Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘charles xavier

X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Sunday, I was having a conversation with friends about the recent collecting of X-Men costumes from DOFP into the Smithsonian. We were contemplating why they would do this even before the movie had been released. The conclusion I came to was that this comic arc is one of the most famous within the X-Men franchise both on film and in the comics, especially. While the decision to put them in this prestigious museum seems a little strange, I think that it makes sense in this way. However, this collecting does not keep me from being a little apprehensive about the upcoming film and wondering what the theater will hold for me as I watch the film Friday.

The Good:

Bryan Singer coming back to direct the film leaves me with hope that he will be kind to the comic book mythos and the dynamic of the team as he aptly showed in X2.

The Days of Future Past story arc also makes me hopeful because it is so compelling that it seems like it would be very difficult to mess up.

The Magnetos and Xaviers are wonderful all the way around. I love Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender. All are extremely talented and bring it when it comes to these characters.

Peter Dinklage gives us the potential for a compelling villain as his acting on Game of Thrones and other movies / television show us. He is great and hopefully will bring something to the character of Trask, instead of being the flat character we have seen in previous movies (yes, Trask has been there but not in a prominent way).

The Apprehensions:

Large casts scare the crap out of me. While Singer has been shown to handle expansive amounts of people before, I walk into any large ensemble movie with a hint of skepticism and preparedness.

Certain cast members have never done anything for me, and they are being brought back into this one… Yes, I’m looking at Storm and Rogue, whom I love mind you, but the performances from Berry and Paquin leave much to be desired. Yeah…

The Wolverine-centric nature that the narrative is seeming to follow. I understand that they have to have a character that can span time as Kitty Pride did in the original (long story about the actual DOFP story arc), but as most of you know, I’ve never been a fan of Wolverine because his character just seems flat to me as far what he is. I find him to be one of the least interesting characters within their world. As such, I always cringe a little when he is the focal character… Although, I do really love Jackman as the character.

My final worry is that this will be a setup movie purely for X-Men: Apocalypse. While I have been wanting them to bring Apocalypse into the franchise for a while (and hopefully Mr. Sinister as well because yeah… *fanboy squee here*), I don’t want them to shortchange this story to build toward the next. If they do, I will be sad.

Overall, I hope that the movie does great because I always want everything that involves these my favorite comic book characters to do well. I am holding out hope that this will capture both the energy of the First Class franchise while calling us back to the powerful storytelling that the original movie series had for us (apart from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Last Stand which we hope were a collective hallucination that never occurred). Here’s hoping. You’ll all have to tell me what you think about it when you see it. I’ll be sure to let you guys know. ūüôā

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X-Men First Class: What I Thought (Possible Spoilers for Some People)

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So, as most X-Men fans out there,  I went to a midnight showing of the new movie and now want to share with you what I thought. To start, I thought that the movie was pretty fantastic overall. I enjoyed the plot of the movie and thought that for the most part the acting was pretty wonderful too. I thought that it brought back the heart of the first two movies and blended in perfectly with what they set up to be the conflict of the mutants in the world that they lived in. I think that a lot of this has to be due with Bryan Singer being brought back on board as a writer and story creator. Honestly, I believe that he is the reason the first two films were as true to the comics as they were and feel that he had a real sense of what the true feelings of the story was.

Positives:

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are amazing and fill the shoes that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan left for them. They play the younger version of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr in such a way that make them a lot more down to earth and human than the figures that we see as Professor X and Magneto. They flesh out the characters in a way that their older counterparts could because they allow us to see the men before the leaders.

 

The villains were a good choice. Bringing the Hellfire Club into an X-Men movie is no easy task especially since they are quite a scary bunch of villains. However, I believe that Kevin Bacon does a good job of breathing life into Sebastian Shaw the Black King of the Club. He is a formidable foe and even with him being a bit overpowered (i.e. manipulating energy to be put back out in the form of explosive energy…which is not his original powers). He was especially great with all the different languages and other things that were required of him.

The integration of the movie into actual historical events makes me quite happy. I like how they spun the Cuban missile crisis to make it a moment for the X-Men / Brotherhood to start to develop as groups and individuals. I like how they used this as a point of origin for the groups and for the rivalry that springs up between the friends of Xavier and Magneto.

 

The music was fantastic as well. Thanks to Henry Jackman. The score punctuated the movie quite well and made it more enjoyable.

Weak Points

January Jones as Emma Frost left something to be desired for me. Emma is supposed to be one bad-ass, devil-may-care uber bitch. However, Jones comes off as a very flat portrayal of this most of the time. Now, I’m not blaming this entirely upon her. Matter-of-factly, she does have a few moments when she pulls of the character quite well. For instance, when she is in the CIA interrogation room and cuts a hole in the glass with her diamond finger, she gave me a bit of the chills that the real Emma Frost. There were also a few other of the more minor characters that I feel like could have given more.

I could have used the real original group of X-Men. I liked most of the characters that they used for the movie. However, I wanted there to be at least Jean and Scott…those are the real heart of the team, and I feel that they should have been there…other than that the characters were fine. (Except for the Wolverine cameo…I could have really done without that…that’s all I’m saying).

No extra scene at the end. I’m disappointed in Marvel for having them in every other movie but not in this one. Really Marvel? That was what I thought when I saw this…or didn’t see it rather.

Parting Thoughts:

Overall, I think that the movie works well especially with the first and second X-Men movies (I complete discount the 3 or any of the Wolverine Origin movies). I think that they chose a good place to fit them into the real world. I think that they chose a good cast to portray the characters. And they did the ideals that the X-Men stood for justice. I enjoyed it very thoroughly (as one can tell from me seeing it twice on the opening day) and hope that it might mean something for the X-Men franchise in the future.

Marvel Comic Movies of the Summer: X-Men First Class

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So, with the huge success of Thor (I totally loved it…I recommend seeing it if you haven’t), I am beginning to wonder what will happen with the new X-Men movie that will be coming to theaters next month (June 3 to be exact). Honestly, I’m remaining hopeful for the movie because it has two really good actors play Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and others that look equally promising. However, I am also apprehensive about what story arch they may be following in order to produce the movie.

My biggest reason for my apprehensions lies in the world that the filmmakers have created if the other four films are taken into account… Honestly, I’m hoping that this movie marks the reboot of the X-Men movie franchise. If not, I am irritated by the manipulation of character ages that seems to exist within the film. For example, Mystique is way older in the grand scheme of all the comics…and it appears that she would be in the movies…However, my biggest example of this would be Emma Frost. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, she is a teenager; yet, in this movie she is a thirty something year-old who is a full-fledged member of the Hellfire Club…Yeah….I don’t like when things like this happen. Moreover, I am already skeptical about the “First Class” idea because this isn’t the first class (this group includes Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Angel, Iceman, and Beast).

So, yeah, I’m anxiously awaiting the release and keeping up with new trailers and such. My biggest hope is that the movie is over two hours long…to me, this is an indicator of whether or not I should be hyped before I go into the theater (I will regardless….the X-Men is my comic book baby…). If it is over two hours, I can expect something at least because let’s face it a comic that has been around for 40+ years will not be adequately represented in less than two hours….So, I hope that you all are as excited / apprehensive as I am…Here’s hoping for the best. I also hope you enjoy the teaser trailers looking at a few of the mutants in the film.

X-Men: The First Class…A Good Thing or Not?

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As all of my readers out there know, I am a huge X-Men fan. As some of you may know as well, the new movie X-Men: First Class is coming out June 3, and we as the viewing audience just got our true first peek at what the movie is going to be like. Honestly, I am excited about this new edition to the X-Men movies…however, I also have some other questions that surround the movie and the overall placement of it in terms of the others.

Honestly, I guess the biggest question that I have about the movie is this: will it fit into the canon that the Bryan Singer and, sadly, Brett Radner¬†films have created or will it start a new timeline for the X-Men entirely. I know that it is being billed as a prequel; yet, some of the stuff that they appear to be doing does not fit in with the continuity of the movies or of the comic series entirely. First and foremost, Jean Grey is Charles Xavier’s first student. In this film, I have not seen or heard of any reference to Jean, which kinda makes me sad because she is an interesting character. Secondly, if we take the Wolverine Origins movie into the continuity ( I have serious doubts about whether it¬† should be or not since it is just a mess of characters and action…much like the third movie), characters like Emma Frost and Havok¬†(as juxtaposed to Cyclops who actually appears in the Wolverine movie)¬†are significantly¬†younger within this framework compared to the older Professor X (he arrives at the end of the movie). However, in the new movie, Emma Frost is the more familiar face that we reading the comics are accustomed to while Havok is still a young man. Also, Mystique, who appears in the later movies, is young in this one…yet, we all know that she does not age like normal people or mutants and is as old or older than Wolverine.

 

Finally, I’m curious as to which origin story they are actually using…there are a couple (all of which involve practically the same mutant team). Still, knowing which one they were using would make me feel a little better about what may or may not be the main plot of the movie. So, yeah….I have high hopes for this movie. They have actors that are good actors in all the right parts. They have a director who knows comic movies (Matthew Vaughn from Kick Ass). The story was also conceived by Bryan Singer (someone who knows the X-Men). Does it mark a new beginning for the X-Men franchise? Or is it truly a prequel? I will keep my eyes and ears out for more info on the movie as time goes on.

X-Men and the 60’s

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If taken in the context of the 60’s, the idea of the X-Men is an interesting one. During the 60’s, the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. The African-Americans fought for their rights and eventually won them from the suppressing forces of America. This plight is echoed in the pages of the X-Men Comics with ever more parallels that just this recurring theme.

The X-Men must deal with prejudice in the pages of their comics much the same as the African-American did in reality. The X-Men are persons with special powers such as flight, fire manipulation, etc. and are often refered to as mutants because of this. They must fight to become accepted in a world that sees them as freaks or as lesser beings. They have to fight against extremist groups such as the Friends of Humanity (F.O.H.) which has the particular ring of the Ku Klux Klan. They have to fight the prejudice and even lose members of their community to these persons. They also have to deal with the Sentinels, huge robots that are built to hunt mutants. These robots come to take them in the night. Much like the groups that used to come and burn down African-Americans’ houses during the night.

The leaders of both the main groups of mutants, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, are reminiscent of the two main African-American figures of the time. Dr. Charles Xavier (X-Men) is the spitting image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He believes that humans and mutants can live together in harmony and tries to work through peaceful methods to end the human/mutant prejudice. He thinks that man and mutant kind can live together in peace if they just try much as King did. With the help of his X-Men, he tries to show the world that mutants are not all bad and that they peacefully coexist.

Magneto (The Brotherhood of Mutants), on the other hand, is more proactive like Malcolm X. He believes that coexistence can be achieved mainly through force and uses his groups of mutants to try to subjugate the human race to that of the mutants. He openly attacks groups that threaten mutants and is continually in conflict with those who oppose his ideals. With his group, he becomes a threat to the idea of peace that Xavier hopes to make possible. He himself could be viewed regressing the steps forward that any others had made because the majority of the world does not respect violence (think of the War in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, etc.) and deal with it swiftly and with equal violence.

The X-Men are a subject that are near and dear to my heart. It seems to me that Stan Lee and the other creators had a specific idea in mind when they started publishing this comic. They used the struggle of the mutants to be a metaphor for the struggle of the African-Americans. It seemed that they used this as their own individual method of protesting the unfair treatment of African-Americans everywhere.