A Brief Introduction To The X-Men Film Series

15 10 2015

X-Men: The Last Stand (20th Century Fox - 2006)

I don’t know if you saw my lacklustre, mediocre post on Tuesday (sorry about that, I was pretty tired when I wrote it), but in case you didn’t; all next week (Monday to Sunday) right here on this blog I will be posting the biggest writing project I have undertaken since finishing University. To cut a long story short, it’s an entire week of film reviews, one every day; and to keep it nicely wrapped up altogether it’s going to be all the (current films) in one particular series of films. Now while I could build up the excitement and tension to the eventual reveal, the title of my post pretty much tells you which film series I have decided to review: X-Men. So, before next week’s exciting series begins, I thought I would give you a (hopefully brief) introduction to the X-Men Film Series, along with other little bits of interesting information, but promise to try and not go too deep with explaining what happens in the films themselves, otherwise I have ended up wasting the last 4-5 months writing X-Men film reviews.

The X-Men film series is easily one of cinemas most recognisable film series with currently 7 films released over the last 15 years. Since the release of the first film in 2000, it has become a financial and critical success, and to this day is one of the 15 highest grossing film franchises/series to date having grossed more money than some of the cinemas more recognisable movie franchises including: Terminator, Indiana Jones, Star Trek and Mission Impossible. It is also a series of great critical acclaim with 4 out of 7 films receiving fresh ratings of 81% and higher on Rotten Tomatoes. It is one of the longest running film series this century having not one restart, reboot or remake anywhere in it (unlike other series that come to mind: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, Hulk, James Bond, Terminator and Star Trek), and has turned both growing stars and absolute nobodies into some of the cinemas best known and even household names. X-Men as a series and what it has achieved over the last 15 years is unlike any other in cinema today, and is set to continue with not 1 but 3 films due for release next year, (Deadpool, Gambit and X-Men: Apocalypse) along with a third solo outing for one of its biggest stars in 2017 (third Wolverine film) and even plans for 2 other potential films already underway.

X-Men Comics

The X-Men film series is of course based on the Marvel Comics and characters of the same name. The story of the X-Men follows a super hero team made up of a second caste of humanity known as mutants. While they look the same as Humans, Mutants come with special abilities and powers, and the X-Men are made up of some of these mutants. Life for the X-Men though is a tough one, because while they are a super hero team, fighting dangerous threats and saving humanity on a daily basis, humanity isn’t exactly fond of mutants, and sees them as a threat. From the get go, the X-Men have been a different kind of super-hero team, one that while saves the day like all other super heroes, they have to fight those they try to save, and fight for a future where mutants can be free from persecution. Leading them in this charge is Professor Charles Xavier who fights for a future where both humanity and mutants can live in peace together. A difficult thing to fight for, especially when there are other mutants out there who don’t think this kind of future is possible. In step Magneto, a mutant who can manipulate metal and an old friend of Charles Xavier. While remaining as something of a friend to Xavier here and there, Magneto believes only one species can survive and thus begins the battle between the two. As the series continues, new enemies and threats enter the fold with major villains like Apocalypse, Mister Sinister and Onslaught to name but a few. However, Xavier does not have to face such threats alone and with his team of X-Men including (but not limited too) Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine, Iceman, Shadowcat, Beast, Rogue, Archangel and many more fight both old and new threats on a weekly basis. That’s basically the general idea.

XFC9

The comic series itself at one point (if not still to this day) was (or still is) America’s bestselling comic series. Created by the combined might of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the comic series originally started back in 1963, but back then was a commercial disaster and by 1970 the series was cancelled. In 1975 the series was resurrected with help from artist Dave Cockrum, Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas and writer Len Wein. No-one could have seen what would come next as the series became Marvel’s biggest hit. Since then the comic series has gone from strength to strength. During the early 90’s; the X-Men got their own cartoon series on the Fox Network which went on for 5 series between 1992 and 1997. This was then followed up with 2 more separate cartoons in the forms of X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men. The X-Men even got their own video games. While during all this the comics continued to evolve and the X-Men themselves got involved in some of the biggest stories in the Marvel Comics, including being the hosts of the epic ONSLAUGHT Saga, as well as having a war with the Avengers much more recently.

X5

In 1994, 20th Century Fox bought the film rights to produce an X-Men film after seeing the success of the animated series. Spearheaded by producer Lauren Shuler Donner, the first film; simply called X-Men was released in 2000 by new up and coming director Bryan Singer. It starred well know actors like Patrick Stewart (who was struggling to find work at the time thanks to being on Star Trek for so long), Ian McKellen; growing stars like Anna Paquin, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn and Halle Berry, and even hired an absolute nobody (but who is now a household name) to play the iconic role of Wolverine in Hugh Jackman……….the rest as they say is history. Over the course of the following 14 years, new actors would be appointed, following the previous formula of well-known stars (Kelsey Grammer, Brian Cox, Kevin Bacon) as well as new growing stars (Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult) as well as people who were at the time relative unknowns but are now household names (Jennifer Lawrence). Along with them came new characters and stories famous within the comics, plus of course new villains. Origins stories were told, time travelled, new weapons and machines created, plus the never-ending fight for freedom from a world that hates them. The comics quite literally came to life and through its unique perspective and style of storytelling produced one of the most entertaining, emotional, powerful, dramatic and even realistic film series to date.

TW1

The X-Men have come a long way since their first appearances on comic book shelves back in the 1960’s. There have been ups and downs along the way, successes, failures and have even branched out into other forms of media, from Cartoons to Video Games, to of course the big screen. Since making that big leap, it has become one of the highest achieving and most recognisable film series to date and with the series set to continue; the future for the X-Men looks Fantastic.

GENEPOOL (I hope you have enjoyed reading this and enjoy reading my reviews next week as much as I have enjoyed writing this and them too).





When Is The Hulk Getting A New Film?

18 06 2014

Hulk

After the success of the Avengers movie back in 2012 and with a sequel coming out next year which I am only very partially excited about for several reasons, many of the films cast and characters have been getting more and more movie parts with the recent conclusion to the Iron Man series, the brilliant sequel to Thor in Thor: The Dark World as well as the recent Captain America and the Snowmobile Driver. Since then of course further films have been announced into what could quite well be the most unbearable film series on the planet since Harry Potter with the announcement of films including the up and coming Guardians of the Galaxy, the quite idiotic sounding Ant-Man, a third Captain America film and other potential film ideas including a third Thor film (at last, some good news), something involving Doctor Strangelove…..sorry…..Strange no love, The Runaways, Iron Fist (who?), Nick Fury, Black Panther, a stand alone project for Black Widow (who has not been the same since after Iron Man 2), Inhumans and Ms. Marvel. While it has also been announced that a new Blade film is in production (which has been way too overdue seeing as none of these current Marvel films wouldn’t even be happening if it wasn’t for the Success of Blade), I really do hope that it shares no connections with the Avengers film series as Blade is not like that and he is not exactly the kind of person to team up with other super heroes, and if he were to join up with the Avengers, the character would be ruined, just like Doctor Who is right now.

The Avengers (Marvel Studios - 2012)

Now while all this is (supposedly) good, isn’t it strange that the real star of the 2012 Avengers film has yet to have a film announced, and by that I mean a standalone film, however none of the films since the release of the 2012 Avengers film have been actually standalone films and have had to include at least one reference to the 2012 Avengers film, which by and large has sort of lowered the tone of expectations from all of them and have started to make me wonder if there is any point to these films at all except for the studio to make money out of them. But yes, the real star of the 2012 Avengers film or Avengers Assemble as it was called in the UK for some unexplored reason, seriously though why was it? Anyway the real star of Avengers Assemble has yet to have any sort of potential but unlikely standalone at all film to be announced and as yet there is no real reason except for maybe some connections with a couple of films released 11 years ago and 6 years ago respectively. Yes as given by the title of this post and referencing both those films I am talking about The Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk (Marvel Studios - 2008)

While the last Hulk film entitled The Incredible Hulk and staring Edward Norton in the lead role along with Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt does actually contain one of the very early references to The Avengers, it’s still not exactly had a sequel yet, even though in relative terms it was a sort of sequel and a reboot to the previous Hulk with Eric Bana (probably chosen because Bana is pronounced the same way as Banner in Bruce Banner) along with Jennifer Connelly (who I thought was definitely better in the role as Betty than Liv Tyler, although Tyler was a good choice if it was the case that Connelly was not available) Nick Nolte and Sam Elliott which in all fairness means that it has about an equal number of films as the others. But when you think about how good a performance Mark Ruffalo gave as Bruce Banner and The Hulk and the possibility that the Avengers wouldn’t have been as good without him in it, why hasn’t there been at least the possibility of a development of a Hulk film. It has been stated that negotiations are underway for such a film to be made, but that does not mean in any way shape or form that one is going to happen at all and if any character in Avengers Assemble should get one, it’s the Hulk. If you look at Avengers Assemble UK, the character shows so much detailed emotion in both living with himself and persecution and bullying (particularly from Black Widow) that his character connects more with the audience compared to a billionaire playboy, a mythical entity, an athletic spy, a non-Olympic gold medallist and a frozen selfish full of himself soldier. So if Marvel are looking for a touch more drama in future films, I would gladly suggest a new Hulk film as the character is just that, along with being green, tall and angry. Even though it was sort of annoying that his catchphrase was used by someone else in UK Assemble.

Ok, while it is true that Hawkeye has not had one yet, given that Jeremy Renner has become a big action star, the production of such a film possibly cannot get underway until he is actually available to do such a film, but also with the brilliant series Arrow on at the moment, a Hawkeye film could be seen as just as either a relation to those who don’t know the differences between Marvel and DC or as just a copycat production. The character possibly could be used in a supposed Black Widow, which could be possibly set in Budapest?

Hawkeye

While Hulk is set to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Avengers: Age of Ultron Assemble as it will probably be called in the UK, it’s still not the same as a proper film, but it does mean that along with two other characters (Thor and Iron Man) that the film is worth being excited about along with the arrival of two other characters who are technically X-Men characters with relation to Magneto (hmm, interesting?) with one of them (Scarlet Witch) being played by the terrific Elizabeth Olsen and the other having already appeared (Quicksilver) in X-Men Days of Future Past but this time being played by another Godzilla cast member and Super Hero veteran Aaron Taylor-Johnson means that the film does have some credit already but given what the cast apart from the terrific Cobie Smulders in the previous film means that I am still only very partially excited about it bar the previously mentioned cast and characters. But who knows, maybe this one might just work out and also we have more Avengers spinoffs to look forward too including Iron Fist (whoever he is?) and a potentially ruined Blade film; things to look forward too, although with the recent Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. there could be a second series of Blade: The Series,which would be nice, provided it is associated with that series and has the cast used in that series.

GENEPOOL (This has gone from a post about a new hulk film to other up and coming Avengers films, primarily Blade and some guy called Iron Fist).





Who Am I: Thor Or The Hulk?

12 06 2012

Ok, it is not the kind of question you wake up in the morning with and think to yourself, which one would I be? A few of weeks ago I went to see The Avengers and I quite liked it but throughout the film this question kept beaming into my head.

I really like Thor. Thor is a fantastic character, Big, Tough and Strong. During my third year of Roothill I got a nickname, The Viking. It was all because of my Fantastic Beard and at first I did not like it, but after a few weeks I came to love it. I had an Idea of buying a Viking Helmet and maybe getting a Nerf Battle-Axe. Well I went to see Thor and because of the relationship between the Vikings and Norse Mythology I started to call myself Thor because I liked it. One of my original career plans was to become a Professional Wrestler and part of me would still like to and I have thought about using the name Thor as my name, I have even chosen the perfect Entrance Music.

I also like The Hulk. The Hulk has that anger trait that we all crave, the simple fact that he can actually let his anger out when a normal person will bottle it up (like me really). It would be so great to let the anger out. The way he is also able to channel it in some way as well and almost becomes positive as a result. When I went to see The Avengers, that scene where Fury is bullying Banner and almost try to have him sectioned really got to me. If I was able to control the Big Green Dude inside me I would have let him out immediately. Sometimes I remember times when I was bullied and dream about becoming something like the Hulk and smashing the bullies to pieces. I even have the occasion where I don’t like someone in a TV show or a film for the same reasons and begin to lash out in my own head at them, The Hulk is that Anger that I want to let out (I do like that scene from the 2008 film – you know what I mean, the number of times I have wanted to say that with that amount of Power is abundant).

Here we have 2 Fantastic Characters but if I was to be anyone of them, which one would it be? Well by preference I would choose Thor but if I could not choose (or not have any say in the matter) I probably would be The Hulk. In most cases if I got into a Fight I would probably be unable to control my emotions and would become an uncontrollable monster and with all this Anger built up it is kind of surprising in a way that I am not the Hulk already. However there is another option, I could be both. My Human side could be Thor, this way I would already be Tough and Strong enough to take on any adversary while also having some control, but if things were to get too tough to handle I could just become the Big Green Dude and then Bob’s your uncle, problem solved, or perhaps even a Mutant combination of the 2, It could be named The Thulk.

So to answer the Question and if there is not the choice of being both I would have to answer; Thor by preference but more than likely I would be The Hulk.

GENEPOOL








%d bloggers like this: