Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Looking Forward, Looking Behind


Bishop of Bath and Wales: Drugged, by god!
Blackadder: No, by Baldrick actually. But the effect is much the same.

So, there we go. As best we can tell, I was under the effect of food-poisoning Saturday night, which took until last night to leave my system. But I woke this morning feeling more or less human.

Which brings me to the idea of talking about our favorite(?) group of almost-humans. Mutants. Specifically, the X-Men, as portrayed in film. A while back we discussed the future of Marvel Comics films, specifically Spider-Man 3. We mentioned the X-Men franchise, but didn't really discuss it.

This is a movie that has been plagued by just about every disaster that the third movie in a series could be plagued by. Change of directors (twice). A rapidly increasing cast size, both in heroes and villains. And way too much plot for a single movie. I was entirely ready to put this in the box next to Batman Forever and Superman III.

And then I saw this.

Bastards. Just when I think I'm out, they keep pulling me back in.

Well, May 26th isn't all that far away, so I think it's time that we talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding this movie.

The Good: Visually, this movie is just yummy. There's no other way to describe it. The effects shots that have come from the trailer are mouth-watering. Watching Kitty phase through wall after wall as the Juggernaut crashes through them behind her was stunning. We will see a Fastball special. Magneto lifts the Golden Gate Bridge. Moments straight out of the pages of a comic, brought to life.

Oh, and of course, we get Sentinels.

We have some fabulous additions to the cast, namely, Kelsey Grammer as the Beast. Just look at him. He fits the visual, and we all know that the man has the acting chops to play Hank McCoy. So that's good.

Rebecca Romijn remains delectable as Mystique, and there's just something about Famke Jansen in red leather that... oh, wait. Family blog. Uh, she looks great.

Truthfully, with the possible exception of Halle Berry, there isn't a bad actor in the cast. And almost everyone perfectly fits the visual for their character. The casting directors went above and beyond on this movie, and they were somehow able to keep all of the principals involved for more than one movie.

The Bad: There is almost certainly too much plot for a single movie here.

The rise of the Sentinels is it's own film.

Magneto's final assault on the United States is it's own movie.

And the Phoenix Saga is a movie and a half. (She returns as Phoenix as part of one movie, and then the Dark Phoenix aspect is a film of it's own.)

This has me nervous.

Losing Bryan Synger has me equally nervous. The first two X-Men films were crowded, but Synger managed to weave it all together. But can someone else manage that same kind of magic? I don't know.

The Ugly: We lost some important characters. Nightcrawler isn't back, for some reason that I assume will be explained. But the real kicker is that they killed Cyclops.

No, this hasn't officially been said anywhere. But the only place we see him in the trailer is leading up to Jean's rebirth out of the lake. And there's a funeral scene in the trailer that he isn't at.

I know that Famke Jansen and James Marsden never had the right chemistry for Scott and Jean. This is a love that is supposed to overcome the animal attraction Jean has for Logan, and be strong enough to conquer death. In the comics, it is Jean's love for Scott that gives her the control to let herself be killed. And there was no indication of that in either movie.

But they killed Cyclops. And that just isn't cool.

So, May 26th. A little over three weeks. And then we shall see. Until then, some parting words from Charles Xavier:

Since the dawn of existence, there have always been moments when the course of history shifted. Such a turning point is upon us now. The conflict between the better and worst angels of our very nature. Whose outcome will change our world so greatly...there will be no going back. I do not know if victory is possible.

Me either. But I can hope.

13 Comments:

Anonymous os said...

Just thought you'd like to know: Talk of the Nation is doing a segment on Civil War. After 6, you can listen to it online at http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=5

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Os said...

Oooh, and you can get a look at the first 7 pages.

*glee*

3:16 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I'd actually already seen those in Wizard, but yeah, pretty nifty looking.

I didn't even mention the really nasty Civil War tie-in in this month's Amazing Spider-Man.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous nico said...

What's the gist of Civil War? I'm out of the Marvel loop.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Well, I've alluded to it in my Weekly Round Ups, but here's the short version:

The time has been coming when the government is reevaluating the Mutant Registration Act. And not just for mutants, but for all superheroes. There is danger in the power that they have.

Stark has forseen this day coming, and is trying to prevent the government from proceeding with this bill. But it's going to happen, prompted largely by a televised event where the New Warriors, while grandstanding for television cameras, fail to keep Nitro from exploding and killing a playground full of schoolchildren.

Some heroes will register. Some will protest. Those who register will then be forced to deal with the fact that those heroes who did not register are now criminals.

Hence, Civil War. Heroes forced to fight other heroes.

I wasn't that excited about it at first, but I've been drawn in.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous nico said...

Thanks!

Now, what Kaju movie is the robot head from? By the way, great use of Black Adder. Glad you're feeling better!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I'm going to assume you were joking in that question, but in case you weren't, that's a Sentinel head.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I've heard rumors that the third film that they will not introduce the Dark Pheonix nor delve into the Pheonix saga due to lack of time. Pheonix will be involved, but I assume it will probably be more something along the lines of the Ultimate X-men's Pheonix.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous os said...

A sentinel head? From X3? That's what we get to look forward to? Consider me unimpressed.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Matt,

It may not be the full on "Phoenix supernovaing suns" thing, but she's wearing red, and she's working with Magneto, she's clearly much, much more powerful and she's lost control of herself, hence asking Logan to kill her at the end of the trailer.

It may not be the traditional Dark Phoenix, but this is close enough in my book.

And Os, the Sentinel head is detached and not moving. Wait until you see it in action to decide it's lame. :)

9:59 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

food poisoning??? pretty darn scary...i hope the worst is over and you are on the mend for good...don't eat 'there'-where ever that was..and call the manager to let him know. Their might be something they can do to preven this...Cleaner kitchen, more handwashing etc....Just thoughts...
Becareful. Take Care.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Nico said...

I see no Sentinel in the trailer nor in the screenshot gallery, that's why I didn't think it came from X-Men. Was it in the teaser trailer?

10:07 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

The Sentinel head came from a clip shown on Leno.

10:10 AM  

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