Monday, November 22, 2021

X-Bits 2

X-men First Class
This isn’t really the origin of the X-men. This is the promised X-men: Origins: Magneto, announced with the Wolverine movie. He’s the person most in focus and goes through the biggest character arc.
Starting with the same scene as the first X-men film was an inspired call back.  

Recasting everyone is similar to a new creative team taking over a comic. The art looks different, the continuity may shift, but there’s core parts that remain the same.  Wolverine: Origins did the same, but nobody cared.
This one highlights that the X-men films really began with the equivalent of “Giant Sized X-men #1” which reinvented the team after being created over a decade before. The order of which mutants joined first is jumbled but the idea is the same.
Nazis- perfect bad guys and evil villains. Its amazing people need to be reminded of this.

This team was a lot of fun. It's a shame they killed them all off. This is a problem comics don't have to deal with because A) Actors don't leave comic books and B) Dead in comics is a minor inconvenience.
The Wolverine (Unrated)
Starting with World War II worked for the last outing, so they did it again in the other theater of war. It worked here as well.
This film combined the after effects of the fist X-Trilogy, Wolverine’s original, four issue Claremont and Miller mini-series and some later X-men comics. Somehow, it all fit together well.
Aside for the young uns:  
There was a time when Wolverine was not a member of every team in the Marvel universe, and not guest starring in every single comic.  He did not have his own brands of clothing, school gear, and toilet paper.  Wolverine was created in 1974 and his first solo publication didn’t happen until that excellent four issue series in 1982.
I know Logan losing his healing factor increases personal risk and drama for him, but I’m not a fan of that often used crutch. I’m here to see full on Wolverine. Drama could be created by threatening who or what he’s protecting, or keeping him from a goal with a time constraint. Granted, the scene where he took on Mariko’s dad after his mutant power was restored was both epic and very cathartic.

The train fight. WOO!  That is all.

Not sure who did the "didn't know there was a pool" gag first, but it's always funny. 

There is another thing that feels off that changing the order from the comics.  Having Mariko be how Logan comes to terms with Jean’s loss was a little weird.  Their relationship was really well done in the comics, and him trying to be a samurai and “calm the beast within” for her would have been nice to experience on screen. That relationship happened in comics well before the "unrequited love for Jean" became less of an aside, and more of a character defining trait.

Seeing this version of Yukio, who was awesome wielding a sword or snowplow, come back would have been welcomed.
X-men Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut
Yes, I picked extended versions of later films when I said X2 could have used additional editing.  There’s more meat to these stories.
This is a rare move for the X-Franchise (in comics). Instead of the norm of an alternate future story creating new characters that pop round for tea every so often, it instead streamlined the character pool and lined everything up better.  

Instead of a true “Days of Futures Past,” it’s a continuation of Magneto’s origin story, plus bits from the “Old Man Logan” in the more recent Marvel Universe books.
Fans complained about Wolverine taking the role Kitty played in the comics. It is new continuity people, and movies are more focused on their primary cast. The main characters get highlighted, and side players stay on the side.
I was thinking how much I missed some of the close friendships in the comics (Storm and Jean, Kurt and Logan) but in the movies, we have Charles and Logan, and the Charles and Eric one was handled amazingly well.  Again, it was about focus on the primary characters.
Trask is basically Tony Stark before being shot and captured isn’t he?  There’s a “What If” I don’t think we’ve seen.
It shows decent self-knowledge that a fully comic accurate Sentinel appeared in the Danger Room during X2 , but when they needed the mutant hunting robots to be menacing, the look was updated to fit in the universe better.
I choose to define this as the true (and happy) ending of the original X-men movie characters with the timeline fixed. The sad future of Logan, while an excellent film, in my head takes place in the uncorrected bad universe…somehow.
Yes, I know these aren’t strictly in continuity with the other movies, and they break up the narrative of the second group of films. However, I don’t care. They’re fun, they have a huge amount of heart, the performances are excellent and I’m rewatching them. So there.
The non-linear storytelling is brilliant. Without it, this would be a sweet, adult romantic dramedy filled with tragedy, transitioning into a torture story, transitioning into a violent action comedy, then a superhero spoof, and back to a sweetly honest romance.  By going out of order, it smooths it out somewhat.
For a goofy film, there are ridiculous amounts of details. This is why I watch movies many times. All the bits in the flash-forward opening have explanations by the time that scene is reached. 

There are multiple other set ups and pay offs, and the holidays in the “Calendar Girl” song match up exactly with the montage scenes.
Daniel Cudmore did an excellent job in the X-films, but this is what Colossus should look, act and sound like.  The fight with him and Angel at the end is one of the best representations of comic book powerhouses, where one is stronger with more invulnerability but the other is faster. Angel had the advantage a lot of the time, but it was clear that Colossus was holding back. It’s also unlikely strangling him with a cable that was weaker than his organic osmium steel form was really damaging him. He was likely figuring out how to escape without killing her when Negasonic Teenaged Warhead blasted them.
Negasonic Teenaged Warhead was awesome. Just needed to say that.
Colossus said, “House being destroyed builds character,” right before the film where the Mansion is obliterated completely.
The Deadpool films may be the best combination of songs mixed into a movie soundtrack in history.
Hey, you know what I realized watching “Mr. Pool?” The X-Franchise is the only group of modern superhero films that really leans on using superhero code names!

No comments: