Though Logan can now only be viewed on a smaller screen, its huge emotions and character journeys are still bigger than ever.
Logan—the swan songs of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier—has finally made it to Blu-ray. Fans of the film may be lamenting the fact that they couldn’t watch it one more time on the big screen—because, you know, bigger is always better, right?
Not all the time … and Logan is proof of that. Viewers can rest assured that they can get the same emotional and visceral impact from home viewing as they would sitting in a theater—sans the annoying line-waiting and occasional Chatty Cathy.
And why is that? Because Logan is a film that transcends its medium. At its heart, the film is storytelling at its finest. And let’s not forget, the modern era of bonus special features for home release also give it a good boost. In fact, the behind-the-scenes featurette ups the emotional impact of the overall film—which means Logan is even more effective in this format. I will soon delve into the reasons why.
Since I’ve already seen the film in theaters and reviewed it, I won’t repeat myself. You can read my original review here. What I will add is that the real impact of the film comes from what you discover in the bonus features.
As I said earlier, Logan, on home release, packs an even bigger emotional punch. Behind-the-scenes specials are always fun. For film buffs like me, I love seeing the intricate processes and actual labor that goes into making a well-crafted motion picture.
However, Logan is that much more pleasurable to watch because the people making the film don’t just enjoy what they’re doing—the love it with all their heart. Usually, when the cameras go off, it’s like another day at the office for actors and crew. It’s time to wrap things up for another day. For Logan‘s cast and crew, this is anything but. They know they’re making something special—something with history behind it.
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In the featurette, Hugh Jackman (to me) seems to be fighting back tears under his muscular, tough-guy, grizzled (much of that is make-up) exterior. Why shouldn’t he? He’s been playing the adamantium-clawed mutant for almost two decades. It’s a part of him. Making Logan is like saying goodbye to an old friend.
Unlike most actors who never want to be typecast, Jackman is someone who has fully embraced his character. He would love nothing but to be called “Wolverine” while walking down the street. It’s that embodiment and dedication that will contribute to 20th Century Fox’s difficulty in finding another actor to fill his shoes.
Patrick Stewart, who has also fully embraced his character, talks about the film with endearment. He loves his co-stars and loves everything about his character, Charles Xavier. The British thespian’s appreciation and humbleness beam through the screen as he talks about the fatherly psionic mutant’s final journey.
Director James Mangold is a skilled storyteller at heart. His goal was to not make a superhero film, but to make a drama that happened to have comic book characters. In doing so, he offered fans something that only a few films have achieved in this genre.
The behind-the-scenes featurette also covers a myriad of other things (stunt work, design, music, etc.) that went into creating the film. The cast and crew exude nothing but passion for their work—and it definitely shows in the final product.
For most films, it’s understood why certain scenes are left on the cutting room floor. However, for Logan, I can see why Mangold had such a hard time removing them. The deleted scenes actually add to the story, if not, they add to character development.
As short as they were, the scenes were deleted to keep the movie at a tolerable length for theater showings. But I don’t think audiences would have even batted an eye if the film was longer. And that’s due to Logan‘s compelling characters and emotional journey.
Heightening the deleted scenes is Mangold’s commentary. It’s always interesting to see what filmmakers have in mind when they create these scenes. For Mangold, he loved these characters too much and wanted to give them every moment to shine.
Initially, I thought Logan being presented in black-and-white would be a gimmick—a way to reuse and repackage a product for more ticket sales. However, this version is also included in the home release.
Aside from the fact that it’s not an extra charge to view, this version truly does give another quality to the film. Be it Mangold’s direction or John Mathieson’s versatile cinematography, a monochromatic Logan really does enhance the film’s harshness.
Various shadows and smoke have an otherworldly quality. And the blood—now jet black and glistening, like freshly drilled oil—heightens the deadly fight scenes to the level of high art. It’s definitely another experience.
If you’ve already seen Logan in color, you owe it to yourself to experience Logan Noir. If you’re about to watch the film for the first time, do a coin toss. The one you don’t view can be saved as a treat for a rainy day.
Logan‘s release to home video is definitely bittersweet. It’s the final time we’ll see two of our most celebrated actors transforming into their iconic characters. However, like great memories, you can continue to revisit this film. One day, when you’re as old as Logan himself, you can show this movie to a generation that grew up on their version of the X-Man and say, “That … that right there is my Wolverine!”
Logan is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on 5/23 and now available on Digital HD
Disclosure: Bam Smack Pow was provided with a free copy for the purposes of this review.
"In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces."
Logan was released in the United States on March 3, 2017
The film is directed by James Mangold, written by Michael Green and David James Kelly, based on the series Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, and stars Hugh Jackman as James Howlett / Logan / Wolverine, Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney / X-23, Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zander Rice, Stephen Merchant as Caliban, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X, Eriq La Salle as Will Munson, Elise Neal as Kathryn Munson, and Elizabeth Rodriquez as Gabriela Lopez.