The FOX “X-Men” movie era is officially over marked as the end with “The Dark Phoenix.” Now that Disney has absorbed FOX’s properties, there’s a strong chance we will be seeing the “X-Men” again on film and or television very soon, just not in the way FOX Studios imagined it in 2000. As an “X-Men” fanatic, I can’t say that the series delivered very much but it did offer some small nuggets that are worth appreciating. What did you think of FOX’s “X-Men” series overall?
With Disney’s acquisition of Fox Studios and many more of their Marvel properties, the Fox Studios “X-Men” franchise is done. It’s over. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. With “Dark Phoenix,” Simon Kinberg tries to exercise the feeling of finality for an era that began in 2000. The problem with “Dark Phoenix” is that while the pieces are all there for a slam bang exciting finale, it’s a sequel that basically takes “The Last Stand” and tries to remake it in to something decent. And it fails, for the most part.
Every once in a while, I’m glad to break out of the doom and gloom of DC Batman movies and watch something that is just fun and exciting. I admit that I missed all the waves of comic books in the last few years where Batman crossed paths with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so this movie was completely new to me. Suffice to say being a fan of both properties I was anxious to see how they would handle it, and thankfully DC/Warner and Nickelodeon delivers something for the fans and the general audience looking for a good pop culture crossover.
After FOX Studios revived comic book property the X-Men and paved the comic book movie as bonafide moneymaker, the canvas of pop culture was carved from the gateway “Blade” forged. After the 2000 cinematic adaptation “X-Men” and its sequel “X2,” both films and the franchised built shocking influence, not just on other genre properties, but comics in general. With X-Men once again being celebrated, the iconic series and comic book team was primed for an animated reboot, after the end of “X-Men: The Animated Series.” Marvel and Film Roman approached the series from a different angle by establishing a new continuity of the “merry mutants” in contemporary times. They changed the focus of the series, as well as the ages of the entire group to appeal to a wider young audience.
And it worked.
“Previously on, X-Men…” was one of the trademark openings kids in the nineties heard every Saturday morning while watching the FOX Kids line up. It was during this time, in the midst of the networks third year (which also included “Batman: The Animated Series”), that FOX and Saban Entertainment teamed up to take on on yet another very popular and ambitious comic book property: Marvel Comics’ “X-Men.” The series came to be widely known by FOX and hardcore fans as “X-Men: The Animated Series.”
“Pryde of the X-Men” (also known as “X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men”) is an animated pilot I mostly remember thanks to its VHS release in 1989 that my brother and I must have borrowed from my cousin a thousand times over. Despite its obscurity, however, this relic of the early Marvel Entertainment days is one of the many abandoned projects from Marvel that’d inadvertently become a classic. Before 1992’s “X-Men: The Animated Series,” there was 1989’s “X-Men,” a series that begun development after constant guest spots from the team during “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Watching it years later, it’s surprising just how much of the early episodes of the 1992 series were based on the “Pryde of the X-Men” pilot.
I love the idea of indie filmmakers taking their various horror short films and turning them in to anthologies, especially now with the horror anthology hotter than ever with audiences. “Blood Clots” has a lot of great intentions, but in the end it’s just an okay anthology with seven pretty okay horror shorts. I was never blown over by anything I saw here, but I appreciated the effort, and I liked the variety, overall. There are zombies, mutants, monsters, and werewolves, and that’s basically the only overarching theme for audiences.
The mix of war movies and horror movies have always been a natural combination, since they’re both manage to examine the dark sides of combat and humanity. It’s just a shame that there haven’t been many movies of the sub-genre that have been worth watching. Thankfully, while “Overlord” isn’t a complete masterpiece, it manages to come out in the end as a sleek and very clever amalgam of horror, fantasy, and war oriented action. It might also sweeten the pot that Avery’s horror war hybrid feels like a spiritual prequel to “Re-Animator.” Director Julius Avery approaches the idea of a horror movie set during World War II with great right balance of both genres, allowing “Overlord” to be a character piece first and then delve right in to the horrendous grue and human ugliness.