Monday, September 01, 2014

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) (An actual review this time) (Honest)

My friends, I have had the unparalleled delight of seeing this on the big screen for the third time.  My local theater brought it back for the long weekend, and thanks to my generous and understanding Cowboy, I just got home from spending two more hours in the company of Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men.  It's one of my happiest places.

(This moment isn't actually in the movie, but yummy!)
After my second viewing, back in June, I tried to write up a coherent review, but real life intervened, as it so often does.  This time, I'm going to write this while I take a few minutes to unwind so I'll actually fall asleep when I crawl into bed.  Absolutely everyone else is asleep, so for a few minutes, it's just me perched on the edge of the bathtub with the laptop, trying to put into coherent words what I love about this movie.  Because love it I do -- it might not be quite as jewel-perfect as X2, but for deeply personal reasons, I think I love it a little more.

This is a movie about friendship and love, loyalty and betrayal, hope and despair.  All the explosions and mutations and special effects are just window dressing.  At its heart, it's about two friends who are constantly pulled apart by their different ideologies, yet convinced they could work together if only things were different.  It's also the story of a handful of people desperate to save not just themselves, but also strangers they'll never meet, people they'll never know.  The trouble, of course, is that they don't all want to save the same group of people.

(Here be spoilage.)

(How priceless and adorable is this picture???)

Those two friends, of course, are Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr.  Over the past 14 years and four movies, we've watched them battle, unite, divide, unite again, hurt each other, help each other.  In some ways, they're like a star-crossed couple, always searching for a way to thwart their own selves in order to be together.  And I mean that in the non-slashiest way possible.

Of course, generally Eric wants to promote mutant welfare above human welfare, and Charles wants mutants to protect humans, and so they tend to butt heads and part ways a lot.  And in this movie, you've also got Mystique trying to take down the guy who's going to create the machines that will wipe mutants off the earth.  And that guy's just trying to protect humans from the mutants.

(Why are there so many pictures of Fassbender in this post?  But look at his beautiful hat!)

And poor Wolverine is trying to sort out this mess, get everyone to shut up and work together for a few minutes so he can save his "found family."  Because he's the best he is at what he does (even if what he does isn't always very nice), he succeeds.  As a reward, he gets to live in a new future where people he loves are safe, sometimes even no longer dead.  The final scene, as he walks through the halls of the School for Gifted Youngsters, never fails to bring me to tears.  The wonderment on his face, the dawning hope, and finally the joy when he sees Jean Grey -- they make me achingly happy.

(It's hard to find a picture of Wolvie smiling.  Best I could do.)

The rest of the movie's lots of fun too :-)  Quicksilver's "Time in a Bottle" scene is hilarious and brilliant, and every single scene that takes place on Professor X's plane could be six times as long and I would still be entranced.

(Also hard to find pics of the inside of that plane.  The internet is so silly sometimes.)

Okay, that's as coherent as I'm going to get at 1:34am.  A bit more lucid than last time, I hope!

I'm not sure why, but all summer long, this Beatles song has been reminding me of this movie.  So I'll end with it:

8 comments:

  1. I don't know who I liked more in this one: McAvoy or Fassbender. They were both brilliant, of course. I watched this before First Class, and I'm glad I did, otherwise I would've hated First Class more. Fassbender was so groovily mysterious (can't think how else to describe him) in both movies, but McAvoy was SO much better in DOFP. He made me really sad for Charles.

    Also, I was excited to see Kitty Pryde. :-) I just discovered her in my new Wolverine comics, and I didn't know she was in the movies. I think I like her better in this movie than I do in the comic I have.

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    1. Wasn't McAvoy a revelation in this? I was left so cold by him in First Class, and then in this I couldn't have liked him better! I'm glad you got to see them in reverse order, because DOFP definitely makes FC better in retrospect. You get to see where Charles is headed, which makes his kind of snobby condescension in the FC poignant instead of annoying. Well done, filmmakers!

      Also, "groovily mysterious" is a perfect way to describe Fassbender as Magneto. I'm now keen to watch his Jane Eyre again, as I only saw it once and was somewhat underwhelmed, but I think maybe I need to just give it another chance.

      Kitty Pryde is great! She's in X3 too, though she doesn't do the back-in-time thing there, just the walking-through-walls thing. Ellen Page makes her very relatable, and I like her better than in the one or two comics I've read her in.

      Random comics-related note: I've always been kind of sad that Jubilee isn't in the movies, other than a glimpse somewhere. Perhaps in the next one!

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    2. Yeah, snobby is the word. I kind of just wanted to shove him away the whole time I watched First Class. Like, I knew he was right, but why did he have to be such a blooming know-it-all?!

      Oh, uh, well, I now have 3 reasons to watch Jane Eyre. 1) My buddy recommended it, 2) Judi Dench, and now 3) Fassbender. :-) Apparently, he was also in 12 Years a Slave. Wow...how did I miss this guy?!

      Kitty seemed sweet and sad in the movies. In my comic, she was a little bratty and was always verbally pecking at Wolvie.

      I just looked up Jubilee, and she does sound interesting. I bet she'd be good to have in a fight.

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    3. Now, retrospectively, McAvoy's portrayal has this pride-goeth-before-the-fall thing going on which rocks. Kudos to the writers of DOFP for making FC into a better movie!

      Judi Dench was great in Jane Eyre. I did like it, but didn't love it. But now I want to see it again. And yes, Fassbender is popping up all over lately. In some rather awful roles sometimes -- he doesn't mind going dark places, it seems.

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  2. Excited to finally be seeing this once it arrives on DVD in a few weeks. It looks so good. :)

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    1. October 14 can NOT arrive soon enough!!!

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  3. You can never have too many pictures of those handsome gentlemen! Haven't seen this one, but hope to someday. :)

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    1. It's true, you really can't have enough photos of them. I should have added a few more of Hugh Jackman, and maybe another of Michael Fassbender. But I ran out of awakeness.

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