X-Men Days of Future James McAvoy Hugh Jackman Professor X Wolverine scene 3

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014): A mini-review

X Men Days of Future Past Movie Poster
 

Synopsis:

 

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

 

Review:

 

The X-Men movies are usually seen as the first series of comic-book-based movies to properly introduce the general audience to the world of superheroes at the beginning of the 21st century. The first two films in particular, X-Men (2000) and X-Men 2: X-Men United (2003), laid the groundwork for all future superheroe movies that would come later, with some even bettering those two pioneering X-Men films. The latest addition to the X-Men series, X-Men: Days of Future Past, builds on that history and delivers a terrific motion picture that easily makes it the best X-Men movie to date and one of 2014's standout motion pictures.

Director Bryan Singer (X-Men, X-Men 2: X-Men United) once again demonstrates how deeply he understands these characters and knows how to showcase them in a strong and gripping manner that provides great entertainment. Working with a wonderful, smart, and witty script written by Simon Kinberg, Singer's controlled pacing throughout the film really makes the action standout whilst also giving a lot of attention towards building the diverse characters especially in major scenes such as the Quicksilver sequence, the battle at Washington D.C., and the epic final showdown. Singer also brings back the eclectic ensemble cast that has helped elevate X-Men: Days of Future Past to greatness. Returning acting talents – Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr), James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Jennifer Lawrence (Raven / Mystique), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto) – in addition to the newcomers – Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), and Peter Dinklage (Dr. Bolivar Trask) – play their respective roles extremely well and seamlessly establish the emotional connection with the audience, something that many superhero movies have failed to do. All of these aspects clearly show a director at the top of his game. Simply superb work from Bryan Singer.

One of the most powerful themes I have found in the X-Men movies is how being different could make one an outsider amongst his or her society because their community is not used to something so unfamiliar. This is a very strong theme that all the X-Men films have explored but X-Men: Days of Future Past takes things a step further and gives us a profound narrative that stays with us long after the credits roll. It is not only the best X-Men movie to date, but also one of the best superhero movies ever made. It is right up there with the genre's greatest – The Dark Knight Trilogy, Spider-Man 2, and The Avengers – as it does what these classics have done so well; it surpasses the confines and limits of the superhero genre and becomes something much, much more. X-Men: Days of Future Past has that right mix that makes it a film that all movie-goers can strongly feel, experience, and respond to. An exceptional piece of cinema that needs to be seen by everyone.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Director:

 

Bryan Singer

 

Trailer:

 

 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Hugh Jackman (as Logan / Wolverine)
  • James McAvoy (as Charles Xavier)
  • Michael Fassbender (as Erik Lehnsherr)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (as Raven / Mystique)
  • Ellen Page (as Kitty Pryde)
  • Peter Dinklage (as Dr. Bolivar Trask)
  • Evan Peters (as Peter / Quicksilver)
  • Ian McKellen (as Magneto)
  • Patrick Stewart (as Professor X)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 11 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Superhero

 

Stills:

 

X-Men Days of Future James McAvoy Hugh Jackman Professor X Wolverine
X-Men Days of Future Michael Fassbender Magneto
X-Men Days of Future James McAvoy Hugh Jackman Professor X Wolverine Scene 1
X-Men Days of Future Jennifer Lawrence Raven Mystique
X-Men Days of Future James McAvoy Hugh Jackman Professor X Wolverine Michael Fassbender Eric Magneto Evan Peters Quicksilver
X-Men Days of Future James McAvoy Hugh Jackman Professor X Wolverine scene 3
X-Men Days of Future James McAvoy Hugh Jackman Professor X Wolverine Michael Fassbender Eric Magneto Evan Peters Quicksilver Still 2
X Men Days of Future Past Patrick Stewart Ian McKellen Magneto Professor X

 

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014): A mini-review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Movie Poster
 


Synopsis:

 

Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.

 

Review:

 

I was one of those who were quite pleasantly surprised by 2012's Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man. Starring a whole new cast, most importantly with Andrew Garfield taking up the lead role from the original trilogy's Tobey Maguire, the first film of the new trilogy really did deliver a lot of entertainment, energy, and fun I did not expect. The good news is that its sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, takes all of those positive elements and establishes itself as a worthy follow-up. Once again, the chemistry and natural charm between both Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) are key factors of the film's success. There is just an electricity between the two that allows them to flourish, making their scenes shine and work convincingly well. Another stand-out performance in the film is that by Dane DeHaan, who plays the dual roles of Harry Osborn and Green Goblin. I have been a big fan of DeHaan's since his breakout role in Chronicle (2012) and find his work here to be on-par with that performance, if not better. He is easily one of Hollywood's best young talents active today.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also benefits from a more focused direction from Marc Webb who manages to juggle the three villains' storylines rather well, giving each of them enough time to deliver their backstories by pacing the film admirably well. He also manages to make this two-hour-plus motion picture fly by without letting the feeling of boredom settle within his film's viewers. There are enough action scenes here as well as comedic moments that will make everyone happy, which is a credit to Webb.

I must admit I had feared that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 could have ended up being like Spider-Man 3, a film that got lost in the midst of trying to give justice to the three villains as well as Spider-Man but failed to do so. Thankfully, Webb has passed that challenge with flying colors, delivering a very good sequel in what is shaping up to be another noteworthy superhero trilogy. Needless to say, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is definitely worth a watch.

 

MATM Rating:

 

MATM Rating Three and half stars

 

Director:

 

Marc Webb

 

Trailer:

 

 

 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Andrew Garfield (as Peter Parker / Spider-Man)
  • Emma Stone (as Gwen Stacy)
  • Dane DeHaan (as Green Goblin / Harry Osborn)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 22 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Superhero

 

Stills:

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Spider-Man Still 1
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Spider-Man Still 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Jamie Foxx Electro
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Peter Parker Dane DeHaan Harry Osborn
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Spider-Man Paul Giamatti Rhino
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Spider-Man Jamie Foxx Electro Scene 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Spider-Man Still 4
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield Spider-Man Dane DeHaan Green Goblin
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Green Goblin Dane DeHaan Gwen Stacy Emma Stone
 

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): A mini-review

 
Captain America The Winter Soldier Movie Poster


Synopsis:

 

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

 

Review:

 

I have to admit that I was not overly impressed with Captain America: The First Avenger, which premiered back in 2011. It might have had an interesting lead in Chris Evans as the titular character but I found the film to be a conventional, tired, and unsurprising affair, one I hoped not to experience again with its sequel. Gladly, not only is Captain America: The Winter Soldier a much better film, but I would already rank it amongst the best superhero films I have seen in recent years.

The characters, namely the heroic Captain America (Evans), intelligent Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), witty Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and sinister Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) are fully fleshed-out that they provide viewers with a far more engrossing movie experience than the original ever did. The story, too, is a political thriller wrapped around a superhero universe that has expanded impressively well since the instant-classic The Avengers (2012). Captain America: The Winter Soldier's narrative progresses steadily without losing a single beat and drives the plot towards an explosive, twist-filled finale that has left me smiling and nearly breathless. Directing duo, and brothers, Anthony and Joe Russo deserve a round of applause for being able to let the film flow as smoothly and briskly as it does. They not only gave their actors the required space to flourish, but also made every scene count, with plenty of well-choreographed fights and exciting action set-pieces ensuring audiences are kept gripped to the screen.

I am quite surprised by how much I ended up liking this movie but I think it has done more than enough to warrant such high praise. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is surely not to be missed by any film-goer and is already one of 2014's earliest contenders for action film of the year.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Directors:

 

Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

 

Trailer:

 

 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Chris Evans (as Steve Rogers / Captain America)
  • Scarlett Johansson (as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow)
  • Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury)
  • Robert Redford (as Alexander Pierce)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 16 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi / Superhero

 

Stills:

 

Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 7 Chris Evans
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 6 Chris Evan Scarlett Johansson
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 5 Chris Evans Samuel L Jackson
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 4 Chris Evans Robert Redford
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 3
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 2 Robert Redford Samuel L Jackson
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 1
 

 

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