Jennifer Lawrence

X-Men Apocalypse

I grew up on the 90s X-Men the Animated Series. Regarded as one the greatest cartoons ever made. Maybe that’s just my opinion, but screw it; I’m choosing to believe everyone agrees with me. I’ve gone back to watch it, still love it. When the first film came out I was in the 8th grade. I spent the entire day at the theater. I saw it 3 times that day. X2, I saw a total of 5 times in the theater. These movies helped shape my childhood as they have for so many others. Weather it is a metaphor for race, or sexual orientation, or in my case just feeling like an outsider. They helped give you hope. The X-Men have always given me hope. So when I began to hear preliminary reviews of Apocalypse, I was worried. Luckily, there was no need to be.

X-Men Apocalypse follows the resurrection of En Sabah Nur. The film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, and Olivia Munn. It is once again directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2, Days of Future Past). In the movie Apocalypse (Isaac) an ancient mutant has awaken in the 1980s. Ten years since the events in 70’s in Days of Future past. Magneto (Fassbender) is in hiding, and Xavier (McAvoy) is running his school. When this Ancient Mutant recruits 4 powerful mutants to join his cause, The X-Men must come together and stop him by any means.

First off this cast is awesome. There was some worry on my part that the new cast would not live up to the original cast. Especially with Sophie Turner who plays Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones as Jean Grey. Even in the trailers all I heard was Sansa, a character I hate, whining and crying like she does on the show. In film however Sansa was nowhere to be seen and Jean Grey near flawless! Tye Sheridan gives us the Cyclops we have all been waiting for. Not that James Marsden was not great, but this go around we finally get the character right! Olivia Munn while not having a lot to do was functional in the role and I look forward to seeing more of her. As well James McAvoy has dialed into this character so well, that he is synonymous with Professor X as much as Patrick Stewart is.

A few casting issues did bother me though. The most of being the casting of Kodi Smit-McPhee. While it’s not entirely his fault, the character just didn’t work for me. He had big shoes to fill, and I don’t think he, or almost anyone, would have been up for the task. Alan Cummings was so incredible in the role that it makes it hard to see anyone else. And this just did not work for me. As well J Law has got to go. While she is great in the role, and she does not phone it in like I had heard she did, she has become, in her own mind, too big for the role. Mystique is blue. The fact that J Law won’t portray her as so in more of the film really distracts you from it. But it’s not just her. Nicholas Hoult does the same thing. Too much Hoult, not enough Beast.

Another shining star however is Evan Peters again as Quicksilver. We get another epic Quicksilver “bullet time” scene, and they dialed it up a few notches this go around. He adds much needed comedic moments all throughout the film. It is great to see him taking a bigger role in the film. As well Fassbender is a shining star, as always. There is a scene in the woods early on with Magneto that is just incredible and so well acted.

Apocalypse himself is a little bit of positive, mixed with a little bit of negative. Oscar Isaac is great in the role. His look is incredible. This makes me learn not to trust a first look photo from Entertainment ever again. The only issue with his look is the size. He is not that large in stature and it hurts his menacing appearance. Even with a dark and brooding voice, his size kind of hurt the character. As well his motivations and reasoning’s sometimes get lost in the shuffle of the film. It’s not quite clear why all his Horsemen follow him, or why his plan to do what he is doing. As well his powers are a bit inconsistent. He has some incredible violent powers, which he chooses not to use as he fights the X-Men… Kind of hurt the psychology. But over all a well portrayed villain.

This paragraph might contain minor spoilers for the film if you have not seen all the trailers. So skip over it and go to the next one if you have not seen the film, and don’t wish to know these spoilers. You have been warned! As we see in the commercial Wolverine is in the film, and he is freaking awesome. If we even get 1/3 of the Wolverine we see here in Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the character it will be nothing short of epic. Of all we have seen, this is the greatest portrayal of Weapon X. Part of my bonus score goes to this scene, a matter a fact .4 of it does. The post credit scene has a lot to do with Wolverine as well, possibly hinting at the villains of his next film. I rate this post credit on a Marvel, Avengers, and Thanos like level of post credits. Remember when Thanos first showed up and half the population was like “Who is that?” That’s how I felt watching this, excited but confused! A perfect Post Credit scene!

Ok fear not, the spoilers are over. After you watch the movie feel free to come back and re read that, only minor spoilers. So all in all X-Men Apocalypse is a damn fun film. Not as great as First Class, X2, or Days of Future Past, but definitely in the top 5. One that I will be going back to see again soon. I gave it a score of 3.4 with a Jeebus bonus of .5 for a spoiler reason that won’t be said right here, and for the Quicksilver scene. A film you all need to go enjoy and have fun at. But what say you Jackass Nation? Have you seen it yet? What did you think? What is your favorite X-Men Film? Sound off in the comments below. And in the next few days be watching my podcast channel for a Jackass Reviews episode of X-Men Apocalypse that will be very spoiler heavy! But until next time, it is, what it is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Mockingjay Part 1

When The Hunger Games first came out, I said eh, I’m not the target audience, a teeny bopper version of Stone Cold and The Condemned? Not interested. When Catching Fire came out I said, well what the hell, I’ll give it a try. And the moment that film cuts out with Jennifer Lawrence staring at the camera, I was screaming for more. I had finally watched the first one right before, and felt a little eh about it. But Catching Fire hooked me in. I have been ready and waiting for this two part finale! But what was it going to be for me, another hit like the 2nd, or back to the first? Well, I’ll tell ya, it was, slow.

Mockingjay Part 1 is once again directed by Francis Lawrence who took over for Gary Ross after the first installment, and brings back Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Little Thor (Liam Hemsworth) Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, and Sam Claflin, along with adding in Julianne Moore. The film continues the story of Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) a reluctant symbol of a massive rebellion after surviving not one, but two years of the dreaded and deadly Hunger Games. Can she ignite the nation and lead them against the Capitol? And what about Peta? Has he really turned his back and does he really believes in the Capitol? Can Katniss save him, and the other victors?

The film is good, the problem is this trend of splitting the third books into 2 films. Twilight, Harry freaking Potter, thanks a lot. While Mockingjay is the shortest of the 3 Hunger Games books, it really hurts the film to split it. After Catching Fire I was really hyped and ready to see Katniss kick a lot of @$$, but sadly, the scene they have promoted so much I the trailers of her shooting down the jet with an arrow (which is much more believable within the context of the film) is really the only scene of action in the entire film. This installment plays out like a propaganda war. With the Rebels using Katniss to film commercials and videos, and the Capitol using Peta, trying to convince the districts whose side to be back. There is a lot of story and exposition and it is all set to build up to the next film. Perhaps I would have liked it more had I been able to watch Part 1 and part back to back rather than wait an entire year.

But with all that like I said, it’s not a bad film, just not what I was expecting. I was all set for the action and not ready for the story. The story seems like it’s going to be great once the back half plays out, it just seems a little stale by itself, however it is well played out. The characters, while a lot of them, are all acted incredibly. Lawrence shows us once again how incredible she really is. Claflin returning as Finnick is given so much more heart and emotion. I even really liked Little Thor, who in the past when given major roles has kind of come out short. And while the film can be very slow and drag at times, it honestly set you up and get ready for next year when Part 2 arrives. It is the journey that makes the film so fun.

Being someone who hasn’t read any of the books, I was a little lost not knowing how Mockingjay played out, my buddy assured me it was exactly how he had envisioned it and that Part 2 was really set up beautifully. So while Mockingjay Part 1 may not have played out how I expected it, I still call it a Good time at the theater, with a Jeebus score of 4.3.

This Week in Movie News

Captain America The Winter Soldier, $476,706,000. Making 10.2 million on its Thursday night openings, more than double what Captain America the First Avenger. It set a single day record for April with 36.9 million, and an opening weekend of 95 million. Not too shabby. It has done about 46% better than the original. And Rightfully so. The Winter Soldier is an amazing film, that you should all go see. Numerous times.

With the sudden passing of Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman made the decision his heart just wasn’t into a Ghostbusters 3. And rightfully so. In his departure Chris Miller and Phil Lord stepped in. However it looks like they are now leaving the potential project. The studio is in talks with other directors. Problem with this I have is Harold Ramis is gone, Ivan Reitman is out, and Bill Murray has no interest in ever doing another Ghostbuster sequel. What’s the appeal? Why not star fresh. Scrap what you have, and give us a reboot.

Matt Damon is in final talks to join the film The Martian. The Martian, tells the tale of a space crew on Mars when something goes terribly wrong, Mark Watney (Damon), thought to be dead, and is left on Mars. With no way to contact his crew, and very little supplies, Watney, must handle the obstacles put a head of him and try to survive in hopes that a rescue mission finds him. The film sounds entertaining, and Damon is a good choice, however Damon is a good choice for nearly any role. The film sounds nearly like Gravity meets Castaway. Which is a very interesting combination. I look forward to more about this film.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has released more viral marketing. This time the subject is actually very very exciting. In an article, written by Eddie Brock, Cletus “Killer “Cassidy has been caught, and placed in prison. It goes on to say that he gave very little struggle. What’s most interesting about this? The mention of Cassidy? Who eventually becomes Carnage? Yea that’s cool. But what’s even cooler is when you remember the past. During filming of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Jim Carey visited the set while filming was going on. Rumors swirled that he was in talks to play Cassidy. And He would be, Killer, in the role. Couple that with the fact that Sony is releasing a Venom spinoff film, and think to yourself, who is Venom going to face off against? Can’t be Spider-Man, which would just be another Spider-Man film. Could we be building to Venom/Carnage? I sure hope so.

Schmoes Know have reported that Kick Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow is going to take over the directing and writing duties of the He-Man Masters of the Universe film. If I’m not mistaken recently John Cho left the film, I think to do some dumb 80s cartoon that will be getting a big screen adaption. I like this move, because I was a huge fan of Kick Ass 2. However with script re-writes and new directors, I don’t know if this film is ever going to get made. But it truly deserves a new modern telling!

An abundant of X-Men news has come out this week. We will start with the absolute cheesiest and most pointless. The dumb Carls Jr. and Hardees commercials with rip off Mystique, and Quicksilver. This is some odd marketing techniques. The commercials are cheesy and dumb. As well the picture of Quicksilver released that has him running alongside the wall while Wolverine and the X-Men don’t even notice him. Again, looks cheesy, and actually even photo shopped. What is exciting is Lauren Shuler Donner has announced that they are looking at major spinoffs. She announced she wants Mystique, Gambit, and Deadpool. Too of which are expected. Deadpool we, and Ran Reynolds, have been waiting for since the X-Men franchise began. As well Mystique, of course she needs her own spin off. Not because of the character, but because of the actress, Jennifer Lawrence. But the most exciting is Gambit. We were so excited with the announcement of Gambit in Origins, and to be honest, Taylor Kitsch was a shining point in that film. And I hope that they bring him back. However, I believe that with Days of Future Past and Apocalypse are going to reset the timeline and bring the First Class characters into today’s time. I’ll be excited to see the turn out no matter what the outcome.