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Perhaps no 21st century film franchise has been as utterly uneven as the “X-Men” universe.

The first movie – “X-Men” – came out back in 2000, nearly a decade before the MCU hit the scene with “Iron Man.” By all rights, the X-Men should have been the cinematic blockbuster team well before the Avengers even showed up.

Instead, we’ve watched as the franchise has been yanked all over the map in terms of quality. The heights of the early films were undermined by 2006’s unfortunate “Last Stand” and the nigh-unwatchable 2009 standalone “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” The ship was righted thanks to the timeline-altering reboot that began with “First Class” in 2011, a good Wolverine movie (“The Wolverine”) and a capital-G Great one (“Logan”) and the introduction of Deadpool.

Alas, “Dark Phoenix” doesn’t rise to that level. Or the level below it. Or the level below that one. The truth is that one could argue that this latest installment – the last before the characters pass from 20th Century Fox into the control of the Disney machine – represents the nadir of the franchise.

It’s the second effort by the franchise to tell perhaps the most important arc in the history of the X-Men – and the second failure. This is an iconic storyline, not just for the X-Men, but for all of comicdom. And yet it is peppered with sloppy storytelling, disinterested characterizations and unclear decision-making (both on camera and behind it).

Despite extremely low expectations, “Dark Phoenix” still managed to disappoint me.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:23

The mainstreamed madness of ‘mother!’

Aronofsky’s latest a bizarre, unsettling allegory

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016 13:34

‘Passengers’ fails to launch

Sci-fi film far less than the sum of its parts

Published in Movies
Friday, 27 May 2016 21:16

X-Men: Apocalypse' a bit X-cessive

Latest X-movie uneven, but still entertaining

The X-Men have had a bumpy ride on the big screen. The first 'X-Men' was a huge part in kickstarting the renaissance of now-ubiquitous superhero movies. However, the franchise took a nosedive with its third installment, necessitating a reboot with 2011's excellent 'Days of Future Past' and 2014's solid follow-up 'Days of Future Past.'

Published in Movies
Thursday, 29 March 2012 10:18

The Hunger Games' a satisfying meal

Film adaptation a well-told tale

Literature aimed at young adults has served as the basis for two of the most popular (not to mention lucrative) film franchises in history. Both J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series and Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' books have spawned movies that have made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Suzanne Collins's book 'The Hunger Games,' as well as the two subsequent books in the series, aims to be the next blockbuster in line.

'The Hunger Games' follows young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, 'X-Men: First Class'), a girl who lives in far-flung District 12 in a dystopian future nation called Panem. This society revolves around a yearly competition known as the Hunger Games, in which two 'tributes' a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected to compete in a battle to the death. When her sister is selected, Katniss offers herself up as a volunteer replacement.

Published in Movies

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