Ok so if you haven’t watched Firefly, go do that right now. So, when Firefly got cancelled, it left a lot of pretty major questions unanswered. And since back in 2002 there was no hope of getting revived on Netflix, the only option left to Joss Whedon if he wanted to tie up all those loose ends was to make a movie. And that movie was called Serenity. Now the obvious problem with Serenity is that a single movie is a lot shorter than an entire season of a TV show. And it becomes very obvious early in the film that Joss Whedon had an entire season of TVs’ worth of ideas. So Serenity ended up trying to do three things at once: first, it tried to answer all the question and tie up all the loose ends left at the end of Firefly. Second, it tried to adapt some of the ideas Whedon had for the second season that the show never got, and third, it tried to play as a big budget adaptation of Firefly for the big screen. The result was kind of a clusterfuck. See, all the fans of the show didn’t like it because it was dumbed down for a movie audience who hadn’t watched the show, and all the people who hadn’t watched the show had no idea what was going on. If all the focus had just been on making a movie version of Firefly, it probably would have been awesome, but there’s so much house keeping to take care of after how abruptly the show ended that it has no time to actually just be. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, there are a number of scenes that don’t really seem relevant to the plot at all, and I can’t help but think they were ideas that Whedon had for season two episodes, and that he just couldn’t resist throwing them in. There are a lot of stupid moments in this movie that I can tell would have made great episodes had they been given the opportunity. In the end, Serenity is by no means a bad movie, and it did its’ job well enough in terms of finally putting Firefly to rest in a proper way, but it’s a little scattered, and it doesn’t hold a candle to the show.
Overall Rating: Fucking Fox Also Never Should Have Cancelled THIS Show In The First Place/10
So I was watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I was thinking “man, this show has made me lose so much faith in Joss Whedon. I gotta do something to get that faith back.” So I rewatched Firefly. For those of you who don’t know what Firefly is, get the fuck off my site. But seriously, Firefly is Joss Whedon’s cult classic sci-fi western that remains infamous for being cancelled far too early. The show had interesting characters, intelligent stories, and most of all took place in an incredibly and original world. The premise is basically that after years of pollution, we had to abandon Earth. We found a new solar system, and terra-formed new Earths, but now with all these new Earths around, the central planets of the solar system formed an alliance and tried to force all the outer planets to join. There was a war, and the rebels lost. Now, while the central planets are all sci-fi-esqu with tall building and spaceports, the outer planets have little resources or government, and so things have become like the wild west. Our main character, Captain Malcolm Reynolds, owns a ship on which him and his crew commit various crimes in an attempt to keep their heads above water in this new frontier. What’s so great about this premise is that it allows for a really wide range of settings and plots. One episode they’ll be flying spaceships through huge sprawling futuristic cities, the next they’ll be robbing a train in the middle of the desert, the next they’ll be having a sword fight at an elegant victorian ball. It’s like Deadwood meets Star Trek: The Next Generation. But what really elevates this show is the attention to detail, specifically in the language. Every character speaks both English and some form of Chinese (yes I know Chinese isn’t a language but I don’t know it it’s Cantonese or Mandarin so I’m just going to call it Chinese), and while this is never expressly explained you can kind of just gather that at some point before leaving earth America and China had become one combined superpower. It’s the kind of thing that makes the future setting so much richer and more believable, without the writers even caring if you notice it or not. And the show is full of stuff like that. Every time I watch it I notice more little subtleties that add to how complex and realistic the world they establish is. Ok, I’m actually gonna shut up now because you should honestly just go watch the show. Come on, do it. There’s only fourteen episodes. It’s all on Netflix. Just take a break from fucking Game of Thrones for like a week and watch this show. Right now. Go do it. I’ll wait.
Overall Rating: WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS GO WATCH FIREFLY/10
When I first heard about the idea of a tie-in show to the marvel cinematic universe following the day to day operations of S.H.I.E.L.D., I thought it was a great idea. Sure, everybody loves to watch iron Man and the Hulk run around blowing shit up, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in that universe, and I thought it would be really interesting to see some of that. Unfortunately, the show takes that great premise and turns it into a bunch of dicks on a plane dealing with shit that got rejected from The X-Files. My main problem with the show is that it focuses on the very ground level of S.H.I.E.L.D.. I can’t help but feel that what the show should have been is Nick Fury and Maria Hill up on the helicarrier dealing with the big threats as they came in. After all, that’s what the S.H.I.E.L.D. comicbook series was. But Sam Jackson was too expensive, so Instead, the show deals with low level agents going out on routine spy missions that rarely and desperately attempt to tie in with the movies and references familiar characters from the comics. And the entire idea of having a protagonist who’s just an everyday girl getting drafted into the organization completely defeats the purpose. The whole point of seeing the behind the scenes of the superhero world is to deconstruct a classic hero story archetype. Then they go and show us that world through the perspective of a classic hero story archetype. It seems like an insignificant thing to complain about, but the whole “oh, aren’t I so relatable” protagonist thing just really kills the show for me (and to make matters worse Sky is really annoying). Even near the end of the season when it’s revealed via Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Hydra has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D., and the show FINALLY breaks from the mystery of the week format, is still fails to be anything more than a crappy TV show. And that’s the heart of the problem. I don’t know if it’s the lack of recognizable actors willing to make TV appearances, the low budget, or just the fact that nothing happening has any impact on the characters in the movies, but I have a really hard time believing that this show takes place in the same universe as The Avengers. It just doesn’t feel the same. The ultimate irony is that if the show legitimately did try to exist in it’s own world, it might not be a bad little sci-fi show, but it’s shared continuity with the movies is constantly holding it back. Damn, I didn’t think Joss Whedon could fuck up a TV show this bad, but listening to the dialogue it’s almost like someone is parodying him. I’m a big fan of the Marvel movies and it’s hard for me to simply not watch something set in that universe, even if it is bad, but this show is too long and too shitty and has too little of an impact on the movie universe. My honest recommendation to all you Marvel fans out there: skip this one.
Overall Rating: PPPPPPFFFFFFTTTT/10
So they actually did it. They actually decided there were so many bad movies in the franchise that they should go back in time and prevent them from happening. Never before has a movie franchise had to remodel in such an extreme way, and it’s pretty safe to say that the X-Men cinematic universe will never be the same again. But how does Days of Future Past actually stack up as a movie? Well, I liked it. It wasn’t exactly mind blowingly awesome, but just to see the universe be treated with respect again is so satisfying. The opening credits start up and Professor X is narrating and suddenly it’s like I’m back watching X2. It’s like the horrible nightmare of the last four X-Men movies is over and now Bryan Singer is there to comfort me and make it all better. Now, one of the biggest disappointments of this movie is lack of answers to so many burning questions. With all the inconsistencies over the course of the last six movies, this one promised to use time travel to set a lot of that shit straight, but by the end we’re only left with more questions. I know a lot of stuff will be filled in over the course of the next few sequels, and I get that you don’t have enough screen time to show us every little detail, but it’s not as satisfying as I would have liked it to be. Like, at the end of The Wolverine when Professor X rolls in you’re like “oh shit, how is he alive? I guess I’ll have to go see the next movie to find out” and then they don’t even mention it at all in Days of Future Past. Another small disappointment was how little time they spent in the future. I already knew going in that most of the plot would centre around Wolverine and young Professor X in the 1970’s, but we’ve waited so long to see all these familiar faces from the early movies and they’re only on screen for like twenty minutes. But if you throw all that aside and watch the movie for what it is, it’s a great little superhero movie. Young Professor X had a really interesting character arc, the action was great, it was funny and dramatic in all the right places, and Quicksilver was fucking awesome.
Overall Rating: Franchise reviving/10
I think when I went to see X-Men: First Class it was more out of obligation than anything else. I mean, the last two X-Men movies were so bad, and now this one didn’t even have any of the original cast in it, so I wasn’t exactly expecting it to be awesome. But I’m happy to say that I was wrong. This movie did what I didn’t think it was possible to do; it made X-Men movies good again. Ok, so the next one kind of ended up sucking, but First Class really did open the door for more good X-Men movies. I don’t think anybody thought they would make another one after The Last Stand, and the studio was clearly grasping at straws with X-Men Origins, but now suddenly the franchise had a bright future. And I’ll tell you one thing for sure, they wouldn’t be making a time travel crossover sequel/prequel quasi-reboot if First Class hadn’t been so successful. Re-watching the movie now, it isn’t the greatest in the franchise. It’s a little silly in places, there’s a few plot holes, and a couple of scenes are kind of cringe worthy. However the positive elements manage to outshine these shortcomings. It does a really good job of showing the relationship between young Magneto and Professor X, the whole 1960’s aesthetic is very fun to watch, and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are great replacements for Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. But more important than it’s lasting value as a film is what it did for the franchise, which was to totally revive it. Now we could all start forgetting about the god awful Origins and Last Stand. And who knows, if we’re lucky, maybe Wolverine will go back in time and stop those movies from happening.
Overall Rating: Fresh/10
What’s so frustrating about this movie is that even the fact that it was made is stupid and insulting. I mean, Wolverine’s entire arc in X2 was about him trying to discover how he got his adamantium skeleton and who he was before he got it. Now, while we never find out the exact details of his origin, they give you enough information that you as an audience member can pretty much piece the whole story together without needing an entire movie to explain it. Not only that, but by the end of X2 Logan comes to the realization that who he was before the procedure is ultimately irrelevant to who he is now, and that he is not defined by his past. So not only is a Wolverine origin movie unnecessary, it’s completely irrelevant. It might as well be the origin story of that kid who changes TV channels by blinking, it would have the same amount of impact on the X-Men movie universe. Having said that, they still could have made a cool and interesting movie out of Wolverine’s years of war and being used as a government guinea pig, but they didn’t even do that. Instead, they made a hard to follow mess of a film full of irrelevant characters and side plots. The jokes are dumb, the action is bad, the story jumps all over the place without events seeming to connect in any logical or coherent way, and the icing on the cake is how fucking awful the CGI claws look. But apparently the filmmakers still weren’t satisfied with just having made an awful film and ruining Wolverine’s origin, so they decided they should probably also completely ruin Gambit and Deadpool, two of the biggest fan-favourite characters in the entire franchise, because fuck people who actually care about the X-Men!
Overall Rating: Let’s all just pretend this movie didn’t happen/10
So Bryan Singer did an amazing job of setting up the Phoenix saga in X2, and with all that groundwork already in place AND such an awesome story arc in the comics to work off of anyway, it should have been very hard to fuck this up. But Brett Ratner, genius that he is, found a way. And if completely ruining one of the most iconic comic book story lines of all time while simultaneously giving a giant middle finger to every X-Men fan in the world wasn’t enough, he also kills all your favourite characters and completely destroys the franchise. Now, understandably, it was a big bummer when Bryan Singer left to go make Superman Returns, but could the studio really not have waited a year for him to come back and make a third X-Men movie? Or even just hire a replacement who hadn’t already somehow managed to ruin Hannibal Lector? It’s almost as if they were so pissed off at Singer for leaving that they decided to get back at him by intentionally ruining the franchise he had worked so hard to build. Now, I know nothing I’ve said so far is very specific, but the reason it’s hard to point out this movie’s flaws is that literally everything in it is stupid, and I don’t want this review to be fifty pages long. So instead I’ll talk about the few things in this movie that I actually liked: (FOOTAGE NOT FOUND)
Overall Rating: If you like this movie you should get punched in the face/10