My summer blockbuster viewing began this weekend by taking in X-Men: First Class, a star studded cast of a movie that promised to explain the origin of these mutant superheroes/villains. I had no expectation for this movie, I barely remember seeing any trailer for it, and this usually helps, as I do not build up or shoot down a film before the first image reaches my retina (I could pretend like I go into all movies with a clean slate, but that would be a lie. We all have baggage we bring to a movie and to pretend otherwise is rather ridiculous.).
X-Men: First Class follows the rise of our beloved mutant characters and begins the process of explaining how they came to be; and how they came to be is actually quite boring and involves some questionable special effects. Ever wonder where the names came from? Well some mutant kids were sitting around and thought it would be fun to have names. They even nailed the names on the first try, save one, which is pretty good considering the number of nicknames each of us are bestowed upon us by friends. So, but, anyway, naming was answered.
Ever wonder how many references they could make to the first, and far superior, X-Men movie, and not in an origin explaining way? Well they can make a few more than I would deem reasonable. Having Hugh Jackman cameo just reminded me he has much better things to do than attach his name to a sub-par film (errrr … Real Steel?). Superimposing Rebecca Romijn face into the film, also brought up the idea that she didn’t even want to show up for a cameo, she only agreed to digitally be there.
And while we are on the topic of digital alterations, let us discuss special effects. A film like this relies heavily on the quality execution of CGI. If this isn’t well done, the house of cards tumbles and all we are left with is a mediocre script that was supposed to be hidden behind the curtain of wowing effects. And that is what we got: less than impressive effects. Scenes of characters flying were so egregiously fake that, I can’t believe I am going to say this, I actually wished Michael Bay were available to have correctly directed those sequences. The not-so-special effects were amazingly distracting and constantly pulled me out of the film.
There was overuse of images overlaying images during flashback sequences/Dr. Xavier going into minds of people, split screen montages, terrible voice-overs, weird facial strains as the characters implimented their mutation (i.e. look constipated and that will let the audience know that a super power is being used), and the list goes on, but I will spare you.
It is rare that I see such a talented group of actors/actresses so misused. I don’t blame them necesarily (well, I do blame January Jones for thinking we just want to see Betty Draper, which we kind of do, but only when she is in Mad Men, not necessarily in X-Men … and Kevin Bacon for, well, bad accents and acting like someone trying to act evil), the direction of Michael Vaughn was just not strong. I never felt like the story meant anything to him. Maybe he was too busy making babies (allegedly) with January Jones to really concentrate on the film, or maybe the X-Men story just didn’t hold his interest. After seeing X-Men: First Class, it didn’t hold my interest either.
Bryan Singer confirmed his interest in directing another ‘X-Men’ film, and has discussed the idea with 20th Century Fox.
Singer left the franchise to direct the abysmal ‘Superman: Returns,’ paving the way for Brett Ratner to direct the third X-Men film, which was a steaming pile of garbage.
Singer didn’t say if the film would be a spin-off like the new Wolverine film, but that the appeal is to get his old cast back together.
Apparently oscar-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie has signed on to write the script for a sequel to ‘Wolverine.’
Hugh Jackman will be reprising his role as Wolverine. The film will be based off the Claremont-Miller series where Wolverine struggles between following his animal instincts, or living a life under the samurai code of honor and respect.
McQuarrie wrote the Usual Suspects, and was previously credited as a writer on the first X-Men film, but had his name removed when he thought the final film had very little to do with his original work. I didn’t catch the first ‘Wolverine’ film, and I gotta say, the prerelease buzz really killed it for me. But, I’ve got a lot of faith in McQuarrie, so, we’ll see how this gels in a few years.
Bryan Singer directed “X-Men,” and “X-Men 2.” He then directed “Superman Returns,” and didn’t helm “X Men 3,” and “X Men Origins: Wolverine.” Is Singer now considering directing “X Men Origins: Magneto?” Here’s what he told Total Film magazine:
“I’m eternally intertwined with X-Men now. What takes an audience four hours to watch- the first two movies- took six years of my life. So, to not be part of it… It’s a shame.”
When Singer was asked if he would want to direct the Magneto movie, here’s what he said: “Possibly. The only thing that concerns me aout Magneto is that if the prequel were to follow the track I used in X-Men, which is Magneto’s history in the concentration camp, then I’ve lived in that world.”
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the third X-Men movie and just figured I’d catch Wolverine on cable, or DVD. Singer’s involvement might actually have me buying a ticket to the movie.
With an opening weekend of $87 milion, one could assume that a “X Men Origins: Wolverine,” sequel was forthcoming. And, of course, it is.
Variety is reporting that the sequel will take Wolverine to Japan, where the character was trained as a samurai. Fox says they are searching for a writer, but “Slumdog Millionaire,” writer Simon Beaufoy says he’s secured the job.
Jackman has a bunch of other projects that he has signed on to, including a remake of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel,” which, reportedly, has Jackman chomping at the bit to reteam with his Oscar opening monolgoue co-performer Anne Hathaway.
X-Men film producer Lauren Schuler Donner is reportedly planning another X-Men spin off film series, this time called “X-Men: First Class. The film will follow the first class at Professor Xavier’s school, so audiences will see young Scotts, Jeans, and Beasts. Donner is hopeful that audiences will love the new take on the origin story and there will be more movies with more students.
“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” opens in two weeks. Meanwhile, “X-Men Origins: Magneto,” is still in development
Apparently Fox is a little miffed at their own entertainment blogger Roger Friedman, who posted a review of the leaked version of ‘Wolverine.’ Despite the fact that the review was mostly positive.
The “blogosphere” (god I hate that word) was abuzz with people calling for the dismissal of Friedman, as there had been a boycott of reviewing the film. Personally, I don’t have anything against at least giving a review of the film as as work in progress, I just find it sort of funny that a representative of Fox News reviewed the film its sibling 20th Century Fox tried so hard to block from leaking.
They say that this leak could cost the company millions in ticket sales. But personally, I don’t think this will effect it in the least. There is a lot of buzz on this film, and people want to see Hugh Jackman in this X-Men spin-off.
Word is that Friedman has been fired, but as of now, his blog is still up, minus the ‘Wolverine’ review.
I guess you could have guessed that this day would come. A DVD quality workprint of the upcoming Hugh Jackman summer movie “Wolverine,” has leaked on-line at various torrent sites.
The movie is apparently almost completely complete, with just FX shots missing. There is no timecode, no watermark, no nothing. On website says that this is the version of the movie that Fox saw and ordered that scenes be re-shot to improve the film.
What does this release mean? It means that, if people don’t like it, the word will get out quickly. Bad buzz on-line before has sounded the final bell on several films before they even opened. Apparently, the movie is readily available. We won’t bother posting a link. If you know how to get it and want it, you’ll find it.
It still remains to be seen how the studios will react to this major leak. One can assume they’ll crack down, but how hard is the big question. It’s a delicate balance. You still want people to go see the movie. However, if you’re completely vicious to fans who can’t wait and will still be there on opening day, you might loose that fan.
It’s a new quirk in filmmaking. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out over the next couple of days. -Sam
This looks way better then the pile of crap X-Men 3 was, the film stars Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and Liev Schreiber as Sabertooth.
Check out the trailer:
*ANOTHER UPDATE* Youtube pulled another trailer, here’s another link, enjoy it while it lasts!