Cameron Crowe is turning 60 today. He graduated from high school at 15 and had already begun to establish himself as a writer; he soon was the youngest person on the staff of Rolling Stone. He was able to get interviews with, and do stories on, a number of big acts of the 1970s. He then spent a year “undercover” at a San Diego area high school, which he used as the basis for the book and screenplay Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He then wrote the screenplay for The Wild Life, after which he was able to get support from filmmaker James L. Brooks for his first directing effort, a movie that is now considered one of the classics among teen romances, if not all romances.
The X-Men franchise, with its wiggly continuity, spin-offs, reboots and cross-overs, is an odd duck. Perhaps that’s appropriate for a series of movies about mutants. Over the last several years, the series has certainly mutated in some unexpected ways. Seventeen years ago, who would have expected movies like Deadpool or Logan would ever get made? With the latter representing Hugh Jackman’s final performance as Wolverine, Jeffthewildman marked the occasion by ranking all ten of the X-Men movies from Worst to First. Of course we wanted to hear from you readers as well. Let’s see how readers ranked the X-Men movies.
Hugh Jackman hung up his claws earlier this year with his final performance as Wolverine in Logan. The ending of the Jackman-as-Wolvie era got me to thinking about the X-Men movies on the whole. How do they rank when you stack em all up together?
Here, as opposed to other series tackled in the Worst To First series, the overall quality is somewhat higher. When you add together the 10 X-Men movies , 6 are very good, two are passable and the other two are a toss-up as to which is worse. Here, we will sort out the good mutants from the bad and the ugly. And of course, you will get to share your rankings as well.
The original cast of Star Trek couldn’t make movies forever. In 1991, the original crew went into retirement with their sixth feature film. Three years later, the torch was passed to the crew of The Next Generation with the lackluster Star Trek: Generations. That movie was a big enough hit to warrant a sequel, but as was the case with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Generations was not highly regarded by fans.
Going into the 1996 sequel, First Contact, hopes were high that the franchise could bounce back with a worthy entry. While not on the same level as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, First Contact did mark a high point in the Next Gen Trek movies. Starlog offered a sneak peak in the December issue.
Han Solo and Jean-Luc Picard share a birthday. Or if you prefer, Indiana Jones and Professor X. No matter how you slice it, some iconic movie heroes will likely be blowing out candles today.
Some things son’t change. Ten years ago, we were awaiting the release of what was supposed to be the last movie in the X-Men franchise. Now here we are a decade later preparing for the release of the latest movie in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse. Director Bryan Singer ditched the mutants after the first two movies for a crack at Superman. His effort, Superman Returns, was also covered in this issue. After both movies disappointed fans, both franchises received reboots. Singer eventually returned to the merry land of mutants and has made some efforts to wipe away Brett Ratner’s reviled entry in the series.
Back when there was still reason to hope that Last Stand would give the X-Men a fitting conclusion, it graced the cover of the May 2006 issue of Starlog.
X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Directed by Bryan Singer
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
LeBeau has just finished his review of Bryan Singer’s retconning X-Men: Days of Future Past. As everyone is seeking to follow Marvel’s Avengers formula, either by villain spinoff as Sony and Spiderman are doing, or DC by introducing the team first and doing the solo movies after, or now Fox by creating a movie that makes 3 separate X-Men movie tales and retcons them all into one mostly coherent story. In that, the movie is mostly successful, but as a film, it stands as probably the best film in the franchise’s history, and gives me hope my favorite comic book franchise will at some point become my favorite movie franchise.
With X-Men: Days of Future Past about to be released, the announcement of Channing Tatum playing Gambit (NOOOOOOOOO *vomits* he is terrible) in future films, Hugh Jackman’s continued waffling about coming back as Wolverine, and Bryan Singer facing disturbing accusations, and lots of spin-off rumored, the X-Men universe is growing and in constant flux. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there has never been a great X-Men movie. And X-Men are my favorite comic book heroes. X2 is pretty strong, and the latest Wolverine offering is fantastic until the final setpiece defies all logic and becomes a plothole laden hell from a different movie. I hated First Class and thought it only worsened all the issues the series has been plagued by since the get-go. Read the rest of this entry