July 26, 2013, - 6:07 pm

Weekend Box Office: The Wolverine, The To Do List

By Debbie Schlussel

There is nothing new worth seeing at the movies this weekend. I didn’t like either of the new releases, though one is far less objectionable than the other.


* “The Wolverine“: I liked the last Wolverine movie much better (read my review). That one had everything this does not: a tight script, great plot, and magical superhero stuff. This is just a giant mess and a bore. Hollywood has this new rote script for everything: throw a lot of action and special effects at the audience, and they’ll forget that you have no plot, no story, and nothing interesting at all in your movie.

Hugh Jackman once again plays X-Man Wolverine and is living in the woods where he terrorizes hunters who aren’t nice to the animals. He’s tracked down by a Japanese female mutant who convinces him to travel to Japan to meet up with a man whose life he saved. The man, now a billionaire, was a prison guard Wolverine shielded from the bombing of Nagasaki during World War II. Now the billionaire is dying and wants Wolverine to trade him Wolverine’s ability to heal, and in exchange Wolverine will get mortality. Wolverine turns him down, and the billionaire dies. Then the billionaire’s granddaughter, to whom he’s left everything is being chased and targeted for death by a host of characters, from the Yakuza to monsters to people who work for her own father (upset he was passed over) to a mutant known as “The Viper,” who was pretending to be the billionaire’s oncologist. Huh? I know–it’s confusing and silly. Wolverine tries to protect her, and in the process they run all over Japan from a gazillion pursuers. Meanwhile, Wolverine has been poisoned by the Viper somehow, and he’s lost his ability to heal quickly. Plus, he keeps having unnecessary flashback dreams of his wife (Famke Janssen), whom he’s killed. I guess that’s what they call, “filler.”

The only good thing about this movie–and it’s thin and fleeting–are the brief, campy scenes of exotic Japan street life and night life, such as the cheesy “Love Hotel,” where Wolverine and the granddaughter are forced to hide away. And that was not enough to pay to sit through this absolute waste of time. Not even close. Just the movie poster for this, alone, is far more exciting than the actual movie (and hardly truth in advertising).

It’s time for Wolverine and Hollywood to hang up his claws. Stick a fork in it–or better yet, stick the plate in the trash. If this is the best they can do with the Wolverine character, he’s long past done.

Nothing offensive or objectionable about this movie, except that it wasn’t much of a movie at all. Underwhelming.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The To Do List“: This movie was absolutely disgusting. Complete, pure, utter trash. It’s supposed to be a raunchy comedy, except there was nothing funny about it. Not even close. Unless your idea of funny is a woman biting into a log of fecal material. Wow, hilarious! Or various gross stuff about bodily fluids from sex. A mother (Connie Britton) constantly telling her daughters they “need lube” for sex–also NOT funny. This gross movie was just absolutely despicable in all ways. But, for some reason, it was made because the talentless hack writer/director is married to former SNL star Bill Hader (who is–shocker!–also in this movie). Yes, that’s how Hollywood works. Your complete crap gets greenlighted because of who you are and who you know.

The “story”: a nerdy valedictorian who looks like convicted murderess Jodi Arias (Aubrey Plaza) and is in love with Hillary Clinton (yes, literally), is a virgin and wants to lose her virginity before college. So she makes a checklist of many sexual acts and completes them with different guys throughout the summer. Yes, she’s a slut. Oh, and did I mention that, often, while she’s engaged in the sex acts, she’s looking at a poster of Hillary Clinton. “It Takes a Village” to be a whore?

Yay, feminism and equality! Shame on Rachel Bilson and Connie Britton for co-starring in the Gitmo quality torture. Clearly, they are as much whores in real life as the lead in this movie. Somebody clearly needed a paycheck very badly.

In our Kardashian age, this is the sewer-esque stuff that gets made more and more. Parents who send their kids to this–which should have been rated NC-17–should be thrown in jail for child abuse.

Trash galore. Absolute crap.


Watch the trailer . . .

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13 Responses

I kind of agree with you about The Wolverine. I didn’t hate it but I am kind of shocked that anyone is giving this a better review than the last Wolverine movie. I just didn’t feel like I was watching a movie based on a comic book, not that I am a comic book fan, but there wasn’t really much in the way of the fantastic or even just a real comic book villain. After seeing the stinger at the end of the movie, though, I’m hoping the next X-men movie (out next summer?) will make up this lackluster summer. Am also kind of looking forward to the Keanu Reeves movie 47 Ronin this Christmas. The trailer piqued my interest.

Daniel Middleman on July 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

Good Lord, Debbie! 5 Hillary(s), one movie? Good lord, no movie deserves 5 Hillary(s) … except a biopic of Dear Leader. (To Do must suck so bad David Geffen last seen headed for the premier with a 55 gallon barrel of blow and a gaggle of male hookers)

Jack on July 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

I will see neither. I can’t stand Hugh Jackman…and I am not sure why. In the Brit papers he said he uses his Wolverine claws with him wife. LOL. I don’t believe that at ALL. I know a poofda when I see one.

I don’t know what to say about that second movie. You’re right about Bill Hader. What a bore. I’m not shocked by either Bilson or Britton…I have never liked either.

The “Summer Of Doom” continues! Burn, Hollywood, Burn.

(The dopey Wolverine plot reminded me I have a great book on the Japanese Yakuza I have been meaning to read…”People Who Eat Darkness”…I should crack it open this weekend!)

Skunky on July 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm

thought they were done with Wolverine on that “X -Men: Origins” stuff! I guess it pays to be a Hugh Jackman….waiting for the half -dollar bootleg.

Kenyan infidel on July 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Fox is going to keep making X-Men movies because if they don’t, the movie rights to X-Men will go back to Marvel/Disney. Sony is going to keep cranking out Spiderman movies for the same reason. Even if the movies don’t make that big of a profit, the rights are still valuable … at least for now.

The Wolverine only cost $120 million (in contrast with, say, $200 million for Iron Man 3 and $225 million for Man of Steel) because X-Men: Origins barely made back its production budget and X-Men: The First Class didn’t even do that. So it didn’t have any known actors (unless you count Jackman, so not really), director or screenwriters and they skimped on the special effects. Hopefully fans will realize that if they are watching a Marvel comic book movie not made by Marvel/Disney they are being ripped off and stop going. Then Fox will finally sell the movie rights to Marvel and we will finally get to see a good X-Men movie (the first 2 by Singer were overrated IMHO, the third by Ratner was terrible and I haven’t seen any since) plus have crossovers between the X-Men and Avengers. As for Spider-Man, at least Sony is actually trying to make good movies instead of just stealing money, but based on the reboot they don’t seem to know how. So root for Marvel to get control of that character back too.

As far as the “To Do List” goes, just call it another SNL movie because the star also acts on Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation TV show. Ah, Hollywood meritocracy. And getting a 29 year old to play a 17 year old was a nice touch. As far as the 17 year old virgin (which Hollywood frowns upon) who decides to have sex “just because” who has an infatuation with Hillary Clinton, if there ever is a sequel somehow, the character will come out of the closet during college and get outstanding reviews as being “bold”, “brave”, “groundbreaking” etc because of it.

Gerald on July 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

“who looks like convicted murderess Jodi Arias”

She is half Puerto-Rican (the other half is part Irish, part Brit). Does that make her a “white Hispanic” like George Zimmerman? The movie poster does have her looking much darker and more “ethnic” than she has looked in Parks and Rec and her other parts.

Gerald on July 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Wolverine has flashbacks of Jean Grey, who was not his wife. She was in the x-men too. He loved her but she was married to cyclopse. It’s all in the third x-men movie (Last’Stand). Jean goes crazy and kills cyclopse and then wolverine has to kill her even though he loves her. This was not in the last wolverine movie which was a prequil before the time of the three x-men movies. This new wolverine movie takes place after the third x-men. The same actress plays Jean in this movie as in the previous x-men movies. Also, make sure to stay after the credits for a a big scene which you’ll need to have seen the third x-men movie to understand!

zavier on July 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm

The movie clip of “To Do List” looks bad. A better movie to see on video is “Easy A.”

JEG: HUH? “Easy A” was almost as bad and blatantly anti-Christian to boot. Pure garbage. DS

Jonathan E. Grant on July 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm

As bad as the movies have been this summer Wolverine is one of the best so far.
Not saying it was great, but lately I’ve checked the local movie listing including the budget theaters and have for weeks not even seen anything worth going to.

Steve G. on July 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

Never heard of The To Do List. Watched the trailer and instantly knew it was a movie to never, ever watch. Dreck! So sorry you have to watch such horrid…entertainment (??) to do your reviews Debbie.

Disgusted with Media on July 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

“The “story”: a nerdy valedictorian who looks like convicted murderess Jodi Arias (Aubrey Plaza) and is in love with Hillary Clinton (yes, literally)…”

Looks like Hollywood is jump starting the “Hillary for President” campaign early.

ebayer on July 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I’ll see the new “Wolverine” because the plotting in all previous ones, not to emention the staging and special effectsw, have been exceptionally good. I see little reason to see an exception here. In any event, this is just one movie, not the entire film industry.

Seek on July 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Debbie, just from the review, I can see you have made quite a few major errors regarding the film.

Jean isn’t Logan’s wife, she was a woman he loved who he had to kill during the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. The scenes with her in it are not “filler”, but rather Logan having to deal with the guilt of having to kill her and believing that he didn’t try to come up with another idea.

The plot of the film itself is based off of the critically-acclaimed limited series created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. Indeed, the film’s theme seems to focus on the idea of Logan finally becoming mortal and being able to leave his miserable, immortal existence behind.

Adam Sherman on July 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

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