Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ranking Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Now that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters, I thought it would be fitting to let you know where it ranks on my list of "best" MCU films. 

  1. The Avengers
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. Captain America: Civil War
  4. Doctor Strange
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  7. Ant-Man
  8. Iron Man
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  10. Thor
  11. Captain America: The First Avenger
  12. Thor: The Dark World
  13. The Incredible Hulk
  14. Iron Man 3
  15. Iron Man 2

Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the Year Review: 2016

Well, it is that time of year again, where I reflect on the movies I watched this past year. My goal in 2016 was to watch at least 52 new movies, one per week. I didn't quite make that goal, even with binge watching movies through this holiday season. Before I get into my best and worst films of the year, I would like to share the films that are still on my "Watch List." In no particular orde, those films are Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Silence, La La Land, Moana, Hacksaw Ridge, Fences, and Nocturnal Animals.

Best (by genre):

Action: Captain America: Civil War

Adventure: The Jungle Book
Animation: Kubo and the Two Strings
Comedy: Deadpool
Comic Book: Doctor Strange
Crime / Mystery: The Nice Guys
Drama: (Moonlight tentatively, need to watch)
Fantasy: Warcraft
Historical or Bio Pic: Sully (Hacksaw Ridge could usurp)
Horror: Green Room
Indie Film: Sing Street
Musical: (La La Land tentatively, need to watch)
Sci-Fi: Arrival
Thriller: Deepwater Horizon
Western: Hell or High Water
War: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

My Top 10 Best

  1. Arrival
  2. Hell or High Water
  3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  4. Captain America: Civil War
  5. Zootopia
  6. Deepwater Horizon
  7. Sully
  8. The Nice Guys
  9. Sing Street
  10. Deadpool
When it comes to the "worst" films of the year, for me these are the films that just missed the mark. Some of these films were decent films overall but bad compared to those on my best of the year list. Since I don't get paid to watch movies and have a limited cinema budget, SOME of the films on this list are drawn from other critics whose taste in film usually align with mine. These films were so bad in their opinion, that I didn't give them the time of day.

Worst (by genre):

Action: Hardcore Henry

Adventure: Gods of Egypt
Animation: Norm of the North
Comedy: Zoolander 2
Comic Book: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Crime / Mystery: Now You See Me 2
Drama: Ben-Hur
Fantasy: The Huntsman: Winter's War
Historical or Bio Pic: The Finest Hour
Horror: Cabin Fever
Indie Film: (NA)
Musical: (NA)
Sci-Fi: Independence Day: Resurgence
Thriller: Money Monster
Western: (NA)

War: Man Down

My Top 10 Worst

  1. Independence Day: Resurgence
  2. Norm of the North
  3. Zoolander 2
  4. The Huntsman: Winter's War
  5. Gods of Egypt
  6. Ben-Hur
  7. Hardcore Henry
  8. Now You See Me 2
  9. Money Monster
  10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Now it is time to look forward to 2017 and the movies I'm most anticipating on seeing.

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

  1. Star Wars Episode 8
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Spider-Man Homecoming
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  5. Justice League
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Ghost in the Shell
  8. The Circle
  9. Thor: Ragnarok
  10. Power Rangers

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Late Review: Suicide Squad


Title: Suicide Squad

Distributor: Atlas Entertainment, DC Comics (Warner Bros.)
Director:  David Ayer
Writer(s): David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, and Joel Kinnaman
MPAA Rating: Rated PG - 13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content, and language.
Running Time: 123 min
Synopsis: A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 26% "Fresh", Top Critics: 19% "Fresh", Audience: 72% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 40 out of 100, Users: 6.8
MRQE: 45 out 100

My Review

Preface: I know this review is super late, but I still wanted to let you all know my thoughts and feeling on this film. Just in case SPOILER WARNING!!!

Source Material: The Suicide Squad is "team" of villains from the DC Comics universe. Robert Kangigher and Ross Andru are the creators of the original Suicide Squad comic.

Entertaining Value: 7

  • Action Elements: There are two or three big action sequences that are really good. John Campea and Collider Movie Talk crew compared the "minions" of the main villain to the putties from the Power Rangers, which I believe is a fair assessment. With that being said, the fight sequences with those "minions" were the best of the movie.
  • Comedy Elements: I was a little disappointed. I know DC typically is darker with their films, I thought this one would have been a bit lighter in tone.
  • Dramatic Elements: They tried really hard to make Deadshot's backstory the "tug at your heartstring" moment.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: With all the talk of "Metahumans" you would think there would be more "Metahumans" in the film. There were only three of them, four if you count the cameo from The Flash.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: One of my fears of this films was that Will Smith would hog the limelight, he doesn't surprisingly. He might not have stolen the limelight but he brought a lot of himself to the character of Deadshot. There were a good amount of Will Smith-ism that made Deadshot feel less like Deadshot. I thought Will Smith had some of the best lines. He brought most of the humor to the film. Margot Robbie nailed the essence of Harley Quinn. The perfect mixture of sexy and insanity wrap up in a package of fun and excitement. I enjoyed Jared Leto's Joker, even though he wasn't a major presence in the film. Jai Courtney was a pleasant surprise as Boomerang.
  • Cinematography: 7: There were some really cool shots. Overall, there really wasn't anything that stood out or amazed me.
  • Direction: 6: David Ayer a filmmaker known for showcasing the courageous life of the military / police force (LAPD) is going to tackle a "team" made up of villains. I think he did a decent job at capturing the Suicide Squad as a unit, led by a military man. He got good performances out of his actors, and I can see his vision for the film, but I was unsatisfied as an audience member by the end of the film, due primarily to the writing which Mr. Ayer is responsible for, as well.
  • Editing: 4: One of the major problems I had with BvS was the flashbacks / flashforwards which had little to no explanation. I think Suicide Squad suffers slightly from this same problem. At least the flashbacks in this film served as makeshift origin stories, giving them some substance. It felt to me like the filmmakers had awesome written scenes, for each individual character, but didn't know how to piece them together into a cohesive story. The flashbacks that DID work were the ones during the "starting line-up" portion of the film, which happens within the first half hour of the film.
  • Screenplay: 3.5: I enjoyed the first third of this film from a story standpoint, granted it was basically a starting line-up. Using this format worked though because the average movie going audience only knows, The Joker, and maybe Harley Quinn. From watching Arrow and The Flash on the CW, I know a little about Deadshot and Boomerang. Besides that, I know basically nothing about the characters on screen. By the time the film ends, I really didn't care for anybody except for Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and The Joker. There was no emotional attachment to any of the ancillary characters. The "I will die for you because we are a family" bit at the films climax was unbelievable because there was no character development throughout the film. The whole team was assembled in less than 24 hours. The only common thread between each character is that they are "villains" or at the very least heinous criminals. They weren't even cellmates in the secret "metahuman" prison. I don't understand how any of them have a meaningful relationship with one another, without interaction. You know who did the "Rag-tag team of criminals / anti-heroes turned heroes" better, Marvel, with Guardians of the Galaxy. It possible to have a fun adventurous movies focusing on a team of miscreants heroes with fleshed out backstories.
  • Sound and Music: 5: I was having fun with the soundtrack near the beginning of the film because it was very much like a starting line-up of a sporting event. As the film progressed it became more annoying. The pop music transitioned to a score near the third act of the film, which was nice.
  • VFX: 7: The film was dark, not from a tone standpoint. It was night time, meaning covering up details. Overall the character design of the "metahuman" was good, except for the "minions." They were black and gray humanoid blob-ish figures, like I mention before "putties from the Power Rangers." El Diablo's shining moments were some of better visual aspects of this film.
Overall: 6: I had a decent time at the theater. I think it was at par with BvS, if not slightly better. I don't think I can recommend this film for the general audience.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


I try to refrain from rant-like posts, but it's becoming harder and harder to watch a movie in 2D. I'm an avid movie goer. I try to see at least one movie a week at the theater, especially during the summer. Among my social circles, I'm known as the "movie guy." My friends usually ask me my thought on a movie before seeing it themselves. To be honest, not having an exorbitant cash flow is really the only thing limiting how many movies I watch at the theater. With that being said, I have noticed a trend this summer that I didn't in previous years. I'm not sure who to blame for this trend, studio heads, the producers, the theater chains, or the managers. The trend that I'm alluding to is disproportionate showtimes between 2D and 3D. 

For an example, these stats are based off my local theater (AMC Showplace 12). The premiere opening on Thursday night for Suicide Squad has two showtimes for the 2D viewing and two showing for the 3D viewing, not bad 50/50 split on the showtimes. Friday and Saturday it gets worst. Suicide Squad has five showtimes all day, one matinee showtime in 2D and four showtimes in 3D, on of which is a matinee. Based on the law of averages, the average person is done working around five in the evening, because of this the pique time for theaters is just slightly after dinner, which for the average person is right after they get off work. Therefore the evening showtimes have more weight because there are more people available to watch a movie. So the 20/80 (2D/3D) split, reflected from Friday and Saturday's showtimes, becomes a 10/90 split. On Sunday, Suicide Squad's showtimes have a 0/100 split. Meaning 100% of the showtimes are 3D. That very annoying. This isn't the first time this has happened.  All summer I have seen at least 25/75 split on almost every major movie released, including family movies like Finding Dory. 

With those numbers, the average family of four is paying at least fifteen more dollars at the box office. I'm not necessarily mad at 3D movie pricing. I'm irritated that someone is forcing the average movie going audience to buy the "premium priced" ticket, even though they don't want to. It seems like there are only three options at the theater: watch a 3D movie, don't watch a movie, or watch the latest crapfest that has twice as many showings.

I'm not caught up on the latest facts, but the last time I checked 75% of movie goer disliked 3D movies. If I remember correctly that percentage increased with the age of the demographic. Which make sense. Out of the twelve "Real 3D"  movies made in 2016 only three of them are live-action, one of which is The Jungle Book, a primarily CGI film. On the "Fake 3D" side of things, every movie was live action. A third of the "Real 3D" movies made last year, 2015, were live action, and none of the "Fake 3D" movies made last year were animated. Even looking through the history of 3D films, they seem to be heavily marketed towards family films, which are typically animated.

I personally don't enjoy 3D movies in general. For me, the 3D effect doesn't add anything to the film. From my experience, the 3D shots are usually forced and are fairly cheesy. Now, I may be more inclined to watch a film in 3D if it was made as a "Real 3D" film.  I'm the same way with IMAX. I rather watch a movie filmed with an IMAX camera, than a film that is just projected on a larger screen. When available, I watch movies in the format that it was attended to be viewed. The Hobbit films were created to be viewed at 48fps. My local theater doesn't have the capabilities to show a film at that frame rate. The close theater that did wasn't within a reasonable driving distance. Therefore, I had to view the film in 24fps, but that wasn't a deal breaker. When my local theater has all digital projectors with the capabilities to either show 2D or 3D prints, I should have equal opportunities to view it in my preferred way.

To the studio heads and producers, if you want me to watch your movie maybe make a few more 2D versions. To movie theater chains, and managers, if you want me to spend dollars at your theater how about you schedule showtimes where I have choices. Right now, my choices are to spend money, don't to spend money, or spend money on crap. I like watching movies at the theater, so please STOP forcing me to watch 3D versions.              

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review: Warcraft


Title: Warcraft

Distributor: Legendary Pictures (Universal Pictures) 
Director:  Duncan Jones
Writer(s): Duncan Jones (screenplay), Charles Leavitt (screenplay)
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu
MPAA Rating: Rated PG - 13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence.
Running Time: 123 min
Synopsis: The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 22% "Fresh", Top Critics: 17% "Fresh", Audience: 93% "Want To See"

Metacritic: Critics: 32 out of 100, Users: N/A 

My Review

Preface: I want to let everyone know that I'm a fan of the Warcraft universe. I have played World of Warcraft, off and on, since World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. That makes me a "casual" colloquially speaking. I didn't group up on the RTS game, Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans like most of the die-hard Warcraft fans. Therefore, my Warcraft lore, maybe a bit rusty. I also have to admit that I'm a fan of fantasy. It's by far my favorite genre. I did a whole post on my favorite fantasy film franchises. I'm forewarning you that there is most definitely going to be some bias in this review. Lastly, I want to apologize for any comparisons to The Lord of the Rings, good or bad. These two films are in different leagues, even though they live in the same "high fantasy" realm.

Source Material: The Warcraft universe origins began at Blizzard Entertainment with the RTS video games titled, Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans (1994). This universe has been expanded upon in 12 video games including the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Chris Metzen has been the main guy behind shaping the stories and characters in the Warcraft universe.

Entertaining Value: 8

  • Action Elements: I thought the action was good. It wasn't non-stop, but most of the action is intents and fairly warlike. The warlike "violence" is still very much in the PG-13 space.
  • Comedy Elements: The funniest parts for me were the references to the video game. Overall I thought it could have been more light-hearted in general, especially for those who don't know the Warcraft universe.
  • Dramatic Elements: I thought this one of the weakest parts of the film. There were some throwaway characters.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: Warcraft is set in "high fantasy" world called Azeroth. This world is home to the human race, which is shared with the other "goodly" fantasy races: dwarves, elves, and gnomes (not shown in the movie). The Orcs come from a savage world called Draenor. Because of their world is dying The Orcs come to Azeroth via a magic portal power by Fel magic (souls of the dead).
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: The best acting in the movie came from the Orc characters. Leading these Orcs was Toby Kebbell as Durotan. Toby Kebbell could very well be the next Andy Serkis, in the performance capture game. Which makes perfect sense because they were co-stars in Dawn of the Plant of the Apes. The human actors were a bit on the weak side. Travis Fimmel, best known for his role on Vikings, did a good job being a badass warrior. He didn't do so well conveying deep emotion. The father-son relationship felt forced. Ben Foster was one of the better human actors. I enjoyed his portrayal of Medivh. The filmmaker took a neat spin on the dialogue and the language barrier between Orcs and Humans. When we, the audience, were following the Orc storyline, it was presumed that we were Orc. Therefore, their language, Orcish, was heard as English. This rule was true during the human storylines as well, but they spoke English already. When Orcs and Humans shared the screen subtitles would be used when the Orcs were speaking.
  • Cinematography: 7: I enjoyed all the aerial establishing shots. It was like flying around Azeroth on a flying mount for the first time. These shots also made the world feel more expansive. Not sure if this is the appropriate place to praise the set design, but it was amazing. Seeing iconic places in Azeroth on the silver screen was very cool. The attention to details in those scenes made Azeroth even more tangible. This aspect of the film stood out the most during the Lion's Pride Inn scene.
  • Direction: 7: If you don't know who Duncan Jones is, you should. First of all, he is the son of the legendary rock star, David Bowie. Secondly, He directed two great sci-fi films (Moon and Source Code). Thirdly, He tackled an epic high fantasy movie based off a video game, in my opinion, he succeeded. I'm not saying this film was perfect or perfectly directed, but I do believeDuncan Jones did a good job appealing to both fans and non-fans.
  • Editing: 7: The major flaws in the editing, for me, were the transitions between the Orcs story and the Humans story. I felt those transitions were a bit clunky. There was too much back in forth. I understand the filmmaker were trying to convey two vastly different cultures simultaneously, but the editing took away from that. I think what saved the editing was the cinematography. Using the aerial effects to transition between "zones" is what saved the editing.
  • Screenplay: 6: Forewarned: This is the section where I'm going to compare Warcraft to Lord of the Rings. Frist off, Warcraft is no Lord of the Rings, period. Lord of the Rings was adapted from a book, which is the best medium for storytelling. Whereas, Warcraft was adapted from a video game, which is a lesser form of storytelling. Don't get me wrong, a lot of video games of today are very cinematic and have better CIG than movies, but their stories tend to be linear and one-dimensional. I say this because It angers me to hear comparisons between these two films. I get it, they are both "high fantasy" stories with vast lore/history involving orcs, humans, and other fantastical creatures, but they are on opposite sides of the spectrum. In the Middle Earth realm, orcs, goblins, trolls, ect. are bad, whereas, humans, hobbits, dwarves, and elves are good. Warcraft's world, there can be both good and bad orcs (Durotan vs Gul'dan). Even the human side of the story has both good and bad humans (Khadgar vs Medivh).
Now, I'm going to be a bit contradictory to myself. I think Warcraft could have emulated Lord of the Rings cinematically by fleshing out its characters and story with its expanded lore. This could have been done with well-placed exposition. I shouldn't have to know the lore of the source material to know what's going on on-screen. I can see how a non-Warcraft player could potentially get lost in this movie. There were a few unanswered "hows" and "whys". For example, this could be SPOILER territory, Gul'dan uses Fel magic to do his bidding. The first question that could be asked is, What is Fel magic? Answer: It's a magical force that feeds off of life itself that has a corruptive after effect. That's basically how it is explained / showcased in the movie. The second question that could be asked, Where did Fel magic come from? Answer: Demons, which was hinted at but not fully explained in the movie. Question Three: How did Gul'dan option Fel magic, if it possed by demons? Answer: He drank the blood of a demon named Mannoroth. This information wasn't in the movie. This is only one example of how adding details from the games would have explained a lot to the non-Warcraft playing audience.
  • Sound and Music: 7: The score emulated the soundtrack from the game. For those of you not in the know, World of Warcraft's soundtrack is very good.
  • VFX: 9: The filmmaker visually matched the games. I know there is a buzz going around the internet and how bad the CGI is in this film. They are wrong. The orcs look exactly like Warcraft style orc. The mo-cap is freaking amazing. That says a lot for the performers and the digital artist. I can see Warcraft making the shortlist of nominations for best visual effect
Overall: 7: This film satisfies me as Warcraft fan. It also feeds my hunger for fantasy. I had a good time at the theater even though there were less than 20 people in our theater. I know the low critic ratings are going to effect this movie drastically. Warcraft may not be the Messiah to rid the stigma of bad video game movies, but it is definitely the predecessor like John the Baptist to Jesus.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review


Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Distributor: Nickelodeon Movies (Paramount Pictures
Director: Dave Green
Writer(s): Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec
Starring: Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, Brian Tee, Gary Anthony Williams, Stephen Farrelly
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence 
Running Time: 112 min
Synopsis: As Shredder joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 34% "Fresh", Top Critics: 27% "Fresh", Audience: 60% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 40 out of 100, Users: 5.6 out of 10
MRQE: 46 out of 100

My Review

Preface: I want to make one thing clear, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are dumb, dorky, and stupid, on a concept level. TMNT target audience is young boys. If I'm being truthful, I was a fan of the Ninja Turtles as much as any boy in his adolescence years. I was more of a Power Ranger fan, but TMNT was right there in the same wheelhouse of interest. Even though I'm not that old, I can't take the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seriously at my age. I watched this film to take a trip down nostalgia lane, nothing more.

Source Material: Orginal TMNT characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Other characters inspired by the cartoon series from the 80's and 90's titled, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Entertaining Value: 6.5

  • Action Elements: The action in this film was fairly fast paced, and kind of no stop for a family film. Very engaging for its targeting market.
  • Comedy Elements: A lot of humor that appeals to a younger audience, which included visual gags. There was a good amount of "90's teenage" humor to be had.
  • Dramatic Elements: None.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This film expands on the "Mutant" aspect of the lore.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 6:Overall the acting in this movie was average at best. I wasn't a fan of the casting of Megan Fox as April O'Neal in the first movie. This holds true in this one, as well. Let's face it, the only thing Megan Fox is good at is sex appeal, which, in my opinion, isn't one of April O'Neal's characteristics. Will Arnett wasn't bringing his A-game. I did enjoy Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, but most of that stems from my enjoyment of the Arrow television show. I thought the best performance out of the turtles was Pete Ploszek as Leonardo. Tyler Perry played this scientist dude that helps Shredder. His performance had hints of Eddie Murphy as The Nutty Professor. Every time his character would geek out on the "science" going on in the film, I got Nutty Professor vibes.
  • Cinematography: 7: I thought the camera work was decent. There were a few moments I thought myself, "That was a 3-D shot." I won't get into a long diatribe on 3-D movies. I personally don't like them, therefore, I didn't see this film in 3-D, but I did notice the filmmaker made an effort to produce scenes the 3-D audience would enjoy. Overall the action scenes were well done.
  • Direction: 5: I don't want to harp on Dave Green for being a bad director just yet. To be fair, this is basically his first movie, especially on this scale. I thought overall it was a bit fast pace, but this was due to the fact that this film had to entertain the youth of today, who wants action scene after action scene. Editing: 6: It was decent. Nothing really stood out.
  • Editing: 6: It was decent. Nothing really stood out.
  • Screenplay: 5: This may be a bit nitpicky, but I didn't need two or three introductions to the turtles, and their character profiles. As far as, the story goes, it was pretty thin, but I wasn't expecting much. Character development was weak as well, but again, I had low expectations. It's the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we are talking about here were two of the main villains are named Bebop and Rocksteady.
  • Sound and Music: 7: I enjoyed the soundtrack. It was fun to hear some catchy 80's and 90's tunes.
  • VFX: 7: It was good. The villain character design was very reminiscent of the 90's cartoon, which I liked.
Overall: 6: Not that good from a film standpoint. I thought it was fairly entertaining overall. I think it would make for a decent family fun day type of movie. I probably would have had more fun if I would have taken my nephew to this film. In general, I suggest waiting to watch this at home on DVD or Blu-Ray.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse Review


Title: X-Men: Apocalypse

Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer(s): Simon Kinberg (screenplay) and Bryan Singer (story).
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, and Olivia Munn.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images.  
Running Time: 144 min
Synopsis: With the emergence of the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 48% "Fresh", Top Critics: 36% "Fresh", Audience: 74% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 52 out of 100, Users: 7.2 out of 10
MRQE: 58 out of 100

My Review

Source Material: Characters based on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's design. The story was inspired by the X-men comics.  

Entertaining Value: 8

  • Action Elements:  The action felt much like a roller coaster ride, but overall it was fairly entertaining.  
  • Comedy Elements: There were some well-placed one-liners. It wasn't as light hearted as most of the films in the MCU.  
  • Dramatic Elements: The "dramatic" moments could have been slightly better. For me, this is where some of the writing falls flat.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This film explores further down the comic book rabbit hole. With the X-men films, many different superhero abilities are showcased. 
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: I would like to compare and contrast the old face with the new faces. Frist of all, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender has some of the best acting onscreen. I totally buy into them being younger versions of Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. The onscreen friendship between Charles and Erik is echoed through all the X-men films. Which says a lot about James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender's acting chops. I really enjoyed Evan Peters as Quicksilver again. His character was one the best characters onscreen, especially his dialogue. The weakest performance out of the old faces was Jennifer Lawrence. I felt like JLaw wasn't feeling her character anymore. Her performance was fairly emotionless and kind of flat. Don't get me wrong, Jennifer Lawrence is a very talented actress and her performance in this film overall was decent, there was just an atmosphere of "not caring." I'm a bit torn on what the actual problem was her acting or how her character was written.
The new faces were a delight. Oscar Isaac is having a killer career right now. He goes from being the best fighter pilot in the galaxy, Poe Dameron, to the most powerful mutant to ever live, Apocalypse. I thought his performance as Apocalypse was spot on. I enjoyed most of the new cast, the two that stood out the most was Tye Sheridan and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Sheridan captured a young Scott Summers nicely, but it was Smit-McPhee's Nightcrawler that captured my attention. The joy I experienced from Quicksilver in Days of Future Past is about equal to the joy I experienced from Nightcrawler in this film. The both of them together created good comic relief.        
  • Cinematography: 7: I know what I'm about to praise belongs more to Production Design or even Costume Design. I really liked the design of each character minus Psylocke. I will give them props for being accurate to the comic book design. I thought it a bit odd that Psylocke doesn't get the same treatment as the other horsemen, cosmetically speaking. The other three horsemen gain bad ass battle armor-esk upgrades, Psylocke gains a leotard. I don't mind seeing Olivia Munn in that outfit, but it felt somewhat out of place, especially during the Auschwitz scene. I know there was a lot of hate going around the internet about Apocalypse costume looking like Ivan Ooze, not the case in the actual film. I also enjoy the set pieces. I really enjoyed the Egypt scene at the beginning. I guess I need more epic films set in Egypt. As far as the cinematography goes, the subject meant for this section of the review, it was adequate. The filmmakers use old school camera tricks to convey Superspeed, which added to the Quicksilver scenes.   
  • Direction: 7: When I look at Bryan Singer's career, I see The Usual Suspects, a cinematic masterpiece to most, X-Men, X2: X-Men United, which was in my top five best comic book movies until the MCU happened. Continuing down the list of movies from Singer's filmography, I can say he's a decent director. I say that even with the few "duds" he directed, which in my opinion are Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer. I was one of the few excited that he returned to the X-Men universe with X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since that movie was hit amongst critic and fans, I went into this film with high expectations. Unfortunately, I left slightly disappointed. I felt his directing chops wasn't on par with this film. Even though this sounds negative, a seven on my scale is good.             
  • Editing: 6.5: There was a lot going on. The were a least three for four different storylines, which meant jumping between them. Some of the jumps were disruptive to what was happening on screen. I'm glad this aspect of the editing started to disappear near the middle of the act two when the storyline began to converge.
  • Screenplay: 6: I think the weakest part of the story was character development. This wasn't a problem across the board. I thought Professor X, Magneto, and Apocalypse's stories and motives were the most fleshed out. On the other hand, I wasn't that interested in Mystique storyline, that may be due to JLaw's performance. Apocalypse horsemen weren't the most fleshed out either. Storm has aspirations to be a strong female hero, Angel / Archangel is down on his luck since his wings are broken, and Psylocke is sexy, I really don't know what is going on with her character. The characters on the X-men side of the fight were better, except for Jubilee. I'm curious to know the reasoning behind why the filmmakers cut the mall scene from the film. That would have driven home, the fact that these are teens.
  • Sound and Music: 7: I really enjoyed the music selection. I'm glad they use Quicksilver as a window into the time period musically.   
  • VFX: 8: The best scenes in the film are the Quicksilver scenes. I liked how they achieved the superspeed in the film. My understanding is it was a camera trick mixed with some visual effects. There were some really good particle effects as well. The Jungle Book sets the bar for the best visual effects of this year. So far, no film has quite hit that mark of quality in visual effects.
Overall: 7: I had a good time at the theater. As of right now, here is where I rank the films in the X-men franchise:

  1. X-Men: Day of Future Pat
  2. X2: X-Men United
  3. X-Men: First Class
  4. Deadpool
  5. X-Men
  6. X-Men: Apocalypse
  7. X-Men: The Last Stand
  8. The Wolverine
  9.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Hopefully, that give you a better idea of how much I liked / disliked this film. Overall it wasn't that bad of a film.