Unofficial Trilogy… Filmic Comic Book Bookends Edition

(OPENING SIDENOTE: I like the title of this post.)

Today’s Unofficial Trilogy is about the nails in the coffin of comic book film series (or as in one case, a stake in the heart). Spider-Man 3 was saved by a summer reboot, otherwise this would have been an Unofficial Quadrilogy.

Oh, so dark these heroes..

Oh, so dark these heroes… except maybe the last one.

This movie was, um, weird.  It barely featured Wesley Snipes as Blade (was he out of the country evading taxes when this was made?), and the scene where John Michael Higgins interrogates him is laughable.  Gay subtext in a James Bond superhero/vampire  film?  Well I never!

Two words: Brett Ratner (wow, I haven’t bashed on him in a long while).  Two more words: cobbled mess.  Four more words: I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!  Two last words on The Last Stand: whiny Wolverine.

I was really upset with the lack of purpose this one seemed to have.  And critic Chris Gore made a good point about it by stating something like this (I’m poorly paraphrasing):

His parents’ death made Bruce Wayne become Batman, but Rachel Dawes death made him not be Batman?

But then I read this article, and something happened… my opinion kinda sorta changed.  I won’t go into too much detail, but the author basically regards the third film as a contradiction to the second film, and that in turn made me realize TDKR was the answer to the TDK problem that nobody asked.  What I always enjoyed about the first film’s ending was that it agreed with my theory:

If someone figures out how to be a superhero/villain, then someone will figure out how become its opposite.

The Dark Knight answered that question perfectly.  But what question did TDK ask?

Is a lie okay if it’s for the greater good?

TDK was all about bending means to certain ends.  TDKR was about the inevitable collapse of those well-intended lies.  Too bad it just felt shoddy and shitty.

(FYI: The above Batman poster was made by this guy.)

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InASense, Lost… Taylor Kitsch’s Film Career

All I have to say is in the post’s title.  Taylor Kitsch has three strikes against him now… and I’m afraid his Hollywood future might be D.O.A.

It’s bad when Wolverine is the best of the three.

But on the other hand, he is Canadian, and they have that certain William Shatner resilience.  So perhaps he can forget John Carter in his shadow, and leave Battleship behind him:

(Sorry, that’s lame… but so are these movies!)

The Sh– And Just Sh–ty… X-Men Films Reviewed As Roller Coasters

I’m a little bit upset that X-Men: First Class didn’t do better at the box office in its opening weekend, but I have a feeling that might have to deal with the lead-ins… à la The Jay Leno Show and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.

You see, X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine were quite terrible, and perhaps the masses have finally realized they’d had enough.  Or potentially, Hugh Jackman just has that kind of draw.

None the less, I realized there was no pattern of the films in this series being The Shit or simply Just Shitty, so I rated what I think about each movie in comparison to various roller coasters and their riders.

Hey, at least it's finally a movie!

The first X-Men had a lot of work to do.  It had to introduce not only a unique spin on previous superhero origin stories, but it also had to introduce a lot of characters and ideologies.  It’s probably not too fair to compare the flick that introduced the world to the concept of mutants and a mine car roller coaster… Actually, it might be perfectly fair.  Besides, the finale at the Statue of Liberty stills leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

You got that right!

Aside from the fact that the title should have been anything other than what it is (X-Men 2: Mutants United makes way more sense on all levels), this film was fun from the get go.  Gone was Halle Berry’s stupid fake accent; Wolverine finally kicked some ass; Nightcrawler was handled exceptionally well.  Still one of the best superhero movies in Colonel Stryker general.

Duh-rector Brett Ratner is a regular at this ride.

Directors Matthew Vaughan and Bryan Singer poured some of their creative talents into the third film during pre-production.  I assume anything clever (and there was very little) was their handiwork.  The rest was Brett Ratner’s greasy fingers.

I don't want to go to there.

Could have been great.  Could have been fun.  Wasn’t at all.

Not something you see everyday.

I avoided the previews as best as I could, and I was not disappointed.  I loved this film.  It accomplished everything it set out to do: be an origin story and a palette cleanser.  It was cool that it was set in the real world, with a real world life-saving issue, and it was even cooler that it was a send-up of 60’s spy movies at times.

James McAvoy as Charles “Professor X” Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik “Magneto” Lensherr fit their roles well, and brought more to the table for these characters, much like how Chris Pine updated Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot.  Also, I’ve never appreciated Kevin Bacon more, because he brought a sense of validation to the cast of mostly unknowns.  (There are tons of B-Actor! cameos, and some A-Actors! as well.)

The only thing that sucked?  January Jones can’t act her way out of lingerie.

Happy Find… X-Men: First Class

We are getting a ton of Marvel Comics movies this year (okay, three).  Here’s the preview for the latest:

Could be pretty cool, x-pecially since it’s directed by Kick-Ass’s kick-ass helmer, Matthew Vaughn.  He was supposed to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, but the x-crutiating Brett Ratner took over.

Think of this film as his apology letter…

Drunken Recollection… Dream Cast Of X-Men: First Class

Sega had a different idea than me.

With the new (first?) (only?) A-Team movie coming out, we got to talking about the cast over some beers.  We decided this dream cast (not the one above) would have been quite a coup:

The Dream Team

Bruce Willis as Hannibal, Brad Pitt as Face, Jim Carrey as Murdoch, and Michael Clarke Duncan as B.A. Baracus would have been expensive as hell, and I’m not calling the current cast the B-Team (ha!), but these guys would be totally worth it.

So then we started discussing that Matthew Vaughn (the guy that made Kick-Ass independent of any studio) will be helming X-Men: First Class. It should be noted that he was set to be the original director of X-Men 3 (which he hated).  Since our train of thought was already on IRF (Ideal Role Fulfillment), this was the station our one track minds arrived at:

Yes, please.

Michael Rosenbaum could replace Patrick Stewart as a younger Professor X.  Rosenbaum already carries comic credentials under his belt (he plays Lex Luthor on Smallville), so he already has the experience of playing the earlier version of an icon.  Plus, DC owes Marvel someone since Green Lantern took Ryan Reynolds from Deadpool.  Besides, audiences don’t care if Actors! double up on beloved characters (Captain Jean-Luc Picard held his ground as Professor X, Human Torch as Captain America, Han Solo as Indiana Jones, as so on).

It's the hair that won the job.

Replacing Magneto was tough.  I started with Jude Law, another Brit, taking over for Sir Ian McKellen.  But then we tried thinking about perhaps an Actor! of Jewish decent, since Erik Magnus Lehnsherr happened to be, and we could think of none.  So they fought Law, and Law won.

And as for Cyclops / Scott Summers, this thought popped in our head…

Please no.

…and the game ended.

Drunken Recollection… First Rule Of Bachelor Party – You Don’t Talk About Bachelor Party

For the last two weeks, not a smidge of alcohol has quenched my parched, getting-very-used-to-water, lips. 

One bachelor party changed the no-drinking-in-May plan (at least for that night).
Two beers in, I was feeling tipsy.
The third film in the X-Men series almost killed my burgeoning buzz when it was brought up before the bus bid farewell.
Four… ah, I’m at a loss on how to keep this list up.  Oh, wait!  Four bars is the amount we visited.
Five beers came in a bucket at our second stop.  Or should I say a fifth of Jack was passed around (of which I passed on).

Okay, yeah, now I give up.  Anyway, overall it was fairly trouble free, aside from my cousin slapping me in the face, punching me in the gut, and tucking his feet in my armpit as he curled up in a ball to sleep – all within six minutes (I told you I’m stopping the number thing).

I recall talking to a stripper dancer woman at one of the stops extensively about this:

Like our purloined dispenser, except ours had sunflower seeds, peanuts, and Reese's Pieces. I think.

Like our purloined dispenser, except ours had sunflower seeds, peanuts, and Reese's Pieces. I think.

Someone in the group who will go nameless, but was prone to slapping and punching despite being sleepy, stole lifted a candy dispenser and someone else in the group got really upset about it. 

The best man forbid a couple of women from joining the group on its road trip, which at the time, sounded like a bad idea to not let them, but hindsight being what it is, was simply a bad idea, so kudos to him.  I can’t get too upset then that he had the bus drop him off directly at home.

Back at our original point of departure, I was done.  Well, I was with it enough to eat a few Pizza Rolls. 

I guess some of the other guys put the candy dispenser on top of the guy’s car that was getting upset.  (Sure, he had a reason for being irritated, but it was meh at best.)  I guess that inflamed him further and he smashed it on the ground.  Someone else took it upon himself and completely busted it open.  Quarters flew everywhere, and those who were still awake scooped them up.

The next morning, the three of us that drove together walked out into the gloomy daybreak.  I spotted a crapload of quarters that went unclaimed.  My reply: “I would like to say that if I was a kid right now, seeing this would make me happy as hell.  But as an adult, I can’t say that I feel any different.  I’m not too proud to crouch long enough to pick up a few dollars.” 

My cousin and I gathered about ten bucks each.  My friend with us had already grabbed about ten bucks the night before…

JusWondering… Did Hollywood Go To Glamour Shots?

When I was at my favorite movie theater recently (I am a card carrying Frequent Movie Watcher), I noticed that they had (intentionally) placed four strikingly familiar posters beside one another.  I couldn’t quite place what was so similar, but they all drew the exact same emotional reaction from me…

wolverineteaserstartrekkirk

terminator4transformers2teaser 

ho-hum.  Just what the ad execs ordered (okay, maybe the T4 poster is kinda cool).  Instead, I think they should have hired this guy:

Vodpod videos no longer available. My guess is that it all started with this poster:

Looks guilty to me!

Looks guilty to me!

more about “JusWondering…“, posted with vodpod