November 17, 2006

By No Means A Complete List Of What Brett Ratner Did Wrong With X3

I avoided X3 in the theatres. I avoided it in new release rentals. But I recently got hooked on the animated series X-Men Evolution and remembered how much the characters and concept kicked ass. So I thought since X1 and X2 had been so good, I'd give X3 the old college try. Boy was that a mistake. I'm not saying Bryan Singer should never have handed the franchise over to a talentless music video director in order to make the gayest superhero movie ever but... PRIORITIES!

(By the way, I shouldn't even have to tell you that spoilers will abound in the remainder of this post. SPOILERS GALORE!)

1. Professor X... DEAD? Um, WTF? First of all, nobody kills Jean-Luc Picard. I don't care if he's on the holodeck pretending to be a mutant superhero or not, you just don't kill him. It's bad form. It's PROFESSOR CHARLES XAVIER! Oh my god, it's just all downhill from there. Cyclops, fine, kill him. In fact that was the one good move Ratner made. He just offed Cyclops right at the start. Cleared the annoyances out of the way, so to speak. "Right, now we can get on with things!" And I was with him there. But Professor X? No. Dude, no. Just... no.

2. Rogue... POWERLESS? Um, WTF? She didn't even get to kick ass before she was spayed. She didn't do anything at all except mope over Iceman. Then she disappeared and came back normal. Powerless. Ordinary. Mortal. Plain old Marie. No more Rogue.

3. Mystique... DEAD? Um, WTF? She took a 'cure bullet' for Magneto and that was it. POOF! No more Mystique. Like Rogue she was spayed. Rendered in ordinary flesh tones. Plain old Raven. Unlike Rogue, of course, she didn't have a choice. And unlike Rogue she probably won't survive the transformation. She doesn't know how to be herself. She doesn't really even know what she is. But it sure as hell shouldn't be NORMAL, should it Ratner? *mutters* Two-bit hack...

4. Magneto... POWERLESS? Um, WTF? I understand that the secondary title of X3 was "The Last Stand" but really this is a bit much. Magneto without the power is like Gandalf without the staff. And you wouldn't deny an old man his walking stick, would you? He's pretty much dead as a regular person. It would have been better for him to go out in a proverbial blaze of glory. Maybe Phoenix could have turned him to dust like she did to Professor X. At least that offered a semblance of dignity.

5. Pyro. He can't create fire. He can just control it. So shooting flames and fireballs out his hands like Spidey with webbing is just... dumb.

6. Colossus. He's meant to be Russian. So the all-American accent was a tad puzzling.

7. Magneto and the flaming cars of doom. Prior to his neutering Magneto stood overlooking the final climactic battle between humans and mutants and waited until nearly all the "pawns" had been forcibly cured or summarily dispatched by the X-Men before launching his ultimate attack: flaming cars. Yes, he used his limitless power to toss cars through the air whilst Pyro lit them en route. *lengthy silence* He can control metal. Why didn't he just pull the walls of the institute off? Or crush the soldiers with their own armour? Or fuse every weapon into a giant wrecking ball and bowl them all into the ocean? Or... you know, ANYTHING... anything besides tossing fiery cars... something not lame...

8. I'm pretty sure Callisto did not have the power of ultimate speed. Pietro, Magneto's son, was super-fast though. So I'm guessing that rather than bother with messy family ties and, say, plot narrative, Ratner just gave Pietro's powers to Callisto to save time.

9. Angel. Very pretty wings. Very nice blonde hair. Absolutely no purpose at all in the film. Actually, there were a whole lot of mutants out there with no explanation. If I had not just watched three seasons of X-Men Evolution in the span of two weeks, I would have been absolutely lost. As it was I didn't have names to apply to the majority of them. Apparently plot, narrative, and character development are secondary and expendable parts of filmmaking when there are flaming cars and moving bridges to be shown.

10. McSteamy is Multiple Man? Things at Grey's Anatomy's Seattle Grace are about to get very interesting indeed. Wait... mutant scanning technology can't tell the difference between an actual mutant and a copy of a mutant? WTF?

11. Jean Grey / Phoenix. Problem. Jean Grey died in X2. Nobody who has ever read an X-Men comic thought that was the end of her but probably those same people never expected Phoenix's arrival to be so... anticlimactic. Phoenix is the most powerful mutant on the planet. More powerful even than Magneto. She does some fairly cool stuff (like killing Cyclops in the first fifteen minutes of the film) and some fairly unexpected stuff (like killing Professor X in the next twenty minutes) and then just sort of stands around looking lost and reaching out to Wolverine via telepathy. Phoenix could do ANYTHING. Which may explain why Ratner, who does not have a grasp of mutant power continuity, was so afraid to unleash her. Sad.

12. I personally expected Juggernaut to be larger.

13. Halle Berry as Storm. This isn't actually Ratner's fault so he gets a pass on this one. Halle Berry, to me, is like the female Keanu Reeves. Storm needs to have presence and weight to her. Halle Berry makes Famke Janssen look like Meryl Streep by comparison. How in hell did she win an Oscar again?

I mourn the passing of a viable franchise. There is no redemption for the X-Men now. Brett Ratner well and truly obliterated the best of them. I won't even go into the pussification of Wolverine. Wolverine near tears? Let us not even speak of it. I hope Bryan Singer is proud enough of the Man of Steel's codpiece and lame-duck son storyline to soothe any guilt he should rightly feel over the bloodletting that was X3. I'm not saying he shouldn't have made Superman Returns but I am saying that Bryan Singer would have made X3 a killer film.

November 13, 2006

By the time I realized I hadn't posted in awhile, an update would have had to compete with Britney and K-Fed for airtime. And really, why bother? Not even the democratic process can compete with that. "Election? Ooooh, that's really import- WAIT, did Brit just dump K-Fed??"

Celebrity unions can best be described by somebody other than me. Specifically by Leeloo in The Fifth Element.

"Boom! Big bada boom! BIG badaboom!"

You see?

Sometimes I think celebrities continue to date and marry each other because it's amusing to us, the apparently idiotic tabloid-buying public. It's a way for them to continue to entertain without having to go to the trouble of, say, filming an actual movie or recording a whole album. Cuz those things are hard work, y'all. It's so much easier to just marry your back-up dancer.

Of course you could hold to the other, less publicized but likely more valid, belief that all celebrities are naturally insane. When you're nuts, these things make amusing ironic sense.

Hollywood. The great churner of relationships, tester of vows, and diverter of attention from the democratic process.

On a personal note, the thing I'd like most out of Brit and Kev's divorce is to erase the name "Kevin Federline" from my conscious memory forever. But, like the name "Tito Jackson", I fear this is a dream I will never see made into a reality. Some things are destined to haunt you forever. This is probably one of those things.