CLEVELAND, Ohio - There is talk of director James Mangold's "Logan," the third Wolverine movie, potentially earning Best Picture nod next year, which would make it the superhero movie to do so.
That's not that much of a stretch if you consider the influences Mangold has cited for the film and its similarities with some great films of recent years and others from Hollywood's golden age.
Here are the movies you may want to see in preparation for "Logan":
Let's go ahead and pretend 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" doesn't exist. It's sequel "The Wolverine" wasn't exactly a masterpiece either. But it fits closer to the tone of and action of "Logan." Not surprisingly, Mangold directs both films.
"3:10 to Yuma"
Speaking of Mangold, he's is responsible for one of the best westerns of the past 10 years. "Logan," which is kind of a road-trip western, borrows a lot from "3:10 to Yuma." The thrilling movie, starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, is a remake of a 1957 movie of the same name.
It's one of the most influential westerns ever made. Mangold has admitted 1953's "Shane," a classic about gunslinger lured back into his former life, was a major influence on "Logan." There's certainly similar elements in the two movies' respective endings.
Other classic Hollywood westerns that probably influenced "Logan" include "High "Noon," The Westerner" and "The Searchers." These are movies characterized by the lone gunfighter with a single, distinct weapon seemingly up against insurmountable odds. The human quality of the main character, a man struggling with his own demons, certainly works its way into the latest Wolverine film.
"The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari"
This is getting really deep into art-school studies, but "Logan's" cinematic style is a mix between classic westerns and German Expressionist filmmaking (which Mangold has stated). The latter genre is led by films like "The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari" and "Metropolis," movies similar in style to some graphic novels and comic books you might have read. They've gone on to influence other films like "The Crow," "Blade Runner" and some of Alfred Hitchcock's finest work.
"Hell or High Water"
This is a case of "If you like 'Logan,' see this..." meaning if you were a fan of the fantastic, Oscar-nominated "Hell or High Water" you will love the vibe of "Logan" and vice versa.
The Mexico Trilogy
Contemporary western films aren't new. Robert Rodriguez injected compelling style into the genre with his 1995 film "Desperado," starring Antonio Banderas. You'll be hard pressed to find better gunfight scenes. The film is the centerpiece of Rodriguez Mexico Trilogy, which also features the stellar "El Mariachi" and the so-so "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."
"Kate & Leopold"
Semi-joking with this one. But, believe it or not, Mangold and Hugh Jackman had worked together prior to "The Wolverine." Jackman starred in Mangold's 2001 rom-com "Kate & Leopold" alongside Meg Ryan. It's not a great movie. But it could be a compelling way to trick your girlfriend into going to see "Logan" with you.
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