Michael Fassbender

X-Men Apocalypse

Spoilers Ahead

Here’s the first thing that comes to mind for me, as a veteran comic film fan, and that’s that when I have high expectations they better be met or at the very least come reasonably close. I suppose Days of Future Past spoiled me with this series but this movie just didn’t fit the bill. In truth I think the biggest problem was letting J-Law try to carry the movie, the absence of Jackman in the leading role was felt severely. 

As aesthetically pleasing as the film was it just didn’t deliver on any level. The were two, three scenes tops that were worth wild in this movie and beyond that it’s a lot of disappointment. Everybody looked good though. Olivia Munn as Psylocke specifically looked incredible. The entire costume department for the film did an incredible job with everyone. Yet it was not enough to overcome the plot problems and the lack of action throughout. 

Michael Fassbender is fantastic as always but he wasn’t used properly or enough. Tye Sheridan was great as a young cyclops but I felt Alexandra Shipp was not used enough either. She looked great but didn’t get enough speaking lines, and when she did they were silly a la “I heard he was your father.” That was just weird at the end of the film. If gossip is so rampant at the X mansion that new chick has heard about it how is it Magneto doesn’t know he has a son? 

I thought Jennifer Lawrence was just going through the motions here. For the record I think she is a fantastic actress but not suited for the lead in this film. I didn’t like that the story set up Mystique to be the hero for all mutants because I just didn’t think it was right for the character. Mystique is an awesome character but I like Rebecca Romijn’s version better. Mischievous villain shouldn’t be the one everyone looks to for leadership. I also thought Sophie Turner looked silly touching her head James McAvoy style the whole movie. She has the hair to honestly play Jean Grey but I am not overly impressed with Turner as an actress.

Though the biggest disappointment lies in the main antagonist himself. Apocalypse just doesn’t do enough, or rarely more than glossing over his eyes. I just expected more. He looked great but not big enough, when he is eye to eye with Magneto there is something wrong. He should have been bigger, taller. Apocalypse is an all powerful bad guy who is too easily defeated and not given enough to do.  

In this movie Quicksilver and Wolverine steal the show. Evan Peters is great in the part and he really steals the scene when things get explosive. I didn’t think it made any sense when he took on Apocalypse alone at the end of the movie with seemingly super human strength, but I’ll excuse that in his case. He brought more to the film than most. Hugh Jackman was sorely missed but his small part was one of the greatest in the entire film. So savage and so satisfying was his kill streak through the Weapon X place. I thought his look was perfect with the head gear and the wires as he wreaked havoc through the base.

By the climax of this film I was so dissatisfied I could have walked out and cared less what else happened. I hate that, because I wanted to love this movie. Instead I left the theater wanting and wishing I had just watched Captain America Civil War for a second time instead. Civil War was a fantastic movie and managed to do exactly what this film surprisingly failed to. We did hear people clapping when the movie ended but we have no idea why. I was so disappointed I didn’t even care to see the post credits scene and didn’t wait around to see it.

I have doubts that this franchise will even move forward with whatever was shown in the post credit scenes anyway. I am probably wrong but I don’t think the movie will be successful enough to garner another film in the franchise. I think most likely the studio will move on to other properties like X-Force, New Mutants, and Deadpool with certain X-men popping up now and again like Colossus in Deadpool.

This movie failed to meet my expectations and when people ask me I will tell them so. Your time will be much better spent seeing Captain America 3 than it would watching this film.

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Prometheus Take Two

Year: 2012
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof

RYAN’S REVIEW

I actually made it out to the theater to see this film. A privilege that’s becoming rarer and rarer as life gets busier but back in 2012 we found time to see a few and this was one of them. I thought it was excellent and in fact I wrote down my initial reaction in a post that’s some three years old now. Geez where does the time go? You can read my initial reaction below in its entirety:

6/10/2012

There will be a more in depth review of this film when we get to the “P’s” in our movie collection because we will own it.  I just really want to share a few thoughts with our readers because we just watched it and I think everyone should know how great it is.

I think the marketing for this movie was incredible.  The previews show you a lot of excitement without giving any hint to exactly what the movie was about.  That type of advertising reminds me a lot of Inception from last summer because it did something so similar.  It was very effective too because it builds anticipation for the movie while leaving a lot of surprises for you at the same time.  When I sat down to watch this movie I had no idea what it was really about. I went in knowing only the basics and that it was a prequel to Alien. I knew within the first five minutes that I liked it and that it was going to be awesome.  Some movies manage to convey that immediately, it works both ways though.  More often than not I can tell in the first few minutes that a movie is going to suck, but I’m glad there are still movies like this coming out that can actually surprise me.

I do not think this movie would have worked without Ridley Scott behind the camera.  I think that he is the only person that could actually make this movie and blend it so well with the original.  Everything looked so great and in the same fashion we saw over thirty years ago.  It has been a long time since Scott went back to his roots to make a Sci-Fi picture but he obviously still has the talent that made him a legend in the beginning. This movie will probably be very successful and I hope that success means we might see more of this to come from Scott.  As of right now I am going to really hope Scott comes back into the genre strong and does exactly what he did for it thirty years ago with Alien and Blade RunnerScott left a lasting impression on the genre and his films are both legendary.  Scott has made many great films throughout his career but I think it is rather obvious after this film that this is where he truly belongs.

The cast all did an outstanding job in this movie.  Michael Fassbender was specifically good, I think his role called for the most acting to be done as the android and he did it really well.  His face seemed so implacable throughout the whole movie and he spoke with such a great tone.  I am not a fan of Charlize Theron but she did an excellent job as well.  I think she was well suited for the role and appropriately cast. Idris Elba was great too; he played a smaller part but still managed to be a badass.  I think Noomi Rapace did very well as the lead; she could quite possibly be the new generation’s version of Ripley when all is said and done. Rapace is mainly known for playing Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies. One way or another I think we will be seeing a lot more of her after this. I think Guy Pearce is wasted in this movie; I had to come home and look up the movie on IMDB just to figure out who he was.  I’m OK with that though, if he has to be in a film this great the less we see of him the better.

Overall I think this was a great movie and I hope I have encouraged all of you to give it a chance.  There aren’t many movies coming out these days that I think are worth your money to make the trip to the theater.  I can attest that this film is without doubt worth the ridiculous price of admission at theaters these days.  We watched it in 2D because we aren’t risk takers when it comes to 3D but if the 3D effects were good I would imagine this movie looked great in the format. If you watched the movie in 3D please let us know how it looked because if we make it back to see it a second time we might try it out.

6/18/2015

Now back to 2015. I never heard a response about the 3D effects in this movie but I am still glad we didn’t see it in that format. 3D films continue to come out but I have no more faith in them now than I did in 2012. Until James Cameron finishes the next Avatar films I will be inclined to keep my four extra bucks and watch a regular version I can trust. If you want more on how I feel about 3D films just check this out.

Pretty much everything I said in my initial reaction still rings true. Noomi Rapace of course hasn’t become the next Ripley of sci fi but there is still potential for that in the future. Otherwise I still feel like she is exceptional in this movie, and I’m surprised it didn’t lead to bigger things for her, or hasn’t yet at least.

I remember there being a lot of talk about the opening scene of the movie. It’s vague so I can understand why so many people questioned it and what it meant in the movie. I didn’t give it that much thought actually. I saw it as a form of creation and didn’t question it because I think such things are and should be beyond us. Once we figure out how to do whatever that sculpted albino alien was doing we’re most likely doomed as a species. I think the process of creation should be beyond our understanding no matter how it was done, be it God, the Big Bang, or some sort of advanced albino alien science. I saw this scene as nothing more than a suggestion that alien intervention started life but didn’t think the ‘hows’ or ‘whys’ mattered very much. When you focus only on the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ sometimes you lose sight of what ‘is.’

Despite my affinity for comic book films I would not call myself a sci-fi fan in general but only on occasion. When a sci-fi movie is exceptionally good I make exceptions because regardless any genre when something is awesome it simply ‘is.’ This movie stand out to me as an example of just how good sci-fi films can be. It’s a genre filled with every nerd’s fantasy and too much of what is made doesn’t have the muster that a film like this has. This movie is top to bottom sci-fi and it’s as good as anything the genre has to offer, I think so at least. In my opinion this movie deserves its spot among the other greatest in the genre, the Aliens and Blade Runners, Star Wars and the like. I have patiently awaited the sequel to this film but haven’t been fulfilled in that anticipation whatsoever. It’s still on the docket and slated to be released in 2016 but there seems little movement on it and I’m not even sure if Ridley Scott is involved anymore. That would be a waste because part of what makes this movie great is that it is simply the beginning of something bigger.

I mentioned many of the actors in this film in my initial response. I won’t go through them all a second time but I do think a couple are worth note. Michael Fassbender continues to impress as an actor and I really hope to see him in this role again. As David he is just outstanding and truly believable as a robot. His is such an interesting character with unknown motives and an intelligence to be feared. The only other actor I wanted to cover again was Idris Elba. He carries a coolness in his very presence and he is a badass when there is action at hand. Stringer Bell was my favorite character on The Wire and I seriously like any opportunity to see Idris Elba in anything.

While I love the sci fi part of this movie I also appreciate how it echoes Alien with elements of horror. The scene with the alien snake like thing is enough to turn the toughest guy in the neighborhood white. Snakes, generally make everybody uncomfortable. In this case it’s a mutated alien snake that will crawl right into your mouth and down your throat while you are screaming. If that scene doesn’t get you then I name you a liar who closed your eyes to hide from the horror of it all. If that scene wasn’t enough to make you cringe then the procedure Noomi Rapace endures when she births a monster it certain to put you over the top. Coupled with perfect timing is all hell breaking lose in the dock bay with a former character no longer who he was. Scary and exciting as it is it only leads to more intrigue as the movie begins to come together. Mr. Supercool Idris Elba gets it, he knows what the problem on this planet is but after that insight all kinds of answers start spilling out.

This movie is intentionally vague, it leaves it for the viewer to figure certain things out. I like that about this movie because I love the ones that make us think. That’s the way a good science fiction film should be and this is easily my favorite of the genre in quite a while. With hope, we see an equally as exciting sequel in time that only leads us further down the rabbit hole. As of right now Prometheus 2 is still slated to come out next year with a release date in March. I hope that holds but the clock is ticking now for that kind of deadline and Michael Fassbender has become such a busy actor these days.

Obviously I think this movie is well worth your time and if you haven’t seen it then you are missing out. This isn’t the only movie working in the Alien universe these days as there is a new sequel to the Alien franchise being worked on by Neil Blomkamp. The news coming out about what he is working on seems really interesting and looks quite cool. Blomkamp and Signourney Weaver worked together recently on his latest film Chappie and the two have collaborated together on the new sequel.  It’ll be exciting to see what they are able to come up with. With a double dose of the Alien universe coming to the big screen in the next year, hopefully, there is no better time to revisit this film and the Alien films. Aside from Alien 3 they are all exciting, even Resurrection with it’s ridiculous breath technology on doors was not a bad movie if you enjoy the franchise.

NEXT MOVIE: Psycho (1960) 

 

X-Men First Class

I would like to say some things about this movie having watched over the last weekend.  I was very critical of the film when it first came out. You can read that post here. I still stand by a couple of those statements in my initial reaction to the film but now realize I was being overly critical of others.  I think my expectations for the film were higher than I was willing to admit.  I have loved the X-Men since I was a little kid and can’t help but anticipate any incarnation in film.  I am getting more and more excited for the next X-Men movie with every bit of releasing news because it is shaping up to have all the potential of what X-Men 3 should have been.  Given that excitement I decided to revisit this film and watch it with fresh eyes.

After watching the movie again I am willing to admit I was wrong about many things.  I don’t agree after second viewing that Michael Fsssbender was overacting.  He was incredible in the part in fact and I think he is a great actor.  I also disagree with the statement that the film wasn’t engaging or interesting.  It is an interesting movie and I did find myself really tuned in when the climax was approaching. I also think that while January Jones may not have been very good in the film that it really doesn’t matter if she was or not.  She manages to look really hot in the outfits they have her dressed in and does anything else really matter? I stand by the statement that Jennifer Lawrence was miscast and not good in the film.  I know it’s blasphemous to say so now with her having just won the Academy Award but I just don’t like her. This movie is probably the biggest reason why I don’t.  I don’t like what she is wearing in this movie and I don’t like the pouty chipmunk expression on her face in most of the film. I also don’t really like that Mystique and Xavier grew up together in the film. I think the film would have been better served to have Cyclops and Iceman on the team instead of Havok and Banshee, but I guess they were looking for continuity with the other films and in that case Iceman wouldn’t have worked. I do and did like Kevin Bacon in the film despite what I said in my previous post.  I am a fan of Kevin Bacon and it was nice to see him in a significant role again. Lastly, I still stand by what I said about James McAvoy. I think he sucks and I thought he was horrible in the part. Michael Fassbender makes a great young Magneto in the shadow of the great Sir Ian McKellan, but McAvoy doesn’t do this next to Patrick Stewart.  As I said in the first review he seems to think Professor X had some kind of button on his temple that activated his power.  It makes the ridiculous actor look even stupider playing the part.

With all that being said I would like to apologize for my initial reaction.  This wasn’t a perfect movie but it was good and I found myself enjoying it the second time around.  I will probably buy it one day eventually, when I see it marked down to an overly reasonable price.  I like to be the kind of person that willingly admits when I am wrong so here you have it.  I was not right about this one and I think it is worth your time.

Inglourious Basterds

Year: 2009
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. I had long since lost faith in Tarantino as a director with feelings I wrote extensively about in our Death Proof post. This movie proved me wrong about him however. Amber and I went to see this movie in the theater and I really went in wanting to hate it. I specifically remember the first shot of the film gripping me right there in the theater. I was immediately drawn in and then the scene that followed was so overwhelmingly powerful that not even I and my fledgling hatred for Tarantino could deny the greatness of this film. Let me say it plainly and straight, while I still feel Kill Bill and Death Proof were horrible films, Tarantino obviously still has a lot to offer as a filmmaker and he deserves our respect.

Tarantino was nothing short of perfect with this film. His writing, choice of music, and attention to detail was incredible. This movie had a long and interesting journey to being made but all the time and effort paid off. I remember it first being listed as in production on IMDB.com in 2003 and I spent six years waiting for its release. Tarantino spent something like seven years working on this film and at different times had roles for Adam Sandler, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth at least. I did not expect much from it after all the different developments over that time. Especially since none of those guys, or the characters they were listed to play ended up appearing in the film. Right before the movie came out I heard it was a remake and all hope was lost for me. I have never seen the original movie but I don’t have to in order to know that this movie hardly qualifies as a remake. Tarantino may have taken some basic plot elements from something else but otherwise this movie was all him and he nailed it.

Despite the many casting changes that went on during the lengthy production the lead role ultimately went to Brad Pitt and I felt his performance gave his career validity again just as much as the movie gave validity back to Tarantino for me. Pitt got his swagger back with this one. He was great as “Aldo the Apache” with an awesome accent and flawless delivery. I had lost faith in Pitt too before this movie following his roles in movies like Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Ocean trilogy. This movie proved to me he still had it though and I look forward to what he still has to offer as he enters the sunset years of his career. My favorite thing about his character in this movie is the scar he has on his neck. It is never explained and that makes it all the more interesting. Aldo the Apache is a crude and blunt man. With his kind of demeanor it is obvious that at some point someone tried to slit his throat. From the look of the scar they made all efforts to get it right but Aldo survived despite that. That’s part of what makes Aldo such a great character, but there was no shortage to what made him great.

I had never heard of Christoph Waltz before he was cast as the villain in this movie, but like everybody else, I will never forget him afterwards. As Colonel Landa, Waltz was intimidating and brimming with power. He has such a calm and patient persona that you don’t realize, and then nearly forget, what he is actually capable of. He has an extreme ruthlessness masked behind impeccable courtesy and charisma. He is an ambitious man who will sell out anyone and even his cause for his own means.  He gets it in such a satisfying fashion in the end too. He survives the war, but as the viewer we know that he will never escape his crimes.

Eli Roth was great as “The Bear Jew.” He is a large and intimidating man already but brought such a savage violence and tenacity to his character in the movie.  Prior to this movie coming out Tarantino financed the US release of his movie Hostel in 2006. Michael Fassbender has a small but significant part in the movie.  He has burst onto the scene since the release of this movie and I think he has great potential.  He was incredible in Prometheus and I thought he was great as Magento in X-Men First Class.  Also adding this movie to their filmography are Harvey Keitel and Samuel L Jackson who lend their voices to the film.  Jackson has a voice over at one point discussing the Basterds and Keitel is the American officer on the phone who makes a deal with Landa in the end. Mike Myers has an unusual but welcome cameo in the movie too.  About fifteen years ago Myers might have been one of the funniest men in movies but that time passed.  I am still pleased to see him when he is in anything now, and I like what he brought to the film in his short role.

Diane Kruger was great as the German double agent who aids the Basterds in their fight against the Third Reich.  As good as she was in this movie though I think the best female performance undoubtedly goes to the unknown Melanie Laurent. She was cool and cunning as Shosanna, the Jewish girl who gets the last laugh against the Nazis. I still wonder if Colonel Landa in fact knew who she was during the scene in the restaurant.  He is such a sly and villainous character that there is no telling but the fact that he ordered her milk seemed telling.  Her character seems concerned when he places that order but I think in the audience we were all on the edge of our seats because of that too.

I don’t know that there is any place to criticize this movie because it is as perfect as they get.  I happen to like the way Tarantino changed history to suit his own purposes in this movie but it is misleading to the young people who don’t know any better.  I remember once back when I was teaching a kid told me I was wrong during the lesson because the Americans were actually the ones who killed Hitler. That frustrated me but the ignorance of youth will always frustrate. If for whatever reason you are unaware pay close attention: this movie is ENTIRELY fictional and none of the events that transpired are based in any fact.  Of course Hitler probably committed suicide in 1945 as the Russians were breaking down his door and that was what ultimately ended the war in Europe.  I say probably because there are some interesting theories out there suggesting the possibility of Hitler’s body double actually being the one that was found and Hitler having escaped to somewhere in South America.  I do not know well enough to say what might have actually happened but I found the History Channel special on the topic to be very interesting.

When this movie came out I remember my sister telling me she had heard it wasn’t any good from a friend.  That friend told her that when this movie ended people actually stood up and applauded it.  She had never seen such a thing happen and couldn’t figure out what they thought was so great about it.  All I have to say to that is that my sister’s friend was an idiot.  People stood up and applauded because this movie was that damn good.  The movie closes with Brad Pitt saying his most recent swastika was his masterpiece.  I see that as Tarantino telling us that he felt he had just finished his own masterpiece and I concur. Despite the feelings I had developed for the director I had once loved he had proved me wrong and even as a hater I couldn’t deny what he had done.  One of my best friends and I had argued relentlessly over the man for years and when I walked out of the theater I called him on the spot and told him he was right and I was wrong.

This is without doubt one of the best movies I have ever seen and it is more than worth your time to see it.  If you feel differently about it please leave a comment and give us a piece of your mind.  I would be very interested to hear alternative opinions on the movie.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is a damn near perfect movie in my book. I loved it. And I don’t even like Quentin Tarantino that much. So to call one of his films damn near perfect is a huge compliment. I love the actors and the humor and the nasty gritty details of every scene. If you haven’t seen it you are missing out.

inglourious-basterds-1510

This is the poster, which I really like. I usually HATE, actually loathe his design choices in most of his films. Not all, but most. This poster, however, is one of my absolute favorites of his. It alludes to the brutality in the film without actually showing anything brutal. The logo is nicely designed and became recognizable when the movie was being introduced. Overall, I give this movie and the poster the utmost kudos.

NEXT MOVIE: Innerspace (1987)

Prometheus

There will be a more in depth review of this film when we get to the “P’s” in our movie collection because we will own it.  I just really want to share a few thoughts with our readers because we just watched it and I think everyone should know how great it is.

I think the marketing for this movie was incredible.  The previews show you a lot of excitement without giving any hint to exactly what the movie was about.  That type of advertising reminds me a lot of Inception from last summer because it did something so similar.  It was very effective too because it builds anticipation for the movie while leaving a lot of surprises for you at the same time.  When I sat down to watch this movie I had no idea what it was really about. I went in knowing only the basics and that it was a prequel to Alien. I knew within the first five minutes that I liked it and that it was going to be awesome.  Some movies manage to convey that immediately, it works both ways though.  More often than not I can tell in the first few minutes that a movie is going to suck, but I’m glad there are still movies like this coming out that can actually surprise me.

I do not think this movie would have worked without Ridley Scott behind the camera.  I think that he is the only person that could actually make this movie and blend it so well with the original.  Everything looked so great and in the same fashion we saw over thirty years ago.  It has been a long time since Scott went back to his roots to make a Sci-Fi picture but he obviously still has that talent that made him a legend in the beginning. This movie will probably be very successful and I hope that success means we might see more of this to come from Scott.  As of right now I am going to really hope Scott comes back into the genre strong and does exactly what he did for it thirty years ago with Alien and Blade RunnerScott left a lasting impression on the genre and his films are both legendary.  Scott has made many great films throughout his career but I think it is rather obvious after this film that this is where he truly belongs.

The cast all did an outstanding job in this movie.  Michael Fassbender was specifically good, I think his role called for the most acting to be done as the android and he did it really well.  His face seemed so implacable throughout the whole movie and he spoke with such a great tone.  I am not a fan of Charlize Theron but she did an excellent job as well.  I think she was well suited for the role and appropriately cast. Idris Elba was great too; he played a smaller part but still managed to be a badass.  I think Noomi Rapace did very well as the lead; she could quite possibly be the new generation’s version of Ripley when all is said and done. Rapace is mainly known for playing Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies. One way or another I think we will be seeing a lot more of her after this. I think Guy Pearce is wasted in this movie; I had to come home and look up the movie on IMDB just to figure out who he was.  I’m OK with that though, if he has to be in a film this great the less we see of him the better.

Overall I think this was a great movie and I hope I have encouraged all of you to give it a chance.  There aren’t many movies coming out these days that I think are worth your money to make the trip to the theater.  I can attest that this film is without doubt worth the ridiculous price of admission at theaters these days.  We watched it in 2D because we aren’t risk takers when it comes to 3D but if the 3D effects were good I would imagine this movie looked great in the format. If you watched the movie in 3D please let us know how it looked because if we make it back to see it a second time we might try it out

Movies Not To Watch

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

This was too little too late from Bryan Singer, who destroyed this franchise himself over five year ago when he dumped X-Men 3 for the hopeless Superman reboot.  I had high hopes for his return to the franchise but I have been gravely disappointed.  I think Bryan Singer is a great filmmaker but I have hated him since he ruined this franchise.  X2 was an incredible movie and a great follow up to a pretty good first film, there was no reason the third film shouldn’t be just as good as the second. Out of no where Bryan Singer decided to abandon the series and it passed through a handful of people before landing in the hands of the hack Brett Ratner.  The movie was awful, despite a very good cast it was poorly made and a completely ridiculous story. X-Men: First Class is just as bad I’m afraid, I seriously doubt there will be any follow-ups to this reboot.

X-Men is part of a universe with so many exciting characters, it makes no sense to me for there to be movies made about X-Men with made up characters in it.  The third X-men movie did this exact same thing and it was ridiculous then too.  There are literally hundreds of characters to chose from and the writers are making up a girl with fairy wings that spits fire balls? This movie is dumb, but it is especially bad for the comic book fan because it’s not even remotely what it should be.  The script was very generic, the actors were awful for the most part, and it didn’t engage me at all.  Michael Fassbender was a great Magneto but honestly, I thought he was over acting at times.  Why was Havok in the movie? January Jones and Jennifer Lawrence were both bad and poorly cast.  James McAvoy seems to be under the impression that Professor X had some kind of button on his temple that activated his powers.  I think Kevin Bacon looked good on paper, but come on, were they really taking this thing seriously?

I don’t expect a movie made about a comic book to follow the story line perfectly, but it should at least remotely follow the story that its actually based on. The third X-Men movie was just like this, no respect for the original storyline.  I knew within the first five minutes of this film that I wasn’t going to like it and I suffered through the whole thing.  Don’t make the same mistake I did, I cannot get that time or money back, go see Thor (not in 3D) instead, it’s a good Marvel movie.  X-Men: First Class did offer one scene that was awesome, and it involved an incredible and unexpected cameo. I cannot stress enough how much that was the only good part, and that doesn’t make the movie worth seeing.

UPDATE: I have made a mistake, the girl with the fairy wings, Angel Salvadore, is in fact a real character from the X-Men universe.  I don’t know this character and didn’t recognize her in an origin movie because she wasn’t created until nearly 40 years after that origin.

UPDATE 2: I am leaving this post up because it does represent my initial impression of the film but my opinion has changed since.  I wrote an updated review a year or so later after watching the film again on TV.  You can read that review here.

300

Year: 2006
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Written By: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Graphic Novel Written By: Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

RYAN’S REVIEW:

This movie works for me on two levels.  I graduated college with a history degree, even teaching high school world history briefly.  I taught the specific story that 300 is based on and while the movie isn’t really historically accurate it did serve as a perfect base to get the kids interested in the topic.  300 is recent enough that most of the high school freshmen knew of the movie and all liked it. I always enjoyed popular movies I could use while teaching because the kids really respond to them.  This movie also works well for me because it is based on a comic book, and I am a lifelong comic fan.  I haven’t read the specific comic that 300 is based on but I have recently read Frank Miller’s Batman graphic novels, The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One. Both were very good, and I have also been impressed by other Miller stories such as Sin City.

As for 300, it was both aesthetically pleasing and financially successful.  It made a name for Zack Snyder who has slowly become a comic book movie specialist. Since 300 he has also done two other DC Comics titles, The Watchmen and Suckerpunch.  He is in fact exceptional at taking the images from the comics and putting them on film.  His skills have brought him the reward/burden of trying to revive the Superman franchise as he is slated to direct the latest installment coming in 2012.  This current installment of Superman is entitled Superman: Man of Steel and is being taken very seriously by the studio, which is a credit to Snyder’s success.  Christopher Nolan has actually been brought into the fold as well, he has a strange role that was first referred to as “Godfather” of the film.  Warner Brothers is obviously hoping Superman will be as successful as Nolan’s Batman films. 300 also made Gerard Butler a instant star. Personally I feel he failed to capitalize on the success 300 brought him, but I’m sure many people would disagree with me there.  I can’t speak to it with any authority because I haven’t seen many of his films, but they have all appeared to be mainly ridiculous movies, Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth, and so on.  Michael Fassbender is a total badass in this film, and he is well on his way to being a great actor since his role in Inglourious Basterds and the upcoming X-men film coming out this summer.

300 is a very good film, I would call it good but not great though.  It is perfect for what it is I suppose.  It’s a little over the top at times but that’s appropriate for a comic book film.  It looks cool, the action is awesome, and the actors deliver great performances.  I don’t like the infidelity by Queen Gorgo and I found myself getting bored during the breaks in action.  The action makes it all worth wild though, the actors went through rigorous training to prepare for the film and it paid off.  In the end this movie will have its own place in film history, just as the actual story has its own place in world history.  If nothing else this tale of Spartans is one that inspires bravery, strength, and what can be done alone by determination and will power.

AMBER’S REVIEW:

FOR ME PERSONALLY I FELT LIKE I WAS BEING YELLED AT THE ENTIRE TIME. I THINK FRANK MILLER IS A GENIUS WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING GRAPHIC NOVELS, BUT THIS FILM WAS ALMOST TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE. EVERY SCENE SEEMS TO PAUSE TO SHOW A SLOW MOTION SCENE AS IF IT WERE A SHOT IN A COMIC BOOK, WHICH IS COOL, BUT WHEN YOU DO THIS IN FILM IT HAS A VERY 2D FEEL TO IT, AND FOR ME THAT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF A “MOVING PICTURE.” DON’T YOU WORRY, I KNOW I AM THE ODD ONE OUT ON THIS AS ALL OF MY FRIENDS LOVE THIS FILM, EVEN PAID TWICE TO SEE IT IN THE THEATER.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE I HAVE BEEN YELLING AT YOU THIS WHOLE TIME? YOU DO! WELL, I FELT LIKE GERARD BUTLER YELLED AT ME THE ENTIRE FILM. I WOULD LIKE TO END THIS NOW BY SAY..ERR YELLING…”RAHHHHHHH THIS IS MY BLOG POST!!!!!!!!!”