"I take orders from the Octoboss."

X-Men: Days of Future Past

tn_xmen5Oh shit, so this is the magic rebootification formula now: the J.J. Abrams STAR TREK recipe. One or more original cast members cross paths with younger actors playing the same characters thanks to time travel. That way they can use the veteran cast of X-MEN 1-3 but also the whippersnappers of FIRST CLASS. I’m sure they’re already doing the math for how to apply this to Harry Potter, James Bond, DIE HARD, AMERICAN PIE, you name it. You fucking know Danny Glover will go back in time to recruit a young Riggs not played by Mel Gibson.

X-MEN PART 5 OR SO: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST takes place in a literally dark post-apocalyptic future where the surviving mutants and humans hide in the ruins, hunted by giant morphing robots called Sentinels. Sounds kinda like a TERMINATOR movie, but it’s actually the reverse. Instead of machines sending a robot back in time to kill the guy that’s gonna lead the human resistance, the mutants send a Wolverine back in time to not kill the guy whose death is not gonna stop the creation of the Sentinels.

You know my favorite X-Man is Mystique, the blue-skinned, orange-maned, naked shapeshifting militant mutant rights activist, so I appreciate that this is her most central role until she wises up and goes solo. Basically Wolverine (Huge Ackman) is sent by old Charles X (Patrick Stewart) and Erik Magneto (Ian McKellen) back to 1973 to convince their younger selves (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender) to convince Raven Mystique (Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence – original portrayer Rebecca Romijn is not seen) not to murder the inventor of the Sentinels (Peter Dinklage). They approach it as preventing her from going down “a Dark Path” (it would be her first murder), but really they’re just know she’ll get caught and The Man will study her DNA and get ideas how to spruce up their killer robots with T-1000 powers. Honestly maybe they shouldn’t be trying to stop her, they should be helping her get away.

mp_xmen5The Professor is supposed to be in a dark period of his life. Of course at the end of the last one he was yelling “My legs! I can’t feel my legs!” and some people get really fucked up dealing with a disability. But wait, he’s just walking around. Turns out he’s on a drug that straightens his spine, but takes away his super brain powers. I think he makes that choice because it’s a drug you gotta shoot and he’s into heroin chic.

It’s a good character moment, that he has to choose paralysis to have his powers, but it’s also kindy goofy because they just did it to him at the end of the last one and already they’re like “this wheelchair is a pain in the ass, can’t we just have him walking again?”

In the grand X-Men tradition this adventure starts with busting Magneto out of prison, and in the spirit of one-upsmanship it’s a secret prison in a bunker beneath the Pentagon. They accomplish this with the help of NEVER BACK DOWN 1-2 star Evan Peters as Quicksilver, the Human Bullet Time. He looks like a goofball, but he has the standout scene in the movie, zipping through a slowed down shootout, changing bullet trajectories and messing with people in almost a ZAPPED type of way, minus any nudity.

(Note: the great Michael Jai White directed and co-stars in NEVER BACK DOWN 2 and somehow the comic relief fight promoter nerd is playing a super hero before he is.)

(Another note: this is the rare super hero movie that was actually shot in 3D, not post-converted. I think the stereoscopery is pretty good but not essential. If you dig 3D it’s worth it mostly for this Quicksilver scene, but if you’re not it’s not gonna change your mind.)

Xavier is reluctant to bust Magneto out, not because it’s basically waging war against the government, but because he’s still mad at him for whatever it was that happened at the end of X-MEN FIRST CLASS. (All I remember is that he had a new purple helmet with horns that they conveniently toned down in this one.) Another reason for misgivings: they’re saying Magneto (SPOILER) killed JFK. (It’s a ballsy story detail that gets even more nuts when you hear his side of the story.)

Once they get the band back together they have to head off Mystique’s assassination plot in Washington DC. And they gotta hurry because there’s this whole THE MATRIX or INCEPTION type aspect to it where future-Wolverine’s consciousness has traveled back into his 1973 body, but in the post apocalyptic future he’s asleep and they’re under siege by Sentinels and if he wakes up the new timeline will be permanently set. So Storm (Academy Award winner Halle Berry) and friends get to shoot lightning at robots and stuff.

On a side note, I have seen pictures of comic book Storm with a mohawk, and it is a shame that she doesn’t sport that shit in this movie. What good is a post-apocalyptic future without mohawks?

The ’73 period details aren’t as emphasized as in the ’60s-ified FIRST CLASS. But there’s one great moment of Wolverine in ’70s clothes getting into a badass car, only slightly dampened by the weakness of the wah wah on the soundtrack. I don’t know why it is that composers other than the guy who did BLACK DYNAMITE can never come even close to capturing an authentic blaxploitation sound, or why it’s so embarrassing when they fail. That’s why CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 was wise to just lift the actual TROUBLE MAN soundtrack for that one montage.

But a favorite part of the movie to me is very retro, it’s when the two blue individuals, Mystique and Beast (Nicholas Hoult as the young version of the blue werewolf character originated by GRAMMER…

…), are involved in public mayhem in front of a large crowd in broad daylight in DC. We see some of this scene in 8mm home video footage and I love it because it strips it of any modern idea of what’s supposed to be cool and cinematic. It’s just slightly blurry blue people running around in front of a flickery movie camera.

I like Lawrence as Mystique, but I gotta admit Romijn’s version, who seemed to love being seen as a bad guy, was a little more fun. Young Mystique is too quick to give up her extremism just ’cause Charles showed up. But she’s still the best character and I like the consistency in the fighting style. Still very acrobatic with lots of spins and scissor kicks and stuff. Maybe a little influenced by capoeira or even breakdancing.

The time travel gimmick is kinda appropriate because this one brings back original X-MEN and X2 director Bryan Singer, kind of a relic of the past already. He hasn’t made a super hero movie since he left the series to do SUPERMAN RETURNS in 2006. And eight years isn’t really that long ago to you and I but in super hero movie terms it’s a whole era. His last X-MEN has gotten a sequel, a prequel, a spin-off and a spin-off do-over, his Superman has been rebooted. That movie was two summers before DARK KNIGHT even came out, and maybe more importantly before IRON MAN. So the entire Marvel series of movies has come into existence since he was out of the game. And what’s kinda cool here is that Singer is staying true to his original cast and characters and the themes and style he set up, but also bringing it into the modern age with, for example, way more effects heavy action.

But I guess you could say their clarity makes them a throwback. The robot fights are really great, and I love how the opening battle involves a bunch of different characters with weird powers (like a lady that can throw portals around to warp her teammates or enemies to different locations) that are pretty complicated but explained completely with visuals, no dialogue. Also it’s a fun gimmick because they get to kill a bunch of good guy characters, sometimes beloved ones, and nobody gets too upset because time travel.

magnetoviceSinger is also dealing with plot twists that happened in the part 3 that was made without him, and a cast and prequel story from part 4, and even changing some of the stuff from his own movies (the young Toad we see is goofier than the one he had Ray Park play). That’s an unusual situation for a director to be in. The end seems like a reset, reuniting the original cast (including part 3’s Ellen Page, who has a bigger part than I expected) and undoing some major things. I thought this meant we were back to the original cast in the next one, that it was resetting to continue from where Singer left off. But I read that writer Simon Kinberg said it was supposed to be a “final goodbye” to these characters. So I guess the next one will be McAvoy with a mullet and Fassbender walking around with a five o’clock shadow, pastel suit and no socks.

Anna Paquin gets her name in the credits for playing Rogue for about 2 seconds (her action scene got cut I guess). Way to say goodbye to one of the main characters. Richard Nixon has a way more substantial part in this movie than she does. I don’t know if he’s coming back in the next one or not.

One way we know Xavier has changed over the years is that back then he was pissed at Magneto and chewed him out as soon as they got him out of the joint. Years later, in part 1, he’d visit him in prison and play chess with him. They’re enemies but they don’t let that get in the way of their friendship.

That’s always been one of the main things that made these movies compelling. I love how the bad guys, as much as they seem like they’re supposed to be evil, have a good point. I’m always tempted to side with them, if not all out rooting for them. I mean, the humans are out to get the mutants. We see this over and over again. And in the last one Magneto’s big crime was hunting down Nazi war criminals. Hard to be too mad at him about that.

That kind of stuff does happen in this one. Especially in the younger version Magneto is way cooler than Xavier. And Mystique is most appealing when she’s an outlaw, impersonating a military officer to rescue mutants from being abducted for experiments, stuff like that. I can’t remember for sure, but wasn’t she wearing clothes most of the time in FIRST CLASS? I think just walking around nude and blue and proud is the Mystique we know and love from the other X-pictures, and when she wears clothes other than as a disguise she’s the restrained, repressed Raven that Charles is trying to limit her to. Stupid fuckin Charles.

Unfortunately the philosophical differences seem like kind of a rehash of previous ones (we gotta be nice to the humans instead of go to war with them), not a distinct new one like, say, part 3’s debate over the mutant “cure.” Maybe the most effective disagreement is when Magneto tries to kill Mystique so her DNA can’t be used. Machiavellian motherfucker. Like in part 3 when she got cured and he turned his back on her it shows that he’s more loyal to the cause than to her. But also it’s a numbskull move because, as she points out, he ends up splattering her DNA all over the place. Look, he’s still young. He’s learning.

I think this is about as good as any of the X-Men, in some ways better. If you care at all about the mutant struggle I think it is worth your time.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 10:28 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

140 Responses to “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

  1. Yup, this is a good, fun movie. I have a special place in my heart for X2, there are a lot of things that will always make it my favorite X-Movie…or so I thought until I saw this one, then I was like, “Who are you kidding, Dan, this is the best one yet.” It’s one of the few movies I would have been perfectly happy to get right back in line for upon exiting the theater.

  2. Michael Jai White got to be a superhero. He was Spawn in Spawn. He fought the devil!

    Does no one remember Spawn?

  3. The way you describe this movie makes me like the movie, in retrospect, more than I did. To my mind, all the best ideas in any of the X-Men movies come straight from the comics. The movies don’t add too much to the material, for me anyway. At best they’re like staged readings with explosions. I respond better to the superhero movies that feel like they have an esoteric stamp on them, like the hyperactive squareness of the Raimi Spider-Mans or the carnival freakshow of the Burton Batmans or the funky goofiness of the Del Toro Hellboys or even the brainy super-seriousness of the Nolan Batmans and the excellently quotable team-playing of the Whedon Avengers. By contrast the X-Men movies — some more than others, obviously — don’t have nearly as much personality. They have moments of energy, but not much discernible individuality. Then again, where else am I gonna see a blue werewolf, I guess.

  4. Dikembe Mutombo

    May 27th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I agree, this is about as good as any of the X-Men. I think I like X2 a little more still. But it’s a pretty good time that understands what’s appealing about its characters and about time travel stuff. I gotta say though, Singer probably needs to be informed that a man character turning out to be mystique, Wolvferine pushing bullets out of his body with his healing power, and Magneto slowly lifting gigantic things don’t really have the same juice as they used to. At least not for me.

  5. James Marsden/Cyclops was robbed!

  6. “Unfortunately the philosophical differences seem like kind of a rehash of previous ones (we gotta be nice to the humans instead of go to war with them), not a distinct new one…”

    Agree 100%, and this is very obvious in the climax. It feels way too similar to the one we just got with First Class.

    Man I’m so torn with this movie. I think this is one that, the less familiar you are with the X-Men movieverse, the more you will be able to enjoy. I spent pretty much the whole movie pretty confused, with questions like:
    – How come Xavier looks the same way he did before he died?
    – His new body can’t walk either?
    – What’s up with Wolverine’s claws?
    – Is that the future of X-Men 3 or a parallel universe? (I had this question on my mind until Wolverine had those X3 flashbacks)
    – Where’s Rogue?
    – In the past, how come Wolverine is not enlisted in the army?
    – That Stryker looks doesn’t look at all like the one in Origins. Is that not canon now?
    – There’s no way that’s Toad.
    – Didn’t Magneto help Xavier build Cerebro?
    – When they visit the X-Men basement and Cerebro, showing everything in slow motion, it doesn’t have the desired effect because it’s in the past, and your mind is busy processing the previous question and also saying “OK I guess they built this at some point”
    – This scene of Mystique going through Trask’s files is way too similar to the one in X2. Is there a hidden message or parallel here? (turns out there isn’t)
    – Wasn’t Trask played by Bill Duke?
    – What’s that helmet Magneto is taking? Kevin Bacon’s or the red one with horns? It doesn’t look like either… maybe I’m misremembering? ( I wasn’t. I checked after I got home, it’s a new design)
    – HOW THE HELL CAN FUTURE WOLVERINE REMEMBER THE EVENTS OF ORIGINS (this one also bugged me in The Wolverine)

    There’s probably more inconsistencies, but those were the ones on my mind WHILE watching the movie! This rarely happens. Even when I saw First Class, I was so into the story that I didn’t notice the continuity issue of Xavier losing his ability to walk until after I had left the cinema.

    Then the movie has these eye-roll-inducing winks like “wouldn’t it be nice if your claws were covered in metal?” and things like that. Also I didn’t understand how Magneto was able to reprogram the Sentinels.

    But on the other hand the movie is so effective in its dramatization, tone, and of course the ending. Man, that ending in the parallel future, corny as it was, was very effective (I’m a grown man so I didn’t cry, something got into my eye, don’t judge me). So you feel compelled to give the movie a pass More than a pass, you want to give it a medal, a statue, you body and your soul. And the soul of your fist born. It’s a great movie! But man I’m so conflicted.

    The saddest thing is that this is not the X-Men 4 I was wishing for since 2006, and we will never get that now.

  7. Uncle_Imshi I agree. It’s the thing that bothers me the most out of the whole thing. And there’s no way they’ll be able to rectify that now. He’ll be a kid in the next film, if the even appears.

  8. Here’s Michael York on time travel. Please keep this firmly in mind:


  9. Motherfuckas act like they forgot about Spawn…

  10. Daniel Strange

    May 27th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I did not have a lot of the problems Merso did with the movie. My response to those questions:

    – Who cares, that was X-Men 3, I never saw that one
    – Who cares
    – Whatever, it’s cool
    – Whatever
    – Not important
    – I never saw Origins so I didn’t know that.
    – See above
    – This Toad looks way better than the one in the first X-Men
    – I forgot
    – Didn’t notice
    – Agreed about the Mystique / files scene
    – Was he? Oops for them, I guess.
    – He’d upgraded it before they caught him
    – He remembers what he knows after the events of X2.

    My point is not that everybody should turn off their brains or whatever.
    I’m just noting that the majority of these questions did not matter to me personally, and that I personally enjoyed the shit out of the movie.

  11. The Original Paul

    May 27th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Yeah, I’ll probably see this one. The right people seem to like it, and I’ve never found that “X-Men” movies bother me in the same way that other comic-book movies sometimes do. Hell, I thought the first two X-Mens (X-Men’s? X-Mans?) were pretty great.

    Not sure if it’s out over here yet (obviously I’m otherwise occupied, entertainment-wise, right now) but I’ll try and see it when I’ve got some free time.

  12. “Michael Jai White got to be a superhero. He was Spawn in Spawn. He fought the devil!

    Does no one remember Spawn?”
    He’s also hired killer turned reluctant government agent Bronze Tiger on ARROW.

    Anyway, I had a really good time with this. Yeah, there’s a number of questionable plot points and details(like I’m sure Rogue would have appreciated having access to that serum that Beast invented to suppress mutant powers), but the majority of the movie really holds up and is a lot of fun, with good performances and fan-pleasing moments.

    Vern: “That’s always been one of the main things that made these movies compelling. I love how the bad guys, as much as they seem like they’re supposed to be evil, have a good point. I’m always tempted to side with them, if not all out rooting for them. I mean, the humans are out to get the mutants. We see this over and over again. ”
    This is why I’m so against the idea of the X-MEN franchise merging into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ve always thought X-Men as a concept makes way less sense when it co-exists with non-mutant superheroes. The public are nonsensical idiots who hate people who are born with superhero powers, but are fine with people who get superpowers from other means(even though they don’t KNOW that these heroes aren’t mutants)? Plus the non-mutant superheroes look bad when you consider all the atrocities that happen to the mutants (often perpetrated by the authorities) without the Avengers and such doing that much to stop it. It’s also pretty weird that they mutants keep talking about “the humans”. THEY’RE HUMANS! They’re just on the next step on the evolutionary ladder!

    SPOILERS follow:

    “I spent pretty much the whole movie pretty confused, with questions like:
    – How come Xavier looks the same way he did before he died?”
    Maybe he’s telepathically projecting the image of his old appearance to the other mutants?
    “- His new body can’t walk either?”
    Well in the bonus scene for X3, he transferred his body into a hospital patient who was in a vegetated state. Maybe the guy also happened to be semi-paralysed state, or perhaps it’s a psychosomatic thing where Xavier’s mind makes the body react like his old one did?
    “- What’s up with Wolverine’s claws?”
    If you mean in the 70s, he hasn’t gotten the adamantium put in yet. If you mean in the future, maybe Magneto slathered some more adamantium on them after the events of THE WOLVERINE left him with just the bone ones.
    “- Is that the future of X-Men 3 or a parallel universe? (I had this question on my mind until Wolverine had those X3 flashbacks)”
    If you mean the future that’s post apocalyptic and shit, that’s post-X3. If you mean the brighter happier one we end with, that’s a new timeline, a la how BACK TO THE FUTURE part 1 ended.
    “- Where’s Rogue?”
    I assume dead in the post-apocalypse. Shown alive in the nicer version.
    “- In the past, how come Wolverine is not enlisted in the army?”
    Maybe it just hasn’t happened yet? Or maybe this is after he left?
    “- That Stryker looks doesn’t look at all like the one in Origins. Is that not canon now?”
    Well probably not, given the other changes that have taken place.
    “- There’s no way that’s Toad.”
    That’s your opinion.
    “- Didn’t Magneto help Xavier build Cerebro?”
    That’s what he said in X1
    “- When they visit the X-Men basement and Cerebro, showing everything in slow motion, it doesn’t have the desired effect because it’s in the past, and your mind is busy processing the previous question and also saying “OK I guess they built this at some point””
    The basic version was already built in FIRST CLASS.
    “- This scene of Mystique going through Trask’s files is way too similar to the one in X2. Is there a hidden message or parallel here? (turns out there isn’t)”
    Isn’t there?
    “- Wasn’t Trask played by Bill Duke?”
    Maybe that’s his son.
    “- What’s that helmet Magneto is taking? Kevin Bacon’s or the red one with horns? It doesn’t look like either… maybe I’m misremembering? ( I wasn’t. I checked after I got home, it’s a new design)”
    It looked like a corroded version of the Kevin Bacon one to me.
    “- HOW THE HELL CAN FUTURE WOLVERINE REMEMBER THE EVENTS OF ORIGINS (this one also bugged me in The Wolverine)”
    To be fair, the movie doesn’t show him remembering the events of Origins, just remembering the Adamantium Process and meeting the older Stryker.

    “Then the movie has these eye-roll-inducing winks like “wouldn’t it be nice if your claws were covered in metal?” and things like that.”
    Also oddly a WANTED shout out with McAvoy asking “how else do you explain a bullet curving through the air?”.

  13. There’s the return of an old (musical) friend in this that I absolutely loved, btw.

  14. Mouth:
    “-Where’s Rogue?”
    It’s implied that many of the X-Men have died by the time we get to the dark future. Beast asks if he survives and Wolverine says “no, but we can change that”…you can infer that Rogue, too, failed to survive until Logan changes the past.

    If you’re asking where Rogue is during the 70’s timeline, I believe she’s just a little kid at that point right?

  15. Merso, there are continuity issues coming out of the wazoo in these movies. I think they all lead back to ORIGINS, so I that must be the one they’re leaving out of the canon. In ORIGINS in 1979 Wolverine rescues his girlfriend’s teenage sister who turns into diamonds – Emma something, who goes off with (a walking) Prof X. Then in FIRST CLASS in 1962 she’s an adult who is working with Kevin Bacon. Also, in ORIGINS he was in the Vietnam war when he was recruited by Striker. In DOFP it’s just at the end of the Vietnam war when they encounter each other and Striker doesn’t seem to recognize him. You could say that he and his brother were still in Vietnam, either not sent home yet or there off the books, but if that’s the case, then how did he wake up in his 1973 body in the States?

    I think it’s best to just not think about it too hard. Let it go and enjoy the ride.

  16. To be fair, Stryker doesn’t seem to recognise him probably because the one time they’re in the same room together, Stryker is in the middle of being tased. He’s not really in a state to go “Hey, Logan, what are YOU doing here?”.

    Though I think the bigger question is: why does Stryker look like Stiffler now?

  17. I always enjoy the Xmen movies, and this was no exception. This might be my favorite one so far (though it has fierce competition with The Wolverine extended cut). The action was a big improvement over the previous installments. I really loved seeing everybody using their powers together in interesting combinations. Even when there was a lot going on, it never felt confusing.

    But I have to say that this one felt less like it was about something than the previous films. The themes of civil rights are still there, but this time they are not the main focus of the plot, but rather a theme to hang the plot on. The plot itself felt almost meta in the way that it went about trying to close up a lot of plot holes and merge 2 separate movie continuities. It was like the action wasn’t being driven so much by the motivations of characters in the story, but rather by the needs of the movie studio. I guess that’s the case with every movie, but it shouldn’t feel like it!

    And I’m not sure how to feel about the ending. I mean, I want to see the story move forward, but for me that means continuing the story in present day with the original cast. If the series continues on with the younger cast in the 70s or 80s, that seems less interesting to me since I already know where they all end up. It limits what they can do, which characters they can introduce and when. Unless they just say “to hell with continuity” and do whatever they want (which has essentially been the approach to these movies thus far). But if that’s what they wanted to do, well, I hate to say it but then they shouldn’t have made this movie. They should have simply moved forward in the rebooted First Class continuity and ignored the other films. It just feels like this movie (as good as it is) created way more problems for the franchise than it solved.

  18. But you gotta keep in mind that since they can do time travel shit, you can basically explain any discontinuities. Who’s to say that this is the first time such a thing went down?

    Did anybody stay for the post-cred teaser? Shit was chilling.

  19. Vern – I’m surprised that final setpiece didn’t impress you. I mean we saw those ads of Fassbender lifting up RFK Stadium and I wondered WTF is Magneto going to use that for? Turned out SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER he put around the White House to make a defense wall. That’s clever.

    As for Quicksilver and his “goofy” looks…I really didn’t understand why people hated that look when the promo pics came out. I mean its 1970s, what was huge back then? David Bowie and Glam Rock. For some reason that look seems totally logical to me. (Plus lets be honest Vern, you didn’t mention that dude with that weird-ass tattoo around his eye. Some Mutants try to stay in the closet like Beast, others just fly their freak flag proudly.)

    That said, its hilarious that the character the Internet shit on the most turned out to be the one that stole the show.

    Merso – The continuity in these movies is so irrepairably fucked this side of HIGHLANDER movies and DOCTOR WHO, Singer basically had 2 agendas in mind: (1) wipe out X3 and ORIGINS and give “his” movies their fan fiction happy ending save for two things from X3 that he apparently liked enough to keep and (2) continue the rebooting process that FIRST CLASS started and pretty much not be as handcuffed to the old movies up to this point.

    And that’s one thing that I probably disagree with Vern the most. Unlike FIRST CLASS, I thought McAvoy and J-Law were actually given decent stuff to work with this time and it obviously shows. Both have their own arches. McAvoy has his subtle-as-Oliver-Stone drug addiction where he must come out of the closet and embrace his Mutant-self, even if it means he’s got rubber legs now. No offense to Romijn, but could she have pulled off that hospital scene? J-Law (without that blue shit) is having to take a few words and go miles with them in suggestions. “Yes she has a family.”*

    In fact Vern, you actually got that Mystique/Saigon scene wrong. She’s there to get some files/blood samples (whatever MacGufin it was) and that’s when Stryker shows up to take away those Mutants and she decides to risk her mission to save them.

    Remember Mr. Majestyk’s Mystique movie pitch? After DOFP, I actually could creatively see that happening. J-Law won’t be around for it, but yeah with Mystique less Magneto’s henchwoman and more an anti-heroin off on her own…its not as random as it was suggested months ago by Mr. Kinsberg.

    *=I think most of my midnight crowd assumed she was talking about Xavier, but I didn’t. She’s been on her own for 10 years. Alot has happened. In the comics, she had an affair with Azazel which conceived Nightcrawler. Who was revealed to be one of the Mutants that Trask dissected? Azazel. And who did Singer say is showing up in APOCALYPSE but younger? Nightcrawler. I always wondered if one of Singer’s plans for X3 and X4 or whatever he wanted to explore before he left was the whole Mystique/Nightcrawler dynamics. Maybe this is his plan?

  20. Sorry about the SPAWN error. Talk about a movie from a different era of super heroes.

    Also, thanks for pointing out the WANTED joke, I didn’t pick up on that but you’re right.

  21. CrustaceanLove

    May 27th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    This is the first X-Men movie that makes a serious attempt to capture the bonkers storytelling of the comics, for better or worse. Mostly better. Like the comics, it’s riddled with tiny continuity errors and makes absolutely no concessions for people who haven’t seen the first three movies AND the prequel/reboot.

    I loved the post-apocalyptic future fights. Great seeing all these mutants combining their powers in creative and visually interesting ways. I like how they don’t explain what their powers are. You just see them in action and figure it out. I was hoping for mohawk Storm too; it’s the best look she ever had. Free the ‘Hawk! I want to see Mohawk Storm knife-fighting Morlocks in the sewer.

    Anyone see the post-credits Age of Apocalypse teaser?

  22. Hi everyone. I’ve been making the rounds on every forum and talkback I come across about this movie, to share my timeline I wrote that tries to tie together and make sense of all the X-Men movies, including this one (which I loved, by the way, but that’s for another comment). I figured you all would appreciate this, as I think it manages to untangle all the continuity knots. But that said, I definitely had to do some guesswork and invent some rather flimsy explanations every now and then…but it more or less works. I’ve already shared it on AICN, and gotten positive feedback over there. Also, I’ve chosen for now to ignore the events of X-Men Origins simply to try and focus on the events pertaining to the actual X-Men films and The Wolverine, seeing as that film does technically act as a sequel to The Last Stand in that it deals with the aftermath of Jean Grey’s death. So, here you are:


    1. X-Men: First Class events occur, ending with the Cuban Missile Crisis’ mutant involvement being covered up by the government.

    2. Xavier becomes a recluse out of shame and despair, and Magneto is captured after trying to rescue John F. Kennedy from assassination but failing, and thus being blamed for the murder. Meanwhile, Mystique assassinates Dr. Bolivar Trask, who has experimented on her old mutant friends, and she is captured. Her DNA is used in Trask’s Sentinel research, which will see protracted development for decades due to various setbacks.

    3. Eventually, somehow Xavier comes out of his depression and re-starts his School for Gifted Youngsters, with Beast aiding him as one of his original teachers. To do so, Xavier vows to never use Beast’s serum, sacrificing his legs to keep his powers. while Beast finally comes to terms with his mutation and also decides to never again use the serum. Meanwhile, Mystique succeeds in escaping Trask, and breaks out Magneto somehow. Sometime afterward, Magneto possibly has a change of heart, and so returns to Xavier, reconciling with his old friend. They both agree to work together recruiting new students for the school, and also collaborate on an improved version of Cerebro.

    4. During this period, Xavier chooses to use a new version of Beast’s formula that restores his legs but keeps his powers, and so he and Erik succeed in recruiting many young mutants, among them Jean Grey. But then, shortly after, Erik fails to properly adjust to this new life, and reverts back to his old ways, and so parts with Xavier yet again. Possibly, in their split, Magneto injures Xavier yet again, crippling him permanently, and Xavier is either unable to use Beast’s serum thanks to the proper formula being lost and Beast unable to replicate it, or he simply no longer cares about walking as long as he has his powers to help others. Magneto reunites with Mystique, and they begin their Brotherhood of Mutants.

    5. The events of X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Wolverine all carry out as they did. But concerning Xavier’s death, he survived being vaporised by Phoenix by transferring his mind into a temporary host body. During that time, he learned that Trask Industries had finally completed their development of the improved Sentinel program, and knew that if they were unleashed it would be a threat to mutantkind. We will assume that even though The Last Stand ended with mutants supposedly being granted better reception and rights by the government, something must have ocurred to either turn the public against them again, or the administration simply was lying and/or their new stance was wiped out by a new Presidency that still wanted mutants exterminated.

    6. Xavier in a host body tracks down Magneto, who has regained his powers but has yet to try to take on humanity again, and Xavier tells him of the Sentinel program. Magneto, seemingly genuinely and permanently, sees the error of his ways, and agrees to help Xavier both recover his body and gather as many mutants as they can. They possibly enlist a mutant with a power allowing them to re-create Xavier’s old body (sans walking ability, possibly by Xavier’s request, as he thinks being wheelchair-bound is an important symbol of his dedication to his values over his own body, and also explains why he doesn’t use the tech of the future to fix himself). They both then seek out Wolverine, who a year earlier had gone through the events of The Wolverine, and they enlist him as part of their gathering of all mutants to try and combat the Sentinel threat.

    7. The Sentinel program is approved, but the machines begin to take their programming too far, and so begin a full-scale conquering of the planet. In the ensuing war, millions of both humans and mutants are killed, and so by the time of the future sequences in Days of Future Past, mutants are nearly extinct, and all that remain are Xavier and Magneto’s band, desperately trying to survive. One day, they come up with the plan for Kitty Pryde to send Xavier’s mind back to his younger body to try and stop Mystique’s capture by Trask in the 70’s, but then Wolverine volunteers, as his healing factor makes him more able to handle the mental stress.

    8. Wolverine travels back, and the events of Days of Future Past happen. And now this is where things get very wonky, vague, and hopefully will be better explained in X-Men: Apocalypse. When Wolverine re-awakens in the future, things have been drastically altered. We see Jean Grey and Cyclops alive again. We see the School for Gifted Youngsters going on as normal. We see Iceman and Rogue a couple again. We see Xavier still the head of the school, and Wolverine is now apparently a teacher. Judging from Xavier’s comments, he remembers the events of Days of Future Past, and states he will fill in Wolverine on this new alternate history he lives in.

    So, the situation seems to be thus: it seems that X-Men and X2 still happened, but X2 must have had a radically different climax, in which Jean Grey never sacrificed herself, and so Cyclops was never killed by her when she returns from the dead. Since Jean survived, the events of The Last Stand could have possibly still happened but only in a very broad sense, now without Phoenix’s involvement (and by extension, the entirety of The Wolverine has now been totally erased from existence). At this time, there is no way to ascertain what became of Magneto and his followers in that case. But for now, at least until Apocalypse comes along to hopefully answer these questions, we should assume that X-Men and X2 still happened as they did, but with these primary new factors:

    1. The Sentinel program was not being developed during the time of X-Men and X2.

    2. Magneto’s involvement in the creation of Cerebro possibly no longer is mentioned in this altered timeline, since it didn’t occur, or somehow there was still a time when Magneto and Xavier reconciled and they built a new version, and together recruited mutants like Jean Grey (with Xavier again being temporarily able to walk), before Magneto went his own way again.

    3. Jean Grey survived the climax of X2, and so The Last Stand either didn’t happen at all, or still did but with multiple story elements no longer in existence. Such as Rogue and Iceman’s relationship issues, since they seem to still be a couple in the altered future.

    Lastly, as for the effect of Days of Future Past on the First Class era’s characters, its probably easiest to assume that Mystique’s act of mercy resulted in not only the warping of the original timeline into the one Wolverine wakes up in, but now that altered timeline is now its own separate universe. Everything that happens in the First Class era after the events of Days of Future Past is now completely free of need to match up with the original films’ events. A complete clean slate. Things can go in any direction now. Thus, X-Men: Days of Future Past effectively acts as a goodbye to the era of the old X-Men films (assuming we no longer will see films centering on that cast) while also allowing this new timeline to do what it wants without problems of predestination plot points. Both an ending, and a new beginning.

  23. Jonathan – Thank you. I should point out however:

    (1) Rogue still has that silver streak in her hair that the first movie caused so I assume X-MEN still happened.

    (2) most importantly, something worth considering that surprisingly people haven’t mentioned enough: Look at the newspaper headline in 1973: “Mutant saves President & Cabinet.” Bottom of page, Trask arrested for treason, his views publicly discredited, Sentinel program cancelled. People assume that because Xavier read the spoilers to the future, he avoided the events of THE LAST STAND or made different decisions so that Cyclops and Jean Grey lived, etc. But what if due to Mystique’s very public action, the world set in the original trilogy is less hostile to Mutants?

  24. Kinda weird that I hallucinated Mouth instead of Merso but oh well, LET IT STAND.

  25. RRA – I did remember both those things, and you bring up an interesting possibility. My timeline theory is supposed to try and think of a way for all the movies so far to still exist, as much as is possible (I do think The Last Stand and The Wolverine have been utterly erased, but the Broad Strokes idea could still allow them to have happened but with big elements removed, like I said).

  26. I really enjoyed this movie – above all else, it was very, very entertaining and my favorite X-Men movie I think.

    The only things I wasn’t a fan of:

    Finally having Sentinals in an X-Men movie, but not having metal claws on Wolverine to fight them with. They’ve effectively been removed from the equation too… perhaps they’ll bring them back in some form, but an all-out X-men vs Sentinal fight is something I’d love to see. Executed better than the battle scenes in this (the teleporter chicks moments with Sentinals were awesome though!)

    That we seem to be back to the polished, clean, silver and black padded armour aesthetic of the X-Men. First class was great, loved the uniform colours and DOFP presented an opportunity to paint what ever future or X-Men universe they damn well wanted and they seem to have essentially gone back to something not all that different from X1 and X2.

    I’m getting slightly bored with the X-Men universe as it is now – really, really want that pulpy, colourful, full-on-comic-book embracing style that it could be.

    Anyway, other than those, the film itself is fun, surprisingly funny, thrilling and has a lot of weight and consequence. Very well made.

  27. “Then the movie has these eye-roll-inducing winks like “wouldn’t it be nice if your claws were covered in metal?” and things like that.”

    I believe he says “imagine they were made of metal”, after Wolverine uses his bone claws to keep him from taking his newspaper. Maybe a little too cute, but the tone is combative (“OK sure but what if I could control the knives in your hands you’re using to be so hostile dude I’ve never met then–“) and I liked the moment. Also Wolverine asking him if he’s going to pick up the mess he made.

    When it’s suggested that JFK was a mutant I thought “look Singer being a sex addict who’s a bad fuck is *not* a super power.”

    I imagine they they included the mobster skewering so their most popular character could actually accomplish something in a fight this movie. Convenient PTSD flashback is just another X-man “here is a character who would solve this scene in three seconds, gotta take him out for a while somehow”, the futile attempt to cut the sentinel w/ bone claws was sort of funny, and the conclusion to his confrontation with Magneto was a nice reversal of their apparent status quo reversal (finally he’s not weak to the other’s power and can do something about him! …never mind) but… Yeah.

  28. What I took from this movie is that the events of X-MEN and X2 are gone as well. Singer wiped everything out not just what he did not do which is great because now he has a clean slate to work with going forward. The Mystique as Stryker thing among other points pretty much said that. I didn’t think people would need the exposition to make it clear. It really is the STAR TREK thing all over again.

    In other words the same way in the next movie set in the 80’s they’ll likely have younger Xavier recruiting Cyclops and Jean Grey to join Beast and could also have Angel now that X3 is out they could also have Wolverine join the X-Men in the 90’s instead of 2000 in this new timeline.

    Essentially they rebooted within an existing timeline just like comic books do. So things don’t have to play out a way that lines up with the trilogy anymore. FIRST CLASS contradicting many points from every other movie in the franchise except this one no longer matters.

  29. Code1026 – “I’m getting slightly bored with the X-Men universe as it is now – really, really want that pulpy, colourful, full-on-comic-book embracing style that it could be.”

    That was kinda the point of this movie. I’ve never liked this franchise for the same reason. The movies were always very hollow, dull and static to me. X2 was the only one that came close to what I wanted from an X-Men movie. Essentially they realized that there was a lot of untapped potential and hit the reset button so that they could now find ways to finally realize that potential. Keeping the series as 80’s and 90’s period pieces for the next few movies could be kinda cool in that regard. Gonna be fun to see how the history played out in this new timeline.

  30. I shouldn’t say anything because it could derail the conversation but the world would be a much better place if we all forgot about Spawn. What a giant pile of shit that movie is.

  31. I love listening to people argue about how confusing the continuity is in the X-Men movies when the X-Men comics have maybe the most convoluted and ever-changing continuity of maybe any comic book series in history. Just remember, this is the series where Scott Summers dated Jean Grey, watched her die, married her doppleganger which turned out to be an evil clone, then dumped the clone when Jean came back to life, only to learn that she was never dead because the Dark Phoenix was yet another clone of Jean who put her in suspended animation, but when the real Jean and Scott got married she wound up getting killed for realz anyway and…

    See, that’s just a small sampling of one little X-Men arc. And in terms of levels of confusing, this one is about in the middle.

  32. Interesting read, Jonathan, but I don’t get #4: Xavier gains the ability to walk again.

    What makes you say that? And with a better serum? Did I miss something from all these past movies? Seems to me that after DOFP Xavier will never walk again, period.

  33. Christof – I think Jonathan was refering to the opening of X3 when Magneto and Xavier (who can walk) recruit Jean Grey.

  34. Daniel Strange, that’s exactly what I meant by “the less familiar you are with the X-Men movieverse, the more you will be able to enjoy.”

    Stu: good points, I just wish the movie would have given us this information and we wouldn’t have to resort to “fanwanks”. Also you’re right that me saying “There’s no way that’s Toad” is an opinion and not a fact, but then let me reword the phrase: he looks to old and too different to be the Toad we saw in X1 (which is quite absurd as they are both from the same director).
    “That’s what he said in X1” re: “”Didn’t Magneto help Xavier build Cerebro?”: Not only it was said by Xavier, but in X2 Magneto was shown to now enough of Cerebro to be able to reconfigure Stryker’s Cerebro 2 – which was believable back then as we knew he had a hand in the creation of the original. We didn’t have to make up excuses with that one like “maybe he saw the plans in between scenes”.
    Re: “To be fair, the movie doesn’t show him remembering the events of Origins, just remembering the Adamantium Process and meeting the older Stryker.” When young Xavier enters Logan’s mind, we see a scene of Origins if I’m not mistaken, the moment Victor steps on and breaks Wolverine’s bone claws. This memory was supposedly erased in the mind of Future Wolverine. It was kind of a big deal in the previous movies, and if Logan got his memories back and we weren’t there to see it, well, that’s a shame.

    MaggieMayPie, yes, it would seem that Origins is not canon during DOFP. But then they have that one Origins scene in the flashbacks…

    RJ_MacReady, that was what I thought as well, re: “If the series continues on with the younger cast in the 70s or 80s, that seems less interesting to me since I already know where they all end up. It limits what they can do, which characters they can introduce and when.”

    Also, I don’t understand why so many people though First Class was a reboot instead of a prequel. Wishful thinking, probably.

    Jonathatn, your post is excellent, thank you for sharing. I found this bit unintentionally funny, tho: “sans walking ability, possibly by Xavier’s request, as he thinks being wheelchair-bound is an important symbol of his dedication to his values over his own body, and also explains why he doesn’t use the tech of the future to fix himself”. I guess we have to settle for an explanation like that. Also, according to comments I found in other parts of the information highway, in the director’s commentary for X-Men 3 it’s mentioned that the body that Xavier transferred his consciousness to, was his twin brother’s. Lame, but it’s the closest we have to an official explanation. Anyway, with that, there wouldn’t be a need for that special mutant capable of recreating Xavier’s body.

    I presume one would be able to create a series of fan edits, removing comments here and there from previous movies so they match better with DOFP. Nerdy? Yes. Unnecessary? Also yes.

    I’ll let you know when I get on that.

  35. Sorry, Jonathan. As you can see I took the liberty to rename you Jonathatn.

  36. Merso – Oh, I certainly admit, I had to resort to some very flimsy and rather unintentionally comical explanations for some of this. And I never listened to X3’s commentary concerning the ‘twin brother’ bit. That does indeed sound fucking idiotic. And RRA also brought up the interesting idea that the alternate future does take place in a totally rewritten world, including wiping out X1 and X2. It’s not entirely unreasonable, though I again was trying my hardest to think of a timeline that still allows as much of what we’ve seen to remain (and I’m also biased because I love X1 and especially X2 still).

    Christof – RRA has it right. It was referring to The Last Stand’s opening scene.

  37. If you really think the scope and imagination of what could happen in future movies is limited due to them being “prequels” then you really didn’t comprehend at all what this movie did. They are not “prequels” they’re just filling us in on the details of what happened in the past of the alternate timeline we end up at the end of this one (hint: NOT ANY OF THE MOVIES WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN).

    So yes FIRST CLASS was very much a reboot because it’s the launch point for the new retelling of the X-MEN mythos that the movie series is now open to. It is not a prequel because not only did it always contradict elements seen in the trilogy and spin off films anyway but now those movies no longer matter as far as the internal canon of the movies is concerned.

  38. You know I just realized something about APOCALYPSE. In the comics, Apocalypse was awakened from his long thousands-years nap because of Cable’s time traveling (ironic since he came back to prevent his awakening.)

    What if Logan’s time traveling in DOFP is what wakes up Apocalypse?

    And here’s another thought. Singer obviously has played into the gay subtext with his movies in this franchise, what if the Legacy Virus is the plot device in APOCALYPSE? In the comics, that was a not-so-subtle AIDS metaphor that Apocalypse engineered.

  39. Well, damn, Simon Kinberg recently did a podcast interview with Empire Magazine. He spills on some of the questions we all have (not all, though), and happily for me none of them too seriously negate the timeline I concocted, so…


  40. CrustaceanLove

    May 28th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    RRA: I had the same thought about the time travel in DOFP being the thing that awakens Apocalypse.

    Using the Legacy Virus is a great idea. It would be a way to give a bit of grounding to Apocalypse who, at least in the comics, can basically do anything at any time, plus he’s immortal. I can see humans turning a blind eye to the “Mutant disease” in the hopes that it’ll wipe them out and things will go back to normal, blaming them when it spreads to the general population, mutants being quarantined on Genosha. Lots of great, thematically powerful stuff. Subtlety is overrated. They’d have to be careful how they handle origin of the virus; it has the potential to be an allegorical version of Seagal’s bonkers AIDS conspiracy movie. Although in the comics didn’t Apocalypse create the Legacy Virus to wipe out non-mutants? I dunno.

    I don’t think Singer has played into the gay subtext that much outside of a few key lines (“Have you tried not being a Mutant?”). In fact the one with the most overt gay themes is the Brett Ratner one (Angel etc).

    Aren’t these new films still prequels? In the end of DOFP we see Logan waking up at the school and seeing almost everyone from X-MEN 1-3. Isn’t this how the FIRST CLASS timeline ends up, limiting when and how characters can be introduced or die? We know Beast is still alive, for instance, and that the events of X3 never happened. As cool as it was seeing all these old characters, they would have been better off with a more mysterious T2 type ending where the apocalypse is presumably avoided but the future is completely unknown. Also, does this mean that Wolverine lived his life as normal for decades, got a teaching job at Xavier’s school etc, and then just one day woke up with amnesia? And everyone knew this was going to happen sooner or later?

  41. CrustaceanLove – You see how in Back to the Future Marty McFly leaves his shitty present and comes back to an ideal future that is nothing like the one he left? that’s the same way Wolverine’s consciousness left the shitty future that happened after the trilogy and came back to the one he now exists in.

    Their interference in the past created a new branch on the tree of time. Parallel but different from the branch they intially left. An alternate path was created and the future they returned to was within that alternate path and not the one they initially left.

    Any events after 1973 in this movie never happened not how we saw them anyway. Thusly the previous movies are all invalid when it comes to the new timeline. Doesn’t make them any lesser in quality and it doesn’t mean you can no longer buy them in the stores if you’d like. Just that from here on out nobody has to worry about being faithful to the events of those movies anymore when making new X-Men movies. They could pretty much do whatever they want. The sky’s the limit in terms of the stories they could tell that cover the period from the 1980’s to the 2020’s.

    I’m pretty sure and I say this as a creative writer myself that Singer and his team did this for the sake of having as much uninhibited creative freedom as possible in the future with these movies which was very smart. He got to have his cake (give a fond farewell to the previous timeline he created) and eat it too (create a new timeline that allows him to fill the blank canvas as he well pleases).

    Just like with JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. In other words they are not creatively handicapped by the events of the previous movies and could do whatever they want for here on out which is the smart thing to do if you want to breathe new life into the series. That way you could tell fresh X-Men stories and not be predictable because everybody in the audience “knows how things turn out in the future”.

  42. CrustaceanLove

    May 28th, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    But we do know how things turn out in the future. After Wolverine returns from the past to the new timeline we see that Xavier still has his school, we see Beast, Jean Grey, Rogue, Iceman, Cyclops etc. This is the new future of the FIRST CLASS/DOFP timeline, thanks to Wolverine’s interference. They may be free to do their own spin on the events of X1-X3, but they still have a fixed endpoint on the series, until the next retcon/reboot anyway. STAR TREK was a little different. We never see what the old cast are up to now that the past has been changed, so the future is totally unknown. Did anyone else read those STAR TREK/X-MEN crossover comics?

    BTTF is intentionally goofy and haphazard with its time travel logic; DOFP at least pretends to take it seriously. As far as Xavier is concerned, Logan was acting normal until he woke up one day without his memory. Kind of shortsighted to give him a job as a history teacher knowing that he is destined to suddenly forget the events of the last few decades.

  43. “They may be free to do their own spin on the events of X1-X3, but they still have a fixed endpoint on the series, until the next retcon/reboot anyway.”

    Yes but do you know how much they could accomplish until then?

    They could have more than one movie that takes place in the 80’s. Same with the 90’s and 00’s all the way up to 2023.

    I don’t know if you read comic books and if you do if you’re familiar with DC Comics. In the 80’s they had a story called Crisis on Infinite Earths that basically rebooted their entire universe within their pre-existing continuity. Even with that happening there was one character that remembered the previous DC Universe while still existing in the new one created at the end of that story. His name was Psycho Pirate and Jackman’s Wolverine is basically the Psycho Pirate of this film series now.

    Obviously things like how he feels a special way about Jean are a product of the history that he remembers. However in her mind their bond was triggered a completely different way than how it played out in X-Men – X-Men: The Last Stand. Which is why Professor X tells him that he has to fill him in on the details of the past 50 years because they have played out differently from what he knows.

  44. Thanks RRA (and Jonathan). I watched X3 once and completely forgot about that part. Regardless, my guess is that they never have him walk again. I could be wrong but something tells me they won’t want to stay true to a minor scene in a poorly-received movie.

    Has Singer made any public statements about LAST STAND, ie. in regards to just flat out ignoring certain parts of it? Because the death of Xavier in that movie makes for such a loophole that I’m inclined to think, in all the meetings that took place during preproduction of DOFP, that people were more or less like, “Well, it was stupid that he died in LAST STAND, it’s Patrick Fucking Stewart, we want him in the film, audience want to see him and Sir Ian, so let’s just bring him back and pretend (mostly) that parts of X3 never happened.”

    I like Jonathan’s theory about how Xavier survived the Phoenix blast but mostly I think their reasoning was “Fuck it.”

  45. I meant “plot hole” – not “loop hole”

  46. “Also, does this mean that Wolverine lived his life as normal for decades, got a teaching job at Xavier’s school etc, and then just one day woke up with amnesia? And everyone knew this was going to happen sooner or later?”

    Oh my god, I’m getting a headache thinking about this.

  47. Broddie: Oh yes, I know Crisis on Infinite Earths and the endless stream of “This will change everything!” retcons and reboots that have followed in it’s wake. I do worry now that STAR TREK and DOFP have opened this particular can of worms. Like Vern points out, a lot of fans howl when you mention the word “reboot”, but if you cloak it in comic book meta-fiction it’s somehow more acceptable. I bet Sony wish they’d thought of this little trick with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

    RJ: Now that I think about it, New Timeline Wolverine would probably know the exact day and date he was going to “wake up” and forget everything that happened in the intervening 50 years. What a bummer. They really should have been better prepared for this inevitability.

  48. I liked this one a lot, and I really didn’t care for First Class or Origins (never saw THE Wolverine- never heard anything good about it). Seems like they had their cake and ate it, too: Fixes problems with part three, but doesn’t ignore anything that’s happened, continues with the younger characters, finds a way to shoehorn Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in their anyway. In some ways, this is finally that Wolverine movie they’ve been trying to do. But anyway, the best part of the movies is, hands down, Quicksilver. I hope to god they are getting extremely positive reactions to this character and a spin-off movie is being developed. It could easily be the best super hero movie Marvel’s ever touched, and I bet you could tell a fun story in 90 minutes with that dude. Seriously, bring back 90 minute movies. If we were still in the age of VHS, every fucking superhero movie would be a double tape. That kind of shit was reserved for movies like Malcolm X and shit. You only went two tapes if you were serious and you had some serious shit to tell that might take a bit longer than normal movie time. Not EVERY MOVIE IS OVER TWO HOURS. Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this, I’m clearly just rambling. Props to anyone above this comment that agrees with me about any of this shit

  49. “I don’t think Singer has played into the gay subtext that much”

    Crustacean – More than you think. You quote that one line from X2 from that scene where Iceman comes out to his family, who subsequently rejects him. (Or his brother is the one who actually does but none the less the symbolism remains.) You have the first movie where the mutant (gay) teen runs away from home when they find out her secret. You have the Mutant (gay) loner who drifts around who can’t go back “home.” (Of course the character can’t remember his origins but stick with the broad picture I’m painting.) Ultimately over the course of those two films, those 3 characters who have left their traditional nuclear family units and embraced by an underground community of their kind.

    Then there is the government stuff which aligns with how the government has traditionally seen gay people as a threat or “disease” that needs to be cured/destroyed or regulated because they’re a shadowy threat living out there right under your nose. (Hell people forget this but the HIV travel ban that had been around since the 1980s was only repealed under Obama.)

    In fact I had a gay classmate who once said that “obviously” Xavier and Magneto were former lovers in a relationship that ended badly. Her reasoning was that as merely “good old friends,” its hard to accept that they’re still fond of each other in some way even though Magneto has no problem fucking up Xavier to achieve his goals or that their gangs try to kill each other. Of course she never read the comics and there’s nothing in the films to exactly prove this argument….but reading it under gay subtext, well its compelling stuff one must admit.

    And it even continues somewhat in DOFP. Hank/Beast has been living along with Xavier in his mansion for a decade because they’re good friends? Or is Hank his new companion after his breakup with Magneto?

    Yes alot of that above did come from the comics, but we’re talking about a subtext that the filmmakers (in this case Singer, who is gay) played with or seemingly played with and I suppose to X3’s credit they tried to follow similar subtext as well.

  50. “It could easily be the best super hero movie Marvel’s ever touched”

    You all know that Marvel Studios doesn’t produce the X-Men movies, right? That franchise is produced by Fox, that’s their turf.

  51. Yeah Marvel Studios is very different from Fox and Sony movies having a logo on them.

    Marvel Studios movies (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy etc.) are made by Marvel themselves. The other movies were licensed out to other studios decades ago and Marvel has not been able to get the movie rights back because Sony and Fox keep making X-Men and Spider-Man movies.

  52. The problem with subtext and symbolism is often that people see stuff, that isn’t there. I mean, Singer (and McKellen) often talked about how this material spoke to them, because as open homosexuals they know how it feels to be discriminated for being “different” and how their experiences helped shape certain moments in the scripts, but y’know, sometimes a guy who shoots lasers out of his eyes is just a guy who shoots lasers out of his eyes!

  53. I did like this way more than I ever liked THE AVENGERS and MAN OF STEEL though. Singer hit the ball out of the park in ways Whedon and Snyder couldn’t really match. No numbing of the mind with endless desensitizing spectacle just a nicely paced flick with the action and wow moments in the right spots. Like the new Godzilla movie. I’m really appreciating the summer movies of 2014 so far for sticking to a more old school structure and letting their movies really breathe between the spectacle.

  54. X-Men was actually created as a platform for Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s support of the civil rights movement. It spoke out to minorities since the 60’s. I would say in many ways when I re-read stories I just took as fun back in the late 80’s today it’s interesting to see how that never went away.

    It’s a huge hook of the property and I could see how Singer would relate to it being gay but CJ is definitely right. It’s always going to speak to different people in different ways. Like I said before I got into it cause it was metal guys punching out bad guys, ice guys making ice bridges and projectiles and dudes shooting lasers out of their eyes. You can’t really put it all in one box.

  55. CJ – I know but its fascinating when you look at some of that under that subtext. Its like those fan theories that Cracked.com catalogues from time to time. Alot of them are BS, but they’re compelling regardless. (Like that old SW fandom theory that Chewbacca and R2D2 are Rebel spies.)

    Broddie – and yet with the bitching and bitching and bitching at GODZILLA for “not enough Godzilla” and the unfortunate collapse on the 2nd weekend, I wonder if certain people in town are taking notes…and I mean the wrong sort of notes. “Forget that pacing and slow burn stuff. Give the masses the monsters right away and in overdrive.”

    As for Marvel, I think the confusion people have is why they introduced that goofy new revolving title (w/ fanfare) that explicitely says “Studios” under Marvel. Notice Spider-Man and X-Men have the old Marvel logo. Not that it’ll do diick with people like my co-worker who didn’t understand why Spider-Man wasn’t in AVENGERS.

    And then there is BIG HERO 6, based off an obscure Marvel title. That recently released trailer doesn’t have the Marvel banner at all. True the movie apparently is more “inspired” by the comic than actually based off it. But still weird that its a Marvel property being adapted yet no Marvel bumper.

    “From the makers of FROZEN and THE AVENGERS” would’ve been maybe the richest license to print money in years.

  56. I think CrustaceanLove brings up a valid point of concern with the notion that we now know that every single major X-Person is going to come out of Apocalypse’s shenanigans unscathed though, right? I’m not sure the fact that the coda of DotFP is such short scene really alleviates those prequel blues when it’s so extensive in its “look at how great everything will turn out”-ism. Of course, the solution is just more time travel right?

    Another thing that concerns me about the next X-Men film is one that plagues all of them: how are they possibly going to account for all the different instances of “Why didn’t Apocalypse just do ______?” I’m no expert but I even hear that the telekinetic pyramid shit is an EXTENSION of Big Blue’s powers from the comic canon (eg they’ve actually buffed this fucker). At least in DotFP there was a theme of “don’t force Raven to do the right thing, we have to let her find the right path” to excuse why Quicksilver didn’t just fix everything for them.

  57. Randy – just so you’ve heard something good about it, The Wolverine is well worth your time.

  58. Godzilla collapsed because the marketing didn’t match up with the actual movie. Trailers said: this is a movie about existential dread in the face of an unstoppable force. Movie was: scaly revolutionary arrives 30 minutes from the end to destroy capitalism’s excesses and solve man’s problems with a monster fight. Also, there’s not a large audience for kaiju movies and I suspect (as starved as they were) they all showed up that first weekend.

    About X-MEN: DOFP (SPOOLERS!), I loved the fact that the movie returned to the soundtrack and credit stylings of X2, and that it essentially opened in a circular fashion with the original X-Men: Here is Magneto in the German camp. Now here is that camp again, in the future, full of Magnetos. The glowing circles on the necks of the prisoners symbolically demonstrating that this is a cycle that will repeat itself. And I encourage everyone to take this message to heart. Sure, Wolferine is captured by Mystique, and not Stryker, but the end result will be the same: he will get the ‘indestructible’ skeleton and claws and lose his memory, and escape. Charles ends up in that wheelchair. Magneto ends up banging Mystique in a levitating metal sex swing. It’s all going to repeat itself.

  59. RRA- Yeah, I’m aware of that, I just meant Marvel characters in general. I don’t know why I even commented, though. I will forget about this movie just like every other superhero movie almost as soon as I’ve seen it.

  60. Is 31.4 million a “collapse”??

  61. Renfield, generally speaking movies lose a fixed percentage of their first-week box-office every week. I don’t remember the average number but I think it’s somewhere around 50 percent – again I could be misrembering that. But anyway, dropping 65% week-over-week is really high and unusual. It suggests two things: 1) The audience for this film mostly showed up that first weekend and/or 2) word of mouth is poor.

  62. Mightn’t it suggest that they were simply seeing X-Men instead? HUGE numbers for DotFP. Also if word of mouth was poor wouldn’t that be indicated in the rottentomatoes audience meter?

    Not trying to be exasperatingly argumentative, just curious about this sort of stuff.

  63. renfield – Well, I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but the timeline I came up with comes up with a decent way to remove the problem you present. Like I said there: by altering events to create a whole new parallel universe for the future characters, the First Class era’s storyline is no longer bound to match up with the one of the old movies. I really do think DOFP was trying to pull a JJ Abrams crossbred with a Dark Knight Rises, by both restarting things to allow for total freedom with further stories (the former) and also definitively ending things for the old characters (the latter). Of course, they may have some of those characters return in some form in the post-DOFP timeline, since some of them still exist in that one (I’m looking right at you Logan), but I’m saying, they’re not bound to end up where they were in the old movies.

  64. Also, something I’d like to see make a return: Mystique’s voice having that weird warbly effect. I can excuse it not being around so far with Lawrence’s version as just her equivalent of not having had her voice break yet.

  65. Jonathan-
    “Everything that happens in the First Class era after the events of Days of Future Past is now completely free of need to match up with the original films’ events. A complete clean slate. Things can go in any direction now.”

    The problem I have is not the effect the timewarp has on the previous films, but on the forthcoming film Apocalypse. Whatever happens in Apocalypse, don’t we know for certain that virtually all the primary mutants will end up alive and happy for DotFP’s coda?

    But the more I think about it, the more I think this is kinda garbage. I mean you assume that things will have a roughly happy ending anyway by virtue of these being mainstream Hollywood movies; the conflict and tension is created by trying to figure out how the characters will maneuver events towards that resolution and that’s no different in Apocalypse than any other film.

  66. Renfield, NOBODY stays dead in X-Men. It’s like, a tradition or something. Of course they are all going to be alive in the future! That’s not to say they won’t have died previously. Multiple times. Each.

  67. Yeah I feel you, there are no straight lines adjoining any two points in this world.

  68. renfield – No, no, I probably keep failing to properly explain my point: the coda takes place in its own brand-new universe created by Mystique’s action. That future scene at the end….has zero tie to anything that happens after this point. Its completely separate from anything else. In its own bubble of reality. So….Apocalypse can do whatever it wants. It literally has NO destined endpoint now.

    I could of course be wrong about all this, but I’m just trying to properly clarify what I meant to you.

  69. Jonathan here’s where we’re miscommunicating: the coda IS the endpoint, because Apocalypse takes place BEFORE that, in the 1980’s, featuring the young versions of the X-Men (so I’ve read). So whatever happens in Apocalypse, it will lead up to the “brand-new universe created by Mystique’s action” that we saw in the coda.

  70. Great movie! The scene with stryker pulling wolverine out of the water had me excited because I thought “shit no matter how much the future gets altered wolverine will still get fucked over by stryker!”
    this will also give him his metal claws back for adventures of the future!
    Only for him to be mystique which to me felt like an unnecessary complication. Can anyone fill me in on what it actually means?

  71. Nobody know what it means, which is the point – now you KNOW that things will play differently.
    We can only assume that since it’s Mystique who took him instead of the real Striker, that Wolverine won’t be tortured and his memory won’t be erased this time. He should also not get his bones covered in Adamantium, but since that is such a popular trait of the character, it will probably happen anyway.
    Or maybe all of this will be ignored in the next movie, like with Xavier’s death.

  72. Ah okay, yes I thought it was kind of genius that wolverine would still be in a lot of the same trouble regardless of this new timeline and in the meantime regain a populair trait of his. But then the yellow eyes appeared.

    But I thought about it some more and I think the stryker events never took place. Because well, he is a history teacher. And the only reason for him to be a history teacher is when he has no memory loss. he can remember all the centuries he has been walking the earth. Who else would be a better history teacher than someone who was there and saw it all happen.

    Man this movie keeps me busy.

  73. renfield – Ooooohhhh. Now I see. Hmm….I had assumed that Mystique’s single action literally made the timelines completely split apart, so that the original timeline still happened as it did but with X2’s ending now changed, thanks to Xavier knowing that Jean would die (from looking into Logan’s memories) and so took steps to prevent it. I do really hope Apocalypse can explain a little better what exactly happened to create that alternate future, but hey, that’s part of the fun of a time-travel story…

  74. I got around to seeing this one this weekend, and I was happy with it all around. It did seem like a film that was geared explicitly towards a geek audience. There were no attempts at bringing in new audiences, because if you weren’t familiar with the previous X-Men films, then you’d be pretty lost. I was also happy to finally see Bishop and Blink up on the big screen. As much as I enjoyed Captain America 2, I somewhat preferred Days of Future Past.

  75. I have a dumb question: Did anybody make toys for DOFP?

    I ask because the past few days, rumors had been going around that Marvel was planning on cancelling their Fantastic Four books as a way to stick it to Fox (and their upcoming movie reboot) and not give them what amounts to free advertising. To say the least such an idea (if actually legitimate) is stupid is obvious, but then Robert Liefeld (co-creator of Deadpool) claimed that Marvel was already doing the same thing to Fox on X-Men, except on the toy front by refusing to produce toys for DOFP. Contrast that with toys out in stores for Spider-Man and Captain America, and coming soon for GOTG as well.

    Or is he full of shit? Since I’m not 8, I don’t care about toys but if this is actually legit….its so fucking logical why Marvel would do this, yet also costing themselves good money while Fox is making theirs. (Fun Fact: Sony and Marvel made a deal years back as resolution to their legal wranglings where basically Sony keeps all the money they make from Spider-Man films while Marvel keeps all the money made from merchandising.)

  76. I read something about that but I don’t see how not having comic books would matter to the studio at all. I mean why would they give a shit? It would only hurt Marvel and Fantastic Four comic addicts. I think this news story is probly a misunderstanding.

  77. The Original Paul

    June 10th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Well, I finally saw this one, and all I can say is… I don’t get it.

    Seriously, I don’t. It appears the bottom half of my “list of 2014” (the 2013 one in the forums now has almost four thousand views, what the flying fuck?!) will be populated entirely by superhero movies.

    Characters go back and forth between plot points, their motivations occasionally explained (usually in verbal exposition) but almost never shown. The exception is Mystique, who at least gets a scene where she sees autopsy pictures of mutants, as well as one where she gets to rescue some from an evil Vietnam-based experimentation laboratory. (And they haven’t broken out before why exactly?) But honestly Jennifer Lawrence did so little for me in this one that I almost wanted to go back and watch “American Hustle” again. Man, she’s good when she can be bothered.

    Everybody is crippled in this movie. McAvoy once again surprised me by not sucking, but I really really did not need emo-Professor, any more than I needed emo-Mystique. Seriously, I think of Rebecca Romjin-Stamos’s sheer badassery in the first two movies (did I spell that right?) and weep. Magneto is still at least Magneto, at least in action, but he’s got zero motivations, except for literally two lines of exposition regarding the deaths of characters from the previous movie who, if you hadn’t seen it, you wouldn’t have the faintest idea what he’s talking about. Again, telling not showing. I can’t agree with the poster who said above that this would be better if you weren’t aware of the previous movies, by the way. I can’t imagine what the heck you’d make of it if that were the case. You’d probably not understand what the heck was going on.

    And talking of not understanding what the heck is going on, what’s up with all the humans in this movie? Do they have a clue what’s going on, or don’t they? How were the previous mutant outbreaks (there’ve been two massive public ones in the last film alone) been covered up so successfully? What do the humans even think about the mutant “problem”, and is there any consistency to it? The answers to all of these questions seem to change every five minutes in this film. First the humans have no clue, then they do and they’re afraid, then they’re curious / sympathetic, then clueless, then afraid again… what the hell? There is almost no world-establishing in this movie for 1973, and what we DO see is inconsistency after inconsistency after inconsistency.

    Nope, the role of Mystique in this one has been reprised by a time-shifting juvenile delinquent who is both the best character in the film, and also the star of its best scene. That time-shifting action scene near the start of the film was utter freaking awesome. Remember how I said there’s a right way to use slow-motion? This is it. Runner-up in the “Best action scene” stakes would be the sentinel fight near the beginning. Again, awesome use of slow-motion, to punctuate the best bits without stopping the action dead for no good reason.

    This movie needed more time-shifter kid. And more sentinels. And while we’re at it, throw in more Ellen Page. Because every movie could use more Ellen Page.

    The cardinal sin of this movie was that nobody in it looked like they were capable of having fun. Except for juvenile delinquent kid. See why he’s the best character? That was never the case in the first two X-Men movies, where the kids actually talked like kids. They played. To misquote Wall-E: “They don’t just want to survive. They want to live!”

    At 135 minutes, this movie at least held my interest, but left me completely cold. Throw this one in the “near miss” column alongside “Captain America 2014”. Didn’t hate it, didn’t much like it either. I should really stop going to these, but I thought that Bryan Singer would at least be capable of not screwing up an X-Men movie. Oh well.

  78. Paul – I was considering seeing this today, but you just convinced me to wait for bluray. Might go see GODZILLA again instead. Cheers.

  79. The Original Paul

    June 10th, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Darren – in all fairness, I’m usually one of the more negative voices on comic book movies, so take that into account. A lot of people in the comments liked this one more than I did. (That said, I also liked the first two X-Men movies a lot more than those same people did, so this movie suffers doubly from being a comic-book movie that also doesn’t live up to its predecessors.)

    I’ve given it bit of a kicking, I know, but I didn’t think it was a bad movie. It’s one of those “worth seeing if you’re really into this stuff, but temper your expectations”. I can’t emphasize enough that my absolute #1 criteria for whether I’ll enjoy a comic book movie or not is “would I enjoy spending time with the characters?” With these guys, I didn’t. Except for time-shift boy. He was awesome.

  80. The Original Paul

    June 10th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    And – sorry for triple post – timeshifter kid is to this movie what Mystique – who’s pretty much been nerfed beyond recognition here – was to the first two X-Men movies. Basically a combination of some excellent terse characterisation, mostly done physically rather than verbally (although he gets some great lines too) and a physical force of nature whose action scenes raise the tone of the movie. If we had more of him and less of the “talky” characters, he’d be worth the movie ticket price alone. As it is, his scenes are merely the high points of the movie.

  81. Finally caught this one after watching all the X-men movies in a row – it’s pretty good but I’d probably rank it behind First Class and X3(!). Sure, herding this huge cast and the two storylines into one is a pretty monumental feat, and it’s almost miraculous it works as well as it does, but I don’t know – this one just didn’t register with me emotionally or move me like the best comic book movies can do. It was good, not great, and something this huge should be great. It’d be like if The Avengers was only as good as Thor or Captain America. “Well it’s better than Iron Man 2!” doesn’t cut it. And I never thought I’d say this, but Fassbender and Lawrence both kind of seem like they’re going through the motions. They were two of the best things about First Class, and here they seem like, “Alright, i’ll say the lines. How many of these did my agent sign me onto?” This is also McKellen’s weakest performance as Magneto to date, even though everyone else is about as good as you’d expect.

    *SPOILER* I do really like the super-humane turn this series has taken – where X2 reveled in and wanted us to cheer for an indestructible guy with claws slicing and dicing a bunch of soldiers to bits; this one I’m pretty sure has a body count of zero (not counting the incredibly violent future mutant deaths and I guess those mobsters Wolverine slashed up were just wounded). They even go to the trouble of showing Mystique only choked the Vietnamese general unconscious and Magneto somehow manages to not kill anyone in the Sentinel attack (yeah right). Speaking of which – I’m honestly not looking forward to Apocalypse, especially since I suspect it will involve Professor X and Magneto teaming up YET AGAIN and will most likely have Magneto turning on them YET AGAIN. I think they really need to give that one a rest.

  82. 90 second review of todays cinematical experience of DOFP –

    – so far DOFP is the 2nd best Super-Hero film I’ve seen this year. TASM2 is No.1, TWS is 3rd due to shitty post-action scenes.

    – It surprised me how involving it was story and character-wise. It was good to see young Charles so conflicted and messy in the beginning. Not just the wise Professor we’ve known.

    – Magneto is THE coolest bitchinest best villain in a comic related movie ever, as played by Fassbender. I love it when he puts on the black suit and hat and walks around with those 2 silver balls spinning in the air.

    – I delayed seeing DOFP cause I thought the switching between past and future would give me an aneurism (been a shit year, I didn’t need any undue stress. Thats why TASM 2 is No.1, it was the kind of funny and wholesome I needed and it loved me long time, and even called me the next day, thanks Spidey.) But the story was real easy to follow because when they went back to the 70’s they mostly stayed there till the end.

    – The Sentinels were fuckin fearsome machines of destruction.

    – A choc-top cost me $5.20 for fucks sake!

  83. Darren – I’m surprised Vern didn’t review TASM 2. I guess the bad reviews (alot of which I do agree with) scared him off?

  84. So did you hear about the news that the rape lawsuit against Singer got dropped, because the accuser’s story got more and more unbelievable? Probably not, because people only report it when someone gets accused of and convicted for rape, but not when he can walk away as a free man (Safe for some articles about how he must be guilty anyway, because who would lie about something like this and all men are rapists anyway), but now you know.

  85. As if we needed *another* reason to see the next Singer/X-Men joint:



  86. I finally saw this one, and wow I don’t see what the fuss is about. It was serviceable… but X2 is on TV right now and it’s about 10x better.

    1. Rebecca Romjin is twice the Mystique as Jennifer Lawrence. She looks a hell of a lot better (darker blue, darker hair, much better look). She struts and exudes sass and menace. Lawrence, even when she is trying to be a badass, just falls completely flat.
    2. Yet another Wolverine-centered plot. Aren’t we all tired of him by now? The best thing about X4: FIRST CLASS was that Wolverine was only in it for about 5 seconds. In this one at least he is mostly absent from the action scenes and just kind of wanders through the movie doing nothing, even though he is the “main character”!
    3. The STAR TREK “let’s go back in time to save the world” plot is so overdone. This hasn’t been an original idea for decades.
    4. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan look OLD (which they are…) and really don’t have anything to do.
    5. Brian Singer seems to have lost his flair as a director. In X2 we have moving cameras, appropriate closeups with great lighting… The cinematography in this new one is pretty pedestrian for the most part.
    6. Bolivar Trask has a good start and then kind of fizzles out. What did he do during the last half of the movie?? Without a solid bad guy the plot drags. Badly.

    Redeeming qualities:
    1. The mutants are certainly a step up from the “also ran” cast of FIRST CLASS (which had the painfully bad flying screaming guy and dragonfly wing girl, among others). Teleporter girl and of course Quicksilver are both cool!
    2. Quicksilver is set up perfectly, his action scene is awe-inspiring and has a perfect musical selection… Really not enough can be said about this scene, how we arrive at it, and how well it is pulled off.

    Unfortunately that’s about it. This movie was a disappointment.

  87. Did anyone watch the “Rouge Cut” of this one? I was one of the ones who fount this one a bit on the boring side but I’m stuck in the cycle “The Man” wants me in by still deciding to go see the next one regardless. Is the “Rouge Cut” an improvement? I’d still like to give this one a second chance so wondering that *if* I do, is that version worth seeking out.

  88. Haven’t seen it, but the word on the street is that it is not some kind of “Holy shit, this is now the only version that should exist!” case like the LOTR extended editions, the ABYSS or even the DAREDEVIL director’s cut, but it fixes some flaws and definitely doesn’t make it worse. (They apparently not just simply put some deleted scenes into the movie, but also re-cut and changed some key scenes from the theatrical versions, but I really don’t know any full details about that.)

  89. geoffrey— The Rogue Cut has an additional 16 minutes of footage (not exclusively about the character Rogue, despite what the title implies), and the Blu Ray (which you can buy from Amazon for a reasonable $14.99) has a slew of extra features you won’t find elsewhere. I’ve seen it. It’s by no means a vast improvement, but it makes for a more complete movie without doing damage to the pacing.

    If you’re an X-Men completist and someone who prefers Bryan Singer’s efforts over other directors in the franchise… then yeah, it’s worth it.

  90. The Original Paul

    May 8th, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Oh ROGUE cut. I getcha.

    “Rouge” is lipstick. (Also French for “red”.) Not quite the same thing, guys.

    If I ever get this movie on DVD, I’ll look for the extended cut. The cinematic one felt like it was missing a helluva lot of character motivation, which hopefully is something that’s addressed in the extended one.

    I’ve seen posters for yet another X-MEN movie (called APOCALYPSE, apparently). Is it Marvel’s plan to pump out these things at a rate of one per year now?

  91. Paul— As long as they continue to make mucho dinero, you can expect more. I read something a month ago about… OK, found the link:


    I’m all for it, but with the caveat that either Bryan Singer or James Mangold directs.

  92. The Original Paul

    May 9th, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Larry – back in 2004 I would’ve agreed with you. Unfortunately basically the only things he’s directed since then of note apart from VALKYRIE (which I’ve heard great things about but never seen) are the risible SUPERMAN RETURNS and the underwhelming DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. I’ve checked IMDB and he did a couple of episodes of HOUSE (“Occam’s Razor” was really good, I’ll admit) and a few made-for-TV movies. I can’t believe I’m saying that the guy who once made THE USUAL SUSPECTS has become one of the studios’ “safe” TV directors, but that’s kinda how it feels right now. The guy still has flashes of genius in him – the Quicksilver scenes in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST proved that – but in THE USUAL SUSPECTS he made an entire film that was that good. And that feels a long long time ago now.

    I don’t know what’s happened, honestly. Either he’s not getting enough creative control over what he does, or he’s forced to work with sub-par scripts, or he’s just lost his fire. Whatever the case is, I’ve lost faith in Bryan Singer. Hopefully he surprises me and pulls another great one out of the bag. There are times when you want to be proven wrong.

  93. The Original Paul

    May 9th, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Agreed with you about Singer specifically, I meant in that above post. I have no particular opinion on Mangold one way or the other.

  94. The Original Paul

    May 9th, 2016 at 2:00 am

    And talking of terrible SUPERMAN movies, I tried watching MAN OF STEEL! At last! (Emphasis on “tried”.) I got through about ten minutes before having to give up before my brain melted. At this point I’d say it’s about as bad as BATMAN AND ROBIN but without any of that film’s… charm? (Yeah, I find it pretty damn hard to define what makes BATMAN AND ROBIN watchable; but whatever it is, MAN OF STEEL does not have it.) Already I’ve seen what has to be career-worst performances from Russel Crowe, Michael Shannon, some guy with a weird fucking headpiece, and a planet full of underpaid Kryptonian extras, all of whom seem to lack the ability to display any basic human emotions that can’t be adequately expressed by the word “Graaaagh!”

    I’ve checked the MAN OF STEEL thread again, and a couple of people have said that the very beginning of it is the best part. Does that mean this shit actually gets worse? I can’t see any way that the earth scenes couldn’t get better than “we made an ALIEN ripoff for Planet Krypton, then put a grimy filter in post-processing so you wouldn’t notice how cheap the thing looks”.

  95. The Original Paul

    May 9th, 2016 at 2:18 am

    “some guy”? Some lady, even. Sorry, whoever played that character. Wasn’t trying to imply that you’re a man.

  96. I kinda have to agree on Singer. I still love his X-MEN movies. There is a certain something about them that I can’t explain, but that they are simply lacking when he isn’t sitting on the director’s chair. (Although I enjoyed all Singer free movies too, except of course WOLVERINE ORIGINS.) But it feels like a symbiotic relationship. He gives the X-MEN movies a certain spark of life and they give him one at the same time. If his movies* doesn’t feature superpowered social justice warriors (rimshot) they feel so bland and boring**, that you wonder what happened to him

    *Of the 21st century.
    ** Disclaimer: I also haven’t seen VALKYRIE, because of my often mentioned disinterest in any kind of non-SciFi and/or Fantasy war movies.

  97. Marvel doesn’t pump these out. Fox does.

  98. The Original Paul

    May 9th, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Sorry Broddie (I should remember that distinction, I know).

    I really liked the first two X-MEN movies, and I had a lot of good to say about FIRST CLASS although it had its faults. X3 and DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, not so much (although it’s fair to say that both X3 and SUPERMAN RETURNS weren’t as bad on second viewing as they were on first one). I’d like to see VALKYRIE, but just haven’t had the opportunity to as yet.

  99. Hey guys I just watched the first ten minutes of the Rogue cut and I gotta tell ya it has the worst acting, worst dialogue, worst cinematography, worst directing, and worst catering ever!
    -Sorry Paul, I tease you with love…

    My opinion of Days of Future Past went up. When I saw it in theaters I felt it was mediocre and a bit boring but I was quite entertained this viewing. None of the added stuff to the Rogue cut helped and in fact other than the Rogue footage I didn’t notice anything different. According to here:

    Comparison: Theatrical Version - Rogue Cut

    There were lots of changes and my memory is bad for not noticing any of it. So yeah I enjoy this one now and most of the things that bugged no longer do. I hope that we get X-Men Origins: Whoever That is Fan Bingbing played.

    Which shocked me because I also re-watched First Class and my opinion of that one went down. I remember being thoroughly entertained by that one and now I found it be a bit of slog to sit through. It was still really good when Michael Fassbender was on screen but when he wasn’t I felt that it dragged and I kind of didn’t like any of the other characters with the exception of Kevin Bacon. I don’t think Bacon gets enough credit for how fun of a villain he is in this. I also find it funny that everyone can agree the whole Magneto hunting Nazi stuff is awesome and most or all of that (or at least the ideas) came from nerd enemy No. 1 David Goyer when he was set to write and I think direct X-Men Origins: Magneto.

    So yeah, my opinions of these flip-flopped and wasn’t expecting that, weird. I have to admit I’m too ‘scared’ to re-watch X-Men and X2. Some of my friends re-watched them and a bunch of the online bloggers have been saying they do not hold up at all. I think I want to keep my fond memories of those in tact.

  100. From twitter it seems like Vern feels APOCALYPSE is the worst of the X-MENses. Speaking as a casual fan of the movies (though honestly I feel most of them are mixed bags) who hasn’t (to memory) ever read an X-MEN comic or watched a full episode of the cartoon (think I played a few minutes of a couple of the video games though), I do agree. Well, from my dim memories of it the Wolverine origin thing with will-i-am jumping into someone’s fist was worse, but I do think it’s the worst of the core six (and less enjoyable than WOLVERINE INTO THE SUN too). No real plot progression, just a lot of character introductions to characters we’ve seen before, and Apocalypse himself has you pining for Electro (comparisons to Mr Freeze would make him sound far too memorable). Yes, THE LAST STAND was rushed and somewhat unsubtle, but at least it moved and brought new things to the series. There’s a (presumably unintentional) ELM STREET sequel cum LAWNMOWER MAN homage near the end, which I kind of liked but suspect will loose others, but almost everything else in APOCALYPSE feels like a rehash. There are a few good moments, mostly involving Magneto unsurprisingly, but IMO the critics are on point here. Here’s to the reboot! (But I am looking forward to WOLVERINE 2/3/7)

  101. I agree it is the worse of the series. It would be funny to get a reboot because this is the third in a trilogy of reboots.
    -First Class is a new class and can be considered a new timeline if you so wish
    -DOFP makes sure you know it is a new timeline and erases the original timeline just for safe practice
    -AP could be considered a straight reboot since they introduce us to all new characters and the only real sequel bit in there is Professor X pining for the CIA lady, you really do not need to have seen DOFP prior to this one and it really feels like a setup for an all new cast (like First Class)

    Once again Quicksilver steals the movie this time with TWO awesome sequences.

    We will have to debate in the review-proper on the Magneto moments. I hope you can make me reconsider my feelings on them!

    Only other thing I will say prior to the review thread is that the people saying it is better than Captain America: Civil War I can not agree with. I don’t think it can even measure up to the king of mixed bags and failure that is Batman v Superman. At least with that one you get the feeling that Synder WANTED to make his movie.

  102. In case there is no review proper SPOILERS

    From what I have read a lot of people disagree with me, but I liked Magneto yelling to God. A little on the nose I will concede, but it serves well to remind us of the relative complexities of the character in a film anchored by such a banal, uncompelling main villain.

    Fassbender also claims the franchises’ present decade tradition of making good use of its one f-bomb allowance. Unfortunately Magneto is also (again) at the centre of its other, less welcome, tradition of trivialising history; the Auschwitz scene is unearned, and barely even registers while it happens.

    Not sure if this is a plus or minus, but I did also chuckle at how he casually carried on conversations while lifting a constant stream of objects past him through his telekenisis.

    I agree the Quicksilver moments are high points, but still serve to remind how low on new ideas the film is.

  103. The more I think about this movie, the less I like it. The main thing that made the good Xmen movies good was the relationships between characters. I loved Wolverine’s friendship with Rogue and his unrequited love of Jean. I loved Mystique’s friendship with Magneto (OG actors) and felt betrayed when Magneto left her behind in X3 when she got “cured”. And of course I especially loved the relationship between (real life besties) Magneto and Xavier. Their opposing philosophies drove the plot of most of these movies. In Xmen Holocaust we get none of that. Just a goofy, ineffectual villain. I mean…… the movie was just kind of dull.

    And also it was weird at the end when it suddenly turned into an origin story for the Xmen. Like in the last scene we see them build the mansion and everybody is assembled in the training room in full costume and Xavier is wearing his iconic suit for no reason when he never wears suits in these movies and suddenly there are sentinels, as if to say “hey, here’s another thing you remember from the comic books!” And all I’m thinking is, why? Didn’t we already get the origin story for the Xmen in First Class? Why are they doing this again? And why in the last scene of the movie? And why are sentinels there?

  104. There aren’t really Sentinels there. It’s just the Danger Room, a holographic training device that predated STAR TREK’s Holodeck. It’s a pretty famous part of X-Men lore.

  105. To many people the “real” X-Men origin story will always feature Cyclops and Jean Grey and Angel and Beast as well as Iceman (4 out 5 ain’t bad?)

    And not some rather random c and d list mutants like Matthew Vaughn did in X-MEN: 60’s TOUR. So that’s probably why they rehash that.

  106. But they also didn’t really form the X-Men in FIRST CLASS. They went on one mission and then the team self-destructed.

  107. I’ll save my full thoughts for Vern’s review (assuming he reviews it.) (Although, I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone seems to be claiming). What I find kind of hilarious about these new X-Men movies is that they don’t even pretend to develop a timeline that makes sense. Havok apparently joined the X-Men twenty years ago and yet somehow he still looks like he’s in his twenties and has a brother in high school.

    Also, I love how these movies want to give an origin story for everyone’s hair style. In the first film we’re given a reason why Rogue has skunk hair even though there’s a real thing called poliosis that causes white stripes in people’s hair. You don’t have to create a specific reason for this. And then we’re given a reason why Storm’s hair is white in Apocalypse. And they’re always obsessing over Prof. X’s bald head. He’s given no less than two origin stories for being bald. Male pattern baldness is a thing. You don’t need to come up with a reason why the professor has no hair.

  108. I was waiting around the whole movie for the Professor’s hair to fall out during an 80s-style climactic laser light show, and I was not disappointed.

  109. They should definitely let Prof. X regrow his hair so that they can come up with yet another way for him to lose it at the end of the next film. It can be a running theme.

  110. We kid, but I actually like that Professor X starts out as a strutting peacock of a man who gradually get whittled down to a frail old bald dude in a wheelchair, yet in losing all of this vanity becomes wiser and more powerful than he ever could have imagined. Sure, people lose all their hair for reasons that have nothing at all to do with superheroing, but in his case, every part of his iconography–from the chair to the bald head–is symbolic of who he is and what he represents. So seeing how it happens is interesting.

  111. I’m kinda fatigued with superhero movies. Saw Bats and Supes out if curiosity but skipped the latest MCU episode and will certainly skip this. With that said I will definitely youtube the hair falling clip when this hits video in 6 weeks.

    The best part of FIRST CLASS (of which I’ve only seen about 30 minutes of since it puts me to sleep even when I’m well rested) to me was the part whe McAvoy is unconvincingly saying “I can’t feel my legs” on a beach over and over again. Just something unintentionally hilarious about the way the guy tries to sell trauma.

  112. Super hero movies? Do they even make those anymore?

  113. I love how Broddie is more into comic books than anyone here and less into comic book movies than anyone here.

    I will be reviewing the new X-Picture but I want to finish the Antoine/Ninja series this week so I’ll probly run it next Monday, giving myself time to rewatch the early X-Mens and put some extra thought/excellence into the review. So thank you in advance for your patience.

  114. Once again, timeliness gets kicked to the curb. I know this isn’t your regular job-type job, but meandering through it probably isn’t the best way to gain readers or hold on to them once they’ve been acquired. You write to be read, and if you’re not being sufficiently read… well, figure it out.

  115. Is that some kind of passive aggressive way of critiquing Vern for not reviewing X-MEN:ASSWIPEOLYPSE fast enough? There are plenty of readers here not caring for that kind of stuff, willing to read whatever he puts on the site. I hope so at least.

    vern, I hope you don´t feel the pressure to review current event movies just for the sake of it.It´s cool if you do. But a lot of us are just as interested in the quirky material you produce.

  116. Shoot – “They’re like like dem cowboy pictures I used to watch as a youngin. Can’t escape em.” – Some Old Coot

    But yeah I’m thankful enough that Vern still posts amy reviews at all let alone of a lot of the quirky off beat stuff that many of us champion.

    This latest review series finally got me to dive into Truffaut after years of putting off the now decades worth of recommendations from pretentious older film snobs to watch 400 BLOWS because of their pretenses.

    All it took to finally get me to bite the bullet? highlighting it’s parrellels to my childhood favorite AMERICAN NINJA series. It’s that type of boldness and intuitive writing concept that you simply can’t buy anywhere else and here we are getting it all for free? It’s unreal and I can’t believe anybody could even be spoiled by it and taking it for granted at this point. Personally I’d prefer more of that over the 647th X-MEN 6 review you’d find posted on the net today.

    Yes Vern it’s a weird paradox that people don’t get until I tell them stuff like “why would I want to watch another TMNT movie when I could read about them taking on aliens alongside robots and other mutants or fight Ra’s Al Ghul and The Shredder alongside Batman with the same money.” then they understand.

    Granted I do plan on eventually watching this new Turtles movie because it has a lot of the quirky shit I’m digging in the latest comics (aliens and other mutants and a crazy amount of ninjas) so touche Platinum Dunes, touche.

    Also I’d rather give my cash to something like THE NICE GUYS which is original and speaks my language instead of AVENGERS 2.5: DAWN OF INCONSEQUENCE which wouldn’t even need my sack of peanuts anyway. Especially since the predictable nature of the MCU is what turned me off from it in the first place. Like at least that BATMAN MEETS SUPERMAN romp was not the one anybody but Zack Snyder had in their head and for that I commend it.

    It’s ambition surprised me and I respect that even if it fell short. But I don’t think you’d see the MCU do something as bugged out as last week’s Captain America comic. But if they ever do I’d gladly check back in. For some of us just adding Spider-Man and Black Panther to a tired formula is not enough even if we always did want to see them in the MCU because of said tired formula being…tired.

  117. Larry – Okay, but you can read a quickie review of X-MEN on literally every single other movie sight that exists. There are less than 25 where you can read a series comparing the Antoine Doinel movies to the AMERICAN NINJAs. Of those I believe I am near the top tier. I will dedicate my sight and my time to what I have that is unique and that I’m good at and meanwhile be working on a more substantical APOCALYPSE review.

    Besides, I was trying NOT to “meander” by interrupting the series for another unrelated review.

    Anyway, you don’t get the review you want today and I don’t get the patience I asked for. We’re even.

    Happy Memorial Day.

  118. My own experience and knowledge ( which is still pretty shaky) of French New Wave is ,in a nutshell, that of a movement interested to drive cinema forward, making it a respectable artform. Therefore their movies are much more interesting as what they´ve contributed to cinema than the indivudual works per se. From filmhistoric perspective I can appreciate them on an intellectual level. But they seem lacking in emotion at times.

    I do feel I need to delve more deeply into the works to truly prove that claim.

  119. Another example. Ghostbusters.

    Everybody and their mama is either crying about or obnoxiously defending the upcoming reboot against mysoginists or whatever.

    I’m personally not gonna bother. Not because of the cast. I generally think all those ladies could be funny with the right material. Especially Wiig. But to me the heart and soul of Ghostbusters is it’s dry sarcastic deadpan wit. None of that has been present in the trailers.

    Instead I see crass and broad comedy all over the place and to me that is just not Ghostbusters. Plus I don’t find any of it particularly funny even accepting it on those terms. So that’s 2 strikes. Where as I get a regular comic every 4 weeks that stays true to the spirit and heart of the cartoon and movies (dry sarcastic ensemble comedy) all the way through even *gasp* when female Ghostbusters are tasked with saving the day or saving Venkman, Stantz and etc.

    So I don’t see my point wasting my time with something I’m not into when I have a better alternative for my time and money. That’s just with Ghostbusters which started out in movie land. Imagine when it comes to superheroes. There are even more interesting concepts and stories for me to digest featuring them in comics then anything in the movies.

    Granted there are exceptions but not everything could be DEADPOOL or the Burton Batmans or the Blade dualogy, and that’s ok.

  120. As a recent investor in Verncorp Industries, I feel that I speak on behalf of my fellow shareholders when I say please, Vern, do whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want to do it.

  121. Oh fuck. I just realized I spent my money on Vern Incorporated. Which belongs to Vernon Wells. Which explains why my share dividend consists of a high amount of creepy porn tank tops.

    If anyone has some use of that please let me know. It was not my wisest business decision.

  122. This goes without saying, but keep on writing about whatever the hell you want, Vern. I read everyone of your reviews, even if I don’t necessarily think it’s a movie I’m interested in because I always find something of interest in them and often they’ll lead me to movies I didn’t think I would like. Keep on following your muse!

  123. I saw Apocalypse over a week ago and as dumb as it sounds i am still sad at the state of what was once my favorite film series. What a hollow and pointless movie that was. It truly feels like the people in charge do not give a damn anymore, and maybe singer in particular never did. It used to be that the x-men movies were a bit smarter than other superhero movies, now apparently its only goal is to ape the marvel template (which are movies that i enjoy) and failing hard, while making numerous callbacks to the previous entries in the series, al of which are better than this one. Hel for all its shortcommings even x-men origins fares better in that it’s more focused than this new one, and it’s also shorter and thus less painful.

    At the very least i will get to enjoy a nice review by Vern. Hopefully he tears this movie a new one.

  124. They sent me a box of porn ‘staches. If you send me a tank top, I’ll send you some facial hair, Shoot. Halloween’s coming up so I can let off some steam and go out as Bennett.

  125. geoffreyjar
    “It would be funny to get a reboot because this is the third in a trilogy of reboots.”

    I respectfully disagree. I honestly don’t get why so many people mention there have been reboots in the X-Men film series. Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot of the Raimi Spider-Man series, Batman Begins was also a reboot. First Class is very clearly a prequel, it has the same opening scene as the first X-Men for crying out loud. It had some serious continuity mistakes but that’s more a case of the writers not giving a flying fuck.
    First Class isn’t a reboot the same way Slimer and the Ghostbusters wasn’t a reboot. Same with Justice League Unlimited. Or The New Batman Adventures. Etc.
    Otherwise I agree on your post.


    I completely agree with your views. I was also asking myself “why?”, but not only during the final scene.

    Mr. Majestyk
    ” It’s just the Danger Room, a holographic training device that predated STAR TREK’s Holodeck.”

    Did it really? Keep in ming that the Danger Room was at the beginning and for a very long time devoid of holograms; it consisted of physical boobytraps. The Holographic technology came later cortesy of the Shi’Ar empire if I remember correctly.

    “Havok apparently joined the X-Men twenty years ago and yet somehow he still looks like he’s in his twenties and has a brother in high school. “

    Very true. They did add some gray hairs to Xavier but those didn’t fool anyone did they? And then the next movie will take place ten years in the future, and Cyclops and co. will look just as young as they did here. Why. Just why.

    “Male pattern baldness is a thing. You don’t need to come up with a reason why the professor has no hair.”

    I agree. I will admit though, that the way they made Xavier go bald in Apocalypse was inventive and made sense. However it also shows one of the drawbacks of messing with the timeline. You see, it was supposed to explain why Xavier goes bald… even though he didn’t have to go bald as McCavoy won’t grow to become Xavier anymore. Unless they’re implying that the OG X-Men also fought Apocalypse at one point. In which case… how the hell did they win? The Phoenix powers didn’t manifest in Jean until the end of the first movie, many years in the future. Argh this goddamn series.

    Amazing Larry
    What the hell dude.

  126. By the way, that cameo scene didn’t make a lick of sense, considering how the previous movie ended. Funnily enough, I just saw that I posted the following back in 2014:

    “We can only assume that since it’s Mystique who took him instead of the real Striker, that Wolverine won’t be tortured and his memory won’t be erased this time. He should also not get his bones covered in Adamantium, but since that is such a popular trait of the character, it will probably happen anyway.
    Or maybe all of this will be ignored in the next movie, like with Xavier’s death.”

  127. Oh I made a typo in my previous post, what I meant to say was that “McAvoy won’t grow to become Stewart’s version of Xavier anymore.”

  128. I would read Vern’s reviews even if they were for imaginary movies. It’s not the movies, it’s his words.

    Larry – we keep coming back for the same reason you do, Vern is a motherfucking outlaw.

  129. Actually, I have no idea why Larry keeps coming back. Masochism?

  130. Merso

    When typing it I knew I was stretching it calling First Class a reboot. I figured I would use the absolute broadest definition of the term ‘reboot’ to make a point/joke.

    I was saving this and others for the ‘real’ thread but the Weapon X detour was simultaneously random and terrible. Afterwards it made me laugh because it was like those spots in JRPGs where the plot stops dead cold and has a completely asinine forced side-quest to stretch out the game time.

  131. Also vern,

    I’m Team Keep Doing What You’re Doing How You’re Doing It.

  132. Merso: I’m no expert on the X-Men, but I knew the Danger Room had been around for forever and the only version of it I ever knew was holographic, so I guess I assumed it had always been that way.

  133. Crushinator Jones

    May 31st, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here. I thought X-Men Apocalypse was a great X-Men movie and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

    Does it rehash stuff? well, yeah. But I used to read comics, man. If I couldn’t deal with rehashed storylines I would have gone crazy years ago.

  134. I’m with you, Crushinator. I didn’t know until I got home afterward that we’d all decided that it sucked. I thought it was a pretty fun mixtape of cool X-Men stuff.

  135. I gotta admit, though, I’m pretty easy on these superpunching movies. I jettisoned any attachment to the source material years ago and I refuse to take movies about people who shoot lasers out of their hands and heads as seriously as the rest of the world seems to think I should. I like them because they’re colorful, they’re fast-paced, they’re stuffed with wacky crap, the casts are usually great, and I like watching buildings get knocked down. As long as a superpunching movie fits those criteria, I’m usually pretty straight.

  136. I agree that with these movies the wackier the better. I think that’s why I enjoyed the last X-Men movie so much. It was the most outlandish of them all by far.

  137. By last of course I mean this one and not APOCALYPSE.

  138. Crushinator Jones

    May 31st, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Apocalypse is even more outlandish than this one. I think you’ll enjoy it.

  139. I’ll admit part of my disappointment with it is probably related to me doing what I said I probably wouldn’t do and I re-watched X-Men and X2 before going to see the Apocalypse. I’ll agree that the first X-Men doesn’t completely hold up but I’d argue even at the time we had to grade it on a curve with it’s clunky and awkward exposition. Despite that I still like it’s heart and feel they tried there damnedest to make the best movie they could with time and budget they were handed. Patrick Stewart and Ian Kellen being able to pick up paychecks like pros and still be professional about it and Hugh Jackman being great definitely helpded it. I never liked X2 as much as everyone else did but I still think it’s fine and moves at a good pace. I really enjoy Brian Cox’s performance. I find it funny that after putting up for years of every nerd saying it is without a doubt the best comic book movie EVAH! Now all of them call it an un-watchably bad movie.

    I am no realizing that I will have nothing to talk about or add when the review-proper comes out. I hope you can convince me I’m being too hard on this one like I was on the original when it came out (I didn’t really appreciate it until an (ex)girlfriend was really big into it).

  140. As someone who has never rated Singer (I was particularly irked that he was the only contemporary director interviewed in MILIUS for no obvious reason, it certainly wasn’t because he had anything interesting to say), it is still galling to see the same fanboys who praised him circa LAST STAND disowning him completely for failing for the first time in the only thing they were ever interested in him for anyway; delivering a decent X-MEN movie. I find the claims that DAYS OF FUTURE PAST worked because he was “following Vaughn’s template from FIRST CLASS” particularly ridiculous (if only!); KINGSMAN has more in common with FIRST CLASS stylistically than FUTURE PAST does. Yes, the first two Xs have dated, but part of that is you *wish* they could make a comic book movie as cohesive and effective as X2 now. The cynic in me wonders how the allegations around Singer would have been treated had they come out in tandem with a less well-received film, but that’s by the by.

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