Movie – X-Men: Days of Future Past: A

xmen dofpA
Massive casts like this are only possible in sequels, and Days of Future Past shows how to do it right. They picked the best characters from the original trilogy and from First Class, and swept the less interesting ones out under the rug, but not in a particularly jarring way. Then they introduced some great new characters, especially Blink, who makes all the “future” action sequences so utterly fantastic (well the awesome future sentinels certainly helped too). Fassbender continues to excel, Lawrence is still great, and Dinklage performs admirably. And of course I can never get enough Patrick Stewart. But Quicksilver easily gets the best sequence in the whole film. He steals the first half, and I was incredibly disappointed he got left behind for the finale.

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Movie – Cloud Atlas: B+

cloud atlasB+
If I hadn’t read the book, I’m fairly certainly I would’ve missed most of the point. I concede that the change in structure was probably necessary (the movie jumped around between the stories, while books went through half of each chronologically, then back through for the other halves), but I felt that while it helped establish a point to the concept, it hurt the individual tales, not allowing them to live in separate genres. How they transformed the actors into different characters across the narratives was astounding though, and half the fun for me, and probably for the actors too. Great moments, but disjointed. Probably the best possible adaptation it could’ve gotten though.

Movie – X2: A-


A-
After a re-watching, the second X-Men film holds up as the best of the “originals.” Wolverine’s best when slicing through nameless black-ops goons and Nightcrawler’s opening scene is fantastic. Colossus shows up to be briefly awesome and then is woefully forgotten and Magneto is possibly at his most daunting (though his dialog is less polished.) The story is the smoothest of the series even after adding more characters to an already character-heavy cast. Halle Berry is awful as ever however, and the subplot centered on Rogue’s and the other young characters’ teen hormone problems is distracting at best.

Movie – X-Men: B


B
After First Class, I wanted to revisit the first X-Men to see if the character interactions were still intact. They weren’t of course. Xavier and Magneto’s relationship worked even better than before but Xavier and Mystique seem to have forgotten that they’d grown up together. The other members of the First Class are suspiciously absent as well, Beast being the most notable omission. Still, the Wolverine-centered plot led to good action sequences blemished with terrible one-liners. Halle Berry strengthened her hold in my mind as the worst actress in far too many movies I enjoy.