Monday, May 30, 2016

My Opinions: X-Men Apocalypse & Alice Through The Looking Glass

Hello there. I'm making this post a double feature because that's how I saw these next two movies, as a double feature on Saturday evening. I'll give a bit of a background between me and these franchises, then get into my opinions on them.

WARNING: THESE ARE MY OPINIONS, AND ARE NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN AS ULTIMATE FACT, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT.


First up is X-Men Apocalypse. I'm a long time fan of the X-Men franchise. I've been a fan of the films since the first movie back in the early 2000's. I've seen all of them and have overall enjoyed all of them, even the weaker films X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I even saw Deadpool earlier this year and enjoyed that film.

I was interested in this film because this film features new versions of some of the classic characters featured in the earlier films, like Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm. It also has returning cast from X-Men First Class and Days of Future Past.

First and foremost let's make it clear that this is a sequel to Days of Future Past and continues on from the altered history that it started. Professor Charles Xavier has begun recruiting his new students and has already come across some of our classic characters and inducted them into the school. But not all is well and events take place that set the ball rolling for a crisis that may not be so easily dealt with.



And now...My Opinion:

The movie is pretty entertaining. The opening, like Days of Future Past, takes the theme and opening sequence similar to X2: X-Men United. The movie itself is very much a re-introduction to characters like Jean Grey, Storm, and Cyclops. It also re-introduces characters like Angel, Nightcrawler, and even another, that I will not spoil here in case you weren't aware of the presence. I liked these re-introductions because in the original trilogy, they're kinda already there for the most part and established in their world. Here there's more of an origin to them.

The story, I thought, was pretty interesting. This is basically the payoff to a trilogy of getting to know some of the characters, while introducing a brand new set of characters to hopefully carry on the series. As I said, a part of the story feels like an origin story meant to re-introduce us to characters we've already known. These aren't the same people we've come to know in the original 3 X-Men. They're much younger and more innocent.

The action, like the characters, is very good. While you're getting to know the characters, a big part of the action coincides with the fact that they're still learning to use those powers that they've been given and you can kinda see that with the action set pieces. Mutants learning to use their powers is an interesting contrast to a mutant who has had many years to master his.

The overall effects looked fantastic, though not necessarily at their best. I almost felt like there was one moment that felt like, yeah, that was blue screened...but at the same time, it still worked. It really wasn't anything new we haven't seen before, but those still looked like they were well put together effects, from the Nightcrawler teleportations to the Cyclops eye blasts.

Overall I really liked X-Men Apocalypse and will gladly be adding it to my X-Men film collection upon release on Blu-Ray and digital.

--Next--


Alice in Wonderland was, I think, a very interesting film with very bright colors and a very creative world, as created by Tim Burton. I'm afraid I did not see it in theaters, but caught it on Blu-Ray when it came out. I must say I rather enjoyed it, and thought it was a very good sequel to the Alice in Wonderland story. Because in the end, that is indeed what it is. It is a similar approach to what Steven Spielberg did with Hook, in which it is a sequel to the original story where the character has grown up and doesn't quite remember what's already transpired before. In this case it was because Alice thought it was merely a dream. Well that went well, and the movie made back a LOT of money. And naturally, a sequel was made. Alice Through the Looking Glass looked VERY interesting from the trailers, and I made it a point this time to go see it in theaters.

It's been a few years since Alice last saw the wonderful cast of characters that inhabited the wonderful world of Underland, as it was discovered to be named. But as you can imagine, things are not all that well in Underland and she is required back there to take care of matters. Turns out the Mad Hatter is...well, madder than usual, and thinks his family may still be alive. And the only one who can truly understand his trouble is, indeed, Alice. But can she help him this time?


And now...My Opinion:

Where do I begin? Let's start with....I'm a big fan of Alice in Wonderland. I enjoy the Tim Burton film greatly, and was happy when they announced Through the Looking Glass. I was wondering how they'd pull off the style of the film, considering Tim Burton didn't direct the sequel, but I think they pulled it off rather well. The first one was very vibrant with the colors and this one, at least where allowed, was as well. But this also takes more of a darker color scheme and in many ways is a bit of a darker story for it.

Where the first story is a very curious story of remembrance, this is truly a race against time...almost figuratively and literally, as Time itself is a character in this film. Alice must help do something for a friend but in order to do so, she must take time into her own hands and get the job done before...well...time, runs out.

The story is a lot more personal this time and as such there is more story to it than the first film. I didn't feel lost in it or confused, but felt it flowed rather nicely as Alice moved through events from the past to find out what she needed to know. It is here where you get to meet characters at various stages, and even get to see how some characters got to be the way they are. I thought it was very interesting.

The action, though there's not much, is rather well done. You have to firstly understand that this is not an action movie, it is a children's drama/comedy with slight action thrown in. The action in itself is mostly chase scenes, and that's all. But they're still done rather well.

The characters are very well done and the highlight is actually Time himself. He has a few good moments to shine throughout the film and doesn't feel too menacing, but at the same time, doesn't feel like a character you want to mess with either. All the other actors, like Johnny Depp and Helena Botham Carter pull their weight and get the job done.

The effects don't really look too different than the previous movie, though there are some new set pieces, like the ocean of time that I thought looked rather cool. But other than that, there's really nothing more to report on that front.

I must say that I really enjoyed Alice Through the Looking Glass and find it a rather satisfying and a VERY worthy sequel to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Will be adding it to my collection.

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