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First episode of the new year! What made the list? What did the Gorehound, Thor, and Jen think of 2016 movies? Check out this episode to get it all!
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Just yesterday I caught a matinee showing of Bryan Singer’s latest entry into the X-Men film franchise, subtitled Apocalypse. I had been looking forward to this film for quite some time, especially considering the momentum the franchise built up after the excellent Days of Future Past, released almost two years ago to the date. Unfortunately, Apocalypse is quite possibly the worst film in the franchise in ten years, and a complete and utter letdown following Days of Future Past, The Wolverine, and Deadpool, each of which was unique and entertaining in its own way. In contrast to those films, X-Men: Apocalypse is a gigantic slog and a total mess of a film. It’s a letdown on such a large scale, that I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox did something drastic with future installments.
The biggest problems with the film lie with its script, setting, and main villain, the titular Apocalypse. The scripted, by series vet Simon Kinberg, fails to build off the momentum of the previous installment. The film is set in the 1980s, but except for a few musical cues and an impromptu trip the mall, you’d never know it. This is a huge missed opportunity, because Days of Future Past got a lot of mileage out of its futuristic as well as its 1970s settings. Additionally, the film never really builds up a sense of the incoming apocalypse either, mostly because the titular villain kinda sucks. Oscar Isaac is an incredibly talented and charming actor, but he exudes absolutely zero personality as the main villain. It’s almost impossible to believe this guy ever commanded a doomsday cult in the first place, that’s how milquetoast he is.
Other than a lack of charisma, Apocalypse the character suffers from other issues as well. He’s weirdly underwritten, especially where it concerns his powers. His mutant powers are never fully explained. I don’t require a lengthy explanation for everything that happens in a movie, but nevertheless some explanation for Apocalypse’s powers would have been nice. It just seems like at moments he can do anything he wants, and at other moments he can’t. Why, for example, is he able to kill a factory full of workers without breaking a sweat, but he can’t kill Quicksilver, Mystique, and Beast in the same manner? He also seems contradictory as a character. He denounces technology, but then uses it to his own purposes. The script can’t seem to figure out what to do with him, and Isaac performance suffers as a result.
The side villains aren’t really much better than Apocalypse himself. Angel, who looks like he might as well be a member of 80s hair metal band the Scorions, has about five lines, most of them in German. Psylocke has no personality to speak of, and probably says about three things throughout the movie. Storm looks great on-screen, but again isn’t give much time to develop her personality that much. She probably comes off looking the best of the three. The fourth horseman, Magneto, joins after the death of his wife and daughter, even though he doesn’t seem to care that much about family he already abandoned back in the US. And as a side note, Magneto has kind of become the “Wolverine” of the later X-Men films. Singer could stand to use the character less.
I have various other issues with this film as well. Speaking of Wolverine, for example, he makes possibly the silliest cameo in the history of cinema. This is something like the third time we’ve seen his origin on screen – and people like to complain about Spiderman and Batman’s origins in movies… I also take issue with the length of this film, which runs at a butt-numbing 144 minutes but still seems undercooked. The timeline of the film also seems to not make any sense at all. Despite taking place 10 years after the events of Days of Future Past, no one looks like they’ve aged at all. According to the timeline of the new films, Charles and Erik should be at least 50 years old each, but they still look about 35. It all makes very little sense. The X-Men film timeline has always been wonky, but Days of Future Past was supposed to make this stuff clearer, not more confusing.
It’s hard to overstate what a disappointing mess X-Men: Apocalypse is. I didn’t even mention how Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy seem to be completely phoning in their performances. Lawrence, who might be the biggest female movie star on the planet, clearly considers herself above this, and why not? This film is awful. McAvoy is just plain too cool for school here and I again can’t blame him. I also didn’t mention Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan as Jean Grey and Scott Summers, respectively. I didn’t mention them for a reason. I can’t believe just how badly Singer and crew screwed up with this film, particularly considering just how well audiences responded to Deadpool and how nicely the next Wolverine stand-alone film was shaping up. But X-Men: Apocalypse is an utter piece of crap that honestly left me thinking that X-Men: The Last Stand might be the superior “third” film between the two of them.
Word on the street is that the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though rated PG-13 for theaters, will have a home video “Director’s Cut” release with a R-rating (for violence). And people are losing their fucking minds over it. I have seen nothing but overreactions with people thinking the film will somehow feature over-the-top gore, Batman dropping F-bombs, and hard-core nudity.
Are these people idiots? Do they have no clue to how the MPAA rating system works? . The difference between a R and a PG-13 can be incredibly slim. For example, Marvel’s The Avengers was originally rated R for the first couple of cuts. Yes, the popcorn, family friendly, safe superhero film that was The Avengers was originally rated R due to Phil Coulson’s original death scene. Once that got reworked, the film was cleared for a PG-13.
While BvS looks like a more somber film than The Avengers, I have little doubts that the changes for the Director’s Cut are ultimately minor and probably just feature a bit more violence like the aforementioned Coulson death scene. The only difference is that Warner Bros. is open to releasing that cut to the public.
This is nothing new to the world of home video releases. The 2000s, in particular, were home to many movies coming to DVD with a “unrated” version. This is an extension of that trend and really shouldn’t surprised anyone. Remember home media release of 2013’s The Wolverine or the extended versions of The Hobbit? Same thing.
Of course, logic and facts haven’t stopped anyone one from ignoring this and proceed with their own nonsensical beliefs. The biggest one being that the reason BvS is getting a “R-rating” is because the recently-released Deadpool proved you can have a R-rated superhero movie (while forgetting such films as Dredd, Kick-Ass, Watchmen, Blade, and Sin City among others). Lets not forget that Deadpool‘s R-rating is for very, very different reasons that anything that would ever appear in a Batman/Superman movie.
While I am sure Deadpool‘s success was a factor, it was likely a minor one at that. Deadpool came out less than two weeks ago meaning that if Warner Bros. decided right then on February 15 to do a R-rated version of BvS, that means they would have to bring back director Zack Snyder and his editors to reedit the film to push it to the R-rating, reedit the thing, and resubmit the film. Then, the MPAA would have to schedule a time to watch it.
While not impossible, the timeline isn’t practical. A Director’s Cut was likely already in the works well before Deadpool. The only thing that Deadpool might have done to influence this decision is to actually list it as “R” as opposed to “unrated”.
Again, I remind readers of The Avengers and how that was originally rated R.
This bullshit overreaction needs to stop, and I really wish the collective that is the internet would gain some perspective. Batman v. Superman will be an all-audiences film no different than Man of Steel or any Marvel film before it. If Warner Bros. want to put out a slightly more violent version for comic book fans in addition the the theatrical version, then so be it. This is something that has been going on for years. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be a hard-R with Ben Affleck shouting “Are you retarded? I’m the Goddamn Batman!”
Special Episode! Nick and the Gorehound take an “inside baseball” approach as they look ahead and discuss some upcoming movies for 2016! They have a lot to talk about and discuss a wide variety of upcoming films including, but not limited from The Hateful Eight and Batman v Superman to The Huntsman and Hail Caesar! They are also going to talk about some movies that don’t have release dates yet! Crazy!
Click here or on the image to listen to the episode!