Comic book fans- more specifically, super hero buffs- owe a lot to the X-Men Franchise. The first X-Men movie was THE film that put super heroes on Hollywood’s radar and jumpstarted the current comic-book-to-film trend. And "X2: X-Men United" kept the momentum going with a sequel that actually surpassed the original- A trick that very few sequels have accomplished (“Hello 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Spiderman 2'!”).
That being said, "X-Men: The Last Stand" had a lot to live up to…
Fortunately, even with an ensemble cast of characters that has grown too large to properly manage within two-hours, Director Brett Ratner (replacing Bryan Singer, who left the franchise to direct "Superman Returns") delivers an excellent action movie that doesn’t skimp on story.
The action is non-stop and every character has an opportunity to show-off their awesome powers. And the good mutants vs. evil mutants “last stand” on Alcatraz Island is extremely satisfying!
My only issue with the movie- considering this is supposed to be the last installment of the series- is that the Jean Grey (Phoenix)/Scott Summers (Cyclops) reunion isn’t properly resolved.
DVD is truly the best format for this film. It actually gets better with repeat viewings. It’s fun to go back and catch all the special effects that sped past the screen during previous viewings. And without giving away a significant spoiler, upon second viewing, the relevance of a seemingly throw-away line by Prof. Xavier to his class became glaringly clear in the final scene following the credits (For further clarification, check out my blog, "Comic Book Ramblings" by copying the following address into your address bar: http://blogs.ebay.com/bmbcomics/entry/X-Men-The-Last-Stand-DVD-Ah-ha-Now-it-makes-se/_W0QQidZ26007018).
With the X-Family grown out-of-control, it’s no wonder the film’s producers have decided to shelve the X-Men story while focusing on Wolverine and Magneto solo spin-off films. Still, "X-Men: The Last Stand" was fun enough that I hope the producers haven’t truly taken the film’s title literally.
For a package consisting of a single disc, there are plenty of DVD extras. Don’t be fooled by the “Join The Brotherhood” or “Take A Stand” choices when the menu first loads. Each choice (with different background graphics) takes you through the same menu options. The extended, deleted and alternate scenes are interesting, but it’s the commentaries that are always the selling point for me when buying a DVD. Along with two commentaries for the feature, there is also a commentary track to go along with the scenes not used in the theatrical release.
*The only Easter Egg I found can be accessed in the “Deleted Scenes” section.
1. From the Main Menu, click on “Features”
2. From the Features Menu, click on “Deleted Scenes”
3. From the “Deleted Scenes" Menu, click on “More” three times
4. Click the up arrow of your DVD player until either the Brotherhood or X symbol is highlighted in the upper left corner.
5. Click on the symbol, then click on “Play” to view a neat visual effects clip of the X-Plane.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
X-Men 3 ....these aren't Stan Lee's X-Men
X-Men: The Last Stand’ may have been regarded as the final offering in the Marvel Comics based mutant saga, but past successes (ca-ching!) have given cause for a change of heart.
Why kill a good franchise when it’s as lucrative as this one?
Previous efforts netted mega millions in box office receipts with a combined cost of around $200-million.
So, no trilogy. The final moments literally shout out ‘there’s more, there’s more!’ and a four second tease at the end of the credit role is proof positive.
Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) are the hero/ giants of this sci-fi world, the yin and yang, dark vs. light, good vs. evil. Their wonderfully ripe performances, which overcome the absolute inanity of the whole thing, are admirable.
They fire every frame with their presence or the sense memory of it, transforming a garden variety, CGI genre piece into the engaging and amusingly faux-intellectual series it is.
What pretenders could ever come close to their standard? The lads from London own the franchise.
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Storm (Halle Berry) are muscle and window dressing, in fact, each super powered mutant offers something distinctly physical, maybe kinetic, but decidedly not genius or arcane, like the lads.
The story begins twenty years ago, innocuously enough, in a suburban US tract home, wherein their latest recruit resides. Her parents believe she has a disease, but Magneto and Prof. Xavier, who’ve come to fetch her, know the truth, Kitty Pryde or Shadowcat is a mutant, like them, with formidable powers.
This is back when Magneto and Xavier were allies and friends united in their ambitions, before they fell out and became mortal enemies... but that’s another story.
Then ten years ago, we meet a young mutant angel boy, who is mortified by his wings and tries to chop them off. His father, a powerful medical researcher, in trying to help him, develops a ‘cure’ for mutants, which releases them from their genetic ‘defect’.
In other words, take the super out of superhuman and make us all the same, an abhorrent notion these days. Like Nazism, American imperialism – the power plays to erase individuality excused by the erroneous idea of ‘the greater good’.
This discovery divides the mutants into two factions, under peace loving Xavier or warlike Magneto.
Mutants protest other mutants voluntarily seeking a cure for their condition; humans want them all to be cured.
It’s a war that could lead to the destruction of the civilized world.
Alcatraz is transformed into a kind of prison centre for mutants undergoing treatment. Captured and under armed guard inside is a young boy named Jimmy (Cameron Bright), who is the source of the cure.
In the mutant civil war, Jimmy is the ultimate prize. Removing him removes the human’s ability to neuter mutants.
In the battle to save the mutants to find an acceptable peace, members of Professor Xavier’s team are killed and eventually, the good professor himself.
Eye popping visual effects like the levitation of the Golden Gate Bridge and what happens afterwards are exhilarating and Dr. Jean Grey / Phoenix (Famke Janssen) who is back from the dead literally sucks the world into her vortex.
Now that’s an eyeful!
The battle scenes are unusually long and impossible to see properly. It takes a lot of patience and care to lay out a battle scene that answers all our questions.
Too often, directors focus on
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Not as good as I expected...
Well, I'll be truthful, I didn't this movie was as good as I expected, and I'm a big fan of X-men. Of course, it had a lot to live up to, with the previous two movies being high standard. The movie opens well, with strangely disturbing versions of Xavier and Magneto visiting young Jean. It also goes straight into to the action, the two main plots of the story soon becoming apparent. Both however, come second place to special effects in this film. At 1 hour and 44 minutes, it would be almost impossible to cram a finale worthy of the trilogy without missing out some things. I just don't see why it had to be the emotion. With the cure side of the story, it seems we never get an insight into the characters worries and feelings towards it. The phoenix part is also extremely disappointing. We aren't ever told why Phoenix does what she does and who is in control. You can only go so far as to blame Brett Ratner, he does a good job with the battle scenes but always seems to want to rush anything involving a character's emotion. I can imagine him on set hurrying along the actors as they try to get into character for the harrowing scenes. So if newcomer Ratner isn't the problem, what is? The script. It's as if the writers truly want this to be the last film, killing off characters early to make way for new ones. Rogue is put on the back seat, even though the central theme of the cure should have her at the forefront. The final battle is also inexplicable, with both sides not really sure what they should be doing. It does allow for one of the great moments of the trilogy (Kitty and Juggernauts chase through - and I mean through - the facility). Still on the script, don't forget the corny lines ("I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!") and terrible ending which seems to forget the events of the rest of the film. Vinnie Jones and Halle Berry are both below par in the acting stakes even thought they didn't have much to work with. I don't want this to be the last stand as I think the saga deserves better than this. The previous films had intelligence and emotion, compared to explosions and annoyances. Maybe X4 will prosper without many of the main characters, well, one can only hope. I'm definately looking forward to it. X-men Rule !!!
If you followed the comicbook storylines, don't watch.
I had this horrible awful dream the other night that someone took the two of the greatest X-Men storylines of all time and reduced it to a terrifyingly bad encapsuliation, written and performed about as ineptly as anyone could ever imagine. Unfortunately this dream turned out to be real. And the more I thought about this film, the more upset I became. This is just an awful AWFUL film that, for some inexplicable reason, people continue to defend by saying "At least it was entertaining!". This jerkwad excuse does NOT work. There is very little fun and almost nothing funny about this film. It works hard to hold your interest but fails miserably. I do not actually blame Brett Ratner so much for this failure as much as I do the writers, Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. They have little-to-no respect for the source materiel and even less for the characters. What's even worse is the performances in this film. Halle Berry couldn't be more wooden if she had roots firmly planted in the ground. Hugh Jackman... when did Wolverine become such a wuss-bag? When have we EVER seen Logan shed a tear in the comic? If you've found it, you're more of a fan than I. Hugh Jackman seems to want to turn Logan into the Melancholy Dane. And it works not one bit. The only outstanding performer in this film really is Sir Ian. McKellen is one of the greatest actors to have ever lived and he continues his great work here. Kelsey Grammer as Henry "Beast" McCoy also is quite good, because his performance is one done with great affection for the character. I don't know if the direction that they decided to go with for the creation of The Phoenix is interesting or absurd. It does fit in with more of the "real world" stuff that they're looking to do (having Phoenix be a repressed dominant personality rather than a cosmic lifeforce is definitely more realistic, but this is a COMIC BOOK ADAPTATION...). Anna Paquin, who has been my least favorite character of the entire series, not that I disliked Rogue, but Paquin ALWAYS seems to be on the verge of tears. Rogue was someone in the comics, who, at times, revelled in her power, whereas Paquin's Rogue is sooooo incredibly saddened by her abilities (understandably, but COME ON... let her have some FUN once in a great while) that we're meant to empathize with her ultimate decision, which is also something that really bothered me. Most people in this film are just wasted... none more so than James Marsden aka Cyclops. His character is given the WORST of the fates in store for the mutant heroes, and no respect is given to him other that a passing moment at the end. That was the worst part for me because Cyclops was always my favorite X-Man, and his treatment in all of the films (worst of all this film) is upsetting to say the least. For the better part of the first decade that X-MEN was in print, the main focus of the group was Cyclops, even though they did have the foresight to have the team have an actual TEAM dynamic, as opposed to this film where it seems it's Wolverine vs. the world. It ranks amongst BATMAN AND ROBIN, ELEKTRA, and LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN as one of the worst comic book films ever made, and I recommend to read the comics and skip this film entirely.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
X-Men 3 just as great as previous, despite new director
With director Bryan Singer (X-Men 1,2) being out of this picture, new director Brett Ratner, brings life and emotion to this 3rd installment. Despite its subtitle, The Last Stand, this 3rd chapter leaves it open to a possible fourth. This movie unlike the first 2, actually brings out the personalities of the other main character X-Men, such as Storm, Jean Grey(Phoenix), Iceman, and adding to the line-up, Beast played by Kelsey Grammer who simply was the perfect choice for this role. The loss or disappearance of the dark and mysterious Nightcrawler (X-Men 2) did not affect the plot of this story. Of course the villain Magneto is back along with Mystique, Pyro and a few more evil, but not too interesting mutants to fight for his cause. Juggernaut, another villain, is introduced in this new one, but deserved more screen time. Although fun to see these new characters and the appearance of Arch Angel, I was really hoping to finally see Gambit join the X-Men. Oh well, maybe in part 4. The premises of The Last Stand revolves around a "cure" for all mutants to become normal once and for all. Both good and evil mutants fight the revolution along with the humans in this fast paced, action packed thriller. Just be sure to wait around till after the ending credits for a surprise!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.