boy (Logan/Wolverine) in bed with a friend of his at his side keeping him company. There is a ruckus downstairs, the friend’s father is drunk and has come over, the two boys come out of Logan’s room to see their fathers sparring. Logan’s father is shot, angering the boy. In his enraged state his famous claws make their first ever appearance, and in a mix of agony and anger he charges at his friend’s father who utters a revelation before he slumps over. Logan and his friend escape into the woods and keep on running. We find out too that this friend is none other than his future archenemy, Sabertooth. We find out how these two, once best of friends, became bitter rivals. Many other things are revealed about Wolverine’s mysterious past but as this is a fresh new movie I shall not give up too many spoilers. Fans of the comic books will know much already but this movie will not only appeal to fans but to any fan of good action adventure movies. And you don’t even have to have any prior knowledge of the background of these characters as the origin is being laid out for you. Oh yeah there is also an appearance by my other favorite mutant hero, Gambit! My main complaint about the movie is they didn’t make Gambit Cajun as he is supposed to be. To me that is sacriledge lol. We also see the introduction of some other notable characters of the X-Men universe such as Deadpool, the Blob, Cyclops, Silver Fox and even a cameo by Professor X played by veteran actor Patrick Stewart. This movie is sure to please.
Next comes a movie that has renewed my faith in an old but much beloved series. Just when I thought they had killed and mutilated the "Star Trek" franchise with the utterly disappointing "Star Trek: Nemesis" and the very sub par tv series "Enterprise", Director J.J. Abrams breathes new life into the world of "Star Trek" by taking us back to a time before the original five year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. At first I had my doubts. Could anyone actually portray the original crew other than the original cast? Well, kinda. But it works. To us seasoned fans, things will be weird at first but one will quickly settle in as the story unfolds. Yes, they used the old plotline of schizms in time and such, but the concept is not as lame as it sounds, and creates for us a slightly alternate universe than what we remember from the original series but still recaptures that old "Star Trek" feel. "Heroes" villain, Zachary Quinto, plays young Spock perfectly, Karl Urban nails the McCoy character, and the rest of the cast also recieves my nod of approval. I believe Gene Roddenberry, the creator of "Star Trek" would be proud. Yes there are some inconsistencies, but remember, it’s an alternate timeline. Fun to watch, and again not just for Trekkies/Trekkers. And at least in this one it’s not Kirk that gets the girl, Spock finally gets himself some much needed lovin’. Fans will be able to point out exactly when the "red shirt" gets killed (in the original series, just about every episode had a crew member in red get killed and became kind of a running gag. ) And while I won’t spoil this film for you either, look for an appearance by the original Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy. This is also the last "appearance" of Majel Barret Roddenberry as the voice of the Starfleet Computer, she passed away in December of ’08 and was the only cast member (though not always physically seen) to have been in every single incarnation of Star Trek, meaning the original tv series and all of it’s future spinoffs, animated tv series, and movies. Seems the director did take much care in keeping things as close as possible to the original works and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would not mind seeing another if it is done by the same director. Sorry, no Klingons but at least the Romulans finally get a prominent part in a successful "Star Trek" movie. A must see for ANY sci-fi adventure fan.
We go from high octane action/adventure to a true story of tragedy with the 1996 British film, "Hillsborough". I’m not usually one for made-for-tv dramas, but in this case I made an exception. For one thing, Chris Eccleston was in it so had to check it out. "Hillsborough" tells the true tale, in what I heard and read as being stunningly accurate, of the horrific tragedy which took the lives of at least 96 spectators at what was supposed to be just another thrilling game of English football (soccer to us yanks) on the afternoon of April 15, 1989 at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. What started out as joy and excitement on the part of fans filing in to see their team play soon turned into catastrophe as an incompetent police force who was supposed to be in charge of crowd control and safety continued to cram people into a section of the stadium that was already full to capacity and failing to open gates to sections that were still empty, causing those at the front to be literally crushed to death despite pleas from many people still waiting to enter the gates and the obvious scenes of overcrowding over the cctv monitors. To make matters worse, some people trying to escape being crushed by climbing over barricades guarding the pitch were beaten because the local police were blind to what was happening. And of course you know the news media likes to twist things around and put blame on the fans. We watch as this drama unfolds in horror and disbelief as people are dying, police covering up their mistakes and making sure nobody puts the day’s events into their journals and preventing ambulances to enter the stadium. Then after all is done we see the impact on the survivors and the families, their grief and suffering, and their quest for justice which has still yet to come to them after 20 years, being let down by the British justice system. The acting is quite superb for a made-for-tv film and worthy of being considered an accurate account of a historic event.