Category Archives: Movies

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

First off, let me just say hello! As you may have noticed, I am not Jarrod. My name is Mandi and I hail from another blog. Like Jarrod, I help the Nerd Army as a Commander and I’m super excited to be guest blogging over here. So it’s nice to meet you all!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to my (mostly spoiler free) review of X-Men: Days of Future Past. I have been beyond excited for this movie since it was announced and it did not disappoint. The performances are amazing, the writing is amazing, the effects, the storyline, the subtle “Easter Eggs” for fans are all amazing. And yes, this movie does erase the utter and complete train wreck that was X3.

X-Men: Days of Future Past begins in the future with a voice over from Professor X that’s completely reminiscent of the original X-Men movie. Xavier explains to us that there is a new threat out there: the sentinels. If you grew up on the comics or the Saturday morning cartoon like myself, then you know what the sentinels are. However, if you are one of the few people that feel completely lost, they are mutant hunting robots that fight the X-Men through several story arcs.

It’s revealed, though, that these sentinels not only hunt mutants and their human allies, but also any humans that may have a mutant child/grandchild in the future. Eesh! We see mutants and humans being forced into what can only be described as an internment camp and truck loads of dead bodies are being unloaded into piles because that’s just how many of us they’re exterminating. I can easily say the future is looking pretty horrible!

We cut away from this chilling scene to find several recognizable mutants holding out in a bunker: Bishop, Blink, Colossus, Iceman, Shadowcat, Sunspot, and Warpath. I was very excited to see Daniel Cudmore return as Colossus. Seems to me, seeing him “metal up” in X-Men 2 was just not enough for the fans. If you agree, then you’re in for a treat!

 

The sentinels have tracked them to their location and send down three bots to destroy the mutants. Kitty Pryde and Bishop take off running and let the others deal with the bots as they hide in a vault so Kitty can use her ability on Bishop (more on this later). The action that takes place between the mutants and the sentinels is exactly what I was hoping for! Iceman skates on ice and freezes one, Sunspot roasts another, and Colossus beats on the third with Blink and Warpath. Take that bots! But wait, don’t celebrate yet. The frozen sentinel adapts to emit heat, the roasted sentinel adapts to shield itself with ice, and the last adapts to being covered in organic steel. That’s right, they can change to defeat any mutant!  The sentinels fight their way to Kitty and Bishop but it’s too late for the bad guys, because they fade out of existence. In fact, everything fades out of existence as if the whole thing never happened.

The movie takes us to China where we see all of our mutant friends are actually alive and well. The X-Jet lands and Professor X, Magneto, Storm, and Wolverine pile out to chit chat. Let’s face it, in this future you can’t just sit down over coffee to discuss your mundane goings-on. Instead you talk about how you avoided being skewered by sentinels. Turns out, Kitty Pryde has been sending Bishop’s consciousness back in time to warn them all that the sentinels are about to find them so they can relocate. Which is perfect, because something happened very long ago that needs to be changed. Xavier explains to them how the sentinels were created and how he wants Kitty to send him back to fix their awful future. Unfortunately, doing so would completely rip him apart and I don’t know about you but I don’t feel like watching the Professor be demolecularized again (in that terrible, awful movie-that-must-not-be-named). If only there was a mutant in the room that could heal almost instantaneously… oh wait!

Kitty agrees to send Wolverine back while the rest protect them. This will be their only chance to do this and once the sentinels slice their way to Kitty, they’ll just have to hope Logan was successful. Xavier explains to Wolverine that he must get the younger Charles to help but that he was a very different man in the 70’s. On top of that, he will also need the help of Magneto who might be pretty difficult to get to. But best of luck to you bub! This is where I will leave you in the story line because you absolutely must see this movie.

I must say, this is a really great way to handle time travel. It completely removes the wibbly wobbly issue of running into your younger self and the younger consciousness doesn’t remember a thing after the fact. In Logan’s travel through the past, you will see some familiar mutants as well as new ones. My favorite newcomer to the movies is Quicksilver; he’s a total smart ass and completely emulates a teenager that moves way too fast.

There’s even a really cool Easter Egg with him. If you know who his father is, you’ll enjoy his exchange with Magneto in the elevator. I wish there had been more scenes with Quicksilver but to be fair, this movie is so jam packed that it probably would have been too much.

The best performance easily goes to James McAvoy. He once again portrays the younger Charles Xavier and after the events of X-Men: First Class, he is a very broken man. His school has lost all of its students, his family has fallen apart, and he just cannot handle facing it. Instead, he uses a serum developed by Beast to remove his ability which in turn gives him back the use of his legs. McAvoy delivers incredible performances, from practically spitting obscenities in Wolverine’s face, to showing the audience his internal struggle when it comes to the serum that he feels he needs. Any time McAvoy was on the screen, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the emotions he was able to evoke and I can’t wait to see what he does in the next movie.

Sadly, the worst performance goes to Jennifer Lawrence. This makes me so sad because I love her as an actor. It’s my theory that the makeup and prosthetics that create Mystique somehow dampen her performance. Lawrence always gives subtle facial expressions that really enhance her acting and I can’t help but think that the dark blue skin of Mystique makes that difficult to see. That being said, her best scene is when she’s broken into Trask’s office and a single tear rolls down her cheek as she looks through his files. That one tear is full of hatred and pain and it’s absolutely chilling.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is easily the best X-Men movie to date. It’s a reboot that completely puts Trek‘s JJ Abrams to shame. Don’t get all huffy, I love JJ Abrams. And I enjoy the new Trek movies for what they are: amazing action movies. It just seems to me that if you’re going to reboot a franchise, you should do so with the fans in mind and not to bring in a new audience. When you go see this movie, remember to watch for the scene after the credits. Even if you have no idea what you just witnessed, you will still have a pretty good idea of what we’re in store for in the next movie. If you ask me, 2016 cannot come quickly enough!

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MMPR Morphs Back to the Big Screen

Well… I woke up to some interesting news this morning: a new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers live action feature film is in the works. According to an announcement released today, Haim Saban (creator of MMPR/Saban Brands) has teamed with Lionsgate (The Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight) to “re-envision the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”

I am a little torn on how I feel about this re-envisioning. We have seen what can be done to ruin beloved series (re: Transformers, TMNT, etc) so I am experiencing a bit of trepidation, and I think such feelings are justified. This is a series I cherish and do not want to see it ruined. Yet I find myself excited. It has been almost 20 years since the Power Rangers were last in the theaters (Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie). Turbo’s predecessor, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995),  was great for the time, but many super fans like me have wanted to see a modern version (For me, re: modern, not dark and gritty).  As noted in the announcement, both Saban Brands and Lionsgate understand that “with an extensive and extremely devoted worldwide fan base as well as a deep and detailed mythology, the Power Rangers are primed for the big screen.”

This also feels a little bittersweet since I secretly hoped my script would be discovered, but that is beside the point.

The timing of the partnership, though, is not surprising considering we are on the heels of the 20th anniversary. Over the last year or so, Saban has built up the anniversary with the creation of the Power Force (a team of 20 people/groups hand-selected to promote the anniversary) and the build up to the return of many historic rangers in the current Power Rangers Super Megaforce season, it is understandable that Saban would move in this direction.  And he seems quite content in doing so with Lionsgate.

“Lionsgate is the perfect home for elevating our Power Rangers brand to the next level,” said Saban. “They have the vision, marketing prowess and incredible track record in launching breakthrough hits from The Hunger Games to Twilight and Divergent. In partnership with the Lionsgate team, we’re con!dent that we will capture the world of the Power Rangers and translate it into a unique and memorable motion picture phenomenon with a legacy all its own.”

This statement begs one question: What will this re-envisioning entail? Will the movie fit within the canon of the series? Or will it be a complete reboot and retell the story? I’m anxious to know what Saban will do. My only hopes are that they do not go dark and gritty with MMPR. And that Saban files a restraining order against Michael Bay.

Let me know what you think about the news.

*****Update*****

Can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier, but who would you like to see cast as the Rangers?

Teaser Trailer for Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Released

Earlier this morning there were murmurs around the internet of a TMNT teaser trailer.

Some sources, while at CinemaCon, were privileged enough to catch a glimpse of the trailer, and then graciously shared their thoughts with the Interwebs.

Much to my chagrin I could not find it anywhere. So like those reporting on the trailer, I suspected we’d see it pop up within the next week.

Nope. Within the last hour I was just browsing through my Twitter feed and stumbled on one made by Nerdist.com:

At that point I’m sure the apartment above me was curious as to why a little girl was shouting with glee below them.

So without further adieu check out the teaser trailer:

I’ll be honest. Since this movie was announced a few years ago I have gone through a myriad of emotions. There was utter joy when I found out the Ninja Turtles would would be returning to theaters. Then I went through the five stages of grief when Michael Bay’s involvement was announced.

And of course there was the tirade when Bay announced the alien origin story. Holy shit guys… I was absolutely furious. Luckily I wasn’t the only one and eventually he backed off of that idea. I think the universal sigh of relief can still be heard.

Now I have returned to the excitement of seeing TMNT return to the silver screen in a live action film. Nonetheless I am still a little apprehensive about the “Bay”stardization of TMNT.

Who knows? At least he’s only the producer. Hopefully there won’t be exploding pizzas or mutagen.

Tell me what you think about the trailer. Let’s discuss below what this movie could entail.

The World’s End – Movie Review

Read this awesome review, by Lucas Fothergill, on one of my favorite movies of 2013.

Lucas Fothergill

 

Quirky and intelligent, The World’s End is an apocalyptically good time

The World’s End plot is a one-liner: five childhood friends reunite to finish off an epic pub crawl, which they had failed to conclude in their youth. Oh, and they also uncover a secret alien invasion on the way. Naturally.

With the all-British uber-team of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and co-writer/director Edgar Wright reunited, you can fully expect the same high-energy, sharply written experience that you had watching Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. The World’s End is certainly more intelligent than other comedies released this summer – but is it funny?

the_worlds_end_movie-wideWell yes, yes it is. The World’s End certainly delivers the laughs throughout, and it even did some things I didn’t expect it to (which I won’t spoil for you here). However, The World’s End is not as funny as its predecessors. You could…

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