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X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE | Film Review

We’ve looked at the first X-Men trilogy, but before we get to Dark Phoenix, we’ve still got a few prequels to go, starting with Origins.

RELEASED: May 1st 2009
DIRECTED BY: Gavin Hood
WRITTEN BY: David Benioff & Skip Woods
PRODUCED BY: Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, John Palermo & Hugh Jackman
MUSIC BY: Harry Gregson Williams
STARRING: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool, Will.i.am, Kevin Durand, Dominic Monaghan, Daniel Henney, Tim Pocock, Tahyna Tozzi & Patrick Stewart

Unfortunately for 20th Century Fox, the first time they tried to venture away from the main series of X-Men films and provide some backstory to their characters also resulted in the worst film of the lot (that includes Dark Phoenix, in case you’re wondering – I’ll do a ranking later).

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Posted by on June 9, 2019 in Fox's X-Men

 

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X-MEN: THE LAST STAND | Film Review

Dark Phoenix is out today, and who would have thought that ten years on it would end up being the worse adaptation of the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’. But I’m getting ahead of myself; we’ve still got a few films to get through before we analyse why that is exactly, but for now, let’s take a look at Fox’s first attempt in the much maligned The Last Stand.

RELEASED: July 14th 2000
DIRECTED BY: Brett Ratner
WRITTEN BY: Simon Kinberg & Zak Penn
PRODUCED BY: Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter & Avi Arad
MUSIC BY: John Powell
STARRING: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammar, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page, Ben Foster, Daniel Cudmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Dania Ramirez, Eric Dane & Patrick Stewart

After the heights of X2, The Last Stand sees the franchise handed over to director Brett Ratner, and sees the introduction of franchise stalwart Simon Kinberg. The result is a film that is often regarded as one of (if not the) worst X-Men films.

After mankind develops a so-called ‘cure’ for mutation, the X-Men find themselves split about how to move forward. Meanwhile, Magneto begins forming a mutant army to strike back at the U.S. Government for their effrontery, and may find a powerful ally in the recently resurrected Jean Grey, who seeks to unleash her true potential as the Phoenix.

I don’t know whether its because I’ve now seen what I consider to be a worst adaptation of this same story, nostalgia, or if it’s actually not awful, but I don’t think this film is as horrible as everyone says it is.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a good film. But there’s fun to be had with it.

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Posted by on June 6, 2019 in Fox's X-Men

 

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X2 | Film Review

Continuing our run-through of the X-Men film series, today’s review is of X2, or X-Men 2, or X2: X-Men United. Whatever you want to call it. The second film in the X-Men franchise from 2003.

RELEASED: May 2nd 2003
DIRECTED BY: Bryan Singer
WRITTEN BY: Zak Penn, David Hayter, Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty & Bryan Singer
PRODUCED BY: Lauren Shuler Donner & Ralph Winter
MUSIC BY: John Ottman
STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romijin-Stamos, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Brian Cox, Kelly Hu & Alan Cumming

After the defeat of Magneto in the first movie, X2 returns audiences to Charles Xavier’s school for Gifted Youngsters, where the X-Men find themselves under attack by mysterious men with a link to Wolverine’s past. With race-tensions at an all-time high, the X-Men must stop Magneto and Col. William Stryker and their plans to wipe out humans and mutants, respectively.

It’s strange to think about now, but at this point in the X-Men franchise, the future still seemed promising. X-Men was an enjoyable film with an interesting visual style, if a bit lacking in character development. X2 greatly improves things on that front, and while central X-Men like James Marsden’s Cyclops still get the short end of the stick in that regard, other characters, like Wolverine, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Iceman and to lesser extents Storm, Jean Grey and Mystique, finally get their time to truly shine. You come to really appreciate these characters as characters beyond their abilities to display cool looking superpowers.

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Posted by on June 3, 2019 in Fox's X-Men

 

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X-MEN | Film Review

The final film in Fox’s long-running X-Men franchise*, Dark Phoenix, is hitting cinemas soon. And while I’m a bit behind, it’s still a good excuse to go back and review the various X-Men films.

*And yes, I know there’s also New Mutants, but until its a certainty that that film is actually coming out, then this, for all intents and purposes, is the end.

RELEASED: July 14th 2000
DIRECTED BY: Bryan Singer
WRITTEN BY: David Hayter, Tom DeSanto & Bryan Singer
PRODUCED BY: Lauren Shuler Donner & Ralph Winter
MUSIC BY: Michael Kamen
STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romijin-Stamos, Ray Park, Tyler Mane & Anna Paquin

In the near future, two outcasts, Wolverine and Rogue, are drawn into the conflict between the heroic X-Men and the villainous Brotherhood, who are fighting to decide the fate of mutants relationship with a human race that hates and fears them.

Looking back at these early films, they’re a far cry from the superheroics we’re used to in the modern day. They seem quite quaint now, both in the scale of their storytelling as well as the way they’re produced. Unlike modern day blockbusters like Endgame, which features space and time-travel and giant purple men, X-Men instead takes time to focus on more human issues and decidedly smaller thrills like basic superpowers and the occasional blue person.

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Posted by on May 31, 2019 in Fox's X-Men

 

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