Blu-Ray Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut

Director: Bryan Singer
Screenplay: Simon Kinberg
Based on a Graphic Novel by: Chris Claremont, John Byrne
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage
Country: USA/UK/Canda
Running Time: 142 min (Rogue Cut) 126 (Theatrical Cut)
Year: 2014
BBFC Certificate: 12 (although the commentary is rated 15)

I like to moan about super hero movies. There seems to be an endless stream of them nowadays with these extended universes and such, so I’ve grown very tired of hearing about them. 90% of online chatter seems to surround the latest super hero movie trailer or casting news. Personally I couldn’t give a s**t about most of it and become a snob hiding in the corner with my indie movies and classic re-releases. However, despite my grumbling, I’ve actually enjoyed most of the super hero films I’ve seen during this decade-and-a-half boom.

One of last year’s super hero movies that I liked quite a lot was X-Men: Days of Future Past. So when I was offered a chance to review the new Rogue Cut of the film, I decided to break away from my usual snooty high-brow/classic/cult posts to join the mainstream.

I won’t go into too much detail about the plot for X-Men: Days of Future Past as most of you will already have seen it. Basically, in the future, the world is a bleak and desolate place, particularly for mutants who are being hunted and killed by the all powerful Sentinels (big evil robots that can take on mutant powers). The X-Men have a plan though. They send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back into the subconscious of his 1970’s self to change events surrounding Mystique/Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Charles Xavier (a.k.a. Professor X, played by James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (a.k.a. Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender) which led to the development of the Sentinel programme, spearheaded by Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).

What The Rogue Cut adds in its 16 extra minutes, alongside a couple of minor changes here and there, is, as you might have guessed, a role for Rogue (Anna Paquin). She was a major character in the first couple of films, but was left on the cutting room floor when Days of Future Past hit cinemas. In these re-instated scenes she is saved from experimentation by Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Bobby/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) so that she can help the wounded Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) keep Wolverine in his former subconscious.

Would you like to know more…?

Soundtrack Of Your Life #13: Spawn

How come God hogs up all the good podcasters, and we’re left with… .

Each episode, Corey Pierce welcomes a guest (or guests) onto the show who has chosen a compilation or soundtrack that speaks to a memorable era of their life. The soundtrack will play underneath and serves as a springboard to discussion about the music itself, how it works within the film, and what was going on with their life at the time of its release.

For episode 13, Corey once again dips into his wedding party, welcoming comedian/voice actor/Classic Simpsons Trivia Toronto host Chris Brazeau . After an extended intro featuring talk of Harry Shearer and a game of Stump The Guest, we dive into 1997’s critically reviled Spawn, known for it’s collaborative efforts between then-hot alterna-metal acts and emerging heavyweights of the genre we then called electronica. We find the film to be surprisingly campy fun whilst reflecting back on stories of teenage rebellion and finding ways to set yourself apart via clothing. Stay tuned to the end where we also discuss a recent local controversy around women in comedy facing sexual harassment.

Follow Corey Pierce on Twitter at – @coreypierceart
Follow Chris Brazeau (Simpsons Trivia Toronto) on Twitter at @woohootriviaTO
Follow Soundtrack of Your Life on Twitter at @thisisyourOST

Another Comic Book Goes Big Screen – Care of John Woo

Caliber Comic Covers

If you thought that the comic book/Hollywood marriage was on its way out, or if you were holding your breath for the day the divorce came, you may want to reconsider and take a few more breaths otherwise, you aren’t going to make it. Now that we’re almost through adapting the big name comics and even digging through some of the minor characters, the time has come to start thinking about those shiny new stories hitting the shelves.

Sam Sarkar’s “Caliber” is one hot commodity. The premise: Arthurian legend transported to the Wild West. Hum, King Arthur as a gunslinger? I guess I could go with that. According to the official website for the comic

The Arthurian legend as retold in the American Old West, with all of its great symbolism, magic and spirit of adventure. The Knights of the Round Table are all gunslingers bound by a code of honor to protect the weak and defend the innocent until they are undone from within by their own moral corruption. In this tale, Caliber itself is a tattooed six-gun, given to Arthur by the Indians and imbued with supernatural power. The secret of the gun is that it is never loaded with bullets, but when a man with Justice on his side is holding it, it can fire. When it does, it fires Thunder itself and never misses.

Admitedly, this sounds like it could be fun. Not sure I can let go of my traditional vision of Arthur and his knights but I’m willing to give it a break at least until I check out the comic.

The real reason to even care about the comic to begin with is the announcement that the great John Woo is going to be directing a film based on the comic. Oh dear. John Woo and the wild west? I guess it could be cool but I pine for the long gone days of Hard-Boiled.

I’m waiting for the day when it’s announced that Michael Haneke is making a comic book adaptation. At the rate we’re going, it’s probably not too far down the road.

Zack Snyder’s Watchmen Trailer

Watchmen Movie StillFor one reason or another, likely because everyone else and their mother is gushing about it, we haven’t posted anything on 300 director Zack Snyder’s much anticipated upcoming film Watchmen.

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel from Alan Moore (to this day the only graphic novel to have won a Hugo) the film stars a whole load of people that has me quite excited: Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, (that’s quite the trio!) and Jackie Earle Haley among a load of others.

I had to read the wiki entry for the book to get a gist for what was going on because the trailer doesn’t give us non-fans much. What I can gleam from it all is that the story takes place in an alternative history United States in which “a group of past and present superheroes and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own.”

The comic is considered to be quite groundbreaking and I’ve read and enjoyed some of Moore’s other works (notably “V for Vendetta” and “Top Ten”) but this one has continued to elude me, mostly because it always seems to be sold out at my local comic haunt. I’m just not hardcore enough to order it or ask them to reserve me a copy.

Thanks to Devin at CHUD for the tip, the trailer is up over at Empire. It’s gorgeous, I give it that, but it’s also slightly mystifying. I have no idea what’s going on. I may have to break down and order that book after all.

Watchmen opens March 6, 2009.

If you prefer, you can also watch it right here:

Watchmen Teaser Trailer