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X-Men DOFP Review: The Clean Slate

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Spoiler Alert: I won’t be able to hold back with this one so make sure you’ve seen it before reading on.

Can I start with a question? How is Kitty able to project someone’s consciousness into the past? She can pass through walls including everyone (thing) she touches, that I know but this mind thing she does is all new to me. Admittedly, though I’m a fanatic, I’m not familiar with the Days of Future Past storyline. Do you know how much comic books cost back then?! Actually, now it’s outrageous. But I know enough not to get confused and so I wonder for those who don’t. On that note, this shouldn’t be anyone’s first X-Men movie. Filled with flashbacks from previous films, you’d appreciate it more knowing what these characters have gone through, or in this case will go through. Err… or maybe will not go through. Hehe, you’ll get what I mean.

Here’s my only rant though – DOFP is largely moping and serious. I get that it’s part of the script and they’ve injected humor to break the tone once in a while. The movie’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like it lingered on and took long to get there.

With that out of the way, let’s go ahead with the good stuff.  I’m going to dare say, and I think some of you can agree with me on this, Quicksilver is quite possibly the coolest and most fun character they featured in the movies. I have become a big fan of Evan Peters, he was great in AHS and even better here.

I mean Wolverine, who I’m not fond of simply because he managed to be the hero who saves the day in all first three films while the rest of our equally loved characters were sidelined, was tolerable and not overexposed. Heck, it’s been Wolverine-centric up until First Class! I was amazed they were able to squeeze out two spinoffs. And no, the butt scene didn’t sway me but I’m guessing many of you were happy about it. Good for y’all.

Acting-wise, Fassbender and McAvoy served it up. Mystique was awesome as always but I think she was forced into the center of this. Why? It’s because her power is changing form. If Trask needed the capability to adapt to anything then the DNA he wants is Darwin’s, who got killed off back in the last film. So I think the reason mainly is because Lawrence is portraying her and she’s the biggest thing now. Wow, that’s the first anti-JLaw thing I’ve said ever! Okay, maybe I don’t have only one rant, haha.

That bit about JFK being a mutant & Magneto having to do with his assassination got me all like, “What the F?” but makes for great entertainment. It was also nice to see the makings of Stryker, the man who’ll give Logan his adamantium. Peter Dinklage playing Trask made him more interesting. Thankfully, the writers were also able to assemble a group of remarkable new characters this time. Bishop, Warpath, Sunspot, love Blink! Sorry, First Class was whack for me.

It was painful to watch all our heroes die one by one, twice for some of them, that I actually gasped at Storm’s turn. Damn those future Sentinels are wicked! So it was such a sweet moment at the end showing them all alive, right where they should be. And yes, including Cyclops and Jean. That’s why everybody says this was the producers’ way of undoing everything wrong about The Last Stand. Secretly, I enjoyed that movie but I do get the fans’ frustrations so I kind of hate it as well, haha.

Lastly, I was left wanting more from the end credits teaser hinting at 2016’s X-men Apocalypse. It shows the title character, the first ever mutant, building the ancient pyramids of Egypt. I was so focused on this hooded figure that I missed the four Horsemen in the background when the camera panned to his face. I can’t believe I didn’t notice, did you??

X-Men First Class is really X-Men Origins: Magneto

Not that I have a problem with the Master of magnetism, he’s my favorite nemesis or even as a character in general. It’s just that the title connotes that the movie is about the X-men themselves but that’s not what I saw. Putting that aside, it’s great that the friendship between Charles and Eric was made the central plot and both James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender portrayed their larger-than-life characters with conviction and I believed them in every scene. I also like how they incorporated actual history in the story. Who knew the Cuban Missile Crisis was caused by mutants? I can give the writers a thumbs-up for that. And although I’m tired of Wolverine, his cameo was a pleasant surprise even Rebecca Romijn’s.

Here go my qualms: the movie felt weird for me. There was something off and yet I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t hate it but I wasn’t impressed with it either. When I look back on it, I think here’s why: the visual effects weren’t extraordinary to a point that it sometimes looks cheap (e.g. Mystique’s appearance and that scene where Havok first showed his powers). The only convincing part was when Magneto controls the missiles during the climax. I guess you have to take in consideration the fact that the movie is set in the 1960s but still I think they could’ve done better. Even the rest of the characters are underwhelming. I mean that fly girl Angel? Or whoever the black guy was. I’m pretty sure they were not part of the original members. I’m just happy with the eye candy I got from Havok (Lucas Till) and the non-blue Beast (Nicholas Hoult). Even the villains; I’ve read of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost/White Queen and the Hellfire Club in the comics but not that wind guy whose called Riptide I just found out and that red Nightcrawler wannabe. Sorry I don’t know everything about the X-Men but I’m a huge fan and there are plenty of characters to choose from, why them? Moving on, I’m just waiting on the time when the movies will tackle other villains like Mister Sinister or Apocalypse.

The Last Stand is still the best X-Men movie for me; that was epic! And the best storyline is X-Men United. First Class takes the third place – not bad.

Superheroes Dominate 2011

My inner geek is happy like when I get new comics for my birthday as a kid. DC and Marvel are going all out in 2011 bringing into the big screen their biggest characters. Which superhero are you most excited to see?

Chris Evans is not new to the superhero universe playing The Human Torch on the Fantastic Four movies, but now he’s portraying an even bigger character as Captain America “The First Avenger”.

Although the Justice League of America has been cast already for its big screen premiere, famous member Green Lantern finally gets his own spotlight as Ryan Reynolds brings him to life.

New actor Chris Hemsworth plays one of the classic superheroes in America. Thor, though I’m not much aware of his story, is a huge character for Marvel as well.

Though the Spider-man reboot is already in the works, I don’t think it will be ready til next year. So this X-Men prequel is the one I’m most gearing up to see. I hope the characters will be equally exciting as the earlier movies.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Geek alert! The kid in me is going out again. I just watched the trailer for the Wolverine spin-off of the X-Men movies, and I can tell it’s going to be kickass! (Watch it in full HD glory.) Although we have to wait until May 1st, 2009 to catch it in theaters, I’m pretty hyped already. I’m a big fan of Marvel especially the X-Men and in my opinion it’s the best superhero franchise. From comic books, animated series to movies. Hands down they’re my favorite superheroes. Heck, as a kid I wished I was one of them. And up to now, I still have an inkling one day I’d discover my hidden super abilities.

In the trailer, I’ve already recognized some of the characters, aside from Wolverine of course. I’ve seen Gambit, happy about this one I was bummed he didn’t make it in the first three films, the Blob and Sabretooth, also happy they didn’t make him look like the too-literal version in the 1st movie. This movie is alot darker and brutal, I guess they were staying away from the cornball take on the 1st X-Men. Looking back, that movie really does suck. I think one of the very few characters they did justice on was Mystique. Of course at that time the movie was so awesome as we were all excited that they adopted it into a full-length movie not until the sequels came out. It started picking up on the 2nd installment but it wasn’t until The Last Stand that they blew me away. Aside from the ‘kill-all-the-main-characters’ plot every bit was awesome. Anyways, as you may have heard they’re basically focusing on Wolverine, kind of a duh?-moment when in fact the X-Men movies were already about him. It’s like 50% is on Wolverine and the other half is shared by the rest of the characters! I mean Wolverine is an integral part of X-Men and I think his story really is one of the more interesting scripts in the franchise but I still didn’t get why they had to create a spin-off. But it’s done and I hope they made the right decision.

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The movie is considered as a prequel and is set roughly 20 years before X-Men amidst the violent past of Wolverine, his early encounters with the very human and anti-mutant William Stryker and focuses on the popular Weapon X project, wherein the government experiments on mutants willing and unwilling to enhance their powers and turn them into living weapons. It was during this time Wolverine was part of a CIA black ops team called Team X made up by the other mutants in the movie like Deadpool played by Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder), Agent Zero also known as Maverick played by Daniel Henney (yup the Korean superstar), Silver Fox (Wolverine’s love interest), Kestrel played by Will.I.Am (B.E.P.) and the rest mentioned above. Numerous cameos are present as well both from new and old characters such as Emma Frost or more popularly known as the White Queen, Banshee and the young Cyclops, Storm, Jayson Stryker (William’s mutant son) and probably even the X-Men creator Stan Lee as he always does. What will he play this time around? I have to admit I don’t know much of most of the characters but I’ve heard of them or encountered them on the comics. On another note, I heard they’re making a Magneto version of X-Men Origins too. That would be great since he’s one of my favorite characters.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine stars and is led by Wolverine himself, Mr. Hugh Jackman (I couldn’t think of anyone who better fits the role) and is directed by Mr. Gavin Hood (Rendition – 2007).

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