xmen_apocalypse_ver18Dear Flicker Fans,

HELLO! I know, I know…it’s been awhile since I’ve written you, and I don’t think I’ve ever started out my devoted messages to you like this. You know what I’m talking about; full on letter addressed to our dedicated readers. But here I am, and here you are–ready and eager to hear what is going to be said, whether it be praise or protest. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and really delve into all that is the X-men movies and talk about, “X-men: Apocalypse”(and maybe some notable mentions as I see fit).

Let’s recap shall we? Let’s talk about the beginning, the brief fall and resurgence, rebirth, or “rise”, shall we, of all that is X-men. The first movie introduced us to these amazing characters and what I like to think is the full awakening of the “comic book” movie take over. Sure, we may have had some Batman movies, Blade as well, but to me, I think the first real test for, “let’s see if this works out”, was indeed X-men. We get Wolverine, Prof. Xavier, Magneto, and the rest of the gang. We got some real talent for these movies and a test for budget. I say “test” because the production value was there, but they really tried to cut corners compared to what what they’ve done lately. These early movies careened our viewing eyes into movies like Captain America, Avengers, and Justice League. All of them…I personally feel that this movie was the culprit, the start of them all really….the doorway in which Hollywood was knocking on selling girl scout cookies and just waiting to see if the public was going to answer. Would they buy one box or eagerly ask the girl scout, “You got cookies?!?!??! God DAMN girl, I want everything you got!!!!” Needless to say, I think we all know how that went. Not only did we buy the cookies, but we back-ordered the little things, and we’re gobbling them up like a rabid sea otter munching on snacks–quickly–and we wanted more.

But I’m getting away from my point.

Bryan Singer directed the first two movies of this franchise and without riding his jock too much, I loved them. They were fun, close to the characters personality that I enjoyed, and they only made a few changes that seemed necessary to move the story along. It was great, it was fun, it was X-men. We fell in love with these characters, and we all couldn’t wait to see what they were going to do next.

Then Brett Ratner got ahold of these beloved characters and while I was excited to see another X-men film (X-men:The Last Stand), after revisiting this movie when the initial excitement passed I realized and thought, “Wow….that was actually kind of shitty.” Broke my heart….it really saddened me as to how close these characters could come to their comic counter parts and how fun they could be, only to be reduced and ultimately have the franchise almost killed off. Why? Oh just cause that’s why (I still have questions about that movie that I know I won’t ever get answered).

Enter Matthew Vaughn. Ahhhhh our savior and king of all that is mutant. He shall save us from the evil clutches of Ratner…wait…who the hell is Matthew Vaughn? Ah yes, the brilliant dude who directed a little movie called, “Kick-Ass.” Hell yea! Loved that movie….what are we getting into with this? A rebirth of all the characters we know and love? A retelling? A re-imagining? No, just a simple new story of the characters that we love and their back story in “X-men: First Class”. Awesome. Love the idea. Love the concept. Love the fact that it takes place YEARS ago and introduces us to characters we haven’t really gotten a chance to learn more about and just see them in action. Bring it on Vaughn!!! Success….the movie is beautiful and totally gets us ready for what’s next (and he just totally ignores all the BS that went on in Ratners “The Last Stand”)….but what IS next?

The Return of the King. No, not Tolkein. It’s the return of Singer. Bryan Singer has returned to take us on another ride with the mutants. He has come back to take the reigns of his baby and bring us home. Hallelujah! “X-men: Days of Future Past”–the movie is amazing. I loved it. Fun, humor, conflict, anger, resolution, special effects…..all that you could possibly want with an X-men movie. We address everything that we haven’t really seen in the past (and some we didn’t want to see) from the films and embrace it full force. We even get sentinels. SENTINELS!!! We have yet to see them and here they are! And it’s….sniff, sniff….it’s beautiful. Alright, so maybe it didn’t bring a tear to my eye, but dammit if it wasn’t awesome. I say again, “The King has Returned!”

Which brings us to our latest adventure with our band of social outcasts and visual pariahs. “X-men:Apocalypse.” Sweet Jesus, where do I begin. I know that this letter has gotten so long Flicker Fans, but bear with me. I know it’s rough to hang in there with so much emotion, but I’m coming close to wrapping it up here. Let’s begin with the obvious shall we? That’s not Apocalypse. It’s just not. The guy looks, well, he looks freaking stupid. Just horrible. Why? Why does he have cords running through his head? Why is he this color of blue that is reminiscent to a Power Ranger Villain (come on, I can’t be the ONLY one who surfs the internet and saw the side by side photo). Why, why, oh why did they make him look so God-awful bad and just terrible. He looks DUMB!!! I had the hardest time getting past how he looked, and I usually can and will accept the small changes for a movie. But this, I don’t understand this one. Why? Why the FU*K did they make him look so damn stupid looking? I know, maybe it’s because he’s blue in the comic. No. I know, maybe it’s because people were dying to see one of the greatest villains in Marvel history be reduced to looking like a sick offspring to the Predator and The Tick. No….that can’t be it. Maybe it’s because we didn’t want to see him be a bad ass, instead we wanted to question this decision the entire time we watched the movie. No…..that’s not it….and while we’re on the subject of stupid can someone please explain to me why Nightcrawler looks like an emo child reject who decided to wear Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket….well….a knock off version of it at least….maybe he couldn’t afford the real one….That’s probably it…the one he got was from Kmart….and since this does take place in the 80s, you know Kmart was around. Why? Why the hell did they make these characters look so far from their comic counterparts and some so amazing? Archangel, while the story varies a little from the comic, he looked great. Psylocke looked amazing. Almost exactly what I would want to see from that character, and her powers were fantastic. We also get to see the development of Storm, Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey. All of which were awesome. Oh and we got to see Jubilee….I’m sorry, what? What the holy hell? Jubilee? Were we all as fans just clamoring to see Jubilee in action? Quite possibly one of the most overrated, corny X-men out there, and I’m reading stories online how, “X-men Jubilee has breakout performance.” What?!?!?!? Shut the hell UP! Stop it. She didn’t even use her powers (oops…sorry, spoiler alert)….she didn’t even use her sparkly powers. No. Just no. Why are you here? Go away Jubilee….just go away.

So here we are…I’ve vented a little about what I didn’t like and how much I didn’t like it (which was a lot–I mean A LOT) but let’s get into what I did like about this film. First off, Apocalypse was cool. What?!?!?!? Did I just say that after my rant of his appearance? Yea, he was cool.Scratch that, he was pretty bad ass. Well, as far as villains go. He was powerful, over the top, evil, calm, cool and collected…I mean arrogant….arrogant in what he was doing (destroying the world) was right. That’s pretty much what you want in a villain. Someone who is completely evil and has no good intentions in order. This was pretty awesome. Not to mention the continuity of the film in what prepares us for the next one was pretty smooth. I enjoyed it. While I found some ultimate loop holes in regards to how these characters deal with and grow with each other, it’s frustrating to see how they decided to end it because it doesn’t hold true to what we think may or may not happen in the future for these characters. Did all that make sense? It’s not enough that we see these characters develop and get to know each other and their powers, but in the movie world, we already have an idea of where they’re supposed to go–and they set it up to go in a different direction. Now I know what you’re thinking and what you’re going to say, “Jascha, this article is all over the place and the continuity of the franchise has been changed so much that you have to look at it as it’s own stand alone film. You have to realize that they rebooted this franchise and you’re going with what they did from “X-men First Class.” Fine. I have. Even with that being taken into consideration, they’re still making “missteps” not “mistakes” just “missteps” in how they’re being handled. It was enjoyably predictable, but raises questions. Notably, “Where do we go from here?” While we have an amazing set up for new movies and characters, it’s kind of hard to visualize how they’re going to move forward when they’ve rewritten so much of their past to try and create a cohesive future.

Now, I feel like I might be giving this film a bad rap, and to be honest, on one hand, I kind of am–but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it. Simon Kinberg (writer), did a good job in bringing some of my childhood to life, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have questions about some of the character choices he’s made. It just didn’t make sense to me on changing something that didn’t’ really NEED to be changed. I have seen movies where they don’t make much sense and they’re kind of overall silly borderline stupid–but I still enjoyed them. I’ve recently revisited a movie that I wrote a pretty scathing review on and have deemed it, “not that bad.” I know, leaps and bounds from what I did write (which wasn’t flattering). That movie I watched (LUCY) was viewed by me quite a few times and found it overall, “just ok.” I know that’s not glowing, but it’s a far sight better than what I originally thought of the film. But overall for APOCALYPSE, I thought it was fun. An entertaining movie for the most part, and I am (of course) just nitpicking on what I didn’t like. There are scenes in this movie that are quite fantastic and amazing, and I loved every moment of them. It makes me hopeful for what’s to come from the mutant franchise. Until then what I’d like to say is, please, for the love of all that is holy……let’s get rid of the emo look for all comic characters….

Until next time Flicker Fans.

Yours Truly,

JW