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

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    Now Dig On This Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    Default Dark Phoenix - And thoughts on every X-Men movie up to this point



    Aside from having a traditional Dark Phoenix discussion thread, I also want to go over every movie in the franchise up to now and give my thoughts on each one.

    As far as I can recall I saw the original trilogy in theaters, as well as Days of Future Past. Aside from that, I think I just saw the rest on home video/dvd after release.

    Much akin to Fynn's Kingdom Hearts retrospective, I'll post a little something about each movie after watching them. Except mine won't be nearly as long, or detailed, or good. I'm excited for the release and just want to go through and give each film a re-watch.

    I'll go in chronological release order from X-Men to now, starting with the next post. Feel free to chime in when I bring up a specific movie in the timeline.

    I'll also be including the Wolverine, Deadpool, etc.

    Let's get started with....

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    X-Men

    You know, a lot of people want to give this movie credit for starting the modern day superhero craze of non stop movie after movie. But honestly, I think I'd actually give that to Spider-Man.

    I feel like when this came out, it was kind of like Blade in that it could sort of just be passed off as an action packed sci-fi/thriller. Similarly yet unrelated, it's kind of like how Fast and the Furious was a legit urban drama and then the subsequent movies were like "just look at these fast cars".

    I'm forever in love with Famke Janssen and I think she's definitely the highlight of the original trilogy for me. I think Seth Green auditioned for Toad, I also remember how geeked people were when they found out Halle Berry would be in this movie.

    Looking back at the movie now I remembered that Ian McKellen was seemingly rotating between X-Men and Lord of the Rings movies at the time. I read something like his filming schedule for X1 was scheduled so that he could get out of there in time to go shoot Fellowship and not have to be recast.

    I really love the protective Logan/Rogue relationship in this movie. It was the catalyst for so many great scenes. There were a lot of cool shots in general. The senator turning into water and washing away, Mystique changing form mid-fight scene, the final battle at the statue of liberty. Actually, there were a lot of cool Mystique scenes where it's harder to tell which character is actually her. I think in later movies it's more apparent when a character is out of place.

    There was a lot of great foundation laid here, such as the eternal struggle between Xavier and Magneto, and the parallels between mutants and racism/immigration.

    Other than a few classroom scenes, we don't actually dig into the school aspect of the school for gifted youngsters until X2. But that will come next.

    Order: X-Men>2>3>4>5>6>7>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I feel like the first X-Men movie was a pretty solid effort. I wasn't necessarily in love with it, but after years of bad video game movies desensitized me, I felt the film was pretty good considering. I was happy Patrick Stewart as Xavier and Ian McKellian was awesome as Magneto. The big take away was how much Hugh Jackman pulled off Wolverine. Mad props to the man, and I feel bad for whoever they cast to try and replace him going forward with the franchise. I feel bad for Halle Berry though, because she could have done so much more for her character and yet the writing for Storm was just awful. I also found it strange that Mystique rarely spoke, but honestly, I felt the franchise as a whole had a weird obsession with her right from the first movie.
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    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    The first X-Men movie was pretty good considering there were not a lot of great comic book movies at that time and especially not team-based ones. It is tough to do an origin movie for a team which is why Avengers split it up over like 5 movies. Wolverine and Magneto were fantastic and the young Rogue angle worked well. Most of the other characters were throwaways, but again it's hard to develop 10 characters in a single movie.

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    X2: X-Men United

    Up front I'll say this is my favorite X-Men movie. I haven't looked into it enough to know if that's a hot take or not.

    We get Nightcrawler in this one and he is awesome. The smoke effects going through walls in the White House holds up well, and the image of Nightcrawler is so startling that it's a perfect character to contrast with the human's apprehension to mutant freedom. He literally looks like a demon to them, unlike other characters who have powers but look perfectly normal.

    The makeup reportedly took so long that Alan Cummings decided to pass on appearing in the third movie because the amount of time in the makeup chair wouldn't have been proportionate to the couple minutes of screen time he would have got in X3. Another standout character is Pyro, who's rebellious streak really balances his opposite personality with Ice Man.

    The highlight of this movie for me is Babysitter Wolverine watching over the school while Stryker's group busts in and hijacks it. There's a couple great scenes there with Ice Man blowing on soda to make it frosty cool, and creating a giant ice wall, Colossus tearing through the place, and Logan's huge jump off the balcony. There's also the running gag of Logan stealing one of Scott's vehicles.

    Speaking of Stryker, this is the first of a few times where we explore the Wolverine backstory. The adamantium bubbling looks cool, as does Lady Deathstrike and her 10 claws. I noticed with this and Sabre Tooth in the first movie that they try to have a counterpoint to Wolverine in both movies in terms of ability.

    They did a lot of cool stuff with Cerebro and being able to manipulate Xavier's mind. I remember watching this in theaters and people being excited about the phoenix in the reflection of the water. More on Jean in the next one, I suppose.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>3>4>5>6>7>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

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    X2 was great, my favorite X-Men. The Wolverine origin here was way better than the Wolverine movie. I liked Stryker as a non-powered villain and the irony in using his son to hunt mutants. Magneto's escape, Wolverine getting shot in the head, lot of great moments in the movie. The Phoenix bit at the end was also very exciting. A shame it went downhill from there.

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    I never did see X-2 or the third one. I enjoyed the first X-men a good amount though.

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    X-Men: The Last Stand

    I'm the juggernaut, biatch.

    We get some of our first glances of CGI-ing people to look younger when Charles and Eric go to visit young Jean at her home. Surprisingly, I think it holds up pretty well.

    Ellen Page, Ben Foster and Kelsey Grammer are great additions to the growing cast in this third act. I also like the conflict with the idea of a mutant cure. Storm rightfully says there's nothing wrong with them, but you can also see it from Rogue's point of view where she has the chance to enjoy human contact without hurting anyone. It was nice to throw a positive reason in for wanting to find a cure, other than human fear of what they don't understand and can't control.

    I still get a little moved when Mystique takes a mutant-cure dart to the chest for Magneto and he immediately drops her like a dirty shirt. All the loyalty in the world meant nothing when she was no longer useful.

    I like when Angel goes to the school seeking a home. It reminds me why I like the school to begin with, a place where misfits and outcasts can come together and form community. I think it's fitting that he uses his flying ability to save his father near the end. It helps drive the point home to someone who was a nonbeliever at that point of the good mutants can be capable of.

    The will they/won't they with Jean and Wolverine never sat well with me because to me she always belonged with Scott. The same Scott which gets taken out pretty early on in this movie, by the way. Since this is a war, and the third act of a trilogy, it makes sense that they weren't afraid to kill off more than a few people, I suppose.

    Honestly I really liked this one. I know it got mixed reviews but it worked for me. For the most part, anyway.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>4>5>6>7>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

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    Last Stand was horrible. It was so bad they had to revert the timeline with Days of Future Past and then remake the Dark Phoenix saga. Complete waste of Cyclops, Xavier, and Jean. I did like that part where Magneto dumped Mystique after she lost her powers, though.

    After I saw this movie I called up my brother (who is also a huge X-Men fan) and told them the next movie better have Bishop going back in time to fix this mess. Took several years and it was Wolverine who ended up doing it but I finally got what I wanted.

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    X-2 is probably my favorite film of the franchise, lot of cool moments for a lot of characters, and while Wolverine took over the plot, it's probably the least annoying time that happened over the course of the films. The Nightcrawler sequence at the beginning is probably my favorite scene in the whole franchise.

    X-3... is a terrible film, and combined with the failure of Spider-Man 3, I'm surprised comic book films survived. Both films have the same problem, they are trying to tell too many stories and everything kind of gets lost in the mess. The Dark Phoenix Saga is just too difficult to pull off without the context from the books, which as it stands, is the one thing the 90s cartoon series is the only one to get right. I feel the film would have worked better had they focused on the Cure story aspect, there was just more interesting things to do with it narratively than trying to cram Jean Grey's "evil side" into this mess of a film. The film gave us more fan service with all the X-Men but very little focus for any of them to really shine. I feel it is debatably the worst film of the franchise.
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    Best to worst:
    X2
    Days of Future Past
    First Class
    X-Men
    Apocalypse
    Last Stand

    The original ranks low on my list largely due to the crappy cartoon episode like Magneto plot. Bad introduction to the dynamic. That and the Toad trout. Movie did a lot of things right though, which is more than can be said for the lowest two on my list.

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    draper hates the caley Cell's Avatar
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    I've never liked Phoenix or Dark Phoenix. Usually ends up with crying over Cyclops/Jean Grey.

    Meh.
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    Me watching the start of X-Men 3: Uhhh, Scott/Cyclops. He’s quite cute, I guess, but God, he’s so annoying.
    Jean Gray: [snogs Scott/Cyclops, then immediately kills him]
    Me: YAAAAAAS, B***H, WEEEERK!

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    X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    Whew lads.

    When this movie came out, I thought "Origins" was meant to be a concept of things to come. After this movie, I figured we would get something like X-Men Origins: Storm and so on. I read there was a Magneto origin planned but it ended up getting converted/broadened to the concept of First Class.

    This is actually "newer" than I thought it was. 2009? I thought maybe it was older than 10 years, but I guess not.

    This is a hot mess but let's find some good.

    Well, Liev Schreiber is a great actor. Hard to believe this is technically supposed to be the same Sabre Tooth as in X-Men. I think having seen the Deadpool movies makes me appreciate Ryan Reynolds here more, especially knowing the jokes that it leads to later on in the series. Despite his appearance here, there are a lot of cool action scenes like slicing a bullet in half and having it hit the people behind him.

    There's a lot of beautiful imagery in the Canadian mountains when Logan goes into lumberjack mode. Moments like these are actually some of my favorites in the series, we see it again in Apocalypse when Eric tries to lives a quiet life. I like when these larger than life characters start families and live in hole in the wall places. There's a similar vibe later in the movie when he briefly stays with an older couple.

    This movie definitely has the worst CGI. The claws and the chase scenes look hokey even in blu-ray, despite having a bigger budget than the first 2 films.

    I hate Gambit in this movie. I enjoyed the way some of the Stryker material compliments what we know from X2, but wow is this all over the place.

    Order: X-Men>X2:X-Men United>X-Men: The Last Stand>X-Men Origins: Wolverine>5>6>7>8>9>10>11>Dark Phoenix

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    I didn't rano any of the Wolverine movies but I think even X-Men Origins wad probably bwtter than the utter garbage that is Last Stand.

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