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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #29 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay so after one okay X-Men film and the brilliant second film, we now move onto the tragic disaster that X-Men: The Last Stand aka The Film That Fans Try to Forget About.

Good god man. X-Men: The Last Stand is one of the films I actively try to avoid. This is a film that is infamous among comic book fans for its failure and horrible execution. I remember seeing X-Men 3 in the cinema and recall being very disappointed, but since then each time I’ve checked it out its gotten worse. Now I’ve had no reason to watch this in recent years, but thanks to this month of superhero films reviews I have to dive into the deep end again! And in 2013 this film sucks even worse than ever before.

In terms of the plot in X-Men 3 takes place some time after the last film. It is publicly announced  that there is now a cure for the mutants created in a secret laboratory supported by the government, it creates a divide in the mutant community. Some mutants are for the idea while others detest the idea. Magneto believes a war is coming and recruits a large team of mutants to take down Warren Worthington II and his cure. The X-Men have to stop him, though they are at a disadvantage because Jean Grey has returned as The Phoenix and joined with Magneto. So now on darkest of days the X-Men have to band together with what little team members they have left and take on the Brotherhood of Mutants.

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The story in this film just pisses me off SO MUCH! X-Men 2 worked so well as it just about had the right balance of characters, action and story, but somehow that good material got tampered with in the transition of writers and director. What we get in this film is a story that has tiny elements of interest, but the execution is simply poor. This film introduces a lot of new elements into play in terms of story, characters and some comic book aspects too, but none of it matters as it is not there long enough to matter. Some of the characters changed with no real explanation as to why or some just feel inconsistent when compared to its predecessor. Too many wrong decisions were made. Why in the hell was Cyclops killed off? Why was Angel introduced if he serves no proper purpose? Where’d Nightcrawler go? WHY FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST DID PROFESSOR X HAVE TO DIE!?! Who thought that was a good idea? Fail, fail, fail!

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Why for the love of god did this have to happen? I’ll never get over this.

Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, while Jackman has his cool character moments overall his character as gone from awesome to very cruddy, and annoyingly Wolverine is still the main character in this film. I mean his story was technically wrapped up in the last film, so there is no reason for him to be at the forefront of the story yo. I understand that he has feelings for Jean Grey, but it gets to absurdly high level and it really pisses me off how much of a lovesick puppy he becomes especially after Cyclops dies, that is not in good taste at all. Ian McKellen returns as again Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, while McKellen still gives a good performance, I wasn’t keen on how cold he was and many silly decisions were made with his character. Famke Janssen also returns from death as Jean Grey/Phoenix, in this film she’s a shadow of her former self and instead spends most of the film as the Phoenix, killing everyone that comes across he in the wrong way. Janssen was a right bitch in this film and obviously that was down to the character she was playing but even so there was no redeeming qualities about her in this film.

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Halle Berry definitely has more of a leader role as Storm, in this film she’s a lot more assertive and has way more dialogue than before, but the problem is that she still doesn’t fully own her leadership role and doesn’t fully utilize her weather powers and you’d think since she’s the only original member of the X-Men team she’d have a more important role but she’s really pushes aside. We also have a new member in the form of Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy/Beast. He’s a former student of Xavier’s School who is now the Secretary of Mutant Affairs in the U.S. government. Grammer does good job at portraying the character even though I feel like he wasn’t totally utilized in the best way in my opinion. Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman is decent, he gets more screen time and gets to do more action, but in the end he’s not the version of Iceman I’d like to see. Also Ellen Page shows up as the new Kitty Pryde, she’s good and has some decent moments in the film but I feel like her character doesn’t naturally fit into the film. And then there’s Daniel Cudmore as Peter Rasputin/Colossus, he goes from just having a cameo to being a full-on X-Men team member, but the problem is that he’s just there for fight scenes as we still don’t learn too much about the guy.

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Rebecca Romijn is still as hot and agile as Mystique, Romijin is good for the short time that she’s in the film but after she loses her powers she’s useless. It is darn shame too because I liked her too. Aaron Stanford is still an arrogant hot-head as Pyro, his role has been increased in this film and while he has some wonderful action moments, I still think of him as that annoying douche who should have been taken out quickly.

Now we move onto the useless or completely wasted characters. Anna Paquin as Rogue has just been turned into a moping teenager whose jealous of Bobby and Kitty’s friendship. She feels alone because she can’t be intimate with anyone and yet she forgets about the fact that Wolverine was the first REAL friend she’s ever had, not only that but once the cure is announced she proper jumps on the bandwagon to get it without even considering any other options, such a waste of a character. And then there’s Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Stewart is good but very much wasted due to him being killed off. WHY!?! And then we have James Marsden as Cyclops. Ah man in this film he’s even more of a pussy than before due to the death of Jean and then he finds her only to be killed off in the beginning of the film. I feel bad for Marsden as he is actually famous for this role and yet his character is butchered so badly and then done away with so swiftly that it sickens me. Also Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut is hilarious and has some funny moments but otherwise he’s another one of those throwaway characters. And lastly Ben Foster as Warren Worthington III/Angel was just a pointless addition to the film, sure he has a bit of purpose because of his father’s plan for a cure, but Warren doesn’t do anything significant like join the X-Men or help in the major battle at the end of the film, which renders his appearance in this film pointless.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the CGI is pretty good, but the presentation of Phoenix’s powers was badly handled (where’s the fire and why does she look like a demented alien woman?) and all of the action scenes were okay but none of them had any unique or stand out moments. As for the soundtrack by John Powell is not as nicely handled as it was in X-Men 2 and there are a lot of repeating themes throughout the film that are a little overbearing. The best song is “Angel’s Cure“, that piece is beautiful and dramatic.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well as I’ve said before I know the X-Men mainly from the cartoons, a few comic books and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. From what I saw in this film there are a good few element from the comics kept and updated for the film. But I think that the main offender in this case is the handling of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” story arc in the comics that’s adapted into an original story, while it was an interesting idea, I feel like the way it was executed was very foolish and messy.

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So to conclude X-Men: The Last Stand is still one of the most disappointing and disgusting film in the realm of comic book films. It took the great material from the last film and completely shits on it with a terrible story, poorly handled character development and poor use of the source material. This is just a cluttered mess of a film that was forgotten about by comic book fans and audiences for a real. It sucked back then and it sucks right now! FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!

Rating: 4/10 (This film is the reason why the X-Men series needs to be rebooted damn it!)

So there’s my review people, only 1 more to go yo! So have you seen X-Men and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Bryan Singer Will Be “Fixing S**t” From X-Men: The Last Stand with Days of Future Past

Today I saw this recent interview with Bryan Singer concerning the next film in the X-Men film series, X-Men Days of Future Past and it was pretty extensive so I just had to blog about it! Here is the full interview from IGN:

“One of the big questions that fans have about Bryan Singer’s upcoming return to the cinematic X-Men universe, X-Men: Days of Future Past, is will this new film mean a return of some of the characters that we lost in the Brett Ratner directed X-Men: Last Stand? Specifically Scott Summers/Cyclops and Jean Grey. In general, there has been speculation about the changes that Singer may want to make to the choices that were made in that film. The director has said that he will not be ignoring any of the previous films, but there is the possibility of an alternate universe present in the Days of Future Past storyline which creates all kinds of interesting possibilities.

We’re going to go into a brief plot description of the Days of Future Past comic for a moment, so if you don’t want to know, skip ahead.

For those who are unfamiliar, the X-Men: Days of Future Past comic introduces a dystopian alternative future where mutants have been captured and imprisoned in internment camps. Adult Kate Pryde transfers her consciousness into her younger self, Kitty Pryde, in order to warn the X-Men and get them to stop the event that triggers the rise of the anti-mutant movement. At the conclusion of the story, two timelines are formed, one where the dystopian future remains and one where the errors of the past are corrected. Given the unique/different nature of this film, in terms of the combination of the original X-Men cast with the First Class cast, we are assuming that the “future” will be the present day with the X-Men original cast and that Kitty Pryde will either physically travel back in time to the First Class time period, or send her consciousness into another persons body. Alternate timelines, and time travel in general, can be tricky for storytellers, but they also open the door to changing things that may have been previously established in canon.

End potential spoilers.

We were able to speak to Singer recently about his upcoming family film Jack the Giant Slayer. During our conversation, he revealed that Peter Dinklage’s X-Men: Days of Future Past character is in fact not CGI-based, as we revealed earlier. We also touched on some of the things he hopes to achieve with Days of Future Past, as well as a bit on the history of the franchise.

IGN: One thing that’s interesting about the alternate universe/timeline in Days of Future Past is that it could potentially give you the opportunity to revisit things that happened in the third film in terms of characters and endings that you might like to see changed.

Bryan Singer: You mean, what you’re politely saying is, “fix s**t.” Is that what you’re saying? That’s what I’m hearing. [Laughing]

IGN: [Laughing] Maybe…

Singer: There’s going to be a little of that, a few things I can repair.

IGN: Are fans going to be pleased with these things you will be repairing?

Singer: I think so, I think so, yes.

As far as X-Men: The Last Stand is concerned, Singer acknowledged that, “it’s a very difficult thing, jumping into someone else’s franchise,” saying, “Brett Ratner did it with mine and you’re held up to a standard, particularly if people really like what the originator did, you’re held up to a very tough standard jumping into someone else’s franchise.”

IGN: Do you have regrets about what Brett Ratner did with Last Stand?

Singer: It would have been nice to have done the third one, but I really wanted to have the Superman [Returns] experience. And I’ve never really talked about it before, but there were negotiating issues that were there. I didn’t fully have X-Men 3 in my mind and I had this take on Superman and suddenly that was easy. That was an easier deal, it took three days and we were ready to go. So I made that move and it pissed off certain people – we’re all good now. But you know, maybe I wouldn’t have ended up with X-Men: First Class and where I’m sitting today making this epic combination of casts. So in the end, I’m glad I had my Superman experience. It was a little awkward for me to see X-Men 3, obviously. In fact I was so emotionally nervous about it that a person — who shall remain nameless — brought me to a building in the middle of the night in Los Angeles and sat me in front of the computer and showed me the movie. Completely against the law, long before it was finished, just so I could be prepared. And I watched it reel by reel on the computer. You know Brett and I are good friends, I actually saw him in London last week, and I don’t know if I’ve ever told him that frankly, because I just kept it to myself. But I just needed to see the movie so that when I actually went to the theatre and saw it, it wasn’t shocking to me or disturbing. Seeing a Superman movie will be very different. I’m actually very excited to see Zack Snyder’s Superman because it’ll be so different from mine and that’s quite distant. But today I don’t have regrets because I’m sitting here doing this amazing hybrid, so maybe it was all meant to be.

IGN: As a fan of this world too, though, do you want to see Scott and Jean return? Because it’s what everyone is thinking. That we want to see them return, you know?

Singer: Who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t? [Laughing] That’s all I can say.

IGN: [Laughing] Fair enough.

The good news is that we’re all on the same page!

IGN: What is the balance between the first classers and the original trilogy actors in Days of Future Past?

Singer: The movie takes place at different times. It deals with, I don’t want to say time travel, but time displacement. A form of time travel which is steeped more in the X-Men [mythos].

IGN: There was a real distinctive tone created in First Class, that was sort of in the vein of a film from that era, how are you going to integrate that into this one?

Singer: The majority of it…or that part of it, takes place in the early 70’s, 1973. So Nixon is a character, and there will be different styles and automobiles. And there will be some futuristic, as well as retro, technology which you haven’t seen. There are science fiction aspects of the movie, and then there’s some retro science fiction that the X-Men films haven’t had quite yet. So we’re exploring that, which will be fun. And there’s an attitude [difference]. We discover our characters, particularly the younger characters, at a different place in their lives. Every character you discover in this movie is in a completely different place than you’ve ever seen, emotionally, and it’s about them moving through that. Hilarity ensues!

IGN: When you think about it, it’s possible to come out of this movie with three separate branches of the X-Men franchise: the First Class time period, the original X-Men time period that you created and now the alternate timeline/universe that X-Men: Days of Future Past will delve into. The alternate universe timeline could exist on its own. Is that a possibility coming out of this?

Singer: Yes, I think so, but I think it’s even bigger than that. I think that if you really examine the X-Men universe it’s every bit as big as the Marvel universe. There are lesser characters, but if you take certain characters there are a myriad of films you could make, and stories you could tell, with these characters as individuals. Wolverine being one of them, and that’s currently being done. But you could really mine this universe. I’m glad to return to it and I’d like to get more involved in it because it hasn’t really been orchestrated – somewhat with the Wolverine pictures – but I think there is a lot more that one can do.

IGN: Have you sort of started to map out plans for a Disney/Marvel movies approach to the X-Men franchise?

Singer: It’s just something we’re thinking about. Really my big focus was this movie. Because it’s really massive, and we’re going to start shooting soon. But we’re talking, [producer] Lauren Shuler Donner and I, and we’ll see.

IGN: I know you love to announce on Twitter. When do you think there will be announcements about the rest of the casting and who Peter Dinklage is playing and those kinds of things?

Singer: I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m not sure… I’ll see how it goes. Some people will figure stuff out on their own and then it just gets out there. I tweet very impulsively. You know, just when I have a moment in the day, or when something like [Peter Dinklage’s casting] happens. You know when they call me and say, ‘Okay, Peter’s deal is done.’ I wish I could tweet every conversation, but when I tweet it has to be an official thing. When I tweet it it’s for real. There’s another person that we’re negotiating with right now, so hopefully that will work out and they’ll be a part of the movie as well. And there are some new roles, younger roles that will appear in the movie. My tweets are just to be connective to fans and they’re impulsive. Sometimes they’re silly – or spelled wrong. I just have to make sure I don’t tweet when I’m drunk or anything. [Laughing] My biggest fear is that I have the phone, it’s right there…You gotta be careful because you have this direct line in your pocket to lots of people. But I think it’s a great tool. I wish I had it on Valkyrie, for instance. Because there was a lot of snarky scrutiny that was completely inaccurate and if I had Twitter I could have just addressed it. Like when they were saying, ‘Oh my god, they’re coming back to the United States for reshoots, the movie is in trouble!’ I could have said, ‘No, we’re coming back to the United States cause there are no deserts in Germany and I have a sequence that takes place in a desert.” And that would have been such an easy tweet – ‘No, the movie is fine.’ So when people panic that you’re doing something, wrong or something’s wrong with the movie, you can either not address it, or address it without needing to call a press conference.”

I think there is some very interesting information to take away from this. Singer seems really into this project and it looks like his mindset is in the right place which leads me to believe that he’ll gives another good X-Men film just like the first two. I like how he acknowledges the failings of X-Men 3 and is going to try and rectify them and the way he’s been talking about alternative timelines sounds pretty interesting, and with the right precision it could be as badass as classic films like Back to the Future or Terminator 2. Though as hyped as Singer as might seem I have to remember Superman Returns, a film I was hyped for but one that really didn’t deliver the film ‘super’ experience I had hoped for. Plus Matthew Vaughn done a fine job with First Class, he created a great world with a wonderful style and atmosphere, with a different director those nice little elements could be lost in this sequel. But the thing about Singer is that he has made some fine films in the past and he was involved in the production of First Class so that makes me at least hopeful for Days of Future Past.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Films, Media

 

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