Films in Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Movie Reviews,   From Issue 793   By: Mark Leffler

10th July, 2014     0

X-Men debuted as a comic in September of 1963, the creation of writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. It took several years to catch on with readers, but by the Eighties Marvel Comics had several top selling titles featuring the heroes.

Flash forward to the 21st century and movie special effects were finally good enough to make a high quality X-Men movie and the latest offering in the X-Men franchise is one of the best.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is adapted from a two part comic written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne.

There have been seven films in the X-Men series of films, beginning with X-Men (2000) directed by Bryan Singer. X-Men: DOFT is the first feature to blend the actors from the original films and the newer cast featured in the prequel film X-Men: First Class (2011). Singer, who directed the first two films, returns to the director's chair.

In a dystopian near future, mutants are being hunted and exterminated by The Sentinels, an army that has been created from a captured mutant and able to replicate and defeat any mutant’s powers. Professor Xavier and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to prevent the creation of The Sentinels with the help of their younger selves (James McAvoy and the amazing Michael Fassbender).

While it isn’t necessary to know the previous stories in the franchise, fans of the series who were disappointed by the third film with the original cast, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) which appeared to kill off Cyclops, Jean Grey and Professor Xavier, should be assured that the series is back on track and much credit belongs to director Singer.

Also, there’s nothing final about death in the world of comics and the producers have stated that while they don’t believe in erasing previous stories, they are comfortable with the idea of a multiverse.

Like it or not, Hugh Jackman has been made into the male lead of these movies, being featured in two stand alone films and carrying a larger role than his comic book counterpart. Which is fine, and Jackman does a nice job of serving as the common link between the two storylines.

Fans of HBO’s series Game of Thrones will be happy to know that Peter Dinklage is the primary bad guy in X-Men: DOFP. It’s a little unsettling seeing him with a moustache and Seventies hair and clothes, but he does an excellent job as the heavy. Hopefully more directors will be using him in a variety of roles.


Sixty years after the first Godzilla film was produced by Japan's Toho Studios, it is finally time to Take Godzilla Seriously. Ever since that glorious monster emerged from the radiation of atomic bomb tests, fans have thrilled to the sight of Godzilla and Other Monsters (like Mothra and Gamara) laying waste to huge portions of Tokyo.

This time out, the action begins in the Far East and moves eventually to the San Francisco Bay Area and Las Vegas. Just as today’s digital effects wizardry makes more believable comic book superheroes it has also allowed for more realistic monsters like Godzilla. Gone are the days of the rubber-suited stunt men who were featured in the original series of films.

By God this is an amazing film to see on the big screen. It really is a movie that begs for the biggest screen you can find it showing. If you miss it in the theater, find the biggest home theater screen among your friends and see it there with some great Dolby sound system. Really, it’s worth it.

It's really not important to go into the specifics of the movie's plot. Strong plots have never been the feature attraction of the Godzilla movies. It's enough for movie lovers to know that Godzilla is a rock 'em sock 'em good time at the movies.

One point worth making: Bryan Cranston is not the star of this movie. And I’m not comparing him to the title Big Guy. I mean that he is only in a relatively minor role, and his character’s son really carries the human drama of the film.


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