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David Poland

By David Poland

Are You Seeing Movies This Weekend?

This would be the entry in which to offer your opinions on X-Men: The Last Stand, An Inconvenient Truth, or anything else you are seeing this weekend.

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31 Responses to “Are You Seeing Movies This Weekend?”

  1. jeffmcm says:

    Re: X-Men; whaddaya know, it doesn’t suck! Almost certainly the most satisfying of the four big movies we’ve seen this month. Granted, that’s not saying much. Ratner doesn’t really care about developing the characters or themes very much, but he is certainly capable of orchestrating audience-friendly action and chaos.

  2. Aladdin Sane says:

    What?!!! IT was dumb…I wrote this and emailed it to my friends:
    X-Men 3: The Last Stand or “Superman did not save the Titanic” – Grade: C-
    Warning: This review is very unprofessional, and does not follow the reviewers general practice of when he does review a film (which is rare)so yeah, with that in mind
    I’ll keep this short, because no one likes a long, drawn out & generally painful dissertation on why a particular movie sucks.
    X-Men 3: The Last Stand is a terrible film with a few moments that alluded to what may have been if Bryan Singer (the first two X-Men flicks) hadn’t left for that green valley of Superman Returns, or if Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) had not been told he would not have the time needed to craft a decent film. Brett Ratner is not an A-list director…while he makes serviceable films, he is most certainly a B-movie director. Maybe a B minus. Anyway, he’s in over his head and it shows. Uninspiring script, cast (not entirely his fault), cinematography and sets lead us to believe that he probably didn’t have as much fun as this as he’d like us to believe.
    The movie starts off fine enough…but quickly it forgets plot. It forgets about the characters. In fact the third X-Men film pisses away any good will the audience had toward the first two films so fast, that you know it forgot to eat its meat and potatoes. I was vaguely aware that everything in the movie seemed familiar. It didn’t take too long to figure out why this was: It’s X-Men: The Monty Python Experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t transcend into that sort of brilliance, instead becoming unabashedly silly. Just witness Pyro throwing fire like Tim the Enchanter…
    Like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Last Stand has a series of events that are somewhat connected, but really, just feature the same characters. And a whole bunch of peasants (or mutants in this case). Some speeches are made. People lose limbs. No French accents were noticed, but Halle Berry has a third accent for this third film. It wasn’t even remotely African sounding either. Continuity Ms Berry? Is it too much to ask for?
    Thankfully, that demi-god of an actor, Ian McKellen, is able to salvage the terrible dialogue that he is given as Magneto. Then again, he could take this review and make it sound half intelligent.
    To be totally serious, this film pisses me right off. They could have made a decent film from the big hint that was dropped at the end of X2, but instead, they decide to crap all over the time and emotional investment that an audience has built up towards these characters. Anyone who knows anything about the comic should not be happy with this film. X2 was a brilliant superhero film…this is Batman & Robin, except worse.
    Quite honestly people, save your money and go buy a Monty Python movie. It’s basically the same thing, and you’ll enjoy it a hell of a lot more.
    On a happier note, the trailer for Snakes on a Plane (no link available sorry kids!) elicits much glee and squee from the audience. It’s gonna be huge folks…and the third domestic trailer for Superman Returns ( is magnificent, although it did inspire one witty audience member to shout out “Superman did not save the Titanic!” – which in a way also totally sums up the X-Men movie too. But I digress…

  3. jeffmcm says:

    This is not worse than Batman & Robin. Few films are.
    I didn’t say it was great, either, just not horrible. And as I said in another thread, most of the audience isn’t familiar with the pre-existing comic book arcs. I’m quasi-familiar, enough to say, ‘oh, this is supposed to happen differently’, but not enough to really care.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    C- is a mediocre grade…not a bad one.

  5. Filmbaker says:

    “X-Men: The Last Stand” is partially getting a bad wrap thanks to AICN poisoning the well – what, a year ago? Truth is, it isn’t necessarily a bad movie, just uninspired.
    I think you’re wrong in saying it has a bad cast – it has quite a good cast, actually, they just unfortunately get to do nothing. Minor supporting ranks are filled out by the likes of Anthony Heald, Bill Duke, Shoreh Angdashloo, Olivia Williams, and Ben Foster – they’re all just criminally underused, whereas Halle Berry manages to get the expanded role her pissing and moaning earned and plays it as a self-righteous twat.
    Certainly a missed opportunity for Fox, but it’ll do well enough. I read evidently “X4: The New Mutants” is already in development … is this fanboy dreaming or a reality?

  6. Spacesheik says:

    I have watched thousands of movies in my lifetime and I am not the kind of person to walk out of any flick because:
    1. I’m fucking lazy once I settle down in the seat.
    2. I’m curious to see if the climax of the film exonerates the fucking trash before it.
    But folks I *walked* out of BATMAN AND ROBIN. It was during some thankless, tedious neon-light motorcycle chase that had nothing to with the rest of the putrid film.
    XMEN III wasn’t a great film, but it had its great moments and was serviceable enough – for *once* we got more than 12 seconds of Brian Singer action – we got action setpieces and some nicely directed f/x scenes (notably the house levitation/dark phoenix bit) as well as the climax.
    Magneto steals the film as usual.
    Don’t read further if you don’t want spoilers.
    The Good: the prologue with the de-aged stars; angel trying to cut off his wings; Beast’s inspired turn, the danger room sequence, magneto causing havoc on the highway, any scene with mystique (especially the ‘betrayal’ sequence), the house levitation sequence, the golden gate stuff and climax.
    The Bad: Cyclop’s offscreen death, half arsed dark phoenix storyline, no effective use of Angel, short running time (95 minutes?), jumbled narrative, major deaths did not have necessary emotional impact; colussus wasted.
    Overall, Brett Ratner did alright, he delivered the goods but the film was lighweight, rushed.
    I liked the film – it wasn’t BATMAN BEGINS or SUPERMAN – but it was entertaining.

  7. abba_70s says:

    Whatever you do, stay past the end credits on X Men The Last Stand..It’s actually pretty smart.

  8. Geoff says:

    Wow, official word is that X3 made about $44.5 million, yesterday. Did ANYBODY think it would get that high? My guess is that it will drop each day, this weekend, and end up at about $130 to $135 million. Even with dropoffs, that is damn impressive. Guess after this and Fantastic Four, last year, Fox is definitely never going to bow down to geek pressure, when the general audiences are lapping their stuff up.
    DaVinci had a HUGE Hulk-like dropoff, but since it skews adult, I can still see a solid second weekend in the early ’50’s.
    Any predictions on how each of these will go? I’m guessing both will top out at betweeen $220 and $230 million. Both studio’s will be very happy.

  9. Geoff says:

    Just looked at BoxOfficeMojo. X Men probably will end up with the second or third highest single day gross, ever.
    If word of mouth is actually good (doubtful), there is an slight outside chance it could pass Revenge of the Sith’s four day opening record of $150 million, but who are we kidding, here?

  10. EDouglas says:

    Well, it didn’t take long for a movie to destroy Da Vinci Code’s record of ‘highest gross for a movie that sucked’

  11. martin says:

    That X-Men number is fuckin crazy, I can’t even wrap my head around it.

  12. EDouglas says:

    Like X2, it’s going to end up making more than half the total box office gross of its predecessor in its opening weekend. That says a lot about DVD sales and how much of an audience a movie can find when shown on cable/network television. And of course, the big difference between X2 and MI2 is that the former was actually pretty good… on the other hand, I think MI3 blows X3 out of the water.

  13. Goulet says:

    “X-Men: The Last Stant Est Gross $180m”
    I think it’s gonna do that over the 4-day week-end! People like their mutants, and they should, this is a great summer movie whatever some might say.

  14. Telemachos says:

    X3 was a hodge-podge of bland characters, ridiculous deaths — is Cyclops the new Tasha Yar? — rushed storytelling, bland direction, poor script… tempered with Sir Ian doing his usual bang-up job and one very nifty sequence that you’ve already seen a chunk of in the trailer (the GG bridge sequence).
    It wasn’t bad enough to be enjoyable, and wasn’t good enough to be entertaining. Most of the time I was simply bored. C- sounds about right.
    Every X-film has had a major first-day gross and a weekend multiplier of under 3. They also have been very, very frontloaded pictures — X2 opened at $85 million and had to crawl to reach $215!
    Given the huge Friday number for X3 (boosted, I’m guessing, by around $10 million in midnight shows), I’m guessing it falls around 5-10% on Saturday and ends up with a 3-day gross around $90-95 million with a 4-day gross somewhere around $110 milion. A very large opener, no doubt — but I also think it will fall hard, like its predecessors did. Will it pass WAR OF THE WORLDS’ $235-ish gross?

  15. Aladdin Sane says:

    Batman & Robin, while hopelessly bad, at least had a director who can turn out something somewhat stylistic – even if it is camp.
    X3 didn’t totally bore me, but it came close to doing so. The deaths were totally lame.
    I do think the betrayal of Mystique was fantastic though…if the whole movie had been like that and the beginning two scenes, then maybe it would have been a worthy addition to the franchise to me…
    …as for after the credits, I didn’t stay. I may see the movie again on DVD…It’s got a whole MST3K vibe going for it.

  16. Geoff says:

    Even with a 20% dropoff on its second day, which would be unusually high, I cannot see this film doing less than $125 million over the 4 day weekend. That is just incredible.
    Just goes to show, reviews and actual quality have absolutely NOTHING to do with how these kind of films gross.
    I mean, last year, Batman Begins did about the same in its first weekend as this did it’s first DAY! That film was geared towards adults, had good reviews, and was a true quality picture.
    Hopefully, in the end, things will balance out a bit. After all, Batman had strong legs and ended up about $205 million, which I doubt is barely $20 million less than where X3 will finally end up. And Batman probably cost about $40 million less, too.
    So take that in your pipe and smoke it, Fox!:)

  17. Lynn says:

    I am watching the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven on DVD, and it’s awesome. A lot of things last year might have changed if this had been the released version.

  18. Arrow77 says:

    The craziest thing about X-Men’s number is that Bryan Singer is probably the guy who’s the most responsible for it and he won’t get a dime. How many were like me and went to see the film because, despite the film’s bad rep, they needed closure for this once great franchise.
    I agree with most of what’s been said above: the film didn’t quite suck but it was disappointing. The first death was particularly stupid because:
    1) It didn’t have the punch it should have had.
    2) The character was needed because of the direction the film was taken. It felt like the writers realized the focus had to be taken off Wolverine and they didn’t want to so the killed the character that would have taken his place and made the switch. But it didn’t fit Wolverine’s character at all!
    And both endings, the one right before the credit and the one right after, leave so much possibility to erase what has been done that it feels like everyone panicked when they read AICN’s script review and tried to patch things up. Singer couldn’t have left the franchise in a better health. Now, if anyone wanted to make a fourth film, it couldn’t be in worst shape.

  19. Aladdin Sane says:

    Lynn, gotta agree with you on Kingdom of Heaven.
    I just finished watching it earlier today, and it’s phenomenal. I wish Scott had said no to the studio’s requests for a shorter film. It’s impossible to say how it would have done awards wise, but I think it coulda netted Scott a fourth director’s nomination for sure. Oh well…now we’ve got the definitive version and the rest is history.

  20. wolfgang says:

    Outside of Down in the Valley finally arriving, nothing at the cineplex will drag me out of the house.
    We’re having a Coppola festival this weekend: Patton (for screenplay) and The Godfather Part I & II.
    “Bring the cannoli.”

  21. Lynn says:

    Aladdin, I agree with you it’s hard to say, but I think Edward Norton could have picked up a nomination too, if not for the oscars, maybe golden globes or something.
    I have no idea what the thinking was… there was plenty of recent history of 3+ hour movies being commercially successful and winning awards. Instead they settled for something that was deeply flawed, got no critical live and was considered a failure. If it’s not the perfect example of penny wise and pound foolish, I don’t know what is.
    I had a head-slapping moment about David Thewlis’s character while watching the burning bush scene. OMG (literally).

  22. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “C- is a mediocre grade…not a bad one.”
    C- isn’t a bad grade? Holy crap. Your scaling system is whacked.
    I haven’t seen X3 yet, or Da Vinci. The last three weeks of the semester are always like this.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    A: Great
    B: Good
    C: Average
    D: Bad
    F: Awful

  24. jeffmcm says:

    (I prefer a numerical scale…so many out of ten. I would grade X-Men 3 at 6 or 7/10, putting it in the ‘high middle’ territory.

  25. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I work with both. A number grade has an equivelant letter grade. C- would be able a 5/4.5 for me, which I consider bad.

  26. Aladdin Sane says:

    Kamikaze, Jeff,
    Yeah, I would have given it a D, except for the three things I listed, lift it up to a C-…I saw it a late showing, and my friend told me she only stayed awake cos of all the noise…I stayed awake cos it was like watching a train wreck. You can’t help but look.
    Lynn, agreed about Norton. Thewlises’ character was one of my favorites from the theatrical cut, and I’m glad he was given more air time. I’m curious as to what your realization was about his character though. I’m gonna watch the film again, to soak it up some more…it’s definitely something I want to visit time and again.

  27. tfresca says:

    could we get a comment section ban on all comments that reveal key plot points in movies currently in theaters. That’s not too much to ask is it? I went to see X3 it was sold out and I saw MI3 instead. Theater was less than half full but I think that’s a good sign for a three week old movie. I hate how people look down on comics as an art form. Can’t we simply say, film adapted long running and popular book and is turned into successful film franchise. None of these B level comic characters have half the popularity or street cred of the X-men. Hell 15 years ago when I was a kid we used to talk about casting. People have been waiting for these films a long time. Fox wants to kill this franchise and concentrate on the kids so they can keep the costs down

  28. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Saw “Keeping Up with the Steins” last night. It sold out a good-size hall in an AMC outside Philadelphia.
    For some reason Miramax refuses to expand “Steins” outside areas with large Jewish population. Disney might not realize that it might have another “Greek Wedding” on its hands.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    So does that mean you liked it?

  30. Lynn says:

    “Lynn, agreed about Norton. Thewlises’ character was one of my favorites from the theatrical cut, and I’m glad he was given more air time. I’m curious as to what your realization was about his character though.”
    I think he’s God, or at least an angel. It’s subtle, subtle enough so that the movie doesn’t slip into fantastic territory, and subtle enough to ignore if it bugs you, but I think it’s definitely there. His disappearance in the burning bush scene gave me the idea, and in the supplemental materials, there’s a Ridley Scott script note on one of his index cards which has something like “Hospitaller (God?)” (I haven’t had time to listen to the commentary yet, but maybe there’s something there as well.)
    This interpretation of the character puts a new light on his lines about not caring for “religion,” how it’s been coopted by fanatics… and his certainty that what God wants is in the head and in the heart, not in anything material or physical. It also puts a new light on his statement in Messina that Balian will make it to Jerusalem if God has a purpose for him there.
    I love this movie so much, now… DVD is truly a great great thing.

  31. Aladdin Sane says:

    I haven’t gotten into the supplemental materials on it yet, but I look forward to it. Usually I only get the special editions for aesthetics, but I find Scott’s DVDs to be very informative and worth watching when it comes to the extras.
    An interesting interpretation of the Thewlis character…I’d venture he’s more a man that’s made peace with his faith and his role in the world. He holds no illusions.

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And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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