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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American Hustle (2013): A mini-review

American Hustle Movie Poster
 


 

Synopsis:

 

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Review:

 

The past few years have seen a lot of crime films with only a few doing enough to be called great. The latest from the genre is American Hustle, about a con man in 1970s America. The biggest attraction of the film is undoubtedly the fantastic cast that director David O. Russell has managed to assemble. Christian Bale fully transforms himself as the middle-aged and desperate Irving Rosenfeld delivering yet another brilliant performance; Bradley Cooper is absorbing as the eccentric FBI Agent Richie DiMaso; Jennifer Lawrence continues to deliver roles that defy her young age as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, Irving's out-of-control wife; Amy Adams once again provides understated yet strong acting through the mysterious Sydney Prosser; and Jeremy Renner as the gullible and naive Mayor Carmine Polito reminds us why he is one of Hollywood's most underrated actors working today. All of these wonderful actors do their parts well enough, despite some minor shortcomings in character developments, which they try to overcome admirably. But, when coupled with a blistering, fast-paced, funny and witty script from Russell and Eric Singer, as well as a fine soundtrack featuring some remarkable '70s music, what viewers end up getting is a highly-entertaining motion picture that I see as one of 2013's most memorable films.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Director:

 

David O. Russell

 

Trailer:

 

 
 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Christian Bale (as Irving Rosenfeld)
  • Bradley Cooper (as Richie DiMaso)
  • Amy Adams (as Sydney Prosser)
  • Jeremy Renner (as Mayor Carmine Polito)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (as Rosalyn Rosenfeld)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 18 minutes

 

Rating:

 

R

 

Genres:

 

Crime / Drama

 

Stills:

 

Amy Adams Bradley Cooper Jeremy Renner Christian Bale Jennifer Lawrence American Hustle Ensemble
Bradley Cooper Amy Adams
Christian Bale Amy Adams Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper Christian Bale
Jennifer Lawrence

 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013): A review


The Hunger Games Catching Fire Movie Poster

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1st MATM Awards (2012)



MATM Award Maroon Background



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2013: A Preview (October to December)




October:



Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

(Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke, and Rosario Dawson; Directors: Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez)

Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-Movie-Poster
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Best of 2010



Black Swan


 

Synopsis: A ballet dancer wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writers: Mark Heyman (screenplay), Andres Heinz (screenplay), John J. McLaughlin (screenplay), Andres Heinz (story)

Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel



Buried


 

Synopsis: Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.

Director: Rodrigo Cortés

Writer: Chris Sparling

Stars: Ryan Reynolds



Despicable Me

 

 

Synopsis: When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better.

Director: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Writers: Cinco Paul (screenplay), Ken Daurio (screenplay), Sergio Pablos (story)

Stars: Steve Carell and Jason Segel



Exit Through the Gift Shop

 

 

Synopsis: The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy.

Director: Banksy

Stars: Banksy



Fighter, The

 

Synopsis: A look at the early years of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

Director: David O. Russell

Writers: Scott Silver (screenplay) and Paul Tamasy (screenplay) & Eric Johnson (screenplay); Paul Tamasy (story) & Eric Johnson (story) & Keith Dorrington (story)

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

 



 

Synopsis: As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

Director: David Yates

Writers: Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint



How to Train Your Dragon

 



 

Synopsis: A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Director: Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders

Writers: William Davies (screenplay), Dean DeBlois (screenplay) & Chris Sanders (screenplay), Cressida Cowell (book)

Stars: Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler



Inception

 

Synopsis: In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception.

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Michael Caine



Inside Job

 

 

Synopsis: Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson

 



Kick-Ass

 



 

Synopsis: Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writers: Jane Goldman (screenplay), Matthew Vaughn (screenplay), and Mark Millar (comic book) & John Romita Jr. (comic book)

Stars: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage and Chloë Grace Moretz



King’s Speech, The

 



 

Synopsis: The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper

Writer: David Seidler (screenplay)

Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter



127 Hours

 



 

Synopsis: A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle

Writers: Danny Boyle (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Aron Ralston (book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”)

Stars: James Franco



Prophet, A

 

 

Synopsis: A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writers: Thomas Bidegain (screenplay) andJacques Audiard (screenplay), Abdel Raouf Dafri (original screenplay), and Nicolas Peufaillit (original screenplay)

Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup and Adel Bencherif



Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

 



 

Synopsis: Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes in order to win her heart.

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Michael Bacall (screenplay), Edgar Wright (screenplay), and Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press graphic novels)

Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kieran Culkin



Secret in their Eyes, The

 

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Synopsis: A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior – both of which still haunt him decades later.

Director: Juan José Campanella

Writers: Eduardo Sacheri, Juan José Campanella, and Eduardo Sacheri (novel “La pregunta de sus ojos”)

Stars: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil and Pablo Rago



Shutter Island

 

 

Synopsis: Drama set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding nearby.

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Laeta Kalogridis (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer and Mark Ruffalo



Social Network, The

 

Synopsis: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking website that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

Director: David Fincher

Writers: Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Ben Mezrich (book)

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake



Tangled

 

 

Synopsis: The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.

Director: Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

Writers: Dan Fogelman (screenplay), Jacob Grimm (fairy tale) & Wilhelm Grimm (fairy tale) and Dean Wellins (additional story)

Stars: Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi



Toy Story 3

 

 

Synopsis: The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

Director: Lee Unkrich

Writers: John Lasseter (story), Andrew Stanton (story), and Lee Unkrich (story) and Michael Arndt (screenplay)

Stars: Tom Hanks and Tim Allen



True Grit

 

 

Synopsis: A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father’s murderer.

Directors: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Writers: Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay), and Charles Portis (novel)

Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Hailee Steinfeld



Winter’s Bone

 



 

Synopsis: An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Director: Debra Granik

Writers: Debra Granik (screenplay), Anne Rosellini (screenplay), and Daniel Woodrell (novel)

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes and Garret Dillahunt