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Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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"X" Marks the Spot

The X-Men trilogy is allegedly complete with "X-Men: The Last Stand," released last summer. I say "allegedly," because the third movie made a ton of money, beyond all expectations, and it ends with a hook for a fourth movie, which casts a doubtful light on the studio's claims that the trilogy has ended.

But I'm not so much interested in that topic yet. What did you think of X-Men, Part 3? Caution: Spoilers will follow, after the jump, and if you'd like to comment, feel free to discuss further spoilers.

I liked it. I thought the third X-Men movie was a lot of fun. And only need compare it with the first two movies to see how much shallower it is. Although The Last Stand is not the wall-to-wall action movie that reviews might lead you to believe, it doesn't seem to find time for the character-oriented angles that make the action compelling in the first place.

I can't quite point to some part of The Last Stand and say, "That right there. That's what's wrong." But something sure is. By the end of X-Men United, I was rabid for the continuation of the story. What's going on with Jean? Lemme see the inevitable Fire vs. Ice battle. Where's this love triangle going? Etc, etc, etc. The story mattered. I cared.

And then X-Men: The Last Stand comes along, delivers on all the promises, and I found myself no longer caring so much. Again, I liked the movie. It was good as a spectacle. But as happened in the Mission: Impossible III thread, every time I tried to explain why I liked the movie, it wound up as an explanation of my disappointment.

(Bryan Singer may have really screwed up. By abandoning X-Men for Superman, he possibly let both series down.)

I can tell you one thing I did like. X-Men III had no qualms whatsoever about wreaking irreversible things on its characters. I gasped audibly more than once during the movie, and I was astonished at the climactic moment when Wolverine leaps from the gloom and dishes out a defining blow to Magneto. (The movie's final scene annoyed the heck out of me, though. It felt like the movie was chickening out from its resolve -- but I also have to wonder, what was Magneto doing wandering freely in public parks? You can destroy national landmarks, probably killing lots of people in the process, without getting arrested?)

Here's another question. If Wolverine could get close enough to Jean to stab her, can't he get close enough to inject her with the mutant antidote instead? That would have taken care of her dual personality well enough.

See what I mean? Once again, I start out trying to write something positive and get dragged back down by the negatives. Like this:

It's a good movie. But it just isn't great.

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