Monday, May 29

X-MEN 3 - The Last Stand

The last stand indeed....maybe. I had been living for the third installment of my beloved X-men. They were my beloved before the release of any major motion picture. I read the comics (collected more than read). I use to collect X-Men trading cards. And one of my favorite Sega Genesis games (back in the day) was X-men, Wolverine was my X-man of choice. The ability to heal oneself is priceless.

So...Now I have to find the next thing to live for because the release of X-MEN 3 hath cometh and goneth, in this beautiful memorial weekend.

I was a bit apprehensive going in, because this movie was given to Brett Ratner to direct. Brett Ratner got his start, his roots and all that stuff in the music video world. And having started my production days working on hellified music videos, I have a block with most music video directors, especially the wanna be cool and down ones. I like to describe the wanna be down ones as fathead opportunists who talk most shit about the hip-hop artists they use to get on the featured director map. Don't worry about being cool and down, just direct the damn video. I don't wanna knock this guys hustle. I'll go down in the books saying he's good at what he does, but X-MEN 3 could've been in a whole other category of great, had it been someone else. The director of the first two installments of X-MEN for example.

I liked the movie. I didn't love it like I loved the Matrix when I first saw it and had to watch it again immediately. What would have made me love it....more attention being paid to the emotional battles here over the explosions and car crashes. Now I'm not pointing any fingers but I'm led to believe we have Mr. Music Video Director to thank for the very explosive X-Men 3. We could play the whole movie replace the sound and play a prodigy song over it. Brett Ratner also directed Rush Hour, which is fine for action sans the emotion, I mean the stars were Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. A match up made for action and comedy, not depth.

My review is going to be a bit biased because I just kept wondering how much better (in my opinion of better) X-men would have been had Bryan Singer, the original director been available to handle the (supposed) last installment of X-men.
There was little space for major disappointment for me because just seeing my super-duper X-Women Jean Grey and super-duper mutant villain Magneto gets a girl all excited. My two favorite characters hands far as the movie release favorites. Historically for me it's Storm. Of course. Little black girl reading about great black woman who controls the weather. And though I love Halle Berry and am not knocking her hustle at all.....This Fox motion picture Storm is just too watered down for me to get excited over. that's a Storm for your ass....but not for Hollywood. I get it. So by default and her own wonderfulness Famke Janssen as Jean Grey worked her way right to the top of my fanfare pot. I feel like she didn't get enough screen time (but that's my issue). Jean Grey as Phoenix, the most powerful mutant of all, is just too much excitement for me. So I'm glad (in a way) she didn't do too much, get me too excited otherwise I might have been asked to leave the theatre.

I'd like to get a hold of the screenplay because it seems like it was a great one. I enjoyed the movie. It was entertaining as a movie should be. But, this movie would have been mounds better had it been handled with more emotional care and less focus on the shoot'em up bang, bang. Not to say there was too much action. It's a comic book turned movie, action, I suppose is to be the focus. But action doesn't draw people in and keep them. It's just a temporary fix. Story keeps us. It was the non-action scenes. They lacked emotion and failed to show the intense struggle these characters (especially Dr. Jean Grey) were going through. I mean the dude (director) had some wonderful talent to work with. Who's better than Ian McKellan? Seriously. That guy is a master. Hugh Jackman is a joy, even as a difficult and rebellious self-healing mutant. Seriously, I love that guy. Rebecca Romjin is officially Mystique to me. She can be Pepper Dennis and a slew of other characters from here on in, but she put her foot in the role of Mystique and that's who she is. And Kelsey Grammer as beast sounds exciting. But wasn't really as exciting as I had hoped. (Love Frasier though.) And I need to find more of Famke Janssen's work, I've only seen her in one other movie, but I appreciate her existence in the film world, really I do. And love Phoenix/Jean Grey with long wild comic book hair, much better to me than the suburban wife haircut she rocked in the previous X-MEN.

X-MEN 3 - The last stand was good. I will watch it over and over like I do the other two but I will watch it as strictly action, almost like I watch a cartoon. This could've been a classic action movie shocker where it would've been steeped in emotion like Batman Begins. We were supposed to cry for Jean Grey, The Professor, Wolverine, Rogue, Magneto, Mystique and all the trials and tribulations, okay maybe not cry, but at least care. It all sped by too quickly to draw you in and make you care. It was almost like we were being shown flash cards of the intensity of these very emotional characters. But I don't want to show my nerd card and break it down to much, so let me just wrap this up.The little 5 and 6 year olds in the movie theatre enjoyed all the action. Us grown folks who like to check out in to the fantasy realm every once and a while, could've gone for a little more substance. Or maybe I'm just a nerd who's reading way too much into the X-men story, but that makes 50 million of us then.

Bummer, but not a total lost. I was left feeling a tad bit empty. I'm sure Brett Ratner did the best he could and again I don't like to knock anyone's hustle. Because I would've taken the gig too. I just would've asked for a lot of help, don't be afraid to ask for help Mr. Ratner. At least I don't want to find the director and beat him up. I have experienced those levels of disappointment. Oh well. Mr. Bryan Singer, I look forward to the release of Superman. (I believe the reason he was not available to continue directing his legacy of X-Men movies was because he was busy with Superman Returns, which Brett Ratner was originally attached to direct. Good Lord.) And if there is to be another X-Men (with all the box-office records broken, I suspect there will be.) Please be available to direct. Thank you!

And a Happy Belated Birthday to Magneto..Sir Ian McKellan - May 25