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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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AVENGERS ASSEMBLE | DVD Review

We’ve reached the end of ‘Phase One’ in our Marvel Movie marathon, with the film that changed the game forever in terms of superhero movies, and finally saw, as the title will tell you, the Avengers Assemble.

RELEASED: 4th May 2012
DIRECTED BY: Joss Whedon
WRITTEN BY: Zak Penn & Joss Whedon
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Alan Silvestri
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg & Samuel L. Jackson

While we all look back on Avengers Assemble (or just The Avengers if you’re outside of Britain) fondly, the truth is, the film does have some flaws. It’s got a bit of awkward pacing at times, especially during the central act, and sometimes certain characters, dialogue or props seem to be there just to force the plot along, rather than naturally fitting in to the story.

However, much of that can be forgiven due to the extraordinary feat the film pulled off in, well, assembling the Avengers.

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Posted by on February 5, 2018 in MARVEL, Marvel Studios

 

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THE INCREDIBLE HULK | DVD Review

RELEASED: June 13th 2008
DIRECTED BY: Louis Leterrier
WRITTEN BY: Zak Penn
PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd & Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Craig Armstrong
STARRING: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson & William Hurt

With the exception of one particular scene in 2012’s Avengers, the Hulk has become a very comic-book-y force of nature; sporting a brighter green skin tone and some humorous character traits. But here, in Louis Leterrier’s Incredible Hulk, we see a different side to the jade giant; a horror aspect to Bruce Banner’s monstrous alter-ego that works particularly well.

After experimenting on himself with an untested variant of the super-soldier serum, Bruce Banner goes on the run from the United States military, who seek to use his monstrous new power as a weapon. When they finally begin to catch up with Banner, assembling a new task force to bring him in and confronting him in Brazil, Bruce is forced to confront his past; returning to the U.S.A. and his former love Betty, in search of a cure.

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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in MARVEL, Marvel Studios

 

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