Every year, the summer movie season gets off to an earlier start. At the current rate, next year’s Summer Movie Season will kickoff somewhere around January of 1982.As for this year, it semi-officially kicked off with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Suckage all the way back in late March. Ice cream and jellybean sales really spiked around that time because a whole lot of geeks needed to cheer themselves up after sitting through that trash.Alas, we are only in May, so there are plenty of months left to salvage Summer Movie Season 2016. Here are some films that look to be Batman v Superman antidotes, as well as some that might further poison us. Captain America: Civil War (May 5): Already getting amazing buzz, this is another superhero vs. superhero movie, but this one is in the hands of Marvel, which usually means an uptick on the sophistication and fun quotients. It also means no Zack Snyder at the helm, which I consider a major blessing at this point. Last Days in the Desert (May 13): Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) plays Jesus Christ having a relatively bad time in the desert before embarking on a preaching career that would eventually get his butt totally killed.
Written in the early 1950s, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It recounts the events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. This was a time when paranoia, hysteria, and deceit gripped the Puritan towns of New England.The initial scenes take place in the home of Reverend Parris, (played by Senior Josh Baca) the town’s spiritual leader. His ten-year-old daughter lies in bed, unresponsive.She, and the other local girls, spent the previous evening performing a ritual while dancing in the wilderness. Abigail, (Played by Senior Katherine Phillips) Parris’ seventeen-year-old niece, is the "wicked" leader of the girls.Mr. and Mrs. Putnam, (Played by Kelly Horner and Danny Fapp) loyal followers of Parris, are very concerned for their own sickly daughter.The Putnams are the first to openly suggest that witchcraft is plaguing the town. They insist that Parris root out the witches within the community. Not surprisingly, they suspect anyone who despises Rev. Parris, or any member who fails to attend church on a regular basis.Halfway through Act One, the play's tragic hero, John Proctor, (played by Senior Alex Kaprosy) enters the Parris household to check on the still comatose Betty. (Played by Senior Jordan Jaffe)
As summertime transitions into autumn, citizens of Oro Valley and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy themselves at another new installment into the Great American Playhouse’s burgeoning bundle of shows. Following the playhouse’s two-year anniversary celebration last August, GAP veteran Nick Seivert has written and directed the latest play to be presented at the fledgling theater as it picks up more steam.“Whodunit? or They Haven’t a Clue” is the name of Seivert’s interactive murder mystery, starring a gifted cast consisting of Jesus Limon (Mustard/Rusty), Xander Mason (Plum), Katherine Philips (Peach), Jacqueline Williams (Scarlet), Sean MacArthur (Green), Jodi Darling (Peacock/White) and Seivert himself as Wadsworth and Zoltan the Great.When Rusty, the adopted son of bagel heiress Ms. Peacock, and his stepmother are killed, detectives Mustard and White are called onto the scene to find just “whodunit.” Together with the GAP audience, Mustard and White will discover the perpetrator of the crime, as well as the why and the how behind Rusty and Ms. Peacock’s murder. Seivert’s grand magnitude as a playwright pervades throughout the show, featuring copious amounts of family-friendly zaniness and interactivity that has come to be associated with the local acting vet.
As summertime transitions into autumn, citizens of Oro Valley and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy themselves at another new installment into the Great American Playhouse’s burgeoning bundle of shows. Following the playhouse’s two-year anniversary celebration last August, GAP veteran Nick Seivert has written and directed the latest play to be presented at the fledgling theater as it picks up more steam.“Whodunit? or They Haven’t a Clue” is the name of Seivert’s interactive murder mystery, starring a gifted cast consisting of Jesus Limon (Mustard/Rusty), Xander Mason (Plum), Katherine Philips (Peach), Jacqueline Williams (Scarlet), Sean MacArthur (Green), Jodi Darling (Peacock/White) and Seivert himself as Wadsworth and Zoltan the Great.When Rusty, the adopted son of bagel heiress Ms. Peacock, and his stepmother are killed, detectives Mustard and White are called onto the scene to find just “whodunit.” Together with the GAP audience, Mustard and White will discover the perpetrator of the crime, as well as the why and the how behind Rusty and Ms. Peacock’s murder. Seivert’s grand magnitude as a playwright pervades throughout the show, featuring copious amounts of family-friendly zaniness and interactivity that has come to be associated with the local acting vet.Every show has its shining star, and this time around, it was Xander Mason and his eccentric, lovable take on ‘Topsy Turvy Private Investigator’ radio actor, Plum. As Mustard and White interrogate Plum and his radio associates throughout the play, Mason stands out for his active performance style and profound energy which sets the stage alight, coming across with a composed vivacity not unlike a young Robin Williams. Philips also stands out as ‘Topsy Turvy’ co-star Peach, standing tall amongst more veteran actors with a collected approach to her improvisational humor, which received some of the loudest applause throughout the night.Limon, Darling and Seivert assert their muscle as true GAP vets by playing double-time as their characters, Mustard/Rusty, Peacock/White and Wadsworth/Zoltan, respectively.
Few Hollywood directors carry as wild a reputation as M. Night Shyamalan. The former whiz kid behind modern classics like “The Sixth Sense” (1999) and “Signs” (2002) seemed destined for a career of outside-the-box masterpieces. Then, seemingly overnight, that destination shifted. The last decade of Shyamalan’s career has steadily served up one hot mess (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) after another (“After Earth”) — his name now synonymous with gimmicky twists and little else. So now, without much to lose, the director returns to his scary movie roots with “The Visit.” Our fingers were crossed. Unfortunately, things couldn’t have started off bumpier. In the first few minutes alone, we get our “found footage” premise (a gimmick that peaked five years ago), awkward moments of attempted humor, and a few rap freestyles. Siblings Rebecca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are dropped off for a week with the grandparents they’ve never met, and before you can say “suspicious,” things start getting weird. Grandma (Deanna Dunagan) bakes cookies during the day and wanders the house demonically at night. Grandpa (Peter McRobbie) chops wood outside and attacks random strangers in town. The story continues in typical horror movie fashion, with jump scares galore and a ridiculous amount of skepticism on the kids’ part.But Shyamalan relies too heavily on the word “typical” here. He’s got a cast of surprisingly decent performers to work with, yet there isn’t anything to make it stand out from the flood of “Paranormal Activity” sequels that are still being cranked out every year. Long gone are the creative camera angles and less-is-more approach of his past work — now it’s all about chasing trends and blending in. The plot twist is great once it arrives, but it’s too little too late. And it doesn’t do much to contradict the notion of Shyamalan as a poor man’s Rod Serling.Ultimately, “The Visit” hits its short term goal as a fun date movie with some scary twists. As for the long term goal of revitalizing Shyamalan’s career, well, let’s just say our fingers are still crossed. Danilo Castro is a resident of Oro Valley and writer for the Film Noir Archive blog at
Have you or anyone you know thought about taking an improv class, but weren't sure if it was right for you? OR, maybe you've just been to a show and thought it might be fun to do a little improv!Well, now's your chance to get a sample of what our classes are like, AND have some fun! On Saturday, September 26th from Noon to 3pm we will be having an introduction to improv workshop at Unscrewed Theater. TIckets are only $15 AND include a free ticket to that night's family-friendly improv show!We will play some warm exercises, learn the basic rules of improv and play some really fun games! You'll be able to get a great feel for what and how we teach. It will be a really fun afternoon taught by two of our amazing instructors (and Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed players!) You can even purchase this class as a gift for someone who loves to laugh! So come have a great time with us! To sign up go to unscrewedtheater.org
The Latin Comedy Jam is set to bring non-stop hilarity to Tucson on Sept. 12 for a double show at The Leo Rich Theatre. Hosted by founder Mike Acquisto-Gotti, the jam is partnering with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber Scholarship Fund and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the fund.“We’re spreading laughter and education at the same time,” said Acquisto-Gotti.The cast of comedians for the show consists of Roberto Rodriguez, Dillon Garcia, Javi Luna and Steve Trevino. Each of these performers, along with the rest of the crew in the comedy jam, can be seen across the nation.Acquisto-Gotti said the show isn’t intended for all ages, but is relatively tame. “It’s not a raunchy, dirty show,” he said. “There is some adult content, but for the most part, it’s a show you can bring your grandma to.”Though it is called The Latin Comedy Jam, the show is in English and the content is intended for an audience of all backgrounds.“The comics are Hispanic, but the comedy is universal,” Acquisto-Gotti said. “They’re from all walks of life and places, not just the United States: Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. “
As one of only six Hollywood actors to earn three Academy Awards for acting (including a record 19 Oscar nominations) it feels like we’ve seen Meryl Streep play every character on the big screen over the past 38 years. In “Ricki and The Flash,” however, we find this amazing actress continuing to expand her talents and push outside her comfort zone. As an aging 1980s rocker named Ricki Rendazzo, Streep is a self-described non-traditional mother who, after years performing on tour, ends up divorced, no longer in her children’s lives and working two part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Teaming up with her real-life offspring Mamie Gummer for the third time on film, Streep’s Ricki character re-enters the children’s lives when her daughter’s (Gummer) marriage unexpectedly dissolves. Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme (for 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs”) and Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody painstakingly illustrate Ricki’s penniless lifestyle and the many difficulties blended families must endure to raise kids. Cody’s screenplay is based upon her mother’s side job as a front singer as Cody grew up. Despite a slow start and heavy-handed display of just how down and out Ricki’s life has become, this movie deserves credit for an open and honest dialogue about divorced families and resentment. It neither dismisses nor sidesteps the anger and pain created by the complicated family dynamics. The end result is an authentic portrayal of relationships and love.The sensational cast is led by Streep, who sings and plays her guitar to an assortment of musical hits that includes Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lady Gaga and Pink. A consummate perfectionist, the 66-year-old Streep felt she needed to learn to play the guitar to provide realism to her role and the overall film. Thus, Director Demme and the movie producers patiently halted filming and production to allow Streep to complete an immersion into guitar lessons. Moviegoers with a keen eye will notice 1980’s rocker Rick Springfield playing the lead guitarist and Streep’s love interest in “Ricki and The Flash.” Academy Award winner Kevin Kline, better known for his marriage to 1982’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” stunner Phoebe Cates, effortlessly plays Streep’s affable ex-husband to round out an exceptional ensemble. The movie’s most inspiring and eye-catching performances, though, are deservedly found in Streep and her daughter, Gummer. Both own the big screen and make it difficult to take your eyes off of their characters. “Ricki and The Flash” succeeds due to its skillful handling of complicated blended families. The superb performances, particularly Streep’s vocals on the microphone, bring a realism to the entire film that can’t be ignored. A slow start picks up its beat around mid-movie for a rousing, emotional end. Although the focus on Ricki’s downtrodden, washed-up rocker past goes on for too long in the film, Streep and Gummer hold this storyline together in tandem. “Ricki and The Flash” offers enjoyment to music fans and unique look at a two new talents from Streep—singing and playing the guitar. Both of which make this film worth seeing.
The World Fighting Federation hosted another night of sold-out fights at Casino Del Sol on July 25. The packed show pitted 24 fighters in various weight classes against one another in a non-stop, action-packed event. Tickets were sold out two days before “World Fighting Federation 22” was scheduled, a new record for the organization. While seats are always available for WFF fights through traditional box office means, tickets were also sold by fighters in part to help promote themselves and their gyms. WFF 22 was composed of seven different amateur title fights, including an amateur title fight in the bantamweight division between Ralphy “No Mercy” Pacheco and Steven Prior. Ten different professional fighters squared off for the last five fights, including a professional flyweight title fight between Tyler “Bad Apple” Bialecki and title-holder Brandon Moreno. The co-main event of the evening was the professional welterweight title fight between Kyle “Gunz Up” Stewart and Raymond “The Truth” Piña. The first two fights ended quickly, both being called to a stop by referees Ryan Brueggeman and Al Guinee, respectively. The fast, no-holds-barred style shown in the first fights seemed to be a theme at WFF 22; just over half of the 12 individual contests didn’t make it past the first round, either by knockout, TKO or submission. Though many of the fighters were busy mentally preparing for the trials ahead, some took some time to share their stories.
Fans of the hit BBC driving show, “Top Gear,” have been overwhelmed by rumors and speculations since controversial actions by host Jeremy Clarkson caused him to be canned by BBC producers. Clarkson’s removal came after a notorious “fracas” at a Yorkshire hotel in March when Clarkson hit producer Oisin Tymon during an argument about arrangements for a hot meal. This incident was the last straw for BBC officials. The altercation involving Tymon follows years of controversy at the BBC, with rows over a series of gaffes and insults, including most seriously Clarkson’s apparent use of the N-word when mumbling the “eeny meeny miny moe” nursery rhyme. The unbearable wait for fans is now over, according to representatives from Amazon Prime’s online streaming service. “Top Gear” trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have signed to present a new car show on the streaming service.Richard Hammond and James May, the other two presenters for the wildly popular program, decided to bow out and discontinue their involvement after Clarkson was removed. The three hosts will also be joined by former “Top Gear” producer and longtime friend of Clarkson, Andy Wilman.Clarkson said regarding the new deal, “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.”The move to Amazon Prime may come as a slight surprise to fans of the once BBC headlining show, which for many years was generating around £50 million a year for the corporation. Amazon Prime will be providing a whole new medium for the trio.
Former Beach Boy and living legend Brian Wilson has survived a life of hardships and personal demons to do what he does best: crank out ethereal harmonies that make you feel like (or at least wish) you were going for a beachfront stroll on a summer evening. And while that good-time vibe remains intact on his latest album “No Pier Pressure,” the demons are front and center in the new indie biopic “Love And Mercy.”The film ping pongs between the musical revolutions young Brian (Paul Dano) was making as head of The Beach Boys in the 1960s, and the slow climb back to reality as an older Brian (John Cusack) struggles to beat his bipolar disorder in the 1980s. It’s a dicey high-wire act to have two performers play the same character (see 2007’s Bob Dylan free-for-all “I’m Not There”), but it’s a credit to the acting of both Dano and Cusack that they delicately explore the different phases of Wilson’s life. Dano in particular is a revelation as the LSD-ridden pop star who was respectfully rewriting the sound of modern music. Elsewhere, ample support from Elizabeth Banks (as Wilson’s second wife Melinda) and a rotten Paul Giamatti (as Wilson’s shady therapist Eugene Landy) keep the back end of the cast strong as well.First-time director Bill Pohland weaves a masterfully psychedelic spell over the audience; weaving in equal parts tragedy, comedy and a wonky musical score courtesy of Atticus Ross to keep things as eccentric as the pet sounds in Brian’s head. And for those of you who scoff at biopics that are “untrue” or “exaggerated” for the sake of cinema, never fear. Wilson himself has vouched for the authenticity of the film, going as far as to call it “very factual” to his real life experiences.You don’t have to be a Beach Boys fanatic to enjoy this movie. You don’t even have to know who Brian Wilson is — “Love And Mercy” works solely off the merits of being an excellent film. It’s the touching story of a misguided genius, a courageous everyman and the music that reinvented a generation. You won’t be sittin’ in this crummy movie with your hands on your chin. That last bit was for the Brian Wilson buffs out there. (Editor’s Note: Danilo Castro is a resident of Oro Valley and writer for the Film Noir Archive blog at www.filmnoirarchive.com)
Fans of The Boy Who Lived and last year’s acclaimed drama “The Theory of Everything” now have cause for celebration: Eddie Redmayne has been confirmed as the lead star of the new wizardry film “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.” And for those of you who scratch their heads and quickly head to a computer to figure out what “Beasts” even is — don’t worry, we’ll fill you in.Set 70 years before “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone,” the film follows 1920’s collector Newton Scamander (Redmayne) as he travels New York in search of magical creatures. As to whether the story provides a closer tie to the Potter universe is something that remains to be seen in the cinematic world — unless of course, you’ve read the books.This return to the world of magic also reteams Harry Potter producer David Heyman, director David Thewlis, and storytelling mastermind J.K. Rowling as a first-time screenwriter. And if the pot isn’t yet sweet enough, the recent addition to this announcement is that the picture will be the first in a trilogy that will have subsequent releases in 2018 and 2020.Recently appointed star Redmayne, fresh off of an Academy Award for best actor, couldn’t be more thrilled and is “hugely excited” to come onboard Rowling’s universe — even referring to the author as a “genius.” It’s clear that Rowling and Co. weren’t going to let all the magical prequel points go to Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” series, and with a November release date set for next year — it’s once again time to dig up your Hogwarts cloaks and Olivander’s wands. (Editor’s Note: Danilo Castro is a resident of Oro Valley and writer for the Film Noir Archive blog at www.filmnoirarchive.com)
Though rain may have postponed the festivities, the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) has rescheduled the Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show for this Saturday, April 1 at the Oro Valley Marketplace (12155 N. Oracle Road). In its ninth year, the event will include classic and muscle cars, activities for the whole family, food vendors and exhibitors from throughout the community.According to SAACA, up to 135 different cars and trucks, “antique and modern, domestic and foreign, modified and custom” will roll into the event to be judged and awarded trophies: Best of Show, Best Interior, Best Paint, Best Engine, Best Presentation and the People's Choice awards."It is important that we feature amazing cars and the craftsman that maintain, restore and enhance performance and call attention to the true art form that it is, but to also bring together the community of individuals and organizations that enhance the classic car experience," said Jonas Hunter, Special Events Director at SAACA, in a release. "This classic car show will bring all of these elements together and allow both car enthusiasts and novices alike to enjoy these works of art."The show will also feature live performances by Bryan Dean Trio and The Coolers. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase day-of at the gate: $5 for adults with a $1 discount for veterans and active military, children under 10 are free. The event raises money to support SAACA’s Veterans Art Therapy programming at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration.More information is available at www.saaca.org, or by phone at 797-3959. Vehicle registration is available at https://saaca.formstack.com/forms/2017_april_car_show_new_participants.
The best opening weekend for the month of March ever, Disney’s live-action movie “Beauty and the Beast” hauled in a record-breaking $170 million in the U.S. alone. The wholesome love story also flexed its animation muscle globally, taking in a record $350 million worldwide—making it the biggest PG-rated film opening in North American history and the seventh best grossing weekend of all-time.Using the most impressive animation features I’ve ever seen on film, “Beauty and the Beast” seamlessly blends its charismatic Disney characters amongst some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Academy Award-winner Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters”) directs a talent-rich cast that includes Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.Although easily predictable, the lone letdown in the film is the performance by leading lady Watson. The “Harry Potter” veteran is the movie’s weakest link--both in her acting and singing. Watson’s tentative and lackluster showing as Belle gets magnified opposite a stellar job from Dan Stevens as the cursed prince and Beast. Likewise, a superb supporting castle crew invokes charm and laughter amidst a handful of dangerous, uncertain moments.“Beauty and the Beast” sells its heartwarming romance tale through sheer compassion and straightforward storytelling. Nicely sidestepping too graphic altercation scenes, the movie promotes goodness from within its varied animated souls. Racing against time, Belle and Co. are challenged to save others … beginning with her father. This invigorating love story gets stronger in its pointed message and comedic delivery as the film gallops forward. It lavishly ties the Disney spirit with the eye-raising brilliance of a Broadway production. Even Watson’s underwhelming song and act routines can’t dull a likable Beast and magical cast. In the second strongest, non-summer opening weekend ever, “Beauty and the Beast” shines bright. Very bright. Take the entire family and enjoy!Grade: A
This gorilla movie offers up an excellent story As we enter the annual post-Oscars drought season of movies that are often deemed unworthy of awards consideration come December, theater expectations must be lowered accordingly. Lest viewers feel cheated on memorable acting performances and classic narratives destined to become part of our pop culture, films hitting the big-screen through summer pose as mere appetizers to bigger, more jarring movie experiences later in 2017. No cinema screening could usher or epitomize these waning months more than “Kong: Skull Island,” an over-hyped throwback with A-list actors caught in an average movie.Erase the weak and convoluted first 24 minutes of “Kong: Skull Island” and we’re left with a satisfying beginning to the mediocre movie stretch of 2017. This gorilla story reboot takes us back to the introduction of King Kong, joining the original stop-motion great ape film from 1933 and its remakes in 1976 and 2005. “Kong: Skull Island” dramatically captures the discovery and dangers of a new island through its camera lens. It’s an eye-pleasing experience of special effects but gets watered down with a nuanced cast of forgettable characters and names. Seeing such a deep, rich talent pool, including Academy Award-winner Brie Larson (“Room”), get hamstrung by a bland script lacking any emotional tie with the audience is unfortunate.Aside from the film’s spectacular cinematography and CGI realism, this film smartly brings two dozen expendable roles to keep the beast fed. I always tip my hat to storytellers who can sacrifice their lead performers mid-movie to impart shock upon the audience. If that character isn’t safe, no one is. In “Kong” we care little for any of the human hunters, but do wonder who will be left standing in the end?The island faceoff between gorilla and man exposes more than just fiery personalities. Poor decisions resulting in even worse outcomes gets repeated enough times to almost incite laughter aloud. Alpha males demonstrate inept skills to their followers, each of whom elects to continue along the bad karma cycle of rinse and repeat. Thankfully, enough surprises emerge on the island to keep us guessing as to who will die next and how?
When I first interviewed Pat Connors more than a decade ago, I learned about the pairing of fried avocados and Irish whiskey.For those of us who were privileged to know Pat along his short 48-year journey, this was a “Purely Pat Moment.” Take two things that work beautifully on their own, and combine them for a next-level experience.While reflecting on Pat’s passing last week, and quietly celebrating every moment I had with this giant on the Tucson hospitality scene, I realized that Pat made our community a better place, just because he was here.Two things that work beautifully on their own, combined for a next-level experience—start with a wonderful community and just add Pat.His commitment to community was visible in everything he did. There was rarely a local charity event that he wasn’t a part of. His loyalty to the spirit of local was immeasurable, as manifest by his tireless advocacy for the local and independent eateries of the Tucson Originals.Fundraising dinners for the Primavera Foundation, Bald Beauty Project, Dine Out for Safety and others were always important for him to host at Pastiche, his midtown restaurant, and his chef and bartenders were regular fixtures at virtually every local food-related event in town.
“I’ve been gone for a very long time.”The voice behind that statement was unmistakably that of actor/comedian/writer Dave Chappelle, who will be making quite a splash within the internet media streaming scene when he makes his Netflix debut later this month with two comedy specials.Available to stream next Tuesday, March 21, the two hour-long specials entitled “Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin” and “Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas” were filmed at the Palladium in L.A. last March and two-years-ago at the Moody Theater in Austin, Tex., respectively.To mark the occasion, and give fans a taste of Chapelle’s first specials in more than a decade, Netflix released an official trailer. Longtime fans of the comedians biting, adult humor will find nothing less than Dave’s best on topics ranging from ISIS to the dietary dangers of salt for African Americans.Chappelle is currently working on a third special with Netflix, to come at an as-of-yet unannounced time.Be advised, adult language throughout.
With DC Comics and Marvel adventures spurning film releases at nearly the rate of presidential tweets, these filmmakers must strive for freshness on-screen that goes beyond only well-choreographed action sequences. These studios must balance staying accurate to their comic book inspired storylines while eliciting excitement for continual rollouts of new big-screen superheroes. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has easily overmatched DC Comics in this difficult task, mostly by infusing well-liked and funny characters as the foundation for their narratives. From snarky “Iron Man” Tony Stark, the quintet of laughable rogues in “Guardians of the Galaxy”, to Paul Rudd’s “Ant-Man”, Marvel has mastered the successful 3-part ingredients of action, drama, and stand-up comedy. But that successful recipe hasn’t always been followed by Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox’s release of their X-Men franchise since 2000.Last year’s Oscar-deserving X-Men spinoff “Deadpool” celebrated the series’ best reception to date. Now, however, comes the third and final “Wolverine” saga starring Hugh Jackman as Logan. Reprising his role as the mutant with his trademark claws, Jackman’s Logan finds himself working as a chauffeur along the Mexican border before trouble meets up with him.Joining Jackman’s Logan is the X-Men leader, Professor X, portrayed by Patrick Stewart and albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). The trio do an excellent job bringing viewers up to speed on the fallout from the mad science experiments found in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and 2013’s “The Wolverine”. With fewer mutants in existence, Logan must leave semi-retirement to protect those closest to him.“Logan” offers plenty of entertainment to X-Men purists. Those avid followers will enjoy the action drama and further developments of this “Wolverine” finale by Jackman. Others, though, seeking to continue the outlandish fun and lightheartedness of 2016’s “Deadpool” formula will find “Logan” missing one-liners and playful banter towards the audience. Still more watchable than any recent offerings by DC Comics, “Logan” straight-forward connection of dots minus any plot surprises or cliffhanger ending.This film provides us and Jackman with a solid final Wolverine chapter that encompasses the usual action-packed dramatic fighting between superhero and a group of villains still wishing harm to others. Be prepared for less humor, a few slow movie scenes, and more reluctance by Logan to draw out his claws. There’s no typical Marvel post-credit movie spoilers after “Logan”. But be sure to be in your seats for the film’s beginning to see a hilarious short skit performed by Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool character.