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X2 (SPOILERS within)

I seem to be following a trend with the X-Men films. I never saw the first one in the theaters and bought the DVD sight-unseen and have now done the same with the second. In both cases, I was happy that I did so.

My theory with adaptations from another medium differs depending on the type of medium being adapted. If you are doing a book, get as close as you can to the written word. In a comic book that has a back history of 30+ years, this is more difficult and you some times have to decide what to keep and what to ignore. So movies based on comics get much more artistic license in my view.

X2 takes some of the best storylines of the comic and gives them a fresh spin. It was nice to see some of the other X-Men, even in cameo apperances (Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Siryn and a pre-blue-fur Hank McCoy [aka the Beast]) and nice nod to others through Strykers data-base. I was pleased that they didn't shy away from showing Wolverine as he is in the comics; if he needs to, he kills. Nightcrawler's bamfing effect was awesome as where many of the other effects.

(Begin spoilers space)
Seeing how Jean Gray's power was growing, I had a feeling we were going to see Phoenix at some point, but knowing the story from the comic, I knew she would have to die for that to happen. It was handled wonderfully, with some nice forshadowing of what is to come (the fire engulfing her, the faint bird-image just before the credits).
(End spoilers)

In closing, I liked this one very much and can not wait for X3 . What does anyone else think?
In short (mostly because I'm tired) X2 ruled. The first movie was great, but the second one built on it in every way.

And I love Cyclops and Jean Gray. :)
Phoenixrising. Hmm. ;) I can see how you'd like a certain character.

Personally, I think they need to write more in for Xavier. :D

Xmen is actually the only "comic book" based sci-fi I have enjoyed. I own both dvds, but have neither at home at the moment since they are on loan to friends. :cool:

I hope Patrick Stewart has a better part next time. But I'm very prejudiced in that manner. :eek:
Ah, yes. I forgot that Hyp has a thing for Stewart.

Strangely enough, Famke Janssen did nothing for me when I saw her in Goldeneye (Pierce Brosnan's 1st 007 movie), but I thought she was hot in X-Men . Of course I do have a overwhelming fondness for redheads, which might have something to do with it.

Actually, Hyp, I've had a facination about the phoenix for years, before X-Men even had the character in the comics. My name represents things that have happened in my life and how I am trying to rectify them. Kind of like rising from the ashes.

In the area of comic book movies, I liked Batman (1,2 and 3), Spider-Man and Daredevil . But X-Men was one of the first to get it right.
Ah, yes. I forgot that Hyp has a thing for Stewart.

Wow. You mean I managed to let someone forget? :eek:

I can't imagine how I could have done that. :eek:




If you forget again, I have many, many more photos. :D

And, Phoenixrising, I'm sorry to hear you had to have such a tough transition. :(

But at least you rose, eh? ;) :cool:
The X-Men flicks are the only comic book movies that I consider to actually be decent films, not just "funny in a bad way" or outright stupid.

Femmke is freakin' gorgeous.
I was at work yesterday for several hours, and the job I was doing required a lot of waiting around for things to print, etc. ... so I brought Terminator 3 and X2 with me to watch the extras.

I was very happy with the extras on T3. Lots of content, interviews, a gag reel, etc. X2 doesn't have the gag reel (did the first one?), but MAN is there a lot of content on disc 2! And, incidentally, there are lots of clips of the actors being goofy in the documentary, including a brief but funny shot of Patrick Stewart careening around the set in his chair. I started watching the documentary, and what seemed like an hour and a half later, it still wasn't finished. In fact I had to leave before I got to finish watching it, and almost everything else on that disc. Can't wait to check out the rest. Singer & his gang really know how to make a DVD.
X2 doesn't have the gag reel (did the first one?)

The first one had one gag, the Spider-Man joke as an extra feature.

Singer & his gang really know how to make a DVD.

A gay guy is needed to make a good movie. :D Straight men can't cut it. Well, apart from the good ones. :LOL:
HELL no. Three words: Batman and Robin.

Nuff fucking said.

Batman and Robin had a gay director? But still... Robin. I'll forgive this travesty for him. :D But my word that was an awful film!
Hhmmmm... phoenixrising, you have no idea what you just let yourself in for... happy reading!

Just ask Hyp for any conformation on my at random babblings on the topic of X2: X-Men United!

Let me quickly go look up my review:
X2: X-Men United

In general...

After having waited almost a good 3 years since the release of X-Men, and after having just watched X-Men the night prior to X2's premiere to force oneself willingly back into this particular realism and world of mutants, and with some of the official Vancouver press interviews still swirling around at the back of one's head, one sat down for a 2 hour adrenalin rush! Well, and I for one could have sat through at least another 2 good hours, especially after having just witnessed very specific character developments and a continuous story arc build-up throughout the whole duration of the movie which were all clearly portrayed in the fashion that the movie exposed these particular elements to in the process prepare and establish the ground rules/premise for the more than likely second sequel or third movie in the franchise if you'd prefer. It is not all that often that we are all fortunate to observe a sequel movie to conclude into being more powerful, more overwhelming and stronger than its predecessor and original craft, so even though X-Men was a blast, I would have to state that X2 was even more amazing, much more darker and loaded with story continuity covering a wide range of backend comic history.

When one has over 40 years of diverse history and tight continuity to look back upon like in this particular scenario (not even to begin to discuss such a confusing one such as at hand), it seems that one does not really have a choice in the matter where you are forced into having to draw various cut-off lines which all naturally bring forth a chain effect of having to include huge sacrifices. Thus meant that there had to be decided on a hand full of main characters and therefore some fan somewhere would miss out on his or her favorite mutant. None the less X2 still concluded into having had a pretty big ensembled cast once again, and uncanny enough it came as no surprise either that all of the main characters were developed equally even though none of them had nearly the same amount of screen time in comparison to one another, even minor characters such as Colossus and Siryn had their respective spotlight moment. Throughout and under all of this pressure and with the full amount of limited time that was put available to Singer's use and disposal, the entire team did a fairly decent job of having cramped in as much story and mostly continuity as they could and did. It seems that the general moviegoer would not know this or could not even begin to fully understand the magnitude of this concept, yet X2 has indeed managed to obtain an unconditional respect from all of its audience.

Director Bryan Singer consists over a very unique style of directing that only he knows by heart to explain to any other, but to the rest of us it has always been visible that his work contains the art form of a complete serious nature and focussed approach which in return leaves the impact of an absolute realism upon his movies. Even more importantly so would be that Singer does not rely on special effects to make his movies work, since he had been used to producing pure character driven movies with low attached budgets from the beginning. Therefore, his movies are usually based upon purely character driven stories whereupon special effects if any are used as a bonus tool towards supporting both the movie structure and core storyline. So 'yes', even though X2 consists I would say over 70% of special effects, the special effects were used as a support system to help make the characters' abilities and skills seem more real and believable, but once again to support the story.

Moving onto the content...

This time around the main theme of the movie was loosely based on the ideas and concepts that established themselves in a graphic novel written by the hand of veteran Chris Claremont, called "God Loves, Man Kills". Once again though one can not have an exact representation and makeover of any existing comic-related story without adapting and grooming the material to so fit the format of the big screen, and to in the process also make the whole idea seem as realistic as possible without of course messing up the essence of the X-Men and their history. With "God Loves, Man Kills" one had an extremely powerful and overwhelming story that worked convincingly for its format of a graphic novel, but for a movie one had to find other ways of portraying these ideas since they are very dark, cruel and disturbing of nature. The screenplay written by newcomers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris brought across these written concepts in a very fashionable but smooth flow, without having had the movie scenes seem cruel or overexposed. Somehow, I have to believe that if we had Xavier crucified half naked onto a cross, the whole procedure would not have been in favor at all to the movie... though, I would have to admit into saying that I can only begin to imagine how such a dramatic and powerful illusion sequence would be enacted and presented to fit the profile for a big screen format. It seems that Dougherty has a unique sense and skill towards writing more darker and more dramatic, and has so in the process not only created a very specific style for himself, but this has earned him respect, higher ranking or position, and to be quite frankly... fame!

X-Men kicked off the story with having had us being introduced to the world of mutants through the eyes of both Wolverine and young innocent-like Rogue, which led us to the exposure of who and what the X-Men represents, their mutual and rival struggles and respective believes. Therefore with X2 there was no need for any explanatory reasons, which naturally meant that all of the writers could jump straight into a balls to the wall action packed but character driven story. X2 therefore represents an interlinked second chapter saga of both the continuation of Wolverine's struggle to establish the reality and truth of his past and present as well as Stryker's compulsive obsession to annihilate all mutants through abusing and ultimately manipulating Xavier into using his telepathic powers to destroy all mutants and everything that he holds dear by enforcing an illusion upon him. It also turns out that Stryker was responsible for Wolverine's eluding past where Stryker was responsible for having given Wolverine his adamantium skeleton and claws, and this worked really well for me personally since the concept worked well for the movie, especially when one had these two diverse themes combining into one. Even though in the comic franchise, or more specifically in "God Loves, Man Kills", Stryker was a religious "zealot" reverend with a plan of genocide for mutants. This was only one of the changes, but I found for every change that they had to make there were five continuity-wise things that made up for it... especially with things like when a much more ruthless Wolverine starts slicing and dicing, chalking up a family friendly body count - no blood! But if I would have to choose one of the smallest of first things that already made the movie worthwhile for me when I had only barely started watching, it would have to be how Nightcrawler jumped straight from the comic books into the big screen by the way that they got the sound effect for his teleporting capability correct in the way that he "bamfs" from scene to scene... perfect! And in the light of this topic I will also not be too surprised if X2 will also be remembered for having one of the best visually striking opening sequences for a movie, amongst the rest of its best of features.

X2 opens once again as well with a short audio dialogue introduction spoken by Xavier, in the same type of fashion and style as we had with X-Men, and even though this time the actual words were not as memorable but still just as powerful as with the prequel, this is soon made up for when the movie shoots into high gear from the start with an overwhelming and highly contagious action sequence as mentioned above. Fear not if both powerful dialogue and story continuity carries more importance for you personally, since the closure Jean Grey narration before the end titles did not only establish reason for her character's development throughout the movie and believed death during the last few minutes to what may yet be install for us in its sequel, but those words were an exact dialogue replica from the opening narration sequence from X-Men as well. And this in turn did not only bind the two individual movies as one story yet again, but this particular dialogue holds a deeper meaning for each of the respective two movies. Some of you might understand this meaning already, the rest of you will have to wait for the third instalment since this is something that can not be explained but only observed. It is only after a while into the movie that one begins to realize how much foreshadowing the last interaction scene in X-Men held and how much it gave away of X2, therefore I personally do believe that we can expect the same means with X2 and its Phoenix Saga foreshadowing if at the very least only. Which also leaves a spectacular climatic ending that will not be soon forgotten either, especially by fans whom would immediately be able to draw reference to the official novel.

The sequel continues the story, set a very short while after all of the events which occurred during the prequel, with several subplots bridging the two movies, such as the rival friendship/relationship between Xavier and Magneto, the love triangle between Cyclops/Jean Grey and Wolverine, the attraction between Bobby and Rogue, and the obvious struggle for mutant freedom to put it very blunt. This time around all of our mutants have to stand together to face off one man called Stryker whom intends to annihilate their existence by means of manipulating one of their own kind, one of the most powerful amongst themselves called Professor X. Cerebro had an indefinite upgrade with itself being a working theme throughout the movie, and the overall feeling is moving. Once the movie shifts over into a fast pace, very little room is left to breathe in, but even so the movie still maintains to keep one's attention clutched, and further still between all of the breathtaking locations and mutant special effects that were all already visually enhancing, somehow some of the best moments rose from the close and intense interactions between a variety of different characters. For example, there are those whom might complain about Cyclops having disappeared for the greater percentage of the movie's run, which is very true, but then near the end of the movie he completely breaks down in Wolverine's arms with the turn of Jean's 'death'. Then one has to take into consideration that this embracing sequence was not only an extremely powerful performance and convincing portrayal by James Marsden, but also a highlight moment of the movie assigned to this particular character. There are moments like these scattered throughout the entire movie, one of which being Magneto's words to Pyro in the Blackbird "You're a God among insects, never let anyone tell you different!" was one of my most memorable 'character interaction' -scenes.

The special effects in this movie consisted out of a nice raw blend between CGI and pure stunts, to in the effect leave an overall uncertainty of not being able to tell where any of the SFX begins, and where it ends...


Previously, with X-Men I found myself really liking the main title theme written by long time composer and conductor Michael Kamen, of which the Rogue love theme was one that also stuck, but other than that the original soundtrack wasn't that spectacular. 'Yes', the OST (original soundtrack) complimented the movie and its story, and I was first in line to buy myself a copy, but it needed quite a bit more if there was any chance of myself ever comparing the composition to the Batman OST and masterpiece by Danny Elfman, that still ranks quite high on my list. Nowadays, I will find myself humming the theme of X2 in my head, unintentionally, and that's the theme I think of when I am reminded of X2! This time around the entire X2 composition blew me away from the start of the movie till a couple of hours after. Not only did the music compliment each and every action sequence, but there was always a subtle push or hinting with every drama orientated or character moment, with the flow of the movie so to speak. And only naturally the case since composer and long time friend to director Bryan Singer, John Ottman pulled double duty with having edited X2 as well, in the style that he always has, to compliment Singer's work. The musical score, successfully conducted by Damon Intrabartalo, enhances an already well established mood in the movie, and is definitely one of the better compositions of the season.

Once again this is not only a movie for the actual comic fan, but also for the regular moviegoer whom enjoys a 2 hour thrill ride. Though, if you are a fan or you are someone whom knows somewhat of the comic franchise, chances are that you will most certainly enjoy, but more so appreciate all the inside jokes and links that has been thrown into the movie especially for this reason. Even so no matter your taste, X2 has it all: action and drama, adventure and suspense, romance and intrigue, humor and tragedy, and most certainly a more than satisfying handful of heart-warming characterization moments.