Looking at The Amazing Spider-Man 2 & X-Men: Days of Future Past

There s a lot of films coming out this year that I am looking forward to but there are two that I am feeling  a little nervous over. They are The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Let’s start off with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Even though I preferred The Amazing Spider-Man to Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy I was not blown away this reboot, which was directed by Marc Webb. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy it but I watched it thinking, yes I know all of this already. With the original trilogy so fresh in mind a lot of what was in the film was information that I already knew and found myself bored by. I liked Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but I wasn’t convinced by Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors. Sally Field and Martin Sheen were really good as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. As I said though because I knew the origin of Spider-Man so well I found it quite boring. I also saw the animated series from the 90’s so I had that knowledge in the back of my mind. The only part of the film that interested me was Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone. I know of the character but I’ve not seen her portrayed and this was good to see.

A few months ago I was really looking forward to seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but as I’ve heard a few things about it that excitement has turned to a little bit of fear. This is because it feels like they are trying to set up an Avengers style series with the movie. I’ve heard rumours of at least two spin off movies. The Sinister Six and Venom, and I’m kind of scared they are trying to set up a universe to rival that of which Marvel has created. Now if they do this the right way, then fair play and bring it on because it can only be good for the movie going audience. If they do it wrong though it could be painful to watch.

I’ve heard a little feedback from friends who have already seen it and one person said it was too long but the other three have said it was really good, one even said its one of the best movies they’ve seen! But I’m still a little anxious about it. I should be seeing it Tuesday so I’ll know soon


Now onto X-Men: Days of Future Past. I cant really put a finger on what is causing my anxiety with this movie. It could be the premise or the simple fact that it has pretty much every actor who has been in an X-Men movie in it. Sometimes there can be too many characters in a movie. Even that I don’t think is the reason I am feeling anxious about it. I really liked the first two X-Men films which Bryan Singer directed and I’m hoping this is going to match those for depth as well as story and character development. I would have liked to have seen a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class but from what I can see from the trailers they are going for a bigger, universe shifting storyline. Maybe that’s what I’m worried about. Or maybe its that Singer hasn’t directed anything that has stood out to me since X-Men 2. It may be the same fear that I have with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, that its trying to build something to rival the Marvel movies. But I have a little longer to wait to find out with this one.


Although I am anxious about these two films I have a feeling that I am still going to enjoy both. I think this Spider-Man film will be what I’ve been looking for. We don’t need to see any of Spider-Man’s origin story again and hopefully it’ll be a well written and directed film. With X-Men I’m confident that Singer can bring that love and commitment that we saw in the first two movies.

Movie Monday: X-Men: First Class



This weeks Movie Monday is on the 2011 film X-Men: First Class from director Matthew Vaughn.


X-Men: First Class tells the story of how Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto) become the people we see in the later movies.

We move from their youth when their powers are beginning to come to the surface, for Xavier it is a scene where he discovers A shapeshifting mutant(Mystique) stealing food from his home whereas Magneto’s introduction is much more brutal. Along with his family he is put into a death camp by the Nazis and his power comes out in an intense moment when he is separated from his parents. he is then forced to try to move a coin by a German scientist by the name of Dr. Klaus Schmidt, played amazingly by Kevin Bacon). Because the young lad cannot move the coin Schmidt shoots his mother, this results in the child having a huge emotional reaction which affects every metal object around him.

We then move to 1962 where Xavier is trying his luck in a pub in Oxford where he is studying and Lensherr is tracking down Schmidt. By this time Schmidt has changed his name to Sebastian Shaw. As Shaw, Schmidt is manipulating people like a chess game to start the World War III between the United States and the Soviet Union. As this is happening Xavier and Lensherr are, along with the help of the C.I.A, recruiting mutants to help track  and take down Schmidt/Shaw. Throughout this time Lensherr and Xavier are revealed to have different philosophies on how they should mature as a species with Xavier believing that humans will be happy to live with mutants and Lensherr believing that humanity will inprison mutants.

The climax of the movie comes with an American fleet and a Soviet Fleet standing off against each other as a Soviet Cargo ship is trying to deliver nuclear weapons to Cuba, The Cuban Missile crises. Lines are drawn here and friendships destroyed.


This is an incredibly well put together movie. I adore the first two X-Men movies and felt a little let down by the third and the Wolverine spin-off was not the movie I thought it was going to be so I was a little worried about this movie, but those worries were erased when I learnt that Bryan Singer was working on the script and was on board as a producer. Singer directed the first two movies which are beautifully sculpted films so that put me at ease a bit. I like Matthew Vaughn’s movies as well. The cast excited me too. Kevin Bacon for me is one of the best, and underrated actors of his generation. I cannot think of a film where he does not put in a solid performance.

I knew of James McAvoy and thought he would be a good choice for Xavier. At the time I was unaware of Michael Fassbender, I had seen him in Inglorious Bastards but I would not have been able to name him. Another actor I was keen to see in the movie was Nicolas Hoult who plays Beast. Hoult along with Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique have a good little sub-plot going between them. January Jones plays Emma Frost, Shaw’s right hand mutant and Rose Bryne plays a C.I.A liasion officer called Moira MacTaggert.

There is also a very good support cast to these main characters which includes Oliver Platt and Jason Flemyng. There are also the young mutants that make up the early X-Men.


This could be looked at as a Re-Boot but I don’t think it is. I look at it as a rejuvenation of the franchise. It is not doing the same thing over like the recent Spiderman movie and it’s not a remake. It does contradict the odd little bit in the later movies but nothing of real consequence.

The Strength of this movie lays in the quality of the storyline, of the actors, of the direction. There is nothing in this movie that feels out-of-place and I’m looking forward to next years sequel.

I would just like to note quickly that the two lead characters Xavier and Magneto are excellently played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender respectively. McAvoy is a smart actor and I am yet to see anything in Michael Fassbender that makes me think he will be thought of anything less than one of the greatest actors of his generation. Watch out for both of these actors, especially in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which I believe is due to hit our cinema’s next year.

X-Men: First Class

I am A big fan of the first two X-Men films, Bryan Singer did A fantastic job of putting these two stories together.  There was A sense of depth in the first two films that made them great for me.  The third film which Brett Ratner directed did not have that same feeling of care that the Singer films did.  It was a good entertaining film but it lacked that depth of character that the first two had which was all that let it down for me.  I didn’t care about the outcome as much as I did for the first two films.  The next film; X-Men Origins: Wolverine was good but like the third film it did not blow me away.  There was lots of action and it told a good story but it was a little predictable and just didn’t blow me away.

Now for X-Men: First Class.  I really was not sure how I would take this film as the last two in the franchise had not wowed me.  Matthew Vaughn is A Director that I have grown to like A lot and I was a little reassured.  Then I found out Bryan Singer was on board as A producer and this gave me an even bigger expectation for the film, which it lived up to.

I knew that James McAvoy was on board to play the young Charles Xavier which I thought was A good bit of casting.  He pulled it off very well.  I was also excited at the prospect of seeing Kevin Bacon in the film.  Bacon is one of my favourite actors and I can’t recall an instance where he has not put in A bad performance in A film.  I was very impressed with Michael Fassbender, who played Magneto.  I had seen him in Inglorious Bastards and was impressed but playing Magneto he really took the character and the film by the scruff of the neck.  Playing someone so angry, but also having to show some control also cannot be easy.  Fassbender and McAvoy seemed to really click on-screen which helped the movie have that depth that is needed but often missed and over looked.  i just want to give Nicolas Hoult A quick mention.  He plays Beast in the film and he was convincing as him.  Hoult is an English actor that I know from the TV series ‘Skins’ In this he played A smug little sod of a character who I will admit I didn’t like but Hoult played him so convincingly that he caught my attention.  Now he seems to be making A name for himself in Hollywood and I hope it keeps getting better for him.

The plot of the film is generally the emerging mutants trying to deal with their abilities and the U.S. government that are trying to make them into something of use.  At the core of it is Xavier and Magneto, or Erik Lensher as he is known during the earlier scenes of the film.  Both have a slightly different view on what the emerging mutants should be trying to achieve.  Xavier is trying to teach the mutants on how to matser their powers but to also live in peace with humanity.  Magneto on the other hand believes that mankind cannot be trusted and that mutants are now the dominate species on earth.  In the middle of all this Kevin Bacon’s villain keeps the story rolling nicely and gives the mutants something to focus on other than their own different views of the world.

There is A fair amount of action throughout the film and the final battle has some epic moments.  A flying submarine is pretty cool.  We see the final split between Magneto and Xavier and how Xavier looses the use of his legs.

This is A well put together film and I really hope that the director, producers and cast come back for another film.