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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Making of A Star: Shclub Andy Dwyer becomes the Protector of the Galaxy!



Guardians of the Galaxy

It's Chris Pratt's Moment to Shine

 

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It's Guardians fever and I'm celebrating it like the Marvel fanboy I am! Although I might not get to watch the movie! (YIKES!)

There's one thing above all else that Guardians is. Above the risks to a studio that has 100% bank-ability. Above all the new age Star Wars comparisons. Above the endless but epic marketing. Above Rocket and Groot. 

Above all this is that Guardians is a platform for star in the making; 

Chris 'Andy Dwyer' Pratt. 

The once shclub from Parks and Rec has become a movie star and Guardians beyond the fact that it's a team movie, is a Star Lord extravaganza and a showcase of the comedian actors talents. 

In fact nothing says this more than how excited Pratt seems about the Guardians premiere. The actor knows that it's his time to shine and nobody is going to stop his trailblazing antics. It's not the first time a movie or a movie franchise has made a star, it's not even the first time Marvel has made a relative unknown into a star (AKA Chris Hemsworth as Thor).

But even then I had to make this post, just because of how excited Pratt seems at the premiere (video above) and how fun it will to see his career skyrocket. 

http://www.rosemash.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/guardians-galaxy-movie-preview.jpg

One day we will reminisce when A-List superstar Chris Pratt became what he is, because of Guardians and before that the Lego Movie and of course Parks and Rec. 

So give it up for Chris Pratt AKA Star-Lord. Who you ask?

Well for that don't forget to catch Guardians of the Galaxy in a theater near you (an pray that I do too)

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

Friday, 18 July 2014

Performances of A Lifetime: Shahid Kapur as Haider in Haider



Performances of A Lifetime


Last week's release of the trailer for the much anticipated Haider (an Indian adaptation of Hamlet) got me thinking of a new top ten feature. The idea was to list ten current Bollywood actors who had already given their performances of a life time and would never in million years beat them, no matter how great as actors they are.

As soon as the post got underway, more and more names popped up in my head and confused me to the point where I was in a straight jacket bashing my head on a wall (reason why I've been so inactive on the blog sphere).

So let's get back too Haider and more importantly Shahid Kapur. 

The reason I wanted to make the post is Shahid Kapur, his performance just in the trailer (as seen above) speaks of the depth and level to which the actor has sunk into character. 

The son of well known thespian Pankaj Kapur. Shahid naturally has acting in his genes, although some of his performances may make you think otherwise. He's of course no where near the level his old man is but from time to time Shahid has shown that there is oodles of talent beneath his so called chocolate boy looks. 

Director Vishal Bhardwaj extracted Shahid's finest performance from him to date with the twin magic of Kaminey. Now Bhardwaj returns with Shahid in tow for Haider. 

For Shahid, Haider could be his masterpiece. Just two minutes of footage and you can tell that the Kapur boy has captured a sense of character that could give him the performance he will be known by for years to come. 

So enjoy the trailer and don't forget to catch this epic performance of a lifetime.

To be or not to be,

Aneesh Raikundalia 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Ugly in The Good and The Bad



The Ugly in The Good and The Bad



If I had gotten the time out of my stressful exam period to write a post on Father's Day, then you would have understood the importance of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for me.

Nonetheless…

The western classic is held in high regard by me and my father. While he never truly decided to introduce me to the film through the TV box or a CD, when I was a child he spoke of it often as a film that was awesome beyond awesome.

So that was my first sort of taste of the Western genre, one if you remember has a damn great influence on me.

When my dad spoke of the film, he spoke mostly of the gun fighting, cowboys (thing I would mimic) and the mystic greatness that is Clint freaking Eastwood.

So when I watched the film years later, I definitely watched it for the gun fights, the cowboys or outlaws and Wild West god Clint Eastwood. Yet nothing grabbed me like that creepy, disgusting, evil prick known as Tuco AKA Eli Wallach.


Tuco; Ugliness Personified

It was a mesmerizing performance, a turn that embodied the vile and as suited ugliness of the outlaw's of the Wild West. It was funny, scary and dramatic everything you need in such a genre. Wallach's turn is beyond anything else and it's a testament to the fact that for me as a legendary actor he's known for this film and one more.

Eli Wallach forms the basis for some of the most sneakiest and slimiest villains that I write in my comics, mostly for those in my own Wild West comic; The Outlaw.

The other role would come a few months just after that. The original spark for me to watch Westerns was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and from there I saw a cavalcade or cavalry of films in the genre.

One such as mentioned above was another Eli Wallach film.

The Magnificent Seven


Now keep in mind. Like any good Bollywood watching Indian, I had already been struck by the power of instant classic Sholay which was an 'unofficial' (to put it nicely, since we can't insult Sholay) remake of the Magnificent Seven (itself a remake of Akira Kurosowa's masterpiece Seven Samurai). So I was already a fan of the delectable Gabbar Singh, the villain of the piece and the most iconic villain in Hindi Cinema.

Even then the greatness of Wallach is unmatched.


Do I like Amjad Khan's Gabbar more?

Yes.

Do I like Sholay more than The Magnificent Seven?

Most Definitely.

Yet Wallach holds strong. He is a devil in disguise and an entertaining spectacle to watch. 

Once again I'll say this, I'm not ashamed to admit that these are the only two films I've seen Wallach in or I can remember him for. It's a testament to the fact that he is such an iconic actor (for me) on the basis of just these two films. It speaks volumes how magnificent and good (sorry The Ugly) he must be as an actor.


The Net tells me that he was also part of Godfather III and Mr Freeze in the 60's Batman show, well what do you know!

Today I wait for the results of an exam that could begin a new chapter in my life. Today the world lost Eli Wallach.

I'm stressed and shit scared but above all else I'm depressed. We lost the talents of Eli Wallach, we lost our Ugly.

Rest In Peace

Eli Wallach

And

Thank You for your Magnificent work…The Ugly 

Monday, 2 June 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man: David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane Omnibus Review



Rorschach Reviews

Omnibus Review

The Amazing Spider-Man by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane

 

 

I'll admit it, I needed some help with this one. 

How do you review a book that is 800+ pages long? 

As you can see from the above picture, that's my Birthday gift. 

A book that consists the entirety of David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane's run together, two men who helped shape Spider-Man during the 80's into the 90's.

A bit off back story first then. This was the time when gritty books were in and supposed overtly sexy looking females and jam packed muscular males were considered norm for comic book art. It was the time that the likes of Jim Lee and Rob Liefield and above all else Todd McFarlane were the In crowd. 

At that time Michelinie had slowly creeped his way into the spider-verse of comics, including writing the legendary 21st Annual which saw the wedding of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. In fact, this omnibus just contains a third of Michelinie's work which he would continue extensively alongside Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley later on.

The Omnibus itself is a bag full of entertaining stories. I'm most likely going to review it from story to story. There's 34 issues of the run and a bonus issue from Spectacular Spider-Man with art by Todd McFarlane. Some of the issues are one in done stories where as others are extensive arcs specifically Spider-Man centric stories such as 'Venom' and 'The Assassin Nation Plot' as well as other two issue arcs. Then there's also larger crossover plots like the 'Inferno' saga and the 'Acts of Vengeance' plot. 

Before I do go into the meat of the book, I will review the omnibus formatting of it as well as the extras included. 

But before that, here's a bit of tidbit on what the Omnibus contains and who it's by. 


Writer: David Michelinie, with Glenn Hardin (Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 10)

Pencilers: Todd McFarlane (ASM 298-323, 325, 328 and Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 10) 
                 Alex Saviuk (ASM 296-297)
                 Erik Larsen (ASM 324, 327, 329)
                 Colleen Doran (ASM 326)

Issues: Amazing Spider-Man 296-329 with Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 10

Best Single Issue: 'Down and Out In Forest Hills' Issue 314

Best Story Arc: 'Venom' Issue 299-300 and 315-317

Best Moment: The final page of issue 300 when Peter finally gets rid of the Black suit (not symbiote) and embraces the classic red and blue

Best Quote: 'Hi Hoooneeey...I'm Hooomee!!!'-Venom to Mary Jane...when he attacks her at her house, Issue 299


Saturday, 31 May 2014

X-Men Days of Future Past Review: On Time Travel and Mutants



Rorschach Reviews

X-Men: Days of Future Past


With the movie already released, it's time to look at one of the most iconic comics that the film is partially based on.

Days of Future Past is considered one of the greatest achievements in comics history and is my personal favorite X-Comic thanks to its time travel premise and one of my favorite X-Men being front and center of it; Kitty Pryde. 

Contrary to what the movie would have you know, this two part story saw Kitty Pryde sent back in the past from 2013 to her own younger body to save the X-Men, Mutant kind and the present and the future.

Like with the released film it involves the team of X-Men stopping an assassination carried out by Mystique and by doing so abolishing the rising Sentinel program.  She is hell bent alongside her Brotherhood, on assassinating Senator Kelly, who wishes to up the ante on the Sentinel Program that has been dormant for a while.

However the collection doesn't only feature the two part story. It is in fact more of a conclusion to John Byrne's acclaimed work alongside Chris Claremont.

As I've detailed before, Claremont came into the book after it was revived thank to Giant Size X-Men (review here). He and Byrne worked together extensively on the Dark Phoenix Saga that featured the debut of Kitty Pryde.

Ironically while this is the end of their run together (the best era of Claremont's lengthy work on the X-Men), it is a new beginning. Post the Giant Size issue, a new team took the original X-Men place but amongst them original member Cyclops remained. Here with Phoenix/Jean's death he leaves and Kitty enters. 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SPxHZ1clXI0/TufD7iz9GeI/AAAAAAAAIRM/tCH6PgbLIKU/s320/KittyJoin.jpg

*Although yes Angel returns, he isn't as characterized as his team mates; the new X-Men*

Kitty comes to the team in a way that mirrors Jean's arrival to the mansion years ago during the first issue of X-Men, when the other four originals (Cyclops, Angel, Iceman, Beast) had been already established.

The paperback isn't lengthy though, it runs from issue 138-143 and features X-Men Annual 4 as well.

So let's head on to the review.


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The beginning of this book as mentioned is an epilogue to The Dark Phoenix Saga and a movement towards new beginnings for the X-Men. If you’re a casual reader, the book is a great pick up because in the issue titled 'Elegy', the X-Men stand at Jean's funeral and Scott reminisces with detail about their past adventures that led them to this place.

It's an issue that lets writer Claremont to revel in his area of expertise; lots and lots of dialogue, mostly exposition. It's a fun history albeit for a regular reader, basically meaningless. The issue is that with Scott iterating the story, you should be able to feel his pain. It’s a difficult task for a writer to capture that voice on paper but Claremont is known to do it well, yet here the amount of dialogue overpowers what Scott feels.

At the end it feels like just a catch up issue which is sad, considering Marvel and Claremont should have used this issue to force catching up readers hands to pick up the epic Dark Phoenix Saga (which I suggest you do).

The end however is very touching when Claremont fully grasps Scott's pain and his embarrassment at facing Jean's parents. Not only does Xavier express how proud he is off Scott, but Scott himself notes that he cannot becomes his reserved self but owes it to Jean to live fully.

You'd think the meat and potatoes would then begin, but sadly Marvel's schedule moved towards a X-Men annual.

The fun thing is; it features Dr. Strange. The annoying thing; it's an aspect of Nightcrawler's story I could care less for, considering how creepy it is.

One of the tings I really hate that you notice outside the first exposition necessary issue, is that Claremont's style of dialogue just doesn't work anymore. He tends to explain the actions on page, it's a habit that was prevalent during the early rise of super hero comics.

This is something that will definitely feel outdated and annoying for inexperienced readers, and gives the sense that writers either didn't follow the action well enough or didn't trust the artist to convey the message across.

I never really liked any issue where the X-Men took on mystical ideas, it just doesn’t fit unless the mutant in question is Magik. Then that creepy ending, the woman who took Nighcrawler to the other realm is revealed to be his long lost step sister who had been posing as his girlfriend for years. That is just weird on a whole other level.

Although the last bit where Wolverine acknowledges Kitty is fun, knowing their now mentor/student bond. 

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060618232436/marveldatabase/images/7/76/X-Men_Vol_1_139.jpg

The iconic cover has been parodied multiple times and the dialogue has become a statement heard by every new mutant that joins the X-Men

The next issue, issue 139 is the real start of the book and kind of encapsulates the idea of the whole trade; its lead protagonist is Kitty. There's a reason I really love Claremont's run, he gives each character space to grow yet for a reader focuses in on one character as a lead for a short period of time. Prior to Phoenix it was Scott, during the story it transitioned from him to Jean and now Kitty.

Of course with only a handful of issues you'd expect that there wouldn't be much development for the X-Men characters let alone Kitty, considering the big two part event. Yet that's one of the great things about Claremont's style of writing, a lot of dialogue he uses establishes the world that encompasses each individual.

With Kitty, he begins to establish her personal relation to each member of the team. DOFP is the ground for exploring a lot of Kitty and Wolverine's relation and builds a base that later comics would explore about Wolverine playing mentor to her. It's something that would go on to define his character as well, when he would train Rogue, Jubilee and more.

With Nightcrawler, you get to see Kitty's apprehensive behavior towards the blue mutant. His appearance of course being the issue, it's a way for the young mutant to learn Xavier's motives. Kitty has to accept not only herself but her fellow mutants to understand the idea of peaceful cohabitance between Mutants and Humans.

With Storm, you get to also once again see Storm in a new light. This is a character who realizes her responsibilities as an X-Men leader and is burdened with all the identities she has had in her life but most of all the one she hasn't. Storm never really felt her childhood and she vows to protect Kitty's amidst the weird adventures they have. 

http://www.comics101.com/comics101//news/Comics%20101/21/colossus.jpg 

Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin would have an X-Romance that would last for years. It ended last year. 

Finally the seeds are also sown for Kitty's admiration and infatuation with Peter Rasputin, which would eventually blossom into a romance between Kitty and Colossus.

Yet Claremont as mentioned never forgets this is a team book. If you want to know why fans get pissed when the movies are all about Wolverine, then this book and run is a prime example of that. Even amidst his own story (below), there is profound development for a multitude of characters including not just the X-Men but his former team mates Alpha Flight.

The next two issues are a Wolverine centric story, and develop from Claremont's previous stories which saw Wolverine take on his former Canadian team mates of Alpha Flight.  The issues here are much better than before, because Claremont tries and succeeds in humanizing this one note beast we've seen.

Behind the cowl faced feisty mutant is a heart, a code and above all else history, something that goes on to become a theme for Wolverine. It also adds more dimensions to his and Nightcrawler's relationship.

http://wolverine.x-knights.com/fullsize/wolverine95.jpg 

Wolverine and Nightcrawler share a deep friendship, that shows how well Claremont writes team dynamics

The next two issues are basically what you buy the book for; the iconic Days of Future Past story and my favorite X-Men story ever.

Both issues have some of the most iconic covers in comic history, the first depicts the oft parodied poster cover that tells you the extent to which the future is bleak. The second depicts Wolverine being blitz to shreds by a Sentinel.

http://collider.com/wp-content/uploads/x-men-days-of-future-past.jpghttp://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070104005934/marveldatabase/images/3/33/Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_142.jpg 

The legendary John Byrne Days of Future Past Covers for issue 141 and 142

The story itself begins in the then future 2013, where the Sentinels rule and have a divided class of humanity and mutanity. All that doesn't matter, since everyone in the USA is in an apocalyptic nightmare of a world and the Sentinels prepare to strike against the world now. This prompts the remaining X-Men (Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Kate Pryde) along with Magneto, Frankiln Richards (son of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman) and Rachael Grey to devise a plan, using Rachael's control of the astral plane they will send Kate's conscious into her younger body in 1980.

Here she will be tasked to convince the X-Men to stop Mystique and her brotherhood from assassinating Presidential candidate Robert Kelly and mutant experts Charles Xavier (their Professor) and Moira McTaggert.

What's really great about this issue once again, is that at its core it gets to the theme that defines the X-Men and their plight. The rise of the Sentinel and even their machinations with the timeline here show you, that humanities bigotry against mutants wont really stop by one simple act of kindness that Kitty does by saving Kelly.

In a way it highlights how flawed and unchanged Xavier's dream will remain, but does so such that his X-Men come off better heroes for fighting for something and someone who will never understand them and their kind. It makes the X-Men that much more iconic in the readers eyes, knowing that these are heroes constantly striving to do better for a world that hates them unlike other super heroes.

Claremont balances things really good. Not just the two timelines but multiple characters. He places Kitty once again as the POV character, here we see a bubbly young girl and the broken woman she would become. It's poignant and disheartening, especially when she says her goodbye to Colossus in the future knowing that her actions in the past might alter their relationship. 

 http://media.comicbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/graves_future_past_x-men-610x214.jpg

An opening scene establishes how grim the future is. One such powerful moment is when Kitty walks across the Mutant concentration camp and witnesses the long line of graves of her fallen comrades.

Claremont is untouchable in setting such scenes of evocative drama, these powerful moments are never short in the story. 

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Take for example the above striking panel depicting Wolverine's death and his teammates falling in the future, it is preceded by panels which highlight Wolverine's strength, limits and his bestial nature in the 1980 timeline. He then rushes onto a sentinel which is reminiscent of an earlier panel that saw Wolverine strike down the murderous robot, here however he is burned to the bone and disintegrated.

The way Byrne scratches out the body and the colors depict bones and blood is chilling.

He also gets a lot of mileage out of the other characters, most notably past and future Storm, past and future Wolverine, future Colossus and Nightcrawler.

Past Storm struggles in the role of leader as this major mission takes it all out of her, yet she also holds her ground against Wolverine when he threatens to be like the mutant that the world sees him as. In the future, she notes how chaotic she has become like Wolverine. Such that she has lost a piece of herself as the darkness in the world threatens to suffocate her.

Colossus fears for Kitty in the past and iterates his selfishness to see them together no matter what the consequences, while he also reminisces about his past innocent and kind self being hardened by the death of his children and friends.

Wolverine grows angrier about the fight and decides to take out each and every one in a violent manner, showing that he still has a lot to learn as a team player.

While Nightcrawler's past with Mystique is hinted towards.

But still at the core this is Kitty's mission and she does save the day, but at the cost of a much darker future. I like how Claremont leaves it ambiguous on both fronts. One piece of dialogue questions whether the dark future will remain as a parallel universe or will truly be wiped out, with no panel noting what happens. Such that this question remains unanswered unless you read further X-Men books.

The second is the final page that sees Kelly teaming with mutant villain Sebastian Shaw, unbeknownst to him that Shaw is one.  They decide to work with the president and his man Henry Peter Gyrich to continue the Sentinel program in secret and keep tabs on the Mutant 'situation'. It's like humanity can't even sink any lower.

With the themes, tones, situation and characters in place then Claremont has a quick pace on his hands and the action embodies this. Fights are furious and some of the best action is depicted in his run.

This is an iconic story for every which reason I have listed. Not to forget of course that it builds a mythos of X-Men and is a pre-cursor to all their time warped adventures such as Age of Apocalypse and Age of X. Basically DOFP brought the heady scientific themes that are nature for X-Men adventures, to light.

The last issue then is a breather but is also very vital to the ongoing plot that covers the trade. It's the first time an X-Men issue would have the adjective Uncanny and it is the first solo Kitty Pryde adventure that proves she has not only the powers, but the resources to be called an X-Man.

Kitty faces a demon alone in the X-Mansion on Christmas Eve. 

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It's an issue that lets Byrne run wild, his final issue. It presents dazzling panels of action as Kitty takes down the monster and wrecks the mansion in the process. Dialogue is one of Claremont's key components and strengths, and it shows.

A thrilling epilogue to the writer and artists work together and a satisfactory end to the collection.

Onto the artwork.

There's a reason that in his more than a decades worth of work on X-Men, his two most iconic stories are drawn by John Byrne.  Byrne along with Dave Cockrum artistically revitalized the X-Men and he carries this sincerely forward from The Dark Phoenix Saga.

He depicts the action in a fluid and discernible manner whilst capturing the pace that the narrative sets. His figure drawing of the characters is wonderful and the sketchiness of Wolverine to the clean look for Kitty differentiates the background and age of his characters. A special mention to his work on the Sentinels, making them looking emotionless yet fearsome. Terry Austin's inking compliments Byrne's work and enhances it well. The re-coloring is also great.

Comic wise overall, the book takes time to pick up but its worth the wait, for the Days of Future Past story is simply mesmerizing.

Now onto the trade itself. I have the soft cover, there's no hard cover. Though I'm not sure if it's available anymore, but there is a graphic novel special that simply collects the DOFP story and nothing else. Then there's also the phone book size Essential X-Men, where the stories are collected in black and white.

Finally a recently released Uncanny X-Men Omnibus vol.2 collects this whole trade and the Dark Phoenix Saga for your enjoyment. It is complimented by the first volume, that presents Claremont's earlier work building up to the Dark Phoenix. 

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I have the Omnibus Vol.1 and Dark Phoenix Saga TPB as well as this trade. This trade itself is a bit annoying, the glue binding creates a deep gutter and a lot of panels get lost inside. This prevents you from reading as comfortable as possible and may cause some to rip pages if your not careful.

The extras in the book as with any trade are simple. It is the cover art for Classic X-Men issues that reprinted these stories earlier. It's fun to see the new style covers, but I wish there was more such as copied scripts or even Byrne's sketch book.

Overall this is a great book, even though it only picks up in its latter half. The price is 20 US Dollars, which is a tad bit expensive for just seven stories. I would say though that DOFP is worth half the price alone.

Plus the problem of Claremonts terrific writing, is that you cannot miss even filler issues because he imbues them with so much character and development that you can lose yourself with any one of these layered and deep X-Men.

If I were grading this, I would possibly give it an 8.9 with Days contributing to a lot of the score. 






'Nuff Said Bub 

Aneesh Raikundalia

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Reel Reviews: X-Men Days of Future Past



Magneto's Movies

Reel Reviews

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0c/X-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_poster.jpgMovie: X-Men-Days of Future Past

Release Date: 23rd May 2014

Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine, Jeniffer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr/Magneto, Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast, Peter Dinklage as Boliviar Trask, Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman, Daniel Cudmore as Peter Rasputin/Colossus, Anna Paquin as Rogue, Omar Sy as Bishop, Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver, Josh Helman as Major William Stryker, Fan Bingbing as Blink, Booboo Stewart as Warpath, Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok, Evan Jonigkeit as Toad, Mark Camacho as President Nixon, Kelsey Grammer as Beast with Famke Jansen as Jean Grey and James Marsden as Scott Summers

Genre: Comic Book

Score: 9.6/10 (w/out vfx 9.6)

Pros: -Blending the fun and comedic brilliance of The Avengers and the gritty drama and stakes of The Dark Knight Trilogy with the pathos that define X-Men, comes possibly one of the greatest if not best super hero film of all time
           -The film handles its information with necessary exposition and gets the pacing moving briskly
           -The plot provides the opportunity for some fun world hopping, the writer weaves in historical elements with dexterity and balances the different tones and themes with a masterful hand
           -There's five different well developed character arc, with one whole thematic concept at its core; Magneto and Charles battle for Mystique's soul and towards it the larger goal to save the future. This truly feels like a Mutant if not X-Men film as Wolverine becomes a supporting player and passes the torch onwards
           -Singer is on form as he masterfully handles a massive cast and balances between the tones of the film as well as the different timelines. He's a director who clearly understands the themes that are prevalent within the X-Verse. He also resets the canon of the film as best as he can giving us two movie ripe continuities.
           -Never is the drama bogged down by the action, which is mind blowing and freaking epic. From the fights scenes to the set pieces, nothing seems cliché e.g. large scale destruction. Features an incredible scene with Quicksilver
           -An all star cast that never falters for one moment. James McAvoy is marvelous especially when confronted in the emotional moments. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, plain and simple.  Fassbender takes his Magneto to a darker route and presents a the character with an exciting edge. In the final moments McKellen and Stewart remind you why they're so revered as thespians. Lawrence rounds out the leads with a sinister intensity and deep vulnerability
           -The score is majestic bringing out the tense nature of the action and the haunting aspect of the future. A killer soundtrack accompanies it, enjoying the influence of the 70's
           -It's money well spent by Fox as this is the best visual effects they have gotten on celluloid


Cons: -It's play with the concept of time is loose and without ramifications
           -Even with the heavy exposition, sometimes the film can get confusing for a disengaged audience and one that hasn't focused on prior franchise films
           -The human element of villainy is undercooked and Trask's motives don't make sense or resonate. Yet Singer is smart to keep his involvement short 

Best Scene: Quicksilver breaking Magneto out from prison, hilariously effective and when Young Professor X confronts his older version in the future

Best Performance: James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X

Best Dialogue: 'Logan, I was a very different man. Lead me, guide me, be patient with me'-Old Charles Xavier
                         'Patience isn't my strongest suit'-Wolverine, good old Wolverine never forgets to be snarky in a dire situation

Coolest Comic Book Reference: Quicksilver quips that his mother knew someone who control magnetism, a clear nod that Magneto might just be his father like in the comics
                                                     Young Xavier uses his powers to see the future and meets his older self, this has to be done by the two Xavier's meeting in the astral plane. A place in the comics where telepathic mutants can communicate 


Like with previous X-Men films, DOFP is far from a faithful and perfect adaptation of its far superior comic book counterpart. Yet the film was bound to be a magnum opus simply thanks to its massive brilliant cast and Bryan Singer's return to the director's chair.

*Do Note, I will not comment on Singer's current predicament and allegations towards him, I am reviewing the film as a movie and the efforts he put in as a director, dividing both the professional and personal aspects of his life*

When things were looking down after Batman and Robin, it was Marvel that ushered in the Comic Book Movie renaissance with Blade. Then a grizzled clawed Mutant came along and the X-Men franchise was born, but so was the CBM Mania. As such it's terrific to know that the films that began this box office dominance we see today, is the film that could possibly be the best comic book movie of all times. I mean it holds a freaking 94% on Rotten Tomatoes at this point.

So to go into details, here's why the X-Men are the best comic and are dominating this summer and possibly more summers to come whether it be Past, Present or Future...(bad joke)


Monday, 19 May 2014

Reel Reviews: X-Reviews



Magneto's Movies

Reel Reviews

X-Films

 

With the latest X-Men film coming soon, I remembered I would have to fulfill the promise I made last year of reviewing every X-Men feature. Sadly I don't have much time on my hands or I'm just plain lazy, so what I decided was that I would put up a feature for short reviews of the previous four X-Men movies and even Origins. (The Wolverine was already reviewed here). 

This gives me a chance to group out a feature I had planned. As it's the 75th anniversary of Marvel beyond the Marvel Studios films, every other set of Marvel films will get short reviews grouped by the characters.  Then I will take all of those an be able to rank the top ten Marvel films whether they're from Marvel Studios, Fox, Sony or anywhere else

So the first thing I thought to start with is the X-Men. (I know Amazing Spider-Man 2 will come first, but I'll make a full Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 review later). 

So here are all the X-Men movie short reviews.