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 – Jack the Giant Slayer: B-

jack the giant slayerB-
The combination of bad dialog, heaping tons of CG, and Ewan McGregor makes me amazed George Lucas wasn’t involved. The plot plods along a well-worn path littered with McGuffins and tired tropes. Lame humor, dull action, a boring story, and pale acting all add up to a film you’ll (happily) forget easily.

Movie – X-Men First Class: A


A
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.)