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Xmen: DOFP

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Holy cow, what a movie! I could pick it apart, but why would I want to? I enjoyed the hell out of it, and that one scene.... Yikes! TV Flash has some high expectations now, methinks. Moar Blink! That is all.

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That's great to hear.

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For some reason I just haven't been able to get excited for this movie. I really liked First Class but the trailers never hit the right cord with me. I have been hoping the marketing department dropped the ball and not the movie people. I'm glad to hear that appears to be the case.

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Due to the allegations against Singer, I theater-hopped to see it, so GRAND BUDAPEST got more money out of me and I got to see an X-Men movie. If the allegations get cleared up, I buy the bluray without a regret. I also made a donation to RAINN, but this is a good thing regardless.

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So that aside: well, that ruled. Buncha spoilers to follow.

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What struck me the most about it is how it really did manage to merge the retro tone of First Class with the more clinical, smooth-metal tone of the Singer films, and how well it established that despite the loss and the brooding and the melodrama, the X-Men fundamentally are an idealistic concept, pushing back against the weight of history. I enjoyed the return of the wry sense of humor that the best films in the series have had, and this is the second time in my lifetime that leading up to an X-Men movie everyone said the costumes looked stupid, only to find out that they actually did work well on screen. (Who the heck saw Quicksilver as the sensational superhero movie find of 2014?)

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Some more thoughts:

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  • I do wish that they'd had a bit more time with the cast of the future, even though at two hours plus it's a long movie already. I could have stood to see Paquin back as Rogue in more than just a quick flash-forward, and a bit more time establishing who the newer X-Men in the future are. Also, I must have missed where the time travelling powers came from (though I do like that the mechanics of the time travel actually are fairly easy to understand.) You can tell the movie took a snip or two in the editing room.
  • That scene with MacAvoy and Stewart works on so many levels I'm still unpacking them. A passing of the torch (and how nice is it that heading into an inevitable reboot there actually WAS a passing of the torch?) Teacher and student in the same man. On a related note, Professor X's arc in this movie really is outstanding, since he's a slightly creepy guy in First Class, using his powers with abandon - and to go from that to a man who will let his lifelong friend make her own choices even if they may doom the world, out of simple faith, goes a long way towards turning him into the sort of man who would found the X-Men.
  • The action is easily on par with the best in Winter Soldier, Man of Steel, or Avengers. The final battle in the future, Quicksilver's moment of glory, Mystique versus a room. What struck me is how the movie is clever about how superpowers interplay even outside of its main setpieces - Magneto casually assembling a film projector out of household objects and dragging someone along via a bullet in their leg, Professor X's conversation with Mystique in the airport, the subtle reversals when you find out who Mystique is impersonating in at least three key scenes. It's the little touches that make it work.
  • The continuity of the X-Men films still doesn't make a lot of sense, but really, who cares. It's not like it's any more confusing than any random three year stretch of the comics from the past thirty years. Considering how much crazy stuff happened in just a few short years in the main, pre-X-Men 3 continuity, you could handwave literally 90% of it away.
  • Less forgivable are the plot devices that you know won't be around again even if we really want them to be, such as Beast's mutant power treatment which will come in handy when Rogue shows up. But again, it's a superhero movie, not hard speculative fiction.
  • I'm of two minds about the idea of the X-Men universe having mutants overlaid the struggles of the 20th century, but honestly, it's no more silly than the idea from The Winter Soldier that

    Hydra is responsible for literally every post-war military misadventure and bad thing that happened in the MCU.

Days of Future Past was the movie I was looking forward to more than any other superhero film this summer, since DOFP is my favorite X-Men story and the premise seemed perfectly set up by X3 and First Class, even if by accident. I'm pleased to see that it worked out well. It was nice to properly say goodbye to a cast that has a lot of good memories attached to it. I was also shocked to realize that I remembered the theme from X-Men 2, which is actually pretty good and doesn't get the recognition that it deserves (but that's the X-Men for you, isn't it?)

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