Thoughts on the X-Men/Fantastic Four Crossover Movie: Time Travel, Dark Phoenix, and Universe Building

So Bryan Singer has talked about the possibility of a Fantastic Four/X-men teamup movie. A lot of people online have been bitching about how they would have to use time travel to get the current casts together. I actually think this kind of works, because if we’re continuing to move forward with this new younger cast from X-Men: Apocalypse, it would be considerably less convoluted if they just time jumped everyone to the present rather than continuing to set them in the past until eventually they catch up with the time period of the original X-Men movies. And it’s not like that kind of thing is unheard of. In fact, recently in the comics, the original teenage X-Men have been brought forward in time and are now living in the present. You could totally do the same thing on screen, especially since time travel already exist in this universe. This way we can also see a return of some of the younger characters like Kitty Pryde and Iceman, who you can’t put in movies set in the 80s. Anyway, for the plot of the actual FF/X-Men crossover (assuming that the new FF does well enough for this to actually happen, and that it’s good enough that we actually want to see these two casts meet), I think they should do the Dark Phoenix saga. I mean, it’s arguably the most iconic X-Men storyline of all time, and they totally botched it the first time. But now they have a new young Jean Grey and a totally rebooted timeline, and if you think about it it’s totally perfect. In the comics the Phoenix Force is a cosmic entity, and the Fantastic Four do nothing if not deal with cosmic entities. But beyond that, the thing really lacking from X-Men: The Last Stand’s take on the Phoenix was that it never really felt all that big. She was like a pawn of Magneto, and they said she was a “class 5 mutant”, and I guess she disintegrated a few dudes, but the Phoenix should feel like an epic world-ending force of destruction. Having it threaten the whole world to the point where the X-Men and FF have to team up to deal with it is the perfect way to establish that. And if we are going to see the Phoenix again, they have to do something different with it, and adding the FF to the mix is the perfect way to do that, too. Now, I don’t necessarily want to see a large interconnected Fantastic Four/X-Men universe from Fox, but it’s clear that it’s going to happen either way, so we might as well talk about it. And considering the recent hot streak of X-Men movies, and not yet having seen the new Fantastic Four, I’m kind of cautiously optimistic about the whole thing. I mean with Marvel’s light, witty, no real stakes feel, and DC’s dark, depressing grit, the fox universe might be a good realistic middle ground of massive comicbook franchise, and I will say that the three Bryan Singer X-Men are more interesting films than most of the MCU. Assuming everything goes well, a crossover movie with X-Men and the Fantastic Four dealing with the Dark Phoenix could be like the first major event movie in this new universe. Hell, you could even throw Deadpool in there for comic relief. This is probably way father in the future than anyone at fox has even thought about, and comicbook movies will probably hit their breaking point and fall out of popularity before any of this comes to fruition, but if it is going to happen, I think that’s the way you do it. And I for one would see the shit out of that movie, especially if you put Singer in the director’s chair.


Ant Man Review

So I haven’t written a review in kind of a while. There have actually been a lot of movies I have some stuff to say about, like Tomorrowland and Jurassic World. The honest truth is that I’ve just gotten sort of lazy about this, and I don’t know how long I’ll keep doing this at all. But there’s a new marvel movie out, and if there’s one thing I never have a shortage of, it’s things to say about a new marvel movie. Now I want to make one thing perfectly clear right off the bat: I enjoyed this movie. It was fun, it was interesting, it was very funny, and at no point was I bored. It was well worth the price of admission and I’ll probably enjoy many rewatches of it. But here’s the thing about marvel; this is the twelfth movie in their cinematic universe. It would be naive to think at this point that they don’t have a pretty solid formula for pumping out fun, enjoyable comicbook movies that appeal to everyone and make as much money as possible. And I almost feel like a dick complaining about these movies, because as a comicbook fan, the fact that we even have a fun, enjoyable movie about a character like Ant-Man is like mind-blowingly awesome. But the truth is that as their formula for printing money has become more and more refined, these marvel movies have become more and more devoid of personality. I mean if you go back and watch the Sam Raimi Spider-Mans, or the Bryan Singer X-Mens, or even the first Iron Man, they feel like real movies. There’s a style, there’s a tone. You can feel the vision and creative influence of a director. Compare any of those movies to Ant-Man, or Guardians of the Galaxy, or any goddamn Thor movie, and there’s just such a contrast. These later movie feel mass produced, corporate. There’s something fake about them. And yes, a lot of superhero movies made at that time under those conditions were terrible. For every Spider-Man 2, there was a Fantastic Four. For every X-Men: United, there was an Ang Lee Hulk. For every Blade II, there was a Blade 1 and 3. And the way that marvel makes movies nowadays, they can pretty much guarantee that no movie will ever be legitimately bad. But they’ve also created a system with no risk. And without that, even though all their movies will be good, none of them will ever be spectacular. And that’s just a shame. My personal favourite superhero movie of all time is the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie, and I know that’s a controversial opinion. And as a die hard fan of comicbook Spidey, I recognize the changes to the character and the mythos that could bug other fans. But what I love about that movie is that you can tell that Sam Raimi has a specific vision of what he wants the story to be, and seeing the character through his eyes is a unique and wonderful spin on the classic version. I’m convinced that no marvel movie released now will ever feel like that. Instead they’ll all just be homogenous, indistinguishable chapters in a larger unfolding story, full of fun moments and endearing characterization, and cool nerdy shit happening. And that’s basically what comicbooks are, so as a huge fan of the medium, I’m going to enjoy it every step of the way. But I guess I’m just saying that there’s a part of me that misses the time when superhero movies were a big deal, and were actually interesting. And I guess this point could apply to a lot of recent marvel movies, but the reason it really hit me with Ant-Man is that this was so nearly an unique director driven movie. Edgar Wright developed this movie for eight years, and was canned right before shooting started because of creative differences between him and the studio. Now, Edgar Wright had actually been working on this movie since before Iron Man was even being made, because he was legitimately passionate about the character. And if you know anything about Edgar Wright, you know he would have made an insanely unique and memorable movie. Imagine this movie done in the visual comedy style of Shaun of the Dead. It would have been amazing. But instead marvel fired him because, I believe the sticking point was that Wright didn’t want the Falcon cameo in the movie. You got one pointless shoved in fight with another Avenger in exchange for the creative vision of an amazing director. So instead they hired some no-name with enough previous credits on his resume to prove himself capable, but without enough of a reputation to argue with anything marvel said, and put out a cookie cutter predictable enjoyable fun middle of the road superhero adventure flick. And it’s fine. And it’s fun. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment while watching it. But it’s just so disappointing to think of what could have been. Real quick, thoughts on the actual movie: I liked Paul Rudd, I though Michael Pena stole the show, Michael Douglas was really well cast as an old Hank Pym, even tho I would have liked to see the character younger, the heist plot was fun but I wished they had committed to that theme a little bit more, and, finally, I don’t really give a shit about Ant-Man from the comics, but I do really love the Wasp. I think she’s the heart of the Avengers and it’s complete bullshit that she hasn’t been in either of their movies. And not only does this movie have the balls to not do the Wasp at all, but when they finally do drop the easter egg about her, the setup is for Evangeline Lily’s character to become her. Evangeline Lily sucks. She can’t act. I hate her. Don’t make her Wasp. These things are all upsetting to me. Anywho, kind of a long rant about a lot of different shit, but hey, I may not keep doing this much longer, might as well go out talking way too much about superhero movies. Sorry for no paragraph breaks that’s not how I roll. My official recommendation: go see this movie, you’ll enjoy it, it’s worth your money. But I think it’s time to stop expecting anything creative from Marvel. It’s at this point I’m really glad for the X-Men movies. I mean you can poke tons of holes in Days of Future Past, it’s far from a perfect movie, but at the end of the day it still feels more like an actual movie with a creative point of origin than anything marvel has put out in the last five years. And even though no one really talks about it, X-Men: Apocalypse is actually the comicbook movie I’m most looking forward to in the next year or so, more than Civil War and Batman V. Superman. But I’m rambling again.

Overall Rating: Generically Good/10