Tag Archives: X-Men

Merry Mutant Merry-go-round

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So, Matthew Vaughn has apparently left the X-Men First Class sequel, “Days of Future Past… and I’m actually okay with that news.

Not a slam against the Vaughn – I’ve enjoyed everything that he’s directed – nor a dig at the franchise either (I’ve just received the first movie on Blu Ray for my birthday), just slight excitement at the news of whom might be taking over Vaughn’s director’s chair.

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Why, that’s looking remarkably like Bryan Singer, erstwhile director of X-Men, “X-Men 2” and The Usual Suspects, coming back to save cinema audiences from the horrifying prospect of Hacky McHack Brett Ratner being tasked with helming the sequel.

It’s all completely unofficial at this point, but the idea of Singer coming back to Prof X’s cheery band of super-powered social pariahs to steer a story which apparently intersects with his original take on the Marvel heroes has me nodding appreciatively and believing that Fox isn’t full of buffoons after all.

Vaughn, meanwhile, is believed to be taking on another comic book adaptation, this time of old mucker Mark Millar‘s ‘Secret Service’ which – my goodness – he’s already had a hand in the writing of.

It’s a small world – but I wouldn’t want to paint it ((C) Steven Wright).

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Film review: “Chronicle”

“Chronicle” is a divisive movie.  Trust me on this – when we watched this tale of teens with mysteriously acquired superpowers, my wife and I couldn’t have had more different opinions on it.  Spoilers, of a kind, may follow…

Beware those Emo kids at the mall – they’re gonna psychically mess with your shopping cart!

The marvellous Mrs Rolling Eyeballs was, to say the least, less than engaged by the film.  She hated the characters and felt that the story was non-existent.  Whilst I will concur that the story is fairly threadbare and that the protagonists were very much ‘types’ and not exactly boldly drawn, I really quite enjoyed Josh Trank’s debut film and marvelled at what he pulled together on a budget which might cover a single action sequence in “The Avengers”.

Would you trust these boys with super powers?

Starring nobody that you’ve heard of – though lead Dane DeHaan is the spitting image of a young Leonardo DiCaprio – “Chronicle” goes the “Spider-Man“/classic Marvel Comics route in gifting a disparate trio of high school lads with uncanny, telepathy-derived powers and seeing how they use/abuse them for personal gain.

So far, so predictable.  Where “Chronicle” scores best for me is in giving us teenage characters who behave probably as you might do if you found yourself wearing their Converses – rather than flitting around town stopping crime and being upstanding members of the community, these dudes prank unsuspecting mall shoppers and zip into mid-air for a swift kick-about (interrupted rudely by a passenger jet).

For the first part of the film – before things go positively David Fincher – this nerd troika reacts to their good fortune by using it for selfish gain and giggles and things only go south when DeHaan’s put-upon, abused nerd Andrew finds his reliance on his extraordinary gifts taking him to very dark, bully-destroying, patricidal, places indeed.

If you can get past the ‘found footage’ conceit – Andrew videotapes everything, in an effort to document his alcoholic father’s regular beatings – this is a very different take on the coming of age superhero origin story which we see so often.  The action sequences are remarkably effective – the climax being a particularly well-executed example of mass civic mayhem rendered on a budget more akin to Kevin Smith’s films than Un Film De Michael Bay – and give a tantalising hint of what an “X-Men” spin-off might look like if the makers of Channel Four‘s parent-worrying teen drama “Skins” got their mitts on the Fox franchise.

It’s an impressive debut and makes you wonder what director Josh Trank might do with the multiple projects – “Spider-Man” spin-off, “Venom”, the “Fantastic Four” reboot and video game adaptation, “Shadow of the Colossus” – that he’s attached to develop.

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“The Wolverine” gets a release date.

Wolverine's drive-clearing technique required work.

Things are moving apace on Fox’s next “X-Men” spin-off, “The Wolverine”.

Den of Geek reports that the studio has set a July 26th 2013 date for the sequel to 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, which is now being directed by “Walk the Line”/“Knight & Day” helmer James Mangold, previous director Darren Aronofsky having gone to his biblical Noah project:  Never one who’s afraid to mix things up, our Darren.

Now, THAT's how you take down a chopper...

My own misgivings on the first “Wolverine” spin-off being reasonably clear to guess, let me put in a quick mention for the tie-in game developed by Raven software, which was rather better than you might expect and is definitely worth a play through on PS3, 360 and PC if you can find a cheap copy – the 360 version retails for around £13-14 new in the UK, barely over a fiver if you’re buying it used.  I can only imagine that it’s a similar price in the US.

And it’s a way better use of your time than the original movie – bloody, visceral and more expansive in terms of story telling if not game play.

So, what I’m essentially saying is that Fox should jump hire Raven to make another Wolverine game and dump the twenty to thirty million into that enterprise rather than shelling out over $100 million on a crapshoot of a movie?  Seems about right.

 

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Matthew Vaughn signs up for “X-Men: First Class” sequel

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In news bound to cheer up fans of smarter superhero fare, director Matthew Vaughn has signed up to direct a sequel to last year’s quite ace “X-Men: First Class”

Hopefully this also means that Jane Goldman (pictured above, with her signature crimson hair which is clearly her bad-ass super-power) will also return – though Empire’s story at the link above indicates that regular Twentieth Century Fox writer/producer Simon Kinberg (“Fantastic Four”/”Mr and  Mrs Smith”) is initially flinging words into his laptop and hoping something sticks.

An early request from this corner – can we hope for a sequel where most of the female members of the team don’t have to walk about in their underwear in the service of ‘being undercover’?  Cheers.

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