Rapid Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

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“Everything they’ve built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one!”
– Apocalypse

SYNOPSIS: With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7Yes! I finally went to see this. My husband wasn’t thrilled (he loves going to the cinema), but he knew it is one of the few superhero movies I will insist on seeing in the cinema. Screw that, any new movie in this franchise will have me tripping out, no matter how many installments. I know, it sounds mad. I think the reviews have been unjustly harsh towards X-Men: Apocalypse, though it is by no means a perfect movie. It definitely doesn’t have the wow factor of Days of Future Past, and the plot is a little messy (okay, maybe a dash more than a little), and there were some holes, and the pacing was a bit off. The villain, Apocalypse, was also quite disappointing in the long run. As much as I like Oscar Isaac, this was really not good. There was so much more that could have been done with this character! His rising and the X-Men battling him was so rushed and quick, his true power and danger is never really realised, which is a pity. Besides that, the cast is, as is to be expected, excellent. McAvoy is a fantastic Charles, and Fassbender, of course, delivers as the tortured Erik. I wish that the two of them had been given more screen time, if I am being honest, but I loved them when they were there. Also, Nicholas Hoult could have done with more screen time, too. Okay, I think one of the large flaws of the film is that there are a ton of characters, and none are really done any real justice. Evan Peters returns and owns as Quicksilver, which I loved. I must say though, his hit scene from DOFP was recreated here, and as entertaining as it was, it wasn’t perfect like the last one, and didn’t thrill me as much. It also felt squished in, like it was expected. Fun, but a little off. Sophie Turner really impressed me as Jean Grey (and trust me, this was something I was extremely leery about), and Tye Sheridan’s Scott Summers didn’t manage to peeve me endlessly, which in and of itself is a feat. Last but not least, I want to talk about how awesome Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler is. I was so stoked to see the Nightcrawler return, and to see him get such a large role was fantastic. Happy as can be! Look, he is no Alan Cumming, but he was still wonderful, and I am hoping to see more of him in future movies. Also, a young Storm? Yay! Yes, I had a total ball with all these things. I actually think this film is going to appeal more to people who love the X-Men franchise, and not necessarily newcomers. That being said, I enjoyed the story, but didn’t love it, it was flawed, but a fun film, the effects were good, but there were issues, but I would definitely recommend it for a watch. I really am such a fan of going back to see how the X-Men formed, how the relationships were, how everything was before, and I really think a great job is being done with that. I am going to stop now, before this review gets excessively long.

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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“The future: a bleak desolate, place. Mutants and the humans who helped them, united in defeat by an enemy we could not stop. Is this the fate we have set for ourselves? Could we have done nothing to stop it?”
– Professor Charles Xavier

A dystopian future of bleak proportions play out the days of the remaining mutants. Made made Sentinels are tracking and hunting down the mutants. Mutants and people who attempted to help them have been captured, they are being butchered and hunted and murdered. Their race is nearing extinction. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) works with Bobby “Iceman” Drake (Shawn Ashmore), James “Warpath” Proudstar (Booboo Stewart), Peter “Colossus” Rasputin (Daniel Cudmore), Roberto “Sunspot” da Costa (Adan Canto), Clarice “Blink” Fergusen (Fan Bingbing), and Bishop (Omar Sy). They have been relatively successful at avoiding the Sentinels and their tracking beacons. They meet up with Charles “Professor X” Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr (Ian McKellan), Ororo Storm Monroe (Halle Berry), and Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Kitty is asked to send Charles’s consciousness back to the seventies, when Raven “Mystique” Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence) killed Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), setting this entire debacle in motion. Mystique’s DNA is also what has made the Sentinels so strong. Charles knows his body will not survive it, and Wolverine steps forwards. His body can heal quickly, and he decides that he will be the one that will have to do what he can to make it right.

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“Basically, your body will go to sleep while your mind travels back in time. Whatever you do won’t change anything, not until you wake up. And then everything will be different, and you’ll be the only one who knew what happened before.” – Kitty Pryde

Returning to the seventies, Logan visits Charles’s school, but finds it shut down. He runs into Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), and a fight ensues. Ultimately Logan gets to speak to Charles (James McAvoy), and is shocked to find him walking around, but it seems he is powerless. He is taking a serum created by Hank which allows him to walk but blocks his telepathic abilities. Logan cannot understand how and why Charles is such a shattered man, embittered, twisted, furious with the world. Ultimately Logan convinces Charles that he needs his help, and that his older self and Erik have sent him from the future. They need to get Erik (Michael Fassbender) to help, though he is imprisoned at the Pentagon. Enlisting the help of Peter “Quicksilver” Maximoff (Evan Peters), they break him out. Naturally he and Charles have got issues with each other, but they really need to find a way around them so as to work together to stop Raven, to prevent the ghastly future that Logan has come from. He also does not have a lot of time, seeing as the Sentinels are tracking them in the future, and if they find them there will be a problem.

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“All those years wasted fighting each other, Charles.” – Erik Lehnsherr

Trask is having serious getting his Sentinel program approved, and it getting progressively angrier about it, as he perceives mutants to be a terrible threat. Tracking down Raven proves to be a bit of an issue, and nothing about their intervention goes even remotely as planned. Erik has a different idea about saving the future, and attempts to kill Raven after stopping her from killing Trask. Charles is angered, and Logan is losing his tether to this era and really needs to make it back to them. Trask has scraped some of Mystique’s blood off the pavement and is working with Major William Stryker (Josh Helman), but they need more DNA. The world witnessed the bloody fights in detail, and are terrified now that they know mutants exist. President Richard Nixon (Mark Camacho) calls for the execution of the Sentinel program. Mystique needs to recover after having barely escaped Erik’s intentions. Logan, Charles, Erik, and Beast need to find a way to fix what has happened, but they all seem to have other ideas about how they are going to go about it. Logan has to convince Charles to regain his abilities, to make a difference, though Charles seems to have no desire whatsoever of getting back on that track. Charles, meanwhile, is desperately struggling to get through to Raven, to express his apologies, to make things right.

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“There is a new enemy out there: mutants. You need a new weapon for this war.” – Boliver Trask

Will Charles be able to salvage things between him and Raven? Will Erik always have the outlook on the world that he does? Will he and Charles find a way to work with each other? Will Logan be able to band them all together on time and have them change the past, to impact the future? Will Charles give up the use of his legs to harness the power of his mind? Will they be able to create an alternative future, one where mutants are not hunted and slaughtered, where they live in freedom? Will Mystique successfully kill Trask?

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“Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they can’t be saved.” – Professor Charles Xavier

I must say that I was exceptionally impressed with this. This was a fine return to form for the franchise after that awful Wolverine film of last year. Hugh Jackman reprises his role of Wolverine and impressed me endlessly. Then there was the combination of bringing Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart back for their roles as the older Charles and Erik, and crossing that with the younger versions of themselves, portrayed by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. It was amazing to see the two separate generations combined in one film. The effects in this film were amazing and definitely assisted with the thrill ride. The dystopian future which the mutants find themselves in really is dreary and depressing. Seeing Charles and Erik united once more was something to see, always being the best of friends but always being on completely opposite sides. The performances were fantastic, and there was plenty of humour considering the serious subject matter, but that never stopped it from being intense. I really, really liked the plane scene, the reasons Erik and Charles both had, it was one hell of a scene. Evan Peters as Quicksilver is something that I really did not see coming. I adore Peters as an actor, he amazes me, and I was sure he was going to do the best with the material that he had. However, I had no idea that the material was going to be so great, and he was truly a showstealer every second he was on screen. The concept of the film was great, and wasn’t too intense to wrap your mind around. Seeing Charles in his confused state as his younger self was a difficult thing to watch. Angry, embittered and sour, McAvoy truly delivered in his role. Fassbender, too, impressed me endlessly as Erik, imprisoned and furious. The tension between the two was quite heavy, and McAvoy and Fassbender truly sold it. Wolverine was funnier in here than he has been recently, though I have no issues with seeing a serious and dramatic Logan, it seems that the fans only want the lighthearted man, cocky and sure of himself. Then there was the whole Sentinel story, which was exceptionally interesting, coming together extremely well. Lawrence delivered another solid performance as Mystique. Definitely worth hauling out your cash for and seeing in theatre, X-Men: Days of Future Past delivered far more than expected, delivering a solid film for the year!

Top Ten Television Crushes

Alright, so Table 9 Mutant, Samantha at Sci-Fi Drama Queen, Abbi at Where The Wild Things Are and I were briefly discussing one of these, which I had been contemplating. Sounds like Mikey may join the fray, too. At any rate, I thought that this would be fun to do one and got it together. Without further ado, we’re off!

Sam Witwer as anyone, but I will go with Aidan Waite in Being Human (US)

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As Doomsday or a centuries old vampire or even Starkiller, this guy is just hot, and plays that tortured but strong character so damn well! Aidan Waite is pretty awesome, what with his morals and willingness to do whatever it takes to make  everything right, to protect, to kill, to survive. Also endlessly entertaining, I really do enjoy him!

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural

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Leather jackets, great music, wicked sense of humour that cracks me up each and every time, hiding in the shadows and so damaged it isn’t even funny, though he keeps a brave face because it is what he is expected to do. Fiercely loyal though incredibly jaded, Dean Winchester is one of my go to choices!

Evan Peters as Tate Langdon in American Horror Story: Murder House (as they are calling it nowadays)

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I really, really liked him in all the American Horror Story seasons, though I am not totally sold on Coven, though he started with such promise. However, in Murder House, he nailed that role of psychopath perfectly. He was gorgeous, he was charming, he had a boy-like quality to himself, an innocence that he wore and worked with so well. You know that what Tate is doing is wrong, yet at the same time he manages to wrap you right around his little finger and be done with it.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead

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Yes. Yes. Do we see the cigarette? The long hair? The self assurance? The sheer badassness of the guy? Well then I really don’t need to keep justifying.

Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski in Chuck

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Now we all know there are very few things to me as hot as a geeky, nerdy guy, so there was no ways that nervous old Chuck was not going to make the list. He is adorable, he is smart and damn hilarious, is a Star Wars fan as well as a little self conscious, which always works in his favour!

Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop in Fringe

Jackson is not my regular cup of tea, but whatever. Peter Bishop was incredibly smart and well dressed (those jeans and jacket were always just wow), steadfast and always thinking out of the box, yet damaged in some inexplicable way (though that got cleared up later), he managed to string me along just fine all the way.

Dan Feuerriegel as Agron in Spartacus

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Alright, here it is. There are few things that thrill me like a man with a nice mouth and nice teeth. This guy… I don’t know, so not my average cup of tea but then he was just gorgeous, and that smile was a killer (we can completely overlook the fact that he was not straight for the show, he was just something absolutely gorgeous to behold).

Alexander Skarsgård Eric Northman in True Blood

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Though I stopped watching this after I dragged myself through the third season, I have to say that what kept me watching for so long (seeing as I cannot stand Anna Paquin and was not thrilled with the concept), Eric Northman remained quite worth the watch, to be honest, but the show just slid so badly downhill not even he could draw me back. But never mind that, pretty yum, right? Maybe I should just get over the fairy crap and see where it all goes…

Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid in Criminal Minds

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Reid. Too smart. Ridiculously smart. I adore intelligence in a man. Reid, on the other hand, is intensely intelligent, slightly socially stunted yet absolutely sweet, trying his hardest and has a boyish quality to him that just somehow works here.

Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli in Heroes

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The brother that was always trying, that was genuinely good in his heart, the man who wanted to make a difference in the world, who was overly curious and intent on getting to the bottom of things, and yes, just damn fine. Oh goodness, I think I have a thing for male nurses…

Honourable Mentions:

Dustin Clare as Gannicus in Gods of the Arena

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More long hair, determination and immense amounts of confidence? Winner all around.

Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers in Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge me monkeys, my best friend roped me into this).

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The hair… the long hair. I am sold on long hair more often than not. Combine that with dark exotic looks and absolutely gorgeous dark brown eyes and a devil-may-care attitude to mask how nice and caring he is underneath it? Just my cup of tea.

Liam McIntyre as Spartacus in Spartacus

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Yep, I am aware that there is more Spartacus on my list but really, these were probably the hottest rebellious slaves in all history with the world’s greatest dental work. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Spartacus was the fearless leader of the slave rebellion, intent on reclaiming his freedom and avenging his dead wife and all the dreadful things he had been made to do under threat of death. Very caring yet at the same time cold and brutal, Spartacus really was the man to watch strive to make a difference, as well as witness the loyalty people felt towards him.