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Old November 2 2011, 09:16 PM   #1
Gaith
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X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick


A pre-9/11 movie.


Man, this movie came out a long time ago. When I saw it in theatres, its Rogue was too old for me, and now she's too young. Whaddya know.

Anyhow, inspired by First Class-induced nostalgia, I gave this a spin last night to see if it hold up, and boy does it ever. I actually think it gets an underrated rap, and belongs in the top tier of superhero movies. Sure, Mags' big plot is a little silly, but it's an excellent way to bring Rogue and Wolvie into the X-fold. The cast is fantastic; it's particularly nice to see Stewart in a good movie for a change (zing!). The action is very well shot and edited, and darned cool, with some great cinematography. Too bad the score couldn't use the animated series theme, I guess, and doesn't really have any memorable tunes, but just about everything else is pretty great. And there's lots of great little touches that really elevate the movie: the cocktail glasses in Wolvie's flashback, Rogue's envious look at the happy mother and son in the train, Toad's funky/taunting dance, the "hey, no powers!" basketball game.

And while there are some minor inconsistencies between it and First Class, they really do feel like companion pieces in spirit as well as many details. Just goes to show how good this movie is when a prequel made ten years later, when audiences are far more primed for complex superhero stories, coheres as well as it does.

Mad props to the Singer-man, yo. A-
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Old November 2 2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

I think it's pretty good, but it's outclassed by X2. One of the rare instances where a sequel is better than the original. Doesn't mean X-Men is a bad film at all, though. It set up X2 very nicely.
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Old November 2 2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

Damn, 11 years ago? I feel older than usual today.
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Old November 2 2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

It's not an X-Men movie. It's a Wolverine movie. They simply misnamed it. It was all about Wolverine.
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Old November 2 2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

I remember when I first saw X-Men in theaters in July 2000 with my step-dad. For some reason I'll never forget that viewing experience. I remember loving the movie-viewing experience and commenting with my step-dad at the brisk pacing of the film. It felt like the movie was 5 minutes long since it whipped right on by- of course, it was around 90 minutes, which made sense. As an X-Men fan, the summer of 2000 was an incredible time. I remember getting X-Men comics, toys from the movie, and watching the movie again, and again, and again when it came to VHS.

X-Men is a terrific movie, and still holds up even today. I think what's so great about it is how much strife Bryan Singer had to endure in order to make the movie, from budget cuts, little studio support, actors dropping out, constant script re-writes, and its production schedule being cut by six months. Even taking all of those things into consideration, the movie is still fantastic. I think the success of X-Men ushered in a new wave of superhero cinema, and its existence is partially responsible for movies like Iron Man, The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 2.

I still think X2 is a superior movie, but that's not to discount the success and quality of the first X-Men movie. It was really depressing to witness X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine after watching Singer imbue the first two movies with such dramatic and heartfelt authenticity. Fortunately X-Men: First Class washed away the godawful memories of those last two movies for the most part, but I think we're indebted to Singer for this new wave of incredible superhero cinema and for showing that comic-book movies, when treated with respect and love, can be just as good as any other drama out there.
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Old November 2 2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

It is a good film, and certainly important for what it set in motion as much as what it achieved in itself. It does have some unfortunately clunky moments, like the stilted exposition montage when Xavier shows Logan around the school, and the totally unfunny "Toad struck by lightning" line. But it's a very impressive film overall.


Gaith wrote: View Post
Too bad the score couldn't use the animated series theme, I guess,
It almost does. Certainly the main theme seems to be inspired by the animated series' theme, with a similar melody and virtually the same rhythm and chord structure, at least for the first four bars.

and doesn't really have any memorable tunes,
I couldn't disagree more. I adore the soulful Rogue-Wolverine theme that's heard during her "death" scene in the torch and again in the end titles. In fact, I love Michael Kamen's score overall, because it's not a typical action-movie score, but sounds like something from a more dramatic, thoughtful kind of film. It gives it class and a distinctive flavor.


And while there are some minor inconsistencies between it and First Class, they really do feel like companion pieces in spirit as well as many details. Just goes to show how good this movie is when a prequel made ten years later, when audiences are far more primed for complex superhero stories, coheres as well as it does.
Just out of curiosity, what are the inconsistencies?
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Old November 2 2011, 09:48 PM   #7
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

Erik and Charles split up earlier in FC than X1 and certainly 3 indicate, Beast invented Cerebro in FC, whilst Charles notes in X1 that Erik helped build it. there's also something of a suggestion that Magneto's dorky helmet was created to block Xavier's telepathy, whilst FC shows it to be Shaw's anti-telepathy helmet that Erik first stole, then copied.

mutants are also clearly a new phenomenon in X1 (witness the discussion of mutants being on the agenda for the UN summit) compared to them having been around for years in FC in 1962!
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Old November 2 2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

The movie holds up pretty well, but I still think it's a shame they couldn't maintain the quieter, richer and more atmospheric tone of the first half.

The second half has some fun moments, but feels like too much of a standard superhero movie for my taste, with all the cheesy fights and one-liners (not to mention another ridiculous All Powerful Weapon that has to be stopped).
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Old November 2 2011, 10:50 PM   #9
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

I saw this my senior year of high school and had a blast. It was the first superhero movie I saw since Schumacher ran the whole genre to the ground. This and Spider-Man definitely ushered in the next wave of comicbook adaptations.
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Old November 2 2011, 10:54 PM   #10
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

Voice of God wrote: View Post
I think it's pretty good, but it's outclassed by X2. One of the rare instances where a sequel is better than the original. Doesn't mean X-Men is a bad film at all, though. It set up X2 very nicely.
Pretty much my thoughts exactly. And X2 still remains my all-time favorite superhero movie. Suck it, Dark Knight! I'll always find team of superheroes vs team of superheroes far more entertaining than one guy vs one guy.
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Old November 2 2011, 11:19 PM   #11
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

The movie felt like a warm up to X2.

The budget felt lower too. Wolverine flipping atop the Statue of Liberty is laughable now.
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Old November 2 2011, 11:27 PM   #12
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

I saw "X-Men" three times in theatres when it came out and was super excited for it. It still holds up very well even after "X-Men: First Class". I like the fact that Singer chose to have an established team and slowly incorporate Logan into the team, although I have stated many times that I would have liked to have seen the original team in an origin story. X2 is far superior as others have stated but "X-Men" paved the way for superhero films to be taken seriously as a genre and attract top talent. We also got that great line from "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" about the industry because of the film.
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Old November 3 2011, 12:43 AM   #13
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

Makarov wrote: View Post
Erik and Charles split up earlier in FC than X1 and certainly 3 indicate, Beast invented Cerebro in FC, whilst Charles notes in X1 that Erik helped build it. there's also something of a suggestion that Magneto's dorky helmet was created to block Xavier's telepathy, whilst FC shows it to be Shaw's anti-telepathy helmet that Erik first stole, then copied.

mutants are also clearly a new phenomenon in X1 (witness the discussion of mutants being on the agenda for the UN summit) compared to them having been around for years in FC in 1962!
I think most of that could be rationalized (and I'm not saying that to be hostile, just to play the game of trying to reconcile things). In the comics, Magneto has gone from enemy to ally several times, so maybe Charles and Erik patch up their differences at some point in the future. (The same rationalization could be offered for Xavier walking in the X3 prologue and X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- his paralysis has been cured and uncured multiple times in the comics.) The version of Cerebro that Charles said Erik helped him build is a considerably later and more advanced version than the one Hank created in FC. The helmet is tricky, though. Maybe at some point Shaw's helmet is destroyed and it's not until the time of X-Men that Magneto manages to recreate it?

And I never got the impression from the first film that mutants had only recently been discovered to exist. It was clear that there was already a well-established prejudice. The fact that Congress and the UN were having hearings or investigations on the issue doesn't mean it was brand-new, but that it had recently escalated to the point of being seen as urgent. Perhaps that sense of urgency was stirred up by Senator Kelly as a campaign issue after the "mutant problem" had been simmering for decades. That often happens in politics -- an issue that's been around for a long time is made into a cause celebre and given new prominence. For instance, communism as a significant political force in world affairs was around since 1917 or thereabouts, but the HUAC/McCarthy hearings were in the '50s.

Then there are the discrepancies that are easy to resolve, like between the different versions of Emma Frost in XMO:W and XM:FC. The XMO:W "Emma" is never named onscreen and never given a last name in the credits; she's only identified as Kayla Silverfox's sister. And her version of diamond transformation is very different than FC's Emma (and much sillier) -- just her skin being covered in what appear to be cut diamonds, rather than her whole body changing into a single living diamond. So it's easy to assume they're just two different women. (Not that I figure anyone would have a problem with removing XMO:W from continuity, but like I said, I'm just playing the game of reconciling films, and at this point I think it's still possible to reconcile XMO:W with the others, even FC.)
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Old November 3 2011, 01:24 AM   #14
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

X-Men was released in 2000, but was stated on-screen to be set "in the not-too-distant future." X2 is set shortly after X-Men (not sure exactly how much time has passed, maybe a couple of months?) and Stryker says that it had been fifteen years since he and Logan last met. But XMO:W is set six years after Logan leaves Team X, which he and Victor Creed were recruited into during the Vietnam War. Of course, we don't know exactly how long Logan was part of Team X, but I never got the impression that he was with them for very long. That leads me to believe that XMO:W is set in the late 1970s (though the early 1980s are also possible), which would put X-Men/X2 in the mid-to-late 1990s, rather than sometime after 2000. I'm so confused!
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Old November 3 2011, 01:27 AM   #15
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Re: X-Men (2000): still a darned good flick

Will Christopher not ignore The Last Stand?!
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