Thursday, July 3, 2014

Quick Reviews: X-Men Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow

Sorry for the delay folks, but I just haven't been that inspired to write reviews lately for some reason.  Maybe it's because of the lack of appealing movies this summer.  It seems that there's not much out there to draw my attention.  That being said, I did see two movies over the past few months and both deal with time-travel of some sort.  X-Men Days of Future Past and Edge of Tomorrow each get 4 out of 5 JR ratings and are both technically brilliant and engrossing films that don't quite make the upper echelon of movies I've seen this year.


Bryan Singer is back at the helm of the X-Men franchise in this 5th installment of the series. Singer returns to drive an all-star cast where nearly most every major player has either won or been nominated for an Oscar. In a Star Trek Generations (which Patrick Stewart also appeared in) style mashup of two generations of cast members the audience is treated to a time-traveling story arc that brings together a variety of mutants in a fight against mechanical Sentinel adversaries brought forth by Tyrion Lannister himself, Peter Dinklage (an anti-mutant member of congress).  Each mutant gets his/her chance to shine in this story and Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Hugh Jackman in particular bring their respective A-games to the table. The acting across the board is excellent and the visual effects are very well done (especially the time-slowing sequence that new mutant Quicksilver ignites).  I just felt that too many mutants were mixed into the plot and I could really do without the most boring mutant of them all in Halle Berry's lukewarm Storm.  This was definitely one of the better X-Men films however and sets things up nicely for X-Men Apocalypse which is due out in 2016.


Edge Of Tomorrow is an out-of-nowhere original Sci Fi action film directed by Doug Liman (Swingers, Go, Bourne Identity) that takes bits and pieces of ideas from other films (The Matrix, Avatar, etc..) and showcases them under the umbrella of Groundhog Day.  Tom Cruise plays an unwilling soldier who is thrust into a European war between humans and aliens. Teaming up with a ruthless and rugged female soldier, played by the surprisingly spry Emily Blunt, Cruise ends up stuck in a time loop in which he must work with Blunt to help save humanity. I saw this film in 3D and it was well worth it. The visual effects are great and when coupled with the high-end action sequences help make the whole film feel like sort of a video game. Cruise and Blunt have good chemistry and while Cruise has done this before countless times (leading an action film), Blunt really does make the movie worthwhile with her performance. Some of the time loop did get a little repetitive but thankfully Liman is able to make the audiance avoid any real comparisons to Groundhog Day. I was disappointed in the design of the alien beings as they seemed to be pulled right out of the last two Matrix films. This film is worth a watch in the theater, especially in 3D and it's good to see old Tommy Cruise back on top of his game.


With half the year complete, I am still looking for my first 5 out of 5 JR film. Nothing I've seen in the past 9 months has come close to what Gravity brought to the table. I am hoping that the fall months bring about some quality films. The best hope on the horizon for a perfect 5-JR movie may be Christopher Nolan's Interstellar which comes out in November.  I again want to apologize for the delay and I hope to be more prompt with my review of the next film I see (might be Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

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