Friday, May 22, 2009

Terminator: Salvation

Terminator Salvation
By: Judson Rusk

Terminator is one of my absolute favorite series. I would watch T2 when I got home from elementary school almost every day, and march around in front of the screen with a toy rifle acting out all the action sequences. I had the first movie almost completely memorized by the time I was ten, and I was in the theater on opening night to see T3. And just to pump me up, I re-watched the series before I went to see Salvation last night. So, needless to say, this was by far my most anticipated movie of the summer. I was giddy in the weeks leading up to last night.

What I was most excited for was the idea of seeing the actual Terminator machines how they should be: human-like. Let me explain. Due to technological restrictions in the previous movies, the actual robots themselves have never been very scary. In Terminator 1 for example, when the robot is still covered in flesh, he can do anything a human can do. He’s very maneuverable and fast. So, logic would suggest that the skeletal robot without the flesh would be able to do the same sort of actions. But alas, at the end of the movie when Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese are fighting just the robot, they are no longer fighting the greatest killing machine ever created, but rather a clunky, slow moving, clay-mation menace that looks like it could be taken down by accident. But thanks to advances in CGI, Salvation gave us the chance to see just how scary a human hunting/killing robot could actually be. How could this movie possibly let me down?

Turns out, it can do it in a number of ways. After writing that last sentence, I stared at my computer screen for a good fifteen minutes trying to figure out where to go next. Do I start with the casting, or the acting, or the direction, or the story, or one of the many other things in this movie that bother me? Was there a particular thing that really got under my skin more than others? Is there something so absolutely glaring that is must be addressed? No, not really. Nothing “huge,” but rather just an incredible amount of small things that stacked up together with relentless persistence that it left me with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment that is still resting firmly in my gut.

What did I expect out of Salvation? I don’t know. What did I get out of Salvation? An experience that was full of campy action clichés, poor character development, continuity errors, linear writing, and a total lack of familiarity.

Action Clichés: Torin put it best when he said, “For being such effective killers, Terminators really suck at killing people.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard any truer words in my entire life. The action sequences in this movie go through every single cliché that you can think of. We saw, among many others, the “he’s not dead yet,” cliché, the “switch clothes to promote a mistaken identity,” cliché, and the “dramatically jumping out of an explosion,” cliché. It seemed like they had just pieced together shots from other summer block busters from years past, added robots, and re-printed them. This added to the fact that apparently terminators are the worst marksmen ever and they have a pension for punching, not killing, took the action in this movie just a tad bit too much into the side of ridiculousness.

And I know it’s tough to draw a line of “ridiculousness” when I am talking about a movie that focuses on killer robots from the future, but take for example the scene where Kyle Reese and Marcus Wright are at the gas station with the old woman and her gang. In the middle of conversation, a harvester smashes through the building and takes the humans as prisoners. Except for not 5 minutes before this happens, Marcus and Kyle were walking through the open, completely flat dessert towards this gas station and there sure as hell wasn’t any 30 story tall, human harvesting robot anywhere on the horizon. And at another point in the film, John Connor captures a motorcycle terminator, pulls some wires, and then rides it like a motor cycle. This begs the question, why would Skynet even make a terminator that is able to be ridden by humans?! Doesn’t that seem like it has potential to come back and screw them? Its things like these that prove that logic wasn’t put into the action in this movie, but rather they did it just so they could make a cool sequence out of it.

Poor Character Development: Marcus Wright, Kyle Reese, and John Connor were the three best developed characters in the entire movie respectively. In fact, they were the only characters in the movie that were developed at all. Every other character including John Connors wife and un-born child, pretty much got the shaft. They only said his wife’s name once and literally didn’t mention a single thing about the fact that she was pregnant. Not a thing. The soldiers under Connor’s command that are played by Common and Moon Bloodgood are forgettable and insignificant. I can’t even remember their names. And John Connor himself seems to take a back seat to Marcus, assuming that we are already supposed to know all about Connor. News flash, it doesn’t matter. John Connor is the driving force behind the story and the franchise at this point and you can’t overlook him in favor for a new comer. And as an extra little tid bit, it really didn’t help that Sam Worthington acted circles around Christian Bale throughout this entire film.

Continuity Errors: Now, when dealing with time travel in general, you have the potential to seriously screw up continuity, and it is hard to keep the story compelling while paying close attention to every detail that comes with the prospect of altering time and space. So I’ll concede all the continuity problems that arise from that. But there are so much more blatantly obvious problems in this movie that could have been easily caught and corrected; the most obvious being that in multiple scenes, the pouring rain will stop and start again every time the camera angle switches. Another one that could have been easily caught is the fact that the T-800 (Schwarzenegger’s model from the first 3 movies) doesn’t look anything like it did back in the original trilogy. In Salvation, it is significantly bigger, scarier, and parts of its body (specifically the feet) are designed completely different. And my favorite continuity problem is, in Salvation the war is being fought with modern weapons; things that we have today. But in T1, 2, and 3, we get to see just glimpses of the future and everyone is using lasers and futuristic weapons. In fact, in Terminator 1, Arnold is at the gun shop and asks the clerk for a “plasma rifle with a 40 watt range.” What happened?

Linear Writing: The line “I’ll be back” is in this movie not once, not twice, but 3 times. The third time, I hung my head in shame. On top of that, the story was very predictable and the dialogue wasn’t necessarily bad, but there was nothing there that was super original or moving. It was just…there.

Lack of Familiarity: I wanted to see what we had been promised for the last 25 years. And that was a future with John Connor at the head of the human resistance against the machines. His soldiers revere him almost as a god and they band together to save themselves. Instead, we got a future where John Connor is relatively un-known and is considered a joke by the command of the resistance. I don’t know how to describe the feelings this instilled in me. I guess the best word would be “betrayal.”

This is where the MAJOR spoilers come in, just to warn you. Back when this movie was still in production, the end of the script leaked out on the internet and the fan backlash to how this movie ended was so great that they re-wrote and re-shot the end. They totally changed how it was originally supposed to go. I was discussing this with Mitch and he said that he was glad that this happened, because “that deserves to happen to any bad movie ending.” And although that is true, I wanted to say something along the lines of “but what if they make it worse?” But I kept my mouth shut because I was pretty sure that it couldn’t have gotten much worse and Mitch was probably right. Oh boy, I should have said something.

The end of this movie has got to be one of the worst endings I’ve ever seen in my life and it is about 100 times worse than the “original” ending. Here’s a quick rundown. T-800 punches through Marcus Wright’s heart, killing him instantly. John Connor brings him back to life by electrocuting his dead body…somehow. Then, T-800 runs John Connor through the heart with a giant piece of metal. Marcus kills T-800, and they both hobble out of the building to the helicopter and fly away as John Connor blows the entire building to hell. Later, in a field tent in the open air in the middle of a windy, sandy, desert, John Connor’s heart is giving out on him and he’s going to die. Marcus offers his heart for transplant and everything is happy.

Ok, first off, why is there so much severe chest trauma in this movie? And being punched in the heart by a Terminator is an awesome way to die, but being electrocuted is not going to bring you back to life. It was very reminiscent of Friday the 13th part 6. Or was it part 7? I don’t remember and I don’t care, the point is it was retarded. Second, if someone gets run through the heart by a piece of metal, you don’t live long enough to do…anything. You just die. No questions. Third, Marcus shouldn’t be able to give up his heart for transplant for many reasons, the most obvious being that we saw said heart get punched…by a giant f**king robot. It shouldn’t even exist anymore let alone be harvested. And what are the chances that Marcus and John have the same blood type and the heart is even a match? Because if they’re not, then you’ve just killed TWO people for no reason. And finally, an open field tent in a desert is quite possibly the worst place ever to conduct a heart transplant operation. Especially one that is being preformed by a veterinarian. I wouldn’t trust her with MY heart.

Some final thoughts: Christian Bale is a great actor, but not in this movie. He would just start yelling for no apparent reason. Even in situations where he had JUST gotten done resolving whatever he was doing. And then he would YELL AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS!!! John Connor would frequently have “revelations” about Kyle Reese having to live in order for him to exist. Except he already knows that. Since the day he was born, he has known that. Did it really just hit you now? Stop it Christian Bale. Just stop it. This movie also shows us that in a world controlled by a computer program who hates humans, random spurts of flame coming out of EVERYTHING will be a must. I mean, what kind of post-apocalyptic world would it be if there wasn’t fire shooting out of…things? Not one that is suitable for Skynet, that’s for damn sure.

So finally, in conclusion, McG’s reboot of the franchise was a serious let down. What Terminator Salvation delivered in cool looking robots, it failed to deliver in passion for the material. But in it’s defense, it is still better than T2.

Monday, May 18, 2009

S. Darko

S. Darko
By: Judson Rusk

Anyone who has known me over the last 6 years in any capacity should be aware that I love movies. So much so that I was inspired by one movie in particular to drive my focus and to pursue a career in the film industry. That movie was Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko. So when I heard that they were making a direct to DVD sequel, it felt like a sucker punch to the kidney. And then they announced that this new movie has been disowned by Richard Kelly and every single person, save for one, who had anything to do with the first film, which made me dislike the idea even more. But even though every single fiber of my being was utterly against the very existence of this film, my morbid curiosity got the best of me and I ended up watching S. Darko anyway. Maybe I’m a masochist, who knows…

Donnie Darko is arguably the deepest and most original movie to ever come out of Hollywood. From a cinematic standpoint, that film is almost flawless. There isn’t a single wasted frame and no filler dialogue. Every single scene in that movie plays together with some other scene(s) to drive story, character development, mood, tone, etc. If you miss out on even 5 minutes of that movie, then you will be lost as to what is happening. It deals with fate, destiny, god, time travel, family issues, personal revelation, and so much more. It forces you to think and to discuss and to research. It is most definitely a movie and an experience that I would recommend to anyone who thinks that they enjoy film or a good story. It is hands down my favorite movie and it is why I chose the career path that I am on. S. Darko is the most absolute, complete, total, and undoubted opposite to EVERYTHING that Donnie Darko was. There is utterly NO way that they could have gotten this film any more wrong. None.

S. Darko takes places some time after the events of Donnie Darko and follows Donnie’s younger sister Samantha and her best friend as they travel across the country in hopes to score jobs working a club in Reno. Mighty big aspirations, I know. Their car breaks down in a small town that has an ass load of problems including homelessness, kidnapping, religious fanatics, teens who love to party, and meteors. Yes, meteors. Apparently from space this town looks like a giant bullseye because every meteor that happens by Earth has to change its trajectory and come hurtling to the ground in this particular town. But what is most surprising is not the fact that all these problems exist in such a small town, but rather that every single resident is not only not concerned, but seems to be indifferent towards anything that happens!

“How was your meal, sir?”

**CRASH** “HOLY SHIT! Was that a meteor?!?!”

“Eh, whatever. Want me to freshen your coffee hun?”

I digress. In this film we are introduced to a character called Iraq Jack. The character has absolutely no relation to the Darko family but at the same time it is very obvious that the film makers have spent many hours and a lot of effort to make him look as close to Donnie as they possibly could. This was not only un-necessary but also embarrassing. Iraq Jack, for no particular reason, is in constant communication with the new “Frank” (who is just a dead version of Samantha) who tells him the secrets of life, the universe, and everything. He then, in turn, keeps talking to living Samantha who doesn’t understand what is going on, but yet has some sort of strange pull towards him despite the warnings of her new friends who will be referred to as “Pompous Douchebag Greaser” and “Nerdy Rash-Covered Virgin.”

Anyway, Pompous Douchebag Greaser along with Samantha’s best friend end up in a car accident which kills Samantha,…somehow. Then Samantha’s best friend gets led by the apparition of a dead child to a cave full of dead children where she learns the secret of time travel. She goes back in time, saves Samantha (but apparently forgot that the car she is in is about to get T-boned) and martyrs herself. Now, newly reborn Samantha goes on living while pissed at Pompous Douchebag Greaser for killing her best friend and decides to ease her pain while on a romantic date with Nerdy Rash-Covered Virgin which takes place on top of a hill during a meteor shower. Samantha trips and kills herself by smashing her head on a Frank mask that was forged (yes,…forged) earlier in the movie by Iraq Jack. In which case, dead Samantha a.k.a. Frank tells Iraq Jack the secret of time travel so that he can go back in time and kill himself which of course makes everything all better and then Samantha can go home. The End.

F**k this movie.

Aside from Richard Kelly who both wrote and directed Donnie Darko, there MIGHT be six or seven people on Earth who fully understand what that movie was saying. It is painfully obvious that whoever wrote S. Darko is most assuredly NOT one of those people. Neither was whoever directed this bastardized, illegitimate sequel. This movie was trying SO hard to be Donnie Darko but failed so miserably because no one could ever even come close to recapturing what Richard Kelly has created. S. Darko is supposed to be easier to understand than Donnie Darko was, but in doing so they lost the very essence of their own source material.

The complexity and mythos of Donnie Darko is what made the movie so great. But at the same time the film makers of S. Darko tried to mimic the feel of Donnie Darko by placing long sequences in slow motion set to music. The only difference is that in the first movie, these sequences weren’t terribly long, the music was good and gave the right feel for the scene, and most importantly, THEY HAD A POINT! S. Darko failed to recognize these things as their slow motion sequences were painfully long, set to music that was up-beat and at points was almost techno, and they failed to deliver us to a plot point. Also, in the first movie, the usage of specific images to drive home a certain aura around a scene is very prominent, i.e. the burning mounted deer’s head in the kiddy porn dungeon or the image of Frank sitting alone in his room as he plans out his Halloween costume. S. Darko took a stab at this as well, but only succeeded in delivering to us a poorly animated unicorn made of clouds. S. Darko cut out the depth, thought, and character of the first movie while still trying to display pretty much the exact same story and failed.

In conclusion, I would describe S. Darko as a cinematic abortion. As a perspective film maker who’s entire passion for the art is derived from Donnie Darko, this was possibly the worst insult that anyone could have issued me in any capacity. It was offensive, embarrassing, disgusting, and painful. I have used this analogy a couple times while explaining this movie to my friends, but it works so well that I have to use it again right now. If two things were to happen to me, and those two things were A. Watch S. Darko or B. Meet Steven Spielberg and have him spit in my face, S. Darko would be the bigger insult to me as a film maker. No question about it. Do NOT watch this movie.

Friday, May 8, 2009


By: Judson Rusk

Let me begin by saying that I am not, nor was I ever, a “trekkie.” So I don’t have some sort of deep seeded, fanboy attachment to this film. But I’ve been hearing from some pretty hard core Trek fans that, on average, their opinions and mine do not differ greatly on J.J. Abrams’ re-boot of the iconic series.

When it comes to “summer blockbuster,” this movie is almost flawless. Yes, I say it here in paragraph number two: This movie is awesome. From the very opening sequence where we learn that heroism against all odds runs in the Kirk bloodline, through Spock’s desperate struggle to figure out where he fits in, up until the resolution and Captain Kirk takes his rightful place on the bridge of the Enterprise, I was engrossed. This movie was a suburb blend of everything I want from a theater going experience. It had a great cast where no one seemed out of place and all of the acting in the movie (save for a handful of particular spots) was very compelling and convincing. It had a smart story that kept your attention mixed with the right amount of wit and banter to keep your brain from overloading. The action sequences looked amazing and, except for one glaring exception, helped move the plot. But most importantly, this movie did not alienate the general audience. Anyone, whether they are a Trek fan or not, can walk into this movie and be thoroughly entertained without having have the kid sitting next to them that is dressed up like a Vulcan constantly explaining things.

The movie had a very comfortable feel, mostly due to the fact that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto fell so perfectly into their roles as James Kirk and Mr. Spock respectively. The character development in this movie is some of the best in recent history. Having to develop the characters and friendships of every single member of the Enterprise’s crew while still having a good story and a compelling conflict, is very difficult to do in the short amount of time allotted by the fact that this is only a movie, not a series. But STAR TREK pulled it off. Even the renegade, revenge-driven, Captain Nero had a very commanding screen presence even though his character was not as deep as one would have hoped. But even in his little screen time, the character is legitimately scary, and at some points pulls some very unsuspected sympathy from the audience.

Also, I stated my opinion very clearly before I saw this movie that I thought there was going to be a twist ending, where Captain Nero turns out to be Kirk’s father, presumed dead since the day James was born. I fully admit that I was totally and completely wrong. And I am very glad because of it. I had already discredited this movie quite a bit by the fact that I thought that they were going to put such a used and clichéd plot device in it, but was thoroughly impressed, and relieved when I watched the movie and saw that the writing was significantly more original. Kudos to you Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman for proving me wrong and making my movie going experience all the better. But although I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it does have some problems that can’t be overlooked.

We all knew for a long time that Leonard Nimoy was in this movie. Ok, cameo appearances are not the end of the world. In fact, they can be pretty sweet sometimes. But this takes it way too far. Instead of Nimoy playing Spock’s father, as originally thought, he instead reprises his old role from the 60’s television show as Spock himself. He appears in this film through the plot device of a time traveling, alternate dimension creating, man made, black hole. After Quinto’s Spock maroons the young Kirk on an ice planet very reminiscent of Hoth, Nimoy’s Spock of the future befriends Kirk and gets him back on track to become the great captain we know him to be by introducing him to Scotty, who then in turn, “beams them up.” Ok, I’m fine with all that. But then he doesn’t stop showing up in the rest of the movie. Even to the point where he confronts his younger self and has a conversation about how he should/has lived his life. Oh my god, that NEVER should have happened. And as the film winds to a close, we hear Nimoy doing a very familiar voice over which, to some, might have been a nice way to throw back to the original material, but to me it was just another reminder that even in the re-boot, we couldn’t cut the cord.

Although Mitch disagrees with me, I hate that Mr. Sulu goes from being a pilot to a katana wielding, action hero about as fast as Anakin turned to the dark side in Episode III. It was abrupt, didn’t fit the character, and seemed like just an excuse to add a sequence when people fight with swords; and not just any swords, but Swiss Army swords (that will make more sense if you have seen the flick). It shouldn’t be in the movie.

J.J. Abrams did a great job directing this movie but in the bar sequence near the beginning when Kirk gets into an all out brawl with Starfleet Academy cadets over Uhura, the direction was lacking. It was somewhere between a hand-cam, altered lenses, and too many tracking shots. It made the fight hard to follow. But most people didn’t seem to notice as much as I did, it might be a result of me looking at this movie through the eyes of a kid who is gearing his future career in the film industry.

In this movie, Spock and Uhura have a love fling going on. That’s terrible. That is like spitting in the face of the original Star Trek. And the worst part is that it didn’t do a single thing for the story. It was just there! Good for a couple laughs now and then, but not worth bastardizing the relationship between characters that has been set for 40 years.

But my biggest complaint is that this film is pretty much completely based around the creation and existence of alternate dimensions. But said dimensions are only mentioned once or twice in brief, passing dialogue. I admit, most of my understanding of those dimensions was explained to me after the film by other people who were apparently paying closer attention than I was. This seems to me like something that should definitely be struck on a little harder than it was.

Even though I railed on this movie quite a bit just now, I can’t stress enough that these things don’t even come close to discrediting this movie as a whole. This is 2009’s Iron Man (or 2009’s Dark Knight, for those of you who refuse to realize that The Dark Knight wasn’t as good as everyone thinks it is). It has its problems, sure. But they are insignificant enough that they won’t…no, they CAN’T ruin this movie. Star Trek has set the standard for the rest of 2009 very high, and it will be very difficult to match. Go see this movie.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine No. 2

Note: The reason for the creation of this blog was to show both positive and negative reviews for each summer movie written by either myself, Mitch, or a third party that we choose. We want each movie to be reviewed at least once in each way. But since Mitch and I agreed on this particular film, we thank Mr. Barry Rodgers for giving us his opinion. You will almost assuredly here from him again in the future (Transformers 2, perhaps?). - Juddy

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
A Positive Spin
By Barry Rodgers

Summer rocks. No doubt about it, as far as seasons go, it’s definitely my favorite. The weather is warmer. The day is longer. The air has that familiar aroma that really helps cap off the experience.

Ok, so screw all of that stuff. It all pales in comparison to the best part of the season: Summer Blockbusters. These are the movies that the studios drop hundreds of millions of dollars on to literally give us the bang for our buck. These are the movies that you most definitely won’t see topping the Oscar nominations list, save for the special effects category. And I wouldn’t want them to. I, as well as many I would assume, hold these movies to a different standard of production.

I don’t expect the standard dramatic fare. Hell, I don’t even want it. That’s a movie experience I get three quarters of the year. I want shit to blow up. I want capes, epic action sequences, and story that’s only strong enough to feasibly string together the elements I just mentioned. If I want a movie to move me, then I’ll rewatch “The Departed”. So with all that in mind, where does this Blockbuster Season’s opening act, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, stand?

To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to read Judson’s little diatribe about the flick, seeing as I’m writing this review at work, where Facebook has been blocked, but seeing as I saw him actually exiting the flick, I’m willing to bet I can guess. In general this movie hasn’t been reviewing well, and I can understand why. But seeing as this is a review based on where the movie stands with me, I’ll say this; “Wolverine” was decent. Just over the passable line. I don’t think it’s even close to what other movies like the reboot of “Star Trek” are going to be bringing to the table, but for a season opener, I was definitely entertained.

As I’ve previously mentioned, the big element where movies like this tend to fall short is in the story itself. Unfortunately, that’s no exception here. The movie was riddled with campy dialogue, gaping plot holes, and quite possibly the biggest bastardization of a comic book character ever seen in a movie based on the genre. Comic book fanboys have been up in arms over the big differences in the story of this movie and the canon of the comic that they love with a passion. In a recent poll of the top 100 Superheroes of all time, Wizard Magazine placed Wolverine as number 1, above Superman, and even Batman. There is no doubt that a Wolverine solo film had some mighty big expectations attached to it by the comic reading populace. Again, I can understand this sentiment seeing as I’m one said fanboys.

To back track a bit, I’m glad that Superhero movies have been evolving in terms of story. I am. I think movies like the “Dark Knight” and “Iron Man” have been instrumental in showing filmmakers that good stories can be told while not holding back on the blockbuster-esque feel. But that being said, this movie holds true the standard I set for these kinds of films.

Was there action? Yeah. Lots of it. This movie does a good job of setting a pace, and keeping to it. Yeah, story is pretty flat, but there is enough of it that the movie can move forward without too many questions bogging you down (that is of course, unless you are Mitch, and every out of place detail will give you volumes of things to nitpick). As I’ve said before, the action in this type of movie really makes or breaks it for me. It’s what made Michael Bay’s “Transformers” work for me, despite my intense distaste for him as a director. Admittedly, some of the special effects were a bit….silly. Wolverine’s nemesis Sabretooth has a rather distinct animalistic leap/run that really suffered with shoddy wirework. But the fights were more then fun to watch, especially the final showdown involving Deadpool. And of course, we can’t forget the prominent helicopter scene, made famous by the trailer. Going in, I was skeptical about how that particular bit of physics breaking special effects was going to fly for me, but surprisingly, it worked. Viable? Of course not, but it was entertaining as hell, and totally befitting our favorite antihero.

The cast was absolutely choice for this movie. Hugh Jackman brought Wolverine back, and with more intensity then ever. I know this is an iffy subject for many fans of the X-Men franchise. Again, personal taste plays a lot into this. I think Jackman is a talented actor, and he truly shows his dedication for the character in this film. Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool is probably the most pitch perfect casting for any superhero brought to the big screen since Downey was cast as Tony Stark. Liev Schreiber was an interesting choice for the role of Wolverine’s iconic nemesis Sabretooth, but certainly not a poor one. He truly sold the demented nature of his character. The rest of the cast works very well among each other. Even Taylor Kitsch as the much anticipated fan favorite, Gambit, managed to pull off a decent show, despite the fact that his television program “Friday Night Lights” is truly awful.

Here is what it boils down to folks: If you had expectations for this movie to be a game changer for the genre, you are definitely in for a massive let down. If you saw the previews and you built your expectations based on that, you might go in there and have a decent viewing experience, as I did. I won’t claim that this movie is the crème de la crème of the superhero flicks. Not by a long, long, long shot. But it’s a more than passable experience for a season opener.

Oh, and for those of you concerned with the bastardization of the character I was talking about, I implore you to stay after the credits to have that plot point more or less wrapped up in a slightly more satisfying way.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine



By: Judson Rusk

Of the four X-Men films, this one had the most successful opening weekend, and I am throughly and deeply ashamed to say that I had a hand in that. Or, rather, that Mitch had TWO hands in that (sorry Mitch). The feeling I had while leaving the theater was not one of disappointment due to the fact that I didn't expect this film to be very good anyway, but was more sort of a "angry befuddlement mixed with slight disgust." I'll explain...

Anger: Everyone has been suspecting that Hollywood is out of good ideas for quite a while now, and this movie takes that suspision and shoves it down your throat sideways. This movie is a cross between the "throw-as-many-characters-in-your-face-as-we-can" of X-3 mixed with the "more-stupid-action-sequences-loosly-strung-together-will-make-up-for-our-shitty-plot" style of film making that we were privy to in last November's Quantom of Solace. A 12 year old kid with a camera, a G.I. Joe, and a firecracker could make a more realistic action sequence than anything that is found in this movie. And yes, I KNOW that "realistic" isn't exactly what X-Men (or any comic book movie for that matter) is really going for, but THERE IS a line that can be crossed, i.e. Ghost Rider. And this movie crossed it. A lot. Hollywood has, with this release, proven that they have no more need to make smart movies. As long at they can blow up a barn and have a man drive a motorcycle out of it and then drive that same motorcycle through a forest, Mr. Average Fatass American is going to go see it. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm angry that we've lowered out standars SO FAR that there isn't an uprising about this crap that is being served to us as "entertainment." If you went to a restaurant and your meal was cooked with the same blatent disregarg to quality as this film was made with, you would send it back. And never go back to that restaurant again. But for some reason, we're still eating this shit.

Befuddlement: THIS IS NOT A RE-BOOT!!! Whoever wrote this movie aparently forgot that there are 3 movies that are ALREADY OUT that are supposed to flow seemlessly after the events of this film. Take for example, the character of Sabertooth, played in this film by Liev Schreiber. He is a main character with backstory, personallity, and most importantly, very HUMAN tendancies. You know, like, ...talking. Lets not forget that in this film, he is Wolverine's older brother. Yet, in X-Men, which takes place just about a decade after ORIGINS, Sabertooth now is played by a different actor, looks completely different after growing a lion-esque head of hair, and don't have a personallity nor does he talk. He just growls like an idiot. And he is completely emotionally void when he has to confront his brother in a battle to the death on top of the statue of liberty. You would think that he would have said...SOMETHING. But no. On the set of this movie, did no one really put those things together? 
Comic movies have SO much to work with, it's not even funny. Since most comic lines, including X-Men, have so much story and history behind them, why do people still feel the need to fundamentally change characters that are already very set and respected? And above that, why do you need to change or completely make up new story lines? Needless to say, this movie does not answer those questions. Three examples in particular. 

1) Adamantium bullets are what erases Wolverine's memory?!?!?! Thats retarded. 

2) I really hate it when the character is only out for revenge because of the death of a sub-par love interest. They did it to Darth Vader in Episode III. They did it to Two Face in The Dark Knight, and now they have done it to Wolverine. God dammit. 

3) Deadpool. Or in this movie, Weapon XI. For YEARS we've been hearing rumors about Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool in a movie and everyone thought that would be amazing. And we finally get a movie where that comes true. They promote the hell out of it and use that as a selling point, and then they royally screw over the fanbase by giving him about 5 mins of screen time. And then when he comes back at the end as Weapon XI, he aparently now has every mutant power that you've seen in the entire movie, including Wolverin's Adamantium Skeleton and retractable blades. That NEVER happened in ANY incarnation of Deadpool EVER! And this pisses me off because Deadpool is an awesome character by himself. That is why we even wanted to see him in this movie, but instead, we got that. Ew. WTF were these people thinking?

Disgust: I went to see this movie.

Trust me, I could go on for pages about all the little things I hated about this movie, but I'll just sum them all up in one final paragraph. CONCLUSION: This movie blows. The acting was the best part by far, but was in general dissapointing. The CG was terrible for such a big budget movie. The action sequences were TOO over the top. And they took a story that had a lot of potential and completely bastardized it, ESPECIALLY if you watch the scene that is after the credits!!! I didn't even pay for my ticket to this movie, but I still want my money back.