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Is The New 'Wolverine' Marketing -- TV Spot, Photos, Featurette -- Preparing Us For Inevitable Disappointment?

by Edward Davis
July 2, 2013 4:06 PM
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The Wolverine

Many audiences just won't give a damn or notice and that's completely valid, but for the more discerning, shall we say, modern movie obsessive, director James Mangold's credibility is really going to take a hit if "The Wolverine" isn't at least a sub-decent movie. The jury's still out of course, but all the recent trailers have been worrisome and iffy-looking; perhaps just a small notch above the execrable "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." The added scrutiny and expectations comes from Mangold himself and Hugh Jackman to a degree. Not only were the director and star actively campaigning for the film months before it was ready -- taking to YouTube to answer questions about the film during production -- they were actively attempting to change the narrative of what came before. In short: don't worry about "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," we're starting over, doing something much darker, cooler and serious (when have we heard that one before?)

And Mangold talks a great game. Before any footage of "The Wolverine" was released, the director kept speaking at length about his inspirations for "The Wolverine": the films of Yasujiro Ozu ("Floating Weeds"), Clint Eastwood, (“The Outlaw Josey Wales”), samurai epics (“13 Assassins”), and Wong Kar-Wai (“Chungking Express”). Was he setting the wrong expectations for audiences that understand those references well? Considering that "The Wolverine" -- full of mutants, ninjas, yakuzas, samurais and gigantic samurai robots -- looks fairly similar to your average overblown 20th Century Fox super hero film (the averages are not on their side), the answer to many seems like a resounding yes. 

It's doubly frustrating because Mangold can be a great director. His debut "Heavy" is a great moody little indie film. He brought the best work out of Sylvester Stallone in years with "Copland," coached Reese Witherspoon to an Oscar in "Walk the Line," and his Western remake of "3:10 To Yuma" (discussed here this morning) might just be the most underrated action drama of 2007. But 2010's "Knight and Day" was a mess and though he had already deftly handled action in the picture before it, many were asking if the filmmaker was a first timer, given that it was so disorienting in its non-geography. To make this short: we all want a cool, dark Wolverine movie and we were pretty damn excited when Darren Aronofsky came on board. And then many decided to give Mangold the benefit of the doubt when the torch was passed on to him. But Fox... we don't know if fans will ever forgive you if you fuck this one up considering the lengths everyone went to assure fans this was going to be the movie they always wanted.

A bunch of "Wolverine" marketing junk -- a TV spots, a featurette and some character images below. "The Wolverine," which started out sounding so promising, and we suppose still could be ok, lands in theaters July 26th.

The Wolverine, character images, skip
The Wolverine, character images, skip
The Wolverine, character images, skip
The Wolverine, character images, skip
The Wolverine, character images, skip
The Wolverine, character images, skip

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More: The Wolverine, James Mangold, Hugh Jackman

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  • Spyder7373 | July 3, 2013 10:59 PMReply

    Oh please I dont know what trailers and tv spots you saw but everyone I know can't wait for this movie. But I dont expect MTV to take any chances much easier to say it will suck than say its good. Because if this movie is awesome no one remembers the nay sayers where if it bombs everyone remembers sho is hyping it. So go ahead and huddle in the corner until you can come out and say we always knew it would be awesome MTV.

  • Jamie | July 3, 2013 7:17 PMReply

    Oh please Debbie Downer. This is going to be great. Sometimes you get in the promo what is going to be on the screen and the advance tickets are flying out of the box office. Our family has already bought theirs and we won't be surprised if the film requires a second viewing.

  • Roman | July 3, 2013 6:21 PMReply

    Why was there no mention of the recent screening, which showed the first 15-20 minutes, as well as an action scene. The reaction to that was very positive.

  • ben armington | July 3, 2013 1:12 PMReply

    My hopes are pretty low--- Mangold's love of glum histrionics and self-important sermonizing makes him look more like Sam Mendes Jr. then the dude to handle a gritty horror noir with a mutated hero. And Hugh Jackman, while a wonderful actor, always looks like he is grimacing though a particularly trying run through of Guys and Dolls when he is in Wolverine mode. I like to imagine what would have happened if the movie had been made by a body horror specialist like David Cronenberg, with, of course, Viggo Mortensen playing Wolverine

  • DeadManDann | July 2, 2013 8:06 PMReply

    Overblown? Wouldn't say that. Look at every other blockbuster this summer-- MOS, IM3, Trek, Pacific Rim, etc. Those films are huge in scope and size. By comparison, The Wolverine is a much smaller film, with the stakes more personal and low-key.

  • Alan B | July 2, 2013 4:29 PMReply

    i eat dicks.

  • Alan B | July 3, 2013 4:49 PM

    I posted a comment, it was deleted and replaced with this one. The fact that the staff seems to believe that the most HILARIOUS thing in the world is for someone to be gay proves what a creepy and backwards-thinking group they are.

  • james | July 3, 2013 7:06 AM

    Well said, Alan, well said.

    I don't know about this - firstly, what did you expect? This is a Fox tentpole, after all, and you should know enough to temper your expectations accordingly. It's never going to be an indie movie. Secondly - I hate the X-Men franchise, I think it's vague and underconceived and just, well, silly (the last X-Men movie, the Matthew Vaughn one, was SO bad, just laugh out loud rubbish) - but I think this Wolverine looks kind of alright? It seems to have quite a strong, emotional story at its core, and a potent dramatic question. To me it looks a step up from the usual Marvel rubbish. And let's be honest people - in terms of storytelling, not spectacle, those films are f*cking garbage.

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