X-Men: Dark Mirror

I just finished up X-Men: Dark Mirror, from the line of books based on Marvel properties. And I must say I enjoyed it.

The story is that five of the X-Men (Cyclops, Phoenix, Rogue, Nightcrawler and Wolverine) go out to investigate a mental hospital that is reported to be treating mutants badly. At least, that’s the backstory you get as the tale unfolds. As the book begins, Jean Grey (Phoenix), wakes up as a black man in a straight jacket. And it just gets weirder from there. The X-Men have had their minds somehow transferred into the bodies of mental patients, and have to break out, get home, and try to stop whoever took their bodies from doing anything bad. The most amusing parts of this book come in that Jean is in the body of a man, Scott (Cyclops) is in that of a petite young girl, and Logan (Wolverine) is literally wearing a big chested blonde woman. As they make their break from the asylum, they have to rely on their wits instead of their powers (which they’ve lost) to try to make their way across the US back home.

It was quite interesting to see how the author made them handle their new bodies and lack of powers. A fun book.

X-Men: The Last Stand

Let’s just get it out of the way… it definately wasn’t worth staying up until 3am to see it at the midnight show. If I were to use only one word to review this film, that word would be: weak.

The original pictures I saw of the Juggernaut made me cringe. I can at least happily say that in the finished film he looked a little more impressive. Although him actually using the line “Do you know who I am? I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” was just about the worst possible thing. Well, maybe next to the fact that they didn’t bother to show in any way that Cain Marko (the Juggernaut) is Xavier’s half-brother (or something like that, its been so long since I read an X-Men book). And then of course, Peter, you know Colossus, he’s not Russian any more appearantly. And they did the fastball special, twice, and it was stupid both times.

On the other hand, while I remained solidly underwhelmed by the movie, I wasn’t disappointed. It was exactly what I expected. The film is a fanboy’s wet dream and nightmare combined. They managed to cram in so many comic book references and characters that the theater was constantly filled with little chuckles and gasps. At the same time, they managed to deviate from the comic in so many ways that those same fanboys were bordering on tears. And of course, the plot of the movie rears its head every now and then, something about a cure and Magneto fearing a repeat of the Nazis, oh and Jean kills lots of people. It was pretty much exactly was I expected going in. Well, almost… in both the first two X-Men movies, they went to great lengths to avoid killing people. In this movie, however, when I say Jean kills lots of people, I really mean lots of people. And Wolverine too. Without blood of course, but still, lots and lots of dead people.

Hopefully when they do the Wolverine movie next, it will be good since it will only have a couple or three main characters instead of twelve with a few dozen more supporting ones.

The final word then is weak, but fun. Its not a horrible movie, but it could have been better.

A Number of Reviews

Lets start with the beginning… Spider-man 2.

Oh my.

And I mean that, really. Its very rare… in fact, I’m not 100% I’ve ever encountered it… this sequel was better than the original. And when you consider how good the original was… damn. It was just simply awesome. I was amazed at the first film with how well they took Spidey from the comics to the screen, and with this film I’m just floored with how well they continued it. When Batman came out, one of the actors (I forget which) from the TV series said, "I would have gone to see Batman 2, and 3, and 4, and so on… but Batman Returns?" That’s how I felt about the Batman series, and when X2 came out, I had the same reservation. But X2 was as good as X-Men, so when hearing about Spidey 2, I thought "X-Men pulled it off… but…" I should never doubt Sam Raimi though. All my reservations vanished as the movie unfolded… I was literally on the edge of my seat at some points.

Rock on Sam Raimi… I’m in, Spider-man 3, and 4, and 5… I’m in.

Now, some quick NetFlix reviews…

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Not bad. It wasn’t like super totally mega awesome, and Jodi didn’t like the ending, but I’m satisfied. It ended how it had to end. Quality.

The School of Rock. Jack Black is god… a god of what, I’m not sure, but he’s got to be one. And the movie was good, but after seeing it, I don’t want to see it again. It wasn’t side-splittingly funny enough for me to want to own it. A thumbs up, but only one time.

Seabiscuit. I had no desire to see this movie in the theater. Horse racing? Bah! But there was buzz about it, Oscar nominations and stuff, so I was intrigued. Well, I finally saw it, and it was good. A very solid movie… a testament to the will of the person who will never give up, never quit. Two thumbs up.

Pieces of April. A good, oddly funny film about a disfunctional family at Thanksgiving. I enjoyed it. Oliver Platt is the man.

The Core. HA HA HA HA HA HA! Oh wait, its supposed to be an action thriller? … HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Man, oh man.. I couldn’t stop laughing at this movie. It was ridiculous, but fun.

Honey. For a movie about a dancer who gets into the music biz while trying not to leave her roots behind and open a dance program "for the kids", it wasn’t too bad. It helps that Jessica Alba is hot.

The Missing. This was good. I remember the previews. It came out at a time when there were a few horror movies out, and the preview, in its attempt not to give anything away, made it sound like a monster or ghost movie. But its not. I liked it. Ron Howard doesn’t disappoint.

And that’s all I can remember for now…