Tag Archives: Ellen Page

X-Men: Days of Future Past

I used to love watching the X-Men cartoon as a kid, so I’ve always had a soft spot for the mutants. Despite a few fumbles along the way (particularly The Last Stand and Wolverine: Origins), I’ve enjoyed the big screen version of the X-Men. But with time travel and a huge ensemble involved in this sequel will it be an epic adventure or an overloaded mess?

In the future robots called Sentinels are killing mutants. Things have gotten so bad that Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X(Patrick Stewart) have come together with a small band of surviving mutants to try to set things right. When Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) is able to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time (it makes more sense in the film-kind of), he tries to bring together the younger version of Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) to stop Mistique (Jennifer Lawrence) from making a terrible mistake that will affect all the mutants.

Ok first up the bad points. Anyone who reads this blog knows how much of a fan I am of Jennifer Lawrence. However this was not her best film. Not that she was awful but she looked like she bored the whole way through. It may be because her character Mistique didn’t have a powerful character arc this time around. Most of the time her character was just there to be in the middle of a power struggle between two men. Boring. I also didn’t understand how the character Kitty Pryde got the power to send Wolverine back in time in the first place. Maybe I missed something.

Thankfully there is plenty of good things in this movie. The highlight of which is Quicksilver (Evan Peters), one of the new mutants brought into the film franchise. He’s of particular interest because his character is appearing in both this movie and in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Based on what we’ve seen here, Marvel Studios have got their work cut for them trying to beat this version. Peters’ speedster Quicksilver has just a few scenes but his Quicksilver is funny and interesting. The sequence when we see things from his perspective as he speeds up and everyone slows down is brilliantly realised. The humour, the music, everything is perfect. I’m also glad they kept him to just those scenes as he could have been overused but instead it’s one of the memorable moments of the film.

Out of the future mutants I was really interested in was Blink (Fan Bingbing) and her portal creating abilities. I hope we get to see more of her. While it could have been mutant overload with the two timeline worth of characters sharing the screen, the film never feels messy and it easily flits back and forth between the two settings. There is also a lot of welcome humour amidst all the drama. Jackman’s Wolverine has a lot of the best lines and it’s always fun to watch him step back into the role. It’s also great to see both versions of Magneto and Professor X again, and we even get a scene where both Charles face each other for a pep talk.

Occasionally this movie drags a bit in between the action. However it tends to pick itself up again quite quickly. And I have to say I love the ending. The last few scenes are great and leaves you eagerly anticipating the next film.

Rating 4/5 – exciting, fun and full of action, in other words a great summer blockbuster

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The East

This is the third project from writer/producer/ actor Brit Marling and her second collaboration with director  Zal Batmanglij.

Former FBI agent Sarah (Brit Marling) now works as an agent for a private firm. She is sent undercover to spy on an eco-terrorist group called The East lead by Benji (Alexsander Skarsgard) and Izzy (Ellen Page). However she soon finds herself sympathising with the enemy and find her loyalties being tested.

One of the film’s failings is that although the characters are interesting we don’t get too deep into them and I’m not sure I cared about most of their reasons for committing the acts they do. The most sympathetic character is Toby Kebbell (from tv series Black Mirror best episode –The Entire History of You) as Doc, whose motives for joining The East  are heartbreaking.

I also found the character of Sarah a bit hard to figure out (which I suppose is good for a corporate spy). I guess I wanted to see what happened in her past to make her choose this career. Her attraction to leader Benji is also underwhelming. It’s odd becuase both actors are fine in their roles with Skarsgard a charismatic (and hot) leader but the chemistry between them is a bit flat. I wasn’t sure it was enough to contemplate Sarah switching sides. Once again Ellen Page shows she’s a great actress but she seems a bit wasted in her role of Izzy depsite a few good scenes. Although Marling is fine in the main role of Sarah at times I wondered if it would been better to switch Page and Marling’s roles? After all who would expect the youthful Page of being a corporate spy?

Then there’s the ending. I thought the film would end with more of a punch. Instead it feels like a compromise. Although its different then going for the usual Hollywood ending, I was disapointed when the ending wasn’t as explosive or angry as I hoped for.

The East doesn’t feel as inspiring as it should be or as clever as it hopes to be. Although it was engaging while it was on screen it doesn’t linger in the mind long after leaving the cinema, which considering the subjects the film hopes to inspire, is unfortunate.

However the message about our environment is admirable and trying to promote discussion is always good, and it is thrilling while you’re watching it. One to watch on dvd.

Rating 3/5-Triple Threat Brit Marling is one talent to watch out for in the future.

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