X-Men, Green Lantern and a little bit of Batman

So Metro Manila is at the peril of heavy rains, flooding and traffic again (as often happens this time of the year) and I thought I’d do some actual blogging for a change.

I didn’t want to brave the rush hour traffic last night so I finally got around to watching X-Men First Class (luckily it was still showing at Mega). I had actually seen Green Lantern first despite X1C showing two weeks before the DC movie. It’s a good time to be a comic book fan with all these comic book movies coming out; I saw Thor a couple of months ago and of course we still have Captain America to look forward to next year.

At some level though I’ve started thinking that being a big comic book fan is actually a bit of a handicap when watching these big Hollywood adaptations of our favorite spandex-clad heroes, if only because we cringe twice at much at every small fault or piece of bad writing that we find in these movies.

I may have subconsciously delayed watching X1C because one of my brothers had watched it while I was in Singapore and didn’t really give the gushing review “regular” people had given. And GL wasn’t getting such rave reviews on opening weekend either and there were rumors that even the studio was not confident in the movie. So I came into both movies with a bit of lowered expectations.

My quick reviews of the two movies first then: X1C was fun and it was nice seeing an entirely new crew of mutants (more or less). I can forgive the ridiculous recruitment and training montages (and lol’ed at the cameo). It looks they didn’t bother keeping in continuity with the first trilogy and Wolverine: Origins, which is fine since Wolverine: Origins was ridiculous anyway. The ending felt a bit contrived in the same way that the ending of Smallville and Wolverine: Origins did – mainly because they need to wrap up things to sync with whatever “continuity” they’re supposed to have. The movie feels a bit campy at times and it’s far from the “Dark Knight of X-Men” that some reviews made it out to be, but still a good watch.

Green Lantern was fun as well, though the writing left a bit to be desired for me. At some points the abrupt transitions and especially the poor portrayal of Carol Ferris reminded me of Smallville-quality writing at some point. It’s still a good movie to watch and the scale is definitely more epic than X1C, but it kind of left me hanging the same way Thor did: it’s like there wasn’t much that happened in the movie aside from the telling of the origin story.

Maybe I was just spoiled by Nolan, but Batman Begins set a new height for me in terms of superhero origin movies, and the latest set have yet to reach that bar.

Speaking of Batman I’ve also just finished watching the DC straight to video animated feature “Under the Red Hood” which covers the death and resurrection of Jason Todd (duh, spoilers) and to be honest I found the climactic scene more well-written than the above two movies. But then again Under the Red Hood follows the comic book story arc more closely so I guess it’s closer to the type of stories I enjoy on a regular basis. In fact I find that the DC animated film line to be pretty good; not something I’d watch in a cinema or anything but enjoyable enough.

This is just really more or less random ramblings about comic books and comic book movies so here’s something else I thought of while watching X1C: the problem with the character of Magneto or in general any character whose origin story or background is tied to a real-life historical event the same way Magneto’s is tied to the holocaust. See the problem is that comic book characters live in some sort of time-distorting reality bubble where they don’t grow old as fast as the readers do. Characters like Magneto however, have no choice but to grow old at the regular rate, since we cannot move the historical dates upon which their characters are based. In twenty to thirty years, Magneto will be a hundred years old regardless of what happens in X-Men continuity. How will they make X-Men movies then, will they have a hundred year-old Ian McKellen take the role? With the character of Magneto anchored in time, the fictional world of the X-Men remains tied to a particular era. They’ll probably come up with some handwaved solution about how his powers include not aging; or maybe they’ll take a bold leap and actually kill him off permanently (hey, they haven’t brought back Jean Grey for a while right?)

On a side note, the first character that I ever noticed had this problem was Bab from Pugad Baboy.

Anyway maybe that’s enough rambling for now. Looking forward to Captain America, Transformers 3, etc, etc. Despite my not being 100% satisfied with the current wave of superhero movies, it’s still a good time to be a comic book fan. 😀

 

2 thoughts on “X-Men, Green Lantern and a little bit of Batman”

  1. The only problem I have with X-Men First Class is that SOME IDIOT thought Magneto looked good in yellow.

    When I watch comic movies, the first thing I tell myself is that it’s a different universe, meaning events that happen won’t necessarily mirror the comic origins. All I really care about is that the characters remain true to their core essence (for example, Magneto NOT looking good in yellow). On the topic of GL, that’s precisely my issue with it. Hal’s essence isn’t that of a light-hearted joker. Every time I looked at a trailer, I was seeing Kyle Rayner PRETENDING to be Hal Jordan. I know Reynolds is a popular actor, but he was a TERRIBLE choice for Hal. For a reverse analogy, it’s like they hired Michael Rosenbaum to play Spider-Man.

    Thor, on the other hand, hit all the right notes for me because the characters were being true to the behavior people expected of them (though I’ll admit it wouldn’t have hurt if Jane Foster was more independent and forceful instead of being so awed at Thor), and the casting was solid.

  2. I don’t actually mind Magneto in the yellow and blue. I guess in my head he wasn’t really that guy yet. I agree that the wisecracking Hal Jordan wasn’t particularly keeping true to the character, but at least they kept it to a minimum and most of the jokes are left in Hal’s apartment. I agree that Reynolds is a terrible choice though, as it’s hard to take him seriously :p

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