Thursday, June 23, 2016

X-men Days of Future Past (2014) Through a Kid’s Eyes

Our reading of the Claremont/Davis Excalibur gave my daughter the fun of extra character recognition. This isn’t a requirement needed for these films, as they’re just as much fun when seen from the, “Whoah, I have no idea who that is, but they’re cool!” angle.

Taking into account how much time travel experience we have in our home, there still were some “pause and explain” moments required for the beginning scenes.
“Didn’t his head just get crushed?”

She mostly reacted to the film as intended, cheering the return of characters she knew from the original franchise, and accepting the passing of the torch to the next set.

She even cheered for Toad.  Then said, “I mean, ewww. But Yay!”

Oddly, though the aim of the Sixties era First Class was intended to have a James Bond vibe, she though the Seventies Lava Lamp in Wolverine’s time jump scene looked like a Bond opening credit scene.

Considering Hugh Jackman has more time and appearances under his belt than any current super hero acting, it was incredibly fitting that he got to play the elder statesman role for the new crop of X-Actors.

Sometimes changes to the source material that don’t affect the core intent (like height) can make things better.

My daughter continued to be extremely savvy with the genre and franchise, yet balanced that with forgetting key concepts and characters.

She knew “Colonel Sanders” was Mystique as soon as he appeared.  I didn’t figure that out on my first viewing, and she missed the whole KFC reference, whereas I didn’t.

Of course, then when Charles showed up later with a limp, she forgot about her again.

She also forgot (or more likely chose to ignore at that moment) events of First Class and was confused by Charles walking at all and Beast “hulking out.”

James McAvoy may have inherited the F-bomb delivery in this film, but he did not inherent my daughter’s granting of Mr. Jackman’s profanity license.  She circled back on how much she remembered from the last film by correctly pointing out he did not use the dirty word correctly in the sentence Wolverine did.

Her comic book training insured a big cheer for the name “Maximoff.”  I’m guessing Avengers: Age of Ultron helped with that as well.

Quicksilver got many cheers, because he’s fun and the superspeed scenes were visually handled better than any others we’ve seen. In fact, they were handled well enough that many events during them not making a whole lot of sense was given a pass by all of us.

She noticed his Pink Floyd shirt, indicating I am doing a good job as a parent.

She also jumped up to disco dance to “Stop in the Name of Love” in French, which I’m pretty sure I had nothing to do with genetically or instructionally.

She thought the whole idea of Kennedy being a mutant was really cool. However, though she finally admitted (likely due to him changing sides) that Old Magneto was awesome, and that the scenes switching back and forth between the two Magnetos were awesome, even though he tried to save Kennedy her view of young Magneto was slightly different.
“He’s a butt.”

Part of that came from his treatment of Mystique, who she still found prettier in her blue state. While she appreciated her crazy off the chart ninja skills, she didn’t find her as pretty, “with her foot in someone’s face”

And, of course, she was still incensed by any racism, especially referring to mutants as, “it.”

She was very impressed with Beast learning smoking was bad way ahead of the curve.  She cheered any time he went into action, specifically at his impressive leap out the window in Paris.  She did yell for him not to kill Magneto. That’s not because she suddenly liked Erik, she just believes superheroes shouldn’t kill.

That’s my girl.

We watched the director’s cut; prompting her to ask how could the story work at all without Rogue.  The answer was basically, “it works, but is much less awesome.”

She had a HUGE cheer when Charles finally was riding in his wheelchair.  That’s a testimony to the storytelling and staging of this franchise.  The longevity also created bonds to the characters that had her yelling “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” at their future demises.

That’s even for Storm who got an, “I liked her…ish.”

Wolverines horrifically looking body piercings got an even louder scream, and constant yells that someone has to help him throughout the climax.

See Hollywood, if you write the characters following the spirit of the source material, you get a long running franchise that allows viewers to truly bond with the characters.

While she is “my girl” these movies also show connections to her mother.

After Logan woke up in the future, she noted,
“They’re not dead! (Bobby and Rogue) and He’s not dead! (Cyclops) and She’s not dead and not coo-coo! (Jean) ”

Then Professor X told Wolverine he founded the team because he had, “promises to keep,” my wife and daughter both replied in stereo,

“Oh yeah!”


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