Wednesday, June 28, 2006

X3 - Second Go Round Review

Speaking of X-men…at the last minute I decided to go see X3 again by myself tonight. It was the 10.30 show, and I figured it might be my last chance to go see it before it might get bumped by Superman and Pirates coming over the next 10 days to theatres. I was surprised though, how many people were there. It wasn’t full by any means, but it was more than a handful of people and for a late show on a Tuesday night, I was surprised.

On the second viewing of it, I found myself enjoying the movie even more than I did the first time. Maybe ‘cause I didn’t have any internet rumblings fresh in my head, or maybe because I was paying more attention to the dialogue and facial expression instead of the slam bang action pieces. It really is a good movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only down part is that it’s not a great movie, and it should have been considering the story they had to tell. Still, there’s a lot to like about it, and they did hit most of the right spots – emotionally and action wise.

Still amazed by Kelsey Grammar as Beast – he owned that role and stole every scene he was in. Also, to paraphrase Doug Nagy from the Movie Blog’s Audio Edtion, the guy who played Cyclops owned that bit of screen time even though it was brief. He really didn’t do much in the first two movies, but for a short stint in this one, he nailed it. It really is a shame what they did (or didn’t do) with that character. Oh, and as a funny side note - for all the internet grumbling about Storm and Beast's hair, it was funny to me that it took until the 3rd movie to get Jean's hair right based on the comics. Wouldn't have thought it'd be that hard ;)

All in all though, I really liked the movie and can let go or go with most of the minor gripes I had with it. There’s really only two spots where they blew it. SPOILER WARNING! The end, where Storm and Kitty are at the graves and Wolverine is watching Beast get the promotion on TV. They should have simply switched that around and had Wolverine at the grave markers and Storm being proud of Beast and it would have been perfect. The characters would have been much better served and the ending would have had way more emotional impact. The other spot is that they should have focused more time on Rogue getting the cure. What a huge point to the conundrum of the cure, and it was sadly underplayed.

Otherwise, it was a really good, solid movie. The best sequence in the movie has to be the part at Jean’s house where she goes all Phoenix on everybody’s ass. Everyone is down and out except for Logan who keeps fighting to get to the Professor and Jean. He doesn’t make it, but he never quits, and they really show that about him in the whole movie. But in that scene, Magneto is down as well, but he can sense what’s about to happen between Jean and Charles and yells out to Jean, but to no avail. Later though, when Mags has Logan pinned in the forest, Logan throws that moment back in his face with a well placed jibe – “Yeah, and you just sat there and let it happen.” You can see in Mag’s face just how much this ticks him off and maybe just how true it is even though him and Charles were close friends. There’s other subtle moments as well that I picked up on more with a second viewing. (Like the moment Rogue comes in to ask if the cure is true, it briefly focuses on Logan, and you can tell he doesn’t like what she’s thinking.) There are a few more layers to it than just the action fest it seems to be on first look.

I’ve now seen all 3 X-Men movies in theatre twice each. Those movies kind of landmarked my last six years too. Going out to see it tonight, enjoying it more than I thought I had, and then driving home in a kind of slight fog still thinking about it brought back memories of going to see the first one a second time shortly after I had moved into my own place. It was rather a similar night and a similar feeling back in 2000. Kinda eerie. When I went to see the second one a second time, it wound up being a little over a month before I had my surgery and was the last movie I saw in a theatre in 2003. Now here’s it 2006 and the end of the trilogy (oh come on, they’ll make a 4th :-) and I look back at all the ways my life changed in the last six years. I identified with a lot in that first movie, and then everything that happened after that to me only made it more so, so maybe that’s why I’m such a big fan of these movies. Sure, they’re summer blockbuster entertainment, but there’s a lot more to them than that and they do have an important moral to tell. Anybody who’s been an outsider can easily see that…

Oh, and that scene at the house might be the second best one in the movie. The best would have to be the Logan and "Marie" conversation in the hall at the mansion. It was a really well done, and subtly played moment.

The more I think about it, the more I like the movie. I wish I had the DVD already ;-)

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