At the end of the day, “X-Men Apocalypse” is a big step up from the films in the series that preceded it, but it’s still just a Bryan Singer “X-Men” movie. Its two and a half hours of surface level action and superficial ideas that still haven’t broken in to the more complex themes of prejudice, racism, hatred, and bigotry that have made the X-Men property so beloved and widely embraced. Six movies later and only now FOX seems to be getting that a big advantage of the “X-Men” movies is that there are so many fascinating heroes and average people turned in to heroes of varied shapes, sizes, and colors. Only now that Marvel has embraced the team movie are Singer and FOX transforming the “X-Men” in to a team franchise.
From Scream Factory comes two slasher films included in a pack that will test the resolve of even the most loyal slasher movie buffs. “X-Ray” tranquilized me and by the time “Schizoid” was almost done I was desperately trying to keep my eyes open. To their credit, they are a double pack for experimental horror fans, but on their own and without a distraction, they’re two of the most mind numbing slasher films I’ve ever seen.
While I did ultimately enjoy “X-Men: First Class” as a film, I found myself giggling at the very opening. I found myself giggling for the simple fact that we finally are given a biographical detailing of Magneto. You know, the one we were supposed to get with a feature film but never did? I love how the writers manage to sneak in his biography while also chronicling the story of two powerful gentlemen with vastly different ideals. Because at the end of the day, the real story behind “X-Men: First Class” is the brotherhood of ideas, and the views on mankind that separate us in spite of common goals.
Filmed over the course of one night, it’s hard to imagine “X” being thought of as anything other than a bona fide action thriller that teams two powerful female entities together to battle misogyny and abuse that plagues their life. Though described as this sex filled romp, “X” is so much more in the end. It’s about empowerment and survival and at best, I can peg it as an Australian female version of “Judgment Night.”
Director Jack the Zipper’s “Xero” is one of the most artistically inclined bits of girl on girl porno ever conceived, it’s a masterful and visually brilliant pornographic film that is clearly just about the girl on girl sequences, but also has something to say with its depiction of sex scenes. Clocking in at an hour long, “Xero” is an endless stream of women going down on one another and engaging in heavy cunnilingus but this is all depicted in a single barn setting through the eyes of a dark haired woman. This dark haired woman is being tormented by an appetite for women that’s insatiable.
The character of Wolverine has always been a hard sell for yours truly. As a comic book superhero, Wolverine has always been one of the more overrated in Marvel Comics in spite of his rabid following. Wolverine’s progression from this tier villain to top tier superhero has been nothing short of remarkable, so when he received his own spin off that unfolds to tell his story once and for all, I was quite confused. The entire “X-Men” film franchise have already been nothing more than vehicles for the Wolverine with the X-Men taking nothing more than a supporting status to what he can do on screen. We’ve already had three Wolverine films, did we really need to see another with the furry one front and center? Yes and no.
My antipathy and scathing skepticism at the fact that FOX would hire hack Brett Ratner to direct one of my favorite comic book franchises of all time hasn’t exactly been a secret for all this time. I hated the fact that Ratner was given resources to potentially destroy my beloved storyline, and I was not looking forward to this. Even with the fact that Ellen Page was cast, I didn’t find anything worth being impressed about with Ratner’s alterations of the series I loved. “X-Men: The Last Stand” is supposedly the “last” film in the X-Men franchise; of course all the fans know its complete bullshit. “The Last Stand” is the final film in the “X-Men” franchise like “The Final Chapter” was in the “Friday the 13th” franchise.
See, here’s the thing with this movie that threw me for a loop, something that I was shocked at, there is inevitably a difference between the first half and second half of the movie. There is so much of a difference between the first and second half that it makes the two split “XX/XY” feel like two movies. Much like the recent film I’ve seen, “Club Dread” which had such trouble mixing two elements it felt like two movies, “XX/XY” suffers from what I now have created called “two movie syndrome”. What’s two movie syndrome, well it’s a film in which the first half and the second half are so different that it feels like two movies, so I’m stuck with the unfortunate duty of reviewing two movies, the first half and the second half which are so different in color, tone, texture and dialogue, that I was so shocked when the second half approached and it was inevitably a rip of “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”, in a good way, and then there was the first half.