Sunday, November 13, 2011



Rating (from 64/100

Storyline (from
Two mutants come to a private academy for their kind whose resident superhero team must oppose a terrorist organization with similar powers.

Source: My personal collection


Ah, the X-Men. I have many a fond memory of watching the cartoon, getting up early on Saturday mornings just to see this show. I read the comics off and on, recently reading the Astonishing X-Men series. To say the X-Men are something I enjoy is like saying Texas is slightly large.
When I heard there was going to be an X-Men movie, I wasn’t sure what to think. I worried it was going to be terrible and would destroy my cherished memories. Thankfully, this movie wasn’t atrocious.

The movie opens with a voice over from Professor X (played by Patrick Stewart) explaining that mutations have occurred and that they drive evolution. The movie then jumps to Nazi-occupied Poland. This introduces Erik Lehnserr, better known as Magneto, one of the major villains of the X-Men franchise. It shows young Erik being separated from his parents, and his powers manifesting.
Things jump ahead to the ‘not so distant future’ where we meet another famous character, Rogue. The fans know what’s going to happen: she kisses the boy and puts him in a coma, when she absorbs his essence. She then runs away, ending up in Canada where she meets Everyone’s Favorite X-Man, Wolverine, AKA Logan, who is making money in a cage fight, taking a pounding. Because of his mutant healing factor, he ends up winning. Of course, he is attacked outside the ring by a disgruntled opponent and is forced to reveal his claws. Rogue stows away in his trailer and we get the usual ‘Wolverine gets a young female to be fatherly to’ bit. (I don’t know about anyone else, but as I’ve gotten older, I find that dynamic creepy.) The pair is then attacked by Sabertooth and rescued by Cyclops and Storm. They’re then taken to the Xaiver Mansion, and Logan is introduced to his never to be requited love, Jean Grey. He talks with Professor Xaiver, and ends up sticking around.

The bad guys aren’t just sitting on their hands, however. Magneto isn’t happy with Sabertooth’s failure and starts putting around plan into motion. This one revolves around Senator Kelly, another of the X-Men’s major villains. Senator Kelly is presented as a conservative member of Congress with a very large bone to pick. There’s no explanation as to why he hates or fears mutants so much, which is kind of a shame. I would have enjoyed that, but it just wasn’t to be. When he’s captured by the Brotherhood, we do get to see Mystique change in the ever sexy Rebecca Romijn (then Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). Kelly is brought to Magneto’s secluded island hideaway and is exposed to some weird device created by Magneto. Turns out the device has made Senator Kelly into a mutant (some kind of jellyfish, which shows just how much of a backbone politicians have), and flees.
While the X-Men try to figure out why Magneto was after Wolverine and Rogue starts trying to be a teenager, Senator Kelly shows up at Xavier's doorstep and dies a short time later. Rogue is tricked into leaving the Xaiver Mansion, and the X-Men are attacked by the Brotherhood when they go to bring her back. You see, Magneto didn’t want Wolverine, he wanted Rogue. The writers were very good about never saying who Magneto wanted. They didn’t even use a gender specific pronoun.
It ends up that Magneto is planning to mutate UN delegates at Elis Island and doesn’t know that doing it will kill them a short time later. The X-Men move in to stop him and save Rogue. Several awesome fights ensue. This being a comic book movie, the heroes win and save the day. The villains are caught, and we all feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I will say this: the movie didn’t trigger my inner fanboy. I’ve been able to enjoy this movie every time I’ve seen it. Okay, not as much after the third movie, but I’ll be tearing that one apart later. They picked a plot I hadn’t seen before, focused on core characters and relationships, and did a good job of presenting the powers of the heroes. The cast was well picked and did a fair job of representing the characters. There wasn't much to hate about this movie. Sure, Wolverine gets most of the screen time, but he is the biggest draw of any X-Men character (which sadly led to the travesty that was the Wolverine: Origins movie). Cyclops was his normal jerk self, Storm and Jean Grey didn’t get fleshed out very much, but most of the female characters in the X-Men exist only to be pursued by their male counterparts, so no surprises there. I think the casting of Magneto and Professor Xaiver was the best of all of them. Both actors fit their roles like a glove.

I know I’m giving this movie a lot of slack, but I don’t expect much from comic movies. I want a movie that’s fun to watch. The special effects were the make-it-or-break-it part of this movie. If they hadn’t have been as good as they were, it might have ended this film series. Even 11 years later, it still holds up pretty well.

Final Thoughts: A good comic movie. Could have used an extra 30 minutes for additional character development.

It was a GOOD- movie.

Coming Soon: X-2: X-Men United

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Updates, questions and requests.

Hello everyone!

This is the ‘informational’ entry I promised a while ago. I have some announcements, questions and requests for you guys.

First off, the announcements-

I’ll be starting some new articles soon, probably near the end of the year, that aren’t really about movies. I know, this is a movie review blog, but I feel the need to share some of the things I’m also interested in. Now, these won’t be real reviews, mostly just discussions on other things I enjoy. These won’t be on a regular schedule like my reviews, I should be putting out one, maybe two, of these a month. Without further adieu, here are the new articles:

TV I can’t stop watching – A list of TV shows, old and new, that I’ve enjoyed watching. I’m writing this because I think there are some shows people may have missed out on that they should take a look at.

I still watch cartoons – This is will be animated shows that I enjoy. I was going to put it with the above, but since there’s quite a bit of animated television I enjoy, I thought it should have a it’s own space. This will include normal ‘cartoons,’ Adult Swim shows and maybe the occasional Anime.

Rent this – Very short reviews of DVDs I’ve watched, but don’t feel deserve a full review. I should have 3-4 reviews each entry. This comes from the segments they’ve been doing on the new Ebert show.

Monthly Themes – Now, this isn’t a new type of entry, but I was thinking of having a theme for each month’s reviews. They would be very general, like ‘Werewolf movies’ and ‘Pulp movies.’ Every other month would have a theme, and you all would have a chance to vote on the theme the month before.

Questions for the readers-

Are you enjoying the reviews?
(So far, I’ve received few comments about my reviews)

Do you have any suggestions for improvement?
(Always looking to improve the read)

Should I add more pictures in the entries?
(Finding pictures that I can use isn’t as easy as you’d think, but I’m willing to try if it will improve the experience)

Should I add additional labels?
(I’m thinking of putting genre labels on entries, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea)


Tell people about this blog. If you’re enjoying it, spread the word.

Suggest some movies to review. I’ve been picking movies at random, but I’m willing to give any movie a chance.

If you have any advice on how I should advertise this blog, feel free to chime in.

Oh, and as much as I like the cartoony Godzilla, I kind of want a replacement. If you have some ideas, let me know.

Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy what I’ve been doing.

Until next time.