Yesterday in the Nerd Verse… Jan 06, 2015

New Comic Book Releases: G Willow Wilson takes over the all-female X-Men, Mortal Kombat X digital release, and some unique new books in: Ant Man, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and IXth Generation.

Check out our latest feature, Best of 2014, for our take on our favorite: comic books, movies, TV shows, collectibles, music and video games.

Hardy har har. Everybody got a great laugh out of the itty-bitty Ant-Man trailer; here’s the full-length teaser. It should erase any hard feelings you had about the upcoming movie. Source: YouTube.

IDW Comics is acquiring Top Shelf Comics (March). I don’t think this will make any severe changes at IDW, but it is nice to see “the little guys” stick together. Source: IDW.

The first episode of the mid-season for Gotham, “Rogues’ Gallery” is in the books and our review is up.

In a week, Marvel Comics previews Star Wars #1, and in preparation, have released a butt-ton of variant covers for it. Bleeding Cool has been nice enough to gather them all in one neat little post. Bleeding Cool.

An Eisner Award-winning writer is coming to Spawn, via Todd McFarlane. Source: Facebook.

In television, Empireblack-ish and American Horror Story all make their debut tomorrow.

Hector “Tio” Salamanca from Breaking Bad joins Constantine as Felix Faust.

 

Santa Fe Comic Con: Naomi Grossman “Play With Me! Inside American Horror Story”

Panel Name: Play With Me! Inside American Horror Story

Topic: A Q&A about Naomi Grossman and her role on American Horror Story. Basically her being adorable.

Featured Guests: Naomi Grossman

Naomi Grossman, known for her role of Pepper on American Horror Story, visited Santa Fe Comic Con last weekend and we were lucky enough to attend  her panel “Play With Me! Inside American Horror Story.” Grossman has roots in New Mexico and was very excited to return to the state not only to spend time with us, but also visit with her mother in Taos. She sat in the audience during the panel. She said that she loves the city and knows it very well. When asked “Red or Green (chili)?” Grossman answered, “You know, believe it or not I’m not a hot pepper person.” 

Grossman grew up in Denver, CO and started acting young in children’s theatre. Every Saturday morning she would perform at Comedy Works and got her Screen Actors Guild card at age 15. She majored in theatre at Northwestern University then headed out to Los Angeles._1280474

Before Pepper, Grossman wrote and acted in one woman shows all over the world in places closer to home like Taos, NM to far away cities like London and Edinburgh. Most were one hour long sketches and frequently autobiographical. She did a lot of comedy in these shows and is still selling them today as well as showing them on her YouTube channel. She started doing this because she was frustrated with how much time she was spending sending headshots to people, auditioning, waiting, praying, wasting gas getting to casting calls, ect. She decided to write her own roles and have fun with them, instead of spending more time at the post office than actually acting. I later looked up her sketches and they are genuinely hilarious.

Up until American Horror Story, Grossman thought “Gosh, I’ll never have a better role than one I could write for myself…And then here, Ryan Murphy created this character that’s pretty awesome.” Funnily enough, one of Grossman’s one woman shows was set on a carnival freak show. Perhaps she was destined for Pepper’s role.

When talking about the audition process for American Horror Story, she described the experience as “very secretive”. She said, “They didn’t actually release the actual script from the show and in fact they didn’t even let on that I’d be playing Pepper. They just said petite, childlike, possibly malformed.” When it came her turn to audition they asked her to do a monologue from Jessica Lange’s character and a little improv, including playing with a plastic ball. “They asked me to try to get them to play with me.” What they wanted to see was her range; whether she could go from childlike Pepper to “evolved Pepper” as she put it. Later, Grossman said that playing evolved Pepper in AHS: Asylum was the most difficult parts ; she had five days to prepare for the role.

Now that she has the part, Grossman shared with us that it is not uncommon for the cast to work 14 to 16 hour days. “We’re not crazy” she assured when talking about the Asylum season. Grossman says that the writers use Pepper sparingly. “I am kind of light and comedic and the show is so dark and dramatic so they’ve got to pepper me in.”  Again, the audience laughed. When shooting a show like American Horror Story, bigger is better in terms of energy. Even in a serious scene, characters pop off the screen when the actor portrays them as big as they can. Directors will often yell “Bigger! Give me bigger!” while shooting. “Everyone can go bigger except for Pepper!” Grossman remembers being shouted during shooting. She’s a very lively character as is.

The cast works very hard and though the show is scary for the audience, Grossman said that watching the show as an actor is very different. “The show’s not scary to me at all,” she said, “Because I know when I watch it that there’s a man holding a boom mic just an inch off the screen. Where with Murder House, which I wasn’t affiliated with at all… was scary because I hadn’t seen behind those films and mirrors.”

A fan asked about the intense makeup she wears while playing Pepper. “I’m pretty much non-functional once they make me up,” she joked. Pepper has large, hairy hands that Grossman wears glove like prothetic for. While the rest of the cast can check social media and play Candy Crush on their iPhones while waiting to shoot, Pepper’s hands are not touch screen friendly. She said that once she’s on set she goes underground. She can’t take any phone calls, she can’t Skype, she is practically cut off from the outside world until they wrap for the day.

We didn’t have too long with Grossman and while she couldn’t reveal anything about what was ahead for Pepper or whether she’d be back next season, she shared with us how much the creators of the show listen to their fans. Pepper likely would not have returned this season and become the only crossover character of the show had it not been obviously how badly we wanted her. She said that the creators check how many likes characters get on Facebook and take that into account when creating the show. While Grossman doesn’t think Pepper will return for another season after Freakshow, she urged us to let ourselves be heard. Perhaps if we speak loud enough our favorite little pinhead won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Photography by Raya Jade Lieberman. Videos courtesy of Naomi Grossman on YouTube.

Santa Fe Comic Con: Preview The Official Schedule and Our Highlights!

Santa Fe Comic Con

Santa Fe Comic Con is finally upon us! There are tons of things to do this weekend from celebrity signings, to panels, to the cosplay contest, attendees are bound to have a great weekend. For those of you attending the convention, we’ve put together a little must-see list so you can spend less time running around the convention center deciding on things to do and more time doing them.

The events are split into five major sections: Panels (split into Room A and Room B), Concerts and Night Life, Daily Events, The Open Wound Film Festival, and Photo Ops. We’ve included the entire schedule below for your convenience, but here’s a few things we’re especially excited about.

Saturday

Comic Con Cosplay Safety Meeting – Panel Room A – 10-10:45am

As a cosplayer myself, I was very happy to see this on the schedule. As detailed in a earlier cosplay article, Cosplay safety is extremely important at conventions. These artists are not props to be ogled at, and they deserve respect. Every attendee should go to this panel. As an incentive, SFCC is offering an additional free cosplay token (for use at the Cosplay contest) to everyone who attends the panel.

Power Rangers Nakia Burisse and Blake Foster – “Spin Kicks and Back Flips. Behind the Scenes with the Power Rangers.” – Panel Room A – 11-11:45am

Want a backstage pass to the action behind the Power Rangers? Attend this panel. Kakia Burisse and Blake Foster will be giving attendees some Behind the Scenes insight on how the infamous Power Rangers was shot.

Naomi Grossman “Play with me. Inside American Horror Story.”- Panel Room A- 2-2:45

If you love American Horror Story, you HAVE to attend this panel. No specific details yet on what she’ll be covering about the show, but everything about this panel demands attention. Just going off the title, this sounds like a lot of fun and perfect for the Halloween season.

Cosplay Contest!

Hosted by Cosplay Legend Rosanna Rocha, this contest promises to have some really amazing talent. Attendees will be able to cast their vote via tokens given to their favorite Cosplayers. There will be four categories in which to place in: 1) Best in Show will be the Costume that has the most coins with a prize of $100 cash and Free 3 Day pass to Albuquerque Comic Con. Any tie will be decided by the final vote by ROSANNA ROCHA. 2) Best Coin Bag will win a prize of a Free 3 day pass to Albuquerque Comic Con. 3) Most Fun will be decided by Girls of Geek and the prize will be an autographed Girls of Geek Calendar as well as a Free 3 Day Pass to Albuquerque Comic Con. And 4) Most Impressive will be decided on by Rosanna Rocha and will be awarded a personalized autographed print and a Free 3 Day pass to Albuquerque Comic Con.

Making Comics your Living Gene Ha and Andy Kuhn – Panel Room B – 3-3:45pm

If you’re an inspiring artists or writer, this panel is a must-attend. Comic Book professionals Gene Ha and Andy Kuhn will give their tips and tricks for how to make your own comics more lively.

Spider-Man with Sam De La Rosa – Panel Room B – 4-4:45pm

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! If you’ve been on as much of a Spider-Man kick as I’ve been on lately, you’ll want to visit this panel. Spider-Man artist, Sam De La Rosa will be speaking on what makes Spider-Man so great. Details about the panel to be announced.

Sunday

Kids Cosplay- Judged by Rosanna Rocha and special guests – Panel Room A- 12-12:45pm

You should go to this contest if only for the cute factor. Supporting young Cosplayers is always worthy of your time. Not only is it adorable, it furthers their passion for art and comics, and that’s never a bad thing.

Linda Blair “Still turning heads after all these years” – Panel Room A- 2-2:45pm

This title makes me laugh. If you’re a fan of The Exorcist and have always wondered what that demented little girl has been up to all these years, check out Linda Blair’s panel!

Jeremy Shada and Jessica Dicicco “What time is it?” – Panel Room A- 3-3:45

ADVENTURE TIME! This panel promises to be just as fun as the show. If you’re a big fan of the Cartoon Network kids show, check out this panel with the voice actors behind some of TV’s most lovable characters.

Thomas Churchill “From Concept to Packaging, the do’s and don’ts of shooting your indie film” – Panel Room A- 4-4:45pm

CALLING ALL FILM MAJORS! This is a must-attend panel if you’re an aspiring film maker. Known for his zombie films, Thomas Churchill will teach you everything you need to know about how to shoot your own indie film. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to learn from an incredibly talented film maker.

Al Niuman: The History of Harley Quinn – Panel Room A- 5-5:45pm

“Call me Harley! Everybody does!” If you LOVE Harley Quinn as much as I do, you were just as excited to see this on the schedule. As much as I’m squeamish about what DC has done with Harley lately, I’m excited to see this panel on one of my favorite characters. Plus, there will be prizes throughout the panel! What’s not to like?

Open Wound Film Festival

Just in time for Halloween, the Open Wound Film Festival promises to be a brilliant event for all horror fans. Here’s what the Open Wound Films website had to say on the event. “The Open Wound Horror Film Festival is an independent film competition/film festival, developed by and for Horror Fans. Our festival is being held at Santa Fe Comic Con which will provide countless unique opportunities including Panels, Q & A sessions, signings and more!” The festival will include much of SFCC’s horror themed guests such as  Linda Blair of The Exorcist, Fred Williamson of Dusk Till Dawn, Naomi Grossman of American Horror Story: Asylum, Priscilla Barnes of The Devil’s Rejects, Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters and The Crow among many other guests! Don’t miss this awesome festival! Film schedule to be announced.

We can’t possibly cover everything the convention has to offer, so here’s the full schedule!

Hours of Operation

Friday 4pm -8pm (Celebrities do not come to this preview night)

Saturday  10am – 8pm

Sunday  10am – 6pm

Panel Schedule

Saturday: Panel Room A

10-10:45 Comic Con Cosplay Safety Meeting (extra voting token to all who attend)

11-11:45 Power Rangers Nakia Burisse and Blake Foster – “Spin Kicks and Back Flips. Behind the Scenes with the Power Rangers.”

12-12:45 Jim Steranko “Nick’s Fury, blast your way inside the mind of Jim Steranko.”

1-1:45 Fred The Hammer Williamson

2-2:45 Naomi Grossman “Play with me. Inside American Horror Story.”

3-3:45 TBA

4-4:45 Manu Bennett “How to stick a piece of metal in your forearm and use it as a hand with AZOG the defiler”

5-5:45 Ernie Hudson “Who you gonna call?”

6-6:45 Tim Murphy “Son’s of Anarchy- Antagonist This”

7-7:45 Cosplay Contest- Format – Token swapping- give your token to your favorite cosplayer.

Saturday: Panel Room B

10-10:45 Lisa Loring The Original Adams Family

11-11:45 Voice Acting with Jamie Marchi and Ian Sinclair

12-12:45 Mark Bode the Art of Being Artsy all the time

1-1:45 Star Wars with Bruce Logan, John Morton, and Dicky Beer

2-2:45 Friday the 13 Part One with Ari Lehman

3-3:45 Making Comics your Living Gene Ha and Andy Kuhn

4-4:45 Spider-Man with Sam De La Rosa

5-5:45 Cherry Comics the first best adult comic Larry Welz

6-6:45 Indi Press Jon Hughes Overground Comics

7-7:45 Closed for the Costume Contest in Panel Room A

Sunday: Panel Room A

10-10:45 Tim Murphy “Sons of Anarchy- Antagonist This: Day 2

11-11:45 Manu Bennett “From Deathstroke to Crixus”

12-12:45 Kids Cosplay- Judged by Rosanna Rocha and special guests

1-1:45 Star Wars with John Morton, Dicky Beer and Bruce Logan

2-2:45 Linda Blair “Still turning heads after all these years”

3-3:45 Jeremy Shada and Jessica Dicicco “What time is it?”

4-4:45 Thomas Churchill “From Concept to Packaging, the do’s and don’ts of shooting your indie film”

5-5:45 Al Niuman The History of Harley Quinn. Prizes throughout the hour

Concerts and Night Life

Friday Night Oct 24th LAUNCH PARTY $5 Cover

8pm to 11pm- Shadeh Night Club. Ari Lehman and First Jason will be performing

11pm to 1am Local Bands from Buffalo Thunder and radio promotion.

1am to 4am Club open for dancing

Saturday Night Oct 25th AFTER PARTY $5 COVER

Noon to 5pm DJ Saunders Playing all ages music within the Shadeh Night Club.

6pm to 10pm UFC VIEWING PARTY WITH HERB DEAN

10pm to Midnight FIRST JASON will perform

Midnight to 4am DJ SAUNDERS

Shadeh Night Club official club party

Sunday Night Oct 26th FREE ADMISSION

12 – 6pm DJ Saunders performing all ages dance music in Shadeh Night Club.

Daily Events

Saturday and Sunday

*DJ Saunders Live ALL AGES in Shadeh 12 noon to 5pm *Sunday Noon to 6

*Bar will be open for 21+ as well as a dance floor for all ages with age appropriate refreshments.

*Blood Drive in the parking lot

*Walgreens Flu Shots in the parking lot

*Ghost Busters Car Photo ops in the parking lot $5 each $50 with Ernie Hudson (see his schedule)

*Anime and Film Screening will be going on in Vista Room B (By escalator)

Photo Ops

Photo ops by FROGGYS PHOTOS

Saturday:

12:15…..Manu Bennett

1:00…..Sarah French

1:15…..Three’s Company (Jayce Dewitt/Priscilla Barnes)

1:40…..Ernie Hudson

2:00…..Ari Lehman

2:15…..Linda Blair

2:45…..Fred Williamson

3:00…..Lisa Loring

3:15…..Tim Murphy

3:30…..Naomi Grossman

3:45…..Power Rangers Nakia Burrise/Blake Foster

4:15…..John Morton

4:30…..Fred Williamson

4:45…..Thomas Churchill

5:00…..Manu Bennett

Sunday:

11:15….. TBA

11:30…..John Morton

11:45…..Naoimi Grossman

12:00…..Fred Williamson

12:15…..Thomas Churchill

12:30…..Manu Bennett

1:00…..Ernie Hudson

1:15…..Three’s Company (Jayce Dewitt/Priscilla Barnes)

1:35…..TBA

1:45…..Linda Blair

2:00…..Ari Lehman

2:15…..Sarah French

2:30…..Nakia Burrise/Blake Foster

2:45…..Tim Murphy

3:00…..Lisa Lorina

Well, that seems to wrap things up. We can’t wait to see what this convention has to offer. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, it’s not too late! Tickets for the whole weekend are $35 for adults and $15 for children. VIP tickets are also available starting at $75. Police, Active Military, and Fire Fighters get in for free! Get them here!

The Fault in Our Stars Movie Review

Genre – Drama/Romance

Director – Josh Boone

Cast – Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolf

Alluring element –  Based on the New York Times Best Selling novel by award winning author and noted nerd, John Green.

Scorecard:
Plot – 9
Acting – 8
Representation of Genre – 8
Cinematography – 7
Effects/Environment – 7
Captivity – 9
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 9
Soundtrack/Music – 9
Overall awesomeness – 9
 

I was lucky enough to see an advance screen of The Fault in Our Stars last week and I am still dizzy from the emotions it surfaced for me. I’ll admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to this movie. The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite book and it means a great deal to me, personally. Author John Green shares a YouTube Channel with his brother Hank called “The Vlogbrothers,” of which I am a massive fan. Their fans are called Nerdfighters (fighting for nerds, not against them) and they are some of the most passionate, intelligent, caring people you will ever meet. While writing the novel, John documented his progress as well as read the first two chapters to his fans via Livestream before the book was even published. The Nerdfighters were even able to catch a mistake in the book before it was printed. So when I say I’ve been with this story since the beginning, I mean the very beginning. Seeing this story finally hit the big screen feels like a triumph.

Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is an atypical teenager living with cancer, oxygen tank trailing forever behind her. While medication and frequent doctors visits have extended her life quite a bit, she is very much aware that she is dying. After being deemed depressed by both her mother and doctor, Hazel begins attending a cancer support group. It is here that she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a charismatic, sly, metaphoric loving cancer survivor determined to make his mark on the world. Together they find “a forever within the numbered days,” a love that transcends their illness, and an adventure that makes them both feel infinitely alive whilst on the border of death.

Lovers of the novel will be extremely satisfied with the adaptation. Countless scenes have dialogue directly pulled from the book. The casting could not be more perfect. I personally can not see anyone but Shailene Woodley playing Hazel and Ansel Elgort makes the perfect Augustus. While the movie was actually shot in Pittsburgh, set designers and cinematographers were able to make it feel very much like Indiana, scouring out every flat piece of land they could find and recreating the sculpture “Funky Bones”with such detail that the original curator Sarah Green couldn’t tell the difference. Watching the film felt like reading the book all over again. The few scenes they cut I didn’t even notice until later watching an interview with John Green. It is clear that the people behind the movie cared for the book just as much as it’s diehard fans.

While Augustus may be “on a roller coaster than only goes up,” this film takes its audience for an emotionally diverse ride, so much so that DFTBA.com sells a “TFIOS Preparedness Kit” – tissues included. Witty dialogue and ingenious timing create a laughable atmosphere throughout the movie, allowing the audience to believe everything is going to be okay just long enough that when things take a turn for the worse, it cuts all the deeper. However, despite how much the movie made me cry, I still wouldn’t classify it as a sad movie. The Fault in Our Stars is just as much about life as it is about sickness and death. The characters are joyful through much of the film. They are falling in love with each other and with life, despite how little time they have left. In fact, it may because of their mortality that they are able to do this so freely. One thing should be made clear; this is not a cancer story. Yes, it’s a love story about two kids with cancer. Yes, Hazel’s oxygen tank and Augustus’prosthetic leg makes it abundantly clear they’re ill. Still, The Fault in Our Stars is a story about people faced with their own mortality and the mortality of their loved ones. It’s about laying things clean and dry on the table to stop beating around the bush. It’s about two young adults realizing that this life is all they are going to get and that that’s just fine. Their lives are not perfect, in fact they’re far from, but they are still lives that demands to be lived to their fullest. This is a story about overcoming pain and finding joy despite it. This is not a cancer story.

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The soundtrack alone could warrant a review. Ranging from big names like Ed Sheeran and Birdy to lesser known, but just as talented artists such as Afasi and Filthy, the album’s mood fluctuates similarly to the film but still manages to be cohesive. “Bomfelleralla,” a personal favorite of mine, may be the only song that doesn’t seem to quite fit until you see the film. It’s plucked directly out of a scene where Van Houten (Willem Dafoe) plays the song for Hazel and Augustus.

The Fault in Our Stars is an important story because it shows that cancer patients are not their illness and have lives outside it. It shows sickness in a light we rarely get to see. So often we look at someone with a cannula and all we see is their sickness. We visualize them as “the other”when they are very much just like us. The Fault in Our Stars breaks down this “otherness”with a story about two lovers who are like every other couple. They just happen to have cancer.

Fault-in-Our-Stars

The film comes out June 6th but if you hurry, you can see it early. Theaters all over the US are hosting “The Night Before the Stars”where audiences can see the film the day before it comes out as well as a following livestream including cast members Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff (who plays Issac) , Author John Green, Director Josh Boone, Producer Wyck Godfrey, and performances from Birdy and Nat and Alex Wolff. Attendees will also receive a commemorative charm bracelet and exclusive movie poster. Tickets are $25 and going fast.

Even if you haven’t read the book (though I sincerely recommend you do) The Fault in Our Stars is a film you will find yourself thinking about long after the credits roll. From the brilliant cast to the heart wrenching plot, this film is destined to be a Summer hit.

 
All photos belong to 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review

Genre – Comic Book/Action

Director – Bryan Singer

Cast – Hugh Jackson, Jennifer Lawrence James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, a bunch of other people that you never see

Alluring element – A classic X-Men story that tries to make up for The Last Stand

**check out our review of the graphic novel if you’re interested in reading it.

Scorecard:
Plot – 8
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 6
Cinematography – 7
Effects/Environment – 8
Captivity – 7
Logical consistency – 6
Originality/Creativity – 6
Soundtrack/Music – 7
Overall awesomeness – 7
 
hush_rating_71
 
After the foul tail-end of the original X-Men trilogy, followed up with two more poorly-received Wolverine movies, Bryan Singer and company attempts to start all over with Days of Future Past. Do they succeed? Yes, but like its source material, it is not without its flaws.
When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men in the 1960’s, the team was spawned from a reflection of the Civil Rights movement. Social commentary through badass super-powers became the norm. So when Chris Claremont progressed the subject into one of total annihilation with Days of Future Past, it was as much a nod to the mutually assured destruction of war as it was about saving the world from evil sentinels.
That’s not to say that I wanted the movie to be preachy, but at the heart of the X-Men concept is that of a team. The idea that everybody can have their own favorite X-Man, and they were all useful tools in the struggle, was one that appealed to me as a kid, watching the X-Men animated series. However, this movie was really boiled down to four main characters: Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine and Mystique. The movie was marketed as including a slew of side characters from the future, as well as a reunion of the original cast; instead, they showed up to be collateral – with their forced dramatic deaths failing to make me feel the gravity of the situation.
Meet the cannon-fodder, er, I mean crew
Meet the cannon-fodder, er, I mean “supporting cast”
 
X-Men has always been a team concept, and this movie turned it into an excuse to flaunt their biggest stars. We get it; Huge Jacked Man and the glory of Jennifer Lawrence’s Bloobs are hard to pass up, and the McAvoy/Fassbender chemistry feels just as authentic as Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen do. However, if you’re going to sell this as X-Men movie, can we get some more X-Men in there? Not every team movie needs to be The Avengers (thanks Joss, for setting the bar impossibly high), but the camaraderie here doesn’t even hold a candle to the original X-Men, or even First Class.
"I thought you liked my bloobs..."
“I thought you liked my bloobs…”
All of a sudden, having an all-star cast is more important than a well-rounded cast – a sentiment I’d be fine with on almost anything that wasn’t the X-Men. They do a decent round-about way of making Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine the centerpiece over Ellen Page’s Kitty Pryde, until you realize that Kitty Pryde never had the ability to send anybody else’s consciousness back in time. It’s not that I’m that upset Singer’s Kitty Pryde didn’t get the main role, since Bishop filled in the role quite well in the animated series. There were a ton of other logical brain-farts we saw throughout that seem to be credited to tying in the horrible Last Stand in order to make the whole saga canon – a valiant effort, but still a sham.
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One place DOFP absolutely succeeds is in the portrayal of Quicksilver, who helps the team break into the Pentagon and free Magneto from imprisonment. Played by American Horror Story‘s Evan Peters, Peter (Singer felt his comic book name, Pietro, isn’t a realistic name for a teenager) Maximoff is self-indulgent and hilarious, but is intrigued by the challenge of the prison break. There’s a particular sequence where Quicksilver shows off his skills that gave me the butterflies like a superhero movie is supposed to (something I definitely did not feel throughout the rest of the movie), and was around just long enough to make me want more.
quicksilver
Mystique also takes center stage here, and she kicks ass. Jennifer Lawrence absolutely owes it to her stunt double. Lawrence herself is not believable as Mystique, often coming across as a rebellious teenager. There’s just something about her face that doesn’t fit the look (we debated on whether it was the chin, cheeks or her large forehead that we didn’t like), but the fight scenes were incredible. She isn’t the only character that falls flat with me; Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, who had one of the most amazing displays in First Class turns into nothing more than a caricature of himself here. It’s a shame to see a character so complex turned into a one-dimensional bad guy.
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For being a movie based off a two-issue comic book, Days of Future Past does a good job of spacing the story out over its 2 hr 11 min runtime. There are a handful of awkward stares off into the distance I could have done without, and there’s a Magneto scene involving a entire stadium off the ground that feels forced and anti-climatic, but that’s neither here nor there. The sentinels looked spectacular (both past and future), and Peter Dinklage’s Bolivar Trask was a great addition to the movie. In the comics, he is the creator of the sentinel program, and his role is practically a seamless swap for Senator Robert Kelly (the target in the books).
xmen-daysoffuturepast-50
Cleverly enough, the DNA swipe of Mystique, which is used to create the chameleon-esque sentinels of the future, isn’t impossible to believe. The genetic engineering process as we know it, “the direct transfer of DNA from one organism to another,” was invented in 1973, the same year the past events take place. The snippets of 70’s style reel film to capture the mutant attacks were also a nice touch. Some of it didn’t really work for me. Weeks after the new Godzilla film blamed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Godzilla himself, Magneto takes the fall for the assassination of JFK. Nice try, guys. What’s next? Did Aquaman knock over the levees in New Orleans, too?
X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Magneto-at-Kennedy-assassination
This was supposed to be the resurgence of the X-Men franchise. To be fair, a lot of the complaints I had about the movie were fanboy-driven, but I feel like this formula is really starting to wear on me. The need to make this an “epic,” detracts from the point of the story, and clutters it with a bunch of nothing. I mean, when the half-hour animated episode does a better job at telling a story than the $200 million budgeted film, I can’t help but leave disappointed.
The magic of Days of Future Past comes from Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask and Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  Those aside, its been over a decade later and we’re still relying on special effects to sell creativity, forcing dramatic stare-offs to make people feel like important scenes are unfolding, and using Scott Summers to cock-block Wolverine. The more things change, the more they stay the same. And that’s the problem…

All photos belong to 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics