My Other Half and I watched quite a lot of movies last weekend and among them, two stood out. Both of these I approached with more than a bucket full of caution. The sequels of the past three years had really disappointed me. In both the genre’s and I wasn’t quite willing to deal with another disappointment. As it turned out, I was surprised.
X-Men Origins: First Class
Like most kids my age, I have been watching the X-Men cartoons ever since our country managed to get its hands on its first decent cable channel. Admittably, I never saw the later shows like X-Men evolution and anything after that, but the classic comic was enough for me. Like all kids, I had my favourite characters (specifically Storm and The Beast) and liked the idea that somewhere out there, there was a haven for people who were a little bit different than others.
I was very excited about the X-Men movies and wasn’t really disappointed with the first two. But then came X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine to a lesser extent and my faith in the show died. The movies were terrible. I can’t even begin to voice my displeasure in them because if I do – this blog will become R rated and I might just get banned for not warning my readers. But, it’s fair to say that I didn’t like them. I therefor approached this new addition to the franchise with caution and didn’t really expect a lot. Which is why, I suspect, I was pleasantly surprised.
I liked X-Men Origins: First Class. The beginning was a little bit rushed, but once all the characters settled in together, the story flowed well. I liked the interaction between the two main characters – Professor X played by James McAvoy and Magneto played by Michael Fassbender. There was something deeply touching about their friendship, what they shared in their isolation brought on by their power and how the ignorance of their youth shaped them to be the men that they are when they are older. The action was good, the special effects not disappointing and the supporting cast well put together. I also haven’t seen Kevin Bacon in a movie since Hollow Man so it was nice to see him around as well.
On IMDB they scored this movie an 8 (in comparison to Wolverine’s 2) and I have to agree. It was well worth the time and effort to watch.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Let me get something out of the way first. I like Johnny Depp. I really do. If I ever get the chance to have his children, I will embrace it with both hands. It’s therefore crucial that you understand that – when I say I didn’t like one of his movies, it means that there was really something wrong with it.
That was how I felt over the second and third Pirates movies. Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End were two of the worst written movies I have ever watched in my life. They were so bad that I even found myself unwilling to watch the first movie again. I eventually broke and watched The Curse of the Black Pearl earlier in the year and it reminded me how good it was, and how bad the others were. I didn’t think that the writers would shame themselves into attempting a fourth movie but apparently I had underestimated the tenacity of Hollywood ambition.
On Stranger Tides started showing here about a month ago and I found myself in two minds about whether or not I was going to waste my time and money watching it. I eventually broke under peer pressure when my best friend and riding companion dragged myself and Other Half to the cinema. Her faith in Johnny was still strong and she was very determined to watch this movie.
I went with a lot of reserve and found that – although it wasn’t great, it was most certainly better than the previous two. The humour, the character and the rhythm of the movie was a lot more like the first one. It wasn’t as exciting or as ‘new’ as it could’ve been but it certainly wasn’t bad. I’m a sucker for swashbuckling sword fights. The more ‘ca-ching’ of metal on metal that I hear, the happier I get.
So, Jack Sparrow managed to redeem himself and the ending they gave us was the ending I needed in the third movie. Jack got his ship back, all was well in the pirate world and… he didn’t get hit by another girl. 😉
I wouldn’t give it more than a 6 out of 10 score wise, but it wasn’t torture to watch from beginning to end.