Archive for the ‘X Men: The Last Stand’ Category

Best superhero scenes

June 20, 2007

I do like lists, especially movie ones. Here’s an MSNBC article about the best superhero movie scenes (most of which are of recent vintage).

Here’s a sample:

Later, Peter will realize the man who killed Uncle Ben is the burglar he let go (allowing him to kill Uncle Ben), and so he will fight crime, not for revenge, as Batman does, or simply to do good, as Superman does, but out of guilt. Not only is guilt a more complex, more adult emotion, it’s more universal. Few of us walk around every day with revenge in our hearts, but the weight of the guilt in the world is heavier than gravity. Another reason Spider-Man is so popular.

An excellent scene, and well put. Establishing motivation for superheroes is sometimes deemed unecessary, because people already have a basic idea of what the hero’s all about, and there’s a built-in audience anyway. But director Sam Raimi decided to tweak S-M’s motivation just a teeny bit, and the result is a much more complex Spider-Man than even is in the comic books.

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270 – X-Men: The Last Stand

May 27, 2006

I liked X-Men. I liked X2 a little bit more. And I think that X-Men: The Last Stand puts them both to shame. And the best part is that not only are the special effects astounding, the plot twists and character changes will make your jaw drop.

Seems a research lab headquartered on Alcatraz Island has created what they term a “cure” for the mutant gene; that is, a mutant who is injected with the serum will be transformed into a nonmutant – normal, in the view of the makers of the drug. This naturally causes consternation and confusion among the myriad mutants. Do they take the medicine and leave their life of mutancy? Or do they renounce it, choosing to remain true to themselves?

Magneto (Ian McKellen) doesn’t want to take the chance, realizing that with this serum the government – which has been hunting him – could effectively eliminate all mutants, whether they want to be “cured” or not. His plan is to raise an army of disaffected, resentful mutants and destroy the serum – along with any who stand in his way, including Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his team.

There are plenty of other subplots, all of which intertwine gracefully with the main thread. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), thought to have died at the end of X2, reappears – but is she the same Jean Grey they all know and love? And what’s up with her and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), anyway? And what of poor Rogue (Anna Paquin), who’s frustrated at not being able to hold her boyfriend Iceman (Shawn Ashmore)? The screen crackles with sexual tension on many levels, among many mutants. And of course many of the mutants’ powers carry an undercurrent of sexuality all on their own.

New to the cast is Kelsey Grammer as Hank McCoy, aka Beast, the Secretary of Mutant Affairs. He’s big, blue, and furry, and he’s basically the liaison between the mutants and the government. Only the government’s a little leery of mutants, now that Magneto’s waging war against them.

You know how there are some movies that give you OH MY GOD moments? I don’t mean wowie-kazowie special effects – like, say, moving the Golden Gate Bridge – I mean more like I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY DID THAT TO THAT CHARACTER! Even if you’re not an X Men fanatic, you do have a sense of who’s who in the X Men universe, who’s more important than whom. And more often than not, although you know bad things will happen to the heroes, they’ll probably all live to fight another day. In X3, though, there’s a strong sense of unease throughout the movie – indeed, will they all survive?

i’ve heard conflicting reports about whether this is the final X Men film, but I really hope not. In fact, I’d prefer an X Men 4 to a spinoff of Wolverine or Magneto, or any of the other characters. This is a cast of characters that acts supremely well as a team, and my impression is that however compelling the actor is, the characters might not be strong enough to carry a film on the level of the X Men films. I mean, look at Daredevil and Catwoman.

All in all, the X Men movies have been progressively better, never letting up and never allowing the viewer to get comfortable with the plot; doing so would lead to the usual predictable, unimaginative storylines that sink most big-budget movies.

X-Men: The Last Stand: ***1/2