X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

dofpRoze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

The original X-Men cast return to the big screen as they are under the attack of Bolivar Trask’s (Peter Dinklage) Sentinel program. Casualties are high and rising, as the mutants aren’t the only species being attacked but also the humans who dare to help them. This leaves earth under brutal control of the worst of society, with the mutant killing machines at their disposal. The only way to save the world is to turn back time and prevent the very event which caused the genocide. This requires Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to be sent back to the 70s to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Trask, an event which dictated the view of mutants around the globe.

I will say right off the bat that this is the best X-Men film to date. After multiple viewings my opinion does not change as it’s quite simply a great film. What it does is give us a true in depth exploration of these characters, not all of them, but a lot more than what previous X-Men films achieved to do. This meant Wolverine was able to take a seat back and give other characters a turn. I think Singer recognized that and for once the characters are given the respect they deserve. This film is filled with great character driven moments, and in my opinion they stand out much more than the action, which was also brilliant. This is completely down to Simon Kinberg’s screenplay, which gave us complex characters, encouraging us to think a little bit and allowing us to make our own opinions about these characters. A stand out moment would be a heated argument between Professor X and Magneto (young) as they are flying to find Mystique. It becomes clear that these are two people who have the mutants well being in mind, but their ideologies about how to go about protecting them are vastly different. For once Magneto isn’t portrayed as bad. We are able to understand his ideology and for a moment sympathize for him as he protests Professor X’s self-pity. These ideologies are further explored as Mystique is caught in between them, trying to pave her own path towards saving the mutants. Ultimately the writing really makes this a great film.

I was always a bit underwhelmed by how the characters powers were translated on screen, not all the time, but I felt this way more times than I should have. Days of Future past finally nails it as it feels more fluid and organic rather than confused and flat. I never liked Storm (Halle Berry) because I thought her powers were a bit lame, but after this film I finally understand her badassery. Right from the opening scene I knew that things were going to be different on the action side, and they were for the better. Like they say, one stick is easy to break, but a bunch of sticks are almost impossible to break. Much like their powers, they function better when they work as a team, and quite evidently it’s much more entertaining. It says a lot that Wolverine was probably one of the tamest characters throughout the whole film.

With the rise of this comic book movie phenomenon, it’s encouraging to see that the acting is not being compromised as this film has some of the best performances I’ve seen in a comic book film. If future films of this genre continue to go in this vein then I have a lot of money to save for the 20 odd comic book films which are going to be raiding our local cinemas in the coming years. Seeing this cast on screen is awe inducing right to the end. Making it even harder for me to hold in all my emotions as both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy share an intense moment of screen time, which did not disappoint.

There is no denying that this film will make it onto peoples top 10 lists for comic book films. If not your best comic book films list, then your best comic book film moments list. The moment I’m referring to is the Quicksilver scene, which is hands down the best scene I’ve seen in awhile. It’s inventive, funny, badass and totally appropriate for the representation of his power. One thing is for sure, Aaron Taylor Johnson is gonna have to do something special to have one over on Evan Peters.

For a superhero film it felt somewhat down to earth, as if we were watching real people with genetic differences to us. The way they integrated real life events like the JFK assassination and the Vietnam war made the X-Men universe feel real which only enhances the feeling that this is more than just a comic book film but a film about these characters who are complex and interesting. Bryan Singer has genuinely saved the X-Men franchise by erasing all the continuity problems of past x-men films and giving the new cast a chance at a perfect trilogy without the burden of knowing Wolverin: Origins and X-Men: The Last Stand exist, the ending is the ultimate cherry on top to that.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past (Trailer + Discussion)


I recently re-watched all the X-Men films and I couldn’t help but notice that there’s a shiz load of continuity problems. As I moved on to the next movie you find more and more confusing errors that kinda ruin the franchise a bit. For example we see Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class (60’s) and in Wolverine: X-Men Origins (Decades after First Class) which are set at different times yet the character is younger in Wolverine: X-Men Origins. Another confusing error would be how we see Charles Xavier walk during a flashback in X-Men: The Last Stand but then we see him get shot in the spine and him being paralyzed in First Class. Of course a common reasoning behind all these problems is that it happened in the comics where characters would lose and regain abilities or whatever, but I can’t help but think they kinda screwed up a bit too much here.

There’s no doubt that First Class was a pretty awesome film, it raised the bar to a whole new level for X-Men films. So why not just say it was a total reboot of the franchise. Some people might say it is but the opening sequence is from the very first X-Men film so I think it was definitely intended to be connected with the past three films. It’s not a bad idea but they screwed up already in X2 when we see a glimpse of Hank McCoy (AKA Beast) as a human then in The Last Stand he’s back to being a blue furry monster. It’s just confusing, you can’t get away with it in movies like you can in comics because people like to complain for the sake of complaining.

To be honest it’s not a huge problem for me because I quite liked X-Men and X2 and it’s quite easy to just accept that what went down in the previous trilogy has lead to Days of Future Past; which looks amazing from the trailer. I saw The Wolverine once it came out but went in completely unaware that it was also connected with the X-Men story line. So as you can imagine once the after credits scene started playing I literally jizzed in my pants. Like wow, probably the best after credits scene ever.

Anyways the trailer is pretty awesome, it looks like we’re going to see an intensely cynical young Charles Xavier who doesn’t look in the best of shapes. I’m not aware much of the story or comics but I do know Wolverine is going to be sent back in time to help prevent a war which will happen in the near future probably related to Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels (sorry, probably a “no shit” comment to comic book fans). So it’s going to be pretty awesome seeing the past and future Xavier’s and Magneto’s in one film as well as past characters like Storm, Iceman, Rogue, etc. It’s going to be huge in terms of characters since we have even newer mutants joining the cast. What I’m hoping for is an even more intense Wolverine, I totally respect Hugh Jackman’s crazy commitment and love for this character. He hasn’t stopped working to improve this character since the very first X-Men, which is why The Wolverine was so satisfying because we  see some of that savagery we’ve not seen before. Days of Future Past better be a thrilling ride.

Skyfall (2012)

skyfall_a

Roze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

This time round the story is centred round James Bond and his loyalty towards M, forcing him to come out of hiding after a failed mission. MI6 is under attack by a mysterious villain who has managed to get his hands on extremely sensitive data which could put British intelligence agents in danger. The more they find out about the villain, the more they realise that he has a strange interest in M, which could put the agency and her life in danger. James Bond meets his match as he tries his best to get one step ahead of his enemy.

The newest edition of the Bond franchise brings a gritty, dark and incredibly polished film, making it one of the best made Bond films ever. It may be technically better than its predecessors, but it still seems to fall short to Casino Royale, but only by a bit. The location shots were incredible and remained incredible throughout the film. You could tell a lot of work went towards finding those perfect locations and the attention to detail aided the success in making them look stunning and extremely sexy. It’s definitely one of those films you have to watch in HD and would make a perfect addition to anyone’s Blu-ray collection. It’s hard not to appreciate the polished aesthetics which you will notice from the traditional music introduction, which will stand as one of the best music intro’s for a bond film to date. It was clean, innovative and really nice to look at, I was literally in a state of awe.

Skyfall totally triumphs in terms of the dialogue, bringing it back to its British roots, exuding sarcasm and good old British wit. This is what Quantum Of Solace missed out on. M and Bond had genuine chemistry in this film, which is what I haven’t seen explored before in the Bond films I’ve watched. They’re both snappy with their replies making for a humorous and fun listen.

The plot is smart and interesting, aided by Bond’s antagonist who is a lot more memorable than past villains. Bond definitely found his match in Silva (Javier Bardem) who is always a step ahead. The villain is one of the major highlights of the film because Javier Bardem puts in an amazing performance playing this insane character who has an obsession with making things right with M. It’s such an unusual and crazy character that it’s actually brilliant. James Bond is of course gritter and darker than ever, which shows in his rusty attitude towards missions. It seems that due to the ending of Casino Royale, the Bond character has been moulded to a specific tone, a dark, gritty, no nonsense James Bond, and it totally works for Daniel Craig. There’s a certain vulnerability that I’ve not seen from past Bond characters and that makes him a more compelling character, and you realise that he is actually human sometimes driven by his feelings. Props to Daniel Craig who has, in my opinion, played this character to perfection making the character his own. There’s some pretty cool appearances as well by Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris and Ben Whishaw, which are worth watching for, and make for a promising sequel as they all seem to be sticking around for future films.

The action scenes were realistic and engaging and were stylish at times, continuing the polished aesthetics of the film. But that’s what Daniel Craig has brought to the films from the start, a more believable character with realistic fighting scenes showing true brutality with his kills. Despite that, I think that’s where the film was a let down. It lacked proper iconic, large scale action sequences which Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace had. There were some big explosions here and there but it needed more in my opinion, and then it would have been a perfect film. Luckily everything else about the film compensated for the lack of action and still makes for an incredible watch.

I just hope that Daniel Craig has the capacity for at least another two films, because this character is truly one of my favourites at the moment, and he just seems to fit the role so perfectly. Although, I do think the next films need to be a lot more light hearted and fun, we’ve already had three fairly dark films and I think it’s time for a film filled with gadgets, over the top action and a freaking creepy villain wanting to destroy the world. Thanks to the introduction of Q and Eve I reckon the sequel will give us those gadgets we’ve missed and some sexual innuendo, WOOP.