Tag Archives: x-men

5 Reasons Why ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Rocks My Proverbial Socks Off



Grossing over $90 million dollars on its opening weekend in North America. ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’, the 7th entry in the Fox Studios’ X-Men franchise, based on the Marvel comic book characters/books of the same name – Has received global acclaim. And in my humble opinion – richly deserved.

Here are 5 reasons that Days Of Future Past absolutely killed it for me….. Killed is good in this context, by the way.


1. THAT Quicksilver Scene.


Fuck, I really hate saying it that way. ‘THAT’ Quicksilver scene… Ugh. It’s a great moment for not only the movie itself, but for the cast too who had really supported and pushed out just how good Evan Peters’ performance as the mutant speedster was. Though we can all say how shite his character design was (Singer….), it truly was a great demonstration of his abilities, his personality and the use of pop culture – As Maximoff’s walkman plays out the delightfully apt ‘Time In A Bottle’ by Jim Croce. Evan Peters’ performance throughout his time in the movie was no less greater. Leaving a lot for Joss Whedon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s depiction of the character to live up to in ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’.


2. Wolverine’s Role


Hugh Jackman – The cornerstone of the X-Men franchise. Appearing as a lead character in 6 of the 7 movies to date. With a cameo in First Class, simply because – because… Yeah.

I’ve always found issue with Logan in these movies. Not only are the movies marred by the sheer amount of focus that is lavished on the character, alienating others. But also because it almost becomes detrimental to the overall story. In DOFP, the movie progresses and develops through the narrative and each character is a driving force for that. Though we closely and prominently follow events and actions of certain characters – namely Charles (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) – Wolverine is without question the lead. However he is part of the story, rather than the story being a part of him. His scenes with Charles and Hank (Nick Hoult) after his initial regression to 1973 are some of my favourite moments in the entire film. There’s great chemistry between the 3, and this is much more apparent after Logan manages to convince Charles to get his shit together. I also found the much maligned ‘swap’ between himself and Kitty (Ellen Page) had proven to be a great move on the part of Singer and Kinberg.


3. The Screenplay

"X-Men: Days Of Future Past" World Premiere - Outside Arrivals

Simple as it seems. And is… Simon Kinberg wrote one damn good movie. Within the X-Men community, I’d argue that First Class is the superior film based on writing – Perhaps due to the more traditional, linear plot. With DOFP, there is so much going on that you could easily be stepping into Last Stand territory. It just felt from watching though, that everything had its place within the story – it was relevant, cohesive, served purpose and ultimately wasn’t wasteful fanboy nonsense thrown in for acknowledgement. I’d wholeheartedly recommend a second viewing if this wasn’t your immediate conclusion.


4. The ‘Reset’


Spoilers ahead. Of course, you’ve all seen the movie by now? Before production had completed, director Bryan Singer went on record to say that the beauty of time travel movies is that there is scope to undo, change or get rid of certain elements from the established timeline. In other words – He brought back Cyclops and Jean! So what does that mean for future appearances for people like James Marsden, Famke Janssen and Kelsey Grammar? Well we know now that younger versions of original trilogy characters will appear in the next movie ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. Though we’ll never know for certain until that time, it was still great to see those characters back  – almost a sigh of relief. Especially after the massive injustice done to Cyclops in all the movies prior.


5. Groundwork For The Future


Though I was pretty disappointed in the shelving of half the cast of First Class. Carrying over James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nick Hoult to DOFP in hindsight is a great sign of potential things to come. With Charles and Hank seemingly becoming more reliant on each other from events prior to the movie, and Erik and Mystique being ‘set loose’ essentially to build ‘The Brotherhood’. We could potentially see some great stories featuring these characters at loggerheads once again. Because of the dynamics and events that have occurred within the relationships of these 4 – I think we should anticipate for much more emotionally driven, tense and personal X-Men sequels. Here’s to 2016, and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ .

Trailer Tidbits #4 (March 2013)


After ANOTHER extended absence, here’s 3 of the latest trailers on the circuit. Hugh Jackman continues to add more meat to the bones of his typecast career in X-Men sequel/sidequel – ‘The Wolverine’, ‘White House Down’ gets a trailer, and Steve Carell – fresh of the heels off the lukewarmly received ‘..Burt Wonderstone’, returns as Gru in ‘Despicable Me 2’

‘Despicable Me 2’ – Dirs. Coffin & Renaud

So, in all honesty. The first outing was a real surprise hit. And I actually ended up on the bandwagon quite a long while after release. I cited the release of similarly plotted movie, ‘Megamind’ (another animation about a super-villain turned good), to be a possible reason why it didn’t grab my attention any sooner. Still, a solid animated film and great fun for the littluns.

In the sequel, Gru (Carell) is recruited by a superhero group in order to stop a new super criminal (possibly Russell Brand)…… Gee, they couldn’t have been any more creative, could they?

‘White House Down’ – Dir. Roland Emmerich

Everyone’s favourite city destroyer returns to an old friend, to finish them off once and for all. Jamie Foxx stars as the Prez, while Channing Tatum does more ‘acting’ to divert people’s attentions from his stupidly sounding name. This smells like a steady, but mediocre outing from all involved. Not even the ominous quotations at the beginning of the trailer stirs me…… Another movie, by the name of ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ – is a blood relation.

‘The Wolverine’ – Dir. James Mangold

Yes, after leaving us for such a long, long, long time – Fox give us what we want… More Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. It’s hard to believe this role has been played by the man for almost 15 years.

I’d call for change, normally…. Though, I reckon this could be a great swansong for the partnership. But yeah, let someone else have a go, Hugh.

#15 X-Men: First Class (2011)

Singer's initial casting for 'The Usual Suspects' tweenquel

**MILD SPOILER ALERT** (Ah, who am I kidding, you’ve already seen this)


* James McAvoy

* Michael Fassbender

* Jennifer Lawrence

* Nicholas Hoult

* Kevin Bacon

* January Jones

Director:- Matthew Vaughn

Not a conventional review of sorts. But more of an analysis of the two leads. Their characters, which I believed, to be the most rewarding part of the film.

It’s safe knowledge that this decade-old Marvel film franchise was indeed stale and needed a jump-start into the new decade. The Wolverine stand-alone shit-fest was the last straw in many eyes, and it came with a subsequent outcry of ‘Less Hugh Jackman: More everyone else.’

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, British producer and director of 2010’s acclaimed adaptation of Mark Millar’s ‘Kick-Ass’, X-Men: First Class is a welcome addition to the ongoing onslaught of superhero films. Which not only leaves a wider scope in development, but also may possibly be far superior than X2. One of the best films in the entire genre. Originally, franchise stalwart Bryan Singer was attached to direct the prequel, but was replaced by Vaughn, while Singer stayed on board as producer. A genuinely smart move by Fox (for a change), and practical regarding Singer’s prior success.

With Singer on board and Vaughn’s credentials on the up, many fans were excited. Would there be much connection to the first 3 films? Would a bridge between them appear? Will they cast Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart as full-on CG plastic Magneto and Xavier in their yoof?

So Fox went against my better judgment (which was for them to re-sign Stewart and McKellan and cartoonify them again to laughable effect – no seriously, I really did) and cast Scottish breakout star, and relative unknown to Hollywood – James McAvoy as Charles Xavier. While the role of Erik Lensherr went to Screen Actors Guild award winner, Michael Fassbender. Who was justifiably cast based on his strong and memorable performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds from 2009. With a massive act to follow, they not only positively recreate the characters, but channel enough of their predecessors to not question the director’s decision to cast them.

The plot of X-Men: First Class is a combination of fact and fiction. In the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis of ’62, the CIA gain knowledge of the existence of mutants, humans with extraordinary abilities and powers. Agent Moira McTaggart (Rose Byrne), seeks the help of Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), an Oxford genetics expert, to aid the CIA in diffusing the danger posed by connections between the USSR and a powerful mutant called Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Xavier, aided by new friend and fellow mutant Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) and under the supervision of Oliver Platt’s unnamed agent, put together a team of young mutants from around the US, including Raven Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence), Dr Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Sean Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones) and Alex Summers (Lucas Till). As the threat of World War III looms over the United States.

Xavier is on his way to becoming a full-fledged Professor of genetics at Oxford University. McAvoy displays in smirking detail his passion for his studies as his most obvious attribute (much like Stewart’s), while also acknowledging that he is a young man. Not a bald, crippled OAP. Charles loves to get drunk, have it large with the lads, and use his superior intellect to, well, kinda get nekkid with the ladies. Too much emphasis in the opening quarter of Xavier’s ‘Professor Personality’ would no doubt make him extremely unlikable character in terms of realism, and fundamentally – the natural aspect of being a man in his mid to late 20’s. Here, the dialogue and structure of Xavier’s first scenes are smart, funny, entertaining and still kept me intrigued to find out what exactly makes Charles Xavier tick.

Michael Fassbender, again, totally reinvented his character in Erik. As a vengeful, emotionally torn anti-hero. A man thirsty for retribution against the Nazi regime that had claimed the life of his mother, and had subsequently torn his heart in two. After some years, we see his travels to France and Argentina on the trail of Sebastian Shaw. With the eventuality of bumping into Xavier, just for plot convenience, whilst on a collaborative mission with the CIA to locate and seize Shaw during his Love Boat cruise with Emma Frost (a stunningly dull January Jones). It’s a debatable theory that Magneto is the antithesis to Xavier. Whilst being united in their quest for finding and acknowledging other mutants, the two have a stark contrast in ways of operating. Charles more in line with helping normal humans against crisis and danger, whereas Erik has dreams of ascension and believes mutants to be superior in all manners. Like a two-headed coin perhaps.

Erik’s power (magnetism) is fuelled by emotion, the most prominent one being ‘anger’. But with a little help from Charles, Erik finds a balance and is able to harness his abilities somewhere between ‘rage and serenity’. It’s actually in a particular sequence from which I just quoted, that Erik finally masters his gifts. Considering the fact that he’d use it eventually to threaten the lives of millions doesn’t seem to tarnish this very poignant and impressive exchange between Fassbender and McAvoy. Many have said, and I’d agree, that Fassbender’s continental trip for blood is much akin to that of a James Bond-esque agent. He’s cold, calculating, charmingly suave and pulls no punches into finding the man he’s looking for. In true sense, one cool customer.

The canon of the original trilogy does not burden First Class in my opinion, aside from setting up the building and dissolving of Xavier and Magneto’s friendship. I guess the location of their ‘secret’ base was to be handled. Other than that, there’s hardly anything to tie this film to X-Men 1. Or WOLVERINE, thank fuck. The premise of the film is million times more engaging than other entries, due to its reference to real-life events – Selecting the potential danger of World War III – obviously not a very original choice in the simplest of terms. However, the convincing amalgamation of science-fiction and nuclear warfare, fused with a multi-faceted story of revenge, hope, uprising and redemption, helps to put a very unique stamp on this film.

Supporting cast, mainly the X-Men themselves, could be considered under-utilised next to the two leads. Particularly Lucas Till, and Zoe Kravitz. Till is given little to do after his lengthy training montage. Caleb Landry Jones, who is dubbed Banshee, is probably the most prominent character in the action scene context. Forcibly pushed of a ledge, jumping from a jet high in the air into the ocean, not to mention saving a fellow X-Man from the opposing faction The Hellfire Club.

There are a few dud performances, i wont lie. January Jones is positively dreadful as X-Men fanboy pin-up Emma Frost. A very one dimensional, monotonous and almost near-comatose portrayal. There’s absolutely nothing recognisable of the character I was familiar with. Not even the tits were worth a mark… Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is also given a character arc, but ends up falling flat. Sounding more like a whiney teenager about to get her first period, rather than the headstrong, powerful advocate for mutant power she becomes later. Additional, her rather ‘forced’ attraction to Hank McCoy seems more played out purely for romantics and similar demographics. The only logical reasoning was to give McCoy a transformation story with a little more.. ‘zazz.’

In conclusion to this, McAvoy, Fassbender and Bacon are the ones that carry the film. Along with a few supporting members. It’s a saving grace. If those lacklustre performances were up to par, then they really would’ve made a very good film, great.

So, apart from the cast, what else did I really like about First Class? Well the sets are impressively in accordance with its 60’s setting. The stylish wardrobe, infrequent use of the word ‘groovy’ and an integrated score of a modern action movie from Henry Jackson, with hints of 1960’s pop. It’s those simple, little aspects that really draw the line under this film. Considering the setting for ‘Wolverine’ didn’t really seem to reveal itself in terms of era.

Closing comments. X-Men: First Class is a frank, engaging and highly enjoyable superhero/action film. Its strongest part being the relationship between the leads and the dramatic ramifications that could be explored in future sequels . I loved the plot, certain action sequences to name a few, the dialogue and the final scene taking place on the island – One which everyone was expecting I thought.

I wait with bated breath for more like this.


Schedule For Week – Commencing August 22nd 2011







23/08/11 ~ X-Men: First Class (Film Reviews)

24/08/11 ~ Top 10 Villains (Film Rant Corner)

25/08/11 ~ ‘Wasted Time’ (Film Rant Corner)

28/08/11 ~ ‘An Idiot Abroad’ (Television Reviews)

#12 ‘X2’ (2003)



* Patrick Stewart
* Ian McKellan
* Hugh Jackman
* Brian Cox
* Halle Berry
* Alan Cumming

After the satisfactory effort with X-Men 1, a huge outcry was heard for more.

More mutants, more Wolvie, more X-Men yadda yadda. It’s really the simple formula for these superhero movies. If your favourite character isn’t in the last one, be sure to see them in the next.

Fan service is something which I frown upon – and it’s a case where directors and studios see how much of a negative effect it can have on a film. (See Spider-Man 3 and X-Men Origins for those puppies in full force). But The fact is it’s not being acknowledged and acted on.

It’s a real double edged sword, as we know – fan service and sequel bait = money. But not always acclaim. Which in turn can hurt the prospected plan for more flicks in the franchise…. (Seriously though, they actually green lit another Raimi Spider-Man… They must’ve loved that guy!)

It may look I’m totally misdirecting myself here – Point is… X2 really shows the balance and necessary elements that make an ensemble comic book movie work – resulting in happy nerds, a shitload of cash and two thumbs up. Take note, Whedon.

The premise is as follows.

A military colonel named Stryker is secretly plotting mass mutant genocide, while Wolverine returns to Xaviers school after a sabbatical to discover his origins. After Stryker moves on the X-Men, they are forced to band together with unlikely allies for their survival.

My skepticism of watching X2 again was rapidly removed after getting through the first act. Often I would skip scenes of just the conversations between characters – but in this case I was intrigued to get more exposition and knowledge regarding them all. Singer wisely devotes screentime to all characters with the most intricate detail.

The film comprises of 3 separate stories, culminating in the final act taking place on the research facility of Alkali Lake.

*Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler

*Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman and Pyro

*Stryker’s abduction of Xavier

*The remaining cast tieing the three together.

Now, what I really loved about this form of narrative was how it boasted so much of the characters without it getting derogatory or hammy. Seeing Pyro’s lust for power and subtle jealousies toward Iceman, the gradual understanding between Storm and Kurt. Jean’s accelerating power and Wolverine’s connection to Stryker are some of the films most rewarding sequences.

Fleshing out these ‘superheroes’ with real human emotion and connectivity. It works exceptionally well in the 2nd act.

But yes. X2 is indeed a superhero film and it does not abandon it’s core fanbase. Again, Hugh Jackman is in a great action scene involving a lady. This time it’s Kelly Hu (fit). With big fingernails… Ouchos. The military strike of the X-Mansion doubles up
as a fast paced escape mission – concluding with an unsettled Logan further questioning his place. And yes, there’s the opening scene with Nightcrawler. Possibly the best introduction to a Marvel character EVER. Beautifully filmed and scored.

X2 completely trumps every single positive aspect of its predecessor – A more coherent and applicable narrative, well-structured scenes, a formidable cast and sure way to break new ground in the genre.


#11 ‘X-Men’ (2000)


* Hugh Jackman
* Patrick Stewart
* Sir Ian McKellan
* Halle Berry

Bryan Singer

If Schumacher’s ‘Batman & Robin’ killed the superhero franchise…., then X-Men most certainly brought it back from the brink of Hell.

Helmed by Usual Suspects director, Bryan Singer, the first Marvel comics movie of the new millennium brought a new stance and a new attitude to the genre. Using science fiction, realism, and social commentary in conjunction with the comic book lore X-Men is so loved for.

The story revolves around mutants – humans born with extraordinary powers and abilities. From the outset, it appears that the United States government have a great disdain for mutants. Asking all mutants to reveal themselves in the interest of homeland security.

In the midst of all this are two mutants. Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr. Formerly the closest of friends, their friendship had taken a bitter turn due to conflicting ideologies surrounding their kind. Xavier believes mutants should use their abilities to protect mankind and for the good of the world. Lensherr, however, feels they are superior beings and should be feared and held in a God-like regard. This conflict resulted in the two warring groups. Xavier’s X-Men and Lensherr’s Brotherhood.

In terms of story, the film has an obvious underlying theme of prejudice and racism – which was also a factor that inspired creator Stan Lee when creating the characters. It’s utilised effectively in key scenes involving Senator Kelly, the politician advocating mutant registration, Charles and Erik. It’s a subject that when dealt with in bucketloads, could mean instant switch off. However it’s not the case here.

Well crafted dialogues between the two theatre legends give the exchanges a mighty sense of gravitas – and it’s simply a pleasure to see these two greats work together.

X-Men was also the starring-vehicle for the unknown Oz actor – Hugh Jackman. Gaining the part of Wolverine after the departure of Dougray Scott. Jackman has since become the face of the X-Men franchise. The only actor to appear in all five X-Men movies.

Wolverine is well-known for being feral, relentless, and pure badass. But in this film – Jackman may look the part, but really doesn’t act the part. There seems to be only a half cup of Logan throughout the entire movie, with us only experiencing snippets of what the character is really about. It’s a shame for me as personal lover of the character. Growing up on the 90s cartoon, I’d dreamt of seeing Wolvie on screen for reals. It was a tad disappointing but still a great joy to finally see those claws… SNIKT!

X-Men boasts an array of talented actors. Cast on their merits of previous work – Star Wars’ Ray Park, Academy Award winner Anna Paquin, and Bond femme fatale Famke Janssen to name a few. The eclectic mix of establishment and freshness deem the film more approachable to wider audiences, which was a master stroke from Singer.

Character development is very few and far between with some characters – namely Cyclops, and two of Magneto’s henchmen. But it’s really Wolverine’s story. As the most popular character from the books, it would be absurd to relegate him to secondary status, regardless of the actor portraying him.

The film holds nothing back in terms of action. Fight scenes are executed imaginatively and powerfully – with some slick work between Logan and the shapeshifter Mystique in particular. Effects, for the time, are so-so. Some sweet parts, and bitter parts. They’re easy to spot. Not a massive hindrance, I believe.

It’s tough to say X-Men is a great film – as there are a small amount of annoying moments and scenes where some of the character’s true motives are called into question. And there are some editing nags that I won’t mention…

Saying that, it was genuinely impressive and a great rebirth of the comic movie in the 21st century. No campy costumes, battle cries or ridiculous minor characters that would seem unbelievable in a real-world setting. A fun flick for the average fan, with enough to sate the geek appetite aswell.


Top 5 Most Overrated Films

Here, I run through a list of my personal picks for the top 5 most overrated films in recent memory. No particular order…

1. Superbad 

After his earlier efforts, Anchorman and The 40 Year-Old Virgin gained cult popularity, 2007’s Superbad was probably the most talked about and anticipated movie from Judd Apatow. Telling the story of two guys simply trying to break into the popular social circle of sex, booze and killer one-liners by simply acting like a couple of idiots. By no means is Superbad a bad film, because it actually does what it does to an ‘ok(ish)’ effect. But after a torrent of hype surrounding the film it was very difficult to go into this film without believing it to be an instant classic comedy hit – complete with unextinguishable quotes that I could show my Grandkids.

One way to get a box office draw? Get hold of 3 sexually unappealing teenagers

 The plot is very formulaic, the jokes are so-so and there’s predictability throughout. All that and an obvious homo-erotic scene involving our two main characters that hardly anyone spots – which is just completely out-of-place and unnerving.

2. American Gangster

Denzel Washington is horribly miscast as a prominent Manhattan kingpin who is fast becoming a thorn in the side for the long arm of the law as he traffics heroin from Asia. Everyone’s favourite brawler from down under, Russell Crowe, is the detective who strategically plans to take down Washington. During a considerable running time of the film, Washington’s character (Frank Lucas) is painted as a hero, a pillar of society, and well-respected. But it soon changes and the dark pattern starts to emerge after the pursuit by Crowe (Richie Roberts) becomes more stressful and burdening for him.

'Little Green Bag' would have made this brimful of bad-assery

I found it rather annoying that the plot seemed to play on Washington’s status as an actor, rather than the terrible real-life criminal he was playing. Whereas Roberts is depicted as a womanising mess, with relationship and family issues. And this is the good guy! But yeah, Lucas… The role, the character, even some of the scenes where he’s just talking just seem really un-Denzel Washington. Playing the bad guy or the criminal just does not suit the guy at all. I’ll give it to him, he’s undoubtedly the best African-American actor working today – but his prowess and ability just doesn’t shine here. It just makes for uncomfortable viewing. Oh and Crowe’s New Yorker accent…. Fucking horrendous.

3. Anything That Has Danny Dyer In A Starring Role

You thought of the constipation joke as you read this caption...

I understand this might be abit of cop-out. And I mean no disrespect to actors that have worked with this man, because he genuinely just ruins everything for me. From the annoying tit in Human Traffic, to the ‘I’m getting remorseful’ hooligan in Football Factory. Danny Dyer is a blight on British cinema and an embarrassment to actors, past and present. His portrayal of any character harkens back to the man himself and really makes not conceivable effort to differentiate between the two. It is so obvious you don’t need to look for it – I hate this man’s mindless fortitude to call himself an actor.

4. Memento

A hate rant on possibly the best director around and my favourite working today? Well… sort of, but not quite. Memento, which was Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough film, is the story of a man’s troubling quest to find his wife’s murderer, coupled with a condition that inables him to store new memories in his mind. Nolan is well-known for alternating timelines in his films and using unconventional methods of storytelling. The sypnopsis is intriguing and intellectually well-manifested, but my problem is with the narrative of this film.


It’s very difficult to pinpoint where I got lost in this and it took about 4 full-viewings before finally piecing together the erratic timeline changes. I will credit Memento on its uniqueness and different take on the ‘revenge’ movie, and Guy Pearce is probably in his defining role as the lead. However its complexities are far too over-powering and really does unforunately tarnish its very smart premise.

5. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

A real stinker. Directed by Gavin Hood, ‘Wolverine’ is the prequel to the original and very popular X-Men trilogy, helmed by Bryan Singer (X1 & X2) and Brett Ratner (X3). With comic book movies, there is always the chance of alienating that core fanbase – by actions such as disregarding source material, shift of focus from premilinary or core characters, or muddled up, uninspired casting choices. With this film, Hood along with studio, Fox. Totally ignores the establishment of the previous three films and kind of make a mess along the way. Wolverine’s character is drastically altered from the one we’ve come to know, and his origins are very much bastardised in the name of fan-service which comes to harm this movie even more.

Obviously Logan left the hot tap running abit too long...

There are a host of problems in this film. The plot is full of ‘craters’, from start to finish, the CGI effects are, in a word.. TERRIBLE for these times, and there are just laughable moments during certain scenes that eye-rolling couldn’t have a place for. The movie was not well-received by critics but was popular among some fans which has given Fox the greenlight to pursue a sequel. Talented director, Darren Aronofsky was slated to direct, but has since left the project due to constraints against his personal life. Thank the maker!




%d bloggers like this: