Tag Archives: X-Men

X-Men: Apocalypse or “The third one is always the worst.”

X-Men Apocalypse Official Poster

In a summer where we’ve had Marvel’s Civil War, DC’s Batman vs. Superman, and even epic Netflix show Daredevil Season 2, I’m actually starting to see the fatigue about superhero films.  Not that any one of those I mentioned above were bad, in fact, I thought all of them were pretty awesome, but I will finally give into the roar of those having said there is too much out there.

Now that I look at it...even this old infographic is overwhelming
Now that I look at it, even this outdated infographic is overwhelming.  And realizing this is an OUTDATED one is kinda crazy…

Anyway, onto X-Men: Apocalypse.

I will say that I had a larger measure of excitement for this film for several reasons.  First, I just could not wait to see another one of Evan Peter’s Quicksilver moments.  Seriously, when I first saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, I wholeheartedly wanted to rewind the actual theater film to see it again and I doubt anyone would have complained.  Instead I just saw it in theaters another time before the Blu-Ray.  The next expectation was actually being a little bit in the dark about this villain and stories revolving around him.

Now after seeing the film, I have to give it up again to Evan Peters and Brian Singer.  I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to top the last Quicksilver scene.  And just because I love it, this was the first one:

I’ve sure you’ve all seen it, but it’s just too cool.  Absolutely one of the best scenes I’ve seen done in any action film in the past few years.  Now, with as amazing as that was, Peters’ scene was 10 times better and his role was expanded (one of the fatal flaws from the last X-Men).  So, for my enjoyment, the scene in Apocalypse was worth the price of admission right there.  So, it’s easy for me to say if your favorite part in Days of Future Past was Quicksilver’s, I don’t have to say anything else, go see X-Men: Apocalypse.

Just a teaser image...yeah, it's that cool
Just a teaser image…yeah, it’s that cool, and fast.

So my next level of excitement was built upon being a bit ignorant of Apocalypse himself.  Also, while watching the trailers, I couldn’t help but think “How the hell can they stop this seemingly ‘world-ending’ event?” It just looked like the stakes were really extreme and this team had never faced such a force.

This is where I felt the problems started.  The “world-ending” event created by Apocalypse and Magneto sure looked and sounded cool, but I really just didn’t feel anything for “the world”.  That’s an odd way of saying it, but the stakes around the world in the film seemed too cutoff. The final confrontation just didn’t measure up to what was promised. Lead me to being a bit disappointed.

And I REALLY wanted World War III
And I REALLY wanted World War III

For me, the “meh” ending left a sour taste in my mouth that likely colored most of my feelings for the film.  Have said that, the cast really still gels at all times.  James McAvoy is doing such a good job progressing as Xavier, each film he grows up and gets more hopeful for a world with mutants and humans.  I really like his take and as long as he’s in the role, I’ll never worry.

Fassbender continues to be the absolute best actor in these films.  His tortured past, the way he speaks to the other mutants, and even how he undulates between extreme violence to essentially being an awesome construction worker is amazing.  It seems that Singer has something out for Magneto because nothing good ever comes to this guy.  No spoilers here, but even attempting to live a normal life, he gets no brakes from Brian Singer or the writers.  It’s enough to almost make you feel really sad for the guy, but still, you know him as the consummate villain in X-Men.

Everyone else does a great job, but it feels like a bit of the dialogue was just phoned in by both the actors and the writers.  They spent a lot of time with the principal characters that you’d know from the other films and gave very little to the new additions.  Olivia Munn certainly looked like Psylocke, but I can’t even remember if she completed a full sentence.  It was pretty much that way for everyone else new.  Also, as much as I was excited to see some new, younger blood play the characters of Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey (more on her later), and Nightcrawler, there was a feeling of them retreading the same ground…just with more teen angst and outfits.

Not saying "Emo-Nightcrawler" is a problem, and I'd totally dress like I was in the Thriller music video too in the 80's
Not saying “Emo-Nightcrawler” is a problem, and I’d totally dress like I was in the Thriller music video too if I was him, but there was just a feeling of “someone already did it better”.

My last few thoughts are still on the cast.  It’s hard not to love Jennifer Lawrence, but her Mystique was more Katniss this round than anything else.  I just have a feeling they don’t know how to use the character in this most recent series.  I just still cannot see a connection between Lawrence’s Mystique and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’ version in the initial movie in 2000.  Of course Brian Singer could still find a way to make her hate so much that she’d become that person.  It won’t be anytime soon with Singer taking a break from the franchise.

I also just realized I've been spelling his name "Brian" instead of "Bryan". Tough, I paid good money to see his movie, I'm going to leave it.
I also just realized I’ve been spelling his name “Brian” instead of “Bryan”. Tough, I paid good money to see his movie, I’m going to leave it.  Also, the last time he left the franchise, we got Brett Ratner to finish the series, so he doesn’t deserve his precious “y”

One of the things I must say is that it wouldn’t be an X-Men movie without it staring or having Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine showing up.  I have to say that I really enjoyed the route they went in this film.  It was actually so cool and in light of an “R-Rated” Wolverine movie hitting soon, it makes me that much more excited for that film and not being bothered with the level of violence it could showcase.

Did I cause that???? Yes, yes I did.
Did I do that???? Yes, yes I did.

Finally, we have to talk about Sansa Stark Jean Grey.  Sophie Turner does what she can to make the role about a troubled mutant with too much power, but it just doesn’t come through.  Anyone who has ever picked up an X-Men comic or watched the first trilogy knows where this is going.  The Dark Phoenix is pretty much the only interesting thing for Jean Grey, but ever since the 1990’s cartoon, I just can’t take any more of that storyline.  Seriously, the fatigue I have takes up more space in my head that I can no longer remember my mother’s face.

This is her, right?
This is her, right?

The rest just had to deal with Apocalypse himself.  When you have Hollywood’s latest “Best Actor Ever”, the least you could do is give him some real meat to work with.  Sadly, Oscar Isaac is just lost in the film and unfortunately, as the main villain, he was pretty lame.  Maybe they didn’t portray him correctly, I mean, I don’t know squat about his character in the comics, but he just seemed like he had unlimited telekinesis and picked out four random bodyguard mutants.  There just wasn’t anything special about him.  At least when the X-Men are fighting Magneto or Trask and his Sentinels, then it’s an ideological fight where this was just a destruction measuring contest with Roland Emmerich. And sorry Singer, you lose that award.

"They like to hit the landmarks." -Jeff Goldblum, Independence Day: Resurgence
“They like to get the landmarks.” -Jeff Goldblum, Independence Day: Resurgence

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

If you love Evan Peters’ Quicksilver or Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, you should be sold on this film.  Even casual X-Men fans will enjoy this and anyone enjoying the superhero genre films will like it.  But, if you’ve already taken in Deadpool, Batman vs. Superman, Civil War, and are really excited for Doctor Strange later this year…then RedBox wouldn’t be such a bad idea for this one.  Even with all the typical X-Men charm on display.

-Darkmovienight

You're welcome.

Deadpool or A Movie Review of Deadpool

Deadpool Poster

 There is a lot of potential for a review of Deadpool.  We could have had him personally write the review and us having to fight him for control over the keyboard (which, honestly, wouldn’t have ended well for Manchicken and I), we could have tried to write the review in the style of the film, or we could have just thrown some Fourth Wall breaking nonsense together and called it a day.

Which one did you think we went with?
Which one did you think we went with?

Deadpool is not your typical Marvel Superhero film.  Sure, the film’s plot was done with the typical origin story, but with this character, I actually believe it was somewhat necessary.  In the case of Wade Wilson, I believe that the general public had no knowledge of his existence outside of the brilliant marketing campaign put together by Fox and Ryan Reynolds himself.

How did this get here?
How did this get here?

Ah hum.  And no matter what I can say about this film, it’s all about Ryan Reynolds.  The man who single handedly took the crap given to him from Gavin HoodDavid BenioffSkip Woods (Director and writers of X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and likely 20th Century Fox’s evil lead, Jim Gianopulos, (depicted below in his true form), and made sweet sweet lemonade out of fetid lemons.

Hmmm, that's not Fox's President...or is it?
Hmmm, that’s not Fox’s President…or is it?

From showcasing some of the character’s fighting abilities in the failed prequel to X-Men, endlessly campaigning for the film, somehow being first to showcase “leaked” footage from a 2011 proof of concept to this film on Twitter, and appearing in countless ads and other marketing stunts, including an amazing “self help” video advocating “Touching Yourself” to look for testicular cancer, oh, and actually staring in this record breaking R-Rated film.

It’s very rare that studios are comfortable releasing R-Rated films. Mainly because it really kills their chances at getting all that sweet allowance money from the coveted 13-16 year old demographic.  I imagine Fox did everything they could to try and make this film PG-13, but both Reynolds and director Tim Miller (this was one hell of a wide-release debut) lobbied as hard as they could for the film’s essence to be maintained.  Even when they had to lose $7 Million from production at the last moment, they came through and took away the previous release record for an R-Rated film (previously held by The Hangover Part II).  With an opening weekend of $135M in the US (way more in other territories), it not only blew those records away, but it kicked some major studio butt by becoming Fox’s largest opening weekend (stealing it from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith).

You're Welcome
You’re Welcome

Don’t know what Fight Club has to do with it, but, I’ll roll with it. Anyway, for not being a fan of Deadpool in the comics (I’m more of a DC guy), I enjoyed the heck out of this film.  The most common thing I hear people say about it is that it was “fun”.  I think that is a fantastic way to describe Deadpool, but I believe there is a better one: Original.  And I really worry, just like director James Gunn that filmmakers are going to learn a completely different lesson from Deadpool.  While I’ll be the first to advocate for more R-Rated films in wide release as well as less serious comic book films (sorry my dearest Ben, I’m looking at your Batman vs. Superman).

Original? Where is this going?
Original? Where is this going?

As Gunn worries, Deadpool’s success will only mean more of the same. Yes, we loved Deadpool, but we didn’t love it just because it broke the Fourth Wall, deadpool_107447

had gratuitous amounts of violence and blood, or even was extremely funny in pretty much every way.  Unfortunately, that’s what Hollywood is going to take away from Deadpool.  The trope of “comedic-ultra-violence” will hit screens (hell, I’d pay to see more blood while Wolverine with the gloves off his claws rips through the entire cast of the Brotherhood of Mutants).  Why lie?  We’d all watch that…but then we’d get fatigued again and they would just be another brand of superhero films.  The magic from Deadpool would be lost in the sea of uncharacteristic actions taken by notable heroes.

Kevin Smith

I was thinking of Spider-Man creating nooses for the bad guys but sure, Kevin Smith can laugh at us.

Apart from Reynold’s obvious passion for the character and the film in general, his supporting cast are taken along for the ride.  Not a single one of them miss a beat as the Merc with a Mouth goes on one killing rampage after another (sometimes even turning the camera away when it could get too bad), makes self-referential humor, or even decides the film needs Colossal ball punching.  That last part is literal.  Needless to say, the supporting actors look like they’re having as much fun as the audience and can hardly keep from laughing in almost every scene.

Slow-motion action is nothing new.  Both Wanted, Kingsman, and the granddaddy of them all The Matrix all had variations of the fight choreography in Deadpool.  There was something special about the ultra-violence depicted on screen, but even displays such as Watchmen and the first two Terminator films had copious amounts of ultra-violence.  In my opinion, the two directors who have pulled off action as well as that in Deadpool are Timur Bekmambetov (Director of Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)   and Matthew Vaughn (Director of Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service).  There are scenes in Wanted and Kick-Ass that still make me cringe when I think of them.

green_lantern_69563

Okay, well, I did cringe at Green Lantern, but that wasn’t the point.  In general, others have done what Deadpool has done, but I think their real trump card here was the internal dialogue from Wade.  In fact, several sequences are shot in such a way that Deadpool is actively telling a complete story while dealing out death to anyone who was foolish enough to continue fighting after the first few bullets didn’t put him down.  Again, as I said, it all comes back to Ryan Reynolds.

Something I don’t often cover in movie reviews, but applies here, is the musical score.  Horror films utilize the score to create tension and unless you are watching a film with the name “John Williams” or “Danny Elfman”, you’re not likely to notice the score.  Deadpool was an interesting case.  The 1990’s Hip-Hop vibe and general zaniness of the music flaring with the action is one impressive bit.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but there was a moment in the film where an action movie trope was exploited for a gag that had the theater in stitches.

House of Cards 1

There was only one flaw in Deadpool’s otherwise stellar story, action, and acting was the villain.  Unlike *spoilers* President Underwood up there, I don’t know why Marvel, Fox, or Warner Bros. have not been able to produce a good villain since Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Did he set the bar too high?  It’s been almost 10 years and we’ve seen squat in a fully formed villain.  All I want is someone that has a reasonable scheme, no mystery casting (we all knew he was Khan), and can act worth a damn.  I was however impressed with Gina Carano in the henchmen role which is her best role since she played “Crush” on the revamped “American Gladiators” during the 2008 Writer’s Strike.

No funny business this time, she's just too good looking
No funny business this time, she’s just too good looking.

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

Deadpool is an instant classic in the superhero genre that has become saturated.  Perhaps all we needed was a little bit of passion, humor, and debilitating ultra-violence injected straight into our veins to wake up from the action films that major studios have been peddling too us lately.  They’re going to have to seriously up their game because not only is Deadpool a blast to watch, but it’s original without having to resort to filming the whole movie with computers.  Just go see this movie, you won’t regret it…unless you bring your children.  The explanations you’ll have to endure on the ride home will be harrowing to say the least.

Norman Bates
-Darkmovienight

X-Men: Apocalypse Trailer Reveal or I Still Think Cosplayers Dress Better

X-Men: Days of Future Past, in my opinion, was the pinnacle of the X-Men cinematic franchise.  I don’t know anyone who could have done a better job of bringing together two timelines and killing the movie that everyone hated in the franchise.

If you see this man, approach with caution, Brett Ratner is considered armed and untalented
If you see this man, approach with care.  Brett Ratner is considered armed and untalented. While we do not condone violence, we will make one exception

They finally gave us a look into what the next movie in the X-Men franchise will look like.  Honestly, I dig it.  Cast is top notch and Bryan Singer is sticking with an X-Men film.  Because we all know what happened when he switched sides.  There really isn’t anything I’m worried about here.  I’m sad we don’t get to see Sir Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellen again (jeez, still with the knights), but McAvoy and Fassbender will do.  Not to mention we get to have another Evan Peter’s deliciously amazing Quicksilver moments:

Also, all the actors portraying the younger versions of the X-Men we’ve come to love and hate, *cough* “Cyclops”, look great, especially Nightcrawler:

Nightcrawler
Yeah, they made him Emo, but you can kinda see both eyes

Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long while, so even though 2015 had Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four and The Martian (what, are you really going to argue that Matt Daemon wasn’t a superhero in that movie when we had to include the Fantastic Four movie in this list?!), it looks like 2016 is shaping up to be pretty epic superhero movie wise itself:

The only thing we have left is to talk about how bad Apocalypse’s costume is, and we’re trying not to beat a dead horse, but c’mon Singer! Did your costume department even look at the comics?  As many have pointed out, cosplayers can even do Apocalypse more justice.

Comics
Comics
Cosplay
Cosplay
Failure
Failure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you Bleary-Eyed fans enjoyed the trailer and are as excited as we are for 2016 and its stellar lineup of superhero films.

-Darkmovienight