5 Reasons Why ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Rocks My Proverbial Socks Off

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***SPOILER WARNING***

Grossing over $90 million dollars on its opening weekend in North America. ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’, the 7th entry in the Fox Studios’ X-Men franchise, based on the Marvel comic book characters/books of the same name – Has received global acclaim. And in my humble opinion – richly deserved.

Here are 5 reasons that Days Of Future Past absolutely killed it for me….. Killed is good in this context, by the way.

 

1. THAT Quicksilver Scene.

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Fuck, I really hate saying it that way. ‘THAT’ Quicksilver scene… Ugh. It’s a great moment for not only the movie itself, but for the cast too who had really supported and pushed out just how good Evan Peters’ performance as the mutant speedster was. Though we can all say how shite his character design was (Singer….), it truly was a great demonstration of his abilities, his personality and the use of pop culture – As Maximoff’s walkman plays out the delightfully apt ‘Time In A Bottle’ by Jim Croce. Evan Peters’ performance throughout his time in the movie was no less greater. Leaving a lot for Joss Whedon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s depiction of the character to live up to in ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’.

 

2. Wolverine’s Role

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Hugh Jackman – The cornerstone of the X-Men franchise. Appearing as a lead character in 6 of the 7 movies to date. With a cameo in First Class, simply because – because… Yeah.

I’ve always found issue with Logan in these movies. Not only are the movies marred by the sheer amount of focus that is lavished on the character, alienating others. But also because it almost becomes detrimental to the overall story. In DOFP, the movie progresses and develops through the narrative and each character is a driving force for that. Though we closely and prominently follow events and actions of certain characters – namely Charles (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) – Wolverine is without question the lead. However he is part of the story, rather than the story being a part of him. His scenes with Charles and Hank (Nick Hoult) after his initial regression to 1973 are some of my favourite moments in the entire film. There’s great chemistry between the 3, and this is much more apparent after Logan manages to convince Charles to get his shit together. I also found the much maligned ‘swap’ between himself and Kitty (Ellen Page) had proven to be a great move on the part of Singer and Kinberg.

 

3. The Screenplay

"X-Men: Days Of Future Past" World Premiere - Outside Arrivals

Simple as it seems. And is… Simon Kinberg wrote one damn good movie. Within the X-Men community, I’d argue that First Class is the superior film based on writing – Perhaps due to the more traditional, linear plot. With DOFP, there is so much going on that you could easily be stepping into Last Stand territory. It just felt from watching though, that everything had its place within the story – it was relevant, cohesive, served purpose and ultimately wasn’t wasteful fanboy nonsense thrown in for acknowledgement. I’d wholeheartedly recommend a second viewing if this wasn’t your immediate conclusion.

 

4. The ‘Reset’

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Spoilers ahead. Of course, you’ve all seen the movie by now? Before production had completed, director Bryan Singer went on record to say that the beauty of time travel movies is that there is scope to undo, change or get rid of certain elements from the established timeline. In other words – He brought back Cyclops and Jean! So what does that mean for future appearances for people like James Marsden, Famke Janssen and Kelsey Grammar? Well we know now that younger versions of original trilogy characters will appear in the next movie ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. Though we’ll never know for certain until that time, it was still great to see those characters back  - almost a sigh of relief. Especially after the massive injustice done to Cyclops in all the movies prior.

 

5. Groundwork For The Future

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Though I was pretty disappointed in the shelving of half the cast of First Class. Carrying over James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nick Hoult to DOFP in hindsight is a great sign of potential things to come. With Charles and Hank seemingly becoming more reliant on each other from events prior to the movie, and Erik and Mystique being ‘set loose’ essentially to build ‘The Brotherhood’. We could potentially see some great stories featuring these characters at loggerheads once again. Because of the dynamics and events that have occurred within the relationships of these 4 – I think we should anticipate for much more emotionally driven, tense and personal X-Men sequels. Here’s to 2016, and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ .


Interview | Hans Zimmer Talks 12 Years A Slave, Superhero Scores and More

Scott:

Zim, Zimmer!

Originally posted on AMONymous:

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A look through Hans Zimmer’s discography reveals a truly staggering body of work; The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight trilogy and countless other films have been blessed with his gift of musical storytelling. Now a 30 year veteran of the industry the film composer is still at the top of his game, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I was lucky enough to chat with him ahead of the home entertainment release of the brilliant 12 Years A Slave.

So vast and varied is Zimmer’s catalogue and so excited was I to to speak with him that the 15 minutes I was granted felt like 5. Nonetheless it was a fascinating conversation, and here he speaks about working with Steve McQueen, the challenges when coming up with superhero scores and a special edition re-release of his work on The Lion King. Have a read below.

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The Problems Of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ (SPOILERS)

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Evening all. Some people reading this will know, from my activity on Twitter and on the Bastnerds podcast, that I have been an avid Spider-Man fan for the best part of 25 years. I recently took part in a spoiler podcast with Chris Byrne, Christopher Ejizu and Amon Warmann for Marc Webb’s latest effort – ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′.

On the recording, I was pretty critical and decidedly negative about the movie as a whole. Give it a listen here.

Now, instead of a review. I decided it would be more ‘my style’ to basically talk about why I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as others. There are more issues than what I talk about here. These are the worst offenders, in my opinion.

So here it is, my ANAL-sis for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′. Yes there are SPOILERS, so don’t moan.

 

1. Jamie Foxx’s character is fucking wasted…. And I don’t mean drunk.

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Jamie Foxx plays electrical engineer Max Dillon at Oscorp, later transformed into the villain ‘Electro’. From the marketing (extensive within the first 6 months of promotion) of the movie, Electro is extremely prominent and was confirmed as the ‘lead protagonist’. However towards the tail end of the marketing campaign, I noticed that the focus shifted from Electro and more prominently to Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan) and Oscorp. This seemed odd – but I remained excited to see the final product.

Now I’m not saying that Electro is a BAD character, or that Foxx doesn’t do a great job. Quite the opposite actually. The issue with Electro is that his character is built up to absolutely be a potentially awesome and dangerous villain for Spidey (Andrew Garfield) – but as soon as he’s built up, he’s left hanging in limbo. While Osborn’s ‘sickness’ plotline is fast-tracked through the movie’s midway point (more on that later). Dillon is the sympathetic, misunderstood man that becomes endowed with immeasurable power while struggling to fit in with the norms of society. Max, through his own admission,  just wants to be noticed. In terms of personality, being polar opposite of Spider-Man is a potentially fruitful plot device – As we could potentially see the character gradually unravelling through his jealousy of Spidey’s attention – THEN develop him into Electro, powers and all. Give him something to run with first. The direction they took the character was rushed and half-resolved until a convenient way to bring him back into the narrative was presented through Harry Osborn.

*Side note – that whole Doctor Kafka/Electro conversation felt completely ill-judged and seemed to be hammed up as fuck.*

 

2. Uncle Ben’s murderer…. Yes, remember now?

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Ben Parker (portrayed by Martin Sheen) is the moral compass and strongest paternal figure of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. So whether you’ve seen the comics, the cartoons or the movies themselves, you know that he’s a prominent fixture in Spidey adaptations.

Marc Webb’s first Spider-Man movie was pretty much a retread of Raimi’s original in regard to Peter and Ben’s relationship. Culminating in a robbery that Peter had the opportunity to stop, electing to ignore it. Which in turn resulted in the fatal shooting of his dear old Uncle. In ‘ASM 1′, there’s a meaty sequence where we see Peter attempting to find the killer, using a likeness as a template. Unfortunately, there’s no resolution. And Peter vows to find his uncle’s killer. So were we expecting to see this plot point, this massive part of Peter’s life at least continued? Of course……..

Barely even mentioned. That’s right.

 

3. Hollywood 101 – Using the last shot in the movie as the last shot in a trailer.

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Paul Giamatti’s  Aleksei Sytsevich is introduced at the top of the movie. Attempting to steal plutonium (why? who cares!), and is quickly and effortlessly thwarted by Spider-Man (again, spoiled by the trailers and tv spots). At the film’s end, we find out Oscorp made a big robot suit, and apparently Sytsevich is qualified to operate it….. Enter ‘Rhino’, his giant robot suit and its Transformeresque nonsense that pulls Spidey out of the doldrums and back into saving the day mode. Cue the dramatic final shot…. That we’ve all seen months prior. Killing any anticipation for the next movie.

Way to go guys, you fucking turnips.

 

4. Harry Osborn and The Mystery Of Harry Osborn.

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Dane Dehaan’s casting as Peter Parker’s best friend, Harry Osborn, was particularly one of the movie’s strongest. Dehaan is absolutely commanding in his conveying of emotionally tumultuous characters. He does indeed showcase this as the young Osborn, later as this movie’s incarnation of The Green Goblin (never Christened/labelled). But like Max Dillon’s character, it’s underdeveloped and a hugely missed opportunity to demonstrate one of the key relationships in the life of Peter Parker. Harry just appears out of nowhere after a decade (?) away and there’s no real in-depth insight into their friendship or what’s been going on with Harry himself – the whole thing feels rushed and only as a servant to get things moving with the Sinister Six development. This becomes more apparent when Harry’s ‘sickness’ conveniently becomes more aggressive after his father Norman (Chris Cooper) is killed to death by the unnamed genetic disease. Peter and Harry’s brief time together feels vacuous because we, the audience, have seen Peter go through these differences and changes in his life, without Harry around. For the friendship to look and feel natural and resonate – Harry needed to be a figure in Peter’s life during the events of first movie.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies showcased the pair as school friends right from the get go. We knew exactly what motivations Harry had for going after Peter by the third movie, and it was an actual, properly constructed plot that made sense in terms of the story and its development of the characters. Here, it’s condensed into about 30-40 minutes.

 

5. Richard & Mary Parker Became Sony’s Bitches

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Maybe not everyone felt this way.

We know Richard and Mary were both involved in Oscorp and the experimentation that was going down. Spider-Man himself being a successful result of this. To me, this all seemed irrelevant to the story as a whole. Peter just wanted to find out why his parents had to leave him and to understand the reasoning behind it. Now, as the second movie progresses, we find out that Richard worked with Norman on many ‘cross species’ experiments in aid of potentially curing Monster Mash and his fingernails. Eventually leading to Richard removing himself from the project and thus getting ‘removed’ permanently on an airplane during the film’s opening sequence.

From this, and the subsequent reveal of Oscorp/Ravencroft’s intention to create a group to, I dunno, take over the world… It felt like the true nature, the raw humanity and the effects of the Parkers’ absence from Peter’s life had been substituted, or rather discarded in favor of just a cheap. convenient method of pushing the establishment of more villains. Sequel bait, folks! $$$$$$$$$££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$ 

 

 

 

So there you go. Anyone agree? Disagree? Send me your thoughts.

 

Love you lots.


Doug Walker Editorial – ‘Is ‘The Big Lebowski’ A Masterpiece?

Well, yes…. But here’s Doug Walker of ‘That Guy With The Glasses’ to elaborate.


Special Feature | Summer 2014 Blockbuster #AMONTAGE

Originally posted on AMONymous:

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Hey readers!

Once again, summer blockbuster season is upon us! As the summer blockbuster mash-up I did last year proved quite the hit, I’ve decided to make it an annual fixture. For the past three months, I have toiled over the 2014 edition, and it gives me great pleasure to post the finished version today, EXCLUSIVE to AMONymous.  Enjoy, comment, share, and most importantly…ENJOY THIS YEAR’S SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS!

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Six Of The Best Literary Adaptations

Originally posted on Charlie Derry:

(Written for HeyUGuys)

If you’re a fan of literary adaptations then no doubt you’ll currently have your head stuck in a copy of Joyce Maynard’s emotional coming-of-age novel Labor Day, Nick Hornby’s heart-warming suicide drama A Long Way Down, or maybe even Veronica Roth’s debut dystopian Divergent. What we’re looking forward to most, however, is Richard Ayoade’s upcoming adaptation of Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s dark comedy novella, The Double.

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Film Review | Khumba: A Zebra’s Tale

Scott:

Next up – ‘Foodfight!’ (Hopefully)

Originally posted on AMONymous:

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★½☆☆☆

As the recent critical and box office success of both the Oscar-winning Frozen (2013)  and The LEGO Movie (2014) can attest to, animated movies have seldom been more popular than they are today. Though noble in its intentions, Anthony Silverston’s Khumba (2014)  - the sophomore effort from the Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios – is a substandard digimated excursion that’s all the more dissatisfying when compared to the films that inspired it.

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