He’s Back! (Superman Returns, 2006)

superman_returns_posterSo, nearly twenty years later, after numerous failed attempts to bring Superman back to the big screen Warner Brothers managed a major coup.  The wrangled Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris away from the X-Men franchise to bring Superman back.  This seemed like a decent idea.  One of the things Singer talked about was a love for the character and the first two Superman films.  He wanted to stay in a loose continuity with those films and ignore films III ad IV entirely.  They set out and found a guy who bore a striking resemblance to Reeve, named Brandon Routh.  Truthfully, it would have been wiser to simply begin again with a new continuity, especially since they were starting with an actress ten years younger than Margot Kidder was in Superman II.  And to facilitate the “Returns” part they had Superman go on a five year journey to explore the floating rocks of Krypton.

Here is part of the problem with that.  In the end of Superman II?  Superman promises the President he will never leave the world in the lurch like that again.  So, if we are to understand this…Superman very quickly breaks that promise.  Superman returns to earth and Clark Kent returns to the Daily Planet…with nobody noticing the huge coincidence.  Lois has a child who may be Superman’s (because they had sex in part 2) and has moved on, now dating Perry white’s son Richard White (James Marsden, in a move that caused Cyclops to be killed in X:3 due to scheduling needs).  Clark struggles with this, and is bothered by an article written in the time he was gone called “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman”.  In the meantime, Lex Luthor has been scheming by marrying an old wealthy widow who is on her deathbed.  She gives Lex everything in her will, as the family stands outside pounding on the door.  Why wasn’t Lex in Prison?  Superman missed the trial because he left.

Lex goes back to the Fortress of Solitude and starts gathering the green crystals that contain Krypton’s records as well as ones similar to the crystal Clark used to build the Fortress in the first film.  He also steals Kryptonite to facilitate a masterful crime.  Well, not really.  See, Superman is full of loving homages to the first two Superman films.  This would not be a problem if it was done sparingly, but almost every shot seems to re-create Singer’s favorite things from the first movie.  Clark running towards the camera ripping open his shirt?  Of course you pay respects with that.  But Lex Luthor making another land grab?!  Arg.  If they had started over, as a brand new Superman, they could have still used Kevin Spacey and done business man Luthor.  Spacey could have defined the role that way.  He is great in the role…

Superman saves the day in the end, as expected, but not without getting creepy.  Superman keeps watch as he suspects Lois’ son is his son as well.  Can we pause a moment and reflect on this.  Superman wiped Lois’ memory of their time together.  How frightening must it have been to be pregnant with no idea how you got pregnant?  And Superman left shortly after, but his super hearing did not pick up on the forming child?  Superman runs out on his pregnant girlfriend who he has removed any memory of…and now acts like a jilted ex-lover.  It is an embarrassing storyline.

One thing this film does well is it’s actions scenes. Superman’s heroics are grand and exciting.  Superman saves people with great feats of strength and heroism.  The plane sequence is especially fun to watch.

I also really liked Brandon Routh.  I felt that, considering what he was given in the story, he made the most of it.  He is likeable most of the time, except those stalker moments.  I was sorry to see that this film ended any chance he would return as Superman.  If they had started over, we might have seen him begin a new and exciting franchise.

Superman Returns was a disappointing return, ironically enough.  It did not revitalize a dormant franchise, it nearly put it to sleep.

Back to the Future (X-Men: Days of Future Past, 2014)

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-posterDays of Future Past is a well loved storyline where Kitty Pryde is thrust into a future where Mutants are herded in camps, marked and in some cases killed.  They are hunted by giant robots called Sentinels.  And for the most part, Days of Future Past keeps these ideas.  Except the film begins in the future and instead of Kitty Pryde going to the future, they send Wolverine back in time to stop it from ever happening.  Kitty Pryde is still a part of this, as she can use her phasing ability to phase people through time.  Only to a few days earlier, so they are playing a cat and mouse game with the Sentinels finding their hideout, Kitty sending Bishop back in time to warn them.  They decide they need to go farther back, but it is to taxing on Kitty and the brain of the person she sends back.  Wolverine volunteers to go, arguing his healing factor makes him the best choice.

Wolverine awakes in the 70’s and finds that the School Xavier opened is in shambles…there are no students.  Xavier is addicted to a drug that allows him to walk, but also prevents him from using his powers.  Beast is also there as his aide.  They do not initially buy Wolverines arguments, but he eventually persuades them to the cause.  They are trying to stop Mystique from assassinating Bolivar Trask.  Trask is the creator of the Sentinels and he has been using mutants as part of his R&D.  The research is fatal, and this is actually used to kill several characters from First Class off screen.

This is without a doubt one of the strongest films in the entire X-Men series.  The return of Bryan Singer as director was clearly a smart choice.  There is well timed humor and exciting action.  We see the return of the original (still living cast).  The future sequences are full of cool uses of power and we get new characters like Blink (who creates wormholes characters can escape through-the film is very inventive with these powers) and Warpath (a character from the 1970’s return of the X-Men comics).  We have Storm and Iceman back.  The films have always had a hard time placing Magneto on the side of evil and seeing real life friends Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan back together again.

And the new characters are pretty memorable.  Quicksilver appears only a short time, but he totally steals every scene.  He is funny and likeable.  Peter Dinklage makes Trask a sympathetic and misguided villain.  He is not simply evil…he is consumed by fear of what mutants mean for the human race.  It does not make his actions acceptable.  His choices are evil, but you can see what takes him there.  William Stryker returns to the series and is trying to weaponize mutants, treating them as less than human already.  The film is, of course, very Wolverine-centric.

There are two cuts of the film out on Blu-Ray.  The theatrical cut eliminated Rogue entirely with the exception of the film’s final scene, even though they filmed several scenes focused on Rogue.  The second is not a directors cut, it is the Rogue Cut and restores Rogue to the story.  Both versions are good, but it is nice seeing the inclusion of Rogue and the important part she plays.  It also brings things back to the first film and Rogue’s relationship to Wolverine.

The film has continuity issues in regards to the film series.  One being how Patrick Stewart is back…it is a bit more focused on undoing X3 and “fixing a timeline”…which results in questions.  Like First Class, Days of Future Past overcomes a lot of these questions while watching it.  This film feels like the passing of the baton to the new cast (much in the way Star Trek Generations tried to do…but this does it oh so much better). It is, like X2, a film that has a strong identity that is built on strong performances.

Gene Splicing (X3:The Last Stand, 2006)

X-Men-The-Last-Stand-PosterX-2 was how you build upon a decent movie to make a great second film creating excitement for your franchise.  Annnnnnd this one is how you screw it up.

It all starts with Warner Brothers deciding that their superhero films were missing a vital link to making their movies awesome.  Getting the guys who made those good X-Men movies.  And Bryan Singer answered their call-swayed by his love for the first two Superman movies and he took his major players with him.

Fox and Marvel started to work on a replacement.  Darren Aronofsky, Alex Proya, Joss Whedon, Rob Bowman and Zack Snyder were all considered before setting up a deal with Matthew Vaughn (Stardust).  After a brief time, Vaughn felt he could not be away from his family for the length of time making the film would require, so he dropped out.

Which leads us to Brett Ratner.  Funny enough, before Singer, Ratner was considered for the original X-Men film.  Since then he had a string of moderate successes in the Rush Hour films and Red Dragon.  I am not going to lie…I cringed at the announcement.

So, the film starts out in the past, with Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto) going to meet with young Jean Grey and her parents.  Both Xavier and Lehnsherr are taken aback by the latent power house within the child Jean Grey.  I am more amazed at the some what humorous digital de-aging of Stewart and McKellen which makes them look kind like…they are made of plastic.

The scene then switches to a young boy in a bathroom.  His father is pounding on the door for him to open up… honestly, this is one of the most solid scenes in the film as the young boy is attempting to keep a secret from his father.  But his father manages to break in and we see the reveal that he was using a razor blade in an attempt to hack off  bird-like wings.  There is a real sense of heartbreak, and the actor playing young Warren Worthington is terrific.

We jump to the “near future” with what looks to be a city in ruins with young X-Men under attack.  In the end, it is revealed to be a Danger Room training exercise. This is a first, as the Danger Room has not been seen until this film.  We also see a Sentinel head in the simulation .

The film draws from Joss Whedon’s “mutant cure” storyline in Astonishing X-Men and the Phoenix Saga…minus pretty much everything from the Phoenix Saga.  Cyclops is really broken up, he has stubble, so you know it is bad. Marsten was in Superman returns, so they get rid of him quickly.  The story is an interesting idea, the cure for mutant abilities, allowing mutants to no longer be mutants.  but it is second fiddle at times to the Phoenix storyline.  In the comics, the Phoenix Saga is a large and dramatic storyline that spanned several issues.  But here it is compressed into two small hours, lacking much of the

The strongest point of the film is the cast.  Along with the cast of regulars, we get Ben Foster as Angel, Kelsey Grammer as the Beast (inspired casting if there ever was) and Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde.  While Foster is not as pretty as I pictured Angel to be, he is a solid performer.

Ian McKellan is terrific as usual.  He is able to seem dangerous and cruel, yet can seem generous and wise at the turn of a hat.  At one point, Pyro makes mention that he would have killed Xavier for him…and Magneto stops and looks sternly at Pyro and defends the greatness of Xavier.  McKellan has always done a wonderful job of selling the idea that Magneto truly loved and cared for his friend-in spite of being on opposite sides of the issue.  His delivery of the Magneto speeches are poetic.

The problem is…the film is a mish mash of ideas.  It has great moments, but it is filled with lazy writing.  The resolution of the Phoenix story is troubling.  Rather than letting her sacrifice herself what we get is depressing and problematic.   The character could not just “get better”, she had killed to many people to come back from that.  And she is so powerful, that letting her go forward would be hard to defend and there is no way to “imprison” her.  The original story was grandly cosmic, and I realize that it was unlikely that we would see that version on film.  Brett Ratner is clearly trying to go big, but it tends to fall short.  Characters get short changed and used without much thought of their potential.  It is by the books, taking interesting ideas from the comics and executing them badly.  Professor X is basically reduced to Professor Exposition, leaving Stewart to fend for himself in a massively reduced role.  I realize some of this may have been related to actors schedules and the like, but there is little effort to deal with the absences in a way other than to hope you forget they are not there.  And what is the point of de-powering Magneto if you are going to end on him getting his power back right before the credits roll?

Rogue should be the real heart of this story.  Her struggle is easy to connect to.  She wants contact, but her powers prevent that.  Yet, the character disappears for large swaths of the film.  She misses the final battle entirely.

The film has some good effects, and often the actors overcome stiff or lazy dialog…but in the end, after the powerful and exciting X2, this movie just trips over itself.

This is the Alien: Resurrection of the franchise.  And yet, it was better than Superman Returns.  Go figure.

Gene Therapy (X2:X-Men United, 2003)

X-Men_2_posterWhile it had it’s flaws, X-Men was a solid enough success to warrant a sequel.  X-Men 2 went into production under Singer’s guidance.  You do not fix what is not broke after all.  And Singer got people excited by suggesting this was going to be his Empire Strikes Back.

Picking up pretty much where we left off, mutants are still feared, Magneto is in a cell of plastic, receiving visits from Professor X, who is trying to win his friend back.

In an excellent setup, we are introduced to Nightcrawler.  He  has infiltrated the White House with a band of tourists and takes off to assassinate the President.  It is a really thrilling sequence that sets the film into motion.  Professor X and the X-men start trying to locate this mutant who tried to kill the president.

The President is holding meetings with his advisors and General Stryker (played excellently by Brian Cox) .  Stryker is the very type of person Magneto fears coming to power.  He distrusts and despises mutants, and seeks to eradicate them.  And part of that is to put an end to the threat he sees in the Xavier School for Gifted Children.  He has been collecting information using as ort of “truth serum/mind control” on mutants.

That evening, with only Wolverine to watch over the kids, Cyclops and Professor X go to see Magneto, while Storm and Jean Grey track down Nightcrawler.  Magneto has managed to set up an elaborate and exciting escape.  At the same time, Jean and Storm have located Nightcrawler hiding in a church that is under renovation.  They are surprised to find a somewhat timid and fearful mutant, not the hardened terrorist one might expect.

While this is going on, Stryker launches an assault on the school.  It is here that he is surprised to discover Wolverine, suggesting Stryker may have answers to Wolverine’s past.  Wolverine escape with Rogue, Bobby/Iceman and John/Pyro.

Ultimately, the mutants all meet up, knowing they must fight together to stop Stryker’s madness.  He plans to use tech and Xavier to destroy all mutants.  This leads Magneto and the X-Men to work together in an assault on Stryker’s underground bunker.  They save the Xavier, Cyclops and the students but Magneto has no intention of trusting Xavier’s lofty goals and takes off,  Pyro in tow.  In their attempt to get out safely, The X-Men find themselves suffering another loss.

X2 really set the bar for Super-hero films.  In describing it as his Empire, Singer really hit the nail on the head.  It is a bit darker than it’s predecessor, the stakes seem higher and the losses more painful.  Oh yeah, it ends on a cliffhanger of sorts.  All the things that the X-Men comics excel at are present in Singer’s film.

The story functions both in allegory and straightforward adventure.  There is humor, heartache, mystery and excitement.  The writing really capture the characters, giving the performer and director a solid road map.

Nightcrawler is played to perfection by Alan Cummings.  He is the sensitive and compassionate spiritual soul, but also the free-spirited swashbuckling showman.  As I mentioned, Cox really hits it out of the park as Stryker.  A menacing zealot, willing to sacrifice the dignity of his own child in his thirst for vengeance.

Not shockingly, of course, McKellen’s portrayal of Magneto is top notch.  Bringing depth and thoughtfulness to the character.  He has many great moments both exciting (his clever escape scene) and quiet (he has a nice moment where he discusses what it is to be a mutant in the world with Pyro.  It is seductive in it’s emotional appeal).

Jackman shows a real affinity for the character of Wolverine.  He’s able to bring together both the gruffness and genuine protectiveness that has long been a part of the character.  And he still managed to pull off crazy “berserker rage” with Wolverine.  This is also some terrific moments of humor for the character.

The pairing of Rogue and Iceman works real well in the film.  Their attempts to navigate a relationship without touch is nicely handled.  Both Sean Ashmore and Anna Paquin have a sweet chemistry that sells the relationship.

Some complain about the heavy handed-ness of the mutant=gay subtext.  But the thing about the X-Men is, they address the “subtext of the times”.  There was a time when mutant=race was the primary read…but the gay subtext is a pretty natural fit.

Like I said, the film raised the bar.  X2 is easily still one of the top five super-hero films.  It manages to both be enjoyable for a newer fan with plenty to reward the die-hard fan.  This is a solid film that still holds up.

First Mutations (X-Men, 2000)

x-men-2000-PosterX-Men kind of set a template for Marvel films that they have stayed fairly close to and it has served them well.   Get a director with some real film cred, and the rest will follow.  X-Men is certainly proof that it is an effective approach.

Really, it was the hiring of Bryan Singer (then most recognized for the Usual Suspects) that got actors to take notice.  Most of the actors admitted no familiarity with the comics, and Bryan was not a fan of the series when he came on board.  While having a non-fanboy running the show ruffled some feathers (especially when it was revealed that none of the X-Men would be wearing costumes), it really seemed to miss the point.

A good storyteller need not be a fan to tell a great tale about these characters.  Patrick Stewart’s lack of interest in Sci-Fi did not stop him from becoming a beloved Star Trek Captain or Professor X.  And many of the actors opted to research their characters by reading the comics.  Sir Ian McKellan devoted an extensive section of his website to Magneto, he found simple ways to connect the characters to real life.

Of course, the big issue was Wolverine.  Hugh Jackman was way to tall to play the runt.  Oh, the frustrations comic fans are forced to deal with.  Along with the previously mentioned news that Singer was ditching the costumes in favor of leather uniforms.  So, things were stacking up against it in the eyes of fans and creators.

The film begins in the early 1940’s.  A concentration camp to be specific.  Weakened and fearful Jewish families are herded through an iron gate.  The Nazi soldiers begin to separate out children. One young boy and his parents reach for each other, and as the young boy becomes more frantic, we notice little things.  The metal in the gates starts to reach back towards the boy-and he and the soldiers holding on to him are dragged towards the warping gates.  After knocking the boy out, the soldiers stare in confusion at the mangled gates before them.  Next is an introduction to Rogue (Anna Paquin).  She is in her room with a young man and they start to kiss…suddenly, he starts to appear sickly, veins seeming to grow across his face.  She starts screaming as the boy convulses before her.  These are dramatic starts for a very ambitious film.  A few years earlier Batman and Robin crashed the comic book movie boom.  And yet, Singer was taking the X-men seriously.

The film quickly works to bring all the characters together.  and there is little time wasted in creating the team, tying it around Wolverine and Rogue.

The film, despise an easy premise, suffers from the problem from so many first films for a franchise…”Introductoritus”.  It is a large ensemble, and I get wanting to put in all sorts of stuff for the die hard fan to get excited over.  But it is a big cast and that means some folks will get glossed over.  Halle Berry’s Storm is flat and pretty lifeless.  Some of it is the writing, some is the performance.  Hugh Jackman does a terrific job as Wolverine.  He is convincing as a loner, yet the (sibling like) bond with Rogue is believable.  As his his friction with Cyclops and the magnetism with Jean Grey.  Unfortunately, Marsten’s Cyclops is often kind of boring when not interacting with Wolverine.  Their verbal sparring is definitely a highlight of the film.  It often feels like the film really is not sure how they want to portray Storm and Cyclops.

But in the end, Storm gets the biggest shaft in character development.  Some of the film’s worst lines come from Storm.  There is the scene where she and Wolverine are discussing the coming war between mutants-those who wish to peacefully co-exist with homo sapiens and those who wish to rule as homo-superior.  She tells Wolverine at least she has chosen aside.  As if merely choosing a side gives you some nobility (hint-it does not).  I mean, yeah, she chose Professor X’s side…but what if she had chosen Magneto’s side?  There is also the infamous “what happens to a toad when struck by lightning” gag.  It falls flat.  It was a contribution of Joss Whedon, who swears that it was all Halle Berry’s delivery that resulted in it being so ridiculed.

Both Patrick Stewart and McKellan give rousing performances, while Hugh Jackman proved that he could embody Wolverine even though he was of average height.  Stewart and McKellan really provide a sense of a longstanding friendship that is needed as the foundation of the story.  The effects were solid for the time, many mutant powers from the comics really came to life.

On the other hand, the film is so busy introducing the concept and the characters, the plot seems under developed.  It is a pretty herculean task to try and bring a single character with over forty years of backstory to a finite two hour movie.  Trying to bring the X-Men-full of hundreds of characters together cohesively?  You have to choose who you want to focus on, knowing you will deal with complaints either way.  Singer, Tom Desanto and David Hayter struggle valiantly to bring together character and story, but really, it fell mostly on the side of character development.  Understandable, as the X-Men have a rich cast to choose from.

Toad and Sabertooth come off as pretty bland and one dimensional for most of the film, not contributing much until the end.

For Singer, this was easily his most ambitious film to date.  Not so much in story, but in cast size, and general scale.  But he does a pretty solid job with the film overall.  He seems to understand the sense of scope a film like this needed-in spite of his background in smaller films, he seemed to transition quite well to the grand scale needed for the X-Men.

The film’s overall plot is probably less memorable than it’s various character moments, and in that sense, the movie is hurt.  What could have been a terrific film is simply a good start…it is just a set up.

Temporary Apocalypse (X-Men: Apocalypse, 2016)

X-Men-Apocalypse-IMAX-posterThere is a scene in X-Men Apocalypse where, as a group of students are leaving Return of the Jedi, Jean Grey states “But we can all agree the third movie is always the worst.”  It is a pretty clear shot at X-Men: The Last Stand.  That was the movie Apocalypse Director Bryan Singer skipped and is pretty widely seen as a disappointment after X2.  Except, whether they realized it or not, the joke is kind of a jinx.

See, X-Men: First Class and X-Men:Days of Future Past?  They were quite good.  They are entertaining and filled with terrific performances and nice use of characters from the vast history of the X-Men Comics.  After the Last stand and the damage done by X-Men Origins: Wolverine the series went back to the beginning.  Introducing us to Young Charles Xavier and Magneto.  McAvoy and Fassbender brought characters we knew as aging leaders to young men trying to make the world a better play, but always coming to odds with how to do that.  Then, in Days of Futures Past, they brought the past and future together, to try and fix the timeline, fixing the flaws of Last Stand and Wolverine.

And this brings us to X-Men Apocalypse.  I was looking forward to it, as it was most of the team that brought us the last two installments.  Yet again, the central focus is the relationship between Xavier (McAvoy), Magneto (Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).  Beast (Nicholas Hoult) retuns, as does Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne).  We are also introduced to a younger Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), young Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), young Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Jubilee (Lana Condor).  Of course, smartly, the film brings back Evan Peters as Quicksilver…and he steals the show a lot…again.

First, the good.  Again, as I said, Quicksilver is just fantastic.  Yeah, he is not really like his counterpart from the comics.  In the comics, he is arrogant, impatient and snippy. This is explained in the comics by Quicksilver essentially seeing life as being a continuous wait at the DMV, at least when he has to move at the rest of the worlds pace.  Evans approach is more of a lighthearted goofball who enjoys and savors his speed.  And it really works.

The performers are good choices.  I like that they kept the faith element for Nightcrawler.  I know his creator never cared for that addition…but I always liked the combo of swashbuckler swordsman Christian who happens to look like a demon.  Setting young Storm in Cairo was a nice touch, acknowledging her history from the comics.  There are a lot of great visuals. And yet…

The story is just a mess.  There is so much going on, so many introductions, characters get lost.  Jubliee, who was a pretty big character in the comics for over a decade is barely a side character.  We never even see her mutant powers in action.   Angel is just a random passerby in the film, for all intents and purposes.  Both he and Psylock (Olivia Munn) get precious little to do and zero character development.  The film routinely feels like it is advertising “There will be a deleted scene on the blu-ray fans!” as it transitions from moment to moment.  Maybe those deleted scenes will make Apocalypse feel threatening.  When some of us expressed concern about the pictures of Apocalypse on Entertainment Weekly’s cover last year, we were told to not assume this was the final look, they will Fix It In Post, so to speak.They did not.  Or at least not enough.  In spite of hiring a terrific actor (Oscar Isaac), Apocalypse just never feels as frightening as the film keeps telling us he is.

And it is clear the film is going for epic.  But it just never feels that way…because the film takes forever to get through it’s big dramatic moments.  There is a sequence that is supposed to be the big Jean Grey moment.  She walks dramatically into battle towards Apocalypse.  There is a standoff going on the mental plane involving the psychic characters…and the film spends a ridiculous amount of time on dramatic shots of Jean Grey walking.  And walking.  And walking.  Instead of being thrilled by a big moment, I was just wanting them to get to the moment.

And there is a dramatic image from the trailers…that turns out to be the filmmakers taking a cue from Superman IV: the Quest for Peace.  The film just shambles along from scene to scene, never feeling coherent or particularly great.  And after the last two films?  A pretty big disappointment.  I mean, it is okay, but it was a real drop after the last two films.  And Deadpool.  It is okay for an X-Men movie means it might be slightly better than the Last Stand.

The Argh of Apocalypse

The X-Men films started off strongly (X-Men was decent, X2 was very strong) faltered in the middle (X3 and X-Men Origins Wolverine were big stumbles),  X-Men:First Class started the films back to a solid footing that X-Men: Days of Future Past continued with.  The Setting in the past helped give the films a sense of purpose.  And as they go into the 80’s with the X-Men: Apocalypse, introducing Apocalypse makes a lot of sense.

In the Marvel comics world, Apocalypse was the first mutant.  He is ancient.  And he looks like this:

x-men-apocalypse-coming-in-2016Entertainment Weekly recently revealed the look of Apocalypse for the film:

ew-x-men-leg-05ApocalypseHeaderAnd it just feels…off.  People slammed it quite harshly.  My own reaction was that it looks like a lame Doctor Who villain or a rejected idea from the Wishmaster franchise.  I mean, maybe there is going to be a barrage of digital yet.  But some folks quickly jumped up to point out that folks complained about Quicksilver and look how that turned out.

And, this is fairly true.  People howled loudly about how awful Quicksilver’s outfit looked.  And yet, Quicksilver was one of the most engaging characters in the film.  His sequence in Days of Future Past was a real standout.

And so, folks are understandably saying, the character could still be awesome.  And true, the performance may turn out to be awesome.  I am not expressing a dissatisfaction with the performer.  But I am rather unexcited about the characters look…and no performance is going to suddenly make it look cool.  I may like the performance and character, but unless there is a lot of post production touch up, I cannot see the character looking less comedic.

As an aside, the inclusion of Jubilee feels odd… Jubilee is really very much an element of the 90s X-Men comics. Yes, she technically first appeared in the 80s.  May of 1989.  The actress seems like a good choice and they do seem to have hit her style near perfectly.

Oh yeah, Moira McTaggert is in this one…if it’s not archival, there is a 20 year jump in time since we last saw her…are they aging Rose Byrne (the character would be pushing 50, if not older)?  And really Entertainment Weekly and Filmmakers…if Scott Summers is a “bad boy” in your film…crap, that is a big misunderstanding of the character.

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