Monday, April 13, 2015

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

I've seen a lot of DC productions lately, and a lot of Marvel stuff.  Personally, I prefer Marvel, mostly because of the variety.  I've noticed, however, that Marvel superheroes seem to just fight it out with their powers, rather than fight with any degree of physical skill.  On the flip side, DC superheroes seem to duke it out physically, completely disregarding any powers they might have.  I'm not sure which is more realistic, but in the DC universe, Batman seems to be king.  I don't know whether the guys who write DC are just trying to get the point across that a guy who is entirely human and uses gadgets to do most of his dirty work is better than a super-powerful shape-shifting incredibly brilliant alien with the ability to turn ethereal and read minds, like the Martian Manhunter, or a super-strong, incredibly durable alien with heat vision, cold breath and super-speed like Superman.  Or, you know, any one of the other superhuman individuals that make up the Justice League.  In any event, DC seems to have a love affair with Batman.  I prefer the Marvel universe because they don't seem to have a bias.  Sure, Iron-Man got three movies, and the avengers only have two so far.  But Captain America got two movies, and the Hulk has had several, and so has Thor.  Even the X-Men have a string of movies, but seriously, is Wolverine the only X-man who can get some love?

In X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), the timeline jumps forward about 50 years to show you a bleak vision of the future.  The Sentinels, or mutant-killer robots, have taken over the planet.  The only humans or mutants still alive are those who are helping the shadowy leaders behind the swarms of Sentinel robots sweeping the globe, hunting for loose mutants.  Of the X-men, there are only a few recognizable ones left.  Iceman, Shadowcat, Wolverine, Colossus, Magneto and Professor X are the only surviving members of the original X-Men, and yes, I know, that's most of them anyway.  There's no way to stop the Sentinels, and the X-men are fleeing from them at every turn.  There's only one hope.  To return to the past and stop the Sentinels from ever being built.  There's only one problem.  Only Wolverine can survive the journey.

If some of you are thinking, wait, I've heard this tale before.  Sounds like the Terminator!  DING you win a prize.  Only this time, instead of the evil robots going back in time to stop John Connor, the John Connors are going back in time to stop the evil robots.  So, they sort of flip-flopped it.  And if you're saying, Wait, that sounds like Terminator 2, where they try to stop the evil machines from being created in the first place!  Yes, you are correct again!  And, you watch too much TV.  Get out and get some sunshine once in awhile, you pasty-skinned fuck.

I'd like to say this was a good movie.  I suppose it wasn't bad.  There was a lot of mutant-on-mutant violence.  Some people died, although I am sure no animals were harmed in the making of this movie.  Except Nightcrawler.  He's Missing In Action, and I presume, got stomped on by a Sentinel.  So, there's that.  Oh, and Wolverine, because, come on.  He gets hurt every 10 minutes like clockwork.  Pretty sure that's just his job.  He's like the Tank in the party of adventurers.  He soaks up the damage, and then someone sneaks around from the back and catches the bad guy unawares.

Speaking of Wolverine, let's just recap, shall we?  In the first X-men movie, he fought Magneto to save Rogue.  In the second X-men movie, he fought Jean Grey, to save, well, everyone.  And in this movie, Wolverine fights everyone, to save the future.  Oh, and let's not forget, I think he's had like, two movie of his own, too, right?  There was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where they explain what happened with him and his brother Sabretooth, and how he lost his memories.  And there was just plain Wolverine, where he goes to Japan and fight an adamantium Samurai.  Were there more?  I don't even recall.  How many movies does Storm have?  Zero.  Professor X?  None.  And don't count X:men, the first Class, because that was an x-men origin story.  It pretty much covers the beginning of the X-men, and was a pretty sucky origin story, as those go.  Does Cyclops have his own movie?  Iceman?  Rogue?  No.  Certainly Colossus, the big russian who can turn himself into organic steel, has his own movie, right?  Nope!  Is Hugh Jackman actually producing these movies?  All five of them?  Or is Wolverine just the only X-man who can get shit done?

Let's recap what I like about this movie, before I get to what I don't like.  Well, I didn't notice any glaring plot holes.  When there's time travel involved, usually there's a shit-ton of plot holes, but let's take a closer look at it.  Supposedly, according to this method of time-travel, the changes Wolverine is making in the past, don't actually take effect until he wakes up.  With that in mind, we don't actually see the effect of Wolverine's ham-handed efforts to change the past until the end of the movie.  Okay, I guess if you're going to make that proviso as part of Shadowcat's time-travel power, fine.  Of course, there's one small problem.  There's actually three timelines involved, not just two.  First off, you have the bleak-future-Wolverine returning to the 1970's timeline to make the appropriate changes, and somehow stop the Sentinels from ever being made.  So that's two timelines.  Presumably, once Wolverine has finished fixing the past to save the future, he returns to the future and we see the changes he has put into effect.  Instead, what happens is, the future Wolverine becomes the present Wolverine, and we're more at present-day 2015 technology than future-technology.  So that's never explained at all, he just sort of slips into the middle of the two timelines as if he's making a timeline sandwich and he's the peanut butter.  Ew.  That's an awful comparison, and I'm sorry I thought of it.  Moving on.

The acting wasn't bad.  It's a superhero movie, so you don't expect these people to be getting oscar nominations.  There was stuff blowing up, stuff flying through the air, future tech, past tech, genius dwarves and killer robots.  The CGI was pretty decent.  A lot of stuff happened in the movie.  It wasn't just, go back, do the dirty, and BAM everything is hunky-dory again.  In case you have never seen a time travel movie, it's never that easy.  Something always goes wrong, which is why I am never going to time travel.  Bad shit happens.  Hell, I can barely get through Daylight Savings time changing my clocks twice a year.  There was some weird scene at the end of the movie that made absolutely no sense to me, that I almost missed.  I know they do short scenes at the ends of the iron man and avengers and even one of the Hulk movies, but I didn't expect a scene at the end of an X-man movie, and I totally didn't get it when I saw it, either.  I won't reveal it, because I have no freakin idea what it means yet.  I am sure, at some point in the future, some X-man movie will explain it to me.  I eagerly await that day.  I hate loose ends.

Now the bad stuff!  There's not really any villain in this movie.  Sure, there's killer robots.  They are doing what they are programmed to do.  Yes, they're violent, deadly, unstoppable, and terrifying.  But there's no character there.  It's like getting your ass beaten at chess by a machine.  It means nothing to you.  Of course you're going to get beaten by a machine, because a machine only makes mistakes if it's badly programmed.  The whole point of chess is to either make your opponent make a mistake, or wait for him to make a mistake and take advantage of it.  The human element comes into play.  There's no human element when it comes to machines, so it's a foregone conclusion that they will win.  Which, also makes the movie rather boring.  You know the X-Men are going to have to cheat by changing the past to win, and the cheat's going to have to work.  Otherwise, everyone dies and that's a horrible ending to any movie.  Unless it was a romantic comedy, in which case, that ending is fucking hilarious.

Magneto tries to be the villain here, too, because that's pretty much Magneto's job, but nobody wants that after three movies where Magneto's the bad guy.  Sure, he has a fucked-up name.  Erik Lehnsherr.  Sure, I can add a bunch of H's to my name and sound like a villain, too, but I don't.  Let's toss some more in.  Ehrhikh Lhenshehrrh.  Now he sounds like a villain from Guardians of the galaxy.  I'd be pissed if someone filled my name with silent H's, too, but can't he just get over it and say "You know what, Charles?  Fuck it, let's just try it your way for a change, so I can be around when shit goes wrong, and I can say 'I told you so!"  Why does he have to be such a grumpy ass bitch all the time?  Take some damn Xanax or Prozac or something.

You can't even really hate Trask, the dwarf inventor who created the Sentinels.  He's played by peter Dinklage, the same guy who plays Tyrion Lannister in game of thrones (which started a new season on HBO again tonight, by the way).  Look, I don't care how good an actor Peter Dinklage is.  You can't put him in the role of a villain and expect people to hate him.  He's making the sentinels because he perceives Mutants to be a threat to all homo sapiens, and he's pretty much right.  Just like the neaderthals disappeared when the current version of humanity evolved, so too will the current version of humanity disappear if something like the X-Men ever comes about.  Excepting, of course, that the most current theories actually propose the idea that the neanderthals just interbred with modern-day humans, and passed on their DNA to us.  So technically, there was never a fight, and we never actually killed off the neanderthals.  They are us.  Or at least, they are football players with a unibrow.  So, close enough.  Personally, I like the idea of interbreeding with some of the X-men.  Storm's pretty hot, and I got a thing for both Rogue and Shadowcat.

Speaking of hot mutants, wtf is up with Mystique?  Is she not like one of the hottest badasses in the history of mutant-ness?  I mean, let's recap.  She can be anyone you ever wanted, she ages slowly like wolverine, she's a sneaky James-Bond type spy who can get into anywhere, get out of anything, and has absolutely no fear of being caught.  And what happens the one time she IS caught?  They use her mutant DNA to make mutant-killer robots who are unstoppable and can adapt to any mutant power out there.  Yes, that's alotta mutants.  Oh, and one more thing.  That blue spiky stuff she's wearing?  That's her skin.  Yes, it can change into just about anything she wants to, and mimic any natural fibers and assume anyone's shape.  But when she's in a fight, she reverts to her usual blue-skinned form.  You know what that means?  She's naked.  All the time.  Sure, she LOOKS like she has clothes on when she's assuming someone else's appearance, but she really doesn't.  So, she's just walking around butt-ass-nekkid all the time.  And she doesn't even try to fake clothes while she's in a fight unless she's fucking with your head.  She just resumes her normal appearance, and fights naked.  And still kicks ass.  Wolverine's, Magneto's, Xavier's, Storm's, yep, pretty much everyone's asses.  That's just goddamn hot, if you ask me.  You ever fought a naked chick before?  Just surrender, kiss the angry bitch, and make love, not war.

Something else I noticed, that is a definite improvement.  I originally wasn't fond of the idea of Jennifer Lawrence replacing Rebecca Romaine-Lettuce, when I first watched X-men,: First Class.  Frankly, I think Rebecca is hotter, and she seemed to look more, I don't know, athletic, back in the first couple X-man movies.  Like a killer mutant chick should, you know?  However, Jennifer Lawrence seems to have grown into the role.  It doesn't show so much when she's in a fight (too much CGI perhaps, or maybe they use a different skin-tight blue suit, or a stunt double), but if you watch when Mystique is just walking around, Jennifer's body fills out that blue skin-suit quite nicely.  Her curves just seem to bounce attractively in all the right places, you know what I mean?  I think you do.  Sure, maybe she's got a bigger butt than Rebecca, but what the hell.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, or whatever the hell old-ass expression fits in here.

So, to sum up, watch X-Men, days of future past, mostly for Mystique.  There's some killer robots that look pretty awesome, and watch it if you like peter Dinklage, or if you want to see Wolverine survive yet another thing that would kill anyone else.  Yes, we get it.  He heals.  It's awesome.  It's his mutant power.  It's his job.  It's what he does.  It's all he does.  Now focus on another goddamned mutant, okay?  And realize, Mystique gets into and out of more bad situations than Wolverine, and she doesn't even have mutant healing powers.  She just doesn't friggin stand there and take the hit!  She moves out the way, like any smart person would.  Honestly, I think she should take on the Hulk next.  Really piss him off, fight him as Betty Ross or something.  The Hulk would have absolutely no clue what to do.  He'd start throwing buildings into space just out of anger, and then beat the crap out of Thor.  Just because.

So, there's one funny part that I'm going to mention, and it came during the rolling credits.  It's not really anything you can see, but think on this while you watch the movie.  So it's 2:20 in the morning, and I've just finished watching Days of Future Past.  I think, 'man, that movie seemed to take forever, I wonder how long it was?'  and like any person with ADD, instead of checking the time, I get distracted by the fact that it says there was nudity in the movie.  And I'm like 'Nudity?  Wtf?  I don't recall any nudity...'  So I think back, mentally reviewing the movie in my head.  Nope, didn't recall actually seeing Jennifer Lawrence's breasts.  Or anyone else's for that matter.  So I'm searching my brain for anything that might have been some fleeting vision of nudity, and my mind returns to the first moment that Wolverine returns to the past.  He wakes up with a girl in a bed, and I'm trying to remember if there was any actual nudity on the girl's part or not.  Not entirely because I am a perv (which I am), but mainly because if they said there was nudity in it, and I somehow missed it, then how am I supposed to mention it to my readers?  That's right.  I only stare at women's naked bodies for your benefit.  I'm doing it for you!  And that's when I recall Logan getting out of bed, and I saw Hugh Jackman's ass.  Which is when I cracked up laughing at 2;20 am, because that's not quite the nudity I was looking for!  And now I've made a pun.  CRACKed up, laughing, about seeing a butt.  Sigh.  I know.  Humor is one of my many gifts, and I share them with the world.  I make joke, you laugh, as some crazy russian guy said.

That's all for this week.  Tomorrow's supposed to be nice and warm, and I already have yard-work planned.  Wheee.  Should be fun with my gimp-hand, which still isn't quite healed.  Damn masturbation accidents can really sideline your single lovelife, you know?  Oh well.  Catch you guys next time.

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