X-Men: Not As Apocalyptic As I Had Hoped

May 23, 2016 at 9:15 AM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment
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I had so much expectations for the latest installment of the X-Men movie franchise. Ever since I learned in 2014 that Apocalypse would be the main villain in the next X-Men movie, I got really excited. Apocalypse was the one X-Men villain that I really loved to hate. While I didn’t read much of its comics version when I was a kid, I did love the cartoons. And I always loved every episode where Apocalypse was involved. He was a formidable villain that the X-Men could not beat easily.

X-Men_Apocalypse poster

It is rather unfortunate, though, that X-Men: Apocalypse did not live up to my expectations. Sure I liked the movie enough, but it did not leave me in awe when I left the cinema. While the CGI was stunning as expected from a blockbuster superhero movie, the action sequences were a bit muddled. There was too much going on that it was hard to keep up with the story and the characters.

I was expecting more depth from Apocalypse but there was really no solid merit in his arguments to wipe out the world and the entire population. It was a typical trope that I’ve seen so many times in other movies and TV shows. And I was left confused on why Storm, Psylocke and Angel would want to team up with Apocalypse.

Speaking of these three characters, they were underutilized in this movie. All they did most of the time was to stand around Apocalypse. There was no character development. I’ve seen in interviews on TV that Olivia Munn supposedly had an intense martial arts training in preparation for her role as Psylocke. But I did not see much of that in the movie. Her action sequences were very limited, and so were Angel’s.

Magneto, Apocalypse and Psylocke

Quicksilver’s slow-mo scene – while amusing – was a less impressive repeat of his widely-loved slow-mo scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past. It’s mainly a fan service, nothing more. His revelation that he was the son of Magneto was an anti-climax and wasn’t explored much in the movie.

I also have a gripe about Jean Grey meeting Wolverine for the first time in 1983. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I remember from the movie franchise, Wolverine did not meet Jean Grey until that very first X-Men film. And am I supposed to believe that their age gap was really that wide?

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey was likable enough. I liked the fact that the movie hinted on her alter ego – the Dark Phoenix, and that her powers were strong enough to defeat Apocalypse. Hopefully the next X-Men movie will focus on Dark Phoenix and do justice to that storyline. I hated X-Men: The Last Stand for the way the writers treated that story on Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix.

Apocalypse and Mystique

Towards the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, audiences were shown Mystique training the young Jean Grey, Storm, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler and preparing them to be the X-Men that they would become. Here’s the thing. I did not buy this at all. It didn’t sit well with me. I mean, Mystique was supposed to be a villain in the first place. If there was someone who’d train the future X-Men, it would be some other older mutant, not Mystique. But I guess the writers wanted to focus on Jennifer Lawrence’s character and make her a potential leader of the X-Men because, hey, she’s an Academy Award winner.

I miss Rebecca Romijn and Famke Janssen. To me, they are still the better versions of Mystique and Jean Grey, respectively. And Rogue is clearly missing in this movie. Maybe she’ll make an appearance in the Gambit movie – if that is still happening.

All in all, X-Men: Apocalypse lacked the substance and cohesiveness of its predecessor X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Ignorance is Bliss

May 15, 2016 at 1:21 AM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | 3 Comments
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Here’s a rather morbid thought: Would you want to know how and when you will die or would you rather let it happen unexpectedly? Do you want to be caught by surprise when it happens? At least this is the question that the movie, The Surprise poses to viewers.

The Surprise is a Dutch film by Mike van Diem and stars Jeroen van Koningsbrugge and Georgina Verbaan. It’s currently showing at a local cinema. Although I do wonder why it is just being locally released now since the movie is from last year.

The Surprise

Anyway, I liked the movie simply because it’s a quirky, dark comedy with a heart. It tells the story of Jacob – a multimillionaire aristocrat who is lonely and wants to end his life. After a few failed suicide attempts, he stumbles on a secret company that offers a one-way ticket to the afterlife. The company caters to customers who want to end their life for whatever reason and offers them several options on how they want to die. Jacob chooses the “Surprise” option, which means he cannot know when or how he is going to die. All the company promises him is that it will be soon.

However, he meets a female customer at the company who also takes the “Surprise” option. Jacob soon falls in love with her and now wants to delay his passing. Unfortunately, the contract he signed with the company prevents him from doing so. What happens next is a hilarious tale of dodging bullets, following family obligations, and greedy lawyers.

The Surprise is a lighthearted movie that shows how one chooses to live his life no matter the tragedies that might have fallen on him.

I miss these kinds of movies because it’s so different from the usual romantic comedies that Hollywood keep on making.

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