Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

August 1, 2013

Movie Review: Marvel Knights: Wolverine - Origin (2013, DVD)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Wolverine is the best there is at what he does; although of course, what he doe isn't very nice. But long before he was a member of the X-men, a tormented experiment of the Weapon-X project, or even a savage bar brawler known as Logan, he was simply a young boy. What incredible forces created this man, the world's greatest killing machine? For years, Wolverine has searched desperately for answers from his past, from the wilds of the Canadian Wilderness to the teeming cities of Japan and beyond. And despite his perseverance and longing for the truth, he remains an enigma to himself and those around him. But, in this landmark event, Marvel reveals all: the birth and childhood of a young boy... the intriguing secrets of his family history... and the tragedy that changed everything. Welcome to the greatest story never told...

So reads the back jacket of the DVD, big words for sure. That is a lot of hype for a motion comic to live up to. Luckily this motion comic was adapted from the amazing 6 issue story “Wolverine: Origin”. Which finally revealed Logan's mysterious past. Before I discuss the actual film, I must admit I usually hate motion comics with a passion.

A lot of the times they are poorly voiced and jaggedly animated. The Watchmen motion comic comes to mind. I adored the graphic novel, loved the film adaptation but what stuck in my craw was that they had one voice actor voice all the characters... even the female ones. Don't get me started on the Buffy Season 8 motion comics... I'm still pretty much having nightmares from that painfully flat voice acting. Luckily for us there is no jerky animation or poor voice acting to be had with Wolverine Origin. It brought back fond memories when I read the original comic 11 or so years ago.

The first thing that struck me was how carefully put together this film was. From frame one it felt lavish and fleshed out. It has a solid fluidity to it, backed up by strong voice acting and a terrific score. Origin was a compelling story 11 years ago and it's just as riveting today. Origins is only 60 minutes long, you can either watch it in one sitting. Or instead, Shout Factory has done some very cool. They skipped your usual chapter stops and broke it up into six episodes. Each titled after the corresponding comic issue, my inner geek thanks you for that Shout Factory!

This is a tragic story, not happy go lucky at all. Wolverine didn't have a very pretty upbringing. What we get to witness are the events and actions that created the tragically torn character we all know and love so much today. Set in 19th century Canada where Logan, original name James Howlett is a very sickly child. He spends most of his days indoors, not living much of a life. That is until an oprhan girl Rose is brought to keep young James company. They develop a deep friendship but sadly much is amiss around them. Son of a loving rich plantation owner things are going pretty good, but trouble is brewing with groundskeeper Thomas Logan. 

A real son of a bitch who enjoys drinking heavily and beating the living shit out of his son Dog Logan with a belt. James mother is... well a lost cause. Having pretty much lost her mind. Over time the vicious beatings begin to take a tole on poor Dog Logan who becomes increasingly violent as a teenager. An act of violence against Rose and the killing of James dog gets both Logan's kicked off the plantation. What happens from there is very much a Hatfield's and Mccoy's type of story. With plenty of betrayal and heartache to be had.

If you go into this expecting something action packed your sadly going to be disappointed. Not to say this sixty minute feature doesn't have some nice action. But this is mainly a character piece, it's incredibly well written. In fact one of the finest written Wolverine tales in this reviewers opinion. If you've read the comics years ago and want a refresher give this a go. If you've never read Logan's origin story then do yourself a favor... track this badboy down. It's truly a memorable experience in both in it's comic or animated form.

Shout Factory brings Wolverine Origin to DVD in a lovely 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. It looks superb, the comic has been brought to life with extraordinary attention to detail. Have a gander at the screen grabs to get a glance at the terrific presentation.

The Dolby 5.1 is nice as well, it won't blow your mind or anything. But the dialog is crystal clear, the soundtrack clean and clear.

Special features are light but worth having a look at. Mainly the two video segments which each run around 15 minutes. The first segment details the creation of the comics story and characters. The second segment includes discussions with the fella's behind the comics beautiful art. I would have loved a few featurettes concentrating on turning this land mark series into a motion comic or even a commentary.

Overall this is an excellent motion comic, one of the best. I'd say even if you've read the six issue run you should still give this a watch. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

No comments:

Post a Comment