Black Panther Review (No Spoilers)

black-panther-hr-posterHere’s my spoiler-free review of Black Panther:

I said in my initial reaction that this might be my new favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, but that only time would tell. Two days and an additional viewing later, I’m still not exactly sure where it will land in my personal MCU rankings, but I’m still pretty certain it will be very near the top. So what makes this movie so good? To honestly answer that question, I feel like I’d have to make feature-length commentary track for the entire movie, akin to a director’s commentary. Instead, I’ll just have to settle for a few general statements.

I may as well start with one of my favorite aspects of the film: the score. It may seem odd to point this out first, but the score was absolutely phenomenal. It almost felt like it was its own character within the movie. Unlike many previous Marvel movies where the score is unnoticeable and forgettable, throughout pretty much the entire film I found myself amazed by how much the music enhanced what we were seeing on the screen. In fact, I made sure to listen to the album in its entirety yesterday, and I’m even listening to it again as I write this. (To be clear, I’m talking about the instrumental score by Ludwig Göransson, not the original music by Kendrick Lamar, though that was used to good effect as well.) It will almost certainly be nominated for “Best Score” in next year’s iteration of the McKoovies (shameless plug).

An additional amazing strength of this film was its cast. The amount of great characters is so high, it’s possible that Black Panther’s character was overshadowed in his own film. It’s not that T’Challa was particularly uninteresting. On the contrary, several times throughout the film, I found myself thinking “T’Challa is freaking cool.” However, the film just happens to feature several other characters that may be cooler: Killmonger, Shuri, Okoye, M’Baku, Nakia, and so on. I honestly don’t think I could pick a favorite character from this film. Two brief side notes about Shuri: one, I love that this might be the best sibling relationship we’ve seen in a superhero movie yet; the banter and interactions between T’Challa and Shuri are completely believable and entertaining. Two, someone online mentioned that it’s cool that Shuri now gets to be the second quick-witted sciencey teen in the MCU in addition to Peter Parker, and the second that they pointed that out, I suddenly realized that I needed to see a Peter/Shuri relationship on screen NOW. Heck with Liz or Michelle, I better see Peter meet Shuri in Infinity War, and I better see SPARKS FLY. The world needs this, Marvel. You better not hold out on us.

An additional great aspect of this film is how NOT black-and-white it is (no pun intended). The good guys are flawed and the bad guys have understandable motives. There are times when you may not agree with the good guys’ philosophies and what they do. There are times when you may actually agree with the bad guys’ philosophies and what they do. This is not your typical good vs evil story that you see in many superhero films. However, ultimately Killmonger (the main villain) goes too far in trying to pursue his goals, which leads to Black Panther needing to stop him. That said, this might be the best ideological conflict we’ve gotten in a Marvel film so far.

Despite this, Black Panther is still a superhero movie at its core. While it takes many of the basic elements of superhero movies and improves upon them (and includes so much more than just your basic superhero movie), it doesn’t quite transcend the genre like The Dark Knight or Logan did. So if you hate superhero movies, you may still end up disliking this for some of its superhero-ish elements, but if you’re merely picky about which superhero films you choose to see, this is highly likely to be one that you’ll enjoy (and if you like/love superhero movies, you probably like/love this).

One other thing that bears mentioning: upon my first viewing, I thought that the pacing and suspense were great. While the movie did have some predictable moments, I found myself genuinely not knowing what was going to happen several times. I also walked out the movie completely PUMPED. Yet some of the enjoyability and suspense that was there on my first viewing wasn’t present the second time around. In my experience, it’s possible to know everything that’s going to happen within a movie but still feel suspense (Jurassic Park, Psycho, and 10 Cloverfield Lane provide some good examples of this), but it just wasn’t there for me on the second viewing. However, it’s entirely possible that this was simply due to some inconsiderate patrons seated near me that were distracting me throughout the movie. (The guy next to me had his phone in his lap, and he had some kind of notification light that kept blinking every few seconds throughout the entire first half of the movie until I finally asked him to put his phone away, and a guy about 3 or 4 people down from me was muttering commentary throughout the entire movie – and not just occasionally, it was literally like once a minute he would say something. Anyway, the moral of the story is please be considerate and actually do the basic theater etiquette things – keep your phone put away, and if you need to make a comment, keep it quiet and do it exceedingly sparingly). All of that said, when I finally see this movie a third time (likely when it’s available for home purchase), it’s entirely possible that I may find myself liking it as much as the first time. Stay tuned.

There’s a ton more I could say about this film, but I don’t want to turn this into a full-length essay. In short: this movie is great in several ways that I haven’t even mentioned, and it deserves to be seen. Get to the theater as soon as you can, because it’s worth it. The only other thing I have to say is:

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Nominations for this Year’s McKoovies Announced!

I love the Oscars. They are a great opportunity to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the magic of movies. I also love them because they make me aware of good films that I may have otherwise missed. However, one common complaint that many people have is that they rarely nominate “mainstream movies.” (Or, as some say, “why can’t they nominate movies that I’ve actually seen?”) While I’m happy with the Oscars staying the way that they are, I thought I’d take the chance this year to recognize some films that had a more widespread audience. Thus, I present: The McKoovies™.

The criteria for selection are pretty simple: in order to be nominated, a movie had to be one of the top 25 highest grossing films (domestically) in 2017. (For the curious, the complete list can be found here.) Of course, a disclaimer should be given that I have not seen all 25 of the highest grossing films last year, so it’s possible that I’ve left off a movie that deserved a nomination, but what’s a nominee list without some snubs? (Be sure to let me know your thoughts on which films deserved nominations, but didn’t get any.)

The five categories (and their explanations) are as follows:

  • Best Picture – Pretty self explanatory, this will be my favorite film of the year (from among the eligible nominees).
  • Best Acting in a Lead Role – Also pretty self-explanatory, this will be for whoever gave what I see as the best acting performance for a lead character.
  • Best Acting in a Supporting Role – Ditto but for a supporting character.
  • Best Visuals – This category encompasses almost every visual aspect of a film: cinematography, visual effects, costumes/makeup, production design, etc. In other words, if you were to mute the movie and ignore the acting and story, which film simply looks the most impressive?
  • Best Score – A film can get nominated for this in one of two ways: one, it can employ the score in such a way that significantly adds to the storytelling and overall feel of the film, and/or two, it can simply be a score that is amazing to listen to even when isolated from the film that it comes from. For example, had this year’s Power Rangers been eligible for nomination, its score would have likely gotten a score nomination (and possibly even a win) because even though the movie itself was pretty mediocre, its score is a blast to listen to (and might actually be the 2017 score I’ve listened to more than all others).

And the nominees are….

Best Score:

  • Coco
  • Dunkirk
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Wonder Woman

Best Visuals:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Thor: Ragnarok

Best Acting in a Supporting Role:

  • Cate Blanchett as Hela in Thor: Ragnarok
  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Dafne Keen as Laura in Logan
  • James McAvoy as the various personalities of Kevin Wendell Crumb in Split
  • Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier in Logan

Best Acting in a Lead Role:

  • Gal Godot as Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman
  • Tom Holland as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Hugh Jackman as Logan in Logan
  • Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington in Get Out
  • Andy Serkis as Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Picture:

  • Coco
  • Logan
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Wonder Woman

Well, there you have ‘em. Be sure to let me know what you think of this list, and who you think should win! The winners will be announced some time in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Nominees

The Cloverfield Paradox – Review

DVPD_0XXkAAyTbWMe, for the first half of this movie: “it’s dumb, but I love it.” Me, for the second half of this movie: “it’s just dumb.” Read on for the rest of my (mostly spoiler free) thoughts.

Travel back in time to a little over ten years ago: a trailer dropped for a monster movie, and the marketing campaign was crazy enough to give you the release date of the movie, but not the title. It was eventually revealed that the title was Cloverfield and the movie went on to become a surprise hit. Fast forward to two years ago: out of nowhere, a trailer dropped for a movie called 10 Cloverfield Lane and audiences were surprised to discover that not only was Cloverfield getting a (sort-of) sequel, but that the movie was only two months away from release. Upon release, it received high praise from critics and audiences alike, and was seen by most as a superior film to the first. Now, jump to last night. Viewers of the “big game” were treated to a commercial for a third film, The Cloverfield Paradox, that not only promised to explain what happened in the first movie, but also came with a surprising release schedule: you can watch it tonight, on Netflix. It appeared that the marketing and the release schedules were getting crazier with each film. Would this movie also continue the trend of being of higher quality than its predecessor? Unfortunately, no.

A cliche, but more accurate, title for this movie would be Cloverfield: Origins because it not only blatantly explains the first movie (and to some degree the second), it also seems like it is going to be the set-up for any future Cloverfield movies (a fourth one is purportedly already on the way). That’s a bit of a bummer, because even if all of the other films are great, viewers of them who wonder “why did this event happen?” are going to have to go back and watch this mediocre film for an explanation. Another way to think of it – this movie is for the Cloverfield series what the prequel trilogy was for Star Wars: it was the backstory that you thought you wanted, and it had some cool bits, but it mostly makes you wish you didn’t know the backstory and leaves you wondering if this movie retroactively lessens the coolness of the previous ones (and potential future ones).

That said, there were parts I enjoyed. As I mentioned above, despite some of its flaws (and we’ll get to those in a moment), the first half of the movie has some genuinely mind-bending horror elements. I’m not a huge fan of horror movies, but, oddly enough, when this movie was simply trying to be pure horror, that’s usually when I enjoyed it the most. Also, throughout the film, they provide several puzzle pieces that explain the backstory connecting the three Cloverfield films. For the first few such pieces I had some “Oh my gosh, mind blown!” reactions, but as the film progressed, each new revelation had diminishing effects, to the point where the big revelation that we get in the final shot of the film pretty much just made me say (rather unenthusiastically), “cool, I guess.”

27540205_10160015883600374_8847721534562164590_nHowever, the two biggest flaws in the film are probably the writing and the editing. It took me most of the film to figure out which of those two elements was the real problem before I finally realized that it was both. A lot of the dialogue is simply not good and the movie is put together in a very jarring way – it switches tones and scenes and settings and storylines at seemingly random points. In other words, this movie tends to be rather confusing. Not in a good, keep-you-guessing and trying to figure out what’s going to happen next kind of way, but mostly just a “wait, what just happened, and why was that important?” kind of way. Given, most of the seemingly random things are addressed later in the film (as in “Ah! So that’s why they randomly showed us that scene 20 minutes ago”), but there are also several elements that are not. For example: *Minor spoiler* – what was with the husband back on earth randomly going to a friend’s bunker? Other than the crazy guy from the second movie, who just happens to have a bunker? Were they trying to draw some kind of weird parallel to the second film? If so, what was the point? Also, what’s up with the little girl that he randomly rescued? Again, she could have been part of the aforementioned weird parallel, but it seems like a weird and unnecessary Easter egg. “Hey, we’re gonna have a guy rescue a girl and take her to a bunker!” “Does this storyline serve any purpose in the film whatsoever?” “Nah, we just wanted to remind you of the clearly superior film that we made two years ago.” *end spoiler*

So, should you watch this movie? Well, it’s on Netflix so if you don’t mind potentially wasting an hour and half of your life, then go for it. If you’re a little more choosy than that, this movie is pretty much only for the hardcore Cloververse continuity nerds who want more of a backstory to the first movie, and also want to know how the first connects to the second. If neither of those questions intrigue you, skip this, and just go over to Amazon Prime and watch (or re-watch) 10 Cloverfield Lane (it stands on its own just fine).

 

The McKoo Review Strikes Back

First off, thank you to everyone who continues to support and encourage my writing of movie reviews. I initially created this blog a couple years back with some pretty ambitious goals of posting updates on a frequent and fixed schedule. However, it didn’t take too long before the structure that I created for myself started to seem less like a fun way to talk about movies, and more like a burden that I had needlessly committed myself to. So I stopped maintaining this blog. I still wrote reviews from time to time on my personal Facebook page, but they pretty much just took the form of long Facebook posts. Many of you continued to support and interact with those, but from time to time, I’d get a comment that would say something like: “I finally saw [insert movie], and I wanted to go back a read your review, but I had to scroll through a month’s worth of posts just to find it. I wish there was a place where it would be easier for me to find specific reviews of yours.” Well, I have finally taken such feedback to heart, and I’m happy to say that I’m relaunching The McKoo Review.

This time around, rather than forcing myself to stick to a schedule with regular columns about specific topics, I’m going to use this simply as a platform to talk about movies when I have something to say. There may be times when I post multiple updates in a week, and there may be times when I don’t post any updates for several weeks. To make it easier to know when I post something (because who religiously checks up on blogs nowadays?), I’ve created a Facebook page specifically for my McKoo Review posts (found here), similar to the page that I run (now somewhat halfheartedly) for memes (shameless plug). I’ll still post some of my reviews on my regular/personal Facebook page (especially for the mainstream, blockbuster movies), but if you’re also interested in my commentary on the world of filmmaking in general, or my discussions of the more “artsy” or “prestige” type films (read: Oscar bait), be sure to follow the specific McKoo Review page on Facebook, as I won’t be posting everything to my personal page.

In the meantime, here’s something coming to the McKoo Review in the near future that you can watch out for – an announcement for my own personal categories and nominees for my own “best of” awards for the films of 2017! Look for the announcement of the categories, nominees, and winners as we get closer to Oscar time. I’m still trying to think of a name for my awards (I’m leaning toward “The McKoovies”), but I’m open to suggestions. Also, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll write a review for Black Panther in a couple weeks, so be sure to look out for that.

Until next time.

Last Week in Movie News (23 May – 29 May)

tom-hiddleston-james-bondHere is some of the major movie news that dropped last week, along with links to the full stories:

It was confirmed that Tom Hiddleston is one of the actors in talks to play the new James Bond.

One source reports that the upcoming theatrically released animated Spider-Man film (which is already confirmed to be in a separate film universe from the upcoming live-action Spider-Man film) will focus on Miles Morales, not Peter Parker, as Spider-Man. In the comics, Miles Morales is the half-African American, half-Latino character who took over the role of Spider-Man in the Ultimate Marvel Universe (a prominent alternate-reality featured in Marvel Comics) when the Peter Parker from that universe died. He recently joined the main Marvel Comics universe where he and that universe’s Peter Parker share the title of Spider-Man.

The first teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which will star Emma Watson as Belle, hit the internet:

The release date for Maze Runner: The Death Cure has been pushed back nearly a year to January 12, 2018 due the serious injuries that its star Dylan O’Brien sustained while filming a stunt scene.

The first trailer for the upcoming sci-fi/drama/romance The Space Between Us dropped:

A release date for The Little Prince, an award-winning animated film which was originally scheduled to be released in America by Paramount only to be dropped by them and later picked up by Netflix, was announced.

X-Men: Apocalypse was #1 at the box office this weekend and made $65 million over the three-day weekend. It is expected to make an additional $12-$15 million by the end of the four-day holiday weekend.

X-Men: Apocalypse Review – NO SPOILERS

cf7kkqeuuaeqameThe following review contains NO SPOILERS.

tl;dr – X-Men: Apocalypse may have had some flaws, but it was packed with so many awesome moments that by the time the credits rolled, I didn’t really care about them.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. X-Men: Apocalypse is getting pretty mehh reviews from critics. Does it deserve that? Maybe. Did the X-Men movie/comic book fan inside me love this movie? Yes. Did the film critic inside me love this movie? I’m not sure, my inner fanboy was being too loud, so I think the film critic inside me may have simply checked out. All of this is to say that X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t as finely crafted of a film as previous entries like Days of Future Past, but that doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly entertaining movie.

X-Men: Apocalypse’s biggest strength is also it’s biggest weakness: it tries too hard to please the fans. For me, there were so many moments that made my inner fanboy squeal with joy, and not just my inner X-Men movie fan, but also my inner X-Men comic book fan. For the first time ever, it looks like Bryan Singer decided to appeal to the comic book readers by including several elements from the comics. I can’t discuss too many without giving away spoilers, but I think this was most evident with the characters of Scott and Jean – they are better developed in this movie than they were in any of the previous films, especially Jean.

To be honest, Magneto is probably my favorite character of the franchise (more on him in a bit), but Jean was my favorite character in this film, and Sophie Turner was great as the character. It may help that her voice even sounds a little like Jean from the 90s cartoon. And for comic book fans, Jean finally gets to do something in this movie that I’ve been waiting to see since they introduced her character all the way back in the first X-Men. Xavier also gets to show off his powers more than in previous films

So, in summary, there is a lot of awesome stuff in this movie that will satisfy your inner fanboy/fangirl that I can’t discuss without revealing spoilers. Just know that they’re there, and they’re awesome.

However, while this movie might be the most fanboy-friendly X-Men movie to date, it accomplishes this at the expense of the emotional resonance of most of the previous films. Most of the X-Men films focus pretty heavily on themes like discrimination and maintaining hope during dark times. This movie is pretty much only about a team of superheroes stopping a bad guy who wants to destroy the world. In fact, this movie feels much more like most Marvel Cinematic Universe films than it does like most previous X-Men films – it has an underdeveloped villain who wants to do bad stuff because reasons, it throws in tons of references to please comic book fans, and it’s packed with well-timed humor. While I am a huge fan of the MCU, I have not been one of the people campaigning to give the X-Men rights back to Marvel, because I felt that the X-Men films under Marvel’s control would feel a lot more like this movie than previous spectacular entries like Days of Future Past, First Class, and X2. If future X-Men films follow this trend, they may as well give the rights back to Marvel so we can at least see some cool crossovers (Avengers vs X-Men movie, anyone?) That said, I still have hope that Singer can turn the ship around with the next movie. I honestly feel that his movies work better when he’s trying to make a good movie rather than when he is trying to please the fans.

Another complaint is about Magneto. As I said, he’s probably my favorite character from the franchise, but they do some pretty weird things with him here. They give him some pretty decent motivation for why he does what he does in this movie, but I still thought that it felt like joining Apocalypse in his mission was a bit of an overreaction. You want to kill the humans that discriminate against mutants? Totally cool, bro. You want to kill human and mutant alike in an extinction level event? Not cool man, not cool.

Lastly, there is a lot of convenience in this movie. Characters happen to randomly be in the right place at the right time more than once. Also,  Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen seem pretty quick to go along with his plans with pretty much no explanation. “You want to cause a mass extinction killing all but only the strongest people on earth? Okay. Can I come too?” seems to be the motivation of all except Magneto.

So, as I said, not the best X-Men film. But if you go into the movie looking for an exciting action movie rather than an intellectually stimulating film that happens to feature superheroes, you’ll have a good time.

P.S. Stay until the end of the credits.

What are your thought on X-Men: Apocalypse? Sound off in the comments section below, and be sure to use spoiler warnings when appropriate!

 

Movie Club – X-Men: Days of Future Past Discussion

13271659_10157021917005374_157650580_oWelcome to McKoo’s Movie Club! For more information on how it works, click here. The movie that we are discussing this week is X-Men: Days of Future Past. Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead, so please return after you’ve watched it if you haven’t yet.

As I start this discussion, I have to admit that I may be biased – X-Men: Days of Future Past is not only my favorite superhero movie to date, it’s probably my favorite movie after all three films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I’m still not convinced that I’ll ever see a movie that I like as much as LOTR). There are several reasons for this, which I shall attempt to discuss coherently. I suppose I should first explain that the original X-Men trilogy was as formative a part of my teenage movie experience as the original Star Wars trilogy was for my childhood. Given, the X-Men series was never my #1 favorite like Star Wars was when I was a kid, but that’s because LOTR came out around the same time as X-Men, and as I already acknowledged, nothing can ever beat LOTR.

All of this is to say that my love for this film probably is heavily influenced by nostalgia. In fact, the first bit of nostalgia that struck for me when watching this movie for the first time occurred within minutes of the opening of the movie. After a quick prologue with dark shots of the depressing world of the future narrated by Patrick Stewart (whose narration is in itself a throwback to previous X-Men movies), we dive straight into the opening titles. Nothing particularly special, right? Except for the fact that it is the EXACT SAME OPENING TITLE MUSIC FROM X2. I have (and had at that point as well) been saying for years that the most disappointing aspect of most superhero films today is that they lack a single heroic musical theme. Whether it’s compared to John Williams’ Superman theme (which is still my favorite superhero theme, and just may be my favorite Williams theme period) or Danny Elfman’s iconic Batman and Spider-Man themes, we rarely have modern superhero films that have music that can match, and we certainly don’t have superhero movies with opening titles sequences that utilize the theme to get you pumped about the upcoming movie.  And in the rare circumstance when a hero or group of heroes does have a recognizable theme, they are either barely used or not used at all in their subsequent films. X2 had the best music of the original trilogy (each film was scored by a different composer) and here was Days of Future Past bringing it back reinvigorated and in an awesome opening titles sequence. There I was in the theater, having seen hardly any of the movie, and I was already in love with it. To this day, any time I watch this movie, I always turn up my television’s volume as loud as I can stand it just for this scene, as it still gets me excited about what I’m about to watch.

The amazing thing is that the movie maintains this level of excitement throughout the very next scene. I still think that the opening fight with the Sentinels is one of the best super-powered fight scenes in cinematic history. Here you see mostly new characters exhibiting some visually beautiful powers, as well as finally getting to see Iceman use his iconic ice-slide. And then, you one by one see most of them tragically die (can I just say how freaking awesome it is to see Warpath facing what he knows what will be his death armed only with a dagger and charging head-on toward the sentinel anyway?) Forget superhero movies, this is one of my favorite action scenes in any film, period. As in, I’m seriously considering stopping this post right now just so that I can watch it again. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve probably watched just the first 10 minutes of this movie dozens of times.

Moving past the opening of the film, another one of my favorite scenes occurs when McAvoy’s Xavier meets Stewart’s Xavier. Let’s just set aside the fact that we get to see these two phenomenal actors interact for a moment, and focus on the dialogue of the scene. Xavier’s speech that includes the line “just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever … sometimes, we all need a little hope” just might be the most, well, hopeful, speech in a movie since Samwise Gamgee reminded us that “there is still some good left in this world … and it’s worth fighting for.” I don’t know how someone can watch this scene in the context of the film and not feel inspired to not only become a better person, but also to help loved ones who may be struggling. Additionally, John Ottman’s score during this scene, while subtle, I also find to be just as memorable and moving as the main theme that he used for the opening titles and end credits. Entitled “Hope (Xavier’s Theme),” I literally hear the opening notes of this piece of music in my head any time someone says the word “hope.” Can we also acknowledge what a throwback this is to one of the early scenes in the original X-Men film? When we see Xavier and Magneto on the screen for the first time in the original film, Magneto feels that Xavier is probing his mind, and he asks “Whatever are you looking for?” His response: “I’m looking for hope.” Throughout every film in the franchise, Xavier continues to hope, among many things, that Magneto can be redeemed. However, one of the main focuses of DOFP is Xavier’s loss and regaining of hope for his future, as well as Raven’s. And I feel that it explores both beautifully.

There is so much more that I could talk about with this film, but for the sake of attempted brevity, I will skip toward the end. Not only does the climactic battle have nearly as much amazing action as the opening scene, it also has a lot more emotional heft. Unlike the opening scene, when each of the characters were fairly confident they would live again via a changed timeline, here, the characters had nothing more than the hope (there’s that motif again) that by sacrificing themselves, their friends might be able to save the day. Once again drawing a parallel to LOTR, this scene reminds me of the emotional beat at the battle at the very end of Return of the King. The remains of the army of Gondor and Rohan, led by Aragorn, are willing to sacrifice themselves to a horde of orcs that greatly outnumber them, all in the hopes that it will buy Frodo enough time destroy the Ring.

And just like in Return of the King, where we get the joyfully happy endings of various Fellowship members reuniting with each other and the Hobbits returning to the Shire, we end this film seeing the characters that we know and love from the original trilogy not only alive, but also happy. It is of course especially moving to see both Scott and Jean, who both tragically died in The Last Stand, alive and together again. Perhaps this is the reason that I love this movie so much – I am a sucker for happy endings. And while this film may not be the ending of the X-Men franchise, it is the perfect ending to the original trilogy that started some 14 years before the release of this film. In a way, this movie was everything that I really wanted The Force Awakens to be that it wasn’t – a reunion of my favorite characters not only being their awesome selves (I’m looking at you, Luke “I’m only in this movie for 30 seconds” Skywalker), but also getting the true happy ending they deserve. For most pieces of fiction, the ending is always my favorite entry. Whether it was Deathly Hallows (both the book and the movie), Return of the King, Return of the Jedi, or even Children of the Mind (the conclusion to the original Ender’s Game book series), I am often a sucker for the final story that wraps everything up and puts a nice bow on it. And Days of Future Past can really be seen as the true ending to the original X-Men trilogy (while also continuing the new series that starting with First Class). What more could you want?

What are your thoughts about X-Men: Days of Future Past? Please sound off in the comments section below! Likewise, please share this movie club with your friends on social media – it will give you more people to discuss these movies with, and may even provide you opportunities to watch it with them!

NEXT WEEK’S FILM – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It can be streamed with a Netflix membership, or rented on Netflix DVD, Google Play, or Amazon.