Tag: X-Men

MOVIE REVIEW | X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “A silly little comic book movie, about people with silly super powers, running around in silly costumes.”

 X-Men 1.jpg
“You are all my children, and you’re lost because you follow blind leaders. No more false gods. I’m here now.”

While the DC movies make insane money at the same time as absolutely everyone talks about how much they suck…  While Spider-Man continues to get re-booted roughly every seven minutes…  While the Marvel universe grinds its way to swallowing cinema as we know it…  While all of that happens, the franchise that started it all bubbles away, never standing out, but never going away either.  If hundreds of millions of dollars of blockbuster can be a quiet achiever, the X-Men series is just that.  And it’s here to remind us all once again that it exists, before being lost in the dust of whatever Marvel rolls out next, with X-Men: Apocalypse.

A decade after the world learned of the existence of mutants via the climactic events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s the 80s, and all of our heroes and villains are laying low.  Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X (James McAvoy) continues to nurture young mutants and teach them to control their powers at his school for the gifted, aided by original student, Hank McCoy, AKA Beast (Nicolas Hoult).  Meanwhile, bad guy Eric Lehnsherr, AKA Magneto (Michael Fassbender) works anonymously in a Polish steel mill.  While reluctant hero and mutant poster woman Raven, AKA Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is a mercenary with a heart of gold, saving young mutants from things like slavery in underground fighting pits. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Deadpool (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There is actual death in Deadpool, which means it has actual stakes.”

Deadpool 1
“Crime’s the disease, meet the cure. Okay, not the cure, but more like a topical ointment to reduce the swelling and itch.”

I should be suffering from super hero, comic book movie overload by now. And to some degree, I am. I never bothered with the Zack Snyder Superman movie, and I can’t imagine I’ll find time for its Batman aided sequel. But I’ll be buggered if I’m not totally in the bag for the Marvel movies. Captain America: Winter Soldier was somehow one of the best political thrillers in recent memory. Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man were great fun, The Avengers movies are pure spectacle, but spectacle done well. And Fox studios has do a great job with their Marvel property, The X-Men. Which is why despite imminent superhero fatigue, I still knew I would inevitably see Deadpool.


Kicking off with the beginnings of a major action sequence, the red suited, titular hero (Ryan Reynolds) kicks the asses of a dozen bad guys on a busy freeway before the fight is broken up by X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). While they try to convince him to use his powers for good, Deadpool is out for revenge. Cue the flashback to show us why. (more…)

***2014 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-banner

The Avengers and everything related to that movie started a whole new level of franchise building. Two Iron Man movies and one a piece from Thor and Captain America, all culminating in the big team up. Then more solo outings from these characters, another upcoming Avengers get together and god knows how many more to come. The DC universe is having a crack with the Batman and Superman team up that will inevitably lead to a Justice League movie. But back at the turn of the century, it was a simpler time. A simpler time when Bryan Singer made X-Men.


Before Sam Raimi’s hugely successful Spiderman series, X-Men was kind of a smaller scale test, to see if super hero movies would catch on. They did, and now, after a reboot, Singer’s early oughts X-Men world is back to collide with the rebooted world of X-Men: First Class, with X-Men: Days of Future Past. Sound complicated and convoluted? Wait til you see the movie.

It’s sometime in the not too distant future and things aren’t going so well. Like most movie futures, things are on the dystopian side, and a handful of mutants are left to fight the Sentinels, all powerful robots that can adapt to any mutant’s power and use it against them. Left fighting the good fight are Kitty Pride (Ellen Page), Bobby Drake (Shawn Ashmore), and a few characters new to the series. They’re soon teaming up with Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), to have a red hot crack at a dicey, last ditch, time travel mission to make sure none of this ever happens.

In a string of incomprehensible exposition, we learn that Kitty Pride will send Wolverine’s consciousness back into his 1970s body, where he will stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Dr Boliver Trask (Peter Dinlkage), the man responsible for designing the Sentinels of the future. You see, it’s this one little bullet to Trask’s head that sparks the shitty future of the movie’s opening scenes.

But Wolverine can’t do it alone, he needs the help of 1970’s Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Holt). The only problem is, Xavier is a strung out junkie, Magneto’s in prison for bending the magic bullet that killed JFK, and Hank is still doing his best to deny his powers. So now Wolverine has to convince everyone’s he’s really from the future and make two arch enemies work as allies.

That, plus the introduction Quicksilver (Evan Peters). I’ve never understood the appeal of super heroes whose power is running fast. It has always just seemed lame. But I’ll be buggered if X-Men: Days of Future Past doesn’t make it the coolest power on display in the entire movie. Thenext Avengers movie will be doing well if they can use the same character (different actor) half as well.

This is better than your average super hero movie. It’s waaaay better than something like The Amazing Spiderman 2, and finds its own voice, in no way aping the success of every Avengers related movie. One of the biggest differences is the lack of final battle carnage. Sure, there’s a big fight to end it all on, and plenty of cars and buildings get destroyed, but it’s nowhere near the oppressive level of The Avengers, or what I hear audiences were subjected to in Man of Steel. It’s weird to say for a big, action movie, but it kind of keeps things a little more intimate, and it’s all the better for it.

I love that this movie organically merges the two worlds of X-Men movies. When First Class came out a few years ago, I assumed it was a complete reboot. I thought McAvoy’s Professor X was as connected to the Patrick Stewart’s version as Christian Bale’s gravelly voice is connected to George Clooney’s plastic nipples. There’s no way this connection could have been planned when they were making First Class, but the merge comes off as completely natural.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Directed By – Bryan Singer
Written By – Simon Kinberg

MOVIE REVIEW | X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-banner

The Avengers and everything related to that movie started a whole new level of franchise building. Two Iron Man movies and one a piece from Thor and Captain America, all culminating in the big team up. Then more solo outings from these characters, another upcoming Avengers get together and god knows how many more to come. The DC universe is having a crack with the Batman and Superman team up that will inevitably lead to a Justice League movie. But back at the turn of the century, it was a simpler time. A simpler time when Bryan Singer made X-Men.


Before Sam Raimi’s hugely successful Spiderman series, X-Men was kind of a smaller scale test, to see if super hero movies would catch on. They did, and now, after a reboot, Singer’s early oughts X-Men world is back to collide with the rebooted world of X-Men: First Class, with X-Men: Days of Future Past. Sound complicated and convoluted? Wait til you see the movie.

It’s sometime in the not too distant future and things aren’t going so well. Like most movie futures, things are on the dystopian side, and a handful of mutants are left to fight the Sentinels, all powerful robots that can adapt to any mutant’s power and use it against them. Left fighting the good fight are Kitty Pride (Ellen Page), Bobby Drake (Shawn Ashmore), and a few characters new to the series. They’re soon teaming up with Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), to have a red hot crack at a dicey, last ditch, time travel mission to make sure none of this ever happens.

In a string of incomprehensible exposition, we learn that Kitty Pride will send Wolverine’s consciousness back into his 1970s body, where he will stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Dr Boliver Trask (Peter Dinlkage), the man responsible for designing the Sentinels of the future. You see, it’s this one little bullet to Trask’s head that sparks the shitty future of the movie’s opening scenes.

But Wolverine can’t do it alone, he needs the help of 1970’s Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Holt). The only problem is, Xavier is a strung out junkie, Magneto’s in prison for bending the magic bullet that killed JFK, and Hank is still doing his best to deny his powers. So now Wolverine has to convince everyone’s he’s really from the future and make two arch enemies work as allies.

That, plus the introduction Quicksilver (Evan Peters). I’ve never understood the appeal of super heroes whose power is running fast. It has always just seemed lame. But I’ll be buggered if X-Men: Days of Future Past doesn’t make it the coolest power on display in the entire movie. Thenext Avengers movie will be doing well if they can use the same character (different actor) half as well.

This is better than your average super hero movie. It’s waaaay better than something like The Amazing Spiderman 2, and finds its own voice, in no way aping the success of every Avengers related movie. One of the biggest differences is the lack of final battle carnage. Sure, there’s a big fight to end it all on, and plenty of cars and buildings get destroyed, but it’s nowhere near the oppressive level of The Avengers, or what I hear audiences were subjected to in Man of Steel. It’s weird to say for a big, action movie, but it kind of keeps things a little more intimate, and it’s all the better for it.

I love that this movie organically merges the two worlds of X-Men movies. When First Class came out a few years ago, I assumed it was a complete reboot. I thought McAvoy’s Professor X was as connected to the Patrick Stewart’s version as Christian Bale’s gravelly voice is connected to George Clooney’s plastic nipples. There’s no way this connection could have been planned when they were making First Class, but the merge comes off as completely natural.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Directed By – Bryan Singer
Written By – Simon Kinberg

MOVIE REVIEW | Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor-the-Dark-World
Of all the movie super heroes, Thor was the one I was least familiar with before his first movie came out in 2011.  At first glance, the comic book Thor looked like the hardest to adapt to the screen.  In a genre of goofy costumes, his is by far one of the goofiest.  His whole Norse God origins make him seem out of place in the Marvel world built on scientific geniuses, science experiment mistakes and characters like Spiderman, The Hulk and Iron Man.  Everything about the character seemed to be everything that makes people dismiss the entire genre.


Then I watched the first movie and everything about it was done right.  Enough of a wink to the camera to let us know that director Kenneth Brenagh, and his cast, all knew they were making something kind of goofy, but they weren’t gonna half ass it.  The fish out of water angle with Thor coming to Earth for the first time was the perfect excuse to openly joke about his character’s goofiness, while still making him a part of this world, ready for the massive Avengers movie that would come the following year.  So was everything I liked about Thor based on its exceeding my very low expectations?  Would Thor: The Dark World be a disappointing sophomore slump, or prove that this is a legitimately entertaining character, strong enough to carry his own franchise?

After the events of The Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back in crazy space world, kicking ass and cleaning up the mess left buy his adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is now in a dungeon, deep below Asgard, the home of Thor, Loki, their dad Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and mum, Frigga (Rene Russo).  But even the sweet taste of ass kicking won’t help Thor forget Natalie Portman’s Jane, the hot piece of tail he tapped in the first Thor movie, then had to leave behind, until a love interest was needed for this sequel.

Long ago, before the beginning of time, there were some dark elves who had some bullshit.  The bullshit is actually called the Aether, but it’s such a cookie cutter, clichéd and standard comic book movie item of desire McGuffin, that they might as well have just called it ‘some bullshit’ and moved on, instead of wasting the four to six minutes it took for the writers to come up with ‘The Aether’.

After one hell of a coincidence, Jane is possessed by the Aether and Thor needs to release Loki from prison so they can form an uneasy alliance to take on the dark elves who are back, dark elvier than ever.

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki continues to be the most resilient comic book movie bad guy since Ian McKellen as Magneto in the X-Men franchise.  Which is an interesting comparison, because it proves something more comic book moves need to learn.  You don’t have to kill your villain at the end of every movie.  Sure, McKellen and Hiddleston’s crowd pleasing performances are probably the main reason they get to come back again and again, but it’s also the characters they play.

If the good guy gets to win without killing the villain, it means you can build on these major characters and the increasingly interesting relationships between them and their nemeses.  If not, you get something like Spiderman or Batman,  where you need to reboot the entire franchise every few movies because they keep blowing their bad guy load in two or three movies.

Whether it’s the kind of piecemeal, hodge podge of the ever growing ­X-Men series, or the meticulous studio calculation and corporately synergised machine of the Avengers world, I think both series prove that playing long game makes for more interesting movies.  And more than that, they’re just fun.  Batman and Spiderman can have all the dark and tragic back stories they want, but when I’m watching a movie about cheesy super heroes, give me the goofy fun of Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers and Thor any day.

Thor: The Dark World
Directed By – Alan Taylor
Written By – Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely 

MOVIE REVIEW | The Wolverine (2013)

The-Wolverine-2013-Wallpaper-for-iPad

If you’re gonna make a superhero movie, there aren’t many characters better to base it on than Wolverine.  He might be from the X-Men roster, but he’is inherently a loner, so you’re not tied to any other characters, he can have as many allies or enemies as you want.  He’s a goodie, but he’s not a goodie-goodie like Superman, or comes with an aversion to killing like Batman.  Wolverine has no problems killing someone in his way, but he also comes with an inbuilt heart that means it’s not totally out of character for him to build believable, sympathetic relationships.  He’s been alive for a long, long time, so you can set his story at pretty much any cool or interesting time or place between now and the middle of the 20th century.  He’s dark and angry, which can lead to really funny, or really violent situations, or both.  So why have film makers struggled so much to make a really cool Wolverine movie?


I’ve never seen 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but its reputation is enough to make me confident I’m not missing much.  Bryan Singer’s two X-Men movies have a great reputation, but never blew me away.  And Brett Ratner’s addition to that series has been relegated to the same lame franchise scrap heap as Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 3.  And while the fact that the recently released The Wolverine proves the character successful enough for Hugh Jackman to have played him five times now, I just feel like I still haven’t seen a really great movie adaptation of this really great comic book character.

The Wolverine starts strong, with Wolverine / Logan a POW in an about to be atomically obliterated Nagasaki.  This sequence is really cool and a great glimpse at the rich history of the character.  Logan saves the life of a Japanese soldier before the movie cuts to present day.  Now he’s a drifter, haunted by the memory of having to kill the love of his life at the end of X-Men 3: The Last Stand.  He’s found by a kickass lady samurai who takes him to meet her boss in Japan, who also happens to be the soldier Logan saved all those years ago, now a terminally ill, but crazy rich business man.  He wants to harness Logan’s quick healing factor and virtual immortality to save himself from death.  Logan says no, the old dude pops his clogs and the movie becomes a story of espionage, survival and Kung Fu.

As far as comic movies go, this is a pretty good one.  And as far as depictions of Wolverine go, this is probably the best so far.  I just wanted more.  Jackman really is Wolverine at this stage.  He nails the part every time, and any shortcomings so far have been the fault of the screenplays and/or directors, never Jackman.  The Wolverine is the riskiest of all the movies so far and that does pay off.  The Japanese location leads to surprisingly majority none-white cast, which isn’t something you see too often in a blockbuster.  Removing this so far form the regular X-Men world and embracing the character’s lonerness, it also means we don’t have to put up with popular characters being shoe horned in just so the studio can hopefully sell a few more action figures.

If there were no Iron Man, Avengers or Dark Knight movies, The Wolverine might have a shot at being the best super hero movie you’d seen recently.  The only problem is, there are Iron Man, Avengers and Dark Knight movies, and the bar has been set higher than The Wolverine ever attempts to reach.

The Wolverine
Directed By – James Mangold
Written By – Mark Bomback, Scott Frank