AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,222 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Advance review of X2!!!

by Md. Fuad Zain



While The Crow and Blade were respectful hits at the box office, it took the success of X-Men to really get Hollywood's attention that a movie adaptation of a comic book series must be done with utmost care and reverence to the original materials. Since X-Men, Marvel Comics' other prized properties like Spider-man and most recently DareDevil have been immortalized on celluloid to the relief and delight of most of their fans. Even before X-Men was released, talks of a sequel was hot and now, we finally get to see X2.


It is three years later. Xavier's School for Gifted Children is doing well. Magneto (Ian McKellen) is imprisoned in a plastic cell. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is still struggling to remember his past. Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is nowhere to be found. The Mutant Registration Act failed to materialize to the relief of mutants in the United States. Yet they are still feared and despised. They are allowed only a the slightest bit of tolerance, if at all.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Then a nasty attack in the White House by a mutant threatens to tip over the fragile balance, putting mutants everywhere once more at risk.
It is up to Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and the X-Men - Wolverine, Storm (Halle Berry), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Pyro (Aaron Standford) and a new member called Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) - to uncover the mystery
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) behind the assault
and save the world once again.


2003 will be remembered as the year of a dozen sequels. X2 is the first one out of the gate that delivers the goods in spades. Still at the helm is Bryan Singer, who didn't direct another film since X-Men. Working with a script by Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty based on stories by David Hayter and Zak Penn, Singer invested heavily this time around on character development and back story which the original movie, though exciting, lacked. Yes, this means the movie is more than 104 minutes long and all the better for it.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) The script does have an emotional bottom end that is unexpected for a successful franchise.



Having more material to work with, the entire cast played their characters for real, evoking real empathy, disgust and amazement throughout the film. For sheer ball-busting terror, Wolverine and Lady Death Strike (Kelly Hu) take the cake.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) There is nothing like having sharp adamantium appendages to hurt somebody.
Perhaps her Oscar win did give her more screen time for Berry whose character, short-shafted in the first film, finally comes to life. Stewart, McKellen and Brian Cox as Stryker, did their thespian best in delivering marvelous moral counterpoints in the story.


There are many memorable scenes in X2, beautifully shot by Newton Thomas Sigel who was the DP for X-Men.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) From the White House attack to the siege of the X-Mansion to the final battle, all of the action sequences were beautifully realized.
The CGIs, mostly done by Cinesite, are topnotch eye-candy; it's too bad that Cinesite couldn't stay on to be much of a contender in Hollywood's visual effect industry. John Ottman, who served as editor and composer for X2, paced the story brilliantly and crafted a great score that complimented the story and Michael Kamen's original composition. The sound design, as expected, has the trademark of a big-budget summer movie. It is fully enveloping and seamlessly realistic. Just listen to the intensity of Wolverine's claws coming out and the BAMPF! effects.


At the end of the production note, Bryan Singer said that X-Men felt really like a preview to X2. After having seen the movie, I would concur. X2 is exponentially better than X-Men. This is a sequel that would appeal not only to its comics fan base but also to mature audiences who crave for a real story underneath its summer-sheen effects extravaganza. You don't have to see X-Men to enjoy X2. Best of all, it makes you crave for a third X-men movie while you get back in line to enjoy a second screening.



X2 aka X-Men 2

Sci-Fi/Action, Color, 2003

Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Anna Paquin, Alan Cumming, Brian Cox, Kelly Hu, Shawn Ashmore and Aaron Stanford.

Language: English.

Sound Format : Dolby Digital, DTS and SDDS
http://www.x-men-the-movie.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,222 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by PooperScooper
Couldn't wait for the DVD, huh? :)
Actually, yes. Hehe... Hopefully the first version would be a 2-disc set and includes DTS from the get-go.


BTW, for those who have only seen the final theatrical trailer - and not all the other clips that's available online - rest assured that the movie is much more intricate than that. Most of the time the trailers reveal too much. Not the case here.




fuad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
do you think that the sequel relies too heavily on audience familiarity with the comic book universe and references?

i've heard this complaint several times now, from people who aren't that familiar with the first film, and don't know anything about the comics.


although this kind of strikes me like people who were too old or disinterested in Star Wars back in '77, not liking Empire Strikes Back 3 years later.


do you think this is likely to have much crossover appeal or is it really a present for the die-hard fans?


sorry if you already answered this in your review, but i'm avoiding reading any plot specifics, so i didn't really glance at it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,222 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by ckolchak
do you think that the sequel relies too heavily on audience familiarity with the comic book universe and references?

i've heard this complaint several times now, from people who aren't that familiar with the first film, and don't know anything about the comics.
Hmmm... Whoever said this must've been high on something while they were attending the press preview. X2 does not rely much on the first film or audience familiarity with the comics and its history. Perhaps these people tend not to like fantasy films in general because X2 does not explain unnecessarily where the characters came from. Most of their backstories are told in the first film. There are only two new mutant characters that were not in the first film : Nightcrawler and Lady Death Strike. The only new non-human character is Stryker.


I am sure that if you knew the comics and its spinoffs, you would appreciate it more. Some of you might perhaps get annoyed with the simplification of the 30+ years storylines like when (X-Men movie plot spoiler) Senator Kelly
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) got waterized.
A lot of fans objected to that but that story point was resolved somewhat at the end of the first movie. I've read maybe about two dozen comics in the X-Men universe - these are comics that I read, not owned. Of these, I'm only familiar with Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Professor X and Nightcrawler. Yet, I still enjoy both movies.

Quote:
although this kind of strikes me like people who were too old or disinterested in Star Wars back in '77, not liking Empire Strikes Back 3 years later.


Some people can hate the original film and then love the sequels. Some just don't get it. Some loved it all. My opinion is that if you loved the first film, you're gonna love X2. I know a lot of you guys are itching to see this and all I can say is that it is really worth the wait.


By the way, X2 opens in Malaysia on May 1st - Labor Day holiday. So it really means that it opens here 48 hours earlier.


fuad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,653 Posts
How I yearn for the "legacy" X-Men of my long faded away era....Angel, Quicksilver, The Beast, Scarlet Witch, etc..... oh well!


I enjoyed the first film and the new one looks like a blast!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
This is now the official review thread for X-Men 2. All reviews should be placed in this thread. Those that don't will be merged with this one.


Please take care to not drop a spoiler without a warning. If you are about to reveal something that will ruin the movie for those that haven't seen it, you MUST give some kind of warning or better yet, use the "spoiler tag" as Fuad has done. To hide your comments in white, place "[ spoiler ]" at the front of your comments (without the spaces or quotes) and "[ / spoiler ]" at the end. Don't forget the "/" symbol. Your comments would look like this:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Here are the spoilers



I saw it today and liked it. I think if you liked the first one, you will like this one too although (HUGE SPOILER)
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) I get the feeling that Jean Grey isn't dead. What was that weird look that Professor Xavier had at the end? It was like he knew something. Hmmmmm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
This movie rocked. As far as Jean Grey is concerned however,

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) I wish we actually got to see Phoenix, but then there'd be no suprise for X3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
while i sat there rabidly absorbed for the entire film and am looking forward to seeing it again asap, i have to disagree with all the reviewers who are commenting that the character development is much more pronounced in this film over the first.

to me, there was NO character development.

from the first scene in which a character is substanatively shown, they do not deviate in tone or arc.

there are a lot of beautiful little character 'moments', especially enjoyable for long time fans, but there is no real sense of any of the characters changing or 'developing' thru the coarse of the movie.

contrast this with Rouge in the first movie where she goes from a shy teenager, to a lonely outcast to the end of the movie where she has become more confident and comfortable with herself and her place among others.

the similar, to an extent can be said of Logans arc in the first movie.

i saw nothing like that in this one.


that doesn't mean i didn't like it.

on the contrary, i'm stunned and amazed that a major studio would put this much money towards a movie that is like one huge geek orgasm.

all the little cameos and refernces sprinkled throughout are going to bring a lot of knowing smiles to geeks, like myself, the world over.

on first view though, i think the first film is structurally tighter.

this one is kind of messy, but its beautifully messy ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I just saw it. While the first one had a simpler plot (due to it needing to explain a lot of backstory and the fact that it was only 90 minutes long), I don't think you can say it had better character development.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) At the end of the movie, Wolverine has to make a choice with Styker: either continue being an 'animal with claws' or move on to be apart of something larger than himself.



Anyhow, I need a second viewing to determine if it is better than the first one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
Saw it today. Better than I expected, very fun and well paced. I can't remember the last action flick that had me really alternately cheering and grimacing, all the while wondering what would happen next. Never read the comics, but I'd say that fact left me less confused than just curious to know more about these characters.


My favorite thing about both movies is how murky the characters are. It's like life, you can't always put people into two categories labeled 'good' and 'evil'. Sometimes they are in between, or can change depending on the circumstance. Let's face it, the likes of Superman are always good, and their nemesis are always evil. Boring. The X-men are deeper, you don't always know who to trust (or who to mistrust).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,158 Posts
Great stuff. One gripe. Hanscom AFB was mispronounced. (A nit only someone from these parts or someone who watches a few miles from the base would pick up). Looking for DVHS version.


Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,858 Posts
All I can say is wow. I was totally impressed with this movie. It met and exceeded my expectations and I was a huge X-men fan in my teen years. I actually didn't care that much for the first movie. It was good but nothing to really write about except to complain. This one at certain points had my mouth agape and in awe.

As far as charachter development goes I think it had about the same amount if not more. Last movie it focused upon Rogue, and this movie it was pretty much all about Wolverine.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) The one thing that really had me shocked was that they actually KILLED people this time around. I don't think they really killed any bad guys, but wolverine in the attack on the school was getting people left and right. I was pleasantly surprised that the director would get away from the kiddie fighting style of the first one and get a little more real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,378 Posts
I loved it!


Was the ending a part of the comics??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,858 Posts
Sort of

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) My memory on this is a little hazy, but she died with the blackbird crashing (I can't remember why anymore either) but it was into water. I don't remember if they recovered a body or not either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,354 Posts
saw it. distorted front channels unfortunately, which earned us free tickets :D

poor image, and the movie has just been released! what the f ??? or has Singer used not super duper film stock ? it's shot in super 35, I prefer Panavision (see RED DRAGON, reference!!!).

didn't like the score, Kamen did a much better job.


need another viewing or i'll wait for the dvd. will FOX screw us again and wait for the second edition to put a DTS track ? :D

they'd better not this time and put it on a double disc release.


Famke is hot
http://us.ent4.yimg.com/movies.yahoo...anssen/spy.jpg


, Rebecca is super hot :D
http://us.ent4.yimg.com/movies.yahoo...mos/x2pre9.jpg

Logan is impressive and is very angry ( gorrier than the first opus)


but frankly, the image quality sucked most of the time. quality dvd image and for the lucky ones, dtheater, has really changed our perception of film image quality. I think film shouldn't be projected on more than 10meters screens now, just to give you an idea....).


a bit too long, compared to the "a bit too short" first opus. 110minutes would have sufficed perhaps.

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0290334 no technical specs yet ?
http://us.imdb.com/Technical?0289765: red dragon: deluxe, technicolor, Panavision: superb
http://us.imdb.com/Technical?0120903: xmen:panavision too.


bring us X-Men 3 ( with a surprise ?)


oh, impressive first sequence. nice ad for Mazda also :D


didn't recognize Kelly Who?, euh, Hu :D immediately. http://us.ent4.yimg.com/movies.yahoo...hu/x2pre19.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Hi David,


I also noticed the image looked excessively grainy for a scope feature. Even if it was shot super35, I thought it did not look as good as some other recent features. I think it may have to do with the speed of the machines at the lab. For a blockbuster like this, they may have had them running faster than normal to create so many prints, and that definitely affects the image quality.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top