Posts Tagged ‘x-men’

“On the edge of extinction” – X-Men: Days of Future Past

x-men-days-of-future-past-professor-x-posterjpg-0a5d50I have previously professed my dislike for Marvel movies, but when I remembered how much I enjoyed “First Class,” and so was excited to see “Days of Future Past.”  Of course, it was great fun to see reunited both the young and old versions of Charles and Erik, but that was the extent of the fun.  Unlike “First Class,” which devoted a great deal of time to developing the relationship between Charles and Erik, “Future Past” spends most of the movie running around, back and forth from the past to the future, completely focused on goals that made very little sense.  The premise is simple: in the future, mutants have lost the war, and so they must send Wolverine (conveniently, Hugh Jackson wins at being the most consistent actor) back in time to prevent one single event.  Everyone has decided that this single event is what changed the outcome of history, which of course is exactly how time travel works.  Ridiculous!  We find young Charles in a rut, and yet, just like that, he changes – this is again absurd; people don’t change so quickly, unless they are in a movie which has a two hour time limit and needs them to speed up a bit.  There are several new mutants that we are introduced to, which is always fun but again, dilutes the characters we already know.  Also, there seems to be a lot of unnecessary gratuitous violence with the repeated eaths of the future X-Men, most of whom we don’t even know that well.  Peter Dinklage plays the villain of the movie, a scientist bent on building anti-mutant machines, and though I love Tyrion, I felt his work here was nothing out of the ordinary.  Perhaps the greatest surprise was how much positive reception this movie has received – a whopping 91/95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

2/5 Waffles.


X-Men: First Class–A Second-Class Film (Orion’s Take 2/5)

June 13, 2011 1 comment

This movie review is late.  Part of the reason for that is the sheer disbelief I felt when leaving the movie theater after the credits—I needed time to process my horror over the destruction of a beloved brand.  Perhaps I exaggerate: after all, the lead characters did their job admirably.  I just cannot comprehend why the producers of this film thought it a good idea to return to the era of kitschy, campy, superhero movies, when The Dark Knight proved to anyone with a brain that superhero movies could be done seriously, and done right.

As noted above, the rapport between James McAvoy as Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Magneto is quite electrifying.  Unfortunately, the film doesn’t give them enough room to grow: though it’s clear that the two characters respect each other (Xavier and Magneto go as far as to call each other “brother”), there is no real interaction between the two that explains this connection.  Sure, the two play some chess, and talk about the nature of revenge, and of mutant rights—but that makes up maybe 10 minutes of a two-hour film.  There simply isn’t enough material to go around.

Thus, despite excellent performances by both McAvoy and Fassbender, the relationship seems stilted somehow, strangely misplaced.  This is all the more problematic because the two characters share an extremely complicated relationship in the other films and in X-Men canon.  Magneto is no simple villain, and Xavier is no simple hero, but without a lack of development at the end of the film these are the positions each character holds.

And if that weren’t bad enough, the rest of the cast is at best lackluster.  I don’t blame them.  Playing such second-rate mutants as “Banshee” or “Angel” can’t have been exciting.  The only characters the casual fan will recognize are Beast, Mystique, and maybe Havok.  I don’t understand why these were the X-Men chosen to make up the “first class” of X-Men—obviously the movie doesn’t stick that closely to canon (everyone knows that the real reason Xavier is in a wheelchair is because of Lucifer, an obscure villain), but why use random X-Men nobody has heard of?  Also, the first few X-Men also run into the same problem as Xavier and Magneto, getting so little screen-time that when one character is removed from action, the audience doesn’t feel a thing.

My feelings are captured in the last scene of the movie.  Erik Lehnsherr has put on the mantle of Magneto.  His cape is red.  He’s wearing gloves.  I’m excited for this moment, the beginning of the next chapter, the unveiling of one of the best comic book villains ever.  And then the camera cuts to Magneto’s face.  The helmet, which was cool before in silver, is now spray-painted a gaudy red.  There are two horns on the front.  He looks and obviously feels ridiculous, but he takes a deep breath and delivers a line that makes me smile in embarrassment.

“Call me…Magneto.”

2/5 Waffles


See also: Apple’s Review (4/5)

Killing will not bring you peace, my friend: “X-Men: First Class”

I have been excited for this movie since the first preview.  X-Men is set apart from other superhero/comic book series simply because of the sheer number of characters.  There is no main superhero; instead, there are teams.  Although the latest installation in the X-Men franchise, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” was terrible, the trailers for X-Men: First Class focusing on different characters just looked so exciting.  Orion and I went to the midnight premiere, which is always fun and packed with energy.

James McAvoy stars as the young Professor X, still simply Charles, who begins discovering other mutants.  There is a sense of coming together, and, as Charles says several times, “you are not alone.”  There were many things that I liked about “First Class,” but I think my favorite was just how many characters there were, and how each character grew in his or her own way.  (You guys can check out some of the character-specific trailers that are out there.)

Of course, the movie is filled with tributes to the original X-Men movies, both its predecessor and future.  We see Charles and Erik attempt to recruit a gruffy Wolverine, we learn how Charles became wheel chair bound, and watch the rise of the Brotherhood.  While this is pleasant and fun in one sense, it’s also sometimes frustrating; ne of the big problems I have with Marvel is just how many contributors there are to a series; so many different authors have all written in their own stories, so continuity becomes a big problem.

It’s amazing how much the movie was able to accomplish – not only do friendships form and break, but romances and alliances do as well.  Of course, they’re not very thoroughly developed because of the sheer mass of events, but it’s enough to be believable.  The division between mutants with physical abilities and mutants with mental abilities, for example, is something I never really considered before, but plays out in the movie.

Overall, 4/5 – the story was fast-paced, fun, and exciting!  I love watching the students grow, and Charles and Erik evolve into Professor X and Magneto.  Orion hated the movie though, so you’ll all have to stay tuned to hear what he thinks!

Best regards,


See also: Orion’s Review (2/5)

A “Classic” Movie Review: X-men – Orion’s Take

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

This review is a present from Apple and I, as we enter the new year.  Many thanks to our readers for making this year a blast for!

I’ve seen this movie many times.  So when a slightly tipsy Apple suggested that we watch it again, I wasn’t very enthused.  I remembered it being cliché ridden and altogether disappointing for a film based on some of my favorite superheroes.  Come on, who doesn’t think Cyclops is awesome?  I also personally think Professor X is an excellent character.  In any case, I relented to Apple’s request with a sigh and started to watch.

It was as bad as I remembered: the characters spouted inane clichés and bad jokes, all the while failing to do anything useful.  Does anyone else think the plot makes no sense?  Are you telling me that Professor X, who can kill any person in the world as long as their mind is not shielded, and who can sort through billions of people to identify the location of one particular mutant, isn’t able to notice one mutant who sneaks into his school?  That he wouldn’t able to tell when someone had tampered with a machine he helped build?

Of course, it isn’t the plot of this movie that is the worst.  The worst sin for an action movie is having bad actions scenes.  And boy does this movie have bad action scenes.  Why do the X-Men suck at fighting?  For God’s sake, how do you lose a fight against Toad?  Also, Sabertooth looks like a Neanderthal with overlong nails.  Speaking of bad character design, Cyclops is the biggest loser ever, and I would know.

The only redeeming quality of this film is the inclusion of two masterful actors, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.  Patrick Stewart is graceful as ever as the magisterial Professor X and Ian McKellen embodies the intellectual and menacing villain Magneto with charm.  Those two were really the only reason I could finish this miserable excuse for a film.

2.5/5 Waffles