thehefner: (I'm a pirate! YARR!)
[personal profile] thehefner
For a movie that's getting so much praise as to be called "second only to The Dark Knight", X-Men: First Class was far more dumb, annoying, and frustrating than I was expecting. Oh, make no mistake, there's a lot that is excellent about it too. Pretty much everything with Magneto. Unsurprisingly. I mean, duh. But until I can do a full, spoiler-riddled review for discussion with others who've seen it, all I can say is that so much of it is stupider than I think most critics seem to be talking about.

I'm reminded of how some people called Thor and Iron Man "dumb action movies," even when they meant that as praise, whereas the stupid in X-M:FC far out-stupids those films. Hell, I'm further reminded of how people dismissed Iron Man's status as a great film opposite The Dark Knight, which was clearly the better superhero film for no other reason than because it was so dark and serious. I'm getting seriously sick of people, especially comic fans, equating "fun" with "stupid." I guess even geeks are guilty of the Oscar mentality that a comedy or action/drama with comedic elements can't be a Capital-G "Great" Movie.

Tangent: But it goes more deeply than that as far as geeks are concerned. Some time back, I read an essay that posited a theory that many geeks are deeply insecure about their passions, mainly after years of being told that the things they love are juvenile, only for kids, and that they need to grow out of it. To compensate, they want their superheroes and their cartoon adaptations to be dark, gritty, SERIOUS, so that they can feel like they're enjoying "adult" entertainment. Thus, we get a tone-deaf, blindly stupid Transformers film, which somehow removes all sense of enjoyment out of a huge-budget film about giant robots hitting each other.

Second tangent: Thor was also, coincidentally, called "The next Dark Knight by io9.com. Not only has this proved not to be the resounding case with movie or comic fans alike, but it's also an obnoxious reminder of how TDK remains flawless in the general esteem of fans and critics. When's the last time any of them have seen it on a TV screen, where the problems with that film are so much more evident? Seriously, if somebody really wants to earn my respect and interest in a superhero film they're espousing, call it "the next Batman: Mask of the Phantasm instead.

Date: 2011-06-03 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pokeyburro.livejournal.com
Given the above, how did you feel about the G.I.Joe movie? (This feels like something that should be knowable with a search, but I don't see it in your tags, and Google can't reach that far.)

Date: 2011-06-03 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
From the first twenty minutes we watched before we gave up, I found it ridiculously stupid, but at least entertainingly so for a little while before it became stupid in a mediocre and boring way. The G.I. Joe comics showed that there's actually great potential for those characters, but the movie seemed more interested in being a modern take on the TV show.

Date: 2011-06-03 11:25 pm (UTC)
ext_26836: BEES! (Emoti: LOLOLOL)
From: [identity profile] mellifluous-ink.livejournal.com
Was there a tag at the end with advice? Because seriously, I think that would redeem the movie for me no matter how stupid. XD

Date: 2011-06-04 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
I would sit through the whole thing if there were. As it was, I think we got a "now you know" line-drop, and that was it.

Date: 2011-06-03 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pokeyburro.livejournal.com
That's too bad. That's also quite understandable. I'm trying to remember where I heard this: "Of all the movies each actor thought he was in, I liked the movie Joseph Gordon Levitt thought he was in the best." There's truth in that. JGL's vision might have been the one you'd like, too.

Transformers is dumb because it can't even do gritty seriousness correctly, IMO. At least TDK did it right.

So, let's see... fun, smart comic-book-y movie... Well, you didn't like Scott Pilgrim... don't remember how you felt about Kick Ass... or Wanted... would R.E.D. count?

Date: 2011-06-04 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harper-knight.livejournal.com
Did you get up to the bit with the power armor? That scene is worth watching even if nothing else is. I mean.. it has power armor.

Date: 2011-06-04 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
We stopped right around the Brendan Frasier cameo, so no, I don't think so.

Date: 2011-06-04 08:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] surrealname.livejournal.com
i will tell you right now that the opening to the original cartoon g.i. joe movie from the 80s is, like, 7 of the most intense fucking minutes you will ever experience. it's... shockingly violent is the only way i can put it.

Date: 2011-06-12 11:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fifthie.livejournal.com
Getting out of this movie at any point before the sinking ice is objectively a victory.

Yes you heard me, sinking ice.

Date: 2011-06-15 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
... Wait... ice actually sinks in this film? It defies reality that much?

By the way, I'm honestly delighted to see you comment here. Your comments at Box's LJ and especially scans_daily are consistently smart and entertaining.

Date: 2011-06-03 11:24 pm (UTC)
ext_26836: BEES! (Default)
From: [identity profile] mellifluous-ink.livejournal.com
Honestly I'm surprised that you and HG were enthused about seeing it (I thought it particularly odd when after a rant about a Planet of the Apes reboot, she mentioned that she was going to see the Xmen reboot). It didn't look interesting to me at all.

I did like Thor very much. I didn't think it was stupid, really. I think straightforward storylines are refreshing; also I know people like Thor (and I mean that in the best way possible, because I thought Thor was far from stupid or silly). My only issues are the female characters, I think I mentioned that though.

Date: 2011-06-04 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
Well, we weren't, then I read the above review, and then got rather interested, especially after all the GLOWING reviews starting pouring in. I wish I hadn't seen those, and instead went in expecting exactly what I was expecting in the first place, so I could at least appreciate the Charles/Erik interactions and the majority of the rest wouldn't be a disappointment, save of moments of delight and greatness scattered throughout.

Date: 2011-06-04 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] night-train-fm.livejournal.com
Air Force One and Con Air are dumb action movies (and I liked them both, in a guilty-pleasure way). Iron Man was not. Would you still recommend seeing First Class?

Did you watch Transformers Animated? Beast Wars? Both did an excellent job of being funny, enjoyable and far more mature than the films ostensibly aimed at an older audience. Beast Machines sacrificed a lot of BW's humour for darkness, but it was still trying to tell a story as well as sell toys. Prime is doing a pretty decent job, too.

For some inexplicable reason, my Dad appreciated Kick-Ass. I couldn't sit through the first twenty minutes.

Date: 2011-06-04 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
Con Air is a truly, gloriously, spectacularly dumb film that knows exactly what it is. I love that kind of dumbness. I'd recommend seeing First Class for Magneto alone, followed by seeing Magneto and Charles interacting. But maybe I'd wait to rent it, although I dunno if the small screen will do it any favors. Matinee, I say.

I never got into any of the Transformers shows, but I have heard great things about Beast Wars in particular.

Date: 2011-06-04 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ievil-spock-47i.livejournal.com
Off topic question: are you really in Zelienople? My wife's from Ambridge.

Date: 2011-06-04 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
I am, but I'm not from the area, so I don't quite know where Ambridge is without looking at a map! :/

Date: 2011-06-26 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ievil-spock-47i.livejournal.com
On topic question:

I saw 1st Class last night. When is your spoiler ridden review coming?

Date: 2011-06-26 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
God, I've forgotten so much of it already. I'm gonna need to rewatch it before I can properly review it! I really should, as very few others seem to have some of the same issues I had, but some of those might have to do with the way the film was edited. Like GL, X-Men was also hacked apart by the studio to some degree, according to one of the screenwriters. That makes me even more reluctant to comment until we can see either a director's cut or deleted scenes, y'know?

Date: 2011-06-28 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ievil-spock-47i.livejournal.com
So, it was such a horrible experience that you repressed it, eh?

The more experienced I get with film the more I notice the Hollywood cookie-cutter approach. On some films (most recently Super 8) it drives me crazy and on others (1st Class) I enjoy the film regardless.

Date: 2011-06-04 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harper-knight.livejournal.com
Personally, even with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman and the Goddamn Batman in The Dark Knight's corner, I like Iron Man more. That's not to say I don't love The Dark Knight either, but rather that Iron Man was fucking beautiful AND funny, whereas the closest the much-adored batman movie got to real funny was Joker killing people in amusing ways. My only complaint with Iron Man is that even with two films so far, there is nowhere near enough of Stark flying around in a funky metal suit for my taste.

I also really liked Thor. Not in the class of my favorite movies, but certainly one I will re-watch.

I will go watch X-Men:First Class. Even though for some god-forsaken reason they have decided to have Havok, the, wait for it, YOUNGER brother of Scott, in the damn thing instead of Cyclops. As Cyclops is my favorite, this pains me greatly.

I'll watch Green Lantern and Captain America as well. I'll watch most comic book movies, although I never went near Daredevil or Elektra.

Date: 2011-06-15 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
... fucking beautiful AND funny...

God, yes, MOTTO. Why the hell did so many people not see that? There was some deep and poignant character stuff going on in that film, which I think grounded the entire things.

You love Scott too? I have such a soft spot for him, but he's so loathed by everybody. Maybe that's WHY I like him. Years of being a Hal Jordan fan in the 90's has made me sympathetic to characters hated by fandom.

If you have the chance and ability to do so, try to check out the Director's Cut of Daredevil. Only the Director's Cut, though. It's a rather different film than the one everyone saw and hated. It's not great, but it's pretty fucking good, and had a fine basis for a sequel to improve upon.

Date: 2011-06-04 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yaseen101.livejournal.com
I've had had to put up with people calling my interests and the various 'oh, you still reads comics?!' comments. I think that one of the lessons that nerds failed to learn from comics is that tryinbg to appease to the 'villains' is an ultimately futile attempt and you have to stand your ground no matter what.

I too think that dark n' edgy trend and realism is nothing more than a wish fulfillment in order to gain some sort of street cred and getting in with in-crowd.


I'll check out X-Men: First Class, for a project that I thought was going to bomb spectacularly it has turned out to be much better than I expected.

Date: 2011-06-15 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
I think that one of the lessons that nerds failed to learn from comics is that tryinbg to appease to the 'villains' is an ultimately futile attempt and you have to stand your ground no matter what.

So much truth.

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