May 7th, 2003


X2 Review

My two favourite things about X2:
1) It follows on directly from the previous one. Not in a Mission-Impossible-esque “It’s got some of the same characters” way, or even in a Star-Wars-esque “In this week’s thrilling instalment of Meet the Skywalkers”, but in a more fully connected “We last saw Aragorn chasing after some Orcs and look, he still is!” way. In fact, once X2 is out on DVD you could easily watch the first film, hold up a placard saying “Six Months Later” while you swapped disks and then carry on. It really does feel that seamless.

2) People die. I gave up on Tomb Raider when I realised that lots of people were going to be luckily knocked unconscious or miraculously fail to be hit by huge hails of gunfire. This is most definitely not the case here – I got an almost visceral shock the first time that Wolverine deliberately stuck his claws into someone’s chest. It’s far too easy to get into the whole “Good guys/Bad guys” mentality, which X2 really does strive to avoid at all costs.

Of course, for those people that haven’t seen the film already, I’m sure the references to the events of the first film are a tad confusing, but I’m actually glad they didn’t fill us in during the film – there’s nothing worse than on-screen exposition: “So, Rogue, remind me why it is that you and Wolverine are so close, when he obviously has the hots for Jean Grey, who is in love with Cyclops.” Everything you need to know from the first film is easy enough to pick up as you go along or not vital to the plot.

The film, by the way, is fantastic. While I’m sure the Matrix films will bring the cinematic art of kicking people in the face to whole new places, Nightcrawler’s teleporting combat was a delight to see. The special effects are generally very well carried out and always felt like they were there because they were important to the story, not because the director wanted to wow you with their brand-new computer.

The script was definitely up to standard, managing to deal with multiple different groups of characters in different places without leaving you confused at any time, introduce new characters and make them feel like logical extensions of what we already new. There’s some fantastic dialogue and the plot is nicely epic while still feeling involving on a personal level.

The only problem I really had with it was that the denoument felt a little “in the nick of time” and didn’t really flow from what came before. It wasn’t bad in any way, it just didn’t seem quite as seamless as the rest of the film.

There’s vast amounts of goodies in the film for those people that love the comics, including references to characters we haven’t seen yet and secret government projects. And like the first one, the ending leaves things wide open for more instalments. Which, I have to say, is no bad thing.

Score: 8.5/10

Magneto: That is an amazing gift you have there Pyro. You are a God among insects, never forget that.

Professor X: Logan, my tolerance of you smoking within the mansion notwithstanding; continue smoking that in here, and you will spend the rest of your life believing you are a six-year-old girl.

(no subject)

With The Hulk, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, X-Men, etc. all taking varying amounts of liberties with the original source material, how much liberty do people think is reasonable to take?

When creating a film based on something

It must be accurate down to the finest details
All events should match up, but dialogue can be changed
It's ok to remove some events from the plot, but adding new ones or changing them is wrong
It should have the same feeling/themes as the original, but only as much plot directly taken as necessary to make a good film
They shouldn't worry about the original at all - films aren't books/comics. They should just be inspired by the original

Poll feedback

So, it looks like either "Gack" or "Gank" is the winner for the "Word used to describe bopying a link from someone else's journal to your own."

Anyone care to give me an etymology? Or even where they first got it from?

Some interesting stuff on the drugs one too.
I'm going to ignore the couple of people who would never touch anything whatsoever for the purpouses of the following.

All of you have used alcohol, large chunks of you have had bad experiences with it, but apparently this isn't going to stop any of you in the future. In fact, generally speaking it looks like bad experiences aren't enough to put people off of most drugs. LSD seems to be a case in point - most people who have tried it seem to have had at least a minor bad experience with it, but you're still all happy to give it another go. Seeing as that grouping includes me, I can't say that I'm that surprised.

I'm delighted to find that none of you think that Heroin is a good way to spend your time, unsurprised to find that half of you have taken cannabis, and amused to discover that several of you are unwilling to take amphetamines but just fine with cocaine. I'd love to be illuminated as to why there's that much of difference between these stimulants.

The New Flesh

I just watched Second Renaissance part two, the final part of the animatrix to be released online.

It was all very pretty and nicely done - but I was severely annoyed (again) by the whole "The machines use the people as an energy source."

Apparently because there's no solar power due to the sky going dark, the machines use people as an energy source. Might one enquire exactly what they're feeding the people that doesn't require power to produce?