on May 27, 2014
X-Men fans can be a prickly lot and over the last 14 years since Bryan Singer's first movie, they have run hot and cold on the films, mostly loving the first two, intensely disliking LAST STAND and splitting the difference on FIRST CLASS and the two WOLVERINE movies. Singer's latest effort, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, may well be the best of the lot and a film that even the most particular of fans will find hard to totally dislike.
I thought X-MEN:DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was the best of the X-Men movies because:
It truly captures the essence of who the X-Men are: the down and dirty combat grunts of the comic book universe. While The Avengers and the JLA are made up of world beaters who come together to fight some universe threatening evil, the X-Men consist of scrappy misfits, many with working class origins and neurotic personalities. They band together because no one else will have them,then bicker, fight, and feud like a true family. Professor X and Magneto can be bitter enemies, but they are also brothers and patriarchs over a large brood, with Wolverine only the first of many difficult children.
DAYS OF FUTURE PAST has a perfectly convoluted plot that unites the X-Men universes of the first three movies and Matthew Vaughn's FIRST CLASS which was set back in the early 1960's. Thus we have Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan back as the originals, along with their earlier counterparts, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, in the roles of Professor X and Magneto. The movie begins in a hellish future ruled by the Sentinels, killing machines capable of hunting down anyone with even slightest trace of the mutant gene, where there is a handful of surviving mutants led by a now reconciled Professor X and Magneto. They devise a plan that calls for Kitty Pryde to use her power to send Wolverine's consciousness back into his 1973 body and then try to prevent Mystique from assassinating Bolivar Trask, the inventor of the Sentinels. It is Mystique's capture following this crime that allows the Sentinel makers to use her DNA to build indestructible machines capable of neutralizing any mutant's power. But back in the Vietnam era 70's, with its lava lamps and water beds, Wolverine has his work cut out for him: Charles Xavier is a bitter alcoholic living in the now shuttered Xavier Institute (under the care of Hank McCoy/Beast) and Magneto is imprisoned below the Pentagon for killing JFK (there is a nice twist on this later). The best part of this is that it puts Hugh Jackman's Logan back front and center in the story as he goes about getting Xavier to care again and busting Magneto out of his cell so they can rewrite history and save the future.
There are terrific action scenes that come as close as any movie to recreating the comic book. It all starts off with a great battle in the future where Iceman, Blink, Colossus, Storm, Bishop, Sunspot and Warpath have to hold off a wave of Sentinels; it makes smart use of their powers, especially Blink's ability to create portals. This is how to kick off a comic book movie, and it's not by having Mary Jane sing. Then the film makes up the ante by giving us a jaw dropping sequence during Magneto's breakout done totally from the perspective of Quicksilver as he moves so fast that even speeding bullets in mid-air appear to stand still; this scene alone is worth the price of a ticket or the cost of a Blu Ray copy. It says something when the finale, which includes the levitating of RFK stadium through the sky so that it can be dropped on the White House grounds, is not the high point of the movie.
The way DAYS OF FUTURE PAST touches on all of the X-Men movies that came before and does manage to rectify some of the injustices us fans had to put up with; there is a climatic scene with Wolverine and Professor X where Wolverine and the rest of us are reunited with some fan favorites that just might be my favorite scene in any comic book movie. I also like the way Professor X's first meeting with Logan (from LAST STAND) is referenced here and the way they work Bill Stryker into the story. And it is such a kick to see so many good actors back in familiar roles starting with the leads in their iconic parts; but there is also Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Hallie Berry (Storm), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman), Lucas Till (Havok), Daniel Cudmore (Colossus), along with newcomers like Omar Sy (Bishop), Booboo Stewart (Warpath), Adnan Canto (Sunspot). Some of them get less screen time than we would have liked, but just having them there is enough for me. The real breakout performance goes to Evan Peters as Quicksilver, he nearly steals to movie. A note to the CW and their upcoming Flash series: the bar has been raised high on how to do a speedster. I do wish Peter Dinkledge's Bolivar Trask had been given some better dialog in light of what we've seen him do on GAME OF THRONES.
Of course for a comic book movie, there are a few logic holes and inconsistencies; the main one being how is Charles Xavier up and around after being literally destroyed by the Phoenix in LAST STAND? In the post credit scene from that movie, he appears to have transferred his consciousness to a comatose patient, but that doesn't explain his appearing to everyone as Patrick Stewart. Maybe the patient was his twin brother or he is simply using his well honed mental powers to alter his appearance to everyone else. Then there is the plot itself which appears to play around with some to the theories of time travel and its consequences. Does it really matter or maybe we should cut comic book movies the same slack we give to comic books, where constant rebootings, relaunchings and tweakings have made the canon of even the greatest super heroes all but unrecognizable.
Then there is the post credit scene, which sets up the coming of THE AGE OF APOCALYPSE; can't wait to see what they'll do with some of my favorites like Nate Gray, Mr. Sinister, and the Sugar Man.
on September 26, 2014
Great movie probably the best in the series... but, apparently it's not the full movie! This came on sale early through AIV and I had promotional credits. WIN/WIN. Except, now it's been revealed that there will be an extended version including scenes with the character Rogue. So, I'm glad I got to watch this movie early, I am NOT happy that I own the movie in its short-version and the longer one is coming out later. With the LOTR series I know not to buy the initial version and always wait for the extended. Now I'm hesitant to buy any movie out-of-the-gate because of this irritating double-dipping of the studios. They should always announce when there will be an additional/extended/director's cut of a film before the movie goes on sale. Or maybe I should always download a movie and not buy it until I know I'm getting my money's worth.
X-Men 'First Class' was not the massive hit that 'The Avengers' was, but in many ways, it was a better film. Both were excellent, and after his run scripting 'Astonishing X-Men' for John Cassaday, I'd love to see Joss Whedon bring that tale to the big screen. But 'First Class' had some of the smartest superhero storytelling ever seen on film, and James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender were brilliant, adding entirely new dimensions to Prof X and Magneto.
Merging the two casts was a very good idea. Everything about this altered version of Claremont and Byrne's classic X-men tale is done right, especially the Sentinels. As a kid, I always hated the Sentinels, they were a joke. Wolverine would cut them to scrap metal, Magneto would just wave his hand. But these Sentinels are frightening, adaptive machines that mimic whatever gets thrown at them.
The cast, the story, and the direction are excellent... and despite my annoyance with time-travel storylines, the method they opt for is better than usual. This is not only the smartest and most entertaining entry in the X-men franchise, it is also one of the best superhero films to date.
on May 29, 2014
Two timelines. Timeline #1 runs from "X-Men Origins:Wolverine", "X-Men", "X2 : X-Men United", "X-Men: the Last Stand", and "the Wolverine". In this timeline Wolverine goes through Weapon X in the mid to late 70s, Magneto goes public in the late 90s, Jean becomes the Phoenix and kills both Xavier and Cyclops. Xavier, able to transfer his mind into another body, returns after the events of "the Wolverine" to enlist Logan in the coming war against Trask Industries and the rise of the Sentinels. Timeline #2 runs from "X-Men: First Class" and "X-Men : Days of Future Past". In this timeline Xavier and Mystique grow up together, William Stryker is much younger, and as of 1973 - Logan hasn't gone through the Weapon X program yet. Due to the events of "First Class", Bolivar Trask has begun work on the Sentinels. In Timeline #1 2023, Kitty Pryde (using the full extent of her phasing powers), sends Logan's consciousness back to his younger body to try to stop Mystique from assassinating Trask and setting into motion the rise of the Sentinels. The movie ends in a different 2023 which gives us a happy ending and the return of familiar faces. In essence, Logan from Timeline #1 going into the past automatically creates Timeline #2. Along with Beast's theory of "time ripples", we also have Xavier, Beast, Mystique, and Magneto with information of the future. What this means for the events of "X-Men:Apocalypse" has this fan very excited ! All ranting aside, I enjoyed this movie greatly. Are there plotholes ? Yes, some things don't match up with the other movies. Are the two Emmas the same person ? When did Weapon X happen ? How does Xavier walk in "X-Men Origins : Wolverine" ? Who is Secretary Trask ? Is Moira McTaggert a CIA agent or a doctor ? Did Beast come up with the "mutant cure" ? Was Kitty's team X-Force ? Etc, etc, etc. Suspend your belief and just enjoy the movies.
on October 22, 2014
One of the best movies involving the X-Men if your a marvel fan like me you'll enjoy it.
on April 20, 2015
I don’t know why Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Famke Jansen and the rest of them are in such an all fire hurry to leave this franchise. Because across the whole Hollywood landscape, there is hardly a tower of storytelling as impressively high as what we are seeing in these X-Men movies. Especially this one, which managed to work the indispensable Hugh Jackman into another full length story as Wolverine, this time jumping into the past to save the world from a future so bleak that mutants and humans alike both face annihilation.
Bryan Singer is a mastermind, with a gift for making all this stuff believable and real. The story is a canvas of epic simplicity. Big, fascinating visuals and classic themes that are as… well… “timeless” as Wolverine’s journey back and forth through history. The mutant powers and end of the world robot threats are all done painstakingly right, creating scenes as much fun to look at with the sound off as on full surround. We can only hope the new Star Wars movies will be this simple and interesting, with something else worth our time besides the legendary John Williams, and the promise of old characters returning to old glory.
And that is what Bryan Singer has managed here. Old glory, with what might be one of the best comic book stories ever written for a live action movie, making all these characters relevant again. Whatever the top ten for comic book/superhero films is, it just got another entry, a worthy companion to Superman (1978), The Dark Knight, Spider Man 2, The Avengers and Man of Steel, as a comic book movie that is truly worth the time and effort to watch.
on May 27, 2014
First of all, I was an avid comic book collector and have followed the X-men since I was a child. This was probably the best comic book movie to date, and definitively the best X-men movie. This one ties “First Class” together with the other X-men movies and resolves some of the mistakes of the last X-men last Stand. X-men comics/movies have always been about teamwork, people with small power coming together to defeat foes of much greater power, not about individual strengths of the characters (like the justice league). What makes X-men (movies and comics) special is the characters individual personal struggles, which sometimes lead their characters down a dark road as well as complex character interactions. You can identify with why some of the “bad guys” like magneto (a man who has endured the Holocaust) or mutants with terrible physical deformities take the road they do and sympathize with them. The “good guys” such as the X-men protect people. This is despite humans fear and despise them, leading to discrimination against the very mutants that are willing to help them. The line between “good” and “bad” is blurred depending on perspective. Maybe Senator Kelly and Trask are right that mutants are a threat that needs attention. Natural selection would definitively come into play. Maybe Magneto is right to take a war to the humans for the mean spirited way in which the public treats mutants, including the X-men and for creating sentinels in the first place.
The movie is loosely based on uncanny X-men 141-142, but the plot and characters have been altered in interesting ways. The sentinels seem more advanced, adaptive, and cold hearted than the ones in the comics (if that’s possible), leading to more of dread. They don’t speak, they don’t apprehend, just kill mutants (and humans) in the worst possible way. Aside from the action scene at the beginning, the most memorable part of the movie to me was at the end, when magneto (one of the most powerful mutants alive) is fatally wounded. The others (fearless warriors) just get a look on their face, and then look at each other with an expression that said a thousand words and emotions (fear, knowledge of certain death, anger, hopelessness, etc….). You look helplessly as the sentinels ruthlessly dispatch one main character after the other in a hopeless fight, right up to the end. They press on without retreat.
My only gripe is that to get it all in sufficiently they would have needed 3 hours, so that all the great actors in the film could have had more character development. Of course there are plot holes and inconsistencies; it’s a comic book movie not a documentary! The biggest plot hole in these types of movies is the very reason why people come to see them; people DON’T have superpowers, so just enjoy the movie.
on November 12, 2014
This review is specifically about the steelbook copy and what you get. I really liked the movie in theaters but there are plenty of other reviews on that. The steelbook itself is very nice. I added pictures of the back and inside so you may see them. The back has a future Sentinel and the inside has much of the cast. This copy comes with the regular blu-ray movie, a slip for the digital copy for iTunes or UV, another slip discussing apps that have extras, and a small booklet that includes fan art. I truly wish they would have included the 3D blu-ray as well but overall it is a nice collectors steelbook set.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” opens in the distant future. Giant robot creatures called Sentinels have been designed to seek out and destroy all Mutants. A small group of X-Men put their heads together to send Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), not physically but through his consciousness, back to the 1970’s to stop events that lead to the creation of the Sentinels by scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).
Though the plot borrows heavily from “The Terminator,” the screenplay offers plenty of its own surprises and never appears a tired attempt to milk additional box office dollars from an aging franchise. Rather, the current film revitalizes the X-Men saga focusing on younger versions of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and displaying the powers of Hank/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Peter/Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). The movie also owes a nod to the “Transformers” pictures for the design of the shape-shifting Sentinels, ominous devices programmed to annihilate Mutants.
The plot is laced with the melodrama of a decades-old love triangle involving the young Charles, Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), and Raven. Rather than stop the action dead, these scenes are captivating, primarily because of the first-rate performances. The older versions of Charles/Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Erik/Magneto (Ian McKellen) are also on board.
Dinklage’s Trask is the villain, since it is his invention of the Sentinels that threatens the existence of the Mutants. With long 70’s hair and a tailored suit, he is not the mad scientist of cinema lore but an entrepreneur inventor pursuing profits at the expense of morality. His performance is excellent, and it’s refreshing to have a human bad guy for a change instead of a deranged, costumed crackpot running amok. In his calmness, Dinklage’s Trask is the epitome of sinister.
Wolverine, meanwhile, has not only to convince folks in the past that he really is from the future but also to persuade the young Charles to cooperate with Erik/Magneto at a point when their relationship is not at its best. Further complicating the mission, Magneto is imprisoned several stories beneath the Pentagon and must be sprung from one of the most secure, protected buildings in the United States. No easy task.
For sheer exhilaration, there is an amazing set piece — the best in the film — in which a small group of Mutants is in the process of freeing Magneto. In a sequence that combines wit, special effects, extreme slow motion, and exciting action, Quicksilver, by means of his incredible speed, turns what would otherwise have been a lethal situation into a playful romp while saving lives and liberating Magneto. This sequence represents the apex of contemporary movie making. Though only a minute or so in length, it is extraordinary in both its cleverness and execution.
Since a large part of the film is set in the 70’s, the production design devotes a lot of attention to period details such as hairstyles, clothing, cars, popular TV shows, and news events, particularly the Paris peace talks that ended the Vietnam War. The filmmakers have done their homework in recreating the period. Several bits have fun with the era without burlesquing it. Decades before pay TV and a limitless proliferation of channels, Wolverine, for example, smiles at the claim that a message will be broadcast on “all three networks plus PBS.”
What impressed me most about this movie is its balance. A good story partners with special effects and the occasional funny, naturally occurring moment.
Rated PG-13 for stylized violence and brief glimpse of nudity, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” despite a cumbersome title, is a spectacle grounded by a gripping storyline. Director Bryan Singer (who has directed most of the X-Men features) keeps the franchise going at full throttle. Performances are uniformly solid. Dialogue is wince-free. And action neatly complements the plot.
Bonus extras on the Blu-ray edition include deleted scenes, gag reel, several making-of featurettes, and digital copy There are also a single-disc DVD edition and 2-disc Ultimate Edition containing 3d Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, and DVD.
on April 19, 2015
Apparently 20th Century Fox has a new encryption code that makes their blu ray discs unplayable on 'older' blu ray players. My 2 year old Vizio player is now useless for playing newer Fox discs and Vizio has no firmware upgrades and won't have any either. Their solution is that there is none.
So Fox's discs are so protected from 'piracy' that they are un usable. So my only solution is not to purchase any more Fox discs and Vizio hardware.