Tag Archives: Bryan Singer

The Usual Suspects: Catching Up with Keyser

FIVE CRIMINALS. ONE LINE UP. NO COINCIDENCE. 

After seeing the drama Public Access at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, Kevin Spacey went to the party after the screening, walked up to the young men who had written and directed it and told them that he wanted a role in their next movie. At the time, Spacey was a well-respected stage actor who had won a Tony and was occasionally seen on TV in small parts; he had also landed a role in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) opposite Alec Baldwin and Jack Lemmon.

I’m sure that director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie were happy to meet Spacey, but none of them had any idea just what kind of huge breakthrough their next project would be to all of them.

After a bloody showdown on a ship in the Port of Los Angeles, the police are left with only two survivors – a Hungarian gangster with severe burns and Roger ”Verbal” Kint (Spacey), who has a bad limp due to cerebral palsy. The only thing the cops can get out of the Hungarian is the name ”Keyser Söze”, which gets their attention. This is a shadowy figure, a mobster whose whereabouts are virtually unknown, but he does command tremendous respect and fear among criminals. At the police station, Customs agent Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) starts questioning ”Verbal” who has quite a story to tell. He goes back six weeks in time, when he and a group of other criminals with various talents were arrested on trumped-up charges.

The group, which included a former policeman, Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), decided to get back at the cops by robbing corrupt policemen who were running a scheme helping smugglers. One thing led to another, and soon the gang found themselves in California meeting a lawyer, Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite), who represented Keyser Söze…

Written for Spacey
Spacey reportedly wanted to play Keaton or Kujan, but McQuarrie wrote the part of ”Verbal” specifically for Spacey, and his convincing performance won him an Oscar. The Usual Suspects will always be remembered for its marvelous twist in the final scenes; it is frequently listed as one of the best. Some critics loved this movie upon its premiere, others found the twist too convoluted. It is a complicated story that asks the audience to buy into certain things that may seem unbelievable, but watching the movie again after many years doesn’t diminish the pleasure of it. Sure, there’s no shock near the end this time, but still a lot of fun to see how well Singer stages the revelation and allows it time to play out. One thing I was afraid of was that I’d think the twist is all there is to this movie, but I’m happy to report that I was wrong.

Spacey is wonderful as the con artist who may seem weak because of his condition, but always survives. The whole cast is terrific. Following the colorful gang of criminals who randomly meet at the police station at the beginning of the story is a lot of fun, and apart from Spacey we’re treated to rich performances from Palminteri as the agent who becomes increasingly agitated over ”Verbal’s” story, and Postlethwaite as the mysterious lawyer who keeps his cool even when a gun is pointed to his head. John Ottman is another major asset here, creating tension both in the editing room and as composer of the film’s music score; this was also his breakthrough in the latter field. Visually and narratively speaking, Singer makes his mark here, crafting a good-looking thriller void of lulls and where the central villain is expertly built into a presence that seems larger than life. How unusual to make the reveal of his identity anything but a letdown.

In a way, the final scenes is a setup for a sequel. Considering how many X-Men movies Singer has made, we should be thankful that he never felt the need to bring back Keyser Söze. 

The Usual Suspects 1995-U.S. 105 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Michael McDonnell, Bryan Singer. Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie. Music, Editing: John Ottman. Cast: Stephen Baldwin (Michael McManus), Gabriel Byrne (Dean Keaton), Chazz Palminteri (Dave Kujan), Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Spacey… Benicio Del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito, Dan Hedaya.

Quote: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.” (Spacey)

Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Spacey), Original Screenplay. BAFTA: Best Original Screenplay, Editing.

Last word: “I sent the script to over 50 studios and potential funders, all of whom rejected it. We had some financing, but that fell through, too. I remember we’d all got together to do some early preparations in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s building in LA, the one that housed his restaurant Schatzi – and they just shut the power off. The thing that saved us was Chazz Palminteri. He agreed to play the cop, but he had a very tiny window in his schedule, just two weeks. So the studios knew they had to move fast if they wanted the chance to fund a film with such a bankable star.” (Singer, The Guardian)

 

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X-Men: Apocalypse

ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE. 

xmenapocalypseIn 1983, the first mutant the world ever saw comes back to life, a powerful creature who ruled ancient Egypt and has been entombed ever since his worshippers betrayed him. The third film in the series that introduced younger versions of beloved mutants suffers from overfamiliarity and a fiery showdown, in 3D, with Oscar Isaac’s towering villain, that goes on forever. Bryan Singer juggles a lot of characters, but still maintains our interest, in no small part thanks to his excellent cast of stars and characters that we’ve come to know very well. The somber tone is enlivened by 1980s touches, especially in a cool time-freeze scene.

2016-U.S. 144 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Bryan Singer. Cast: James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lensherr/Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique), Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne… Sophie Turner. Cameos: Hugh Jackman, Stan Lee.

Trivia: Idris Elba and Tom Hardy were allegedly considered for the part of Apocalypse. Followed by Logan (2017).

5 kopia

 

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Highlights of Comic-Con 2015

This year’s Comic-Con in San Diego ended last Sunday. Time to sum up what we enjoyed the most:

The Star Wars panel – We get J.J. Abrams explaining his vision for the new movie, and Lawrence Kasdan as a connection to the original trilogy. We get real examples of newly designed creatures. And we get a Carrie Fisher-Mark Hamill-Harrison Ford reunion that is irresistibly charming, especially since it’s the first time we see Ford since the plane crash that almost killed him. And, unexpectedly, he’s in a great mood! The panel was accompanied by a very pleasant reel that gave us an insight into The Force Awakens and also made a clever connection to the original trilogy, which is key to the success of the film.

Hugh Jackman celebrating Wolverine – The Australian actor owes his career to the X-Men movies and the Wolverine character, and his appearance was a heartfelt celebration, where he also told the audience that “old man Logan” will make a final appearance in a new movie directed by James Mangold who made The Wolverine (2013). It was followed by Jackman and director Bryan Singer singing each other’s praises. They are clearly in debt to each other.

The Hateful Eight panel – It has Quentin Tarantino explaining the background to the whole issue of his screenplay being leaked and his decision not to make the movie, and why he changed his mind. But it also has a girl in the audience dressed up in full Kill Bill gear asking Tarantino a question. It has Walton Goggins in a Pharrell hat. It has Michael Madsen! Bruce Dern! It has Kurt Russell sporting a beautiful moustache. And it has Tarantino once again touting the virtues of film as the opposite of digital – and announcing that Ennio Morricone will write the music score, his first Western in 40 years. This panel has everything you need, a complete nerdgasm.

The best trailer – Some thought the Deadpool trailer was the best thing to come out of Comic-Con, but I think that’s because they expected much less from Ryan Reynolds. The real hoot came in the form of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer. I was disappointed in Man of Steel (2013), but this preview looks promising, tying the destructive final act of that film into the sequel as motivation for Bruce Wayne to resent Superman. There’s a 9/11 atmosphere, and we are introduced to Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman. But how will the filmmakers manage to fit all these ingredients into the blockbuster in a satisfying way?

The worst preview – This Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 teaser was meant to inspire fans, having Jennifer Lawrence in a gorgeous red outfit as a contrast to the white-clad soldiers. But the clip is just too silly for a franchise that also should have ended with the last chapter instead of cutting the third book into two halves. As one YouTube user quips, “What’s up with the Michael Jackson dancers?”

 

How many superheroes can you fit on a stage? #FoxSDCC #XMenApocalypse #Deadpool #Gambit #FantasticFour #Wolverine

A photo posted by 20th Century Fox (@20thcenturyfox) on

The obvious selfie of the year…

The very best clip of the year, obviously. King Bryan Cranston, we salute thee…

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

EVERY HERO, EVERY POWER WILL UNITE.

xmendaysoffuturepastIn 2023, most mutants have been wiped out by man-made robots called Sentinels; with the help of Shadowcat (Ellen Page), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time to 1973 to kill the Sentinel program before it’s born. A sequel to three X-Men movies (The Last Stand, Wolverine and First Class), this ambitious chapter brings Bryan Singer back to the franchise as director and unites two generations as the older mutants try to influence their younger, more irresponsible selves. The result is a dark, sprawling, exciting and handsome comic-book adventure in 3D with clever political touches, a magnificent cast and, unlike many other genre pics, it delivers in the finale as well.

2014-U.S. 131 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer. Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay: Simon Kinberg. Music, Editing: John Ottman. Cast: Hugh Jackman (Logan/Wolverine), James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lensherr), Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult… Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart. Cameos: Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Kelsey Grammer.

Trivia: Followed by X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).

Last word: “This is a story about a bad future, not a bad situation with an individual, but a bad future and how do you go back and change that. So it’s a very simple conceit and I pitched it to James Cameron when I was in New Zealand and he put it into physics terms and I wish I could articulate the physics of it, the experimental physics. It deals with the notion that objects and things evolve differently and behave differently when they’re observed and when they’re not observed. So I play with the principle of the travel, in this case it’s consciousness that moves into your younger self, and that traveler is the observer and the observer perceives one thing while the rest of the world perceives something else. In this case, Hugh is the observer.” (Singer, Collider)

4 kopia

 

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The Greatest Hits of 2014

It’s time for that annual list of this year’s highly anticipated Hollywood films. Here’s 2014 for ya.

JANUARY:

* Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – This reboot of Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst cum action hero has Chris Pine, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh (who’s also directing), but the trailer disturbingly shows another variation on the Jason Bourne concept.

* Labor Day – Jason Reitman returns, aided by Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. Unfortunately, what looked like a promising drama has now been dumped in the frigid January slot.

FEBRUARY:

* The Monuments Men – George Clooney directs this story about museum curators and art historians trying to rescue vital pieces of art before Hitler gets his hands on them. Starring Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon and Daniel Craig. Originally slated for a late 2013 release.

* RoboCop – The remake has Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman. One vital question remains: What’s the point?

Also interesting to note this month: Kevin Costner and Liam Neeson will clash in 3 Days to Kill and Non-Stop, two action thrillers that look pretty similar in style and tone. One likely hit will be Son of God, a movie based on material from The Bible as well as previously unseen footage.

MARCH:

* The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson’s new movie has a star-studded cast and an intriguing story set between the world wars.

* Grace of Monaco – Another movie originally slated for a late 2013 release, this one is hopefully better than Diana. Nicole Kidman plays the princess.

* Muppets Most Wanted – The Muppets return for a jewel-heist caper. Lots of star cameos, as expected.

* Noah – One can’t help but being intrigued by a Darren Aronofsky movie about the biblical hero. Stars Russell Crowe, and the trailer has Gladiator-esque qualities.

APRIL:

* Captain America: The Winter Soldier – A summer of big blockbusters begins with this Marvel sequel.

 

Sabotage – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to movies has been largely tongue in cheek, but the trailer for this film, directed by David Ayer of End of Watch fame, suggests a different approach.

* Transcendence – Johnny Depp stars in this sci-fi flick about a scientist who downloads his mind into a computer. Directing debut of cinematographer and Christopher Nolan loyalist Wally Pfister.

MAY:

* The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The sequel looks like it might have the same problems as the first one. On the other hand, the first one was surprisingly good.

* Godzilla – Looks like a tired retread on paper, but director Gareth Edwards and the cast might make a difference. The trailer has the right look.

* X-Men: Days of Future Past – Bryan Singer tries to unite two franchise threads. Let’s hope it’s better than Star Trek Generations (1994).

JUNE:

* Edge of Tomorrow – Tom Cruise fighting aliens. Again. Directed by Doug Liman.

* How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Could become the animated hit of the summer. DreamWorks will be anxious to make sure that the sequel matches the wonderful original.

* Transformers: Age of Extinction – The last time I made the mistake of giving Michael Bay the benefit of a doubt. This time I’m sure Mark Wahlberg will be lost in a flurry of incomprehensible battles.

JULY:

* Tammy – Melissa McCarthy puts her stardom to the ultimate test, being directed by her husband, Ben Falcone, in a summer blockbuster comedy that has Susan Sarandon playing her alcoholic grandmother.

* Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – The sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) has Gary Oldman (but Andy Serkis is still the star). Directed by Matt Reeves of Cloverfield fame.

* Jupiter Ascending – The Wachowski Siblings return after Cloud Atlas (2012) with another sci-fi movie, this one starring Mila Kunis.

AUGUST:

* Guardians of the Galaxy – Marvel strikes back with another adventure, this one starring among others Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

* Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s follow-up to their 2005 movie. Postponed for a year after its original 2013 release date. Hardly promising.

* The Expendables 3 – I’ll mention this simply because Mel Gibson plays the villain and the cast also has Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas and Kelsey Grammer. I guess it has to be seen to be believed.

As a Swede, I have to highlight two world-famous fellow Swedes this month: Lasse Hallström is set to release The Hundred-Foot Journey, a film about an Indian family competing with a Michelin-starred restaurant in France, starring Helen Mirren, and Alexander Skarsgård who’s starring alongside Meryl Streep in Phillip Noyce’s sic-fi drama The Giver.

SEPTEMBER:

* The Equalizer – Another TV show gets a movie adaptation, this one directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington.

OCTOBER:

* Gone Girl – David Fincher adapted the bestseller, with Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris set to put the screen ablaze.

* Get On Up – James Brown is the latest music star to get a proper screen biography. Directed by Tate Taylor (of The Help) and starring Chadwick Boseman.

NOVEMBER: 

* Interstellar – Christopher Nolan returns with one of the year’s most highly anticipated sci-fi films. Starring Matthew McConaughey, who’s clearly continuing his current brilliant streak.

* Dumb and Dumber To – Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return after 20 years. Are they getting any smarter?

* Fury – Another film by David Ayer this year (after Sabotage), a war movie set near the end of World War II. Stars Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf.

* The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Francis Lawrence directs this complex endeavor, where author Suzanne Collins’s book has been chopped into two chapters.

DECEMBER:

* Exodus – Ridley Scott mounts a comeback after the creative abyss known as The Counselor. This biblical epic, starring Christian Bale, looks more like Kingdom of Heaven (2005).

* The Hobbit: There and Back Again – The third and final chapter in Peter Jackson’s insanely protracted franchise

* Annie – Another movie adaptation of the Broadway hit, this time featuring Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz and Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis.

* Into the Woods – The Brothers Grimm fairy tales are presented with a twist in this film, directed by Rob Marshall, and starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp.

* Unbroken – Angelina Jolie is set to direct this World War II story, which is based on a best-selling book and adapted by the Coen brothers, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson.

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Highlights of Comic-Con 2013

This year’s Comic-Con in San Diego is over, and as always it’s been a treat. I’m not going to pretend that I was there. I wish I were, but the thing is in this day and age you can enjoy the feast even if you’re thousands of miles away. The past few days have offered loads of interesting news and tidbits, and I’ve collected what caught my fancy:

Superman/Batman showdown Undoubtedly, the greatest piece of news coming out of San Diego this year was Warner’s announcement that the sequel to Man of Steel will introduce a new Batman after Christopher Nolan’s three brilliant films. Zack Snyder (seen in the spine-chilling clip above, with Harry Lennix) will return as director, Henry Cavill is on board as Superman, and David S. Goyer will pen the script… and I guess Nolan will also be involved, either as producer or story writer, or both. This is very exciting news obviously, but as a huge fan of Nolan’s Batman movies and harsh critic of Snyder’s Superman effort, I have to ask myself what on Earth this is going to be like. There is reason to worry. And thrill. And worry.

Starstruck – by the X-Men panel The greatest gathering of stars must have been when the cast of and some of the crew behind the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past walked on stage. In the clip above, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry and director Bryan Singer among others, answer questions. This is a franchise that is still worth the excitement. The Wolverine, which follows X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), opens this week and is getting some decent reviews; included after the end credits is a sequence that whets our appetite for next year’s adventure. I’m also pleased to see some love for Singer who got a bad rap for Superman Returns (2006).

Loki is in da house The Avengers panel offered a surprise appearance by Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the villain from Thor and The Avengers, a wonderfully hammy performance that the audience just ate up. “It seems I have an army”. Indeed. It was revealed that the 2015 sequel to The Avengers will be called Avengers: Age of Ultron. The title harks back to comic-book mythology that the die-hard fans know all about, but director Joss Whedon also acknowledged the need for more original thinking, going so far as to say that we are in “desperate need of new content”, according to Deadline. Here’s a suggestion: make way for storylines, ideas and characters that acknowledge gays, women and racial minorities. Not to show that you’re fashionably liberal, but because that would reflect what the real world looks like.

20 years old – and still hot It’s been 20 years since The X-Files premiered on Fox, created by Chris Carter, introducing two FBI agents investigating cases that were out of the ordinary. In other words, those dealing with ghosts, aliens and monsters. In the clip above, Carter joins former X-Files writers like Vince Gilligan and Howard Gordon, as well as stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson for a panel talk. Now, this may seem like a belated thing… but only to the clueless. Gilligan went on to create Breaking Bad and Gordon has been involved in both 24 and Homeland. Recently, The Hollywood Reporter featured an X-Files reunion, which made clear just how influential the show has been. This panel talk emphasizes that; Gilligan points out that there would not have been a Breaking Bad without The X-Files. As for a third movie, Carter refused to commit… but Duchovny and Anderson were positive. And on a final, irrelevant note, the two stars are immensely more attractive now than in the 1990s. Maybe it’s a fashion thing?

The funnies Comic-Con offered many great new trailers (including previews of the fourth season of The Walking Dead and a teaser for the upcoming Veronica Mars movie), but I preferred the funnier stuff. Here’s three clips I just loved:

Hannibal has been awfully dark. Which is why this gag reel is so funny. 

Stephen Hawking wowed the Big Bang Theory panel audience by singing (sort of) the show’s theme.

There’s been no end to the slaughtering in Game of Thrones. This clip honors (Oscar-style) those we’ve lost in the past three seasons.

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X-Men

JOIN THE EVOLUTION.

Considering the amount of unsuccessfully adapted comic book adventures, how fortunate that versatile director Bryan Singer felt he was the right guy to take on this Marvel extravaganza. The story takes place a few years into the future. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) runs a school for gifted young mutants who possess special powers; people fear them but he disagrees with Magneto (Ian McKellen) on how to fight back against those who wish to harm them. Stewart and McKellen lend dignity to their characters; Hugh Jackman is also worth a look in his breakthrough as the edgy Wolverine. A surprisingly short thrill-ride, but with plenty of good action sequences.

2000-U.S. 104 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ralph Winter, Lauren Shuler Donner. Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay: David Hayter. Comic Book: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby. Cast: Hugh Jackman (Logan/Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Charles ”Professor X” Xavier), Ian McKellen (Eric ”Magneto” Lensherr), Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry… Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.

Trivia: Dougray Scott was allegedly first cast as Wolverine. Followed by four sequels, starting with X2 (2003). The movie also inspired X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and X-Men: First Class (2011).

Last word: “I was very obsessed with the Holocaust as a child and man’s inhumanity to man. And, ultimately, it came from my fear of intolerance. In certain places, for whatever reason, just for being Caucasian or having blue eyes, someone might want to cut my head off. For being American, for being anything, for just being myself, someone might want to destroy me. That concept is so terrifying that it constantly bears exploration.” (Singer, BBC)

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Valkyrie

MANY SAW EVIL. THEY DARED TO STOP IT. 

valkyrieIn 1943, German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) joins a gang of conspirators trying to overthrow Adolf Hitler and negotiate peace with the Allies. The reason why this story hasn’t been told onscreen that many times is probably due to the depressing outcome of it. Still, director Bryan Singer has turned it into an exciting, straightforward, uncomplicated Hollywood thriller that deserves respect for what it is, even though few of its ingredients are exceptional. Cruise is solid, even relatively subdued, in the lead and supported by a topnotch cast of Brits. Permission was granted to film at the Bendlerblock, adding a touch of authenticity.

2008-U.S.-Germany. 120 min. Color. Produced by Gilbert Adler, Bryan Singer, Christopher McQuarrie. Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander. Cast: Tom Cruise (Claus von Stauffenberg), Kenneth Branagh (Henning von Tresckow), Bill Nighy (Friedrich Olbricht), Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann… Terence Stamp, Eddie Izzard.

Trivia: Cruise co-executive produced the film. The story has been filmed before several times in Germany and in the U.S. TV movie The Plot to Kill Hitler (1990).

Last word: “I thought it would be this little movie and would star some unknown actors and we’d shoot it in Europe and maybe we’d get some old German costumes and shoot the military stuff in an abstract way or use stock footage or something, and do it for like $20 million. […]  Rather quickly it got bigger because then we signed a deal to make it with Tom Cruise.” (Singer, Movies Online)

4 kopia

 

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Superman Returns

Five years after the events in Superman II (1981), the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns to Earth only to find that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has a son and a new man in her life… and Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is once again up to no good. Bryan Singer turned out to be the right filmmaker to bring Superman back to the heights of the first two movies, showing love and respect for what this is about. Goes on too long and offers few surprises, but watching Superman fly again is both awe-inspiring and beautiful. Plenty of humor and exciting action sequences, particularly the one involving a Boeing. Spacey is just as much fun as Gene Hackman in the original; OK effort by newcomer Routh.

2006-U.S. 154 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Bryan Singer, Jon Peters, Gilbert Adler. Directed by Bryan Singer. Music: John Ottman. Cast: Brandon Routh (Clark Kent/Superman), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), James Marsden, Frank Langella, Eva Marie Saint… Parker Posey.

Trivia: Noel Neill and Jack Larson, who played Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen in the TV series The Adventures of Superman (1951-1957), appear in this movie. At various points, Brett Ratner, Tim Burton and McG were allegedly considered to direct, and J.J. Abrams and Kevin Smith to write.

Quote: “Gods… are selfish beings who fly around in little red capes and don’t share their power with mankind.” (Spacey analyzing Superman)

Last word: “Quentin Tarantino and I had a big conversation about it — he has a fascination with this film and he wrote this whole essay about it, but the Lois Lane part of it has always been a stickler with him. This is me extrapolating, but the relationship in the Donner film was so black and white and here it was complex. Adding to that, of course, was the child that was involved. Again, I really do think I was making the film for that ‘Devil Wears Prada’ audience of women who wouldn’t normally come to a superhero film.” (Singer, ComicBookMovie.com)

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X2

THE TIME HAS COME FOR THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT TO STAND UNITED.

For once the old cliché “bigger and better” is right on target. The story continues where the first movie left off and isolation and racism are once again themes. Don’t expect too many surprises in the story about a general (Brian Cox) who intends to destroy the mutants for personal reasons by making them use their own powers on themselves… but expect the best kind of blockbuster thrills. Toward the ending it’s easy to get a feeling that the movie would benefit from tighter editing, but there are still many memorable scenes. Hugh Jackman is very comfortable in the lead; his cool, irritable anti-hero Wolverine has shades of Indiana Jones.

2003-U.S. 134 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ralph Winter, Lauren Shuler Donner. Directed by Bryan Singer. Screenplay: David Hayter, Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty. Music: John Ottman. Cast: Patrick Stewart (Charles ”Professor X” Xavier), Hugh Jackman (Logan/Wolverine), Ian McKellen (Eric ”Magneto” Lensherr), Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden… Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Anna Paquin.

Trivia: Followed by X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).

Last word: “I think some of the pressure was alleviated by the fact that fans, the core audience have supported the X-Men universe for 40 years, really embraced the first picture. There was some more time and money this time around, and I had a better sense of what I was doing, because I’d already established these characters and already cut my teeth in the genre. So, I felt a little less pressure and actually a little more freedom.” (Singer, IGN)

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