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Thread: Dark Phoenix - And thoughts on every X-Men movie up to this point

  1. #16
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Wolverine: Origins is a film in a death struggle with Last Stand on being the worst X-Men film within the franchise. It starts off promising and then just gets worst and worst as it goes on. While I like the dynamic of Logan and Creed in the film, the plot just never feels like it has any momentum and instead just tries to throw in as much fanservice as possible to distract the fanbase despite a lot of it being bad like the introduction of Gambit. About the only thing the film got right was casting Ryan Reinolds as Deadpool, as he portrayed everything a fan would want from Wade Wilson, until about the last twenty minutes of the movie where the studio showed they really don't understand the characters or books or anything and made Deadpool such an awful surprise that his murder in Deadpool 2's post credit scene got a loud "hell yeah!" from me in the theater. Thankfully, the other two Wolverine movies were actually good. Sadly, the one-two punch of these last two films made me ultimately give up on the X-Men franchise.
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  2. #17
    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    To me, First Class at the time of release didn't feel so much like a prequel as it did a soft reboot. It was kinda both.

    They did a great job of showcasing and contrasting the lives of Magneto and Xavier growing up. The beginning of the film opens the same way the original X-Men does, with a young Erik in Poland. Although with added Kevin Bacon. Poor guy gets kind of memed online but he's a good actor.

    They retconned Mystique into Charles' life from a young age and the movie is better for their friendship. If there was something between them in the original trilogy it wasn't shown. As far as pre-existing relationships from the original trilogy, we get to see fleshed out what was once just implied. I love Nicholas Hoult as a young Hank McCoy. Except for the part where he makes literally everything (Cerebro, the suits, the X-Jet).

    I like that reading peoples thoughts in this movie takes it a little step forward for the audience in the form of thought bubbles we get to see play out, instead of just eerie noise or narration.

    One of the things that does make this reboot-ish is the liberties they took with Emma Frost. She's in this movie as well as X-Men Origins but they aren't the same person. And depending on who was asked in interviews, maybe it was a sister, maybe it was just a legit new interpretation.

    Something that didn't stick for me was the naming process. Mystique basically says "Hey, why don't you be Professor X and you be Magneto"? Okay.

    The Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn cameos were great and didn't feel forced. This movie is pretty good, certainly better than X3 and X Origins imo. Although a lot of the characters get killed off screen between this and Days.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>X-Men Origins: Wolverine>X-Men: First Class>6>7>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

  3. #18
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I remember everyone being excited by this film saying they finally made a great X-Men movie again. I waited for the video version and I don't regret that decision.

    I love the relationship between Charles and Erik in this film, and I liked the period piece elements as well. What I don;t appreciate was having the team filled with what most fans would call C and B-list X-Men instead of doing the original five, and I don't appreciate the liberties taken with the Hellfire Club. This film also begins the franchises strange obsession with Mystique, who has always been a pretty stellar villain/frenemy of the X-Teams, but trying to create some silly love story aspect just kind of felt wrong to me, and I wish she had been closer to her character from the books.

    This film ultimately highlighted the major problem with all of the X-Men films. None of them are about the X-Men. They are either Wolverine films or Xavier films, but so many of the actual team get no real characterization or screen time that its hard to really feel like the films are about a team. I think outside of Beast and Banshee, I can't really name another member of the team in this film. I often forget Cyclops and Storm are even in the second and third films. I also don't agree that its just too difficult to do, just looking at the X-Men 90s cartoon, you can see how the writers of that show really establish the "team" aspect of the franchise in just the simple two part pilot. The problem has always been the Hollywood issue of needing a star to wrap a story around.
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  4. #19
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    I agree with WK. First Class was very good and a return to decency for this franchise. But it still lacked any development for the team and for some reason stocked the X-Men with randos, most of which were forgotten by the next movie. Fassbender was a great Magneto although it was hard to connect that character with the one eventually played by Ian McKellen (though I agree this was just a disguised reboot so whatev). The dynamic between Xavier and Magneto was great.

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  5. #20
    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    We finally get to a movie without X-Men in the title.

    Starting off with Wolverine taking the brunt of a nuclear blast and waking up next to Famke Janssen is a great way to open the movie. You're kind of dropped into the start not knowing what's going on and then the plot develops around you.

    For all intents and purposes this is basically X-Men 4 in terms of positioning, except without the team, as it deals with the ramifications of the death of Jean and its effect on Logan. You could probably also watch this as a stand alone film and not be missing too much.

    The Japanese setting works so well, and is a refreshing change of location for the franchise. The ronin archetype tracks very well with Logan's journey up to this point. And there's a nice mix of traditional and modern locations. It's so cool to see a fight on top of a bullet train and a stay in a Mars themed hotel room.

    Not often do we get to see a "superhero" movie that's more of a character study. So much went into the idea of Wolverine's immortality and living forever while the people around you don't, and feeling the loss. I wish it kept that steady beat and tone throughout, which it almost did until the final act. The last battles against a super robot and Poison Ivy-Lite steeped more into traditional comic book flair.

    The scene of "Porcupine Wolverine" is really well done and it's hard to think of this movie without also picturing him full of arrows. The extended cast in this movie work really well together, it helps that it's partly a family drama so they're all parts of a larger whole, instead of a school full of mutants each trying to find their place to shine.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>X-Men Origins: Wolverine>X-Men: First Class>The Wolverine>7>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

  6. #21
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    The Japanese arc in the 80s era comics was always one of my favorites and one of my favorite arcs for Wolverine, so bringing in Mariko and Silver Samurai just felt right for this film. This was a surprisingly better film than it should be, and the first real hope that Fox finally figured out the franchise. I agree the film is pretty good up until the final act, but I loved watching Logan being haunted by the death of Jean and seeing her ghost. Hugh Jackman has always done a great job with the character, but he really shined best in this film and Logan.
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  7. #22
    Yes homo Mr. Carnelian's Avatar
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    This was a good moment for X-Men films, I was definitely pleasantly surprised by both First Class and The Wolverine.

  8. #23
    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    It was really exciting to be able to see the original cast again. When X3 came out it felt like a goodbye, so when it was announced the prequels would have a connection with the originals I was glad.

    Fortunately the time travel aspect isn't too much of a head scratcher. Wolverine's mind goes into the past while his body stays in the present, and when he wakes up the history he helps create becomes the new normal. Movies never "get it right" when it comes to this type of thing, so the simple explanation is serviceable for what the movie's trying to do.

    Interestingly, there was a character named Trask in X3 but it's not the same Trask as Peter Dinklage's character. The character in X3 didn't have a first name and of course it's later on down the timeline, so it wasn't a recast. This isn't an Emma Frost switcharoo.

    Raven's costuming/make up looks pretty consistent from the last film, but Beast is hugely improved. In First Class he looked like a stuffed animal stuck in a jacket, but the increased use of CGI and a tweaked design made his movements more fluid.

    Evan Peters killed it as Quicksilver. It was interesting to see him and the Quicksilver from Age of Ultron release around the same time. Both Kick-Ass stars do a great job, but I think this is one instance where people would say that the X-Men adaptation was preferred over the Marvel Studios one. I can't speak to the source material, but I mean in terms of cool scenes. The scene of Peters getting Erik out of the Pentagon rivals even the entrance of Nightcrawler in X2.

    Much like First Class the future timeline gets a bunch of randoms to help Iceman, Storm, and Colossus to take on the sentinels. It was impactful to see Magneto get injured and see the future deaths of Storm et all because we've spent time with them. But the randos? Not so much. It was still cool, though.

    The events of this movie make it so it's as if X3 never happened. It was a unique way to continue this prequel timeline while at the same time retroactively giving original trilogy fans a happy ending for character's like Scott and Jean. Plus, I can't explain how cool it is to see young Charles go into Logan's mind and talk to older Charles.

    It's a shame Apocalypse is abysmal. More on that later.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>X-Men Origins: Wolverine>X-Men: First Class>The Wolverine>X-Men: Days of Future Past>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

  9. #24
    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    Also, I didn't watch the Rogue Cut this time around. When given the option I definitely prefer the version with more content, but I borrowed a box set with the regular edition.

    Since Dark Phoenix is out now, if anyone wants to cut the line to talk about it go ahead. I'll keep trucking along.

  10. #25
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Days of Future Past is the last film I did see in theaters, and a large part of that is because we get to see the return of some of the first gen X-Men actors. The other reason is that this is actually my favorite Chris Claremont story and the one that I think is more iconic for the franchise than the Phoenix Saga. Finally, getting Peter Dinklage to be Bolivar Trask was a nice touch and between this role and his one in Inifnity War, I feel this role gives his acting more clout.

    The future sequences are nice but again, we're kind of filled with randos taken from more recent versions of the team that modern readers would recognize. A lot of liberties are taken, especially with making Wolverine the lead, but again, Hollywood prefers star power and the producers would rather have an iconic character that even non-fans would recognize over bringing in Kitty Pride into the story. I will give them props for having the Mystique/Xavier dynamic from First Class giving a bit more of a touch in this film. Quicksilver's sequence is certainly the highlight of the film in terms of memorable scenes, but MCU Quicksilver is far closer to the source material in terms of characterization. Pietro is an unlikable asshole who always looks down on people, not a spazzy ADHD kid. Likewise, he becomes like Mystique in the sequels where he always now shows up.

    The one aspect I did always like about the soft reboot entries is how each film takes place in a different decade, so the 70s vibe of this film and the fun sequence with Wolverine in the beginning when he first shows up in the past was a nice touch. I always appreciate period pieces. In fact the past sequences are probably some of the best and it was nice to see Beast get a larger role. While the scripts for these films have always been questionable, I will say the X-Men films have largely been blessed with good actors at least.

    I dodged Apocalypse, but I would honestly say this is probably the best of the soft reboot films, and judging by the reviews the next two X-Men films got/are getting, that seems to be a sentiment most fans share.
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  11. #26
    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    After hearing Ryan Reynolds voice the Deadpool "test footage" in 2014, I couldn't wait for this to be real. And good on them for committing to the R rating. I remember reading stories about disgusted parents walking out of theaters with their kids. I don't feel bad for them. Ratings exist and if you choose to ignore them because you see a dude in spandex, it's on you.

    There's so much to love about this movie outside of edgy comedy. Even the way the film is made, with the opening credits names being changed to like "Directed by some overpaid tool". It ribs itself, the franchise as a whole, Ryan Reynolds past work, and breaks the 4th wall in imaginative ways.

    They actually subvert the trope of the hero's girlfriend just being there as like a set piece. He "buys" her, and opts to take her out to an arcade to get to know her instead of just taking her home to sleep with her and becoming a couple overnight. They play the sex montage out over the course of several holidays and it's sweet and humorous.

    The roles of his friends compliment the journey well. The guy from the bar, the cab driver, his blind roommate, and of course the 2 X-Men because the studio "didn't want to spend the budget on more" lmao.

    Ed Skrein does a good job, even if he does play a generic mustache twirling villain. It's hard to find an equal opposite to a larger than life character like Deadpool. I know there were doubts that an "unknown" character could hold their own movie at the time even though Guardians of the Galaxy did well, but fortunately they took a chance on it. It made back something like 12 times the budget.

    The post credit scene was definitely meant for theaters. He tells the screen Cable is going to be in the next movie, but they don't know who they're casting. And then he reminds you to pick up your garbage before you leave.

    Chica-chic-ahh.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>X-Men Origins: Wolverine>X-Men: First Class>The Wolverine>X-Men: Days of Future Past>Deadpool>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

  12. #27
    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    I won't be spending too much time on this one. There's a scene where the kids are walking out of "Return of the Jedi" and they say the third one's always the worst. That doesn't take the sting out of it being true in the case of this movie.

    This movie is utter dogtrout. A color by numbers X-Men movie through and through. They do the "will he betray them or not?" with Magneto for the 50th time. Apocalypse searches for his 4 horsemen and they're literally the first 4 mutants he comes across.

    The one crowning jewel of this movie is when we get to see Erik living in Poland with his famly in seclusion, and the way it goes horribly wrong. Those few scenes alone are some of the best X-Men has ever done. It's also nice enough to at least see a dozen new mutants including Jubilee and young Storm but none of them really get enough time to shine. That's kind of been a problem since X1, though.

    Oh, and the Professor X "You're in my house now" mind game scene was cool.

    To be fair, maybe i'm being too harsh because i'm starting to get burnt out after 9 of these.

    Next.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>X-Men Origins: Wolverine>X-Men: First Class>The Wolverine>X-Men: Days of Future Past>Deadpool>X-Men: Apocalypse>10>11>Dark Phoenix

  13. #28
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    No you're not being too harsh. The scenes you said were good are the best parts of the movie but the rest is really, really, trout.

  14. #29
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    I never saw Apocalypse don't really feel the need to. Deadpool was fun though, almost forgot it is in the X-Men franchise sorta.

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  15. #30
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I have never really counted Deadpool as part of the franchise and always treated it as something different, but hot damn if they aren't great movies.

    I skipped Apocalypse as soon as I saw his design. Hearing how bad it was afterwards made me feel vindicated anyway.
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