“My dear Belle, you’re so ahead of your time. This is a small village, and it’s small-minded, as well. But small also means safe.” – Maurice
SYNOPSIS: An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love. – via IMDB
So I went to see this with Natasha when I did my fly by visit this past weekend. She has been waiting for this movie for the longest time, so I figured I may as well go with her, otherwise I will never get to it, despite it touting both Luke Evans and Dan Stevens in the cast (I am speaking from a totally scientific point of view here). Anyway, we tripped out for this in 3D (which I probably could have done without), and I had more fun than expected. I have not seen this since I was a child, so it definitely brought on a sense of nostalgia. There were some changes and additions, but it wasn’t bad.
First and foremost, I think that Luke Evans is the perfect pick to play Gaston. Seriously, he has immense amounts of fun with the role, and you can see it. My favourite part of the movie? Gaston’s song and dance in the pub. Oh my gosh, I laughed, it was so ridiculous and fantastic. He also perfectly captured how a person can be so hot and then open their mouth and ultimately that nasty ass ego and all will ruin the outside, too. Dan Stevens is a pretty damn good Beast, though it is such a pity you don’t get to see all his purdy throughout the film. However, he worked well and delivered quite a good Beast, and I appreciated that. Ian McKellan and Ewan McGregor had a blast as Cogsworth and Lumière , and I enjoyed them. I think, for the most part, the cast was very good. Except maybe Emma Watson. I really don’t like the girl and I don’t think she can act, so she grated on me a bit, but less than expected.
I had quite the issue with the rendition of Beauty and the BestTale as Old as Time. Seriously – the song is iconic, everybody knows it, and yet it is such a cold, lacklustre, horrendous rendition in the movie. So bad I actually cringed. Sorry Emma Thompson, but that sucked completely. Meh. Also, some of the animation was substandard – so much of it was pretty good, meaning the few times (Mrs Potts and her son Chip especially) when you see the bits that weren’t so great, it is glaringly bad.
I understand that there was some controversy surrounding a gay character, which I just don’t get. I didn’t find it jarring in the very least. In fact, said character provided quite a bit of entertainment. Oh yes, while we are at it, let’s not forget to mention how this movie went out of its way in terms of inclusion – race, gender, sexuality, everything was pretty much covered here. At times came across as a bit forced. I don’t actually have too much else to say. There are issues, but it is also quite fun, so I think it might just be time to wrap up.
Beauty and the Beast is cheesy, amusing, nostalgic, and a touch messy at times, but it is carried by pretty good performances and is rather fun. Not something I can see myself watching again in a hurry, but I am pleased to say that it went better than expected, and is probably the best live action Disney rendition of an old classic I have yet seen (yeah, because I totally watch so many of them).
“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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
I’ll get to the point of this review straight away. X-Men: The Last Stand is complete and utter shit. I know I don’t speak for everyone but you’ll struggle to find anyone who really likes the film. It would take about about a week for me to explain all of the aspects that I hate but by then Days of Future Past will have been released and you’ll all stop listening. You see, talking about the movie actually makes me nauseous so I’ll do it through the medium of art (let’s see if those 8 years of study at the finest art colleges* in the world pay off).
* this may or may not be a lie.
Thank you so much Mikey! Really appreciate this, and love the layout! Really sticking to the theme haha!
So when Zoë shared her plans to have an X-Men Blogathon to prepare for the upcoming Days of Future Past, I was totally in. I’d been thinking I ought to do something to get in the spirit, and I think this is just the ticket! Kudos for the awesome idea, Zoë!
When given a choice between the X-Men films to review, I immediately snatched up X2: X-Men United. In my opinion, this is the X-Men film to beat. Let’s talk about why, shall we?
Synopsis: “The X-Men band together to find a mutant assassin who has made an attempt on the President’s life, while the Mutant Academy is attacked by military forces.” –www.imdb.com
Why it’s awesome:
That opening! X2 doesn’t waste any time getting right into some action. I mean, an assassination attempt on the president within the first five minutes? I’m paying attention! And as for the would-be assassin…
NIGHTCRAWLER IS THE BEST. Seriously, he might be my favorite thing about this film. Played brilliantly by Alan Cumming, Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler is just too freaking cool. His look, his power, his personality—I feel like this film nails it. He looks scary, but he has a heart of gold, and with only a few details, you get a sense of his tortured past. Plus, I love the designs on his skin. “One for every sin,” he claims. Very nice touch.
Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier. Yes, Professor X is a character we’re introduced to in the first film, but he continues to shine here as the strong, wise, soft-spoken patriarch of the X-Men family.
Hugh Jackman just…is Wolverine. At this point, I do believe Logan a.k.a. Wolverine has been a bit overexposed (he has a huge role in every X-Men film except First Class, where he’s limited to a brief albeit delightful cameo), but this is the surly tough guy’s second film appearance, and it’s great.
Ian freakin’ McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto. So much yes. Aside from Tom Hiddleston’s irresistibly fun Loki, McKellen’s Magneto is my very favorite Marvel villain. He’s wonderfully suave, clever, and brutal, and his complicated “frenemy” relationship with Professor X is brilliantly portrayed. Also, his prison breakout scene is arguably the best moment of the film. Sheer awesomeness.
Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique. We don’t know much about her, but what we do know is that she’s sexy, sassy, smart, and an undeniable badass. She has some great moments in this film, but my personal favorite is when she breaks into William Stryker’s facility, then slides through a closing door while flipping her enemies the bird. Win.
The coolness of Colossus (Daniel Cudmore). We may not know much about him, but man does he look awesome.
The creepy intensity of William Stryker (Brian Cox). It’s hard for a plain old human villain to measure up to mutants, but Stryker does the job perfectly.
Bobby’s “coming out” scene. When Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) leads a group of mutants to his family’s house, he has to confess to them what he really is. The family’s reaction is less than favorable. You can’t help drawing parallels between this and the struggles of the gay community. It’s a smart tie-in to a very relevant social issue.
The Phoenix teasers. There are a couple of them in this film, and even though Phoenix a.k.a. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) doesn’t turn out quite like fans had hoped, the hints of power are still pretty great.
Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu). When those adamantium claws sprout from her fingertips and she takes on Wolverine, it’s the best.
That scene near the end where the mutants talk to the president. Everything freezes, it’s dark and stormy, the mutants speak from the shadows…Mr. Prez, you’d better LISTEN!
In general, I just think the script is really sharp for this one. The dialogue is great, the pacing pretty spot-on, and the story, though ambitious, works well. Kudos, X2!
Clearly, I love this one. But if I have to pick on a few things…
The (few) things that bother me:
I don’t love Jean, Rogue (Anna Paquin), or Storm (Halle Berry), and I hate that because they’re all such potentially awesome characters. The problem is Famke Janssen can’t act her way out of a paper bag, Rogue doesn’t have nearly enough sass and is a little whiny (I blame the writers more than Paquin), and Storm is miscast as well as sans the cool African accent she is supposed to have. I read a list the other day of miscast X-Men where the writer suggested Angela Bassett instead of Berry in the role. Anyone who has seen Bassett in American Horror Story: Coven knows why that idea made me giddy.
I hate the Logan/Jean/Scott love triangle. Is that a thing in the comics? I hate it. I hate how it makes Scott a.k.a. Cyclops (James Marsden) act toward Logan, I hate how Jean kind of leads Logan on, and I hate how it makes Logan a bit mopey. Do you guys feel the same? I don’t know. Maybe the prevalence of love triangles in, like, every recent book and movie has made me bitter toward them.
Stryker’s team breaks into the X-Mansion like it’s child’s play. Isn’t that place supposed to be super duper guarded? I feel like Professor X would’ve put more thought into that.
John Allerdyce a.k.a. Pyro (Aaron Stanford) is just an annoying psycho. There’s not much done to develop his character, and by the time he abandons the X-Men for Team Magneto, I’m like, “Whatever, bro.” Could not care less. Do we even really need him?
So if you’ve gotten this far, I’m sure you don’t care about spoilers, but SPOILERS! So Jean heroically sacrifices herself by stepping outside of a jet full of her X-Buddies and powering it up before rushing waters come to drown them. Here’s my question: Why couldn’t homegirl power up the jet from the inside? I guess you could argue that she also has to hold back the waters, but earlier in the film she stopped a missile from inside the jet. I see no reason she couldn’t hold back the water from inside it, too.
I love this film. In my opinion, it’s the best X-Men so far (we’ll see how Days of Future Past stacks up), and it does all the things a good sequel is supposed to do: show us more of the characters we love while introducing a few awesome new ones, thicken the plot and put it on a grander scale, and improve upon and/or equal the previous film in greatness. Check, check, and check. This is one of my favorite superhero films for good reason.
My Rating: 9/10 (Probably an A on my rating system)
Thanks so much for letting me participate, Zoë! X-Men Blogathon ruuuuuules! 😀
Thanks a million for participating Cara, this was an awesome review! I would have loved to see Bassett rock the Storm role!