Movie – X-Men: Days of Future Past: A

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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 – Trance: A-

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Though the premise dictates lots of twists and confusion, I think it had a few too many to keep my disbelief properly suspended. I still can’t decided if I have the feelings I’m supposed to about the ending, since I found myself wishing all the characters to experience a fall. However, I can easily see why all the little things that I disliked about the film were present, as they fit thematically and structurally. And Danny Boyle was certainly showing off, with his stunning visuals and bold music. And this directorial posturing was absolutely warranted, and easily enjoyed.

Movie – X-Men First Class: A


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This X-Men movie double-entendred its name by being the first to bring some class to the series. (Rimshot!) Most of the characters, when introduced, are sly and interesting. (Ok, maybe just the main few characters.) This allows some forgiveness after the movie progresses into the cheesier comic-book-movie style that I expected since the core characters are so well developed. The revenge themes and the civil rights allegories play out smoothly and elegantly and the final actiony bits, though displaying a bit of poor CGI, run about as one would expect (as hoped.)