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X-Men: Apocalypse Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

X-Men: Apocalypse is the most X-MEN comic book movie event yet  and it covers a lot of ground for better or worse.

As a followup to X-Men: Days of Future Past tt of course brings back all of the key First Class players and adds a ton of newcomers and does a great job in doing so, staying faithful to characters, designs, details, and locations from the comics and previous films.

The new young team, bolstered by the return of Quicksilver in a bigger part, is awesome and bolds well for the future of the series. Nightcrawler and Storm have their appropriate accents, keeping in line with Colossus 2.0 also getting his proper accent in Deadpool. Bryan Singer and the studio are finally embracing the diversity and international flavor of the mutants that they shat on in most of the earlier movies (Looking at you Banshee, Colossus, Gambit, Pyro, etc.).

The marketing for X-Men: Apocalypse was notoriously bad and does a major disservice to the franchise’s biggest project yet because it’s simply way better than that. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll enjoy it, and if you’re a longtime reader, there’s a lot more to enjoy too – a lot of EPIC things I was surprised to a see all in one movie. Not everything was spoiled in the trailers…

What X-Men has always done best is ground itself in reality with its harsh look at the awfulness of historical world events (racism, sexism, Cuban Missile Crisis, WWII Nazism, etc.) and uses that with personal connections to help rationalize the motivations of its antagonists. That’s why Magneto and Stryker are better developed and better utilized villains than anything the other rival franchises have.

And the titular villain this time around, Apocalypse, has a bit of that too – especially when he gets started. Ultimately though, he’s not as epic he should be given his stature in the source material. The concerns over Oscar Isaac being wasted were warranted. He’s just sort of the big bad guy who can do anything but not all the time… and when he converts/recruits his horsemen those key characters become blank, personality-less slates, and not for too long.

That main story, which should be grand in scale, is partly forgettable due to being overshadowed by the tangential plots which can make for their own spinoff movies, but much of it is familiar. Perhaps the rushed nature of it all and nods to the past were all intentional to ensure the series rewrites history in a way that Singer and producer/writer Simon Kinberg wanted it to for the future of the brand and for the fans. They’re clearly trying to rush through a lot to make up for several of the previous films and to again re-establish the norm for the next movie which we’ve always known would be set in the ‘90s. That’s undoubtedly the one that will shoot next summer in Montreal for a summer 2018 release and New Mutants could come before it.

For the most part, every time you’d ask why a character does or doesn’t do something, the filmmakers do a commendable job in playing it properly though there are a few things left unanswered by the end (like the alien tech powering En Sabah Nur). With so many characters, most of them have a role to play, even if some are stuck on the sidelines and are underutilized (Angel, Psylocke).

X-Men: Apocalypse definitely delivers as a theater-worthy blockbuster even if it’s seemingly mostly setup and rewriting of familiar territory. Bring on the next one!

X-Men: Apocalypse is the most X-MEN comic book movie event yet  and it covers a lot of ground for better or worse. As a followup to X-Men: Days of Future Past tt of course brings back all of the key First Class players and adds a ton of newcomers and does a great job in doing so, staying faithful to characters, designs, details, and locations from the comics and previous films. The new young team, bolstered by the return of Quicksilver in a bigger part, is awesome and bolds well for the future of the series. Nightcrawler and Storm have their appropriate accents, keeping in line with Colossus 2.0 also getting his proper accent in Deadpool. Bryan Singer and the studio are finally embracing the diversity and international flavor of the mutants that they shat on in most of the earlier movies (Looking at you Banshee, Colossus, Gambit, Pyro, etc.). The marketing for X-Men: Apocalypse was notoriously bad and does a major disservice to the franchise's biggest project yet because it’s simply way better than that. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll enjoy it, and if you’re a longtime reader, there’s a lot more to enjoy too – a lot of EPIC things I was surprised to a see all in one movie. Not everything was spoiled in the trailers... What X-Men has always done best is ground itself in reality with its harsh look at the awfulness of historical world events (racism, sexism, Cuban Missile Crisis, WWII Nazism, etc.) and uses that with personal connections to help rationalize the motivations of its antagonists. That’s why Magneto and Stryker are better developed and better utilized villains than anything the other rival franchises have. And the titular villain this time around, Apocalypse, has a bit of that too - especially when he gets started. Ultimately though, he's not as epic he should be given his stature in the source material. The concerns over Oscar Isaac being wasted were warranted. He’s just sort of the big bad guy who can do anything but not all the time… and when he converts/recruits his horsemen those key characters become blank, personality-less slates, and not for too long. That main story, which should be grand in scale, is partly forgettable due to being overshadowed by the tangential plots which can make for their own spinoff movies, but much of it is familiar. Perhaps the rushed nature of it all and nods to the past were all intentional to ensure the series rewrites history in a way that Singer and producer/writer Simon Kinberg wanted it to for the future of the brand and for the fans. They’re clearly trying to rush through a lot to make up for several of the previous films and to again re-establish the norm for the next movie which we’ve always known would be set in the ‘90s. That’s undoubtedly the one that will shoot next summer in Montreal for a summer 2018 release and New Mutants could come before it. For…

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

Final Score

A massive comic book event in live-action!

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My Interview With Chris Pratt on The Set of Guardians of the Galaxy

My Interview With Chris Pratt on The Set of Guardians of the Galaxy

The embargo lifted Friday so I can finally reveal that last September I traveled again to London’s Pinewood Studios to visit the set of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I had traveled to the same place, stayed in the same hotel, all for the same studio the year prior for Thor: The Dark World so the formula was familiar.

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‘Star Wars 7′ Cast Finally Announced

‘Star Wars 7′ Cast Finally Announced

After crushing the hearts of at least a few longtime Star Wars fans who grew up playing the video games and reading the novels that made up the Expanded Universe, Lucasfilm, under the new leadership of Kathleen Kennedy and the ownership of Disney, made it official last week that everything not in the actual Star Wars films is not canon. Sorry, but don’t worry, that stuff will still come out and profit will be made from it. It just ain’t legit anymore.

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Jeff Goldblum Laughing Remix

What would Jurassic Park and Independence Day be without Jeff Goldblum? Something I don’t care about for a start. Why Goldblum isn’t playing half of the superheroes we’re so excited to see in movies this year blows my mind.

Man-crush aside, the think tank known as the internet geek community has birthed something incredible once again – a song based on Jeff Goldblum’s laugh. And yes, we’re talking about the infamous introductory laugh by Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm from the helicopter scene in the first Jurassic Park.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer

Instead of airing during the Super Bowl, Disney took to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to debut the first full trailer for their riskiest project yet, Guardians of the Galaxy. For the geeks, comic readers and internet savvy, where it airs means nothing. It only matters that it’s finally here!

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Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Review

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Review

Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 were not the greatest. The latter was really bad in how it handled the franchise’s continuity and it seemed to indicate that Paramount was forcing out annual releases to milk the series and run it into the ground.

Needless to say, we were very worried when a spinoff was announced dubbed The Marked Ones that would focus on Latino characters and debut in the same year as the next core franchise installment. Against all odds, the movie was actually pretty good and it added the most interesting bits to the series lore, opening the series up to some very interesting story elements to be explored down the road.

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Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 were not the greatest. The latter was really bad in how it handled the franchise's continuity and it seemed to indicate that Paramount was forcing out annual releases to milk the series and run it into the ground. Needless to say, we were very worried when a spinoff was announced dubbed The Marked Ones that would focus on Latino characters and debut in the same year as the next core franchise installment. Against all odds, the movie was actually pretty good and it added the most interesting bits to the series lore, opening the series up to some very interesting story elements to be explored down the road. The first 20-30 minutes of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones are plain 'ol fun. It's a family doing what family would do after a member graduates from school. There's a party, drinking, dancing, then we get to see a few days of 'normal' life - Real people doing good people things. It's smile-inducing, especially with lead characters Hector and Jesse being all about the jokes. After that, we get hints of the crazy but unlike the other films it's not all about the jump scares. In fact, there are less scares than all of the other movies but that doesn't mean the second half of the film isn't creepy. Because it is, and it's largely successful thanks to the believable characters and some interesting set pieces. The problem with the film is that  killed my attachment to the characters as soon as they started exploring and making stupid decisions - not decisions that dumb people make, decisions NO ONE would ever make ever. That ruined what I needed from the film to pull me into the supernatural elements. Luckily, they did enough fun stuff and had quite a few cool moments to keep me on the edge of my seat. The film's second half was largely built around ideas for these big moments and set pieces instead of a story or journey that made complete sense. Still, the characters were more interesting and entertaining than in the last few films and they did very smart things with the lore and franchise thanks to an epic twist at the end which successfully got me excited about the brand again - something the last two did the opposite of. If you've seen the last four or dig found footage films, I'd recommend seeing this one in theaters with a friend. Cuz you'll have a lot to talk about when it's over. This one again had a big impact on the audience.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

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Creepy!

The Marked Ones is not only funny, but contains an epic twist that makes the franchise exciting once again.

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